Posts Tagged ‘manchester city’

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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Robinho has unveiled his reflections on his time with Manchester City and why it just didn’t work out. First of all, he would like you to know that Manchester is an awful place to live.

Manchester is a sensational venue for football but an awful place to live … the winter, the cold and the dark nights. It’s very hard for a young Brazilian.

Poor guy. All those cold nights, alone, coddling with his teddy bear next to the fireplace. He also feels that neither Mark Hughes or Roberto Mancini understood him. I always knew Robinho was a misunderstood lost soul. Or perhaps Robinho simply didn’t understand how to adapt to a different culture and different style of play.

There was a lack of contact between the players and the club. It was much like an office – to training and goodbye, to a match and goodbye. I am Brazilian and I can’t offer my best performance if I’m not happy in every aspect of life. That was my problem. I am a special footballer and I need to be happy when I’m playing. That was the case at Real Madrid but never at City. Perhaps I should never have left Real Madrid.

I think it’s safe to say Robinho is 8 years old.

My destination was Chelsea with Luiz Felipe Scolari but, at the last moment, City appeared and I accepted. I did not decide the transfer. Correspondence is always between clubs and I am not responsible for what anyone will pay, but Mark Hughes called me and insisted I joined the club. He was decisive in my move.

I’m not sure how much happier Robinho would have been at Chelsea, but perhaps Scolari would have “understood” him and kept him happy. He will probably be a happy camper in Milan. Milan has the glitz and glamor and nice weather that understands Robinho.

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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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The Manchester City outcast is desperate for a move back to Brazil, however, those chances appear to be slim. The latest plans Manchester City have for Robinho are to sell him to Schalke and use some of the money to fund a move for Benfica defender David Luiz. Schalke are eager to acquire Robinho and pair him up with their newest acquisition, Spanish legend Raul. However, it all hinges on whether or not Robinho would accept a move to Germany.

With the acquisition of Robinho, I believe Schalke will seriously give Bayern Munich a run for their money for the Bundesliga title. It will also greatly increase their chances of moving forward in the UEFA Champions League. A move to the Bundesliga will certainly give the German league a boost in entertainment value as well as more competition at the top of the table.

It won’t be long until we find out exactly what will happen as the transfer window is drawing near a close and Mancini will be keen on unloading Robinho before the end of the month.

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Manchester City have officially agreed to terms with James Milner and will be sending Stephen Ireland along with buckets of cash to Aston Villa. It was a long drawn out process but it has finally been accomplished. Man City will now lock up their bank account for a couple months until the next transfer window. Milner is scheduled to undergo a medical at Eastlands later on today and should feature in City’s next match against Liverpool on Monday (nationally televised on ESPN2). The young diva Mario Balotelli is expected to play in that match as well.

In other City news, Craig Bellamy has joined Cardiff City of the Championship League on loan. Bellamy takes a step down from top flight football and will look to dominate his lesser foes in the Championship league. There was interest from top teams such as Tottenham, Fulham, Liverpool and Celtic but apparently a deal could only be agreed upon with Cardiff City. The native Welshman is excited to be back home at Wales playing for Cardiff, the team he has supported since he was a young boy. He can now live out his dream of playing for his favorite club and can bring joy to an entire country by helping his squad get back to the Premier League.

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What a fantastic start to the Premier League season; a wonderful advertisement for soccer as a whole. If you were lucky enough to watch the opening match of the season — Tottenham vs Manchester City — then you witnessed exactly how a match can be end-to-end entertaining and still end in a nil-nil draw. Whenever you get into an argument about soccer with some idiot and they say “well barely anyone scores in soccer, how is it even entertaining?”, you point them to August 14, 2010. This day completely shits on that argument in more ways than one. First of all, we saw a game in which no one scored but it was still a highly entertaining game throughout. Before someone brings up small sample size, this is not the first 0-0 match that was exciting, there have been hundreds of similar occasions. Secondly, we saw a couple of good ol’ thrashings. Aston Villa annihilated West Ham 3-0, newly promoted Blackpool shocked Wigan 4-0, and the defending champions Chelsea welcomed West Bromwich Albion back to the Premier League with a 6-0 lashing; Drogba made sure everyone knew he was back and healthy with a hat-trick and Florent Malouda added a brace. Chelsea picked up exactly where they left off last season; playing fluid football and scoring a lot of goals.

There were 8 games on Saturday, only 2 ended in a scoreless draw.

21 total goals were scored on Saturday. That is an average of 2.62 goals per game.

In another completely unrelated storyline, James Milner might have scored his last goal as a member of Aston Villa. A nice gift to the fans before he departs for Manchester City.

Kevin MacDonald made a decent case for himself to stay on as manager, he had Villa playing with excellent pace and organization. They did it with a crop of fairly young home-grown players too which is refreshing I suppose. One of those young stars who set himself apart from the others was Marc Albrighton. This 20 year old right winger was having his way with West Ham defenders all game long. He was causing fits for defenders and getting into the penalty box with ease time after time, his skill on the ball is magic. It should be delightful watching this young man develop throughout the season. He is definitely a name you want to look for from here on out.

Two more games left to be played to complete week 1 of the Premier League. Tomorrow should be another great game with new look Liverpool taking on Arsenal. Week 1 ends on Monday with Manchester United welcoming Newcastle back to the Premier League.

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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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After 16 years and 323 goals Raul said goodbye to the club he has so loyally served for over a decade. The emergence of Higuain coupled with Raul’s dip in form saw the loyal legend ride the pine for the majority of last season. In an emotional press conference, Raul officially announced he would be departing the Bernabeu and will join either the Bundesliga or the English Premier League. The most common report that has appeared repeatedly is Raul to Schalke, however Raul has not ruled out a move to England. I have not heard of any English teams publicly admitting interest in Raul, the only team I can think of is Manchester City but then again who are they not interested in? Ultimately, I believe Raul will most likely join Schalke — they are a team on the rise and will be playing Champions League football which is a high priority for Raul.

Raul leaves Madrid as the clubs all-time leading scorer. He helped bring 3 Champions League trophies and 6 La Liga championships to the Bernabeu. Raul is also the Champions League all-time leading scorer with 66 goals in the competition. He’s not done yet; if he joins Schalke he will have a chance to build on that record and set himself even further apart from the pack.

Without a doubt, Raul will go down as one of the greatest to ever play the game no matter what happens from here on out. It will definitely be a treat to see him play first-team football again and continue to build on his legacy.

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