Monday, 28 February 2011

Great Scott !!!!!!

Yesterday saw a struggling West Ham side host a rejuvenated Liverpool under the guidance of King Kenny at Upton Park, and it was not the visitors that were the reaping the benefits of their star performers.
On a day that the underdogs reigned supreme in all games in the English competitions one Scott Parker showed once again he is capable of world class performances that could single handily save the Hammers from the drop.
It seems to be this season that whenever Parker plays well, the London club directly benefit, and illustrates why they are so desperate to keep their talisman at all costs as Tottenham and I'm sure many others found out in the summer and January transfer windows.
Yesterday Parker put in the type of performance that will give him the plaudits and rightly so, he was truly immense in both commitment and influence. He rose to the occasion and over shadowed the likes of Steven Gerrard, Raul Meireles and even Luis Suarez in the Liverpool ranks.
He was at the heart of everything good that West Ham did, and his spirit seemingly rubbed off onto his team mates. His goal which opened the scoring was brilliant, a quick one-two on the edge of the box finishing with a toe-poke from 18 yards which seemed to pass Pepe Reina in super slow motion as it nestled in the corner and put an end to Liverpool's clean sheet run. I'm not sure if the Liverpool stopper should have reached it but it was brilliantly placed and they took a deserved lead.
Liverpool rallied and launched counter attacks but without really threatening the Hammers goal in all honesty.
All of the football was being played by the home side and minutes before the break they doubled their lead as Ba headed home from eight yards without a Red's defender in touching distance as their defensive record of late started to look like a fluke.
After the break the away side pushed and Suarez looked more and more dangerous, and on 84 Min's he turned the entire Hammers defense inside out and was left practically on his own at the by-line before smashing the ball across the six yard box and Glen Johnson was on hand to tap home against one of his old clubs.....the comeback kings at it again?????
The Red's pushed and pushed but West Ham hit them on a counter attack of their own to relieve pressure on the defence, and Carlton Cole rode a half hearted challenge and drove towards the Liverpool goal and unleashed a shot which skidded past Reina at the near post, possibly another mistake from Liverpool's number one, into the bottom corner and the game was over.
An unbelievable result and mostly thanks to their inspirational skipper. Parker will surely move on if the axe falls on the London club come May, he may even move if they escape the drop, but while he is in a Claret and Blue shirt, the loyal Hammers fans can have hope.
The frightening thing is that if he doesn't have an outstanding game EVERY week then they seem to struggle to get over the finish line in games, and this could be the reason they could go.

Across London was the Carling Cup final, Arsenal had the best chance within the last six years to get their hands on some silverware, against a Birmingham side who had not won a major tournament since the 60's.
The big plus for the Blue's on this occasion was in the shape of Zigic, the tall awkward front man who has taken the Premiership by storm since arriving at St Andrews.
Arsenal were missing Fabregas, Wallcott and probably another three or four names, one's that probably wouldn't cut it in our league anyways but they fielded their strongest side possible in order to concrete their first trophy in the first show piece of the year.
Although Arsenal had beaten Birmingham already this season, they had not faced Zigic, the big bulky and sometimes un-markable striker definitely gave the Arsenal back four an afternoon to remember.
He dominated in the air as you would imagine and the Gunners didn't know how to handle him, and he nodded the under dogs ahead following suspect defending.

The class of the favourites showed for much of the game but hit the brick wall in the shape of Ben Foster in the Blue's goal. Much similar to Fosters performance last time in a big final, although last time he wore the red of Manchester in that one, but here he showed he definitely has the quality to perform at the highest level.
Chance after chance, shot after shot he stood firm and his defence were on hand to deal with anything Arsenal threw at them. But as they struck the bar and the ball returned to an Arsenal player, the ball sent accurately across to meet the flying Dutchman Van Persie to volley home exquisitely, Arsenal looked like they had cracked it.
A barrage of attacks followed in the second half but all to no avail thanks to the inspiring Foster, shot after shot was beaten away by the stopper and Birmingham held on, then, 89 minutes showing on the Wembley clock, Foster himself launched the ball towards the Arsenal box, the target was inevitably Zigic, and has he flicked the ball on, the Gunners must have breathed a huge sigh as it trickled towards an area with a defender and keeper in it and all seemed calm, until a baffling mix up between the two saw the ball roll to Obafemi Martins, unmarked and surely in shock at the open goal that had presented before him.

