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Chelsea and United to miss out on German World Cup star

Thursday, July 29, 2010

English Premier League giants Chelsea and Manchester United look set to miss out on Germany's World Cup star Sami Khedira, with Real Madrid favourites to sign him.

Khedira, 23, currently of Stuttgart, had a fantastic World Cup which saw Germany finish third and his performances brought on interest from several big European clubs. It was always expected that Khedira would move on, it was just a question of where to.

"Khedira has informed us that he wants to go to Real. We now have to find a solution."

"We respect Sami's decision. "I know that Stuttgart is close to his heart, but Real don't come calling every day."

I saw Khedira play a lot at the World Cup and I have to admit I was very impressed. He worked very hard and it was just his ability to break up the oppositions play that impressed, he was able to add to Germany's attacking threat. He will be a great buy for Madrid, if they get him.

Mascherano wants out of Anfield

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano wants out of Anfield, with a move to Inter Milan his preferred destination. The Argentinian captain is just one of a number of Liverpool players who want to move clubs.

New Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson did claim however that he does expect Mascherano to leave in appropriate way. He is still under contract at Liverpool and he is expected to honour that.

''I think he wanted to leave a year ago. He wants to leave now as well. But he is contracted to Liverpool Football Club so whether he leaves or not will be our decision.''

It would certainly be a loss if Mascherano were to leave Liverpool. Despite his tendency to get booked ( and then smile about it ) but other than that he does great work for the team and makes a nuisance of himself when the opposition try to attack.

City sign Serbian left-back

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The last few months for Wayne Bridge have been pretty terrible, and it just got worse. City have announced a new signing in Serbian left-back Aleksander Kolarov from Lazio.

City signed Kolarov from Lazio for £16 million, despite late interest from Juventus, with Mancini claiming he wants two world class players in each position. However, Kolarov was impressive during the World Cup and I would be surprised if he didn't make the starting 11.

"I first saw Kolarov in his Lazio debut back in 2007. I was impressed by the speed and strength of someone so young.''

"I am looking forward to working with him."

In my opinion £16 million was a bit much to pay for Kolarov, but I suppose money isn't an issue at City. Looking forward to seeing who else they bid for.

Spurs in bid to land Raul

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Spanish legend Raul, currently of Real Madrid, could be on his way to the Premier League with North London side Tottenham leading the chase for his signature.

Raul is available on a free transfer, but has already turned down an offer from German side Wolfsburg, insisting he wants to finish his career in England. Apparently, Newcastle are keen on the Madrid legend also.

"With a player of this pedigree there is always a lot of interest but nothing will happen until Real Madrid give the official go-ahead that he can leave."

I think Raul would actually be a pretty good signing for either Spurs or Newcastle, but I'd rather see him go to Newcastle. At Spurs, lets be honest, he will sit on the bench whereas he has a chance of starting at Newcastle. He was one of the best strikers in the World, and I still think he has a good season left in him provided he gets good service.

What is Joe Cole thinking?

Monday, July 19, 2010

As you all probably know, Joe Cole is set to sign for Liverpool in the next few days, but what I really want to know is why? He had far better options, I actually laughed a little bit when I heard.

Cole is a good players, he has had trouble with injuries the past few seasons, but he is still extremely talented. Going to Liverpool will probably be a good thing for Cole, he should make the starting 11, but still, I think Tottenham would have been a better choice.

He could easily make it into the starting 11 at Spurs, and they are a team who are going places, unlike Liverpool who seem to be going to backwards. Champions League or Europa League, I know what I'd choose.

Liverpool will certainly benefit from signing Cole, especially after losing Benayoun. For free, Cole is an absolute steal. The question is, can they keep their other stars.

Vidic wants Madrid move

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic is apparently keen to make a move to Spanish giants, Real Madrid. Vidic has been an integral part of the Man United defence over the past few seasons, but it seems he is ready to move on.

Vidic signed for United for £7 million back in 2006 and a year later signed a new contract which saw him earn £70,000 a week, still a far cry from his centre-back partner Rio Ferdinand, who earns £110,000.

Vidic was expecting a pay-rise but because of the current financial difficulty's at Manchester United, it didn't materialise, thus Vidic's desire to join Real Madrid. If Vidic were to leave, it would leave Man United very short at the back. Ferdinand has been injured persistently in the past year, while Johnny Evans has failed to impress, and Chris Smalling is possibly too inexperienced to fill in straight away.

