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Battle in Bloemfontein

 

 

 

 

 

ENGLAND – GERMANY

“THE BATTLE IN BLOEMFONTEIN”

Preview

June 27th, 2010

Bloemfontein, South Africa

Football fans are drooling over this historic tie, and for good reason.  Both teams appear packed to the brim with talent, have very capable managers and the expectations of their nations thrown heavily on their shoulders.  Individually, England are spectacular, as a unit, they lack connection.  Despite the fact that they started to look like a real team against Slovenia, that was Slovenia.  This is Germany.  The two are different.  Germany were a little bit of a grab bag in Group D as they romped Australia, lost to Serbia (who were beaten by Australia) and narrowly beat Ghana.  Calling a winner will be tough, as typically just the mention of either country’s name triggers a reaction in the football fan’s brain that they are favorites to win the match.

 

 

All business.

England – Almost more than any country in the world (save Brazil, maybe), England are expected to win the World Cup every time they enter it.  The UK is a nation obsessed with watching the Three Lions romp to victory, so it has been understandably tough for the country to sit by idly and watch their national team play a limp draw with the United States, an even limper draw with Algeria and finally find a little rhythm against Slovenia, but still nothing of what is expected of them.  Then again, the things that are expected of them are seemingly impossible.  Show me a “realistic” England fan and I’ll show you a liar.

Player for player, England might actually be better than Germany, but that is not the case, obviously.  It is almost impossible to predict which players will actually come to play for the Brits.  Wayne Rooney absolutely lit up the Premier League but can’t buy a goal in South Africa.  John Terry has offset the balance of the team with his well publicized scandal with Ms. Bridge and his outburst with Capello.  The question is: why doesn’t England win every game by 3 goals?  Maybe their egos?  Not enough chemistry?

Rooney can't believe his luck as he fails to find the target once more against Slovenia.

Starting from the front, England are gifted by all means.  Wayne Rooney, Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch and Emile Heskey are all capable of making an impact in just about any game…funny thing is that none of them really have at the World Cup except Defoe who netted a lovely winner against Slovenia.  Wayne Rooney is paramount to this tie against Germany.  So much so, that we’re calling that if he doesn’t turn up tomorrow, England is out.

The midfield is jam packed with talent in Gerrard, Lampard, Rooney and hopefully for purists out there Joe Cole.  Cole would be a lovely inclusion for the very defensively rigid Germans and his creativity would counteract that of Mesut Ozil’s, who is guaranteed to give England problems in the back.

Speaking of which, the back line for England is suspect.  John Terry has performed, but hasn’t been amazing, Jamie Carragher shows age, Glen Johnson can’t, well…defend, but Ashley Cole may be England’s top performer thus far in South Africa.  The ‘keeper situation is well known and David James will be aware that the Germans will test him early and often.

Keys for England are Rooney coming to play, Gerrard motivating, and no calamitous error from David “Calamity” James.

Germany – There is never a time that Germany enter the World Cup with expectations lower than an appearance in the final.

Doesn't like Capello's attitude.

Why should they?  They have a great squad every time they come to the World Cup.  Even without Michael Ballack, the Germans have one of the most surprising players filling the void with great skill.

In Group play, Germany sent a message to the world with their 4-0 thrashing of Australia.  They looked genuine contenders for the final and cut open the Australian back line like they were Hertha Berlin.  Mesut Ozil in particular looked impressive as he didn’t find the scoresheet but he had two assists and was the architect behind most of Germany’s moves.  After that display, however, the team crashed 1-0 to Serbia after Miroslav Klose was received a red card (twice yellow carded) for a cynical foul in midfield.  Germany had their chances, though, as Lucas Podolski had his spot kick saved.  But the Germans put that behind them and picked up 3 points over a good Ghana side from an even better Mesut Ozil goal.

Coming in to the game, the Germans will be looking to capitalize on the shakiness of England’s back four, goal keeper and overall play.  Despite the fact that the Brits started to look better against Slovenia, the Germans are more than able of tearing all their work to pieces.  How?  Glad you asked.

