SportsNet - June 2012
Italy defeated Germany 2-1 on Thursday courtesy of a pair of goals from controversial striker Mario Balotelli. When you have Balotelli and world class goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon having their best day on either end of the pitch, there is little you can do, to win. Balotelli was at his lethal best, scoring twice in the first half. The first one was cleverly set up by Antonio Cassano, who ran into two German defenders, turned past them to find Balotelli, who drilled a powerful header past Manuel Neuer. This one could be attributed to a major defense lapse, as Balotelli's marker Holger Badstuber did not even attempt to defend it.
During the 2012 NBA Draft, some high-profile players fell, whereas some relatively unknown players were chosen early. Some teams were treated to bargains while others were on the outside looking in. Let's take a look at the
New Orleans Hornets
Naturally the Hornets would have had a great time selecting the best player of the draft in Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis. It also bolstered its team by selecting argluably the draft's best scorer in Duke's Austin Rivers with the tenth pick. With a potential starting rotation of Rivers, Eric Gordon, Trevor Ariza, Chris Kaman and Anthony Davis, the Hornets will have the potential to be an exciting team next season and beyond.
Manchester United lost another summer target as 23-year old Spain left back Jordi Alba has confirmed a move from Valencia to Spanish giants Barcelona. United were looking for a long term replacement for their last season captain Patrice Evra.
The two Spanish clubs, Valencia and Barcelona has agreed a fee $17.5 million for the 23-year old. The news broke after Barcelona confirmed the arrival of Alba on their website.
'The cost will be €14 million, and the player will sign a contract for the next five seasons.' Barcelona said on their website.
'Valencia Football Club and Barcelona have reached an agreement for the transfer of Jordi Alba. Valencia wish him the greatest of luck' Valencia's statement added.
Alba joined FC Barcelona as a youngster but was released in 2005 and joined fellow Catalan side UE Cornellà. Alba was extremely talented and it was not too late until his talent was noticed by Valencia. Valencia signed Alba in 2007 and it was with Los Che that he rose to prominence as, after a loan spell with Gimnàstic de Tarragona, he established himself as a first-team regular and earned a call-up to the national team.
Dear Brendan Rodgers, the journey to your 'destination' has only just begun.
Four weeks ago, Liverpool Football Club appointed Brendan Rodgers as their new club manager. They have released their record selling new home kit but have yet to add any new signings on the playing side to wear it and, as yet, there is no news on the potential new stadium/redesign. The Euro's are almost over and there are only four weeks until Liverpool embark on their pre-season tour. With 'real' football back on the agenda in the coming months, the fans will swiftly start to return to debating all things Liverpool and the work being undertaken by the new manager will come under much greater scrutiny than has been the case so far.
Brendan Rodgers has played his first few weeks in charge relatively well. The proverbial cap has been dothed towards the outgoing King Kenny, the Shankly-like quotes from his well delivered press interviews have brought a slight murmuring of acceptance from the fans, and the captain and other senior players in the squad have spoken in complimentary tones about the new manager and his approach to the game.
Manchester United has failed to sign a world class player in the last few transfer windows after the club was taken over by the Glazers. United is also mired in a current debt of £500m. As a result, the Glazer family has not been able to make an impact in the transfer window like other wealthy owners are making at the moment.
Several top class players have also snubbed United to join other clubs. Dimitar Berbatov was the only player when United have spent £30.75m, which was an exception from the United rule. United needs to find a quick solution for the ongoing issue, if they hope to avoid what has happened to Arsenal.
With United losing the Premier League title to their Noisy neighbors Manchester City, Sir Alex Ferguson is in dire need to strengthen his squad in order to regain their dominance in English Football and give tough competition in Champions League.