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Posts Tagged ‘dirk kuyt’

Carlo Ancelotti went balls out with a front 3 of Anelka, Drogba and Torres with Anelka playing the trequartista role. We quickly found out this formation was not working out. Chelsea had trouble creating anything and they were severely lacking any sort of width. Ancelotti opted for a midfield of Lampard, Obi Mikel and Essien. None of those players have the pace or creativity to produce any kind of sideline to sideline play and deliver crosses into the box. Guys like Malouda and Kalou fit that role perfectly and their presence was clearly missing.

The game started like a typical Chelsea vs Liverpool encounter. Boring. 30 minutes in we finally saw some action – a dangerous cross into the box got past about 4 Chelsea defenders plus goalkeeper Petr Cech and fell right to Maxi Rodriguez who simply had to tap it into an empty net but he put a little too much air in it and the ball graciously hit the crossbar. Torres had a chance to bag a goal against his former team but Jaime Callagher arrived in the nick of time to deflect a strike that would have tested Reina.

In the 66th minute – a shock substitute occured – Fernando Torres was called to the bench and Solomon Kalou entered the fray. I understand the introduction of Kalou, however, Torres was not the correct person to make way. It should have been Anelka. Three minutes later, the defense broke down and allowed Raul Meireles to nonchalantly knock the ball into the back of the net. Now you are down 1-0 and you just subbed out your 50 million pound goal scorer who you just bought from the very team that just scored. In need of more attacking options, Ancelotti brings in Malouda and takes out Obi Mikel. Immediately Malouda darted through the Liverpool defense and provided a strike on goal that required cat-like reflexes from Reina to keep it out. Despite Chelsea’s efforts they were unable to equalize – however – Liverpool got away with a clear Lucas handball in the penalty box that should have been a yellow card + penalty shot. Even Lucas knew he was guilty but referee Andre Marriner went temporarily blind during that incident.

Day one of the Torres Experiment was a failure. There needs to be more pace, width and creativity in the lineup with Drogba and Torres. Anelka may need to come off the bench for a couple of games while Ancelotti plays with a lineup including Drogba, Torres and Malouda. Perhaps include Kalou in the same lineup and watch the sparks fly. The options are endless with the talent we now have at our disposal. It is just a matter of finding the perfect mix. However, offensive flow is not the only aspect Chelsea need to work on. The defense has been atrocious and is in serious need of attention. They look dazed and confused and completely lacking any confidence. Ancelotti needs to start figuring things out so he can attempt to salvage the season in the Champions League.

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Gerard Houllier back in the Premier League

Former Liverpool boss, Gerard Houllier has agreed to become Aston Villa’s new manager. Houllier stepped down from his position as technical director of the French Football Federation in order to take the position. Not a very difficult move, I would imagine. Keep going with a crumbling federation whose national team is a disgrace or join Aston Villa in the Premier fucking League? I’m sure it took Houllier all of 3 seconds to make up his mind.

Mario Balotelli to have knee surgery

It’s a good thing Mario Balotelli scored a goal in the only 33 minutes he has played for Manchester City. He will not see the pitch for at least another six weeks. During those 33 minutes where Balotelli scored a goal, he also managed to damage his lateral meniscus. Quite the debut the young striker had. I guess it’s a good thing the striker position is one Manchester City is not lacking in depth.

Kuyt out at least one month

Liverpool are dealt yet another blow with the news of Dirk Kuyt’s shoulder injury. Kuyt injured his shoulder while attempting a bicycle kick during training with the Netherlands. Liverpool will need the likes of Joe Cole, Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres to really step up and put this team on their shoulders. With last season’s horrible season still fresh in the minds of fans, Mascherano’s departure and now Kuyt’s injury, fans need to see victories or else fear walking alone forever.