Duly he rolled the ball into the empty net and bedlam ensued, celebrations were crazy and Birmingham upset the apple cart and walked away with the spoils, leaving Arsenal fans everywhere bewildered and still wondering where it all went wrong.....again.....

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Four Games??!! Have UEFA lost their minds??!!

Yes you read the number correctly, four, Gennaro Gattuso escaped with this meagre ban following his controversial performance, if you can call it that, in A C Milan's last 16 clash with Tottenham in the Champions League last Tuesday night.
Now I don't know how all of you see this punishment, but I am utterly disgusted by it. If you take into consideration Chelsea's Didier Drogba was handed a SIX game ban with two suspended, reduced to one suspended after Chelsea appealed, for swearing into a television camera "it's a fucking disgrace" after he thought many decisions had gone against his team in the semi-final against Barcelona in June 2009, this ban handed out to the Italian nicknamed 'Rino' is nothing short of a disgrace.
'Rino' is banned for a total of five games due to the fact he also picked up a yellow card in the game, thus totalling five games but four were for the attacks on Spurs' assistant coach Joe Jordan.
Having played some football in Scotland with Glasgow Rangers a few years ago, the two were able to exchange abuse in the native Scottish throughout the game as flash points arose when Spurs were the dominant side and the A C Milan captain was growing increasingly frustrated with his team and himself and their level of performance on the night.
During the second half the pantomime started as Gattuso strongly challenge a Tottenham player right in front of the Spurs bench, a tackle which enraged the London club's backroom staff and Rednapp and Jordan duly rose to their feet to show their anger at the tackle.
Scene one was to follow as 'Rino' approached the sideline, shared some, I'm assuming nothing but lovely language with Spurs boss Harry Rednapp, before his attentions turned to his assistant Jordan.
Words were clearly exchanged and the blood clearly had started to boil within Gattuso's mind and he proceeded to grasp the 59 year old by the THROAT and pushed the Scot away using some force. The certain red card for this incident alone didn't materialise, and amazingly not even a booking! The referee surely was losing the plot??!!
Allowed to continue beyond this saw Gattuso trying to rile Tottenham players, mainly the lanky front man Peter Crouch, by making late tackle's and challenges off the ball, of which Crouch was having none of as he fronted up to the, by this time, crazed Gattuso, and as Crouch looked down on the little Italian from his 6' 7 inches, he probably couldn't see the blood bursting out of his eyes!!!
A horror tackle by Mathieu Flamini on Corluka followed and the blood pressure rose in the entire stadium as the Italian giants tried to battle back against a Spurs side that was dominating.
Tottenham scored with minutes left as Milan launched attack after attack without really threatening and then at the final whistle the pantomime continued.
Gattuso shook hands with the Spurs players, and made his way over to the benches.....
In turn he then shook the hand of Rednapp and headed for Jordan once again. Rednapp was quoted as "I thought Gattuso was coming over to apologise to Joe" as thus amending the wrong doing for the shove earlier in the contest, this was as far from the truth as it could have been.
Words were beginning to be exchanged and the tempers were fraying by the nano second as 'Rino' confronted Jordan, I imagine to discuss the earlier incident, and not happy with Jordan's comments he continued, between two officials, to headbutt the Spurs' assistant coach in the face. Then quickly people forced their way in between the two and separated them before the clash escalated any further.
Gattuso had clearly not forgotten the previous incident, which had happened a good 30minutes before, something that was festering in his mind until the final whistle, and this cannot be a good sign of the mental state he was in during the game.
There's being pumped up and full of enthusiasm and there is losing control of yourself and Gennaro Gattuso was guilty of the later.....big time.
As captain, a World Cup winner, and grown man, the example set for the millions watching was not up to standard for such an experienced campaigner. My three year old shows more restraint and knowledge about how to conduct herself. So what the hell are UEFA doing only giving him a four game disciplinary for this???!! Truly....I am speechless, and can't explain it.
If this had happened in a street, Gattuso would be facing a assault charge and probably a prison sentence of some kind, so I ask you all, have UEFA lost the plot on this one???? Because I certainly think they have....

