By Zahi Sahli… The Player’s Angle
Kaka is simply a king at what he does. He is one of the best players in the world, with extraordinary skills that will give a great boost to any club that can acquire his services.
He is a man in demand.
A Spanish radio station (how reliable!) assured everyone that Real Madrid will surely sign Kaka in a £55m deal.
The deal was said to be on the right track before Chelsea tabled a reported record £73.5m bid for the Brazilian sensation.
“Oh yes, if Florentino Perez thinks he’s rich, I’m richer”, Roman Abramovich probably told his Mrs. Abramovich.
Real Madrid have shown their interest in Kaka time and time again, but Kaka has reiterated his desire to continue his career at San Siro.
Meanwhile Chelsea have rubbished the rumors of their record bid.
However, it is going to be the battle of the summer with Chelsea, Real Madrid, and perhaps other teams chasing Kaka.
Real Madrid’s reputation is attractive while Chelsea have just appointed Carlo Ancelotti who coached Kaka in his time at Milan before leaving for West London.
Meanwhile if Real can offer Kaka £1m per month, Manchester City can double that, should they they sound their interest and enter the bidding war to sign the Brazilian.
The Clubs’ Angle
AC Milan are in need of signing a fresh breed of players in order to have the power to compete for the Serie A title next season.
Milan have a problem with an aging squad and a struggling defense. Should they sell Kaka, they will have enough money to fund much-needed transfers.
Meanwhile Real Madrid are in a re-building process and need to sign stars of Kaka’s skills and reputation if they are to have a chance to compete with Barcelona in La Liga.
The second interested party, Chelsea, want to partner Ancelotti with Kaka. The arrival of Kaka at Stamford Bridge will make Chelsea’s forward even more potent as the Brazilian can play alongside Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka, Michael Ballack, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, and others.
Where should Kaka go?
Should he remain faithful to AC Milan?
Should Kaka move to Madrid or should he leave San Siro to Stamford Bridge?
Have Your Say!
Italy manager Marcello Lippi discussed various subjects regarding the future of the Italian national team.
Lippi’s Italy could have gone on for 32 matches undefeated. However, the Italians lost their match against Brazil by 2 goals to nothing.
The Italian manager has been criticized for bringing almost the same old crop of players. The pressure is huge on Lippi as he leads his World Cup-winning team to another World Cup.
When asked about the match against Brazil, Lippi told reporters, “The friendly against Brazil had been arranged a long time ago; we need to meet important teams.”
“They were very motivated in that match; they played against the world champions in a wonderful ambiance. Probably, they are stronger than us now, but they may no longer be in a year and a half from now,” Lippi said.
When asked about the future of Italy and the new faces in the Italian teams, Lippi commented, “I have to be very careful not to forget about some players who, despite the fact they are slightly old, have so much experience and intelligence that it’s hard to let go of them.”
“I did not come back to win another World Cup. Certainly we will try with every bit of strength we have, but my objective is to build a group with the same mental strength and compactness as the one I had before,” Lippi told journalists.
Everyone wants to know about the future of Alessandro Del Piero in the Italian national team and Francesco Totti and Alessandro Nesta’s “possible returns.”
“He [Totti] said we have such a good relationship, that if I would ever ask him [to come back to the national team], he will be available. Both Totti and Nesta took their decisions, they are serious professionals. It wasn’t easy for them, but they felt they could not physically keep playing for both club and country, so we have to respect that”.
After snubbing Del Piero and Cassano lately, Lippi was asked about the future of the Juventus symbol and the Sampdoria star.
“I’ve known Del Piero for 14 years, and coached him for 12 years. If I continue calling the same players, how can I see the others? If he is still in a great condition a year and a half from now, it’s a different matter…”
“[Antonio] Cassano? There are many players who are doing well like [Sergio] Floccari and [Marco] Di Vaio. I am following many players, but I cannot call them up all at once.”
“Davide Santon is a young player I like. He seems predestined and reminds me of Paolo Maldini when he was young. But I’ll leave [Claudio] Marchisio, [Sebastien] Giovinco and [Robert] Acquafresca for the Under 21 team since they are playing the European tournament.”
It is such a shame to see footballers moving clubs so often. It seems that moving from a club to another has become a natural habit as ordinary as changing underwears.
The English Premier League might be the clearest proof of the great amounts of cash that has taken over the game that are being spent by billionaire foreign owners.
But the English Premier League is not the only league that has witnessed its players change clubs quickly. Players from Serie A and La Liga have also been moving clubs a little bit too often.
Since today, it seems that transferring clubs too often is seen as a professional move to go further with a footballer’s career, I will not be writing about moving clubs from the moral angle.
