Friday, September 28, 2012

Goal scored after just 2 seconds

Football has a reputation of one of the slower sports, where goals come in not so often as you'd see in other sports, but in a low tier Serbian league, a player named Vuk Bakich has managed to pull off something you definitely don't see everyday. After just 2 seconds in the game, Bakich's half court effort ended up in the net, which is shown in the video bellow:

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Chelsea preparing January bid for Falcao

Colombian made a move to Madrid a season ago, replacing Sergio Aguero, who signed for Manchester City, and many were sceptical of Falcao's ability to replicate Aguero's form, but he managed to prove the doubters wrong and justify the €47M price tag, having an unbelievable first season, where he made 50 appearances and scored a total of 36 goals. Atletico Madrid went on to win the Europa League by beating Athletic Bilbao 3:0 in the final, with Falcao scoring 2 opening goals. Radamel has made 5 appearances so far this season for Atletico and bagged 8 goals.

There's little doubt that his impressive performances have caught the eye of the big sharks in the game, most notably Chelsea, who have been interested in Falcao during his term at Porto, and are rumored to be preparing a January bid worth £45M, though it could fall short of Atletico's valuation of the player. Real Madrid were also rumored to be interested for his services, with Falcao's father claiming his son always wanted to play for Atletico's arch rivals. Manchester City were also mentioned to be monitoring a highly rated striker.

Falcao has 4 more years left on his contract, but could go sooner, rather than later. Some would argue that a player of his quality deserves to be fighting for silverware, and though Atletico was quite successful in Europe, particularly last term, their domestic goals in the past few seasons were mainly Champions League qualification. His switch to EPL would definitely benefit the league, and would please many English fans. Abramovich is known for his lavish spending and could sanction an improved offer, should they fail to convince Atletico with £45M.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Roma rejected a €100M offer for De Rossi

Roma general director, Franco Baldini said to Sky Sports Italia to have rejected an offer worth €100M for the holding midfielder, Daniele De Rossi. He also went on to claim that De Rossi is likely to spend his entire career at Rome, having recently signed a contract.

"De Rossi? He will stay at Roma his entire life. We rejected many approaches for him, including a €100M offer."

De Rossi has seen his value increase after impressive performances for Italy during the quest for the Euro 2012 glory, and has helped the club to the silver medal. Manchester City rumored to be interested in him yet again, but Mancini opted for a younger and cheaper alternative, having signed Javi Garcia from Benfica for £18M.

De Rossi has spent his entire career at Rome-based club, making his debut in 2001, at the age of 18. So far he has made 283 appearances for the club and bagged 33 goals during his career. He also made 80 appearances for the Italian national side, scoring eleven times.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Torres: I can fill in for Drogba

Spanish striker is feeling confident ahead of the ongoing season and is determined to fill the gap left by the departure of Didier Drogba.

Torres had a slow start to his Chelsea career, falling under the £50M price tag pressure, but eventually improved and is looking for another successful season with the Blues after helping them win the Champions League last term.

Speaking about departed striker, Torres said: "Didier is not here anymore, so there is more responsibility for me and I'm ready for the challenge. Now I'm looking for new personal targets, like getting as many goals as possible, hopefully more than my best season at Liverpool."

He also spoke on the team goals this season: "I think all the fans are excited about the Premier League again, after a couple of years of not winning the trophy. So the Premier League is a big target and maybe we can become the first team to win two Champions Leagues in a row. I think it's a good time, especially for me, to give something back to the fans."

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Robin van Persie forced off the field with an injury

Newly signed Manchester United striker, Robin van Persie, who bagged 4 goals in 3 appearances for the Red Devils, has been taken of the field in a match Netherlands played against Hungary in their quest for World Cup qualification, after a disappointing Euro 2012 spell.

Ex-Arsenal captain was substituted at the half time by Klass-Jan Huntelar, after a challenge by Roland Juhasz. He is suspected to have a serious thigh injury, but the duration he'll be forced to spend on the sidelines is yet to be determined.

Van Persie was a scorer for Netherlands in their 2:0 victory against Turkey last friday.

Monday, September 10, 2012

City to offer Silva new £200,000-a-week deal

English champions, Manchester City, are set to offer their prized asset, David Silva, a new contract worth £10.5M per annum. City officials have held talks with players agents and have agreed terms of the deal that will make him one of the top earners at the Manchester club. Silva's current contract sees him earn £140,000 peer week and has just 2 years left to run.

Silva was brought to Etihad Stadium 2 seasons ago for a fee of £30M from Spanish club Valencia and has been a hit in England, helping City win the Barclays title last season. He has made a total of 102 appearances for Citizens and bagged 14 goals and 37 assists during.

During the summer, Real Madrid were thought to be interested for his services, but opted to buy Luka Modric, arguably a cheaper alternative.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Phil Jones out for 2 months

Manchester United defender, Phil Jones underwent a knee surgery and the club has confirmed that he'll be out of the action for two months. Jones is yet to make an appearance for United this season, due to his injury troubles.

The official statement on the website says "Phil Jones has had a surgery on a knee meniscus tear sustained in training that will require six to eight weeks of rehabilitation."

£16.5M signing from Blackburn Rovers has made 29 appearances for Red Devils last season, but hasn't made a start this season and, as it appears, will be forced to wait a little longer before returning to first team action.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Juventus remain keen on Llorente

Turin-based club has been searching for a striker throughout the summer, but didn't manage to sign anyone. Despite being strongly linked with Llorente, they were unable to agree a fee for a striker who has one year left on his contract, as Athletic Bilbao refused to accept any offers lower than his release clause, believed to be €36M, something Juve were unable to shell out for Llorente.

During the summer transfer window, Juve were linked with a few other strikers, including Robin van Persie, who was close to moving to Old Lady, but once again, Juventus was unable to agree a fee for the Dutchman, having offered just £8M for his services, which was swiftly rejected by Arsenal, and RVP later moved to Man United. Other mentioned potential signings were Jovetic and Cavani, but deals were never struck.

In January, Llorente will have just 6 months remaining on his Athletic Bilbao contract and has previously confirmed that he will not be signing an extension, Basque club will be keen to cash in on their target man, who looks set to leave the club, after spending 15 years there.

Spanish giants, Barcelona and Real Madrid were also rumored to be interested in a cut-price deal for the striker.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Mario Balotelli: Top 7 moments

7. Darts
After becoming bored at the training grounds, Balotelli thought of a way to kill the boredom. For some reason, he decided it might be fun to throw darts at the younger players of the squad. Balotelli was not sanctioned for this incident, as none of the 'victims' were injured.

6. "My whole season was shit"
In a post-match interview after a FA Cup game against Stoke City, Mario gives a review the previous season. Not very thorough to say the least...

5. "I made it, I'll take it"
Even during his time at Inter, Balotelli was well known for his controversial behavior. In a match against Palermo, having won a penalty, he wanted to be the one to take it, forcing Javier Zanetti to interfere.
4. Spoiling the party
After Inter managed to beat Barcelona in that treble-winning season by 3:1 at San Siro, Mario spoiled the celebrations for Inter fans by taking off his shirt and throwing it in anger on the pitch.
3. Failed backheel
In a friendly game against LA Galaxy, Mario tried to be clever and in a one-on-one chance against the keeper. He attempted to beat the goalie with a backheel, only to see his shot go wide of the goal. He was immediately taken out of the game during the 1st half by Mancini and booed by the fans.
2. Putting on AC Milan shirt
Another controversial moment during his time at Inter, during an interview, Balotelli was handed an AC Milan shirt with his name on it and camera later caught him putting the shirt on, causing even further trouble with already frustrated Inter fans.
1. Trouble with the bib
This one is definitely not one of his brightest moments, but is certainly the 'Balotelliest" thing he has ever done. Something considered to be a fairly easy task has proven a bit too difficult for the Italian, as he fails to put a bib on.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Raheem Sterling, Merseyside wonderkid

At the tender age of just 17, Jamaican-born English winger has broken into Liverpool squad and has shown no signs of immaturity. Sterling's biggest qualities are his pace and technique. He's great with the ball and off the ball as well and despite his age, lacks no strength when taking on defenders.

During the summer, tricky offensive winger was linked with a move to Tottenham, with London side offering £7.5M for him, but the offer was rejected by Liverpool.

Sterling has made his debut for Liverpool senior team in UEFA Europe League qualifier against Gomel, where Sterling replaced Joe Cole, match they managed to win 1:0. Sterling impressed instantly because, despite his age, he looked very comfortable and mature on the ball. He scored his first goal against Bayer Leverkusen, making a great run past Daniel Swaab and finishing with a lovely inside foot shot.

Sterling was handed league debut against Manchester City, and was arguably Liverpool's biggest threat, causing loads of trouble to their defence, particularly Kolo Toure, who found it difficult to contain the teenager.

Today, against Arsenal, youngster was given a green light ahead of Stewart Downing, who was close to Anfield exit during the summer, only 12 months after arriving from Aston Villa for a jaw dropping fee of £20M. Liverpool lost the match 2:0, but whenever they attacked, Sterling was involved. Easily their biggest threat yet again, he came close to scoring after a brilliant turn and a shot from a difficult angle that went wide after hitting the post. Definite improvement over Downing, Sterling has, as it seems, already pushed Downing out of the starting 11 and looks to stay that way.