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Harry The Great

 Tuesday night saw Harry Rednapp and his Tottenham side come of age and enter a new realm in the clubs history. They travelled to Italy to face the giants of AC Milan in the cauldron that is the San Siro.
Having already taken on the Rossoneri's neighbours Inter in the group stage Spurs were looking to strengthen their European profile which had already blossomed under the guidance of Rednapp this season.
Rednapp as a manager cannot be faulted as far as I am concerned, from bringing such talents as Joe Cole, Frank Lampard and England captain Rio Ferdinand whilst at the helm at West Ham, to guiding a very average Portsmouth side to F.A cup glory in his relatively short time there.
Rednapp had never hidden the desire to manage a top four side but the opportunity never arose, so as a sign of the measure of the man, Rednapp decided that he would take over the reigns of a side outside the 'big four' and turn them into one himself.
He was given this chance with Tottenham Hotspur, but this was no ready-made blueprint however as when Harry took charge Spurs were languishing bottom of the Premiership and only had two points from their opening eight games.Within two weeks he had already made his mark pulling Spurs out of the relegation zone and from there the only way has been up.
The first full campaign with Harry saw Tottenham break the mold of the 'big four' and finished in fourth position and in turn putting the club into the Champions League for the first time, and this is where he has really made his mark.
Tottenham are currently (17/02/2011) sitting fourth once again with twelve games to go and they are only ten points off of leaders Manchester United. This alone shows the improvement that he single-handidly has given the Spurs faithful, a harem of fans that truly deserve to watch football being played at the highest possible level, and to add to that, they are more than holding their own.
It started worryingly for the London side though as they were guilty of naivety against minnows Young Boys, losing 3-2 away, but their brilliant home form see them progress to the competition proper.
From there they faced games against Inter Milan, Werder Bremen and FC Twente, Inter were reigning champions and not many people gave Spurs, in their maiden season, much hope to qualify.
Whether it was the 'unknown entity' factor or not, Tottenham repaid their terrific support by finishing top of their group against all the odds, they progressed to the last sixteen to face AC Milan, one of the true giants of European football.
The first leg of this knock-out round was played this week and it didn't disappoint anyone, whether you are a Tottenham fan, neutral, or hater, they put in a performance that ranks right up there with the best. They silenced the hostile crowd in the San Siro but playing some breathtaking football at times, they pressed the seven time winners and four times runner ups back into their shell from the off, frustrating the home side and showing the footballing world that they are in the competition not just to make up the numbers but to progress as far as possible, and on this form, with the magician Harry pulling the strings behind the scenes, who can say how far he might take them.
This performance gave benchmarks to Tottenhams fantastic run so far in the competition, a true yard-stick to measure the opening jitters they undoubtedly encountered at Young Boys on the first match day.
It showed just how far they have matured under the man-management of Rednapp, he is clearly top of the tree when it comes to getting the most out of his players, as Palacios and Sandro controlled the centre of midfield against World Cup winner Gennaro Gattuso, and his back four made Robinho and Ibrahimovic look like two lost puppies.
Yes it is only half time in the tie but I can really see Spurs making not just the quarter finals but I think they are well capable of reaching the final four. If this turns out to be the case, then who knows where Harry will lead them.....
History is most definitely on his side as Tottenham's record in years ending in '1' is irrepressible......
1951-League Champions
1961-League Champions
1901-FA Cup Winners
1921-FA Cup Winners
1961-FA Cup Winners
1981-FA Cup Winners
1991-FA Cup Winners
1971-League Cup Winners
So as this season's showpiece final will of course be settled in 2011, are we looking and watching yet another piece in Tottenham's history where their victories see them add another trophy to the list of '1'??????

English teams are so good in Europe....why???? Here's what I think....

Monday, 14 February 2011

The Plot Thickens.....