Torres staying at Anfield

Friday, July 16, 2010

New Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson is adamant that Spanish striker Fernando Torres will be staying at Liverpool for next season. Torres' future has been under speculation following a poor season from Liverpool which saw them lose their Champions League spot for next year.

Torres was apart of the Spain squad that won the World Cup this summer, but he injured himself in the final which has put his ambitions of an injury free season in jeopardy. However, this will not stop Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti doing his utmost to sign him.

"I have met with Fernando. I found him to be a very pleasant man and we had a nice conversation.''

"As far as we are concerned he is a Liverpool player and we want him to remain a Liverpool player.''

"He is not for sale and we don't welcome any offers for him. We want to keep him.''

Hodgson will be desperate to keep Torres, whether he will be successful in keeping him remains to be seen. If Torres has any ambition for next season, he will leave Liverpool. Meanwhile, Liverpool have made an offer for Nice striker Loic Remy. Remy scored 16 goals for Nice last season and Liverpool are keen to land him, although West Ham, Tottenham and Arsenal are all interested.

Where will Fabregas be playing next season

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Much has been made of Cesc Fabregas' future this summer, but during the World Cup, speculation about a move to Barcelona decreased. However, with World Cup over and Spain victorious, you can expect the Fabregas rumours start up again.

Many people will say that after playing, and winning with the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, Villa, Puyol, Pedro and Pique, Fabregas will feel as though he will have a far greater chance of success playing with the Barca boys he played with during the World Cup.

Also, during celebrations in Madrid Puyol and Pique pulled Fabregas out of the team and put a Barcelona jersey on him. Fabregas however, took it of soon after. Fabregas also said that winning the World Cup was for Arsenal, the fans and Arsene Wenger.

"This is for the Arsenal players, the Arsenal fans, the manager Arsene Wenger and all the staff.''

I don't think that Puyol and Pique should have put the jersey on Fabregas. The transfer should be made by both managers, Guardiola and Wenger, and the other players should have no involvement. As for Fabregas, I'm not sure where his heart lies. If he goes to Barcelona he faces sitting on the bench all year, but if he stays at Arsenal he faces the wrath of the Arsenal fans.

World Cup 2010 Awards

Monday, July 12, 2010
With the 2010 World Cup over, here are my awards...

Best Game
The third-place play off between Uruguay and Germany was exciting from start to finish with fast, attacking football. Germany ran out 3-2 winners.

Best Goal
Diego Forlan's volley against Germany was a fantastic goal but I'm going to give it to Giovanni Van Bronckhorst for his 35 yard shot against Uruguay that hit the post on its way to the top corner.

Biggest Villain
Has to go to Marc Van Bommel. How he didn't get sent off in this World Cup we will never know. Against Brazil, Uruguay and Spain, all he seemed to do was throw his legs at players trying to hurt them.

Biggest Disgrace (team)
England and holders Italy were quite shameful, but with just one point to their name, I'm giving it to France. With quite an easy group on paper, the 2006 finalists went out in disgrace.

Most Dramatic Moment
After 120 minutes of nothing happening, the Uruguay-Ghana game burst to life with a goalmouth scramble seeing Suarez block a goal with his arm. He was sent off but Gyan missed the penalty with the last kick of extra time. Uruguay went on to win on penalties.

Best Save
With the score at 0-0, Robben was put through with only Casillas to beat. But Casillas' outstretched leg tipped the ball around the post. It may not have been the best in terms of reflex but it was certainly the most important.

Biggest Shock (result)
England drawing to Algeria, France losing to South Africa and Slovakia beating Italy were all shocking but Switzerland's 1-0 over Spain in their opening fixtures surprised everyone.

Biggest Flop
There were so many let downs but I'm not going to mention Kaka or Messi as I wouldn't exactly say they were awful- just below par. Ribery, Ronaldo and Torres were all very poor but I'm going to give it to Rooney who had a disastrous World Cup.

Best Young Player
Mesut Ozil was impressive, but with 5 goals and 3 assists from midfield earning him the Golden Boot, I'm giving this one to Thomas Muller. At just 20, he really shined this Summer, with a brace against England being his highlight.

