Comment & analysis round-up
Quote of the day: “I don’t really believe it much any more. My bosses [at Bordeaux] are trying to convince me to stay. But for me, it’s a risk that I’ll take. It’s my dearest wish. Frankly my head isn’t in going to Canada. My head is in England. We’re talking about my first transfer, I didn’t know anything about all the problems that this could pose. I’m having bad nights at the moment.” – Marouane Chamakh.
Runner-up: “In my opinion, I don’t think [Carlos Tevez] was worth Â£25m. He was popular with the supporters. The fans quite rightly have their heroes and I was happy to go along with the deal as long as it was the right one but, quite simply, he is not worth Â£25m… [On Manchester City] you just name their best team and then ask where it would go and you would have to say that they would struggle to get into the top four. It is understandable they should go for John Terry, given the money they have got. They have made their intentions known, so if I were in City’s shoes with all that money, I would have a go at doing that myself. He has the experience and he is captain of England.” – Sir Alex Ferguson.
Today’s overview: Cristiano Ronaldo made his long awaited Real Madrid debut last night, however the most expensive footballer on the planet failed to dazzle.
Unimpressed, Nicknight was subdued, almost low-key. A few flicks and tricks, a couple of free kicks, and he was gone after 45 goalless minutes.” Elsewhere, drawing inspiration from the anniversary of man’s first walk on the moon, Sandy Macaskill concluded that “the most expensive player on the planetâ€™s debut proved rather a forgettable affair: more Apollo 10 than 11.”
Some, including Daniel Taylor, were happy to offer CR9 excuses. “Perhaps it was the knowledge there were over 60 Spanish journalists in the crowd, all scrutinising his every touch and tutting loudly whenever he misdirected one of his free-kicks wide of goal.”
And then there was the third interpretation of Ronaldo’s shift, offered by the Daily Mail’s Philip Quinn who appeared to have watched a different match entirely. “The 24-year-old Portugal winger was unleashed on the part-timers of Shamrock Rovers with all the force of a Saturn V rocket. Operating wide on the right, his preferred position, Ronaldo darted about like a firefly. A repertoire of stepovers and fancy back heels were followed by a stinging 20-yard shot which fizzed wide.”
Another forward to come under fire this Tuesday is Chelsea’s Andrei Shevchenko, who takes a pasting from Jason Burt over the state of the Ukrainian’s hairdo. “In a sense Shevaâ€™s hair sums up the state of his career. He has lost his way. Big-time. Itâ€™s hard to really quantify the fall from grace of such a revered footballer. Itâ€™s not only his hair that seems out of place. His whole presence at Chelsea, now, appears wrong. A kind of reminder of the mistakes made by the club as it strives to re-organise itself and move on.”
So what of John Terry. Has the Chelsea captain finally made a decision over Manchester City? Has he hell!
Brain-numbingly, Jason Burt then adds that a conclusion to the saga may be forthcoming as “Carlo Ancelotti has indicated that he expects John Terry to make a public declaration that he will stay at Chelsea within the next few days.”Manchester City are planning to make a third bid for the Chelsea captain this week that could be as high as Â£40 million, but it will be rejected out of hand.”
Rory Smith adds his two cents in the Telegraph claiming “sources at Eastlands have indicated they are prepared to wait until the end of next month for Terry, though should Lescott’s move prove difficult, they are likely to switch their attentions to West Ham’s Matthew Upson.”
On the upside, City’s pursuit of Joleon Lescott appears to be far more promising. According to Oliver Kay and Gary Jacob, “Lescott will plead with David Moyes, his Everton manager, to be allowed to talk to Manchester City” as well as letting slip that Jermaine Jenas is wanted by Aston Villa and Inter Milan and that “West Ham United are expected to sign Frank Nouble.”
It’s not all incomings at Eastlands though, Ian Herbert reporting how the “City career of Elano is hanging by a slender thread, with the Brazil international left out of the club’s trip to South Africa and seemingly top of their clear-out list.”
Picking up the Jermaine Jenas thread, Matt Law scribbles in the Express that “Inter Milan are planning to use a chunk of the Â£40million they expect to receive for Zlatan Ibrahimovic to bid for Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas… Redknapp is also looking at three other midfielders, Leeds youngster Fabian Delph and Toulouse pair Etienne Capoue and Moussa Sissoko.” Ian McGarry links a fourth midfielder to White Hart Lane writing “Tottenham and Manchester City will both offer David Beckham a chance to return to England after life in the States turned nasty.”
The Telegraph claims that, despite the “Quote of the Day,” Arsenal remain keen on signing Bordeaux’s Marouane Chamakh. And keeping with the Gunners, William Stewart sits down with Alexander Hleb to allow the winger to confess that he should never have left the club for Barcelona. Hleb: “When you mostly sit on the bench, winning titles brings very little joy, while getting to the last eight of the Champions League with Arsenal was unforgettable. I regret my move from London, but unfortunately nothing can be done about it now.”
The Roberto Martinez revolution continues to quietly take shape, with Ewan Murray reporting how “Wigan Athletic have agreed to sign the 18-year-old midfielder James McCarthy from Hamilton Academical in a deal which could be worth Â£5m.”
In other transfer news, the Independent tout that “Everton are closing in on the signing of Sweden international Rasmus Elm,” Anindam Rej claims “Craig Gardner is the next on McLeish’s [Birmingham] hit list although that would probably be a loan deal,” Colin Wood pipes up with “Bolton are weighing up a move for Newcastle winger Damien Duff,” while Alan Nixon bleats how “Aston Villa’s midfield dynamo Nigel Reo-Coker is an ambitious target for Middlesbrough.”
Finally, Michael Walker explains why Newcastle fans are so-loved. “The team has just been relegated, the club has been up for sale for eight weeks with no deal in sight, there is no permanent manager, there have been no new signings and official communication is kept to a minimum from those who remain reluctantly in charge, yet at Newcastle United the blind faith of fans is such that almost 25,000 season tickets have been sold already this summer.”