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Sunday, May 14, 2006

"For a player to ask for a transfer has opened everybody's eyebrows."

Oh no, not another baseball connection! Yes, it's time for what the folks in the major leagues call the hot stove heater. That's how ball players keep warm over the long winter, trying to figure out who's going where for the next season. Of course, in football most transfers happen over the summer. So, time for the cool air conditioner.

There are quite a few prospects out there for ambitious teams. The Toon clearly need a striker and a defender or two, plus perhaps a bit of midfield cover. Top options would be Horseface, Horsename, and some guy who plays for France called Chimbonda. Horsename has taken his knocks for not defending well enough, but he's the kind of exciting player who could be a dream in combination with Emre, Nobby, Parker, Dyer, or whoever's healthy....

And speaking of health, the most important thing for the Magpies to do this summer is to figure out the recurrent injury problems. Is it the pitch? Is it the trainer? Is it the climate? Is it the diet? TDH has said it before and will say it again. It's time for a Milan-style computerized fitness regimen with the highest quality medical attention available. Injuries have killed this team in three of the last four seasons, and it's time to sort things out once and for all.


Domenech's France squad makes it pretty clear that he'll be playing 4-3-3. Understanding how Swansong made it into the 23 is beyond TDH's mental capacity. It's also a bit puzzling that Cisse is preferred to Giuly on form, but TDH supposes that Giuly hasn't made any friends by talking out of turn. A Saha-Henry partnership could be quite dangerous. The midfield of Vieira and Zidane, with Dhorasoo or Makelele, is solid but aging. Thuram and Chimbonda stand out in defense, but that's definitely where they're weak. TDH figures they'll need to score three every match to spare Baldthez's blushes.

Van Basten's Netherlands had few surprises, but again, most of the brand names are on the front two lines, and it looks like a 4-3-3 again. With Robben and van Persie on the wings, there's a great choice of target men between Horseface, Kuijt and Vennegoor of the Longest Name on Record. Looks like another team that will need to score often, though TDH would prefer Van der Pinocchio to France's cue ball.


Ballack to Chelski - but where will he play? Lamps has a lock on the offensive central role, and Essien will be taking over for Makelele behind. There are already four wingers, though one or more may be on his way out (why so confident, Arjen?). Will Ballack be forced over to one side, playing in Schweinsteiger's usual slot at Bayern? Could happen, could happen....


Okay Mara, you can't blame Milan for giving up the scudetto to a team that's only lost once all season. But as Italian football has shown us time and time again, what seems permanent may not be. How many games did Moggi fix? We'll soon find out. And despite your worries, Mara, it seems like Milan hasn't been implicated... yet.


Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

what a game. I visited yesterday, in haste, and didn't comment, but that was the best cup final I can remember seeing. Of course, I had some horrible flashbacks, and this time it was happening to my favourite english side (thanks to one Young Joe), but what a game. Reo-Coker has got to replace the Mr. Men writer.

I'd rather not be awarded the leagues if Juve have been fixing games (which everyone in italy has suspected for years, if not decades). I'd prefer them to be declared 'vacant', like the European cup of 1995 (funnily enough, Milan were again the wronged side, and its come out recently that the Monaco players were given performance enhancing injections at half time).

It's funny, though - as James Richardson has said, if there was ever a side that didn't need to fix the league, it was this juve. they faded by the time they met Arsenal, but they were already lapping the competition.

7:58 AM  
Anonymous Tonto said...

Good blog! Want to contribute to the Alan Shearer tribute book? See for full details. Contributions must be in by the end of May. The book will be released in the autumn. Cheers!

1:02 PM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

Hmm, looks like a nice little publishing house, but do you think they know "tonto" means "fool" in Spanish?

And yeah, Mara, let's face it, Reo-Coker, King, Parker - there are several who could fill the "late holding player" spot better than Har-Greavesy. But hey, Sven's a lame duck and he can do whatever he wants....

2:49 PM  

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