Chelsea feeling the credit squeeze?

The current economic climate around the world seems to have affected everyone. According to The Times newspaper, Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari has been told he will have to sell players if he wants to bring in new faces in January.

If this is really true that Chelsea and Roman Abramovich are really feeling the pinch, then Manchester City might just be the only team around who spend any money in the transfer window. Surely they still have some of their five hundred billion pounds left?

(Source – The Times)

Fri 31 October, 2008
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Video – Footballs top 10 strikers now

Who are the current best ten strikers in the world? Here’s my suggestion. What do you think?

  • 10. Miroslav Klose
  • Club: Bayern Munich
    Games (Goals): 36 (13)
    Country: Germany
    Games (Goals): 86 (44)

  • 9. David Trezeguet
  • Club: Juventus
    Games (Goals): 218 (130)
    Country: France
    Games (Goals): 71 (34)

  • 8. Emmanuel Adebayor
  • Club: Arsenal
    Games (Goals): 88 (41)
    Country: Togo
    Games (Goals): 38 (34)

  • 7. Samuel Eto’o
  • Club: Barcelona
    Games (Goals): 115 (83)
    Country: Cameroon
    Games (Goals): 73 (36)

  • 6. David Villa
  • Club: Valencia
    Games (Goals): 109 (67)
    Country: Spain
    Games (Goals): 40 (23)

  • 5. Ruud Van Nistelroy
  • Club: Real Madrid
    Games (Goals): 67 (45)
    Country: Holland
    Games (Goals): 64 (33)

  • 4. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
  • Club: Inter
    Games (Goals): 61 (37)
    Country: Sweden
    Games (Goals): 56 (20)

  • 3. Didier Drogba
  • Club: Chelsea
    Games (Goals): 113 (50)
    Country: Ivory Coast
    Games (Goals): 52 (33)

  • 2. Fernando Torres
  • Club: Liverpool
    Games (Goals): 39 (29)
    Country: Spain
    Games (Goals): 57 (17)

  • 1. Lionel Messi
  • (I appreciate that Messi is not an out and out striker but I didn’t include him in the midfield list and he deserves to be the best somewhere!)

    Club: Barcelona
    Games (Goals): 84 (36)
    Country: Argentina
    Games (Goals): 33 (10)

    Fri 31 October, 2008
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    Steve Gerrard or Frank Lampard? You decide.

    Sorry to bring this one up again but I didn’t start it, John Terry did!

    The Chelsea skipper has said that he firmly believes that Frank Lampard is the best midfield player in England.

    “Frank does it season after season. He is different class. In training he is unbelievable and he works so hard on his shooting and his running off the ball. We will do a warm-down and he will be doing laps around the field on his own. He is an inspiration to everyone in the team to really push on and give it everything in our short careers.”

    Whilst there are several other contenders around the country, I would imagine that this would boil down to a straight choice between Lampard and Liverpool’s Steve Gerrard. There have been many arguments about whether they can play together, but which one is actually the better player?

    It is not possible to compare players in a totally scientific way, but there are some categories where you can compare like for like. We’ll try to do that here and see if a clear winner emerges.

    Despite an apparent loss of form last season, Lampard continues to be a driving force for Chelsea in the middle of the park, and scored a wonderful chip during a comfortable 3-0 win over Hull on Wednesday.

    Gerrard has also had his doubters but is still the ‘main man’ at Liverpool, and when they needed someone with a cool head to take a crucial penalty on Wednesday, there was nobody else in the frame.

    We can look at statistics in relation to games played, goals scored, team honours won, England caps and goals and personal awards won, particularly those selected by other players.

    International Career

    In relation to England caps, Gerrard has seventy and has scored fourteen goals and Lampard has sixty-six and has also scored fourteen goals. That is too close to award that section to either of them. I would say that both players have performed, on average, slightly below the level for England than we all think they could do when watching them at their clubs.