Bastian Schweinsteiger – The 25 year old midfielder has been a main stay in the German side as he was in the Bayern Munich side that forced their way into the Champions League Final.  He’s a box to box midfielder who has a great eye for the smart pass and an even better one for the creative one that so many players wish they had.  He can and has played all across the midfield, so don’t be surprised if he comes in on the wing or in the middle of the park.  He’ll put in a show either way.

Mesut Ozil – Despite being 21 years old, Ozil plays with the composure of Andrea Pirlo and the creative edge of a player like Joe Cole.  Those are BIG comparisons, I know, but Ozil is destined for greatness, and there is no doubt in the mind of most football pundits that he will be a force to be reckoned with.  Be sure to watch him against England (#8) as he will battle with Gareth Barry and Ozil’s opposite number Frank Lampard.  He has a great knack for finding the soft spots behind the midfield and in front of the defense, a space key for the kind of passes he makes to the strikers running behind the back line.  If Carragher starts for England, Ozil will take him to the cleaners.

Analysis – Both teams are talented, no question.  Both teams are well coached, I won’t disagree.  But one team has to walk away the victor tomorrow morning.  The key match up will be Mesut Ozil vs. Gareth Barry (the more defensive minded of the two central midfielders).  Watch for it.  Who will win it?

We think Ozil.  His pace and youth are the going to be the decisive factors in his overtaking of Barry, who is a good player but has been exposed by speed and trickery before.

Prediction – England 0 – 2 Germany

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Transfer News – July 30th

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Transfer News – July 30th, 2009

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THE SUN

  • Arsene Wenger wants Patrick Vieira to make a shock return to Arsenal.
  • Gianfranco Zola is stepping up his bid to sign a new striker after West Ham failed to muster a single shot in China.
  • Hull insist that it will take a ‘ridiculous’ bid to get Michael Turner.
  • Burnley boss Owen Coyle has been unable to sign winger Fernando Guerrero because his Ecuadorian club’s president is on holiday.
  • Kolo Toure was last night unveiled by Manchester City after sealing a £14million move.
  • Croatian forward Nikola Kalinic flew in to join troubled Portsmouth, but left without signing after a row over the £5.5million fee.
  • Portsmouth are close to sealing a shock move for ex-Southampton keeper Antti Niemi.
  • Manchester City’s injury-hit star Valeri Bojinov is poised to join Parma on loan.

    Cattermole, Liverpool and Tottenham target, is currently plying his trade at the JJB

    Cattermole, Liverpool and Tottenham target, is currently plying his trade at the JJB

  • Danny Murphy is set to sign a new one-year deal with Fulham.
  • Alvaro Arbeloa last night completed a £3.5million move from Liverpool to Real Madrid.
  • DAILY MIRROR
  • Real Madrid president Florentino Perez says signing Xabi Alonso from Liverpool is vital.
  • Ian Wright claims Patrick Vieira is going to rejoin Arsenal.
  • Aston Villa are set to make a £12million move for West Ham defender Matthew Upson.
  • Celtic boss Tony Mowbray is preparing to make a £2million bid for Sheffield United defender Matthew Kilgallon.
  • Middlesbrough defender Robert Huth could be set for a £2million move to Fulham.
  • Blackburn have pulled out of a £1.7million swoop for Celta Vigo striker Kamel Ghilas after the Algerian failed a medical.
  • DAILY STAR
  • Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has backed Dimitar Berbatov to finally live up to his £30.75million price tag.
  • Martin O’Neill admits that Aston Villa have to sign five players or risk stretching their threadbare squad to breaking point this season.
  • AWOL Middlesbrough star Mido is ready to take a £15,000 a-week pay cut to return to Egypt.
  • Laurent Blanc has warned Steve Bruce that he is out to scupper Sunderland’s £10million move for Marouane Chamakh.
  • DAILY MAIL
  • Aston Villa are monitoring Robbie Keane’s situation at Tottenham following Peter Crouch’s £9million arrival from Portsmouth.