Best Player
Sneijder and Villa were good to watch throughout but Forlan gets my vote. With 5 goals and most of them crackers, he inspired Uruguay to the semi-finals against all the odds.

These are just my views, what do you think?

Spain are World Champions

Sunday, July 11, 2010

After a month of football, Spain are World Champions, and you can't say they didn't deserve. The best team on the night, they ran out 1-0 winners against Holland, who did themselves proud in reaching the final.

I don't think anybody thought Spain had a chance of winning the World Cup after their first game defeat to Switzerland. However, from then on Spain were impressive, to say the least.

It wasn't easy for them tonight. After a poor first half, the second half saw more chances, for Holland in particular. Arjen Robben was sent through on goal, twice denied by Iker Casillas.

In the last three minutes of extra time, Cesc Fabregas passed to Andreas Iniesta in the box to fire Spain to victory. Obviously, the Spanish team were ecstatic, the Dutch players were less so.

So congratulations are in order. Spain deserved their victory and overall, deserved to win the Cup. It's easy to see why they were favourites before the tournament began, with such a quality squad they were always going to be there or thereabouts.

World Cup Final: First half report

It hasn't been a great game has it? Spain v Holland had the making to be a classic but so far it has been largely disappointing.

First of all, the starting teams. Not too many surprises, but in my opinion Fabregas should be on instead of Pedro, and Van der Vaart should be on instead of Kuyt, but that's just my opinion.

Sergio Ramos has had Spain's only real chance, a header saved and other than that no real chances. Meanwhile, Holland could have taken the lead when Sneijder passed back to Casillas after the Spanish put the ball out due to injury to Carlos Puyol. Casillas misjudged the pass back which almost went into the back of the net. Other than that, bar a shot from Robben, no real chances for Holland.

Holland should be down to 9 men, simple as. Van Bommel has fouled repeatedly, whilst De Jong could have killed Alonso with that drop-kick.

Personally, I hope the second half is a lot more exciting, and a goal from David Villa to lead Spain to victory would be lovely.

City plan swoop for Drogba

Friday, July 9, 2010

Manchester City were always going to be rumoured to a number of players this summer, and Drogba is the latest in that list. City are apparently lining up a £20 million bid for the Chelsea striker, who was the top scorer in the Premier League last year with 29 goals.

You would think selling Drogba is out of the question for Chelsea, but considering Drogba is 32 now they might be tempted to accept such a high offer for the Ivory Coast star. It could backfire however, Drogba is 32 but he still has a few years left in him.

"Chelsea will have to decide whether they want him to stay. City's offer will be tempting considering Didier's age."

If Drogba were to move, you can expect Chelsea to go full throttle on a pursuit to bring World Cup flop Fernando Torres to Stamford Bridge.

Orange Army March On

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Holland have qualified for Sunday's World Cup Final after beating Uruguay 3-2 this evening. In another aggresive yet fast-paced display of football, they came out on top after an exciting second half.

The first 20 minutes were a cagey and tense affair with neither side seeming to want to take a risk, but out of nowhere Van Bronckhorst scored an amazing 35 yarder which opened the game up.

Lone-striker Forlan was finding it tough to see much of the ball but he equalised just before half-time with a left-footed strike from 30 yards which Stekelenburg maybe could have done better with. This set up an exciting second half with both sides going for the win, and with just 20 minutes left Sneijder's deflected strike squeezed into the corner of Muslera's left-hand post.

Just 5 minutes later Robben scored a bullet header to end Uruguay's hopes of a 3rd World Cup win. A late consolation from Maxi Pereira made for a nervy last few minutes, but Holland held out well.

Although I tipped Holland to win before the World Cup started, I'm not sure if they have what it takes to beat Germany or Spain. The cowardly, malicious tackling of Van Bommel has made me unfavour them slightly and I think once Robben and Sneijder are kept quiet, there's not much more to them.

Should Torres leave Liverpool

Monday, July 5, 2010

With Liverpool not making the top four last season, there has been massive speculation over the future of their Spanish striker, Fernando Torres. Torres is currently playing for Spain in this years World Cup, but when that finishes you can expect to hear many more rumours about him.