Let us focus on the professional side of the story. How is it benefiting players’ careers to move clubs two times a year?
A good example is Robbie Keane moved to Liverpool in July 2008 from Tottenham and then moved back to North London six months later.
Surely the media plays a grand role in unsettling players when journals criticize players for failing to find their good, old form. And players seem to lack the patience, discipline and composure needed to reach their potential after moving to a new club.
Adapting to a new city, new teammates and a new lifestyle needs a good amount of time. But apparently players do not seem to have the tolerance needed to realize their potentials.
Many players refuse to sit on the bench for a couple of matches before being fielded as part of the starting lineup. When they sit out a match, media outlets hurry to cover their “dissatisfaction” and therefore unsettle them even more.
This is what happening currently with Real Madrid’s January signing Klass Jan Huntelaar. The Dutch striker, who signed from Ajax only a month ago, is being linked with a move away from Madrid.
He is “reportedly” already ”sick” with the “lack of first-team football”, and he’s been at Santiago Bernabeu for only a month with one of the best clubs in the world!
Every on-form player is misquoted for wanting a move away from his club and even the great players like Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are linked with moves to other clubs when they are great stars already playing for great clubs!
Messi and Ronaldo have collected plenty of honors with their clubs and are yet listed as “wantaways.” Why? Because the media wants to excite the readers over the worthless news.
But the worthless news is unsettling players and causing the football world no good.
Moving clubs too often is an awful trend in modern-day football. It does no good to the clubs involved nor do these transfers benefit the players who are moving clubs so often.
Ronaldo can be a legendary figure at Old Trafford and can be as great of a legend-or even greater than Roy Keane. He can be seen as United’s Maldini! But it seems money has taken over the world. There is no more emotional ties whatsoever between the player and his club.
So, to all unfaithful players, do not kiss your club’s shirt when you score goals! Bring cash along and kiss the Euro sign, that would show your feelings toward football and clubs more clearly.
Inter Milan are lying first in the Serie A table, six points ahead of Juventus and eight points away from Milan. The Nerazzurri have made it to the knocking stage of the UEFA Champions League and face Manchester United in the second round.
However, Jose Mourinho has still not managed to improve Inter’s performances or results compared to last term. Yes, last season, Juve were not as good as they are this season, and Milan had a terrible record last year.
But Inter have not convinced at all so far. Mourinho brought Mancini from Roma and Ricardo Quaresma from Porto in order to play 4-3-3, a formation that worked perfectly well in the Portuguese manager’s reign as Chelsea manager.
The formation did not work out well, and Mourinho had to shift his tactics to a diamond 4-4-2 formation, a tactic that won him the double (Portuguese league and Champions League) at Porto.
However, Inter have not been able to perform up to the desired standard. They have won most of their games in the second half after awful displays.
1. The defense has been terrible, but the back four is not to blame. The midfield has been terrible in the absence of Patrick Vieira with Sulley Muntari unable to provide adequate cover for him and failing to live up to his hefty €16m price tag.
Until this day, Inter have conceded 15 goals in 21 matches.
2. The team does not seem to have a clear identity and strategy; Mourinho’s approach has not been successful in creating his own version of a convincing football side. The players seem lost, their passing is terrible, their positioning is random, and they do not seem to be following any clear instructions.
The whole team seems lost when Zlatan Ibrahimovic is not playing at his best, and the instructions are apparently “pass the ball to Ibra.”
3. There is no creativity whatsoever in midfield. The two strikers are playing in front of Dejan Stankovic, who is well past his peak. Luis Figo is 35, and Mancini has been a huge disappointment since he moved to the club from Roma in the summer.
4. The constant rotation policy that Mourinho has unwillingly adopted shows that the Portuguese tactician is yet to determine his best starting 11.
1. Inter’s approach on the pitch should be more patient, and their passing should be better if they are to keep their momentum during matches. The best way to defend is by having quality possession on the ball.
2. Mourinho should look for solutions other than Ibrahimovic. The squad is good and should give the manager some alternatives, so he can change the set of his team around and add width with wingers at his disposal.
3. The transfer market can be a solution. The team needs creativity; a quality attacking midfielder is needed. Werder Bremen’s Diego can fill the void perfectly should Mourinho look to buy this month.
4. Mourinho should look to give confidence to his best 11. A starting line-up that does well in training with players that play well in matches should be given the nod on regular basis in order for them to adapt to the system altogether.
by Zahi Sahli…
Yes, it’s Micheal Owen, and he’s on the move again.
The Mirror claims Michael Owen has agreed in principle to join Manchester City in the summer for around £90,000-a-week. This means that City will get Owen for free. Doesn’t this go against their new billions-backed policy?
