Thursday, March 16, 2006

The slow news week continues

Journos around Europe seem to be seizing this week as an opportunity to really go crazy with their ideas of who should be playing where next season.

Top of the list is, naturally, our TH and his supposed move to Barca. According to many sources this morning, this is a supposedly done and dusted deal. Due to small print in TH's contract and FIFA regulations Barca reckon they can get him for £10m. Sources 'close to Laporta' (the sea? hahaha - little Spanish joke for you there) claim a 'verbal deal' has been struck. Now, I'm sure we all remember those terrible old anti-piracy ads that used to come with rented vids. Some idiot would try and return a bootleg vid to a market trader who'd promptly say, in a painfully hackneyed faux-cockney accent, 'verbal contract mate, ain't worth the paper it's printed on.' Well, quite. Even if this has occurred, which I'm 99.9% sure it hasn't, so what? I'm actually becoming more and more convinced TH will stay, even if for only one more season. He's really looked a far happier player of late: I'm convinced that he's beginning to realise the kid's potential, and he'll stay to see it through. I'm also sure he wants to be the guy to lead the team out for the first time at the Emirates.

A lot of transfer speculation is engineered to create moves; not to actually report moves that are meant to be on the verge of occuring. I'm sure what Barca are trying to do is continually spread stories about TH coming to them, in the hope it'll create some form of critical momentum to the transfer which no one can resist. Perhaps they are even trying to turn us all against TH - I know the support of the fans has been a major reason in T's desire to stay: we should not turn against him due to some rubbish being purposely strewn to get him at a different club. We know what type of a guy TH is: he's not the type to do underhand, behind the club's back deals. So, ignore the speculation. If he goes, he'll go in the summer. If he doesn't, he'll sign in the summer. It's his decision, and given how much he has given to this club we should all respect it and wish him well. Although: PLEASE STAY THIERRY, PLEASE STAY!!!! Sorry, the thought of him being elsewhere does pain me somewhat.

In other news, well done to Boro for getting through to the UEFA 1/4s. After the, frankly, horrific stabbings that occurred before the game, I'm tempted to write a piece about the state of fans in Italy. Racism, Political extremism, violence, hooliganism: welcome to Serie A. I know not all fans are like this, but there are major problems in the Italian fan base at the moment, that, surprise, surprise, UEFA, the Italian FA, FIFA are doing nothing about.

Elsewhere, the express reckons Robben might be going to the Spuds if Ballack arrives; the Star runs a cute piece on how Theo is going to spend his increased pocket mo, I mean wages, when he turns 17. Newcastle are now in the hunt for every striker going when Shearer hangs up his boots: Van Nistelrooy and Torres especially. The thought of VN and Owen teaming up would be so comical it would be hard to know whether to describe it as tragedy or farce. You can imagine them both trying to toe-poke the same balls in while standing rooted in the six yard box. Torres won't go to Newcastle. If he comes to a Premiership team it'll be us or Chelsea. Although I wouldn't put it past Benitez to perhaps put a cheeky bid in for him. Despite their rout of Fulham last night they need a new striker, and Benitez does like his Spanish players.

Oh and apparently we're on the verge of getting another 16 year old from Barca, named Fran Merida, after Barca forgot to counter sign his contract. A new Fabregas already? Or a new Pennant? Only time will tell.

As for me, possibly slightly worse than yesterday somehow. I've clearly been rushed back to the first team too early and suffered a relapse. Never again will I laugh at the expression, 'well, at least you've got your health'.

No comments: