Saturday, January 13, 2007

Why's everybody so cranky this week?

First up is the ever-cheerful Jose Mourinho, who's not happy about having potential transfers vetoed by the Chelsea board. He dropped the underperforming Andriy Shevchenko from the squad for today's match against Wigan, and is reportedly threatening to leave Roman Abramovich's pet striker to pick up his paycheque with the reserves unless he gets the funds he wants to buy players.

Let's not forget that this is the same man who, just last month, when asked how much money he needed for the transfer market, replied, "Nothing. I need the best goalkeeper in the world back, I need the best central defender in the world back."

It seems that the club have taken him at his word -- maybe not the wisest strategy for dealing with somebody whose relationship with reality is tenuous at best. But the straw that broke the Special One's back was apparently the board putting the kibosh on a deal to swap Shaun Wright-Phillips for Milan Baros. Sounds to me like they were just trying to save him from himself.

(I'm not sure how the idea that Chelsea don't want to spend any money in the transfer window fit in with the story that they're going to steal Owen Hargreaves out from under the nose of Manchester United. Although that could just be a rumour started by either Chelsea or Bayern Munich to force the price up and turn Sir Alex an even more fetching shade of purple.)

As you can probably tell, I don't have a lot of sympathy for Mourinho. And I'm not sure he's wise to try and take on the club management here. I'd be worried about being suddenly stricken with radiation poisoning or something like that. Still, hands up everybody who'd like to see Jose and Peter Kenyon bitch-slapping each other? Yeah, me too.

Anyway, this has all stirred up speculation that Mourinho might fuck off to Real Madrid in the summer -- and take Frank Lampard with him (all the better to get taken for a ride by random Spanish chauffeuses, I presume). Personally, I'm torn, because much as I'd like to see Chelsea in a managerial crisis, I would miss having Mourinho in the Premiership to snark at.

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Meanwhile, at Anfield, Rafa Benitez isn't happy with Liverpool's stingy board of directors, either. He claims that the Carling Cup debacle against Arsenal was a result of lack of funding. So, the team he picked had absolutely nothing to do with it, eh? (Hey, maybe I was right about #4!)

"That lesson is that if you want to compete at the top level you must be able to spend a lot of money - not only on your first team but on the young players and the reserves. My scouting department has done an excellent job but sometimes we go too slowly as a club to make signings we need. We need to work quickly. And when we do, there is not a lot of money."

Speaking of which, Jerzy Dudek is trying to pass the buck too. He's blaming his lack of playing time for his poor form.

"If you play one game every two months, it is really, really difficult to show your quality. As a goalkeeper, you can use experience but you can't build confidence in training."

Apparently you can't build up the ability to actually stop shots in training, either.

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One person you might expect to be happy right now is David Beckham, what with his giant piles of money and all that. But that might be somewhat tainted by Fabio Capello's announcement that he won't be playing for Real Madrid for the rest of the year. That's a decision I don't completely understand. I would think that Beckham would want to go out on a high in Spain -- not just for his personal pride, but to boost his profile as much as possible before he swans off to America. So either Capello doesn't understand what motivates Beckham, or he really just thinks he's crap.

I know you're all probably sick of the Beckham thing by now, but just one more item: AC Milan reportedly offered him a contract too. This, to me, makes him choosing MLS much more interesting. I think the Italian game might've suited him, and it would've allowed him to prolong his European career. So why MLS? Well, either it's the aforementioned giant piles of money, or he sincerely believes all that bumf about bringing the game to the masses and whatnot. Or Tom Cruise and the clams really have got to him. (I always kind of figured that Becks had grass for brains.)

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And finally: Dear Mike Newell: Please quit while you're behind. Love, the world.

1 comment:

linda said...

Dear football dieties:

I'll write nice things about Mourinho again. I'll...say that he's the best manager in the Premiership. Just please please don't let him come to Spain.

Thanks,

A concerned Barca supporter trying to ward off future death by raaaaaaaage