"if it moves, kick it. If it doesn't move, kick it until it does"

Red Carpet rolled out for The Traitor!....sorry..for Kaka!

So Real Madrid have done it. They paraded Kaka around the Bernabeu like he's a god. Kaka is an exceptional player, and he's joining a long list of exceptional players and I think that will be the problem for Real Madrid for this coming season.

Many teams in the Premier League, in Italy, have had to learn the hard way that too many great players who are built up to be the best on that particular team, telling them week in and week out that they're the star of that team, it goes to their heads. Then before you know it they get too comfortable and think they don't have to fight for a place in the squad anymore, so they get upset when they're finally told by the manager or the press that they are playing crap...and then suddenly they want to leave. And now Real Madrid will have the same problem. All their players are talented, without a doubt. But as my Dad used to tell me........one man doesn't make a team.

Sir Alex Ferguson has a knack for dealing with problems such as this. He finds these players either from his youth squad, or buys them as decent players, but makes them into great ones, but the minute they get too big for team (are you listening Cristiano) he'll let you go. The reason why Ferguson keeps winning is because he cares about the team first, and anyone who isn't on the same wavelength can go their own way, they'll always be someone to replace them.
So Kaka, enjoy your time at Real Madrid, but i don't think that it's going to be all happiness, not if Guardiola, Messi and Co. has anything to say about it.

Man UTD sign Antonio Valencia

Sir Alex Ferguson has made Antonio Valencia his first signing since the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo. Valencia, the 23 year old Ecuadorian has signed a four year contract for an undisclosed fee. It is thought that Valencia has cost Man UTD as much as £16m. "Antonio is a player we have admired for some time now, having spent the last two years in the Premier League with Wigan," said Ferguson. "I am sure his pace and ability will make a significant contribution to the team," added Ferguson.

United have been in contact with Wigan over a deal for Valencia over the last "two to three months", according to Latics chairman Dave Whelan.

"I have enjoyed my time at Wigan, but I am thrilled to have the chance to challenge for the biggest honours in club football here," said Valencia, who scored three goals for Wigan last season. "Playing in front of 76,000 fans alongside players like Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs will be an amazing experience. I can't wait to get started."

Valencia has played 34 times for Ecuador, scoring four goals.

"I hope the fans at Wigan can understand that I am an ambitious guy and a
chance like this might never come again for me," said Valencia, who will be 24 next month.
"I am happy that the club has benefited from the move financially because I owe them such a lot. I have had a great time here."

The transfer of Valencia from Wigan to the Old Trafford outfit is a record for Wigan, but his departure leaves new Latics manager Roberto Martinzez with the task of finding a suitable replacement.

Roberto Di Matteo announced as Baggies boss.

Roberto Di Matteo has been confirmed as successor to Tony Mowbray as West Bromwich Albion's manager. The 39 year old guided Milton Keynes Dons to the League One play-offs last season, after replacing Paul Ince who left for Blackburn...(only to be told to go soon after), and now will be on a one year rolling contract at The Hawthorns.

Albion's board approached Di Matteo late on Monday with the intent to making him Mowbray's replacement. Also on the shortlist was Preston's Alan Irvine but he rejected the offer. Di Matteo's former Chelsea team-mate Eddie Newton, who was his assistant at MK Dons will again be his assistant at the Baggies. Former sprinter Ade Mafe will also leave the Dons to become Albion's fitness coach. Di Matteo has impressed in his first year of management and will be looking to do even better than he has now he is with Albion, after Albion were relegated from the Premier League last season and have been leaderless since Mowbray left for Celtic on June 17.
West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace said: "I am delighted with Roberto's appointment, which concludes an intensive selection process during which over 40 names were considered. We shortlisted two outstanding candidates, spoke to both of them after receiving permission from their clubs, and ultimately Roberto was the unanimous choice of the board."

Di Matteo was born in Switzerland and made 34 appearances for Italy during a great playing career which was cut short by injury in 2002.
He joined Chelsea from Lazio in 1996 and became a firm favourite at Stamford Bridge before he was forced to retire at the age of 31.
I remeber when he was one of Gullit's go-to men in the Chelsea side of "sexy" football. He was in my opinion a good player, a great passer of the ball, great technique and was also a good finisher when he needed to be.I'm sure he'll do well for Albion, i wish him all the best.

