SportsNet - February 2013
It's taken them too long, but Arsenal will finally unveil a statue dedicated to Dutch master Dennis Bergkamp. His statue should have been the first to go up outside Arsenal's new stadium.
Instead this is a long overdue homage to the club's greatest ever player. During the barren years at the Emirates Stadium, fans and journalists have speculated about who Arsenal miss the most.
Indeed, they have lost so many great assets since last lifting a trophy in May, 2005. Many would argue that talisman Patrick Vieira is missed the most. Others will claim they have never replaced the prolific class of Thierry Henry, or the elegant grace of Robert Pires.
Arsenal's consistent defensive frailties during the Emirates years, would prompt some to conclude that Sol Campbell was the biggest loss. However, the truth is so much more simple. Arsenal's biggest loss from the glory days of Arsene's Wenger's reign is Bergkamp.
Chelsea News: Benitez Writes Longest Resignation Letter With Amazing Rant After Match Against Middlesbrough
In a week where there were claims and counter claims over a "difference of opinion" with Captain John Terry, interim manager Rafael Benitez finally snapped last night after the victory over Middlesbrough in the FA Cup.
Chelsea won the tie, away at Middlesbrough by 2-0. That is where the good news ended as Benitez suddenly and without any warning, launched into an unbridled tirade against just about everybody! It seems that he finally took exception to the constant chanting and the flurry of banners, some of which left nothing to the imagination! Quite why he chose last night is a mystery, but here is a transcript of what he said at the press conference last night:-
"A group of fans, they are not doing any favours for the team when they are signing and wasting time preparing banners”.
"It's because someone made a mistake. The put my title 'interim manager’ and I will leave at the end of the season, so they don't need to waste time with me”.
"Why put interim in the title? Why did they need do that? Maybe they thought: "He was at Liverpool", so put interim in".
According to the Mirror, Tottenham Hotspur’s search for a striker has returned them back Valencia’s and Spain international Roberto Soldado, with the player’s club finally willing to sell their prized asset in wake of their mounting debts.
“Soldado, a long-term Spurs target, was subject of mass speculation about a move last summer, but Valencia have always maintained he won’t be sold unless a massive offer of at least £20million arrives.
However, according to reports in Spain, Valencia are now willing to listen to offers of around half that as their debt crisis continues to intensify.
The Los Che owe millions, with part of their debt passing on to local city authorities last year, and player sales are top of the agenda to try and raise cash.”
The Chicago Bears have a boatload of potential free agents to re-sign (or not) from last year’s roster, and the most expensive of the lot could be Henry Melton. The 26-year-old defensive tackle is coming off his first Pro Bowl appearance just as his rookie contract expires.
As reported by Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter), the Bears appear to be willing to sink huge amounts of cash into keeping Melton on the roster. Biggs says that, unless a long-term contract is reached, the Bears are expected to put the franchise tag on the youngster…a move that’s expected to cost in the neighborhood of $8 million next season.
The Bears aren’t long on cap room in the best of scenarios, so committing that kind of money to one of their many skilled defensive linemen isn’t a trivial decision. Nevertheless, Chicago can ill afford to make any other move where Melton is concerned.
Sound the alarm. Mid-major haters and blinders-wearing BCS-only-matters proponents, beware, the apocalypse is near.
Gonzaga as college basketball’s No. 1 now exists as a very, very real possibility, if not probability – as early as the start of next week.
With Indiana dropping its third game in the absolute meat grinder of a Big Ten schedule, the Bulldogs continuing to cruise through West Coast Conference softies and no one else really stepping up and staying up, the line between haves and have-nots may be blurred beyond recognition.
Oh, the horror …
Ever since Gonzaga crashed the big boys party with an Elite Eight run back in 1999, the higher ups in the Division I image pecking order have been dreading this. Oh sure, they’ll endure the Bulldogs getting a little national pub and maybe even smile when Gonzaga knocks off another ranked opponent, confident all the while that those upstarts from Spokane, Wash., will get what’s coming to them at some point – either in the polls, the NCAA seeding process or the NCAA Tournament itself.