Comment & analysis round-up
Quote of the day: “Now all clubs are on an equal footing. If a club comes to me and offers me a five-year deal, I will accept it for peace of mind. I will sign my last contract, and then I figure that I’ll go back to Boca [Juniors]. That could be in four or five years. I want everybody to know no offer has been made. I don’t like that they are playing with our fans, who show their love to me in each match. Who wouldn’t want to play for Real Madrid. Like Manchester, they are one of the best clubs in the world and it would be a pleasure to play for them. I didn’t like him [Ferguson] saying I didn’t like the offer I was made because neither my agent nor me were given one. I don’t know anything on my future. United know what they must pay if they want me to stay. I want to stay but the club have not made any offer. I’ve been waiting for them for a year and a half.” – Carlos Tevez.
Runner-up: “If I was Tony Adams, I would not sell Defoe. Peter Crouch and Defoe are a terrific partnership and that is why I bought them to play together when I was at Portsmouth. Whether I was in a relegation battle or not, I would not sell Defoe if I was his manager. Iâ€™d be surprised if the deal gets done as the clubs are a fair way apart on the price.” – Harry Redknapp.
Today’s overview: Day six of the transfer window and several issues are beginning to crystalise. Both Manchester clubs are suffering from internal conflicts, with United so-far unable to commit Carlos Tevez to sign a new contract to keep him at Old Trafford, while at City Sparky is dealing with a group of unhappy stars.
It’s mutiny at Eastlands with Daniel Taylor reporting that Elano, Jo and Tal Ben Haim are the troublemakers at the heart of an effort to shake-up the club. “There has already been one meeting at which the ringleaders shared their grievances, and a fringe player has complained about Hughes to the club’s executive chairman, Garry Cook.” It a second article Daniel Taylor gets specific saying “Tal Ben Haim and Elano… have been undermining [Mark Hughes] in the dressing room. Both are said to have been involved in a recent meeting of players in which his methods were heavily criticised.”
Staying with City, Jim White notes that by offering Â£90,000-a-week to Scott Parker in an effort to sign the midfielder “you realise that – even in these straightened times – football still has a long way to travel before reality bites.”
Heading over to the red half of Manchester, and Carlos Tevez’s future has been thrown in doubt.clear discrepancy between how much more United are willing to pay and what Joorabchian is demanding, especially in light of the worsening economic climate and with Tevez behind Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov in the pecking order.”
According to Andy Hunter, the latest club tracking the future of Jermaine Pennant is AC Milan, who have “offered a pre-contract [to the winger] which would see him join at the end of the season.” The Times, who also report the Pennant-AC Milan link, are left stunned. “It is another astonishing development in the career of a player whom Rafael Benitez, the Liverpool manager, tried unsuccessfully to offload last summer and has been on the scrapheap at Anfield since.”
Other transfer rumours see Charlie Wyett and Pat Sheehan link Arsenal with a bid for Portsmouthâ€™s Niko Kranjcar, Alan Nixon reports that “Joe Kinnear is making a move to bring Pedro Mendes back to the Premier League,” while Antony Kastrinakis claims the Citizens “have made a stunning Â£24million bid for Barcelona midfield star Yaya Toure.”
Paul Doyle grapples to identify where it is going wrong at Chelsea at present, noting “a problem for Scolari, then, is that he does not have all the options his opulent employers should be able to offer him… [while] it remains questionable whether he is maximising the options he does have.” But for Henry Winter, Roman Abramovich’s attitude towards the Blues has altered and the owner must realise “what is the point of luring a coach of the quality of Scolari, a World Cup winner with a good track record in Brazilian club football, and then denying him the resources to shape the side, an ageing team?” Perhaps most worrying for Blues’ fans is Ralph Ellis’ article which picks up on how the bookmakers have slashed the odds on Scolari being the next manager set for the chop.
Kevin McCarra casts his critical eye over Spurs concluding “the most that can be said about Tottenham’s line-up is that there is glaring scope for improvement.” According to the Telegraph Jermain Defoe is all set to be their first recruit of the winter after “a deal has been struck between the clubs which will see the England international have a medical at White Hart Lane.” And Neil Ashton also claims that the Defoe-Spurs deal is done and dusted writing “Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp sealed the transfer of Portsmouth striker Jermain Defoe for Â£15.75million in the early hours of this morning.”
Richard Williams predicts that the Premier League is about to lose much of its bargaining power due to the economic slowdown in Britain. “Did we really believe that all those French footballers yearned to experience English culture, rather than being drawn by higher salaries and a top tax rate considerably lower than their own?”
The standout article of the day comes from
Charles Sale attempts to whip up public anger by revealing that “the FA’s troubled bid to host the 2018 World Cup will cause further controversy by including a cash mountain of Â£1.5million in the proposed budget for what will be perceived as blatant ‘sweeteners’ to win votes.”
Turning to Europe, Sid Lowe wraps up last weekend’s action in La Liga focusing on Valencia’s David Silva. “It’s not just that Valencia won with Silva back in the side â€“ after all, they had won eight times without him â€“ or even that he scored two great goals. It was that they played their best football at last.”