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Archive for August 12th, 2010

It seems like Manchester City, Inter Milan and Mario Balotelli have all finally agreed to terms and according to Balotelli’s agent a deal should be done in the next 24 hours. This is what Mino Raiola, Balotelli’s agent had to say after a Thursday meeting with the two clubs:

Will he play on Saturday against Tottenham? Look, at this point I would say no. Even if we close the deal tomorrow he wouldn’t be able to do it, because of all the paperwork. Then the English laws impose details that would exclude his presence as early as Saturday.

I am very optimistic, but today the deal is not already done. We haven’t decided yet if Mario will go to England tomorrow, we need to think about that, but we haven’t established that.

A deal is gonna get done. Inter Milan are gonna get their desired sum, the only real hitch is Balotelli wanting more money from City. Mario is a fantastic talent but he has a lot of growing up to do. Sure he might be a little misunderstood but he brings a lot of the hate and negativity projected towards him on himself. With Balotelli’s arrival, City will have to do some cleaning up at the striker position. Roque Santa Cruz is surely going to be dealt and Celtic have already confirmed their interest in Craig Bellamy. Emmanuel Adebayor has also been linked with a move out of City but those rumors were quickly shot down. We all know Robinho does not want to be part of Manchester City, the question still remains will City allow him to go elsewhere or will they force him to stay? They are most likely going to choose the former. Having Adebayor, Tevez and Balotelli at your disposal is going to leave City heavily equipped with fire power and a serious threat to every team in the league and in Europe. Add in skillful midfielders such as James Milner, Yaya Toure, David Silva, Adam Johnson, Gareth Barry, Shaun Wright-Phillips, and Nigel de Jong — you’re looking at a team to be feared for years to come.

Chelsea say goodbye to a fantastic defender

I firmly believe Ricardo Carvalho is one of the best defenders on the planet. Many will agree with me. One of those people that agree with me is none other than The Special One himself — Jose Mourinho. Ricardo and Jose go way back, their relationship starts well before Chelsea. Ricardo Carvalho anchored Jose Mourinho’s Porto defense to a Champions League trophy, UEFA Cup, and two Portuguese Liga titles. He then followed Mourinho to Chelsea where he helped John Terry anchor that defense to an FA Cup title, back-to-back Premier League titles, and two Carling Cups. He will now follow The Special One to Real Madrid where he will try to bolster that defense and help his manager become the first to ever win three UEFA Champions League titles with three different teams.

Chelsea recovered £8 million from Real Madrid for Ricardo, which in my opinion is an absolute bargain. Despite Carvalho being 32 years old I believe he still has a couple more very solid years in him and the difference he makes should be worth more than £8 million. I digress. This does leave Chelsea with a disability to start the season, however, with the man who made Carvalho expendable — Alex — injured for the start of the season.

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I’m a few days late on reporting this but it’s still big news. Martin O’neil has suddenly checked himself out of Villa Park amidst reports that he would not be allowed to use the money Villa will imminently receive from Manchester City for the sale of James Milner towards purchasing new players during the transfer window.

O’neill has turned Aston Villa around ever since taking over in 2006. His impact was immediately felt as Villa started the 2006 season with a 9 game unbeaten run but still finished the season in 11th place — still an improvement from the year before where they finished 16th. O’neill continued to improve the team and they finished in 6th place the following 3 seasons. However, they still failed to impress in European competitions and failed to bring home any silverware in domestic competitions. They reached their first final in 10 years last year when they faced Manchester United in the Carling Cup final, but they fell short of a title losing 2-1. They remained a competitive team in the Premier League on a consistent basis but you always knew they would not challenge for the title. They also gave their fans false hope on a consistent basis by making them believe they could make the top four and consistently underperforming towards the end of the season to knock them out of contention, and consistently to 6th place.

Despite not bringing any silverware to Villa Park there was never any indication that O’neill would be leaving anytime soon. Therefore, when he announced his resignation out of the blue it shocked a lot of people. However, I can’t really argue with his reason. He should be able to use the money gained in the sale of Milner towards purchasing other players that can help the team. Milner was an integral part of Villa’s success last season and losing him without finding another player or players to fill the hole he would be leaving behind sends the wrong message to the team and to the fans. As for O’neill’s replacement — it could end up being Sven-Goran Eriksson, however, interim coach Kevin MacDonald could be given a chance to show his worth before any change is made.

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