It’s quite disappointing to hear that City have not spent big still. But wipe your tears kids, City will make yet another “final offer” for Roque Santa Cruz that may include swapping the Paraguayan striker for City’s Daniel Sturridge.
West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola has been told he will have to sell his star players and rebuild his squad from scratch in the summer. Good luck scouting the Serie A, Gianfranco!
Manchester City have failed in their £14m bid to sign Marseille’s left-sided player Taye Taiwo. Come on guys, is 14 million all you got? How about offering a billion for the guy?
Wigan striker Emile Heskey is set to rejoin Liverpool in the summer. Those free transfers are ruining the January action, aren’t they?
Liverpool still want to get their hands on Glen Johnson.
Johnson may have signed a four-year contract with Portsmouth this week but a £10m minimum-release clause could see him depart for Liverpool in the summer.
Former Rangers winger Peter Lovenkrands is set to join Newcastle, following his release from Schalke 04. Another free deal…
Nancy striker Marc-Antoine Fortune says he wants to move to West Brom, who had a £2.2m bid turned down for the player this week.
Bolton have pulled out of their attempt to sign West Ham defender Calum Davenport, after landing Zenit St Petersburg’s Sebastien Puygrenier on loan instead according to The Mirror.
John Arne Riise is fed up of warming the benches in Rome and wants a move back to The Premier League with Newcastle being the favorites to land him.
Riise is likely to move to Newcastle-unless Manchester City are interested off course!
West Brom are interested Udinese’s Christian Obodo. The club’s scouts will watch the Nigerian in action for the second time in Serie A on Sunday. Why scouts can’t use the TV to scout is beyond R-R. They can also use Football Manager’s database.
Finally, City are planning to pair little Owen with little Craig Bellamy starting next season. But Bellamy will move to the blue side of Manchester this month.
Manchester City might have had their significantly increased bid from the initial £12m for Roque Santa Cruz rejected by Blackburn Rovers.
But the City board cannot handle being rejected well. According to Tuttosport, Manchester City are ready to launch a mega €97 million bid for Juventus duo Gianluigi Buffon and David Trezeguet.
Meanwhile Juventus are reportedly ready to cash in for Gremio wing-back Felipe Mattioni in a deal presumably worth €7m.
Barcelona are planning a £45m double summer swoop for Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas and striker Robin van Persie. Big spending transfer stories make great stories, don’t they?
Manchester City have tabled an £8m bid for Newcastle goalkeeper Shay Given. It’s either that City’s plan is that Buffon will be the number one keeper, Given number two and Hart number three or this is all part of the silly spending that doesn’t need a plan.
Hull are poised to sign midfielder Kevin Kilbane from Wigan for £1m. Phil Brown thinks Kilbane will finally be able to show he’s worth being called a professional footballer.
Portsmouth manager Tony Adams will loan former Arsenal team-mate Edu from Valencia. Also on Adam’s wanted list are Dennis Bergkamp and Martin Keown.
According to The Mirror, Bolton are close to loaning Zenit St Petersburg centre-back Sebastien Puygrenier.
Meanwhile Queens Park Rangers are hoping their reputation can lour Manchester City’s young midfield star Michael Johnson. Keep dreaming folks, you never know when dreams come true.
Tottenham could move for Polonia Warsaw’s Polish goalkeeper Sebastien Przyrowski. Why the need for a keeper? Oh, they have Gomes! Good, get yourself a decent goalkeeper this time.
Inter Milan are being linked to Arsenal’s Abou Diaby and Emmanuel Eboue. The writers need something to write about you know.
Manchester United are keen on landing French midfielder Sofiane Feghouli from Grenoble.
Middlesbrough are leading the race to sign Newcastle striker Alan Smith. Everyone is running out of St. James Park, but cheers to the fans who still go there.
Manchester United are interested in Villarreal goalkeeper Diego Lopez. With Edwin van der Sar aging, United are keen to find a future replacement. Bring back Massimo Taibi or Mark Bosnich, they are sure to bring some memorable moments to Old Trafford.
Hull City are on the verge of signing Luis Boa Morte from West Ham for a fee of around £2m. Hull seems richer than Chelsea.
Newcastle are expected to renew their interest in Rangers‘ £3m-rated midfielder Barry Ferguson. Is he crazy enough to head to that circus? Only time will tell.
While Callum Davenport is poised to leave West Ham for Bolton in a deal probably worth £3m after telling polite Gianfranco Zola, “I ain’t f*****g playing for you.”
Davenport will be heading the F’ out of West Ham for that!
Rumors & Realities is happy to know that Cristiano Ronaldo was not injured following his horrific car accident. R-R wishes no one in the world any harm including those under seige.
Until next time,
Cheers for a better world, my friends.