    Robbie Keane is being monitored by Aston Villa.

    Robbie Keane is being monitored by Aston Villa.

  • Inter Milan are ready to revive their interest in Chelsea midfielder Deco if Alexander Hleb backs out of a loan move to the Italian champions.
  • Newcastle last night accepted a £9million bid for Obafemi Martins from German side Wolfsburg.
  • Manchester City made a £19million bid for Everton’s Joleon Lescott last night as they completed the signing of Kolo Toure from Arsenal.
  • Liverpool are on the verge of striking a compromise deal to sell Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid and will plough part of his transfer fee into bids for Wigan midfielder Lee Cattermole and Hull defender Michael Turner.
  • Former Manchester City goalkeeper Nicky Weaver is training with Sheffield United.
  • DAILY EXPRESS
  • Arsenal could bank an incredible £17million by selling Kolo Toure to Manchester City.
  • Alex McLeish is fuming with new signing Christian Benitez after he played without Birmingham’s permission.
  • Darren Bent has his heart set on a move to Sunderland, but so far the Black Cats and Tottenham cannot agree a fee.
  • DAILY RECORD
  • Furious Kilmarnock players have threatened to strike after popular first-team coach Gary Locke was shown the door by the Rugby Park outfit.


  • Crouch Gets His Spurs On
    July 26, 2009, 9:19 AM
    Filed under: premier league, Transfer | Tags: , ,

    Portsmouth manager Paul Hart has confirmed the club have accepted an offer from Tottenham Hotspur from Peter Crouch.

    It means Harry Redknapp has moved into pole position to sign the England international, who last week rejected a £12m move to Sunderland as he did not want to play in the north east.

    Fulham remain interested in the player but with Bobby Zamora set to turn down the chance of joining Hull City, Roy Hodgson may not be able to get the funds together before Spurs have moved in.

    Crouchie looks set to be the latest addition to Harry Redknapp's crew.

    Crouchie looks set to be the latest addition to Harry Redknapp's crew.

    However, Redknapp, who signed the striker for Pompey two years ago, has made it clear that defence is his priority at the moment as he has no fit central defenders. Whether he breaks off from that to ensure he signs Crouch remains to be seen.

    And Hart has insisted Pompey will now be run as a tight ship, and there will be no big spending like at other Premier League clubs which have recently been taken over.

    “Obviously I’m disappointed to see Peter leave, but given the severe financial restraints in place here we had no choice but to accept an offer from Tottenham,” he told the Daily Mirror.

    “I think people need to realise that Pompey have been punching above their weight and could no longer sustain the level of spending that has gone on here over the last three years.”

    Hart also insisted that the takeover spearheaded by Sulaiman Al Fahim would not lead to a Manchester City style spending spree.

    “Even though a new owner is poised to come in our dealings in the market will be modest in comparison to the past,” added Hart.

    Redknapp said on Sunday he is hopeful of completing the deal

    ”(Spurs chairman) Daniel (Levy) is talking to (Pompey chief executive) Peter Storrie and the pair are very good negotiators,” said Redknapp on Sky Sports.

    ”Portsmouth have a price they want but myself and Daniel have spoken and we have a price we think is fair. Hopefully a compromise will happen and we’ll get something done.”

    Redknapp also has an interest in Real Madrid striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira.

    ”They are two players we’ve been interested in,” he added. ”We’ve spoken to Real Madrid about Huntelaar.

    ”I spoke with Patrick’s agent about playing for Tottenham. We’ll have to wait and see.”

    Analysis:  Crouch will be a good addition for the Spurs, because he is a proven goalscorer in the Premiership and he can be a point man up top.  He’s surprisingly creative and spry for a 6’7” striker, but he can move his body when he has to.  He could combine well with Keane’s work rate and will always be a threat in the air.

    Result:  Crouch will move to Tottenham, and will have a decent season (I’ll ballpark it and say 10-13 goals) – barring injury.