He is yet to make a debut for the senior England side, but has made 13 appearances for U17 England and scored 3 goals.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

City, United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool: Who has done the best in the transfer window?

Manchester United

IN: Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund), Nick Powell (Crewe), Robin van Persie (Arsenal), Alexander Buttner (Vitesse), Angelo Henriquez (Universidad de Chile)
OUT: Ji-Sung Park (QPR), Michael Owen (Released), Tomasz Kuszczak (Brighton), Matty James (Leicester), Ritchie de Laet (Leicester), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham), Ezekiel Fryers (Standard Liege)

Having brought in Kagawa and van Persie and having sold a handful of fringe players, Man Utd are undoubtedly stronger than last term. Kagawa will offer plenty of creativity and flair, while RVP is sure to bang a bunch of goals, provided he stays fit, though his arrival was a bit of surprise, considering his age, large transfer fee, high wages and the attacking power Man Utd has in Rooney, Hernandez, Welbeck and Berbatov, who was later sold.

Other than that, Fergie decided to invest in some future products, as he always does, as he first brought in Nick Powell, talented Englishman from Crewe, after whom followed Alexander Buttner, 23 year old fullback and an 18 year old Chilean talent Angelo Henriquez.

Overall grade: B

Manchester City

IN: Richard Wright (Preston), Jack Rodwell (Everton), Scott Sinclair (Swansea), Maicon (Inter Milan), Matija Nastasic (Fiorentina), Javi Garcia (Benfica)
OUT: Owen Hargreaves (Released), Stuart Taylor (Reading), Nigel De Jong (AC Milan), Adam Johnson (Sunderland), Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham), Vladimir Weiss (Pescara), Stefan Savic (Fiorentina)

An unusually quite transfer window for the big spending Manchester side. English champions manager, Roberto Mancini felt his side could repeat the success of last year when they won EPL, and also challenge for the Champions League trophy. Not much is changed in starting lineup for the Citizens, though Javi Garcia is expected to make an instant impact, being paid for with £18M plus addons, Spaniard is expected to be a long-term replacement for aging Gareth Barry, who will turn 32 in February, with Jack Rodwell expected to be used in rotation.

Eyebrows sure were raised when Mancini decided to replace Adam Johnson with Scott Sinclair, and even more when he brought in Maicon on the deadline day from Inter. True, Maicon was the worlds best right back not 2 years ago, but has dropped in form drastically since and hasn't featured at Inter on regular basis.

Matija Nastasic, probably the least known name, yet almost the most expensive one, the Serbian teenager has caught the eye of many clubs after breaking into Fiorentina squad after just one season there, and Mancini decided to splash the money on yet another young ex-Partizan Belgrade defender, with hopes of this one turning out to be more successful than Stefan Savic, who was used in the deal to persuade Fiorentina to part with Nastasic.

Overall grade: C+

Chelsea FC

IN: Eden Hazard (Lille), Thorgan Hazard (Lens), Marko Marin (Werder Bremen), Oscar (Internacional), Cesar Azpilicueta (Marseille), Victor Moses (Wigan)
OUT: Salomon Kalou (Lille), Didier Drogba (Shenua), Michael Essien (Real Madrid), Jose Bosingwa (QPR), Romelu Lukaku (WBA), Kevin de Bruyne (Werder Bremen)

EPL's biggest spenders this season, as was expected after Roman Abramovich announced a summer shopping spree for Londoners. Biggest signing of the summer is Eden Hazard, 21 year old Belgian protege from Lille, who made an instant impact in the EPL. Marko Marin came from Werder Bremen for €9.8M, having snubbed Tottenham for European Champions, though he's not expected to be Di Matteo's first team choice.

After an impressive performances for Internacional and Brazilian national team, a 20 year old creative midfielder caught eye of many clubs across Europe, and opted to sign for Chelsea, but could see his chances limited this season, due to the large amount of attacking options Chelsea have.

As for Azpilicueta, he will face competition for the right-back place from Ivanovic, but after Serbs shaky performances, Azpilicueta could see first team opportunities very soon. Victor Moses, a long-term target who has been chased all summer has finally been signed and will provide depth in attack.

Overal grade: A-

Arsenal FC

IN: Olivier Giroud (Montpeiller), Lukas Podolski (Koln), Santi Cazorla (Malaga CF)
OUT: Manuel Almunia (Watford), Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad), Alex Song (Barcelona), Robin van Persie (Manchester United)

After a year long speculation over Robin van Persie's future, the Dutchman has left the club for rivals, Manchester United in a £24M deal, leaving Gunners significantly weaker, considering his contribution last season. Wenger signed Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud as replacement for the departing striker, but fans remain sceptical over their ability to reproduce van Persie's performances. Giroud had a great season with Montpeiller, having scored 21 goals in 36 performances, but will undoubtedly face stronger defenders in the EPL.

