Sunday, 31 October 2010

Schweinsteigers brother begs him to Join Man United

Bastian Schweinsteiger Bastian Schweinsteiger of Germany speaks to the media during a press conference in the media center at Velmore Grande Hotel on June 30, 2010 in Pretoria, South Africa.Bastian Schweinsteiger has praised the Premier League and its fans, and said that the atmosphere at Manchester United in particular was "fantastic". His comments come after rumours persistently linked the German international to the English League, with either Manchester United or Chelsea.

He even said that his brother, a big Manchester United fan, has been begging him to join the Old Trafford team. Schweinsteiger told the Sunday Times:
"I love the kind of speed of the English game but I don't know what will happen with me,"
"What I love is the atmosphere in English stadiums. When we played last year in Manchester it was fantastic.
"My brother is a big fan of Man U and he always says, 'Go to Man U, go to Man U.' I say, 'I can't, I can't."
He praised the strength of Chelsea too, saying that he likes the "Chelsea style". But what do these comments mean? His contract at Bayern Munich expires in 2012, however, it is unlikely he will stay in Germany for that long. If he doesn't renew his contract, then he could leave for a free transfer in 2012 - something that Bayern certainly would not want.

Schweinsteiger is known for his deadly accurate long range shots, as well as a brilliant delivery from set pieces. His energy is brilliant, and his creativity and reliability were vital in Germany's 2010 World Cup run, which saw them stand out as a very strong, young team. These attributes would certainly be welcomed in England, and he is more than capable for playing for a top team.

However, if the 26 year old was thinking of moving to Manchester United in the January transfer market, his hopes were dashed, as Sir Alex Ferguson ruled out any signings in January. The Scot said:
Alex Ferguson Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson acknowledges the fans after victory in the UEFA Champions League Semi Final Second Leg match between Arsenal and Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on May 5, 2009 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Alex Ferguson"We won't be buying in January, definitely not,"
"If you want someone to play in Europe, you are limited right away. There are hundreds of players cup-tied.
You have five months left of the season, I will have Antonio Valencia back hopefully towards the end of February, which is a new player coming back."
He also said that Michael Owen's return would be like a new player returning. But are these just more excuses to avoid putting the club into more debt by spending money that United have not got? Whatever the reasons, if Sir Alex wants Schweinsteiger, he is not the only one, and if a bid is placed for the German play maker, Ferguson must be ready.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Perfectly Good Nani Goal

Nani Nani of Manchester United in action with Alan Hutton of Tottenham during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on October 30, 2010 in Manchester, England.
Good Goal: Nani
Once again, a "controversial" goal was scored in the fixture between Manchester United and Tottenham at Old Trafford.

In the 85th minute, Nani went on a run in the box. he was brought down, but nothing was given. There were small complaints from Nani on the floor, as his hand touched the ball, which was behind him - but no free-kick was given. Therefore, the game continued, with the ball in open play. The referee and the linesman gave nothing, and Gomes also continued. The goalkeeper, who isn't the sharpest tool in the box, it has to be said, picked up the ball, ran forward six or seven yards forward, and dropped the ball, as if to prepare to kick it. He did not kick it, and Nani, who had picked himself up, took the opportunity to score.

Firstly, it was a penalty. Secondly, if the referee didn't see the handball - which he clearly didn't (or rather, he has now come out to say that he played the advantage to Tottenham and Gomes), then it can't be a free-kick. Thirdly, if Gomes thought it was a free-kick, then why did he run forward with the ball, six or seven yards to take it?

Heurelho Gomes Heurelho Gomes of Tottenham Hotspur talks to the media ahead of their UEFA Champions League Group A match against Inter Milan, during a press conference at the San Siro Stadium on October 19, 2010 in Milan, Italy.
Error: Gomes
The Tottenham goalkeeper never struck me as very clever at all, and this obvious error confirms it. If Tottenham fans want to blame anyone, then it should surely be Gomes. A free-kick was not given, and the referee was clearly signalling to him to get on with the game. He ran forwards, backwards, and again, trying to decide whether to kick the ball. It was a Gomes mistake, and he was punished.

Despite this controversy, United were greatly improved from previous performances. They passed the ball very well around the Tottenham players, and after Vidic's early goal, were able to keep their cool, as well as the ball.
Tottenham too were very good in the first half. They were a threat going forward, and used their pace in Lennon and Bale to get round defenders. Linking with Van der Vaart made the pace of the game so much faster, and this made for a very entertaining first half.

The second half produced fewer chances for both sides, and after Van der Vaart went off with a hamstring injury, Tottenham lost a lot of their midfield threat.

It was unfortunate that the goal had to be so controversial, as the game was so good, but it did happen, and there will now be replays shown again and again, as well as endless discussions, but from what I saw, it was a good goal.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Rare English Talent to be Rewarded

Jack Wilshere Jack Wilshere of Arsenal in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Birmingham City at Emirates Stadium on October 16, 2010 in London, England.Arsenal and Arsene Wenger are well known for nurturing young footballers, and giving them a chance to perform on a bigger stage in which they can showcase their talents. The 18 year old English talent Jack Wilshere has benefited from Arsenal's system, and after a successful loan spell at Bolton Wanderers, has returned to Arsenal and has exceeded expectations.

His current salary at Arsenal is £15,000 a week. However, in an attempt to keep him at the club, Arsene Wenger will offer the youngster almost double that amount in a new deal.
Wenger said:
“We are confident we will sign Jack very quickly, he has 18 months to go. I will try to get him on a longer contract and we hope we can announce that soon.
“Jack has had a great start to the season. He has the same confidence Wayne Rooney had at the same age, it is just natural for him.
“It looks like Jack can handle the pressure well and even though he is a quiet guy, you see that in the big games he wants the ball all of the time.”
The Frenchman is not silly. Comparing Wilshere to Wayne Rooney is understandable. Wilshere obviously has the talents, and loves football. You can see it when watching him - he always does his best for the team, his team mates and himself. He is known for his passing, dribbling, vision, movement and combination play, and his commitment is something that is hard to come by.

It is the enjoyment of football that runs him, and it is great to see. However, it is something that is rare to see. With players being paid so much money, some seem to lose sight of the reasons that they play football, other than receiving the hefty pay packet.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Manchester United Won't get Liverpool's Reina

Pepe Reina Pepe Reina of Liverpool looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on September 19, 2010 in Manchester, England.Apart from the obvious reluctance from the Liverpool manager to let arguably his most consistent player, Pepe Reina leave - especially for one of Liverpool's biggest rivals in Manchester United, the "Red Devils" simply wouldn't be willing to involve themselves in a big transfer tussle involving a large sum of money that they just don't have.