    Transfer News – July 22nd

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    July 22nd

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    MIRROR

  • Spurs have tabled a £17million bid for Real Madrid striker Alvaro Negredo.
  • Ipswich boss Roy Keane is hoping to sign Danny Simpson from Manchester United and Sunderland midfielder Dean Whitehead.
  • Doncaster are leading the chase for Cardiff midfielder Paul Parry.
  • Sheffield Wednesday want Oldham striker Lee Hughes to replace Marcus Tudgay, should he move to Burnley.
  • AC Milan will not be signing David Beckham on a permanent deal from LA Galaxy.
  • Reading are hoping to land Tottenham midfielder Adel Taarabt on loan.
  • DAILY EXPRESS
  • Peter Crouch has handed Fulham and Tottenham a massive boost in their bid to sign him by telling Sunderland he does not want to move north.
  • Martin O’Neill’s £2.5million bid for Portsmouth defender Sylvain Distin has been rejected by new boss Paul Hart, who says he is not for sale.
  • Didier Drogba is poised to sign a three-year contract after new Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti dubbed him “irreplaceable”.
  • Sven-Goran Eriksson will return to England today in one of the most bizarre appointments in British football history after being offered the post of Notts County’s director of football.

    Real Madrid's Alvaro Negredo has been linked with clubs all over Europe.

    Real Madrid's Alvaro Negredo has been linked with clubs all over Europe.

  • DAILY STAR
  • Steve Bruce is closing in on £10million striker Marouane Chamakh after admitting defeat in his pursuit of Peter Crouch.
  • Sulaiman Al Fahim finally became Portsmouth’s new owner yesterday and immediately handed boss Paul Hart a new two-year contract.
  • Everton are leading the chase to sign Hull defender Michael Turner.
  • Premier League new boys Burnley are on the trail of Norwich midfielder Darel Russell.
  • Wigan have splashed out £1.5m to sign 18-year-old midfielder James McCarthy from Hamilton on a five-year deal.
  • DAILY MAIL
  • Egypt striker Mido has finally returned to Middlesbrough after being fined for missing the start of pre-season training.
  • Burnley are back on the trail of Norwich’s Darel Russell.
  • Chelsea and Manchester City are in the hunt again for Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso, whose proposed move to Real Madrid has stalled.
  • Sulaiman Al-Fahim has completed his £60million takeover of Portsmouth.
  • Manchester City striker Ched Evans is expected to join Sheffield United for a fee of around £1.5m rising to £3m on appearances.
  • Tottenham are weighing up a move for Man City winger Martin Petrov and are closing in on a deal for Portsmouth striker Peter Crouch.
  • Wolves are considering a move for Celtic’s Scotland defender Stephen McManus.
  • THE SUN
    The 6'7'' striker is on the radar of both Fulham and Tottenham after his move to Sunderland collapsed.

    The 6'7'' striker is on the radar of both Fulham and Tottenham after his move to Sunderland collapsed.

  • Craig Bellamy has defended Manchester City’s summer spending spree and blasted: The big four have been doing it for years.
  • AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani insists they will not splash any cash on David Beckham.
  • Nicky Butt will miss the start of Newcastle’s season with a hand injury.
  • Spurs are hot favourites to land Peter Crouch after the England striker pulled the plug on a £12million move to Sunderland.
  • Everton are leading the £8million chase for Hull defender Michael Turner.
  • Alan Pardew will make Ipswich left-back Dan Harding, 25, his first capture as Southampton boss.
  • West Ham have stolen England youth striker Frank Nouble from Chelsea as backup for striker Carlton Cole.
  • Wigan have completed the signing of 18-year-old Hamilton midfielder James McCarthy.
  • DAILY RECORD
  • Aberdeen boss Mark McGhee is hoping to sign Benin international defender Roda Johnson today.
  • Hibs boss John Hughes wants Plymouth goalkeeper Graham Stack as backup for Yves Ma-Kalambay.Rumours Pure, unadulterated rumours from around the internet.  Many claim to have inside connections, or themselves be connected with clubs.  Don’t believe it all, but if it makes you feel better…go ahead and believe it.
  • The Hammers will offload Dean Ashton to Celtic for £8m in two installments
  • Xabi Alonso’s move to Real Madrid seems to be stalling, and Manchester City look to capitalize.
  • A source with good friends inside Liverpool FC says David Villa will sign on with the Merseyside club shortly.

