Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Werder Bremen 3-1 Sampdoria...

Samp are down but definitely not out of the Champions League. Expect the atmosphere in the Marassi to be incredible for the return game. Without that kind of support I wouldn't hesitate in discounting Samps chances of getting through this tie but playing at home is worth more than a 12th man, as the past season proved on many occasions.

Return game is Wednesday 25th August. Buona fortuna.

Friday, 13 August 2010

WTF! really. WTF!

I know this is not directly Calcio news but I had to post it. Manchester City have offered Zlatan Ibrahimovic a 4-year deal worth £96m. That is £500,000 per week! Either this story is complete bulls**t or the world has finally gone nuts. I can't decide.

Full story: The Sun (maybe that says it all)

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Balotelli, new Robinho?...Were you watching the game?

While most of the Italian sporting press are somewhat sympathetic to last nights 1-0 friendly lose to the Ivory Coast, the English press, as usual, seem to want to sweep the facts under the carpet and concentrate on player bashing. And I have an idea why. They weren't even watching the game and couldn't possibly be able to write an in depth analysis of it.

Story: Daily Mail

Having been at the game, I was lucky/unlucky enough to be sitting by the press box and could witness the ineptitude of the press in action. Most were not even watching the game. They were too busy talking to each other or buried in their Blackberrys. The questions I heard them asking each other were incredible. At one point, and this is no joke, one of them turned to the other and asked...'i thought Ericsson was still the manager of the Ivory Coast'...I also heard stuff like, who's number 6...10...22? Who does Amauri play for? Unbelievable.

20 minutes from the end there was a mass exodus as most of them got up in formation and made for the exit. I suspect one of those journalists was Ivan Speck who wrote the Daily Mail article above. Where were they all going 20mins from the end? Probably to find the nearest computer so that they could read the live text-commentary feeds on which to base their articles. Or in the case of Mr Speck just make up some bullshit about Balotelli and add who the goalscorer was, that is what makes for a match day report these days.

By the way. If you're interested. Italy played like a young team that had, in the majority, never played together and had only had two days tactical training. The Ivory Coast played like they had been playing together for some time. And it showed. A draw would have been the fairer result but a 1-0 lose for Italy was by no means a disaster. This Azzurri team has potential. Come September, once the fitness and form of the players is back, this team could become something very special.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Sampdoria draw Werder Bremen in Play-offs

Sampdoria have a tough draw against Werder Bremen in the Champions League play-offs. Samp start the two legged game away in Germany on the 17th August with the return game back in Genoa on the 24th August.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

After Grosso, Birmingham now want Camoranesi

Birmingham aren't happy with just one Azzurri World Cup winner in the squad. Yesterday they were linked with Fabio Gross, today it is the turn of Mauro Camoranesi. It was always likely that both these players were on their way from Juventus this pre-season as the Bianconeri look to cut the dead wood from their ageing squad.

Full Story: Daily Mirror

Arsenal back in for Marchetti

Arsenal look to be back in the race to sign Federico Marchetti. A serious bid would likely scupper West Hams chances of signing the Cagliari goalkeeper.

Full Story:

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Federico Marchetti offered to West Ham

Italy's World Cup stand in keeper is apparently being offered to West Ham. It is probably more a case of being pursued by West Ham rather than being offered to them but either way, they will need to find a replacement for Robert Green who looks likely to leave this pre-season. The Cagliari goalkeeper has been linked with Juventus, Sampdoria and Arsenal in recent weeks.

Full Story: Daily Mail