England Walloped by Germany

England's U-21 hopefuls were hammered by Germany in the European U21 Championship final in Malmo, Sweden. Germany scored first when Mesut Ozil went past Martin Cranie and cleverly found Gonzalo Castro, who slotted home.Not long after half time, England's goalkeeper misjudged Ozil's free kick and palmed the ball into his own net.

After England's Lee Cattermole hit the bar, Sandro Wagner collected Ozil's pass and fired through Loach's legs, and Wagner curled the ball in for Germany's fourth.

The outstanding player for the German's on the night was Ozil, acting as the chief tormentor, even though it was Wagner's late double that sank England. The magical Werder Bremen player produced moments of class and was always looking dangerous on the counter-attack but England struggled without the suspended strikers Agbonlahor and Campbell who were very much missed. Because of the missing strikers, Theo Walcott was moved in from the left side by manager Stuart Pearce and had to operate as a lone striker.

England started off strong with Craine heading Adam Johnson's free-kick wide and Theo Walcott had a shot but it went wide of the post. England's lack of firepower was always evident as Germany, despite having less possession, looked the far better attacking team. Germany went ahead when Castro, who scored in a 1-1 draw against England in the group stages, made no mistake after Ozil's fine pass. Ozil was a constant tormentor to England and wasn't far from scoring with a 25 yard free-kick before the break that hit Craine and flew over the bar. But there was no escape for England three minutes after the interval. Ozil tried his luck with a free-kick from a much greater distance that was hit straight at Loach.

The Watford keeper ought to have made a routine save but was badly positioned and inexplicably allowed the ball to roll into the net. It was an awful moment for Loach, who had been given a chance by Pearce, ahead of Peterborough United's Joe Lewis to replace the suspended Joe Hart.

Cattermole struck the top of the bar with a fierce shot as England tried in vain to claw their way back into the game, but their cause wasn't helped when Johnson missed the target from close range after great work on the right by James Milner. Worse was yet to come for England after Ozil again reaped havoc and feeding a perfect pass through to Wagner, whose cool finish effectively sealed Germany's victory. Their win was rubber-stamped six minutes from the end, when Wagner sent a right-foot shot beyond Loach and into the far corner.

Premier League too powerful for Blatter

Fifa Top Dog Sepp Blatter has admitted that the large....erm huge amounts of money that is circulating in the English Premier League, coming from foreign owners is becoming a worrying trend..........NO!......really? Blatter says the amount of cash in the Premier League gives English clubs a big advantage over their European rivals.

Now, ten years ago I would have said that Sepp was talking out of his backside, but these days, now that I'm older and hopefully wiser, I agree with him 100%.
"In France, Germany and Spain there are by-laws that say owners must be from the same country, this does not exist in the Premier League and it is a problem we must address", said Blatter.
Out of 20 Premier League teams, nine of them have foreign owners, and several, including Chelsea and Manchester City are likely to spend big this summer. Man City have reported to have bid around £25m for Barcelona striker Sammy Eto'o and are said to have offered the Cameroon forward up to £250,000 per week (which I think is absolutely ridiculous), would make him by far the highest paid player in the world...........(until next week when Abramovich buys Rooney for £300M and wages of around £475,000 a week) Just kidding guys.

Despite Mr. Blatter's fears, the biggest spenders in Europe so far this summer are Real Madrid. Real Madrid's buys of Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo have been partly financed by loans by Spanish banks, totalling £128m. The laws in Britain would have to be changed to restrict foreign investment in the Premier League, something that the bosses at Fifa are woefully accepting isn't going to happen. Blatter said "We have no right to interfere in economic movements. We, the whole Fifa family, are aware of this".

But Blatter insists that Fifa is ready to bring in goal-line technology to adjudicate in delicate decisions - when it is accurate enough....(Tennis anyone?)
"We are open on goal-line technology," said Blatter. "But for the time being, all the technologies that have been represented to the International Football Association Board are not accurate, or not accurate at the level we can decide whether we can honestly say whether it was in or out."
I really don't know why Blatter is complaining here, although I do agree on the foreign owner debate, seems like they just want to own a team for the hell of it, but when that team fails for six months they either change the manager, or resell the club, and that is wrong. But in the early 90's, Italian football was the rage and AC Milan was at the height of their game. They bought Luigi Lentini for £13M, unheard of back in '93, and no-one batted an eyelid, now 16 years on, suddenly it's a big issue.