Hodgson said
 “If [Sir Alex] Ferguson is looking around at the end of the season and he has got lots of money to replace van der Sar, he might very well want Pepe Reina because he is the best around.
“But we do not want to sell him. I would like to think that we are going to become a successful club once again and Pepe is crucial to that.
“We have heard nothing from Manchester United and, more to the point, we don’t want to hear anything from Manchester United."
Hodgson obviously doesn't want to let his star player go - and with good reason. He is "crucial" for Liverpool's success and it was only six months ago he signed a six year contract to stay at the club. Reina knows how much Hodgson and Liverpool value him, and how much they want him to stay. Unless there is a "secret get out clause" in his contract, (which I very much doubt that there is - or if there is I very much doubt that Reina would take advantage of it) only then would Liverpool have to let the player go.

I believe that Manchester United would be very unwilling to create a big story involving the chase for Reina, nor do I believe that Reina wants to leave Liverpool. I know that Liverpool don't want to let him go, and I know that Manchester United have limited funds to buy big players and pay big wages to them, especially considering the mass increase in their current players wages.
All points considered, Reina doesn't seem likely to join Manchester United. The Dutchman Maarten Steklenburg seems a far more likely choice for United - as I have reported on before, Here

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Theo Walcott shows Improvement in Carling Cup Win

Theo Walcott - Newcastle United v Arsenal - Carling CupA 4 - 0 win for Arsenal in the Carling Cup against Newcastle saw Theo Walcott score two good goals which required calmness and composure in front of the opposition goalkeeper. The goals also required his blistering pace, as well as the ability to hold his run to stay onside. His goals helped to create a confidence for Arsenal to go on and win the game very comfortably with a young team, as well as giving him the confidence he needs to score similar goals in the future.

A footballing brain is something that Theo Walcott has been criticized for not having. He has been heavily scrutinized by critics who say that he doesn't know what to do with the ball in the final third of the field - an area in which he should be oozing with quality considering the very attacking position he plays. However, against Newcastle, he showed great improvement. They may not have had their first choice defenders in the team, but Walcott waltzed through the Newcastle back line, chasing through balls from his team-mates who know that the England International is willing to run.

The two goals he scored were very clinical. He needed to keep calm and out-wit the out-rushing goalkeeper. He did that, and after picking his spot, made sure the ball rippled the back of the net with a nice dink over the goalkeeper in the first instance, and then powerfully side-footing in the second. His role against Newcastle was a much more central role than what he normally plays, which is probably why he got those one-on-one chances against the goalkeeper. But he showed that he is capable of scoring goals under pressure in that position, and now all he has to do in master crossing the ball.

He has the pace, and now he has the composure, but out on the right wing, when strikers are hungry for a delicious cross into the box, the winger has to deliver. Walcott finds it hard to find the right man with his crosses, which can frustrate the fans as well as the waiting strikers. He must improve. More hours practising on the training ground, persistence and hard work - whatever it takes, because it is this feature of his game (as well as other small factors) that makes him a good player with potential rather than a great player with quality.

Bojan Krkic Wanted by Chelsea, Inter and West Ham

Bojan Krkic Bojan Krkic of FC Barcelona runs with the ball during the La Liga match between Barcelona and Sporting de Gijon at Nou Camp on September 22, 2010 in Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona won 1-0.If Bojan Krkic decides to move on from Barcelona at some point in the future, he won't have any shortage of options as to where to move. Chelsea, Inter Milan, and West Ham have reportedly shown an interest in the 20 year old striker, and with his obvious talents, many other clubs will also take a keen interest in the transfer proceedings.

The question may be asked as to why a player would want to leave such a great club in Barcelona - a club that is currently challenging very realistically to win every competition that they are in, as well as having the best players in the world playing for them including Lionel Messi.
The answer to that question may be the fact of the amount of quality. Bojan is apparently becoming frustrated by the lack of first team opportunities and feels he has been on the bench far too much. With players like David Villa and Lionel Messi ahead of him in the pecking order, it is understandably hard to break into the first team.

Chelsea are said to want to add to their ageing team with some quality and potential. Bojan ticks all of the boxes, with Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba coming towards the end of their careers.

Inter Milan and Rafael Benitez are looking to add to their squad, as rumours persist that Wesley Sneijder may move to Manchester United in the summer. Adding that spark to the team would help a very physical side that Inter Milan have, especially if Sneijder jumps ship.

West Ham are a much less likely possibility for Bojan, however, if Bojan wants first team football, the Hammers seems a good choice. West Ham acknowledge that the competition is high, which is why they would offer a loan deal to begin with, with a view to making the deal permanent.

Whoever Bojan does decide to move to, if indeed he does decide to move, the team will have to offer Barcelona a sum of at least £15 million as he has a contract with the Catalan team until the end of the 2012/13 season. A small, player, but a big fee for big potential.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Chicharito is United's Saviour Again

Javier Hernandez Javier Hernandez of Manchester United looks on during the Carling Cup fourth round match between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford on October 26, 2010 in Manchester, England.
Hernandez: Next Big thing?
It was a nervous performance from the Manchester United youngsters. After twice gaining the lead, they threw it away - true to the current form of the side, and put the United fans on the edge of their red seats - something that the United fans are beginning to get used to.

A frustrating first half saw very few chances for either side, and that was evident thanks to the bore of a goal-less half. Uniteds new, and controversial signing Bebe looked lively in the first half, but couldn't create anything on the right wing, despite seeing most of the ball. He showed good pace, and a fairly good ability to get around his man, but his crossing needs a big improvement after constantly failing to get the intended cross right.

The second half was a complete contrast to the first. It was goals galore as goals from Bebe, Elokobi, Park, Foley and Hernandez crossed the lines, but in the case of Bebe, not rippling the net.

Bebe began the goalscoring. After going past a couple of players on the right wing, he got into a position to cross the ball, and as he did, the ball took a few deflections before looping over Wayne Hennessy in the Wolves goal and just crossed the line as a Wolves defender headed it away. It was a good decision from the linesman who flagged for the goal, and it was this goal that changed the game.

Only about five minutes later, the Wolves left back Elokobi rose above the United keeper, Ben Amos to head the ball viciously from a corner, almost tearing the United net open. It was the big left backs first goal for Wolves, and the equalising goal against a United side that lacked any of their big name stars.

Ji Sung Park made the best of a bad job from Macheda, and scored with a great finish. Park fed in Macheda, but his poor first touch enabled the defender to deflect the ball away, but only to the feet of Park, and he curled it into the side of the net with a beautiful finish.

