Comment & analysis round-up
Quote of the day: “They are big shoes to fill here, because what David Moyes has done for Everton is incredible. There are six clubs at the top of the Premier League who work at a different financial level, and Everton had no right to break into that. It will be very difficult to get anywhere near to what he achieved, but I am excited by the challenge and I can build on what he has done. The Champions League is the challenge that comes with the title of being Everton manager. I feel you need to have that dream. At Swansea, I said the aim should be to get the club into the Premier League. It sounded impossible, considering we were in League One, but it happened.” – Roberto Martinez.
Runner-up: “You have to earn your stars when dealing with players. It’s up to you to show what you’ve got. If you want to work for me you need to be able to work seven days a week. I need to know my staff will give me that effort. Discipline has to come from within for players. And I’m a great believer in giving young players opportunities. Developing players mentally is very important, but it needs to fit with what the players want.” – David Moyes.
Chelsea move for Hulk
Chelsea make £35million Hulk move after missing out on Radamel Falcao (John Cross, Daily Mirror) Jose Mourinho has made a stunning £35million move for Brazil forward Hulk. But the newly reappointed Chelsea manager is also facing his first major dilemma as Monaco and Galatasaray target his on-field general John Terry. Chelsea have turned to Zenit St Petersburg striker Hulk as a potential summer signing, having lost out to Monaco on No1 target Radamel Falcao, because they are now facing major competition for Napoli hitman Edinson Cavani. Ironically, the Blues were very close to buying Hulk last summer but could not agree a deal with his then-club Porto, who were demanding £40m. Hulk joined Zenit instead but the mega-rich Russians, believed to have paid in excess of £50m for his services, are already looking to sell and cut their losses after the 26-year-old’s difficult first season.
United get shirty with Wayne
United get shirty with Rooney (Neil Custis, Sun) Manchester United have got shirty with wantaway Wayne Rooney. Not only have the champions turned down his transfer request but now they are using the England striker to promote their new kit. Rooney was yesterday unveiled in United’s Nike home strip for next season. Despite having asked to leave the club twice in three years, he remains one of their most marketable players. And that is why Nike and United have used him to push sales of the new kit, which is on sale from today. How much longer Rooney, 27, continues to wear it remains to be seen. New manager David Moyes is on holiday and still to decide on Rooney’s future.
Juventus want Tevez
Juve hoping to lure Tevez away from City if Italian giants miss out on Jovetic (John Edwards, Daily Mail) Juventus will step up efforts to sign Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez if they fail to prise Arsenal and Chelsea target Stevan Jovetic away from Fiorentina. Tevez has one year left on contract and City, as with Javi Garcia, Edin Dzeko and Joleon Lescott, are prepared to listen to offers as they look to continue recruiting with Real Madrid’s Pepe and Malaga’s Isco still on their wishlist. Jovetic, 23, is valued at £30m and Juventus fear they will struggle to beat Chelsea, particularly, in the bidding.
Aston Villa demand £40million for Benteke
Aston Villa slap £40million tag on Benteke amid interest from Spurs, Arsenal and Atletico Madrid (John Cross, Daily Mirror) Aston Villa have slapped an incredible £40m price tag on in-demand striker Christian Benteke. Villa boss Paul Lambert is hoping the jaw-dropping figure will scare off interest from Atletico Madrid, Arsenal and Tottenham. They are determined not to sell this summer even though there is a realisation they will not be able to keep 22-year-old Benteke in the long term. Atletico director general Miguel Angel Gil Marin has had talks with Benteke’s representatives and claims he has had discussions with Villa over a potential summer move. Atletico boss Diego Simeone has identified Benteke as his No1 choice to replace Radamel Falcao who has gone to Monaco in a stunning £50m move. Spurs are also keen and Mirror Sport revealed yesterday that they are prepared to put Jermain Defoe into a player-plus-cash deal.
Roberto Martinez takes over at Everton
Everton: Five issues Roberto Martínez must tackle when he starts work (Andy Hunter, Guardian) Roberto Martínez will have to fight his corner, although the new broadcasting deal puts Everton’s finances in a healthier state than they have been for some time. His tendency to paint the bleakest picture bright – for example, when he proclaimed that Wigan Athletic had been assisted by a set of results that meant they had to win at Arsenal to survive – will also be greeted far more sceptically at Goodison. That said, more optimism would not go amiss ahead of Everton visits to Anfield, Old Trafford, the Emirates and Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho on his Real Madrid bust ups
Jose: I’ve no regrets over Real bust-ups (Antony Kastrinakis, Sun) Mourinho: “I left because I think it’s the best for me and the actual situation at the club. If I started next season, I would start with a series of problems that are dragging on. On Saturday, you had the maximum example of the dynamic and the objective of those problems. So it’s best for everyone, including the players, who are the most important. They have to have the support and tranquillity of being able to start a new project with a new coach to whom I, — whoever it is, although it seems it will be Carlo Ancelotti — wish the best.”
Same old story for England (U21s)
Italy’s Lorenzo Insigne sinks England in Under-21 Championship opener (Stuart James, Guardian) The crucial blow came late but it was no more than Italy, and in particular Lorenzo Insigne, deserved on a balmy night in Tel Aviv, one which ended with England making the worst possible start to these finals. Outplayed for almost the entire match, they succumbed to a free-kick from the best player on the pitch, leaving them bottom of Group A and facing elimination if they lose to Norway – who drew 2-2 with Israel earlier in the evening – on Saturday. It was the first goal England Under-21s have conceded in 889 minutes of football and brought an end to a nine-match winning run. Questions will be asked about whether Jack Butland should have been beaten at his near post and also if the wall did its job but England could have no complaints about the outcome.
England youngsters outplayed by stylish Italy (Henry Winter, Daily Telegraph) If this was a glimpse of England’s future, it was like watching an old film. Familiar failings were seen in the youngsters’ deficiencies in technique, responsibility-taking and belief. For Andrea Pirlo dictating play against England at Euro 2012 read Marco Verratti at this European Under-21 Championship. Verratti was the deep-lying playmaker, launching attack after attack with intelligent, assured passes. The Paris St-Germain midfielder managed 120 passes, in contrast to England’s best, Jordan Henderson, who made 44. There were painful echoes of Kiev where Pirlo’s 131 (over two hours) for Cesare Prandelli’s side contrasted with Ashley Cole’s 44, the highest of Roy Hodgson’s players.
Michael Ballack: a nearly man or an undisputed midfield genius? (Marcus Christenson, Guardian) On Wednesday night, in Leipzig, a former international will say goodbye to football. He won four Bundesliga titles and three German Cups. He won the Premier League title with Chelsea and three FA Cups. He represented Germany 98 times and was their captain for several years. Yet, somehow, Michael Ballack will perhaps always be seen as a loser. There was an arrogance about Ballack that – as he missed out on one major title after another – led to a lack of sympathy. The 2002 Champions League final, with Bayer Leverkusen, was lost to Real Madrid. A month later, Ballack almost singlehandedly took Germany to the World Cup final but, suspended, had to watch from the stands as Brazil won 2-0. Four years later, Germany lost to Italy after extra-time in the World Cup semi-final and in 2008 he was part of the Chelsea team that missed out on the Champions League final to Manchester United on penalties.