Luis Suárez is an amazing football player (unlike some of his on and off the field childish antics) who continues to amaze football fans across the world. Take a look at his two most recent goals (scored today), sheer brilliance!
Lazar Marković from FC Partizan Belgrade is an amazing talent and someone who will undoubtedly play for the largest European clubs in years to come.
Keep an eye on him as many big clubs have over the past year. Last month FC Barcelona called to wish him a happy 18th birthday – you think they are thinking of making an offer as early as this summer? 😉 Other teams who have shown interest thus far are Chelsea and Liverpool. Not a bad company to keep.
Cup competitions are generally known to surprise and enable less known teams to advance and win some trophies. However, this is not the case in England this season. This year’s finalists are two big clubs, Chelsea and Liverpool.
Could this be the only trophy Chelsea wins this year as they have no shot in the English Premier League (EPL) and defeating Barcelona in the Champions League will be very difficult.
Summer transfer window is closed, lots of money was spent and here’s who was paid the most.
|1. Sergio Agüero||(Atletico Madrid – Manchester City)||€45 million|
|2. Javier Pastore||(Palermo – Paris Saint Germain)||€43 million|
|3. Radamel Falcao||(Porto – Atletico Madrid)||€40 million|
|4. Fábio Coentrão||(Benfica – Real Madrid)||€30 million|
|5. Cesc Fàbregas||(Arsenal – Barcelona)||€29 million|
|6. Samir Nasri||(Arsenal – Manchester City)||€27.5 million|
|7. Juan Mata||(Valencia – Chelsea)||€26.7 million|
|8. Samuel Eto’o||(Inter Milan – Anzhi Makhachkala)||€26 million|
|9. Alexis Sánchez||(Udinese – Barcelona)||€26 million|
|10. Stewart Downing||(Aston Villa – Liverpool)||€22.8 million|
Money well spent?
Samir Nasri signs for Manchester City for a reported £22,000,000 transfer fee. Nasri was recently offered a £90,000 per week contract to stay at Arsenal which he turned down, so it’s expected that he’s salary will nearly double at Manchester City.
Considering he joined Arsenal in 2008 for £15,800,000 from the financial standpoint it looks like Arsène Wenger profited and made a good decision. On the other hand, having lost both of his main midfielders, Fabregas and now Nasri could Arsenal really afford not to spend? In tough economic times (for most at least) not spending money on lavish and newsworthy transfers has been his M.O., but could he continue to do and still expect to win the ever elusive title? I don’t think so. As a matter of fact, watching them lose to Liverpool at home three days ago made me believe that it is time for Wenger to leave. He’s been at Arsenal for 15 years now and while he probably believes he could, not everybody can deliver like Sir Alex Ferguson and leave a winning legacy (Ferguson joined Manchester United when they had 7 titles, last season they won their 19th!). If Arsenal (read: Arsène Wenger) doesn’t bring in at least one great player at each of the lines (defense, midfield, attack) they have nothing to look forward to this season.
I know it’s still too early to make predictions, but Manchester United looks sharp and ready; Manchester City is not too far behind (even though they will need to sell some players soon); Liverpool hasn’t been impressive but even so they beat Arsenal 0:2; Bolton Wanderers’ have been a real breath of fresh air so far and the list goes on. In short, unless they invest Arsenal will not finish this season in the top third come May of 2012. Mark my words!
The best football league in the world has began their new season. English Premier League (EPL) or Barclays Premier League (as its been known for last 20 years) has been entertaining fans all around the world for decades with a physical no-nonsense approach to the sport which they (English) have also invented.
Having shared my affinities towards EPL up front it’s time to provide a brief review of some the games which took place this weekend.
First game first, Liverpool played a great first half then all of a sudden they went back to their play of season 2011, without ideas in the final third of the pitch, without creativity or attacking force.
Arsenal wasn’t impressive at all and now with losing both Fabregas to Barcelona and Nasri to Manchester City, Arsène Wenger better do something, QUICK! If he chooses not to then maybe Arsenal owners could finally send that long overdue “good bye” letter to Mr. Wenger. Arsenal is a club with too much history and fan base not to win anything for the seventh year straight.
Manchester United players are not clicking just yet, which can be attributed to a ton of traveling and games they have played over the past month or so (including their USA tour). It is important to note that both Vidic and Ferdinand ended their first game of the season early due to injuries which could be a massive problem if their stay off the pitch becomes prolonged. On the other hand, Manchester United can never be counted out as they have showed time and time again that they fight until the end and often score in the final minutes of the game. Also, their luck is nothing to discount considering today’s Ashley Young’s lucky double deflection to guide the ball in against West Brom for their 82nd minute winner.
Still waiting to see Manchester City play tomorrow against Swansea City, the team which has been spending money as if they own their private mint, with nothing to show for it. Has Roberto Mancini (who I really respect from his Inter Milan) days gotten into something he can’t sort out?
Last team which could make a difference in this year’s title run is Chelsea of course, and their first game of the season is scheduled for…today!? What! I missed that match completely, I guess I will need to look it up and see how they played, but considering the scoreless draw it looks like they are not completely aligned just yet. I expect them to do much better than last season.
Tottenham, Aston Villa, Stoke City and a few others could also throw their bids in for this seasons title or at least placement into the top third of the table to ensure Champions League or Europa League qualifiers which guarantees great football.
In summary, it is very early to judge teams’ true strength, but everything points towards another interesting season of the Premier League.
UPDATE on August 15, 2011 @ 8:58 pm: Finally watched Manchester City vs. Swansea City 4:0 (0:0) and must say that Man City will definitely be one of the teams fighting for the title. They started a bit slow (first 20 minutes or so) and then they took control of the game completely. Final score of 4:0 could have been even higher if the wasn’t for the woodwork and several great saves by Swansea’s goalkeeper. It’s too early to call, but Manchester City looked sharp.