Only five minutes later however, Wolves were equal, as Kevin Foley scored after a nice flick from Steven Taylor-Fletcher. All Foley had to do was keep it low and on target - which he did. Was it going to be another one of those days for Manchester United?

Javier Hernandez answered that question. He came on for Bebe, and the United fans sporting Chicharito scarves and... big hats, went wild for the Mexican youngster. He immediately brought life to the United team, as he ran around, fighting for the ball, and when he got his chance, he was brilliant.

A cool through ball from Darron Gibson was met by Hernandez, and after a fake shot which saw him skip passed the committed defender, he showed immense composure to finish with his left foot. He seems like a breath of fresh air for Manchester United this season - a 22 year old with a healthy ego and an obvious love for football - and Manchester United - as he kissed the badge in front of the United fans after his goal.

Two goals against Stoke City at the week-end, and another match winner today - it brings Hernandez's total to six in the season. He has so much potential, and is not letting anyone down with his excellent performances. Is he the new Michael Owen? Or is he something new? Something better?

Manchester City Striker wants to leave in January

Roque Santa Cruz Roque Santa Cruz of Manchester City shows his fustration during the Barclays Premiership match between Manchester City and Everton at the City of Manchester Stadium on March 24, 2010 in Manchester, England.
Frustrated Figure: Santa Cruz
Competition for first team places are tough to come by nowadays at Manchester City, as Roberto Mancini, backed by the billionaire owners, has always got his sights on new, top quality players to add to the already talented team.

This competition however, is proving too tough for Roque Santa Cruz, as he told a radio station that his intention is to leave Manchester City in January because of the lack of first team opportunities.
The South American striker said:
"Unfortunately I'm not playing as I'd like. The club has invested heavily, competition for places is great and I'm working every day to try and convince the coach ... but I'm still not getting picked. The situation is very complicated, I wanted to think well of it, but I'm not getting the playing time to convince anybody and my priority is to leave in the January transfer market.
"The coach has opted for certain players and on top of that his system plays with just the one striker, so I have even fewer options.
"I'm 29 years old and still hope to fulfill my dream of playing in Spain. It is the dream of most South American players, so let's see, hopefully it will happen. I wanted to play again because I'm not getting playing time here. My intention is to leave City in the January transfer window and I hope that it could be for the Spanish League."
Since joining the club in 2009 for a fee of around £17.5 million from Blackburn, the former Bayern Munich star hasn't really been able to hold on to a first team place, and his form has suffered, thanks in no small part to injuries.

At 29 years of age he won't fetch much money in the transfer window. His lack of form has reduced the asking price considerably, and it doesn't seem likely that City will make a profit from him.
With billions of pounds to spend on a new replacement, and with strikers like Tevez, Adebayor, Balotelli and Jo still at the club, it also doesn't seem likely that the Eastlands club will miss him.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Liverpool to start Re-building with two new wingers

So far, Liverpool have had an odd season. Their poor performances have seen them drop into the relegation zone, and their top players have been out of sorts - finding it tough to have a good game in a red shirt. Compare this misery with the relief of having new owners, ones that promise not to plunge the club in debt but willing to invest, and Liverpool fans may be unable to decide whether the season so far has been good or bad.

Chris Brunt - West Bromwich Albion v Fulham - Premier LeagueThey have plenty of time to decide however, and one person whom will be a catalyst in the answer to that question, is Roy Hodgson. The Liverpool manager has been promised a substantial amount of money to spend in the January, and summer transfer windows. He will have £30 million to spend in each period, and those keen mathematicians will have already worked out that this totals £60 million - a sum that the previous Liverpool manager, Rafael Benitez could only have dreamed of under the previous owners.

Hodgson is already reported to have identified a couple of player that could dig Liverpool out of the mess that they currently find themselves in.

Chris Brunt of West Brom is a rather surprising rumour that is circulating. The Irish winger is very versatile and has been a big player for his current club, inspiring his team to a shock win against Arsenal this season, and generally being a source of many goals in the newly promoted team. He is able to play on both wings as well as playing just behind the striker, and it may be this versatility that has caught Hodgsons eye.
Being Albion's best player this season, they will be looking for around £9 million for him, a sum that Liverpool can now easily afford.

The other player that Hodgson is monitoring is the Portugese left wing-back, Fabio Coentrao. He impressed in the World Cup for his native Portugal - delivering excellent crosses for Cristiano Ronaldo, and being a big threat throughout the tournament. He caught the eye of Carlo Ancelotti too, and that summer, Chelsea were reportedly interested, but no deal materialised. The Benfica man will probably cost more than Brunt, but a player of his quality, of which he displayed in the World Cup would be welcomed with open arms at Andield, as the team are in dire need of some pace and creativity.

Hodgson does not have great support from the Liverpool fans, as some are calling for him to be sacked already, so his activity in the transfer market will be heavily scrutinised. Without the excuse of greedy, unwilling owners to hide behind anymore, the Liverpool manager will have to deliver the goods, or risk the wrath of the fans.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Madness in Manchester as Rooney signs New United contract

All smiles for Sir Alex Ferguson and Wayne Rooney after the contract was agreedIf you have burned your Rooney shirts already, it may not be a good idea to read this. Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson have persuaded the "adamant" Wayne Rooney to stay at Manchester United for another half-decade, as the striker performed an incredible u-turn to decide to sign a new 5 year contract at the Old Trafford club.

When a statement from Rooney was released earlier in the week suggesting that he wanted to be going forward and winning trophies, whilst claiming that the current players were not really good enough to do so, it seemed certain that he would be leaving. Even the mighty Sir Alex Ferguson whom Rooney incidentally called a "genius" in his statement, admitted that the player was adamant that he wanted out.

How then, can only a couple of days later, he completely change his mind, and decide to stay, after causing so much upset in the red half of Manchester? Sir Alex Ferguson left the door open to Rooney, even when the revelations about his future emerged. Simply because he is (or can be) too good for United to lose.

Rooney, who celebrates his 25th birthday on Sunday, said:

"I'm delighted to sign another deal at United.
"In the last couple of days, I've talked to the manager and the owners and they've convinced me this is where I belong. I said on Wednesday the manager's a genius and it's his belief and support that have convinced me to stay.
"I'm signing a new deal in the absolute belief that the management, coaching staff, board and owners are totally committed to making sure United maintains its proud winning history - which is the reason I joined the club in the first place.
"I'm sure the fans over the last week have felt let down by what they've read and seen. But my position was from concern over the future. The fans have been brilliant with me since I arrived and it's up to me through my performances to win them over again."
Manchester United's only hope now, is that he can replicate the truly brilliant form of last season, and forget about his awful recent performance in the World Cup and the Premier League.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Manchester United and Liverpool aim for Spanish Striker

Fernando Llorente Fernando Llorente of Spain celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the EURO 2012 Qualifying Group I match between Spain and Lithuania at the Helmantico stadium on October 8, 2010 in Salamanca, Spain.It could soon be Fernando Torres and Fernando Llorente paired up-front on the Liverpool team sheet - if rumours are to be believed. The 25 year old Spanish international recently broke Scottish hearts with a winner for Spain in a Euro 2012 qualifier, and he could soon be setting the Premier League on fire alongside his Spanish team-mate Fernando Torres.

