Aleksandar Kolarov of Manchester City taking a practice shot…enjoy!
We are finally down to 16 clubs in the Champions League. Some of these draws look to be very exciting and could go either way, while others promise to be a one-sided affair.
Who will advance? Who will win it all?
From a recent Champions League match where Bayern Munich’s Tiki-Taka has been set to the Benny Hill tune and it really does make Manchester City look a little ridiculous…
Here’s a good example how NOT to clear the ball. Courtesy of Micah Richards from Manchester City vs. Ajax
Not that long ago, the other more famous Manchester club was at the top of the Barclays Premier League. Manchester United was up by five points which have melted after a draw and now a loss to their direct competitor for the title, Manchester City.
At least the EPL trophy won’t have to travel far, only to the other side of town, the town of Manchester.
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?
English Premier League continues full steam ahead and provides great games week after week. Today, I will focus on the top two.
Tottenham Hotspur – Manchester City (1:5) – not really much to say here other than once again, Man City is the team to keep an eye on, they will surprise many larger teams (their town neighbors), last season’s Champions League winners and few more. Also, Edin Džeko is firing on all cylinders, 4 goals today and 7 so far this season, simply amazing. He looks like he’s having fun and enjoying the game which (unlike last season) makes it look much easier.
Manchester United – Arsenal (8:2) – not much left to say, but Man Utd is going for their 20th title
Manchester United and Manchester City are the two dominant teams thus far. Chelsea is slowly waking up, but so far they have been more lucky than good.
First impression if often the most important one. As we can see, Stefan Savić another recent acquisition of Roberto Mancini from Partizan Belgrade is well aware of that and he’s taking no chances in selecting the color of his new ride. Unlike some of his predecessors who made mistakes of driving red cars (in case you didn’t know there’s another football club in Manchester whose color is red 😉 ) Stefan decided to go with blue, the color of his new club. Selecting the make of the car was a bit more difficult, but he settled on a Bentley Continental. Price? A bargain for a Man City footballer at a range of €150,000 to €200,000.
All nonsense aside, Stefan is a great central defender, very young and will undoubtedly truly earn his place in Man City and I have no doubts that he will become a fan favorite.
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!
It’s tough to find your place in starting 11 of Manchester City these days. This becomes even more difficult for a forward whose direct competitors are likes of Tevez, Džeko, Aguero and Balotelli which is why Emmanuel Adebayor will not be returning from his loan to Real Madrid.
He’s actually expected to join Tottenham this week on another loan and make his debut against Manchester United on Monday night. I’ve mentioned Robbie Keane leaving to LA Galaxy which is probably why Harry Redknapp decided to strengthen his attack with Adebayor.
Rumors on the deal are that Man City will pay half of the £170,000 per week wages for the duration of the loan, with Spurs having the option of buying Adebayor for £12 million at the end of the season. Tottenham will also pay a loan fee to Man City which is believed to be at least £2 million.
Now, let me take a minute to share my impressions of Adebayor who is undoubtedly a player for some of the top clubs. He played well in Arsenal, but left it for money and hopes that he will become a part of this “dream team” sponsored by the new Manchester City owners which quickly proved not to be the case. He didn’t provide enough value when compared to his other attacking colleagues so he was sent to Real Madrid. There he didn’t “obey” José Mourinho‘s TEAM/RESULT FIRST mentality and is now let go to join another team, most likely Tottenam.
He’s been searching for his rightful place on a team ever since he left Arsenal and I think that this it’s time to seize this opportunity and prove that he’s not just a big, physical guy upfront, but that he can actually contribute to his new team, score goals and provide assists. Let’s hope he has a great season, as I believe that he truly deserves it.
On the other hand, this move could spark another transfer, that of Peter Crouch to Stoke City, but it’s way too early to even speculate on that just yet. Other transfers in and out of Spurs are also quite possible which could include Defoe and Pavyluchenko on one side with Odemwingie, Rossi and Falcao on the other.
Things are heating up in European leagues and this will certainly be another great year for football.