    It is impossible to award this category to either man and therefore the score remains at:

    Steve Gerrard 0-0 Frank Lampard

    Club career

    We will look at the statistics since the 2001-02 season when both players were established at their current clubs and with the national side.

    Steve Gerrard has played three hundred and fifty two games in all competitions, scoring ninety goals. Frank Lampard has played three hundred and eighty three games and scored one hundred and seventeen goals.

    Lampard nicks the award on games played but of course, he hasn’t been subject to Rafa Benitez’s wonderful rotation policy. In any case, he has only played an average of about four extra games per season, so I am not giving this section to him based purely on that.

    The ratio of goalscoring needs to be used as well. For Gerrard the figure is one goal every 3.70 games. Lampard comes in at one goal every 3.27 games.

    Based on the fact that Lampard has played slightly more games and scores slightly more often, this section goes to him.

    Steve Gerrard 0-1 Frank Lampard

    Team honours

    Steve Gerrard has collected seven medals with Liverpool in the time period we are looking at. He has won the Champions League, two Uefa Super Cups, the FA Cup, the League Cup and two community shields.

    Frank Lampard has collected six medals. Two Premier Leagues, the FA Cup, two League Cups and the Community Shield.

    I’m not sure you can split them on this one. I think Stevie G would probably swap his Champions League medal for Lamps’ Premier League one, but Lamps would probably be happy to do that swap.

    After this season, one of the players might take a serious lead, but at the moment it is too close to call.

    Steve Gerrard 0-1 Frank Lampard

    Individual honours

    Both players have been recognised for their ability and they have been awarded the title of Uefa Club Player of the Year on one occasion. They have also both been selected in the FIFpro world team and the Uefa team of the year, but Gerrard has the edge on both of those statistics.

    Steve Gerrard has once been voted as the players player of the year by his fellow professionals, an award that Lampard has never won. That puts Steve Gerrard in the lead and the final point to sway things in his favour is that on five occasions his fellow professionals have selected him in their Premier League team of the year. Frank Lampard has also been selected, but only on three occasions.

    Great record for both, but there can only be one winner.

    Steve Gerrard 1-1 Frank Lampard

    There we are then. After all that I’ve got them absolutely level again. Come on, you can decide once and for all. Who is the best, Gerrard or Lampard?

    Fri 31 October, 2008
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    United have no fears about rivals City

    Manchester United chief executive David Gill insists they do not fear rivals City’s money in the upcoming transfer markets.

    City was taken over by one of the world’s richest men in September.

    Gill said: “It would be naive to think City won’t make some moves and have some sort of impact.

    “Yet while they clearly have plenty of cash, they have pulled back from saying they were going to buy this or that player for a lot of money.

    “It doesn’t just boil down to money. Clearly it is important but it is how you spend it, invest with it, what you do with it, having those budgets and parameters.

    “We work on the principle that we cannot afford to make a mistake.”

    [Source: The Sun]

    Fri 31 October, 2008
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    Chivas desperate to win a playoff series

    Chivas USA midfielder Jesse Marsch has admitted that they want to win a playoff series for the first time, for it to be a successful season.

    The goats will face Real Salt Lake on Saturday in the Western Conference semifinal.

    “If we want to feel like it’s a successful season we would have to say that getting past the first round would be necessary, especially with the way the year has gone and the way last year went,” Marsch said.

    “It’s been a battle for us for sure. I think that were trying to create a real winning mentality here and just getting to the playoffs can’t be good enough.”

    Forward Alecko Eskandarian added: “It’s very important but we’re not worried about making history, we’re worried about making the best out of this season with this team. We feel that we have a good group of guys that has a chance to do something special.”

    [Source: MLSnet.com]

    Fri 31 October, 2008
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    Levy blames Ramos for selling Berbatov

    Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy says axed boss Juande Ramos is to blame for selling star striker Dimitar Berbatov to Manchester United.

    Berbatov joined United for £30.8million on transfer deadline day.

    Levy said: “There has never been a player signed or sold by the club that the coach has not supported and it was the coach who decided to let Dimitar go, even though we didn’t have a replacement.