Under new ownership, Liverpool are beginning in their new generation, with investment in players high on the list of Liverpool's priorities. The striker currently plays at Athletico Bilbao, and they will looking for around £17 million for their star striker. This seems a realistic sum for Liverpool's new owners to afford, as they admit themselves that Liverpool need a lot of work.

Llorente would be a great signing for Liverpool. He stands at 6 foot 5 inches tall, and therefore has a very physical, enforcing presence in he box. He is a good header of the ball, and a good finisher. He already has a connection with Fernando Torres in that they are both Spanish, so it would be very interesting to see how a partnership like this does. No doubt Liverpool are in dire need of an out and out striker - Llorente fits the bill.

However, Liverpool fans my ask the question - why get a big striker when the delivery is not present thanks to the lack of actual wingers? Benayoun and Reira have come and gone without great success. Ryan Babel and Joe Cole are the biggest names who could play on the wing for Liverpool, but they both feel that their best position is down the centre supporting the striker. Without a good delivery into the box, the two Fernando's (if the deal materialises) could become very frustrated due to the lack of service. Yet another problem for Hodgson to solve.

Alternatively, it could be Wayne Rooney Dimitar Berbatov and Fernando Llorente paired up on the Manchester United team sheet, with Ferguson looking or a new striker to replace Rooney due to his inevitable departure from Manchester United. However, be wary United fans, as Manchester United will be "connected to", "interested in" or "monitering" every striker who even slightly hints that they could leave their club at some point in the future. Benzema, Suarez, Aguero, Forlan, Kaka, Sneijder among others (including Fernado Torres!) have already been named as possible players that could in some way fill the void of Wayne Rooney - and he hasn't even left yet.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Spartak Moscow v Chelsea Highlights

Chelsea defeated Sparta Moscow 2 - 0 on Tuesday night, after a fantastic strike from Yuri Zhirkov to put Chelsea in the lead - as you can see above.

It was the first Chelsea goal of his career, and evidently worth waiting for on his 36th appearance for the club. It silenced the home crowd of the Luzhniki Stadium, and settled any nerves on the artificial pitch.
Nicolas Anelka then doubled Chelsea's lead in the 43rd minute, and Chelsea held on to their two nil lead to maintain their 100% record in their Champions League group, as they look very strong favourites to progress to the knock-out stages.

The closest Chelsea have come to winning the Champions League was in 2008 in Russia when Manchester United beat them in a penalty shoot out, in which John Terry slipped and missed his infamous penalty. He will be looking, as will the rest of his team, to improve once again, and win the Champions League which Terry so dearly wants in his trophy cabinet.

With goals like this one, as well as the good form they are currently in, they will be definitely be able to compete with the best, such as Barcelona and Real Madrid, as well as the current holders, Inter Milan.

Manchester United will be missing Wayne Rooney for their clash against Bursaspor on Wednesday after being stretchered off in training, but United may need to get used to being without him as they could be playing against him next season, after it was confirmed he doesn't want to sign a new contract. But will he be playing for Chelsea?

Ferguson: "The Player [Rooney] is adamant he wants to leave"

Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney of Manchester United looks on during a training session at the Carrington Training Complex on October 19, 2010 in Manchester, England.After so much media speculation over the future of Wayne Rooney, Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United manager has admitted, in a statement that he read to the media that Wayne Rooney, Manchester United's star striker wants to leave Old Trafford.

It is bitterly disappointing news for the Manchester United fan, who adore Rooney - chanting his name at Old Trafford, and supporting him, even through the recent difficult times in his exposed private life.

Ferguson said:
"I can't answer questions about why Rooney is doing what he is doing. It doesn't matter a dickie-bird. But the player is adamant he wants to leave. But I can do no more than I'm doing at the moment ... but we are leaving the door open
We have done nothing but help him since he came to this club, that is why this is such a mystery to us. We've helped him with his private life and other matters ... so we're as bemused as anyone can be because we can't understand why he would want to leave a club that is successful as we are in British football."

This shocked me, as I'm sure it is shocking you now, as United fans will have to come to terms with being without Wayne Rooney for next season. So many questions will be asked from now until January, or the summer transfer window, when Rooney is most likely to leave. Where will he go? How much will he cost? Why is he going? But most importantly for Manchester United; Who will replace him?

When Cristiano Ronaldo left Manchester United in 2007 for a World Record fee, it was questioned if Manchester United would be able to cope without him. Up stepped Rooney, to fill the goalscoring void, and he was on fire - scoring goals and being at the centre of attention for all the right reasons. Times have changed, and with his questionable private life no longer private, and no goal from open play since March for Manchester United, he obviously feels it is his time to move on.

Will the young Javier Hernandez, Federicho Macheda and Mame Biram Diouf step up into the spot light? Will they be able to fill the massive hole to be left by the "adamant" Rooney? Or will Ferguson rip open his cheque book, and buy a top quality striker who will score goals, just like Ronaldo and Rooney did?

Monday, 18 October 2010

Man United, Arsenal and Liverpool fight for Dutch playmaker

You may not of heard of Ibrahim Afellay before, but by the summer transfer window, that will have changed. Above is a video of Afellay scoring for his native Holland in the recent International break against Sweden, in which he scored two good goals, as well as delivering a scintillating cross to assist his team-mate.

His talent has not gone un-noticed either, with all of Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool and Everton all interested in the 24-year-old, who will be available on a free transfer in the summer as his contract will have expired at PSV Eindhoven.
He returned this interest with this:
"Playing in the Premier League would be best for my prestige. I'd like toplay for Liverpool or Manchester United , the top-level prospect for anyplayer. The transfer deadline is closed, so nothing new will happen now. All I can do is focus on PSV and I will continue to do so. And it looks now as if I will stay at Eindhoven until the end of the season."
Manchester United may be looking to add to their attacking options in the summer - if the rumours regarding Wayne Rooney leaving are true - so where better to start for the debt ridden club than with a free and talented youngster?

New ownership of Liverpool will mean that Hodgson - or whoever is in charge by the summer, will have lots of money at their disposal. A talented and creative player would be very attractive to Liverpool, who so far this season have lacked those very qualities - hence the reason they are 19th in the Premeir League with not many good signs in performance on the pitch.

