Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Ranieri & Sissoko

Ranieri. The Tinkerman. And Sissoko, the erstwhile defensive midfielder.
Now fate has combined to bring them together. For £8.2 million.

Momo made his first senior appearances for Valencia when Rafa was at the helm and subsequently followed him to Liverpool becoming an anchor in midfield, the new Patrick Vieira with the disciplinary problems to match. His career gathered pace until he suffered an unfortunate eye injury in match where he was kicked in the head by Benfica player, Beto, in February 2006 but returned sporting Edgar Davids style goggles.
Unfortunately for Liverpool, Sissoko has since only looked half the player since that incident. His passing is woeful, way below the standard one would expect at that level. His overall game has also gone backwards, and now looks like a slightly better version of Djemba Djemba. In truth he hasn't been helped by Javier Mascherano's arrival at Anfield, meaning he has been 'rotated' to within an inch of his life by Rafa and is now off to Juve, only 6 months after signing a 4 year contract.

Claudio's career has followed a similar pattern. He earned plaudits early on for leading Cagliari to Serie A from Serie C1 (88-91), and getting Fiorentina promoted and winning the Coppa Italia in 1996. Joining Valencia he laid the groundwork for their future success with some canny signings and youth development and arrived in England (via Atletico Madrid) to take charge of Chelsea.

Just like Sissoko, Ranieri settled quickly, with probably his best achievement being finishing 4th in the League in 2003, despite having Sam Dalla Bona and Enrique Lucas, an even more ineffective version of Jesper Gronkjaer, in the team.

Roman Abramovich took over and despite some progress in the league cups, it was ultimately failure for a man who splashed an initial £120m that summer. In his last season, Claudio got it spectacularly wrong in the CL semi-final second leg against Monaco.

Ranieri went onto to fail at Valencia by taking Rafa Benitez's double winning team (league and Uefa Cup) buying crap players, losing loads of games and getting the sack in Feb 2005. He and Giuseppe Rossi kept Parma in Serie A in 2007 and he somehow wound up replacing Deschamps at Juve last summer.

So now Momo & Claudio are together, dreaming of better days together after their ultimately unsuccessful England stints. Claudio is on his last chance at a big club, and the way Momo is regressing, this could be his last chance too. With Agnelli's millions, Claudio has every chance of success, while Sissoko only has Tiago as competition for defensive midfield chopper. Could this be the start of a beautiful friendship?

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JJ said...

Ah Momo. I think djemba djemba may be a little harsh on the fella (after all that poor idiot wound up being managed by david o'leary, an awaful fate) but all in all I'm delighted he'll never play for pool again. The sight of him kicking the ball 30 feet straight up in the air against Man United still haunts me.

Cathal O'Brien said...

For a player who was built up so much and yet turned out to be other crap, I cant remember the amount of times I've shouted at the TV cus of him.

Parrotbait said...

Ah Momo, I remember when his eye went during the game he booted the ball high into the air, I cursed him loudly wondering what the hell he was doing but turned out he couldn't see anything so thought the best move would be to just kick it as high as possible! Not quality enough for Liverpool, hope was that his passing would improve after he joined. It didn't so he's off, does cover a LOT of ground during a match though. Bit like a rambling destroyer breaking up everything but can't do anything when he's got the ball!

On other news, Ireland's ridiculous search(bookies putting money on random managers who are out of the job making them favourites) has continued with the rumour of Giovanni Trappatoni. Not even gonna dignify this with an opinion!

Mark said...

trapattoni would be brilliant (well, his press cofnerences anyway - http://youtube.com/watch?v=KIV4FUwLi7g ) but there is absolutely no chance of that happening

Mal said...

I really feel sorry for Momo. He looked like he was going to be a superstar at first. While his passing was only ever ok, it's been crap since his injury and he's not half as effective a player given how often he gives the ball away. I hope he recovers fully and does well at Juve. The fee is €11m rising to €13m after appearences as far as I know. £9.7m is a good fee and nice profit, considering how he's been playing/sitting on the bench recently.