Galliani: Pato stays put

The Italian giants AC Milan have turned down a huge offer from an English club for the Brazilian teenage sensation Alexandre Pato, according to Milan's Vice President Adriano Galliani. The 19 year old forward has recently been linked to moneybags Abramovich's Chelsea who is now managed by Milan's former manager Carlo Ancelotti. But Galliani insisted that Pato will still be playing at the San Siro next season.

Pato will receive a contract extension, after stating that he wants to stay at Milan

Galliani told acmilan.com:
"I am absolutely delighted by Pato's comments. "We have always spoken to Pato and the comments that arrive from other continents usually are mistaken. There were no doubts and there are no doubts regarding his future. "The only offer that has arrived to our club was a monster offer from England for Alexandre Pato. I continue to believe that there isn't a player in the world that is as strong as him of his age. In any case, no one should worry because he is under contract through June 2012."
Pato finished last season as Milan's second highest scorer behind Kaka with 15 goals in 36 appearances.

I really hope he doesn't go from Milan because the times i saw him he was cool, calm, and a good finisher. Now that Kaka(the traitor) has gone maybe Ronaldinho will shine more and Pato finish the job off.

Ashton on the move again?

Stoke City have denied any interest in West Ham's striker Dean Ashton. Stoke Chairman Peter Coates said that the Potters are "a million miles away" from capturing the signature of the West Ham forward. Ashton, who was signed by West Ham in January 2006 from Norwich City has only made 43 starts for West Ham.

Reports on Thursday suggested that Stoke were in negotiations with West Ham for the powerful forward, but Coates told BBC Radio Stoke that it was "absolute nonsense"
He went on to say "I have have not said we are in talks with West Ham. We are a million miles from doing anything with Dean Ashton and probably won't."

A televised interview with Coates suggested that Stoke were close to a deal, but the Potters chairman said that he has been "misunderstood. "I have not said that we are talking to him or that we are about to sign him, I just simply haven't said it," said Coates. I have not said it because it's simply not true. I have been misunderstood."

And Coates added that although Stoke manager Tony Pulis is an admirer of Ashton, the speculation surrounding a possible transfer is frustrating. We have not talked one jot about him in terms of anything significant.

Ashton started his career at Stoke's own academy before being transferred to Crewe Alexadra. He scored 73 goals for Crew, then he joined Norwich in January 2005 for
£3M before going to the Hammers in 2006 for £7.25m, but only making 33 Premier League starts at the London Club.

Santa Cruz to rejoin former Manager

Roque Santa Cruz has left Blackburn to re-join Mark Hughes at Manchester City. He has signed a four year contract after he passed the medical.

Santa Cruz, 27, was still under contract with Blackburn up until 2012 but had a buy-out clause for £18m. The Paraguayan said: "It's been close to happening for a while. Now I can focus on doing my best for the club."

Santa Cruz was bought by former Blackburn manager Mark Hughes from Bayern Munich in 2007 for £3.5M and scored 23 in 70 appearances goals in the first season. In the 2008-09 season he only managed to score 6 goals from16 appearances due to a knee problem which kept him on the sidelines for 2 the last 2 months. The paraguayan had become a target for Mark Hughes and Man City after the Abu Dhabi United group took over the club.

Said Santa Cruz on Man City' website "The owners want the club to be more successful. They want to break into the top four, and the fact that the fans are so passionate about everything to do with City was also a factor. I am very motivated to play for these fans. I know the kind of football Mark Hughes wants to play and the kind of character he is - he's a winner, he wants to make things happen and be successful. Those are always my thoughts as well, so knowing what he wants was a big factor in coming here, because I know the club is going in the right direction."
City manager Hughes said that Santa Cruz would be a key addition to his squad. He added: "His ability in the air and his physical presence are qualities we've been missing, but he also has technical ability and good pace for a big man. He's a very good player and one I know well from our time at Blackburn."

City have already signed Gareth Barry from Aston Villa for £12M, making the summer an expensive one for Mark Hughes.
It will be interesting to see how they fair against Blackburn on the first day of the new season at Ewood Park.

It only took a year

So he's finally going. Cristiano Ronaldo IS leaving Man UTD and heading for Real Madrid. After a year of speculation, it is Cristiano's wishes to leave the club that made him famous and set a new world transfer record of £80M. Sir Alex will be delighted about the money part of this deal, and in my opinion it's about time that the Portuguese primadona packed his bags. I'm not denying that he's a talented player, but he's still a kid, a kid that needs to grow up if he ever wanted to stay with United.

