Thursday, 19 July 2007

Viva España... and eh Italy too

JJ here,

The next season is shaping up well but that doesn’t only go for the Premiership, in Italy and Spain there has been a fair amount of exciting news during the close season. The most recent is that everyone’s favourite grumpy half-Australian half-Italian hate figure Christian Vieri will ply his trade with Fiorentina next season. A man of undoubted talent, he was plagued not only by his hatred of most of humanity last year but also by a series of injuries.

In all he only played seven league games for Atalanta in 06/07, scoring twice although one was an amazing hit from 40 yards ( It’s a long time since his heyday of 24 goals in 24 games for Athletico Madrid in the late nineties but at Fiorentina he will be taking to the field with a decent set of players. Indeed they are a team who have only been denied Champions League qualification for the last two years by various scandals and financial difficulties that were out of the players’ hands.

Elsewhere in Europe we have Michael Laudrup taking over at Getafe after four successful years at Brondy where he won the league championships and two Danish cups. It has the air of an appointment where he will try and prove himself before taking over at either Barca or Real. Considering that Rijkaard may only have a season left and Schuster could well be the victim of Real’s penchant for dumping coaches after a defeat or two he may even end up at one of the big jobs by the time next May rolls around.

He’s played for both clubs of course and bizarrely is still liked by each set of fans; then again he was a fantastic player ( but a terrible actor ( The other tantalising aspect of his appointment is that former Arsenal goalscoring machine John Jensen, who was his assistant at Brondby for four years, may also join up with him. There’s just something about a very average player ending up as assistant manager at Barcelona or Real Madrid that makes the world a little brighter.

Other moves of note: Yaya Toure has been talked up for some time and now that Barcelona have stepped in for the former Olympiakos and Monaco man he will be expected to live up to the hype in midfield. He’ll most likely start on the bench this season but with the amount of games Barca play each year he’ll get a few run outs.

Vincenzo Iaquinta takes his record of a goal every three games to Juve this season; David Suazo at last went to Inter after 102 goals in seven seasons at Calgiari; Diego Forlan went to Athletico and of course will be joined by the wonderful Riquelme and the annoying but effective Luis Garcia.

One prospect I’m really looking forward to is an on-form Real Ronaldo being back in the Champions League with AC Milan as well. If he can do this ( often enough we’ll be in for a great season in Europe as well as in the domestic leagues.

So, outside of the hoop-la of the Premiership, which moves have caught your eye?

And no mentions of T*****y H***y. The tit.


We're recording the first podcast in three weeks tonight and you'll be happy to know we're starting off the 07/08 season in style with a few new touches as well as plenty of beers. We'll have the links up for that tomorrow.

1 comment:

Mark V said...

i'll never forget vieri missing from about 4-5 yeards against the Koreans, that was an amazing match.

(incidentally, I tried to find it on youtube but came across all the goals from France 98: )