At the latest Arsenal vs. Dortmund Champions League match, a pair of famous faces were spotted in the stands. Spanish tennis champ Rafael Nadal was joined by former Arsenal skipper and French international Thierry Henry.
EDIT: AHAHAHA I just realised after five hours that this is Swiss tennis player Roger Federer, not Rafael Nadal. Oh wow, what a gaff.
Coffee is Instant. Success is Not.
By Azeem Banatwalla
Andre Villas-Boas’s visage has leapt across many extremes over the last month and a half. From quiet confidence to near-childish defiance, and more recently, after falling at home to Arsenal and Liverpool, a mix of anger and worry.
Football fans can be fickle in an almost cruel way when it comes to club managers. It comes with the territory. If a club isn’t doing well, it’s assumed that the man at the helm is at fault. “Get out the axe, let’s have his head!”, they scream. The footballing equivalent of that barbaric scene in Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto. But hold on a minute, won’t you?
The only thing that comes to mind to add to this article, for me, is that entire situation regarding the firing of Ancelotti. He dragged the team up from an awful first half of the season to a position to challenge a very strong Man U side for the title - and still got fired even though he had won titles in the past!
Andre Villas-Boas is a talented young manager but being given a squad of ageing superstars past their prime, a lack of youth development and an expectation to win everything is hardly the easiest situation. I understand why Abramovic would fire Villas-Boas, but I certainly wouldn’t agree with it.
The Legend of Arsene Wenger
If Arsene Wenger’s career was a Kung-Fu movie, we would be in the part where the search is on for the villain who poisoned Arsene’s rice. Taking cues from the charismatic Frenchman, all eyes would be on the usual suspects, the media, referees, disloyal players, Roy Keane, Sam Allardyce, and the most obvious targets, those pin-stripe-suited figures throwing around Scrooge McDuck money for fun. But this film’s twist is that Arsene may have stubbornly poisoned his own rice.
Persistent Rumours That Just Won’t Go Away
When Cesc Fabregas moved from Arsenal to Barcelona, nobody was surprised. It was the worst kept secret in football at the time. I follow neither club and yet I still had an in depth opinion on the Spanish midfielder’s return to alma-mata of sorts. Xavi and Iniesta, amongst other Barça stars, had been making what seemed weekly trips to the press office to tell Cesc to “come home” for a good year before it happened. When it finally happened, I felt relieved to know that I wouldn’t have to be objected to any more “Xavi says Cesc wants out at Emirates” or “Iniesta says Fabregas wants Barcelona move”.
Another persistent rumour, and one that seems much less likely to materialise, is the constant inferring of Kaká’s return to the San Siro. I want it to happen, I am a milanista and have a poster of Kaká adorning my wall, my favourite football video of all time is that amazing goal against Manchester United, I would love nothing more than Kaká to return to Milan… but it isn’t going to happen. The entire reason he left was because Milan couldn’t match the wage offers of Madrid, there is no reason why Kaká would take a pay cut to return - and it would have to be a considerable one, considering the wages of players such as Ibrahmiovic and Robinho. And although Kaká is flawless, handsome, kindhearted and talented, there is a considerable depth at midfielder at the moment, including hat-tricksters Prince Boateng and Nocerino. In short, Kaká is not returning to Milan. Not soon, at least.
Another rumour that seems to have been reborn, and the one that sparked me to write this piece, is the apparent Corinthians move for out-of-favour (to say the least) forward, Carlos Tevez. There was a reported offer of some forty million Euros being floated before the transfer window closed, and now there is a supposed sixteen million offer for the Argentine’s return to the Sau Paulo club, according to Corinthian’s president Andres Sanchez. However, the Brazilian side’s director has other things in mind, claiming that it would not be favourable to upset the apple cart with an unstable player.
Whether it is to Brazil, Spain, Italy or even Russia, Mancini has made it clear he does not want Carlos Tevez, so this “rumour” may talk itself into reality much as the Fabregas story did, and maybe I can hold out hope for a Kaká return to Milan or even a switch to the rossenerri for one of my other favourite players…
Thats the thing with rumours, though. You never know which ones are true and which ones are just wasting up print space that could be devoted to the flawless Kaká.