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic to AC Milan

It appears as though this deal might actually happen. It was reported early on today that Zlatan and AC Milan had agreed to personal terms, but Barcelona still need to give their stamp of approval. AC Milan are reportedly throwing in Marco Borriello to sweeten the deal, with the exception that Barcelona pay 50% of Zlatan’s wages.

Javier Mascherano to Inter Milan

Javier Mascherano is officially on strike. He is adamant in his stance and wants to leave Anfield to reunite with his former boss Rafa Benitez in Italy. However, Liverpool are asking Barcelona to up their offer if they want to pry the ferocious midfielder away. Barcelona initially offered £12 million plus Alexander Hleb but Liverpool rejected it. Liverpool reportedly value Mascherano at £20 million and will not budge for anything less. The clock is ticking and if a deal isn’t agreed upon within the next week, Mascherano will be a very angry man — and you don’t want to see Mascherano when he’s angry.

Done Deal: Yoann Gourcuff to Lyon

Lyon have strengthened their midfield by adding French playmaker Yoann Gourcuff to their arsenal. Bordeaux and Lyon agreed to a €22 million transfer fee and Yoann will look to help Lyon get back to their championship winning ways. Gourcuff, Makoun, Michel Bastos and Pjanic will form a formidable midfield and should strike fear into opposing defenders.

More on Kuyt to Inter

Inter Milan are stepping up their efforts to land the workhorse Dutchman by offering Liverpool a choice of Sulley Muntari, Nicolas Burdisso, Nelson Rivas, David Suazo and Mancini plus £14 million for Kuyt.

Done Deal: Sebastien Squillaci to Arsenal

The Gunners have strengthened their defense by adding the French defender to their squad. Squillaci will likely partner Vermaelen in the center of the defense to form a pretty fierce duo. Squillaci asked to be left out of Sevilla’s first leg UEFA Europa Cup match against Braga so that he would be able to play for Arsenal in the Champions League in case the deal actually happened. Lucky for him, his wish came true.

Roque Santa Cruz to Lazio?

Lazio are mulling over a deal that will send castaway Manchester City striker, Roque Santa Cruz to the Biancocelesti on loan for the season.

Robinho to Fenerbahce?

Another castaway Manchester City striker is likely on his way out. Robinho is meeting with Fenerbahce officials today in Manchester to try and seal a deal.

update: Robinho has rejected a move to Fenerbahce and has announced that he will only accept a move to Italy or Spain.

Peter Crouch to Everton?

David Moyes seems to be eyeing the long-and-lanky England striker to strengthen his attacking options. He is so keen on snatching up Crouch that he has reportedly offered to send Steven Pienaar to the Spurs in exchange for the giraffe-turned-striker.

Tottenham looking to snatch up Lassana Diarra

With Real Madrid’s flurry of incoming midfielders, Lassana Diarra has been deemed surplus to requirements and it seems that Harry Redknapp will be more than happy to welcome him to White Hart Lane.

Final tidbits

Chelsea are expressing interest in Nicolas Burdisso.

Carlton Cole has been linked with a move to Sunderland.

Charles N’Zogbia may be drawing closer to move to Birmingham City.

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Gallas joins Tottenham

Harry Redknapp has strengthened his defense by adding the experienced William Gallas on a free transfer. Gallas is set to undergo a medical at White Hart Lane today which will officially seal the deal. Tottenham didn’t break the bank with this signing, agreeing to a one year deal with what is reported as “reasonable” wages. Very low risk/high reward scenario for Tottenham and an overall good signing by Harry.

Super Mario seals City victory

Mario Balotelli did not need a lot of time to make himself welcome with his team and the City fans. He entered the fray in the 57th minute of City’s 1st leg UEFA Europa League play-off against Romanian side Timisoara and 15 minutes later scored the winning goal to give his side a 1-0 victory. It’s always nice to receive instant gratification from a player you spent so long trying to acquire and spent so much money on.

