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  • I’ve really started to lose it with the football this week, as it becomes increasingly difficult to find ACTUAL news amongst the swathes of never-ending sagas, repeated reports and unbelievably unlikely stories. Firstly, Manchester United’s supposed chase for Wesley Sneijder has been in the news again, what with it being the transfer window and all. Reports indicate that the Reds could land their man for £25m, despite the presence of several other factors. Let’s list them. 1. United are reluctant to pay Sneijder’s requested wages. The Dutch playmaker’s wage demands are supposedly £250,000 a week; this was news back in August 2011, and I don’t see why he or United would be willing to compromise on their stances from then. 2. Sneijder will be 28 years old by the end of the season, which is most certainly not in line with United’s transfer policy of late, barring Dimitar Berbatov. Ashley Young, at 26 years old, was seen as just in the appropriate age bracket to be a signing with a good resale value. If Sneijder signs on a 4 year contract, there would not be much resale value for a 32 year old. Just ask Chelsea about Nicolas Anelka. 3. United aren’t even in the Champions League, which makes a Sneijder move even more unlikely. The man is cup-tied in European competition, so we won’t be able to play him in the Europa League, while he won’t want to play in the Europa League. Realistically, the only fans that are begging for Sneijder’s arrival at Old Trafford right now are clueless fools that are also calling for Fergie’s head, David De Gea to be sold and have the same ability to plan for the future as a man on Death Row. Not sure how this next one is news: Michael Owen still harbours hope of increasing his England cap total. As much of an icon Owen was for me in my younger years, I can see what he can offer now, which is back-up. Hope is great, but not news; I, for example, hoped to pull Kelly Brook when I was younger, but I’ve had to face reality. Maybe Owen should too. That being said, with Fabio Capello somehow allowing Glen Johnson to play for England over Micah Richards, it wouldn’t be that much of a stretch for Owen to play too. Revelations that apparently Blackburn Rovers are poorly run! This came as a total shocker for me, because usually poultry-farming Indian businessmen that sack an established manager to replace him with one with no managerial experience, attempt to bring R&B; superstars to stadiums in the north of England and think that they can run a Premier League football club on £5m a year are usually SUCH big successes. Thanks for that eyeopener! Cristiano Ronaldo to move back to United! Fantastically plausible story. The goal machine is apparently at loggerheads with the Madrid fans and the holier-than-thou pro-Madrid publication Marca because he didn’t jump about like a crazy fool to celebrate the incredibly significant fifth goal in a 5-1 victory against Granada. He lacks passion, he lacks team chemistry. He was spotted having lunch with his agent and David Gill of Manchester United, which naturally means that he is returning. Small matter of the £80m Madrid would want back first though. How about the not-at-all tedious updates on the Tevez saga? I’m getting really tired of hearing about how Tevez is a mercenary that plays just for money. The man is clearly missing his family back in Argentina, and is attempting to solve this problem by moving closer, to either of the Argentinian clubs Inter Milan and Paris St. Germain. It’s not like he’s asking for a six-figure weekly wage, is picking up crazy money for playing as much football as I have in the last three months and is AWOL from his club, right? He’s a loyal man – just ask Manchester City Manchester United, er, West Ham? For the love of God, just move and be done with it. At this rate, we’ll see megabucks Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua take him on – he will be closer to Argentina than ever, all he has to do is drill a hole directly through the bloody Earth. Final shocker of the week: apparently Roberto Mancini requires money for players, and is sad because he isn’t getting any. It’s not fair, how can you expect a man to buy any sort of workable team for £250 million?! You’re mad, sheikhs! Flipping crazy! On a more serious note, if Mancini needs money, STOP PAYING TEVEZ. The £2.4m that Tevez has picked up despite swanning off to Argentina could have bought City, um, Darron Gibson? Excellent cover for Yaya Toure! Following Michael Owen’s example, I can only hope that the football news will begin to report more realistic stories from now on, lest that I may go insane again.
  • Remember Shunsuke Nakamura? He’s one of those players that you find on PES and you really hope he lives up to his virtual self. Luckily he went to Celtic and scored THAT free kick against Manchester United. Well the boy certainly hasn’t lost it. But rather than hitting a dead ball in Celtic Park he’s doing it on Japanese TV. In this video Nakamura has to hit a ball into a window of a moving bus for a contestant on a gameshow. Oh and to add to that he only has a traffic mirror to monitor the vechile’s movements.
  • Robbie Findley gives us probably the best candidate for miss of the season in Nottingham Forest’s 4-0 loss against Leicester City. Just how and why are the words that come to mind.
  • Brighton fans up and down the country will be counting down the seconds until the transfer window closes on the 31st of January, in the faint hope of keeping hold of the latest player to attract a host of Premiership clubs, central defender Lewis Dunk. Lewis has been outstanding so far this campaign, his debut Championship season. He originally got drafted in to partner skipper Gordon Greer, due to the injuries of both Adam El-Abd and Tommy Elphick. Hard to believe that it was only Lewis’ third game for Brighton against Doncaster on the opening day of the season.For such a young lad he put in such a confident, astute performance. Dunk has performed above expectation so far this season. His performances have not gone unnoticed by Stuart Pearce, the England u21 manager, as Lewis received his first call up in November against Iceland and Belgium in the European Qualifiers. Dunk, however, was an unused sub in both games. His heading ability amongst others is what is considered his best attribute, as well as his positional sense. The latter being more impressive taking into consideration the way in which Brighton play, which is starting with the ball from the back and slowly working it forward. His passing is also a key element of his game and although, Gus Poyet likes his players to play it short and quick Lewis’ long ball distribution is just as good, and can easily ping a ball 80 yards for Craig Mackail-Smith to run on too, or 60 yards to Craig Noone’s feet. The one thing, currently, that lets him down would be his disciplinary problem. Although he has yet to see a red card, his cautions so far this season amount too 10. This, however, will get better and will come with time as he matures as a player. Lewis has caught the eye of many Premiership managers, with rumours of different teams’ scouts watching him every game (and no doubt go away impressed). Every week you hear of different clubs being linked with a January move for him, some of these teams have been; Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Newcastle, Aston Villa and most recently (who I believe he will join) Everton. That said it would need to take big offer of around £3/4 million to see him leave Brighton. In my opinion this would be a steal for any Premiership team. Gus Poyet did say that in the near future he will be playing in the Premiership and for England. You can’t say he doesn’t know his stuff…


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