    Arsenal are said to be courting Dutchman Klaas Jan-Huntelaar.

    Arsenal are said to be courting Dutchman Klaas Jan-Huntelaar.

  • It was heard on good authority that Aston Villa will come back in with another bid for Sylvain Distin on Wednesday for £3.5m
  • Peter Crouch’s most likely destination is now Tottenham, as his move to Sunderland has looked to have fallen through.
  • AC Milan are set to bid £15m for injury hit Yakubu from Everton.
  • Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is stalling on the deal to stuttgart in order to speak with Arsene Wenger this week, as he has been given a heads up on the club from his pal Robin van Persie who just signed a new deal.


  • Transfer News – July 19th

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    July 19th, 2009

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    NEWS OF THE WORLD:


  • Rafa Benitez is ready to table a £20million offer for Ashley Young.
  • Peter Crouch is close to joining Tottenham in a £12million deal.

    Lescott is next up on Mark Hughes's wish list and valued at over £15m

    Lescott is next up on Mark Hughes's wish list and valued at over £15m

  • Chelsea are set to report Manchester City for “tapping up” John Terry.
  • Everton will demand £30million for defender Joleon Lescott.
  • Arsenal are poised to make a £10million offer for Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh.
  • Mido claims he is owed image rights money by Middlesbrough.
  • Matthew Upson is to be handed the West Ham captaincy.
  • Former Newcastle striker Lomana LuaLua is tempted by a switch to Stoke.
  • Hull want to take Manchester City striker Benjani on a season-long loan.
  • Bolton are closing in on Hull contract rebel Sam Ricketts.
  • DAILY STAR SUNDAY
  • Everton have told Manchester City Joleon Lescott will cost £30million.
  • Tottenham are ready to join Sunderland and Fulham in the battle for Peter Crouch.
  • Jason Scotland has sealed his £2million switch to Wigan from Swansea.
  • West Ham’s hopes of keeping Lucas Neill look finally to have been dashed.
  • Nottingham Forest are set to sign Chris Gunter, Dexter Blackstock and Paul McKenna.
  • Matt Kilgallon is ready to snub interest from Birmingham and Burnley by pledging his future to Sheffield United.
  • Rob Hulse is a target for Middlesbrough.
  • Gary Megson is ready to hijack Portsmouth’s £2million move for Hull’s contract rebel Sam Ricketts.
  • Aston Villa are keeping tabs on Leicester young gun Andy King.
  • Norwich will sign Preston winger Simon Whaley this week in a £100,000 deal.
  • Barnsley are set to complete a £600,000 deal for Charlton striker Andy Gray.
  • THE PEOPLE:
  • The Valencia playmaker is on Rafa Benitez's hit list

