Hey all, TTL went all-European and took an extended holiday (vacation to us Yanks) from updating. So here’s a hit-and-run, quick hits, scant comments on what’s been going on (in other words, no real writing just like big-time sports columnists).
Here is an excellent summary of the top 10 transfer deals of the summer so far. TTL had previously mentioned several of these deals but let’s delve into a few more.
Thierry Henry leaves Arsenal after 8 years for Barcelona for a paltry 16.1 million (pounds). This is a steal for Barca, considering Darren Bent cost Tottenham 16.5 million. Henry is the best striker in the world and played only 17 games last season due to various leg injuries. Fresh and hungry, expect Henry to have a huge season for Barca, especially with the likes of Ronaldinho, Xavi and Lionel Messi supplying him with cutthroat passes. With the addition of Henry, Yaya Toure and possibly the best leftback in the world Eric Abidal, Barca is piecing together a truly scary squad after a last season’s twin dissapointments of an early Champion’s League exit and finishing 2nd to hated Real Madrid in La Liga.
Where Barca seems to be ascending and are TTL’s clear favorites in La Liga, Arsenal are not quite descending but are certainly leveling out. The Gunners are in a tough spot, burdened by debt with the opening of their new Emirates Stadium this season and racked with boardroom turmoil. Rumors are swirling concerning the fate of their beloved manager Arsene Wenger who has only 1 year left on his contract. Wenger is the master of signing and developing young players with the young midfield maestro Cesc Fabregas perhaps the epitome of a Wenger player. For all of Henry’s brilliance, Wenger is Arsenal. And Wenger will have to do another masterful coaching job this season if Arsenal is to remain in the Top 4 in the Premiereship.
Liverpool signed Spanish striker Fernando Torres from Atletico Madrid for a club-record 27 million and Luis Garcia. TTL loves, loves the signing but it is a steep price. Torres will get the famous #9 shirt at Liverpool which is akin to signing with the Chicago Bulls and getting the #23 jersey. Will be heaps of pressure on the 23 year-old Torres to score lots of goals something LP’s rotating stable of strikers has been unable to do the past few seasons. Get the inkling that Torres is up to the task and is exactly what LP needs. Also would like to say muchas gracias a Luis Garcia one of the most pleasurably frustrating players to watch these past 3 seasons at LP. Prone to the silliest of mistakes he nonetheless scored some HUGE goals for LP (2005 CL semi v Chelsea). Saw LP play at Anderlecht 2 years ago and nobody on the pitch even came close to matching the sheer hustle and running of Luis Garcia. Buenos suertes a Atletico Madrid.
TTL know this has been a huge summer for the USA team. They won the Gold Cup and were knocked out of the Copa America last night. Unfortunately with the time difference and all, did not get to see any USA games so can’t really offer any insights. Would just be commenting on other blogger’s reactions (and round and round it goes) which is not something TTL enjoys. So, for a realistic overview of the USA team’s performance head to the spot-on thatsonpoint.
In other realms of sports, the Cubs are an MLB best 21-10 since June 3rd. Trading troublesome catcher Michael Barrett was a genius move even if the catching tandem of Hill/Bowen is hitting a combined negative .200. In a weak Central Division, the Cubs with a 43-41 record, only trail the Brewers by 4.5 games. If the Cubs manage to reach 10 games over .500, then things will get mighty interesting.
That’s it for 2day. Get out and play something.