It hasn't been a great World Cup for Torres. He has been off form completely, a shadow of the player we have seen from his time at Liverpool, which may be coming to an end.

Now, Torres' agent has denied reports than he said that Torres wanted out of Liverpool, but somehow I feel El Nino wants out of Anfield. I wouldn't blame him. Torres should be playing in the Champions League, not the Europa League. Should be challenging for the title, not fighting to make Europe.

Liverpool fans will completely disagree he should leave, and I don't blame them. Torres was their only real attacking threat, bar Gerrard. Replacing Torres with the likes of David Ngog, or Ryan Babel, just won't do for the Liverpool faithful. Personally, I hope Torres leaves. He is too good for Liverpool.

Who will be in the World Cup final?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Its really starting to get exiting now. Two teams have already booked their place in the World Cup semi-final. Holland beat Brazil 2-1 yesterday after coming back from a goal down, whilst Uruguay went all the way to penalties against Ghana. They were lucky to get their though, after Luis Suarez handled the ball on the line Ghana had the chance to win it in the 31st minute of extra time. Unfortunately for Ghana, Asamoah Gyan missed the penalty and Uruguay went to on to win the penalty shootout 4-2.

So it was an exciting day of football to say the least, and today promises to be just as heart throbbing for the teams involved. Argentina play Germany in the early game, and Spain play Paraguay later on today. I'm really looking forward to the Argentina v Germany game, both teams have been really impressive so far. I think Argentina will come out on top. They have the ability to score goals out of nowhere and with Messi anything is possible for them. I'm not very confident on my prediction though, as Germany have some very impressive players in their ranks e.g Ozil, Muller and Schweinstieger.

In the later game, Spain will play Paraguay where both teams will be hoping to make it through to play either Germany or Argentina. I think Spain will have too much quality for Paraguay, who didn't look very threatening against Japan.

I would expect Holland to beat Uruguay. They have a very potent attack force with Robben, Sneijder and Van Persie, whilst Uruguay will rely only on Diego Forlan. I would also expect Argentina to make it to the final. Spain are weak at the back and Argentina have probably been the best attacking force in the competition so far.

So my prediction is Holland to play Argentina in the final. Who will win it? I have no idea. At least the football is no longer painful to watch, the World Cup is finally entertaining to watch.

Chelsea Sign Benayoun

Yossi Benayoun has signed for Chelsea on a three-year deal for a fee believed to be in the region of £5million. The Israeli captain ended speculation yesterday by confirming his transfer from Liverpool to the League champions.

Benayoun, who recently turned 30, has spent the last 5 years in England enjoying spells with West Ham and Liverpool. He was a main factor in Benitez's rotational policy, and his versatility was key to their attacking options. He will always be remembered in Liverpool for his goal in their 1-0 victory over Real Madrid at the Bernabéu in 2009.

On first hearing of Chelsea being interested in Benayoun, I must admit I was shocked as he has never proven himself to be a top-class player. He's the type who may look good against the smaller teams but once put up against a sturdy defence, he isn' seen in the match. However, since the departure of Joe Cole, Benayoun may prove to be adequate cover for the Chelsea wingers. I still feel Chelsea need another winger though if they are to challenge for the title again next year, but whether or not they have the money remains to be seen.

Hodgson appointed as New Liverpool Boss

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Roy Hodgson has signed a 3-year contract as manager of Liverpool, replacing Rafa Benitez who departed last month.

Hodgson, who managed Inter Milan and Blackburn, probably enjoyed his most successful tenure as manager of Fulham. In his first season, he saved them from relegation when they looked destined to be going down and he then steered the London club to a Europa League place in his next season. However it was last season when he proved how good a manager he is by getting Fulham to the Europa League final, beating Juventus, Hamburg and Wolfsburg on the way. He was then voted manager of the year by the League Manager's Association in 09/10.

"This is the biggest job in club football and I'm honoured to be taking on the role of manager of Britain's most successful football club," Hodgson told the club's official website.

To be honest, I was quite surprised that Hodgson was given the job. I thought Liverpool may have gone for a big name or a past player to try and get them out of their situation. And although I do think Hodgson is an excellent manager, I'm not sure if he has what it takes for such a big team like Liverpool. Having said that, it would take a miracle from anyone to fix what has happened at the club.