    The Valencia playmaker is on Rafa Benitez's hit list

  • Chelsea are ready to report Manchester City to the Premier League for tapping up John Terry.
  • Having failed with an £18million offer for Ashley Young, Tottenham are ready to beat Aston Villa in the chase for Leeds’ Fabian Delph.
  • Arsenal are to launch a cut-price move for Obafemi Martins.
  • Chelsea will make one last attempt to sign David Villa this week.
  • Manchester United want £2million for right-back Richard Eckersley, who has joined Burnley.
  • Portsmouth hope to re-sign Benjani from Manchester City.
  • James McCarthy is swaying towards joining Wigan ahead of Wolves.
  • Rafa Benitez will rubber-stamp Xabi Alonso’s £32million move to Real Madrid, providing he gets all the money up front.
  • Everton hope to complete a £3million deal for Rasmus Elm on Sunday.
  • Blackburn are looking at Croatian striker Armando Mance.
  • Wolves are winning the chase for £2.5million-rated Nantes midfield star Guirane N’Daw.
  • West Brom will move for Derby’s Paul Green if Jonathan Greening leaves the club.
  • Middlesbrough are set to sign Charlton captain Nick Bailey in a £750,000 deal.
  • SUNDAY MIRROR:
  • John Terry’s relationship with Chelsea is at breaking point.
  • West Ham are set to offer Matthew Upson their captaincy in a bid to keep him at the club.
  • Sulaiman Al Fahim’s takeover of Portsmouth is under threat from a Premier League investigation.
  • THE MAIL ON SUNDAY:
  • Chelsea and Tottenham are ready to offer David Beckham a Premier League lifeline.
  • SUNDAY EXPRESS:
  • Liverpool are closing in on David Silva, increasing the likelihood of Xabi Alonso joining Real Madrid.
  • SUNDAY MAIL:
  • James McCarthy admits he is still agonising over whether to join Wigan or Wolves.
  • Falkirk could be set to sign Dutch goalkeeper Barry Dietwig.
  • Craig Levein has handed Portsmouth kid Joe Collins the chance to win a deal at Tannadice.
  • Rumours Pure, unadulterated rumours from around the internet.  Many claim to have inside connections, or themselves be connected with clubs.  Don’t believe it all, but if it makes you feel better…go ahead and believe it.

    • Hull City are in talks with “bad boy” Joey Barton of Newcastle
    • Xabi Alonso’s move from Liverpool to Real Madrid is set to be finalized this week.  The money from the sale will be put towards long-time transfer target David Silva…as well as Alberto Aquilani of Roma for £12m.
    • John Terry’s father is urging his son to follow through with a move to Manchester City due to his high wages.
    • Marouane Chamakh is certain to sign at Arsenal, but will not fit into the starting XI.
    • Martin O’Neill is ready to part ways with in-demand winger Ashley Young with several top clubs vying for his signature.
    • Aston Villa have agreed an £8m deal to sign Fabian Delph from Leeds United.
    • Part of Emmanuel Adebayor’s departure was due to the fact that he didn’t get on well with several other team members.  Despite the fact that the manager rated him very highly, Wenger didn’t want to disrupt the chemistry.


    Sunderland Chase £12m Pompey Hitman
    July 15, 2009, 3:16 PM
    Filed under: premier league | Tags: , , ,

    From SportingLife –

    Sunderland boss Steve Bruce remains hopeful of getting a chance to persuade England striker Peter Crouch his future lies on Wearside.

    The Black Cats have been in discussion with Portsmouth for several weeks over the 28-year-old frontman, and those talks were continuing today.

    However, it is understood that, despite reports to the contrary, no fee has yet been agreed, and that the process is being complicated by Pompey’s ownership situation, which is yet to be resolved.

    Sunderland have tabled at least one bid, understood to be in the region of £11million, and are keen to lure Crouch to the north east amid speculation that Fulham, who agreed a £5million fee for the transfer of Bobby Zamora to Hull, are ready to offer him a move to London.

    Bruce was giving little away, but confirmed his interest in the much-travelled striker.

    He said: “He is a player I have admired for a very long time, and I suppose a lot of other managers do exactly the same thing.

    “As far as I am aware – and I have just come off the training ground – we are in discussions with the club and that’s as far as it is at the moment.

    “But the discussions have been going on now for a few weeks.

    “We hope we can try to put something together because he would be the type of player, of course, that would signal our intention of the way we want to take the football club forward.”

    Asked if a fee had been agreed, Bruce replied: “I don’t understand that just yet.

    “I know discussions at high levels were going on late last night, so we will see, and I will be able to tell you more in the next 24 hours.”

    The former Liverpool man could end up at Craven Cottage or the Stadium of Light.

    The former Liverpool man could end up at Craven Cottage or the Stadium of Light.