Wherever this Dutchman goes, one thing is for sure - he will add something different to the team. As you can see from the video above, he has the finishing touch, but can also set up team-mates with fantastic crosses. Who doesn't need a player like that?

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Form is Temporary, Class is Permanent. Man United lack Form and Class

Once upon a time, it took something very special to come back from two goals down against against a Manchester United side. It didn't matter how good the team was - when Manchester United took the lead - they kept it. But recently, something very different has been happening. Something that the opposition team has been welcoming with delight.

On Saturday, not for the first time this season, and by the look of the poor defensive performances, not the last, Manchester United conceded two goals and allowed the opposition, West Brom, to come back from behind.

An early Chicharito goal was welcomed with relief, settling nerves of the United fans who have witnessed with horror the recent performances of their out of sorts side. A Nani strike after a nice interchange with Berbatov was the goal that looked as if it had killed off West Brom, but with United's recent form, anything was possible.

What happened next? True enough, West Brom came back thanks to a goal-line scramble, and then a cringe-worthy but very rare blunder from Edwin van der Sar.

From this point, the game could have gone a number of ways, and the old Manchester United that I have watched in the past few years would have dusted themselves down, pulled up their socks, tightened their boots and grab a winning goal. That is what true champions do. The problem this year is, United aren't looking like true Champions.

Both Rooney and Scholes came off the bench in the second half - to a great reception from the hopeful fans. However, their impact was very limited. Every single one of Wayne Rooney's touches were analysed, and unfortunately for him, none of them were any good. Poor touches and wayward passes were Rooney's main feature during his fifteen minutes on the pitch, however, this draw which feels like a loss cannot be blamed on him.

In the last twenty minutes - once, the period of the game in which teams were most afraid of Manchester United was, like the whole of the second half - abysmal. No chances of any merit were created, which suggest a real lack of class from Manchester United. When Giggs came off with an injury in the 43rd minute, Darron Gibson came on to replace him. Not a winger, but a central midfielder. Why? Because there were no wingers on the bench.

Edwin van der Sar Edwin Van Der Sar of Manchester United looks dejected after his mistake led to the equalizing goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on October 16, 2010 in Manchester, England.Antonio Valencia is being missed, but this draw goes much deeper than a winger lost to injury. This is more than just poor form. This is a lack of class which Manchester United so dearly need if they are to steal the Premier League back from Chelsea. If a January spending spree is not required to buy some class to inject into the tired looking team, then Sir Alex Ferguson has a real job of waking up his players and get them back onto a track that they have veered so wildly off.

Lionel Messi to Inter?

The Inter Milan owner, Massimo Moratti has claimed that he may hold talks with Barcelona over the availability of arguably the best player in the world, in their star player, Lionel Messi.

He said:
"[Lionel] Messi? Everyone asks me to buy a strong player. He is the strongest of all. So I'm starting to ask me the question.

And I still have not answered neither 'yes' nor 'no'. On Sunday, I jokingly said that I would bring Messi to Inter.
But we could only really talk about it with Barcelona. Let's see what happens in the coming days."
If Inter were seriously going to have to have any chance of prising theArgentinian away from Camp Nou, then they would have to b prepared to pay a massive sum of money to both the club, and Messi himself. Cristiano Ronaldo left Manchester United for £70 million to Real Madrid - a world record fee, and it is widely regarded that Messi is as good if not better than the Portugese record breaker.

Messi seems very happy at Barcelona, and has had a lot of success at the Spanish club, so why would he want to change his magnificent routine? There are very few reasons why a player would want to leave Barcelona during such a succesful period whilst playing alongside brilliant players such as Iniesta, Xavi, Puyol - the list goes on. Maybe he just wants a change? Rafael Benitez would certainly welcome the player to Inter Milan.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Liverpool have Finally Been Sold!

John Henry: NEW Liverpool Owner

Liverpool fans can wave goodbye and good riddance to their American owners, and say hello and welcome to the new ones.

The Merseyside club have been sold at last to NESV, as the Liverpool Official Site said:
"New England Sports Ventures (NESV) today announces that it has completed the purchase of Liverpool Football Club.
NESV wishes to extend its sincere gratitude to the Board of Liverpool FC for their diligence and their efforts on behalf of the Club and its supporters."

The transaction values the Club at £300m and eliminates all of the acquisition debt placed on LFC by its previous owners, reducing the Club's debt servicing obligations from £25m-£30m a year to £2m-£3m.
New England Sports Ventures is committed to winning and currently owns a portfolio of companies, including the Boston Red Sox, New England Sports Network, Fenway Sports Group and Roush Fenway Racing.

What great news this is for Liverpool and football as a whole, to rid ourselves of some truly selfish, greedy, terrible owners of a proud football club who will begin their rise to the top once again - no longer crippled by debts.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Evertons Heitinga wants to join Bayern Munich

John Heitinga - Everton v Huddersfield Town - Carling Cup 2nd Round
Looking Elsewhere: Heitinga
One way of putting a massive metaphorical question mark over the top of your head, as well as giving your passionate fans a reason to take a bit of a disliking to you, is to claim, whilst still playing for Everton, that you rather wouldn't be.

But that is what John Heitinga has done, as he said
 "I have to admit that I feel flattered that I’m being linked with a big club such as Bayern - I’d definitely be interested in joining them.They play Champions League football and I’m still eligible to play in the competition, since we don’t play European football with Everton. 'Every footballer wants to reach the top and I’m already 27. So this could be the right moment."
He went on to say that familiar phrase which became Cristiano Ronaldo's catchphrase in the couple of years build up to him joining Real Madrid; "You never know what will happen, especially in the world of football".

It is very risky business, considering he admits himself that Bayern Munich have not contacted him or Everton at all about a possible future transfer. It seems that "being linked" to Bayern Munich is purely based on rumour, so John Heitinga may not be a fan favourite come the weekend Mersyside derby, in which both Liverpool and Everton are in dire need of points.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez Scores for Mexico Again

Hernandez has been described by the Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson as two footed, very quick, has a good spring and a natural goalscorer. So Ferguson certainly knows what he is talking about!
The exciting young Mexican once again showed his potential with a clever run, onside, with a simple tap in. If you don't get in the positions, you don't score the goals. Chicharito does both.
It was his eleventh international goal - scoring two in he World Cup against Argentina and France, with the rest coming in friendly games - one against World Champions Spain. More of this form and Hernandez could be nailing himself to the Manchester United team-sheet. Good to see.

Do England miss Beckham?

Against a team like Montenegro, who will sit in their half of the pitch, hold out for a draw and occasionally venture forward, no goals will come for the attacking side if all they try is long balls down the middle.

