SportsNet - December 2012
According to Goal.com, Arsenal have made a £10 Million bid for Atletico Madrid forward Adrian Lopez. The classy Spain international has long been an Arsenal target.
Manager Arsene Wenger appears ready to swoop as soon as the winter transfer window opens tomorrow. Getting a player of Lopez's quality for this mooted price, would represent a steal.
The 24-year-old perfectly fits Arsenal's current formation and style of play. A quick and technically-gifted attacker, Lopez can operate anywhere along the forward line.
He has experience in the wide berths, having played on the right last season for Atletico. However, Lopez is at heart a natural striker.
This season he has been the backup for Radamel Falcao and has seen his playing time limited. However, Lopez fired 19 goals for Madrid during their last campaign.
He is a composed finisher who times and varies his movement extremely well. The ex-Deportivo star also offers the pace Arsenal need in attack.
With the final English Premier League games of 2012 all completed, here are some of the big winners and losers from the final round of games.
Rafa Benitez (Chelsea)
Chelsea’s interim manager took his in-form team to the always difficult Goodison Park to face an Everton side who are breathing down their neck in the race for a top 4 slot, and who were previously unbeaten at home for 9 months. After a tough grilling by David Moyes’ men in the first half, Benitez changed tactics and with two goals from captain Frank Lampard, was able to secure a vital 3 points in their quest to remain in the race for the title.
Theo Walcott (Arsenal)
The January Premier League Transfer window opens tomorrow, 1st January 2013. It also heralds silly season in the UK tabloid newspapers as `off the cuff` remarks and evasive comments become tomorrow’s transfer news! We have already had the farce at Chelsea, with Demba Ba turning down flat the approaches from them. Like most others in football, he is probably appalled at the antics of the club during the racism rows and their sociopath owner. So let’s have a look at some genuine transfer news from Manchester United.
Firstly, let`s rule out the nonsense. Ronaldo will not be coming back to United in January. It is also unlikely that Sir Alex will now launch a bid for Wesley Sneijder, despite the fact that he could get him for a cut price £11m. My sources at United tell me that Sir Alex has decided that he would prefer to nurture the talents of the much younger Shinji Kagawa in that midfield role. This is particularly so, as I wrote earlier this month, that the deal to bring Lewandowski from Dortmund has all but been rubber stamped for the summer. That would mean reuniting Kagawa with Lewandowski; one of the most lethal partnerships in recent German Bundesliga history.
It’s little change from year to year. As the college football regular season winds down in late November, the coaching carousel starts to kick into high gear. Guys get fired, guys get hired. Some move up in status or conference level, some move out.
A month later, the pros get into the act. The NFL closes out its annual Week 17 and heads start to roll. It becomes all about play-for-pay X-and-O retreads being rolled out as the answer to some ailing organization’s woes, how that Sunday experience is so vital, so necessary.
Save for some against-the-grain shots by owners who are told “better,” it is pretty rare to see much crossover between the college and pro games despite each have an overlap at the same stage – the give-up, start-over one by so many of its participants.
In the waning hours of 2012, though, it is quite clear that is not the case this time around.
Oregon’s Chip Kelly has been rumored to be the hot coaching commodity among NFL execs in search of that next franchise savior just about all season. He’d been in the running for the Tampa Bay gig just about the same time a year ago before the Bucs settled on Rutgers’ Greg Schiano.
Monday night’s Chick-Fil-A Bowl is a match up of strength against strength: one of the nation's best offenses versus one of the top defenses when No. 14 Clemson and No. 9 LSU meet in Atlanta, Georgia at the Georgia Dome.
If you didn’t know any better, you’d think this year’s contest was a love affair instead of a football game. I understand that coaches feel like they have an obligation to be cordial and not provide any bulletin board material for their opponents. But Les Miles and Dabo Swinney have taken cordiality to a whole new level.
Here is how their love affair has transpired.
Dabo Swinney, the head coach of the orange and purple Tigers from Clemson oozed with adoration in regards to the LSU team and, specifically, their defense.
"Our coaches, our players and our fans always look forward to playing against the best programs in the nation, and LSU certainly fits that description," Swinney said last week. "We are going to have the opportunity to compete against a top 10 team that played for it all last year."