Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Glasgow agog as Gers gubbed

Chain chasing at melwood this week.

I've two friendlies and four goals to report on this sunny bank holiday Monday in Dublin.

The Villareal match was pretty boring. It was arranged as part of the Riena deal a few years back. It had the look of a friendly about it, which is what it was. The only noteworthy incidents were seeing Keane wearing the shirt for the first time and seeing the reception that our Spanish heroes got from the home crowd. That Torres chap seems to be quite popular.

Then we paid a visit to Ibrox to put Rangers back in their box. I have no interest in Scottish football myself, especially the sectarian bullshit that goes on between the old firm. I think it's particularly brainless when you see somebody like Robbie Keane get booed by Rangers fans because he's Irish. Similarly, Celtic fans booed David Healy when playing for Fulham in recent weeks. That's not far off the bad old days when black players would get booed in my book.

Given all that, it was especially satisfying to see us wallop Rangers 4-0. Torres, Yossi, Ngog and Xabi managed to get on the score sheet. It's a pity that Robbie didn't join them. The Echo give N'Gog a glowing report. The young Frenchman scored the goal of the game when he beat a defender or two before firing past the keeper from distance. He could be the surprise package of this season. I would expect that he'll be used like Babel was last year, mainly from the bench to run at tired defenses in the last half hour of games. The Mail tips him as one of ten Prem teens to look out for this season.

Kevin McCarra suggests that King Kenny was the greatest British footballer from the last 50 years. Who am I to argue?

Despite hearing this on Wednesday, we heard this later in the week from O'Neil. Rafa says that he doesn't want to or need to unload Xabi. We'll see about that. If we do sign Barry, which is looking likely, then I think we'll have too many midfielders and one of them will have to be let go. Xabi is the obvious one to be sold in that scenario. Reports today say that Arsenal will sign him when we sign Barry. The Guardian reckon they've made an opening bid in the region of £10m but we want something nearer £18m.

Sky suggest Roma are interested in Yossi. How about De Rossi coming the other way if the Barry deal falls through?

One player we won't be seeing this season is Leto. He's been refused a work permit and is off on loan to Olympiakos for the season. I hope he makes a go of it there.

We drew Standard Liège in the champions league third round qualifiers. That's a handy enough draw and we really shouldn't have any problems over two legs. It would have been much worse if we drew Atletico Madrid, although El Nino would have been happy to go home for a visit. It would be nice if we drew them in the group stages.

I'm off to enjoy the sun while it lasts. I doubt it will be for long.

1 comment:

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