The way to score - particularly with big strikers, physical strikers or just plain brilliant headers of the ball, is to have an expert at crossing the ball into the box for those attackers to get a touch and win the game. Tuesdays game between England and Montenegro ended goalless, and with very little creativity, spark and skill on the ground, it wasn't hard to see why.
David Beckham David Beckham #23 of the Los Angeles Galaxy takes a corner kick in the first half during the MLS match against Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center on October 3, 2010 in Carson, California. The Galaxy defeated Chivas USA 2-1.
Crossing with Quality: Beckham
One whipped in cross, followed by one lucky touch or brilliant bit of skill could have been the difference, but with no one with a crossing ability good enough to provide for the hungry strikers, England couldn't take advantage of their attackers presence.

When you hear the names Theo Walcott, Aaron Lennon, Ashley Young and Shaun Wright Phillips, you don't immediately associate them with their fantastic ability to pick out a team-mate from forty yards, or provide a delicious cross right onto a team-mates head. No, these players are mainly known for their speed, and in some cases, their fantastic (immensely annoying) ability to find the closest opposition defender when attempting a cross.

Adam Johnson and James Milner are better at crossing, but the consistency to find a man time and time again isn't there. Unlike a certain David Beckham.

Not only could he inspire the players around him to play well, but his crossing ability was - and is - unrivalled. Wherever he was on the pitch, he found a team-mate with apparent ease and cross with accuracy of which no English player I have seen possesses.

England do miss David Beckham, but if they want to succeed, they are going to have to find a player whose quality on the wings is not just consistent, but consistently brilliant.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Scotland 2-3 Spain | Villa Goal

This was the first goal in a game that Spain won 2 - 3 againt Scotland. Spain went two goals ahead, but a Scotland fightback in the second half meant that the European and World Champions had to grab the winner to avoid an embarrassment.

Fernando Llorente's late winner broke Scottish hearts, and hopes for a historical win to give Spain a 3 - 2 wining their Euro 2012 qualifier at Hampden Park.
The Scottish goalkeeper Allan McGregor was the man of the match with a string of fine saves to deny Spain an easy win, but goals from Villa, Iniesta and Llorente cancelled out goals for Scotland from Steven Naismith and an own goal from Gerard Pique.

A thrilling game in which Spain came out on top, sadly for the heart-broken Scots.

For every goal watch the game on YouTube Here

England 0 - 0 Montenegro

Steven Gerrard Steven Gerrard of England shows his frustration during the UEFA EURO 2012 Group G Qualifying match between England and Montenegro at Wembley Stadium on October 12, 2010 in London, England.
Whenever England got the ball, all they saw was a sea of red shirts, gathering swiftly around them, reducing the options of attack and taking away any chance of a goal. Montenegro clearly didn't come to England with the objective to score a couple of goals - their 4-5-1 formation clearly demonstrating that fact, and the all-talk build up from certain Montenegro players who claimed that they were "super-confident" that they could beat the English at Wembley hardly looked like coming true.

It proved to be a tough test for England to break down the Montenegro defence, as the visiting team hardly ventured out from their own half - but a test that the England fans certainly expected their team to pass, with the boos at the end of the game, expressing that.

It was a reasonably good start to the game for England, having 70% of possession, and Crouch coming close twice thanks to a beautiful through ball from Gerrard, and a good cross by Adam Johnson. In the middle of the game, the good start fizzled out, and England became sloppy, and lost any cutting edge that they may have had at the start.

The second half was similar to the first, but England retained their sharpness (the blunt form of sharp) and had a good spell of pressure near the end - as they should have won a penalty through Ashley Young, and then a blatant hand ball from a Montenegro defender, which only the referee missed.

It was not a good England performance, but it wasn't a bad one - it was a frustrating one. A performance that England fans are becoming used to witnessing - if they haven't already.

Kevin Davies Kevin Davies of England comes on for Peter Crouch of England during the UEFA EURO 2012 Group G Qualifying match between England and Montenegro at Wembley Stadium on October 12, 2010 in London, England.In a rare chance for Montenegro which had Joe Hart beaten, they hit the crossbar with a great half volley in the eight third minute, which could so have easily caused Capello to lose his job. Kevin Davies, the eldest English debutant for over fifty years, came on for Crouch a couple of minutes before that, and picked up a yellow card with one of his first actions. A good few headers and his general physicality helped to open up a few areas, but the half chances came to nothing.

At the end of the game, as Montenegro celebrated as if it was a win, the English players trudged off, wondering what they could do to win over their frustrated fans.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Singapore Billionaire Bid For Liverpool

A Singapore billionaire is set to out-bid NESV who have had a bid accepted by Liverpool and the Premier League to buy the club.

The business man in question, Peter Lim has said that all of they money spent on Liverpool; buying the club, paying their debt, and giving Roy Hodgson money to invest in the team, will come from his own money, and so will not force the club into any more debt - which has played a big part in the fall from grace thanks to the current American owners.

He is offering to give Roy Hodgson tens of millions of pounds to spend on the team in the upcoming January transfer window. Not only that, but even if Liverpool do go into administration, Lim is still prepared to buy the club - unlike NESV.

Robert Peston of the BBC reports that Lim was told just just hours before NESV's bid was accepted, that he had not won control of Liverpool. He was apparently shocked because he was sure that his bid would be accepted, and will now make an improved bid in an effort to win the club.

Mr Lim has an estimated net worth of $1.6bn (£1bn), according to Forbes Magazineand he made his fortune in fashion, logistics and agri-business.
His interest in English football stems from his ownership of several Manchester United themed bars in Asia - which have persuaded him that there is huge global potential for making money from top-flight English football.

He seems like the perfect owner for Liverpool - a big change from their dreadul owners Tom Hick and George Gillet.

Fulham Tracking a Keeper - so Schwarzer to Arsenal is on.

The Swedish club, Trelleborgs FF have confirmed that Premier League London club Fulham have been keeping tabs on their promising young Swedish goalkeeper, Viktor Noring.

The Italian club Palermo as well as Dutch team Ajax have expressed an interest to Trelleborgs FF about the 19 year old goalkeeper, and the clubs chairman has had this to say:
"Yes, Fulham have watched Viktor, sooner or later he will leave us"
Fulhams current number one had been very close to joining Arsenal in the summer transfer market, but Fulham did not want to let the Australian shot stopper go, as they had no one to fill in when he was gone. Arsenals goalkeeping situation isn't getting any better, and with Wenger definitely still interested, Fulham could be preparing to say goodbye t Schwarzer by looking for other options.