Dirk Kuyt to Inter Milan

Rumor has it Inter Milan are looking to pry Dirk Kuyt away from Anfield. Kuyt’s former manager, Rafa Benitez, is keen on bringing the tough Dutchman to Inter. After all, Rafa was the one who brought Dirk to Liverpool from Feyenoord. Kuyt’s agent has confirmed that there is interest from Inter Milan and with Kuyt’s absence from Liverpool’s lineup against Trabzonspor in the UEFA Europa League play-off adds fuel to that fire. If Kuyt had featured in that match then he would not be able to play for Inter Milan in the Champions League if he does make the move to the Nerazzurri. The ball is pretty much in Dirk’s court right now, he has to make a decision: stay with Liverpool or reunite with his former boss in Italy? He doesn’t have a lot of time to make up his mind as the transfer window is drawing near a close.

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June 19, 7:30am

Netherlands vs Japan

This should be a walk in the park for the Dutch. Their electrifying pace will be far too much to handle for the Japanese. I could sit here and make Japan look silly and continue singing the praises of the Dutch but I’ll spare you some time and just end this preview here.

Final Score: 4-0

Key players to watch:

Netherlands- Arjen Robben (midfielder, Bayern Munich), Robin Van Persie (forward, Arsenal), Dirk Kuyt (forward, Liverpool), Wesley Sneijder (midfielder, Inter Milan), Rafael Van der Vaart (midfielder, Real Madrid)
Japan- Shunsuke Nakamura (midfielder Yokohoma), Keisuke Honda (midfielder, CSKA Moscow), Yasuhito Endo (midfielder, Gamba Osaka), Keiji Tamada (forward, Nagoya Grampus), Shinji Okazaki (forward, Shimizu S-Pulse)

Ghana vs Australia 10:00am

Ghana will be without their star player Michael Essien during this world cup. The versatile midfielder injured his knee during the African Cup of Nations and has never recovered since. This is a massive blow for Ghana as Essien is a vital addition to this squad. It’s tough to say that the loss of one player could decide whether or not a team advances to the next stage, however, in this case it is true. Without Essien, I cannot envision the Ghanaians to get out of their group. They will battle Serbia for the 2nd spot behind Germany, and I believe without Essien, the door is open for the strong Serbians to advance to the next round. Anyway, that won’t matter here as with or without Essien I think Ghana still beats Australia. Sorry, mates.

Final score: 2-0

Key players to watch:

Ghana- Stephen Appiah (midfielder, Bologna), Sulley Muntari (midfielder, Inter Milan), Asamoah Gyan (forward, Rennes), Kevin-Prince Boateng (midfielder, Portsmouth), John Paintsil (defender, Fulham)
Australia- Tim Cahill (midfielder, Everton), Mark Bresciano (midfielder, Palermo), Harry Kewell (forward, Galatassary), Brett Emerton (midfielder, Blackburn), Brett Holman (midfielder, AZ Alkamaar)

Cameroon vs Denmark 2:30pm

This should be the most competitive match of the day. One of these two teams will join the Netherlands into the next round. I believe it will probably be Cameroon; they are the more talented squad and have home-field advantage so to speak. Cameroon will definitely need their star striker Samuel Eto’o to step up and carry the load in the scoring department. Coming off a recent treble victory with his club Inter Milan, Eto’o’s confidence should be soaring sky high leaving him with no excuse for not showing up. I expect Denmark to fight hard but fall short, not just in this match, but also in the tournament in general.

Final score: 2-1

Key players to watch:

Cameroon- Samuel Eto’o (forward, Inter Milan), Alex Song (midfielder, Arsenal), Jean Makoun (midfielder, Lyon), Sebastien Bassong (defender, Tottenham), Geremi Njitap (defender, Ankaragucu)
Denmark- Nicklas Bendtner (forward, Arsenal), Christian Poulsen (midfielder, Juventus), Thomas Enevoldsen (midfielder, Groningen), Jon Dahl Tomasson (forward, Feyenoord), Thomas Sorensen (goalkeeper, Stoke City)

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