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Monday Roundup: Smith, Richardson and Torres

Monday morning blues is upon us. So let’s pick up from what transpired on Sunday.

Sunday news was awash with reports of United agreeing on a deal for Smith, ermm… this time with Middlesbrough. In fact, some headlines go as far as to say that they have won the ‘race’ to sign him. The same ones who claimed the other day that Newcastle had won the race to sign him and to a lesser extent that Portsmouth were likely to buy him.

Anyway, the Middlesbrough move makes more sense to me. First of all the 6 million fee is fair enough for him. We bought him for 7M and after those injuries and mostly unspectacular goal return, that kind of fee seems reasonable. The other thing is that Boro have Yakubu and have also reportedly signed Tuncay to fill the void left by Viduka. The addition of Smith will give good competition for places in their strike line up. Something, I am sure, Smith would relish and be up for. It is surely a better place to be than say, Newcastle. His work rate and commitment will see him popular among fans wherever he goes. So here’s wishing him well if he does move.

The other rumours making the rounds is Richardson dropping hints that he could quit. The report also speculates that Roy Keane might be interested in bringing him over to Sunderland. Although – correct me if am wrong – I thought he was one of those players criticised during that damning (and unaired) interview that Keano gave to MUTV. To be fair though, he may be deemed good enough to wear the Sunderland shirt, I believe. So good for him.

Depending on which paper or website you read, the headlines read something to the effect of ‘Reds to sign Torres’. Although, while some of them refer to the Devils, the others refer to the Scum. Anyway, we’ll see how that story arc shapes up in due course, but most of the rumours point towards a higher chance of Torres landing at Anfield than Old Trafford. I wonder if that possible, now that Benitez seems to have ruled out sending Cisse out on loan. (Does he want to sell him permanently, or is he willing to take any striker that comes his way?) Poignant thoughts, these.

And finally, there’s been outrage and furore, as far as what The Times would have us believe, on the non-inclusion of Ryan Giggs in Gabriele Marcotti’s (a journalist) 50 best footballers list. What makes it worse is having Carragher when there is no place for Vidic and Ferdinand. Bizarre, but who is he to judge anyway!

Oh yes, a Wikipedia search on Gabriele Marcotti returns this. Supposed to be respectable and known to have an almost encyclopedic knowledge about football.

Hmmm… all that knowledge and no Giggs, while having plenty other bizarre inclusions and equally bizarre exclusions? It’s poor mate. Really poor. [link]



  1. Sab

    June 25, 2007 at 10:21 am

    Marcottti obviously don’t have clue about judging who’s best or not if Ferdinand is behind Carragher. When it comes to Vidic he still has to prove that he can maintain playing at the highest level over a longer period (years that is), but having Carragher there in front of Giggs is completely insane, I’m sure there are enough people who’ll at least agree with Giggs and probably Ferdinand but not necessarily Vidic.

  2. Tomas

    June 25, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    The reason behind Giggs’ omision is his age. The list is a top 50 of players you would like to bring in for next season to have an impact. Apparently the author thinks Giggs will not be as good next season.

    Why Ferdinand is not there is unbelievable. Somehow, some players manage to establish a name for themselves in the media. Carragher is on the list, imo, because there is so much talk about his heart and fighting spirit. Rio is mostly mentioned when he makes mistakes, and so the overall evaluation by the author, and many others, is that Carragher is better. In stead they should, obviously, look at their actual skills, where Rio is far better than Carragher (who’s a good CB but not great). Thankfully the national coach (who’s the only one that can pick both) doesn’t buy into media BS and picks Rio because of his talent.

    Include also when evaluating 2 players in the same position the type of game, their team plays. Carragher has 2 defensive middies in front of him, which makes his task a heck lot easier, where Rio often struggles with one light-tackling DM (Carrick) and wingers that don’t track back (Ronaldo in particular). United’s is a team much tougher to defend in, and that makes it even more impressive that Liverpool and United conceeded an equal amount of goals last season.

    Some one please stop me… getting a bit long.

  3. Steve from CA

    June 25, 2007 at 7:22 pm

    How can there be 7 players from Chelski and only 4 from Man Utd? What’s more absurd is that Paul Scholes is ranked behind Michael Ballack. This Marcotti guy is clearly an ass.

    On the Torres issue: One of my mates suggested that the Quagliarella mini-saga was only a diversion used by Gill and SAF to swoop for Torres and maybe keep his price down (even though reports say teams will have to meet his release clause anyways). Although I thought this was highly unlikely, stranger things have happened. Even though Gill did say that funds would be made available to SAF if there was someone, presumably a striker, he wanted, 27 million or so does seem a bit much. The only way I can see this happening is if we sell of Smith, Saha, Richardson, and maybe Heinze. Frankly, I think this would be a good investment for Man Utd because we would have all the pieces in place to compete for at least the next 5 years or so, which means little spending has to be done over that period. And although there have been reports of Torres being inconsistant, he would undoubteldy do better with Man Utd playing behind him than Atletico Madrid. Plus, I highly doubt there are any managers or coaches in the world that can get as much out of their players as SAF and Carlos.

  4. simonthered

    June 26, 2007 at 8:59 am

    Anyone that listens to TalkSport knows that Marcotti is just their to disagree with the bleedin obvious. So here’s my top Journalists/Commentators;

    1. Matt Le Tissier (say what you see Matt)
    2. Tony Smith (rednews)
    3. Ahmed Bilal (honest and not afraid to piss people off)
    101. Gab Marcotti
    9999. Alan Green (with envy)

  5. Ahmed Bilal

    June 26, 2007 at 9:31 am

    simonthered – you’re too kind, although you now need to tell me what I should do to be #1 🙂

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