SportsNet - March 2013
Giovanni Trapattoni could be forced into making another injury enforced change to the Irish team’s starting line up for Tuesday night’s visit of Austria. Captain Robbie Keane will undergo a scan to confirm the extent of a calf strain after pulling up in Sunday’s training session in Malahide.
Trapattoni however was bullish after the training session, saying “It’s not a problem, Robbie had a little bit of pain in his calf.” However until the result of the scan is known the Tallaght mans fate is unclear.
His absence, if necessary, could see Ireland come about their best team by default. With James McCarthy proving the importance of his vision and timing in Stockholm it is unlikely the now recovered Glenn Whelan will return in his place. And with many commentators and observers impressed yet again by Wes Hoolahan’s cameo and calls for his inclusion pervasive, his involvement is feasible.
However even if Keane does miss out, it would be no shock to see Trapattoni move Jonathan Walters across to partner Shane Long and Andy Keogh drafted in to the right hand side to perform a similar role as to that of Walters in the Sweden game.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will give a trial to Nigerian central defender Godfrey Oboabona, according to a report in The Sun. It shows Wenger remains committed to scouting African talent and finding bargains on the transfer market, despite increased fan pressure.
If Wenger is left suitably impressed, he will conclude a deal worth £1 million for Oboabona. However, news that the manager is on another bargain hunt is unlikely to please many Arsenal fans.
The club has experienced serious struggles this season, resulting in some embarrassing lows. Cup exits to lower-league opposition, signaled for many, the time for Wenger to change his ways in the transfer market.
In another season of title failure and possible failure to qualify for next seasons Champions League, there is a silver lining to their dark clouds. During the international World Cup fortnight, most managers tend to travel whilst they have some spare time. However, in the case of one high profile manager, Jose Mourinho of Real Madrid, he has also made a high profile announcement that leaves no doubt as to where he will be next season.
To quote Mourinho at the opening of an exhibition in Setubal, he has hinted he may return to one of his former clubs, claiming his next move could be to 'somewhere I've already been'.
'It's not easy to choose a new destination after working in England, Portugal, Italy and Spain. Maybe I could return to somewhere I've already been. Watch out for surprises.'
Mourinho had a successful spell, as manager at Chelsea and won two Premier League titles before falling out with sociopathic owner, Roman Abramovich. With the current manager, Rafa Benitez already having confirmed that his tenure as interim manager will end when the season finishes, it has become obvious that Mourinho has been set up to take over.
The summer transfer window is just some months away and as always, truckloads of players will be making their way towards the Premier League.
Some of these stars are bound to come from the La Liga and hence, here are the three most likely players to make a trip from Spain to England.
Jonathan Dos Santos, FC Barcelona
A talented midfielder, but the problem with Jonathan Dos Santos is that he is fighting for a place in a team which possesses the the likes of Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, Thigao Alcantara, to name a few.
At the age of 22, Dos Santos is longer a ‘promising youngster’ and needs to get more first-team opportunities. With Barcelona unlikely to help this cause, it is likely that Dos Santos will leave the Spanish giants in the summer.
According to the Daily Express, English giants Manchester United have completed the signing of Benfica centre-back Ezequiel Garay for a reported fee of £17 million.
“Man United have reportedly completed a £17m deal to strengthen their defence with the capture of Benfica centre-back Ezequiel Garay according to the Daily Express.
The Old Trafford side have been scouting the powerful Argentine defender for some months and have apparently come to an ‘agreement’ with the Lisbon based side as to a fee for the former Real Madrid man.”
Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic are entering the twilight days of their respective careers and Manchester United’s defence has been considerably mediocre this term.
The Red Devils have leaked goals for fun sometimes and although their defensive output of late has been relatively better, United do need some fresh legs at the back.
Garay thus, entering the prime of his career, can bring about the much-needed stability to the 19-time English champions’ defence.