Heat and Humidity have once again descended upon lovely Charleston (SC), snuffing out the delightfully fair (and shockingly lengthy) Spring weather the Lowcountry had been enjoying. Like a slap in the face, Summer announced that it was back (not unlike cooked crack) and would soon be running at full productivity. But while it may technically be the summer season, it doesn’t seem to have reached Liverpool like it has here or even in the rest of the Premiership.
United have brought in three players (Hargreaves, Nani, Anderson), Chelsea are importing another name from Munich (Pizarro) and Arsenal are chest-deep in ‘Henry to Barca’ rumors and the sorting of the dead wood. The rest of the Premiership is also keeping busy, with Newcastle bringing in fat Mark Viduka and bat-shit crazy Joey Barton, and West Ham dealing for Scott Parker.
But at Anfield, the action wasn’t on new signings, but rather, split between the new deals signed by Stevie G, Carra & Reina and the collective reputation of Liverpool fans being dragged through the mud by UEFA douchebags. I won’t bother with the silly claims (I’m here to focus on other more light-hearted silly claims), but you can read more about it over at Oh, You Beauty.
In all fairness, we’ve brought in some quality youngsters. I also got a kick out of hearing one of the Hungarian strikers saying that he (Krisztian Nemeth) wants he and his strike partner (Andras Simon) to “be like the white (Dwight) Yorke and (Andy) Cole in Liverpool!”
I suppose that would be quite the duo to be reckoned with if they could achieve such a lofty level of play. But, somebody should tell Krisztian that Jordan is married and has two kids. He’s got the right attitude, though.
As for the new contracts for our Captain, Vice-Captain and Penalty-Stopping Expert, I can only applaud them. Thankfully, we’ve seen the last of transfer rumors concerning #8, and it’s also reassuring to know that #23 will likely see out his career in red. Five more years of Pepe is fantastic, and here’s hoping he’ll continue to be worth keeping for another five after that. As an added bonus, it does signify a commitment to keeping talent at the club. Word is that Alonso and Finnan are next up to get locked up. (sven note: Xabi signed on for five more years Friday morning) While I’m chomping at the bit for added firepower, I will not discount the importance of these negotiations.
So, now that we know the pen has ink in it, maybe we can put it to wider use?
Well, after defending the fans’ besmirched honor and fawning over the soon-to-be unveiled plans for the Stanley Park stadium, Tom Hicks also had this to say about the (non)transfers:
“I would say to fans `just be patient’, because we’re talking to Rafa often. Rick Parry is in charge of getting the contracts negotiated and I think the fans will like the outcome. Maybe we’ll hear something in the next week.”
Next week. Maybe. God protect him if he’s just hinting at extending current contracts.
It may be cliche, but there’s a line that gets repeated because it’s true: “There’s no time like the present”. Especially when the vultures are starting to circle your prey. Act fast or lose your meal is the law of the wild, and I will not settle for scraps this summer.
So, open the checkbook and let’s go furniture shopping. Rafa is redecorating the trophy room.
(was that an awkward clash of metaphors?)
But, whoever would or could he buy? Well, I’m glad you asked! In absolutely no order other than the one I happened to write them in, here are your weekly transfer falsehoods and whispers.
- Jermaine Pennant admits he’s ‘an easy target’ for the summer clear-out, but fancies staying. Shocking.
- Bolo Zenden hasn’t found himself a new club yet because “everybody is on vacation”. Or, at least that’s what the secretaries have been instructed to tell him. Everton, Newcastle and Lazio have all been mentioned as possible next destinations for the Dutchman. Anywhere but here will do.
The Alonso-to-Barca crap is still floating around. I’ll give you one guess which country it’s coming from and it’s not England. Let’s get this man an extension and be done with it.
- Daniele Padelli loan deal has ended and he has returned to Sampdoria. Outside of “Now, dats ah spicy meatballa!”, I’ve got nothing snarky to say.
- Wigan is supposedly sweet on Sami Hyypia. I would be too if I had just signed Titus Bramble. Maybe they should have held onto Henchoz and tried to put the band back together.
- Djibril Cisse could be off to Bolton to replace Nicolas Anelka, should the former Red make the move to Manchester United. I’m not holding my breath. More realistically, now that Marseille have pulled the trigger on the sale of Ribery to Bayern Munich (I thought that guy was tailor-made for Arsenal), they have the cash to keep Cisse in those fetching white and sky blue kits. Benfica are also rumored to be interested, but that affection is not mutual. The smart money says Djibril stays in France.
- As part of a deal that would allow Liverpool the first option on 20-year old defensive midfielder Juande, Real Betis could land Mark Gonzalez for a little over £2 million. Real Zaragoza and Real Sociedad are also potential new employers for the faux-hawked one. Basically, any club in Spain that starts with ‘Real’ but doesn’t end with ‘Madrid’ is in play.
- Chelsea are ready to jump in the mix and fight Liverpool and Real Madrid for the services of Daniel Alves. (knife fight, anyone?) Oh yea, I forgot to mention Milan also wants a piece of the action. Gentlemen, shall we start the bidding at £16 million?
- Juve are ready to bid for long-term Liverpool target Gabriel Milito for somewhere in the neighborhood of £18m. And, if you’re easily trusting, then they’ve already agreed to personal terms with the 26-year old Argentinian.
- Chelsea, Juventus, Arsenal and Milan are all now sniffing around Lyon winger Florent Malouda, who continues to be strongly linked with the “great club” (his words), Liverpool. (this week, for £10m) To simplify things, just assume that Chelsea, Juve, Milan, Real Madrid and Arsenal will all be linked with whatever player Liverpool have been eyeing for any significant amount of time.
- This Week in the Eto’o Sweepstakes… Milan are now officially in for the £35 millon man. But Eto’o doesn’t want to leave Barcelona, you see (according to his agent). And those rumors about the Barca hitman meeting up with Benitez for
a romanticdinner? Turns out the Cameroonian was in Belgium with his national team. A shame. I’m sure it’s an open invitation, though.
- Need a laugh? West Ham’s Yossi Benayoun is “hoping” Liverpool come in for him, as the ink dries on his new five year contract.
- All is quiet with David Villa this week. Absolutely nothing about Cisse and £15 million going to Valencia in exchange for his presence at Anfield. Odd, don’t you think?
Before we conclude, best wishes go out to Tommy Smith who convalescing after suffering a heart attack earlier this week. The legendary defender actually collapsed while mowing his lawn and crawled inside for help, where his wife called for paramedics. He is expected to recover and should be sent home within a few days.