Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Falcao arrival at Chelsea could mean game over for Torres

According to various reports, Falcao is number 1 target for the European Champions. Colombian has been sensational since his switch from Porto in summer 2011, bagging a total of 49 goals in 59 appearances and helping them win Europa League last term.

Currently considered among the utmost best goalscorers in the world of football, you'd expect a player of his standing to be playing for a club stronger than Atletico Madrid, who, despite their European success last term, have failed to challenge domestically in a long while now.

Chelsea are preparing a bid around £50M, same sum they shelled out for Fernando Torres, who turned out to be one of the most disappointing signings in Abramovich's reign at London club. Spaniard never really rediscovered his Liverpool form in the blue shirt and has scored only 18 goals in 82 appearances.

The two are arguably very alike, in their style of play, though Falcao's stats speak for themselves, as do Torres's. Bringing Falcao to Stamford Bridge would definitely mean trouble for Torres, who hasn't really shone lately and is doing little to convince Roberto Di Matteo he's worthy of being Chelsea's lone striker in their 4-3-3 system.

Fernando was the reason why Drogba left for China, despite his performances in the Champions League that helped Londoners lift the title and later being named in the Ballon d'Or shortlist. Torres could face the same fate as Ivorian, should Falcao arrive.

Atletico are keen to keep their star man, but Falcao himself declared he's unsure of what the future holds. Should the Spanish team manage to keep him at Vicente Calderón, they'll face an even bigger challenge to keep him in the summer.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Tottenham looking stronger than Arsenal at the moment

These two teams are obviously biggest contenders for that 4th spot that leads to Champions League and it feels that Spurs are ahead of them at the moment, form-wise judging from their last 5 games, in which they've managed to win 4 and today showed a lot of quality against Chelsea, while missing 4 key players.

Last year, there's little doubt that Arsenal we're incredibly dependent on Robin van Persie. Now they appear to be even weaker than last season. Sure Cazora has been magnificent for them, and Podolski is looking good, but Giroud doesn't look as good of a signing, judging from these few games so far. They've also lost Song and replaced him with injury-prone Diaby at the center.

On the other hand, Tottenham are looking way stronger, defence was never as strong, provided players stay fit and Dembele appears to be on par with Modric's contribution, plus return to form of Defoe and Lennon is really showing lately. Probably would have been better off with keeping VDV and, but I'm sure, given time, Dempsey will find a way to slot into our system, scoring 17 goals in EPL for a mid-table team is certainly not a coincidence.

January could be season-changing moment for both clubs, with funds available to spend. Arsenal have identified Atletico Madrid's Adrian as their primary target and could snare him if they meet the release clause in his contract which states that Adrian can leave Madrid for €18M. Spurs could be back on their summer targets, but a push for Moutinho appears unlikely. It wouldn't be a surprise if they went for Remy, though, as Marseille is looking to sell some of their star players due to debt and Remy, as well as Andre Ayew, who was previously linked to Arsenal and whose price tag stands at €14M.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Can diving be justified?

Players who tend to dive rarely get media backing for their actions and are often universally hated for their actions, but one must wonder, are those actions justified to some degree?

There's no doubt football has changed a whole lot when compared to several years ago in both good and bad way. Managers significance during the game has increased with tactical preparation being the key to winning matches and not all choose to go about it in a fair way.

We've seen a lot of talented players just vanish and disappear from the face of the earth within a couple of seasons, particularly in the English Premier League, due to the rough reputation it has earned, where fouls can be often overlooked in favor of defenders and some teams have found loopholes in the football rules to gain advantage. Stoke City comes to mind with them being one of the dirtiest team since their promotion. Even though team is arguably short of naturally talented players and has been since their fairly recent promotion to the EPL, they've managed to survive for 3 seasons now, courtesy of their defensive-minded approach to almost every match.

Liverpool's Luis Suarez has been causing a lot of controversy since his move from Ajax in January 2011, mostly attributed to his diving, but lately, Gareth Bale has been under fire from the media for his behavior, but Bale is one of the most fouled players in Premier League and probably often needs protection from the referees. He recently called out Charlie Adam for a rough tackle in friendly game between Tottenham and Liverpool during summer, this being Adam's second brutal challenge on Bale within a year.

Theatrics can often bring disgust to fans faces, but there's little doubt game could benefit from better player protection.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Kagawa vs Reus: Who represents a better value?

In the summer of 2010, largely unknown Japanese made a €350,000 switch to Borussia Dortmund and hardly anyone could have expected Kagawa to reach the heights he has managed to and eventually earn himself a move to Old Trafford.

Kagawa wasn't a first team choice upon his arrival for Jürgen Klopp, but managed to have a fine season at Dortmund, bagging 12 goals in 28 appearances, though he spent half the season on the sidelines due to his injury he picked up playing for Japan national side. His next season was a lot more successful. Kagawa managed to make 43 appearances and score 17 goals, helping his team defend the Bundesliga title.

Having just 1 year remaining on his contract, Kagawa attracted a lot of attention, as many clubs wanted a bargain deal for the attacking midfielder. He eventually made a move to Manchester United for an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of €15M, but Borussia wasted no time in finding a replacement. They activated a release clause in Marco Reus' contract and paid Borussia Mönchengladbach a sum of €17.1M for the German who scored 21 goals in 37 games for Mönchengladbach in season 2011/12.

Marco Reus has spent majority of his youth career at Borussia Dortmund, training with their youth system from ages 7 to 17, when he finally made a move to Rot Weiss Ahlen.

Both players have made strong starts for their clubs, Kagawa scoring twice in 5 league appearances for Man Utd, while Reus already has 4 goals to his tally in total of 6 games. There's little doubt that Dortmund will miss Kagawa's creativity, but it is fair to say that Reus' goalscoring ability will more than compensate for his departure, provided that Reus continues his fine form.