SportsNet - June 2012
Arsene Wenger has made two outstanding purchases this summer so far. Firstly, acquiring Lukas Podolski from Koln was a coup afer Koln was relegated from the German Bundesliga last season. His second signing was the Ligue 1 Golden Boot winner and Montpellier front man Oliver Giroud. Those were two astute signings by Wenger and two players that have an eye for goal.
But does this mean Arsenal can contest for the Premier League title next season?
To really challenge for the title, a team must have four top quality front men. The signings of Giroud and Podolski give Arsenal an attacking force to rival Manchester City. They accompany last season's top scorer Robin van Persie, Gervinho and Theo Walcott can play through the middle. This is before one even mentions the forwards that will return to the Emirates after loan spells. (Bendtner, Vela and Arshavin) Plus the likes of Park and Chamakh sat on the bench for most of last season. Arsenal now has an attacking force that any team in the Premier League would want.
Now that the 2011-12 NBA season is over, there is only one thing left to do. Time to gear up for the next year. The Miami Heat will still be celebrating their NBA Championship for another couple of weeks. The Oklahoma City Thunder will still be thinking what if for the next week or so. The other 28 teams are more focused on this Thursday night: The 2012 NBA Draft. There is good reason to be focused on this draft because of the depth of talent.
There might not be the star power of the 2003 NBA Draft, with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, and Darko Milicic. (I just had to mention him because how the hell did he go number 2 overall, good job Detroit.)
The 1996 NBA Draft provided the likes of Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Ray Allen, Stephon Marbury, Steve Nash, Marcus Camby, Jermaine O'Neal, Peja Stojakovic, and Moochie Norris. (I had to throw Mooch in here because he rocked the best afro the NBA has ever witnessed.)
This year's NBA Draft could be a rarity in that there are several teams within the Top 10 picks that could look to trade down or parlay these picks into veteran players to provide immediate contributions. These teams include the Charlotte Bobcats, Washington Wizards, Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors, and the Detroit Pistons. However, this will be contingent on whom the Bobcats decide to select with the second overall pick.
If Beal is selected at number 2, the Wizards could then pursue a trade with a team targeting Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Harrison Barnes with the third pick.
The midway point of 2012's calendar year has come, which means it is time to recognize the top fighter, knockout and submission of the UFC year to this point.
Fighter of the Half-Year: Martin Kampmann
Danish fighter Martin "The Hitman" Kampmann has earned victories over two top-10 welterweights in Thiago Alves and Jake Ellenberger thus far. The 30-year-old is also on a three-fight winning streak for the first time in over four years.
The victories alone aren't what earn Kampmann the spot as "Fighter of the Half-Year"; it is the fashion in which those victories occurred that makes him stand out from the rest of the group.
With Liverpool now under the management of Brendan Rodgers, it's was clear from the outset that he'd sign one or two wingers for Liverpool. His philosophy at Swansea depended on pacey wingers to accompany the slick passing game.
Although not as pacey as most wingers, Vargas could bring something different to Liverpool, something that they've been missing. If one asks a Liverpool fan to name a winger that has graced Anfield in the past few years, they will find it impossible. Players such as Downing, Babel and Riera have failed to pull up trees whilst playing in the famous red of Liverpool.
Vargas is linked with big clubs every year. Not least AC Milan and Real Madrid in the past few seasons. His agent has clearly stated that Liverpool is an option and Vargas could leave this summer. However he has also stated Malaga's interest in Vargas and as they are in the Champions League next season, this might be the "better" option for Vargas.