Friday, December 28, 2007

Barton Barred and January Ball Gazing Part 1

I was peparing some research into players that should interest the January Transfer market and remind football fans of some others to watch out for in the future. I just happened to flick across the latest football news.

Seems Joey Barton cannot keep himself out of trouble. Nevermind the fact his team are in all sorts of straits. Mr Barton, Esq. is obviously in the wrong sport. Perhaps he should swap with Ricky Hatton. Maybe then Floyd Mayweather would have known what Evander Holyfield felt when Mike Tyson bit his ear off.

Barton once said
“It's always nice to be linked with the big boys and always nice to be gazed at from afar and be admired for your football.”

Barton has now shown himself to be a thug, previously on the pitch and at the training ground. His antics have just gone public. He misses two vital games over the packed Christmas/New Year schedule, including one against Chelsea. His "combative spirit" as several of his managers have euphemistically put some of his more over zealous tackles will be missing. When it is most needed. Instead he will be squaring up with the local nick's Mr Big.

Now this may very well come across as sour grapes-seeing as I am not a very well paid footballer such as....Joey Barton. But frankly I hope Newcastle United and the FA do the decent thing. Terminate his contract and give him some sort of ban. The man obviously, despite his constant stream of public piffle, has no idea of how privileged he is. Or the fact he is meant to be a role model. Players who get involved with drugs are given short shrift by some clubs because of this, yet once the drugs take hold there is less control than over somebody's temper. Perhaps Tony Adams should put his arm around Barton and get him to go to Sporting Chance.

Hopefully after a suitably lengthy ban, some help with the issues he seems to have with violence and a brush with losing his mega bucks status, the footballer might re-emerge from the Incredible Hulk Joey Barton seems obsessed with turning into.

Now on to hopefully more heart warming reading, the transfer window is almost upon us and managers will be getting as excited as seven year olds the night before Christmas.

Doing a bit of digging I found some players which might raise interest in January and the next twelve months as well as resurrected some targets which may have been forgotten.

Starting with the goalkeepers:


Roman Weidenfeller:

Actually, it is a shame that Weidenfeller is currently injured otherwise I am sure Arsene Wenger would have liked to use Lehmann in a swap plus cash deal for the German goalkeeper. The irony is rich. Lehmann left Borussia Dortmund after pressure from Weidenfeller forced an argument over who was the true number one. Weidenfeller is also pushing Lehmann in the national team stakes as to the true heir to Oliver Kahn. As it is, Lehmann looks like coming in as cover for Roman Weidenfeller rather than seeing his long time rival being his Emirates replacement. However I have included Weidenfeller because his injury will see him back just in time for the run in and somebody might take the risk. After all, Dortmund are not setting the Bundesliga alight in 10th and a move is surely going to take place, if not now then in the summer. Weidenfeller's pedigree is good with a 78% save percentage, behind a defence which is best described as mainly veteran.

Fabian Carini:

Will this man ever get to the Premiership? Or for that matter get a true first team chance to shine? He has already caught the eye of Arsenal until his wage demands made the Professor think twice and then Manchester United began sniffing around. At Inter, Carini never got a look in with the likes of Toldo and Cesar keeping him out of the side. At the beginning of this season the Uruguayan international left on a free for Real Murcia. Whilst the Spanish side may be looking to have him as a long term replacement for incumbent net custodian Antonio Notaro, Carini surely left for first team football. He has appeared once. Another factor which may help any interested parties is his club. They are currently fifth from bottom in La Liga and are not likely to trouble European competition on a consistent basis. Surely not good enough for an international player? Carini might be a target for Arsenal, although with Almunia and Fabianski as understudy he is more likely to reignite interest at Old Trafford. Carini would be perfect as an intermediate between van der Sar's retirement and Ben Foster's coming of age. Alternatively Tottenham Hotspur might be another destination, particularly with compatriot Gustavo Poyet as Juande Ramos' assistant. However Murcia do have Carini locked into a four year deal and so his calibre will command a transfer fee of at least £7 million which could deter bidders beyond the top four.

Ivan Pelizzoli:

An Italian (oh really?You would never have guessed) goalkeeper who impressed with youthful displays at Atalanta before a disastrous spell with AS Roma. Pelizzoli's spectacular fall from grace has been completed with a 3 million euro move to Lokomotiv Moscow. However, how he ended up at Moscow's third team is still a little hard to believe. With Sven Goran Eriksson still unsure over his fellow Swede Andreas Isaksson and Hart too young, Man City could do worse than pair an ex Serie A manager with an ex Serie A goalkeeper. Reading could be an outside interest, with a desire to find long term cover for Hahnemann with Federici not quite cutting it.


Bruno Fernandes de Souza:

A real outsider and more of a one to watch for the future. A young Brazilian goalkeeper who plays for Flamengo on loan from Atletico Mineiro. He has impressed Flamengo so much he has pushed out once first choice goalkeeper Diego. Helpfully I have managed to find a highlights reel for any prospective scouts to pique their interest:

The only problem is he is yet to play for Brazil which could cause problems on the work permit front. Then again he could join the likes of Marcos Senna (Spain) and Deco (Portugal), fellow Brazilians who have played for other countries. In a few years he might be England's new number one!


Timo Hildebrand:

An unlikely mover as he is seen as Santiago Canizares long term replacement but one to watch out for in the Valencia team and for the German national side. Big money might persuade Valencia to part company.

Luke Steele:

A former Manchester United Trainee like Ben Foster, now at West Bromwich Albion where he is on a season's loan at Coventry. A long term replacement for West Brom or a permanent move to another Championship side? Another prospect to look out for other the next few windows.

Coming soon defenders.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Big B other.....


The Government that is obsessed with having our details on databases should stop watching us and watch what it is doing with our data. The turkeys in the Labour Government have been widely reported to have lost more than 3 million learner driver details. This follows on from the 6,000 driver details in Northern Ireland and the 25 million child benefit data losses.

This goes beyond stand in Lib Dem leader Vince Cable's polite description of Gordon Brown as Mr Bean. Frankly this latest round of nonsense makes that an Mr Bean. The whole Labour Government are now dressed in stripy red and white hats and glasses as the public can now play Where's Wally in the Cabinet.

More seriously, if Government departments are losing our details so wilfully, what's to stop a potential terrorist slipping through the net with devastating consequences? Why did the Government need to keep records of learner drivers for more than a year? Surely after a year of driving, if no incidents have occurred they have proved they were correctly passed. The driver's details should then be merged to one file at the Driving Standards Agency as that of a qualified driver.

The only explanation to the contrary that springs to mind is that of an Orwellian attempt to have a blow by blow account of ordinary people's lives and for what purpose is that serving?

I am surprised we have not been treated to stories of ministerial papers disappearing from Her Majesty's Stationery Office-no that is not a department I made up. With plans to put more of our health records online, how long before several John Smiths of various habitats become worried they have diseases or illnesses of someone else?

With baited breath the public can only wait and shake its head at the farce this government has become. No wonder Tony Blair disappeared so quickly, like a fox in the bushes. David Cameron is certainly not losing any sleep over this. Any more Brown Government balls ups and the public will surely, come election time, tell Labour to GET LOST!

Please note, this post is intended as a semi humourous take on political events and as such in no way suggests members of the cabinet are actually Wally or indeed wallies.

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    Under rigorous examination I suppose I am a considerate, intelligent, humorous type of person