Biggest addition to Arsenal squad is undoubtedly Spanish playmaker, Santi Cazorla, signed from Malaga for just £15M, tricky Spaniard made an instant impact on his debut against Sunderland and produced another great performance against Stoke, but unfortunately, neither were enough for 3 points.

Arsenal are hopeful of securing 4th spot at the very least, but keeping in mind that Spurs have became arguably stronger during the transfer window, while Arsenal are inarguably weaker, getting 4th spot could prove difficult.

Overall grade: C-

Tottenham Hotspur

IN: Jan Vertonghen (Ajax), Gylfi Sigurdsson (Hoffenheim), Emmanuel Adebayor (Manchester City), Moussa Dembele (Fulham), Hugo Lloris (Lyon)
OUT: Steven Pienaar (Everton), Ledley King (Retired), Vedran Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow), Niko Kranjcar (Dynamo Kyev), Ryan Nelsen (QPR), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Giovani dos Santos (Mallorca), Sebastien Bassong (Norwich), Rafael van der Vaart (HSV)

After missing out on Champions League, despite finishing 4th in the league, an exodus of players was expected at White Hart Lane, but that didn't prove to be the case.

Their first signing was Gylfi Sigurdsson from Hoffenheim, having spent a loan at Swansea last season, Iceland international impressed Andre Villas-Boas as he managed to hijack a deal for the attacking midfielder from Liverpool, who seemed destined to sign him. They also signed Belgian defender, Jan Vertonghen. Versatile defender was long linked to Spurs and finally made a move this summer.

Truth be told, their arguably best player has left them for Real Madrid, but they found a replacement for Modric in Dembele, who didn't wait a long time to justify his price tag, having scored a beauty against Norwich earlier today, though it wasn't enough to earn the first victory for his side and his coach.

Tottenham were linked to numerous players during the summer, but have failed to sign most of their primary targets. Leandro Damiao, a long term target didn't arrive, as Levy failed to agree fee with Internacional. It is believed that a fee has been agreed with Athletic Bilbao for powerful striker, Fernando Llorente, though his wage demands of £150k a week weren't matched by Tottenham. Instead, Tottenham have signed Emmanuel Adebayor from Man City, having previously spent a season at London-based club, he's no stranger to their play and will have no problems adapting to the game.

On the deadline day, they were linked to several players, most notably Joao Moutinho, playmaker of Porto. Having agreed the fee with Porto, believed to be £22M, player seemed destined to rejoin his old coach at White Hart Lane, but there were problems with personal terms, and transfer was called off, which resulted in Spurs picking up yet another player under Liverpool's noses, Clint Demspey of Fulham. They've also signed French captain, Hugo Lloris, highly rated goalkeeper has made his switch after Spurs finally agreed a fee with Lyon.

Overall grade: B-

Liverpool FC

IN: Fabio Borini (Roma), Joe Allen (Swansea), Oussama Assaidi (Heerenveen), Nuri Sahin (Real Madrid), Samed Yesil (Bayer Leverkusen)
OUT: Maxi Rodriguez (Newell's), Dirk Kuyt (Fenerbahce), Alberto Aquilani (Fiorentina), Craig Bellamy (Cardiff), Andy Carroll (West Ham), Charlie Adam (Stoke), Jay Spearking (Bolton)

Definitely the biggest underachievers last several terms would have to be Liverpool. It sure has been a while since they were at the top, challenging for silverware and Anfield side is looking to get back into top, though competition looks very stiff. Goal for this term is 4th spot which leads to Champions League, but after fairly quiet transfer window, it doesn't look very bright for Reds.

Liverpool went for the younger players this season and managed to acquire few of them, most notably Fabio Borini, Joe Allen and Nuri Sahin. Borini came from Roma after an impressive season in the Serie A to try out his luck in EPL yet again, so he is no stranger to the league. Same goes for young Welshman, Joe Allen, a £15M signing from Swansea, who previously worked with Brendan Rodgers and helped Swansea finish 11th in the season, something almost no one saw coming.

Nuri Sahin was a target for Arsenal and Tottenham, and actually came close to joining Arsenal, but Liverpool managed to hijack a deal for the Turkish-born German and bring him to the Anfield for a season-long loan. His last season is one to forget, having spend majority of the time on the sidelines or on the bench at Madrid, Sahin will try his luck in the Premier League.

Other than that, Liverpool brought in Oussama Assaidi, highly rated Moroccan offensive winger and he will surely be given a chance to impress in the coming matches. Signing of Samed Yesil from Leverkusen is one for the future, considering he's only 18 years old.

Liverpool have also been linked with numerous players, but failed to bring in many of their targets, missing out on Sigurdsson and Demspey, who both signed for Tottenham Hotspur.

Overall grade: D-