Michel Bastos to Manchester United

Michel Bastos Michel Bastos of Lyon in action during the Emirates Cup match between AC Milan and Lyon at Emirates Stadium on August 1, 2010 in London, England.With Manchester United being linked with so many players since the summer transfer window closed, it is hard to decipher the rumours with some truth in them, from the ones with no substance at all.

One that may have more than just a hint of truth in it could be Michel Bastos joining United. The left back currently plays for the French club Lyon, however, their clubs current instability has made Bastos wonder if a move over seas would be a good idea - where better then, than at Old Trafford?

Rumours suggest that he may be coming to United to replace the resident left-back, Patrice Evra, however, I don't believe that. Evra is a very loyal Manchester United player and is a big character in the team as well as being good friends with most of the players. He seems very settled at Manchester United, and was even made captain a couple of time last season for the Red Devils.

Just because Bastos is a left back does not mean he has to play there. He is Brazilian after all - the most attacking defenders come from Brazil, and Bastos is known for playing much further up the pitch - on the left wing. An injury to Antonia Valencia has ruled him out for probably the rest of the season, and the wings seem under manned at United. So maybe, he could be coming in to add a larger threat down the wings. Bastos on the left, and Nani down the right - two pacey attacking wingers to provide for the strikers. Just what United need at the moment.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Luis Nani Goal for Portugal against Denmark

He has his critics, but the Portuguese and Manchester United winger can show glimpses of brilliance. This is one of them. Nani was playing for Portugal on international duty against Denmark. This was Nani's second goal of the game in a match that finished with Portugal winning 3 - 1.
Manchester United fans will be hoping he can continue in this form in the Premier League, to claw back the points dropped after a poor start to the Premier League campaign.

Unhappy Bastien Schweinsteiger is Available

A bad start to the Bundesliga season for Bayern Munich has seen them lose three, win two and draw two. Sitting slightly uncomfortably in 12th position of their table, with big players out injured and anger building at the poor start to a league where they should be challenging for the title, it seems Bayern Munich may have caught the Liverpool-disease.

Their problems don't end at their league position however, as some of their top players are apparently growing increasingly frustrated by the lack of winning, as they worry for their future. Bastien Schweinsteiger is one of those frustrated players.

The central midfielder oozed class in the World Cup during the summer as he played for an impressive young German side that lost in the semi-finals to Spain. His excellent performances as the steady, reliable and consistent man in the middle for Germany turned heads from big clubs, and now, thanks to Bayern Munich's bad start, their interest has increased, as the availability of Schweinsteiger is becoming clearer.

The 26 year old will not ignore this interest, especially as it is coming from some of England's biggest clubs, including Chelsea and Arsenal. The problem here is, the amount that Schweinsteiger would cost.

Wenger: Looking for Bargains
If the German was an item in a shop, Wenger would stop at the window and look in. He would love what he sees, and enter the shop, and whilst he imagines what it would be like to own such a great item, he would lift up the price tag. He would be hoping that it is surprisingly cheap, but knows that because of the quality, it will most certainly be expensive. Wenger would see the price (£30 million) and throw the label out of his hands in disgust, and storm out of the shop, muttering some obscenities to himself, whilst lustfully giving it one last look in the corner of his eye, as he walks up to the nearest Early Learning Center for some 17 year old bargains.

Ancelotti on the other hand has money at his disposal, and isn't afraid of spending it. One call to Abromovich and the deal would be done.

If Bayern Munich were to carry on in their current poor form, Schweinsteiger could be on his way to England by January - to improve another squad in need of his quality services.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

A Mash-up of the days News in Football

Roy Hodgson - Liverpool v Blackpool - Premier LeagueRoy Hodgson has told of his delight that Liverpool have been taken over by new owners after a horrific period which saw the Gillet-Hicks stint cause chaos on and off the pitch. Hodgson admitted:

 "It's very positive and of course I'm delighted".

 He has also been assured that his job is safe after receiving the backing from the Liverpool board. Maybe now Liverpool can move forward and will no longer have to worry about a very heavy weight that has been pulling them down towards debt and disaster for the past couple of years.

Wayne Rooney knows what it feels like to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders, and when your friends call you "vulgar" and a "chav" it's hardly going to make you feel any better. This is the news, which I reported on earlier, in which the young Italian striker Macheda had reportedley called Rooney a "coatto". Now, this word translates into many things in English, and it just so happens, that newspapers chose the more controversial meanings to publish. Macheda is apparently furious about the misquotation and was talking in jest about his fellow striker... or could this be another lie just to add to the drama? Cue dramatic music.

Edwin van der Sar Edwin Van der Sar of Manchester United greets the fans after the UEFA Champions League group C match between Valencia and Manchester United on September 29, 2010 in Valencia, Spain.Next, and we are with a couple of golden oldies who have revealed their much less controversial retirement plans. Well, one of them has. Kind of. Florent Malouda, the thirty year old Chelsea winger has revealed that he would love to end his career playing for a team in the "true country of football", Brazil.
"It would be great to play for a club like Flamengo or Vasco da Gama, it is something that I want to do in my life"
The other retiring player that I am talking about is Edwin van Der Sar. The Dutch goalkeeper is forty this month - a very respectable age for a footballer playing at the highest level at Manchester United. The shot-stopper hasn't actually confirmed his retirement plans, but his goalkeeping coach has done the second best thing by more or less confirming it himself. Eric Steele said:
"I think Ed has made his mind up and said this is his last year."
It seems that if Van Der Sar does retire, it will not be Gianluigi Buffon who will replace him. The Italian goal-keepers agent probably made the interviewer cry after rubbishing his question as to whether United had shown an interest. The agent said:
"I don't know where these rumours come from, it is a nonsense. Buffon is out for an injury for three months, who wants an injured player? And it seems to me that the best player of Manchester United is the goalkeeper van der Sar."
You had better read DBSFootball tommorow for more!

Macheda: Rooney is a "Coatto"

Federico Macheda Wayne Rooney of Manchester United is replaced by team mate Federico Macheda (R) during the Barclays Premier League match between Bolton Wanderers and Manchester United at the Reebok Stadium on September 26, 2010 in Bolton, England.The problem with language is, it is so easily miss-interpreted. Today, Manchester United's young striker, Kiko Macheda was quoted as saying:
"Rooney is a really great person, he always gives me advice, but he's a bit of a coatto"
Well, you ask, what on earth does that strange word "coatto" mean? Well I am no Italian, so a little bit of research was required. Newspapers seem to think that it means "vulgar" and similar to a "chav". I'm sure Rooney has been called much worse in his life, and it is probably true, but thats also probably not what Macheda meant. He certainly didn't mean it in a offensive way, as he had literally just praised him as a "great person" who always gives him advice.