Ronaldo has been a target for the Spanish giants for more than a year now, in which they started this transfer process off by unsettling Ronaldo in the media this time last year, but at the time Sir Alex insisted that the player wasn't for sale and lodged a complaint to FIFA about Real Madrid.

Ronaldo was the top scorer last season with 26 goals bringing his tally for his time at Man UTD to 118 goals in 292 appearances. Not bad for Ronaldo, who was voted
best player in the world for 2008 and European Player of the Year and FifPro World Footballer of the Year.

If this deal finalizes, which is expected to by the end of June, Sir Alex will need to do some thinking as far as replacing Ronaldo, but as always, Sir Alex always replaces the best. I was disappointed when Real Madrid bought Kaka from AC Milan for then a record £56M because Kaka seemed to belong at Milan, plus he lied to the fans.

In my eyes, Ronaldo will join the list of the other greedy fuckers who are willing to leave something great, thinking that they ARE that team for some money.......Beckham, Kaka.
I'm sorry Mr. Ronaldo, but you didn't make UTD, Man UTD made you.

Gillett to sell assetts for Liverpool funding

It was announced today that Liverpool Co-Owner George Gillett is to sell one of his assets, a stake in NHL's Montreal Canadiens for a whopping $550m (£332.9m). Liverpool owners Hicks and Gillett have until July 24 to repay £350m they owe to RBS and Wachovia. Kop Holding's, the parent company of Liverpool lost £42.6m in the year to August 2008 but interest payments on loans of £36.5m accounted for Kop's losses.

Mr. Gillett is so desperate to save Liverpool that earlier in the year he put up for sale the Bell Arena, along with the Gillett Entertainment Group, and Montreal Canadiens in which Gillett's 80% satke of the NHL team is being bought by the brewing giants The Molson Family who already have the remaining 20% share.
Mr. Hicks has been busy too, trying to sell his assetts which include Major League Baseball's Texas Rangers and the Dallas Stars from the NHL.

The Dynamic Duo (hardly) bought Liverpool back in February 2007, since then they have argued and fought between themselves like 7 year old school kids on the play yard which has resulted in alienating The Kop faithful and backing out of a much needed new stadium. And because of this schoolboy bickering, future sales of Liverpool have dwindled away.

The bottom line is Liverpool were the greatest English team in the late 70's and through the 80's and it saddens me to watch such a fantastic club windle away to the usual 3rd's and 4th's in the Premier League table every year. I don't think Liverpool have the right manager because every time i see him on TV he whines. I wish Kenny Dalglish, Graeme Souness or a former Liverpool great would come along and snap this giant club up and send these people packing.
Liverpool have 18 championship titles (Premier League and old Division 1), which has now been equalled by Sir Alex Ferguson's Man UTD.

Whatever happens in the near future, i hope the Premier League chiefs get their act together and stop these football club tycoon wannabes from buying Premier League clubs with no "real" money in their pocket, realizing that there's more to football than just watching your club on TV, fucking off the fans and then reaping the so called rewards (if any) then moving on and selling the club.

A message to Sir Dave Richards and his cronies: WAKE UP!!!

Johnson agrees to Liverpool move

Portsmouth and England defender Glen Johnson is moving to Liverpool for £17.5M. Chelsea and Man City were also looking to buy the 24 year old from Portsmouth, but decided that Liverpool was the place to go. The former Chelsea player had limited outings during his time there but after a move to Portsmouth in he established himself in Fabio Capello's England setup. It is understood Pompey still owe Liverpool £7m from the deal that saw them buy Peter Crouch last summer.

A Liverpool statement said: "We have reached an agreement with Portsmouth and Glen Johnson for the transfer of the player to Anfield."

Johnson is Liverpool's first signing this summer and due to Liverpool operating under financial restrictions, boss Rafa Benitez will be ready to sell Andrea Dossena to help fund the transfer.
Portsmouth paid £4M for 24-year-old defender Johnson who has emerged as Benitez main target after having top notch performances throughout the year at Fratton Park last season. Spaniard Alvaro Arbeola could also be going out of Liverpool to raise money for the Johnson deal, with Real Madrid being in the forefront of an £8M bid.

Johnson had signed a new four year deal at Pompey at the start of the year, but club officials conceded that they would not stand in his way if bigger clubs came knocking for his signature. The move to Liverpool will assure that Johnson plays Champions League football next season.