It’s Beginning to Sound A Lot Like Christmas

 shopping.jpgWord on the street is that Aston Villa’s Big Bad John Carew (whose injury status and general lack of goals this season has rendered him just ‘big’) is whispering sweet-nothings into the ear of his fellow countryman, John Arne Riise, in hopes of luring the ginger-haired left back/midfielder to join him at Villa Park.

Speaking to a Norweigan paper, the journeyman striker had this to say:

It seems like John Arne wants to go, so I can’t see why not? There is a possibility. He would fit in very well at Villa, so that would be a positive.

Sounds a lot like, “So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.”

In my mind, this had its origins the last time Norway met up for an international match…


JOHN ARNE RIISE sits at a long table, eating and politely smiling as his TEAMMATES conversate and crack jokes over their meals.

JOHN CAREW walks up to the mess table, food tray in hand, hovering over Riise.


John Arne, is this seat taken?

Riise doesn’t even look up — just shakes his head.


John Arne, can I sit there? Next to you?

Riise lets out a sigh and nods, concentrating on his food. Carew sits down, scooting his chair closer to Riise’s. Riise eyeballs him as he chews.


John Arne, how is your meal?

Riise, with his mouth full, gives him a ‘THUMBS UP’ sign. Carew doesn’t even make an attempt to eat his food, instead leaning in on Riise.


John Arne, how are things at Liverpool?

Riise shrugs, never looking at Carew once.


John Arne, would you say you’re happy?


(with mouthful of food)



John Arne, I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention, but we’re doing very well at Aston Villa this season.

No response.


Obviously, you know. You saw us that first week. But we’re even better now. Martin O’Neill is a fine manager. Things are certainly looking up. I think you’d like it there.

Riise continues to chew and swallow, never letting his mouth go empty, looking straight ahead.


John Arne, you should think about playing at Aston Villa.

Riise looks down, but his tray is completely empty. His chewing slows dramatically.


John Arne, you would fit right in at Aston Villa. I know the manager thinks highly of you. You should consider moving to Aston Villa. You would play often. You like playing often, right?

Riise nods.


John Arne, if you came to Villa, we could hang out all the time. You could rent the house right next to mine! We could drive to training together! What do you think?

Riise swallows one last time. GULP.


John Arne, what do you think? Would you like to leave Liverpool and join me at Aston Villa?

Riise pushes away from the table, gathering his tray in a bid to leave. But before he can stand up, CAREW’S MEATY HAND clamps down on his arm.


John Arne, think about it. We could be best buds. Will you think about it?

Riise smiles half-heartedly.



Carew relaxes his grip and Riise stands to leave.


Okay, John Arne. I’ll see you later. You should stop by my room later and we can talk at greater length about this. I have much experience in transferring clubs. I can help you out.



Riise scampers off. Carew is beaming, proud as punch. He looks around the table, ignoring his tray of food.


Morten Gamst Pederson! How are you today?!


While one would assume this is a non-starter as JAR just signed a new contract last Janurary that runs through 2009, it isn’t the first time he’s been linked with a move. The question quickly becomes, would we really miss him and how much it is worth to part ways with the laser left foot?

With Aurielo back in the squad, obviously hungry to establish himself as the automatic choice at left back (and Arbeloa and Insua able to cover the position), and having Babel and even Pennant for the left wing (and technically Kewell and Leto), how heart-broken could we really be if Rafa chose to cash in on the Norweigan this January?

That said, a move that thins the squad (and hence, his options) is one the Gaffa would be highly unlikely to make. But, should he already have another option lined up and ready to come in, I could make my bones with £8M. I’m just saying…

In other baseless transfer speculation, Barcelona have rubbished reports that they are/were eyeing Javier Mascherano, whose has recently said he’s desperate to sign up with Liverpool long-term. Maybe he was a target, but he isn’t apparently anymore… I don’t know. I would like to see his future at Anfield locked up sooner rather than later. Suppose that’ll happen closer to the end of his loan deal (June 30, 2008).

The Telegraph speculates that MSI would want £17 million for the midfielder, but considering what United paid for Tevez and FIFA’s crackdown on third-party ownership, it’s safe to say Liverpool won’t be shelling out that sort of silver.

And to hit the trifecta on transfer nonsense, Sven is rumored to be sizing up a move to bring Peter Crouch to City for £8M now that the lanky forward is disillusioned with the rotation at Liverpool blah blah blah.

Just think, we’re only roughly six weeks from the onset of constant reckless speculation about the January transfer window! Hooray!


8 Responses to “It’s Beginning to Sound A Lot Like Christmas”

  1. 1 Georger October 15, 2007 at 6:39 pm

    lets throw out some other rumors!

    van der vaart would be an amazing buy
    sure he wants to goto spain but who has room for him? real and barca are somewhat loaded. couldnt see him moving to a team like valencia or sevilla either. i would hope our dutch contingent would be able to help sway him

  2. 2 beingsven October 15, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    I never understood why Van der Vaart chose HSV. I thought it an odd destination.

    Maybe he wanted to be like Keegan.

  3. 3 Georger October 15, 2007 at 11:40 pm

    same for kompany. neither of them should be playing their and personally, i think we owe it to them to bring them to anfield

    give me those two, plus chielleni and maybe a little sergio ramos thrown in, and we’re set for a decade

  4. 4 nate October 16, 2007 at 1:15 pm

    £17m for Masch is more than a fair price.

  5. 5 beingsven October 16, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    As a valuation of his talent, yes. But as a price to actually be paid, I have a hard time believing it will be quite that high after the Tevez nonsense.

  6. 6 nate October 16, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    I was under the impression that Mascherano’s current deal is similar to the one Tevez struck with United. £1.5-2m for a two-year (18 month in Masch’s case) loan, some egregious amount of money (I thought I read £25m for Tevez) after that.

  7. 7 beingsven October 16, 2007 at 6:44 pm

    I’m completely unsure if there was a final buy price negotiated into the intial loan deal (the Tevez money sounds right), but since FIFA has supposedly cracked the whip on third party ownership and Mascherano having not been released from his West Ham contract (like Tevez eventually was), surely we won’t be held to ransom when the proper time comes?

    I certainly worry that after the hot potato act certain governing bodies played with the Tevez affair, we might have to go through another affair where the Iranian and WH work out compensation and we pay the dirty agent for the rights, ala Tevez.

    That said, I honestly don’t see Rafa shelling out that kind of money for Masch. It still would be an eight-figure deal, though.

  1. 1 » It’s Beginning to Sound A Lot Like Christmas Trackback on October 16, 2007 at 5:14 am

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