    Sunderland have been linked with a bewildering list of supposed targets since the end of last season – Bruce suggested it extends to 55 different players – many of them erroneously.

    They have acknowledged their interest in Manchester City defender Richard Dunne and their efforts to sign midfielder Lee Cattermole from the manager’s former club, Wigan, have so far gone unrewarded.

    However, Bruce, who dismissed speculation that City striker Craig Bellamy is also in his sights, insists his focus has never wavered.

    He said: “I will never talk about somebody else’s player until we have agreed with the particular club or agreed with the player, I think that’s vitally important.

    “I have had six targets which I have identified with the chairman – we have got two of them and we hope we can add three or four to it. I haven’t wavered from that just yet.

    “I don’t know where the Craig Bellamy thing came from, but it’s a total and utter load of rubbish.”

    On Cattermole, Bruce, who is also thought to have an interest in Tottenham marksman Darren Bent, added: “I hate talking about other players because I hate it myself with other teams.

    “But we all know money talks. We have made it obvious with the bid for Lee that he is a target who we tried to bring into the football club.

    “There will come a time when we will have to visit elsewhere if it becomes not possible, and we will respect Wigan in that decision.

    “But we will see what develops over the next two, three, four, five weeks.”

    In addition, the manager is awaiting a decision from predecessor Ricky Sbragia over an offer to head up the club’s new-look scouting set-up.

    Analysis:  The giant striker would be a great acquisition for either Sunderland or Fulham.  He’s Prem proven and is pretty much the biggest target man you could ask for.  He’s good not great in the air (shame for his height), but has a surprisingly decent touch for such a big frame.  He can really move himself if he has to, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a player try as many bicycle kicks as Crouch.  I’m a big fan of him, and I feel like he could get on well anywhere he goes.  What seems to be his calling is taking down those lobbed balls from the back on his chest, controlling it and passing it on.

    Result:  Crouchie’s agent said he could leave Pompey a little while ago, and I’ll hold him to that.  I don’t see him at Fratton Park next season, and with Fulham now guaranteed a place in Europe, I’ll bet he could fancy a move there.



    Crouch Could Leave – Agent
    July 10, 2009, 7:02 PM
    Filed under: premier league | Tags: , , ,

    Peter Crouch’s agent believes the Portsmouth striker is available if another club make a serious offer.

    England international Crouch has been linked with a string of clubs over the summer due to the financial problems at Fratton Park.

    Yes...that's his girlfriend.

    Yes...that's his girlfriend.

    AC Milan have been credited with an interest and reports claim Sunderland are ready to make a club record £12million bid for the former Liverpool forward.

    Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce has suggested Crouch would be out of his price range as his future at Pompey remains uncertain.

    The player’s representative Jonathan Barnett stated last month that Crouch had “no intention” of leaving, but feels Portsmouth may now be ready to listen to offers.

    “I think Portsmouth have financial problems,” Barnett told The News. “I think every player is available.

    “You would have to speak to Portsmouth to see if they are willing to sell Peter. He doesn’t feel he’s been let down, though. He has a great relationship with Portsmouth. He doesn’t feel let down at all.

    “We haven’t heard anything from Milan or anyone at this stage.

    “He’s a Portsmouth player, he likes the club and thinks a lot of Peter Storrie and Paul Hart.

    “He is happy, but if there are circumstances where he has to move, that is football I’m afraid.

    “If Portsmouth were to receive an offer from somebody then we would have to listen to it.”

    – SportingLife

    Analysis:  Crouch might not be a bad idea for teams with strike issues or needs for a second striker (Sunderland, Fulham..etc).   He’s a proven Prem striker, which is paramount in bringing a striker into the league.  He’s got a decent scoring record for Portsmouth (11 goals), and his price is reportedly £11m.  AC Milan are even interested in the giant striker and are fixed to be making a bid shortly.

    Result:  There’s a good possibility Crouch could leave, but if he does, Paul Hart will have to find another point man for Pompey.  He was leading scorer for Portsmouth this season, so it’ll be important for them to try and hang on to him.