Thursday, January 22, 2009

A few notes from the week

I know the week isn't over yet...but...

FA Cup
Bayern Munich (in a tight title race), Barcelona (59 goals in 19 games) and AC Milan (Kaka? Beckham? Pato?) will be in league action this weekend, but why would anyone want to watch such small clubs, arrivistes if you will, when there's Watford on the telly? That's right, the FA Cup is back.

Live blogging
Premier League Punditry, our weekly live blog at Sporting Madness went rather well in its inaugural instalment. Amrit and Andrew will be liveblogging Manchester United's 7-7 draw with Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup this Saturday, so don't miss it.

Willy Sagnol
Bayern Munich and France right-back Willy Sagnol looks set to retire from football imminently, in large part due to an Achilles' tendon inj...WHO CARES?

Tactical nous lacking
On a tactical note - Jose Mourinho "organised" Inter in 4-3-3, 4-3-1-2 and 4-4-2 formations during the 3-1 defeat to Atalanta last weekend, perhaps as some bizarre tribute to each of the goals they conceded. La Repubblica later overheard Mourinho telling his squad "sei una squadra de merda" - "you're a shit team". I've been saying that for about seven years now, let me manage them.

Don't mess with the Yoann
Yoann Gourcuff, quite possibly the best French player at the moment, is having the time of his life on loan at Bordeaux from AC Milan. Having never broken into the squad at the San Siro, he's lived up to his title as the "new Zidane" better than others such as Samir Nasri and Hatem Ben Arfa ever have. The best part of it? AC Milan cared so little for him this summer that they gave Bordeaux first option to buy him for a pre-agreed €13million fee. Considering the fact that I (and Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United) rate him at around €20-25million at the moment, I suspect the suits in Milan are kicking themselves. With lovely Armani shoes, mind you.

Transfer highs and lows

Best of the week: Wilson Palacios to Tottenham Hotspur (£14million, finally a Carrick replacement!)
Clanger of the week: Nigel de Jong to Manchester City (£19million, contract clause meant he would have cost only £2million in the summer)

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