    “We would have kept Berbatov even though he wanted to leave.

    “But Juande managed the team and his advice was that he didn’t want a player that didn’t want to be in his squad.

    “He thought it would be detrimental to the team as a whole. I backed his advice.”

    [Source: The Sun]

    Fri 31 October, 2008
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    Mutu will not undergo surgery

    Fiorentina ace Adrian Mutu will not need to undergo surgery to his knee, according to club doctor Paolo Manetti.

    Mutu missed the clash against Inter on Wednesday, because of his knee problem.

    “We have decided to take a conservative approach, so we will not operate his knee,” said Manetti.

    “This is the best solution and we believe everything will work out fine. Adrian has been suffering recently and his injury was aggravated during the match against Palermo.

    “We thought he would have been able to recover shortly, but yesterday he was painful so we all agreed to rest him.”

    Mutu will along with Alberto Gilardino also miss the game against Siena this weekend. Gilardino is out suspended, due to his handball goal last weekend.

    [Source: Gazzetta dello Sport]

    Fri 31 October, 2008
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    Leonardi hails Chilean sensation Sanchez

    Udinese director general Pietro Leonardi admits that he is impressed with the way Chilean sensation Alexis Sanchez have played recently.

    The 19-year-old scored the opener in the 2-0 win over Catania on Wednesday.

    “He has impressive qualities,” Leonardi told Radio Kiss Kiss. “He is getting used to all of the mechanisms of Italian football and if he continues on this road, he will become a very important player.”

    Udinese are currently at the top of the Serie A along with Napoli.

    Leonardi continued on Pasquale Marino’s impressive start to the season: “I have always had a motto. Games can be won through single episodes, while to reach our objectives application and beautiful play are needed.”

    “I don’t want to appear to be taking the mickey though, to speak of the Champions League or something else seems to me to be an exaggeration.”

    “We live a week at a time, we concentrate on our tasks and those that present themselves one by one. We do not need to create useless pressures in this group.”

    “But we have to protect ourselves in the next game with Genoa, a game that we will naturally look to win.”

    [Source: Radio Kiss Kiss]

    Fri 31 October, 2008
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    Galliani wants Scudetto success

    AC Milan vice president Adriano Galliani admits that their main goal this season is to win the Scudetto.

    The Rossoneri had a poor star to the season but are now undefeated since mid-September and have conceded just three goals on their past seven league matches.

    “Our main goal for the season is to win the Scudetto,” said Galliani.

    “Before the match against Siena, the players asked me not to leave the results of other teams on the board, which is something that would not have happened in previous years,” he added.

    “We are one step away from the top of the table, and the players are clearly determined and focused solely on their own results, which is great for the club.”

    [Source: Tuttosport]

    Fri 31 October, 2008
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    Chinese footballer banned 10 years for attacking referee

    A Chinese player has been banned for 10 years and another for five years after attacking a referee who showed one of their teammates a second yellow card.

    The incident occurred during a match between Huantai Classic FC and Zibo Industrial Institution (ZII) on October 18, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said.

    According to reports, the referee was accosted by the two players after showing a second yellow card to teammate Zhou Peilin.

    During the argument, Jiang Wei, who was banned for five years, was alleged to have pushed and kicked the ref while Zhang Don grabbed his red and yellow cards as well as the fourth official's match report.

    The referee abandoned the match when the ZII team left the field before the 90 minutes were up.

    “We will never tolerate such disgraceful behaviour in our own city league,” said Zibo FA General Secretary Wang Xuejun.

    “Anyone who misbehaves and doesn't respect sportsmanship and fair play in football will be punished. We are proud of our Zibo City league, therefore everyone must take good care of it.”

    The Zibo City League is part of the AFC's Vision China Project.

    The incident was the latest to mar football in China, with the national league previously mired in corruption and gambling scandals as well as dismal fan attendance numbers.

    Fri 31 October, 2008
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