In the same interview, Macheda assured United fans that he wants to stay in Manchester and fight for a first team spot. He said he wants to improve at Man United and when he is more mature, decide on his future.

The conclusion I come to is that Macheda meant the remark in jest. Some reports of the same interview suggest he actually finished the sentence "a coatto like me". In fact, Macheda is said to be furious that he had been misquoted in the Italian interview. So there you have it. Macheda didn't call Rooney a vulgar chav. Even if it is true.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Manchester United & Arsenal do Battle for Dutch Goalkeeper.

Maarten Stekelenburg Maarten Stekelenburg of Ajax reacts during the UEFA Champions League group G match between Real Madrid and AFC Ajax at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on September 15, 2010 in Madrid, Spain.The two biggest clubs in English football will go to battle with the objective of signing a player who would fill a current, or future troubling position of goalkeeper. This man is Maarten Stekelenburg.

The 28-year-old would, at Manchester United, be able to replace Edwin Van der Sar at the end of the current 2010/11 season, as it is widely thought that the veteran will retire at the age of 40 years. Sir Alex Ferguson has been delighted with his current goalkeeper, and even admitted that he should have signed Van der Sar earlier in his career. There is no suprise then, that the Scot will look for a similar replacement.

Both Stekelenburg and Van der Sar began their career at Ajax - the club where Stekelenburg currently plays - with around 165 appearances. During the 2006 World Cup, Stekelenburg was the understudy to Dutch number one, Van der Sar. However in the most recent of World Cup's, Stekelenburg was the number one goalkeeper, and helped them get to the final - conceding only five goals in the competition, however he ended up on the losing side as they lost to Spain.
They also both have a large frame - with Van der Sar standing at 6 foot 6 inches, while Stekelenburg stads at 6 foot five and a half.

A reliable goalkeeper is also just what Arsenal need at the moment. Almunia and Fabianski don't exactly ooze confidence and the fans support for them is slightly lacking, as they begged their team manager to buy a new goalkeeper through the summer. Unfortunately for the fans, and fortunately for the goalkeepers, their pleas fell on deaf ears, as Wenger seems to trust his blundering goalkeepers.

With a whole season for the two keepers to make bad mistakes, Wenger will most probably be looking for a new goalkeeper toa ppease his fans, and Stekelenburg is said to be on top of the Frenchmans list.

The Ajax coach Martin Jol dmitted that there was interest from the clubs in his goalkeeper, but that it was "not strange" for United and Arsenal to want to buy his number one.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Liverpool Receive Two Bids for Takeovers

John W Henry-Fenway.jpg
Potential Liverpool
Owner: John Henry
Liverpool have received "two excellent financial offers" to purchase the club. One of which is from more Americans in the owner of Boston Red Sox, a proffessional baseball team, while the other bid is reportedly from a Far East Consortium.

Liverpool fans simply want to get out of the miserable times that they find themselves in. They want stability
 to the club, on and off the pitch. They want the new owners to be prepared to spend money to invest in new players and build a stronger team. They want the new owners to be prepared to show commitment and be in the club for the long haul, and not just come in, then realise it was going to be tough and leave. But most of all, Liverpool fans don't want to hear any more empty promises and lies.

Vitally important too, is the need to get out of the debt that the club is in, which is rumoured to be around £237 million. So, these "excellent" offers that Liverpool have apparently received need to be from either a person or group whom are massively passionate about Liverpool football club and amazingly rich, or amazingly rich and amazingly crazy. They will have to rummage through their pockets for probably over £850 - 900 million, with the current owners, Hicks and Gillet holding out for £600 million. The debt will then have to be payed, and then new players will be demanded.

Tom Hicks and George Gillet, the current American owners are extremely unpopular among the Liverpool fans, and the fans blame the owners for Liverpool's current bad form and fall from grace. Only five years ago Liverpool were celebrating a Champions League win against AC Milan. Now, even though the season is in it's early months, Liverpool are in the relegation zone. It isn't too silly to suggest that Liverpool could be going from Champions League to Championship in a matter of years. If these bids are not succesful and these American owners stay in control, the future could be disastrous for Liverpool.

Van Der Vaart, Modric, Bale and Lennon force out Kranjcar at Tottenham

When they qualified for the Champions League last season, it was questioned whether Tottenham would have the strength in depth and enough fit and willing players to play twice in a week. Those doubts didn't last for long, however, because they added just the right amount of quality to their already strong team.
Niko Kranjcar Niko Kranjcar of Tottenham Hotspur in action during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Tottenham Hotspur at The Hawthorns on September 11, 2010 in West Bromwich, England.

They were able to spend a relatively small amount of £14 million in the summer transfer market, bringing in free agent William Gallas, defensive midfielder Sandro from Internacional for £6m, Stipe Pletikosa on loan from Spartak Moscow and the so far brilliant Rafael van der Vaart for £8m from Real Madrid.

Another important factor for Tottenham during the summer was that they weren't forced into selling any of their top players; Gareth Bale was rumoured to have interested a couple of big teams including Manchester United, but he instead extended his Totenham contract. Luka Modric too. The Croatian is extremely highly rated at White Hart Lane, and for good reason, so interest from other clubs was inevitable, but Tottenham held on the their star man.

However, with the arrival of the crowd pleaser and Tottenham fan favourite, Rafael Van Der Vaart at Spurs, as well as the brilliant form of Gareth Bale, and Modric and Lennon guaranteed a start, that leaves no room for Niko Kranjcar. The Croatian hasn't started a game for Tottenham so far this season, and it has been rumoured that if this continues, he will seek a new club - with possible suiters already interested.

Monaco, as well as two Premier League clubs are said to be interested with the creative playmaker, with Liverpool and Aston Villa rumoured to be the two English clubs.

Rafael Van Der Vaart - Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa - Premier LeagueGerrard Houllier will of course be looking to build on the squad he inherited recently, and the 26-year-old could be the perfect player to add some more creativity and flare to the Villa line up, after losing James Milner to Manchester City in the summer. But if they are to purchase the Spurs midfielder, they will have to find around £8 million - about four times what Tottenham paid for him in 2009.

At the moment, Liverpool are having trouble keeping their heads above the water in the Premier League, and with their debt ravaged American owners hoping to sell, they may find it hard to find £8 million to pay Tottenham.

With Van Der Vaart, Modric, Bale and Lennon all doing so well in the Tottenham midfield, it seems inevitable that Kranjcar will have to find a new club soon, as sitting on the bench may become an unwelcomed routine for the attacking midfielder. Is Tottenhams midfield so full of quality that they are having to let go of some of it? It can only be a good sign when you are letting good players go because they can't get into the team.

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