by Steven S
We are almost out the other side of Mark Lawrenson’s working men club one-liners and Alan Shearer’s wooden headed observations unscathed and punditry levels aside, what a tournament it has been. The UK has finally discovered Pirlo despite being at the heartbeat of the Azzurri for the past decade with England desperately soul searching to find their saviour. Still, Jordan Henderson can always look back on the time he won a Golden Samba.
Meanwhile back home on the mean streets of the Premiership it has been quieter than an Ashley Cole welcome home party, with very little of note happening. The Olivier Giroud transfer to Arsenal was finally completed following a few weeks of rumour to semi confirmation and finally a signature once Les Bleus whimpered out of the Euros. Having triggered a £13million clause the Gunners have added much needed depth to their striking options covering themselves should Mr Van Persie decide to leave. Very little was seen of the man at the tournament as the starting eleven spent much of their time chasing Nasri around the pitch asking for the ball. Samir has been making more enemies following his slanging match with a journalist after the Spain match, now apparently facing up to a two year ban from the national team.
Andy Johnson crossed the road from Fulham to QPR which was something of a footnote last week, Fulham confirming Mladen Petrić as his replacement on a one year contract from Hamburg. Russian Pavel Pogrebnyak’s loan move also ended and Reading wasted no time in splashing out £5million for the forward. Newcastle have been linked to various young starlets over the past month across the Netherlands, France and now Australia. Following a two week trial, Melbourne Heart’s Curtis Good is in talks with the Barcodes while FC Twente striker Luuk de Jong is another close to signing after finishing second highest scorer in the Eredivisie. Over 50 goals in the past two seasons for the 21 year old have sparked the Geordies interest although they should beware a striker from Holland with great goal stats; Dirk Kuyt, Mateja Kežman, Salomon Kalou…
Gylfi Sigurdsson was given two weeks by his club 1899 Hoffenheim to find a new club with Tottenham now entering the fray for his signature. Reports are he has passed a medical and agreed terms so the deal may well be wrapped up by next week. Fellow Nordic stalwart Jonas Olsson has only one year left on his contract at West Brom although their may be a stand off on letting him leave before the end of the agreement. Ben Foster has joined from Birmingham on a three year contract as lucky old Marton Fulop heads for retirement on a nice Arsenal bonus.
Andre Villas Boas dismissed his link to Tottenham as ‘all lies’ at the start of the week yet they refuse to go away, only increasing as the week draws to a close. Belief that he can pick up where Redders left off is not exactly high at the Lane, which definitely will be mirrored by their defensive line next season. Luka Modric looks set to be freed from captivity by the Incredible General Levy, a £40million bounty being put on the little scamps head before sending out the newly contracted Gareth Bale to chase him back to his hole.
Goal line technology is set to be given the green light by the International FA Board next week after extensive testing of the Hawk-Eye and GoalRef technology. Another interesting but less publicised change to the laws of the game was also passed through at grass roots level. Rolling substitutions will be allowed for the amateur game allowing unlimited changes to the team throughout the 90 minutes. The younger age groups already use this system and this will allow all age brackets the chance to spread the workload throughout their squads. Who knows if this will ever make it to the upper echelons of the game although it could mean that finally, all those Manchester City strikers get to stretch their legs.
Which brings us to the end of another weeks round up leaving a distinctly underwhelming taste left in the mouth. The next couple of weeks may well continue in a similar vein what with the players heading off on their hols, so bear with me whilst I try my best to unearth something interesting. Peace out suckers.