The build up was fierce, the hopes and fears were equally great, and the Manchester derby didn't disappoint.
The newly-rich sky blue side of the city have made no mistake about their aspirations and desires about over-hauling their Red Devil counterparts, and this was to many a chance for them to concrete their ever growing profile by beating their rivals on their own patch.
City started the brighter of the two and for the majority of the opening exchanges they were the dominant side as the Old Trafford cauldron heated up nicely.
Chances were few and far between but City were playing the better flowing football, and United had trouble getting going. This was then the stage for someone to step up and ignite the touchpaper and kick the game into life......enter Nani. The Portuguese magician conjured up a assured finish from a flick on from Rooney as United went into the lead just before half time. This followed some scorching efforts from Nani which showed he was in the mood.
After the break the action was slow once again to get going, City bought on Wright-Phillips and suddenly they were on the front foot, forcing a string of corners which failed to bear any fruit for the visitors.
Milner picked up a knock and was swapped with Edin Dzeko. This change also put City back into control, and just minutes after his introduction he played the role of supplier all-be it with a slice of luck that not many teams enjoy at Old Trafford.
Wright-Phillips flew down the wing and delivered a low cross for Dzeko who connected forcefully with the centre and his strike headed for Van Der Sar's goal. What the United stopper didn't anticipate was the strike hitting Silva's back and eluding him as it nestled in the net putting City level.
Both sides now seemingly in search of a winner, Berbatov was introduced by Sir Alex and he added a much needed air of calm within the ranks of the home side.
The game was being played at a frantic pace and was end to end, and it was down to a previously out-of-sorts Wayne Rooney to deliver the decisive blow.
His touch had been pretty lax in the previous 77minutes and he had not had much influence on the game until Nani put a cross into the box and 75,000 fans who had packed out Old Trafford holding their breathe as Rooney left the floor facing away from goal, he rose elegantly and as the ball connected with his foot, there was an air of inevitability about where the ball was ending up.
The ball flew off of his foot and passed a stunned Hart and the crowd reacted, part gob-smacked and part jubilation as their side went ahead once again.
City rallied but the Untied back line stood firm and held on to gain a huge three points in the title race.
Arsenal kept the pressure on with a win at home to United's conqueror's Wolves but on this showing, once again I cannot see anyone else being crowned Champions come May.
Spurs go to Italy to face A.C Milan in the champions league this week without their influential winger Gareth Bale, I think a big ask to get a victory out there but I expect them to score and an away goal will be crucial for the London club to progress to the next stage.
Arsenal host the world's best club at the Emirates, Barcelona was held to a draw in their league game at the weekend but unfortunately for Arsenal fans I can't see them bettering Barcelona over two games.....
Only time will tell........

Friday, 11 February 2011

Roy Returns

Yup, sacked on the 8th of January by Liverpool after a torrid five and a half months on merseyside, Roy 'the boy' Hodgson today was named as 'Head Coach' at West Bromich Albion......'Head coach' ????
Do Manager posts not exist anymore?? Never mind.....
Is he the right man?? A man who's stock was at a all-time high last may when he guided a 'average' Fulham side to the Europa League final, yes they were beaten when they got there but the feat itself was something of note for Hodgson and indeed Fulham. With this fresh in the mind, Liverpool were looking to replace the 'crazy rant' Rafa Benitez and Hodgson was the man in the frame for the then owners Hicks and Gillett.
The red's faithful were not overly-convinced with the appointment and for my money neither were the players, which only became more evident over time.
Having filled his wallet with the bumper pay-off, obviously not solely his own doing, Hodgson seems to have landed rather comfortably as he has walked into another Premier League job just a little over a month down the line!!
The shocking sacking of Roberto Di Matteo for me was completely unjust and for a man who was dignified to the end and conducted himself immaculately throughout his tenure, must still have been a slap in the old boat race.
The timing of the sacking also raising eyebrows reminiscent of Chris Hughton's departure from the Geordie Neverland that is St James' Park. The supporters were up in arms in the North-east when that materialised and I'm sure this was also the case at the Hawthorns.
So the question that is going to be asked is....."will he keep them up?"
With the Baggies sitting in 17th place at present, and games with Arsenal, Chelsea and Hodgson's former club Liverpool fast approaching, all of them at the Hawthorns granted but these are teams and games they will concede themselves to losing. So the other fixtures will have to bear more fruit than the man from Del Monte's back garden if they are to survive.
Yes, the teams around them also have the big boys to play so it really will come down to the games against each other.West Brom do have the ability to beat the surrounding teams, but they also have the ability to implode as well. So their existence for this season is well and truly in the balance.
My opinion is that Roy will get the blood pumping and the players will look up to him for advice and inspiration and he will in turn stoke the fires against the teams they need to be taking points off of......

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Friendlies??? What is the point...

As one of the most exciting weekends of football the Premier League has ever had comes dribbling to an end, we are all left with the expectation of another one rapidly approaching, bar one small friendlies!!!!
Now as an avid football fan I make no mistake in thinking that after 25/26 games gone in the English elite competition, the Premier League, why in hell have we got a near full fixtures list of internationals???!!!
Surely this is unthinkable and no surprise that the likes of Steven Gerrard etc have pulled out with 'injuries'
Now I'm sure Mr Gerrard will be playing some part in Liverpool's game against Wigan at Anfield this coming weekend, and therefore enforcing my view of having international friendlies at this stage of the season is ludicrous!!
With just over ten games to go before the curtain closes on another season, the fuck wit's at the F.A arrange a friendly?? What are they thinking??!!
I sympathise with club fans, I for one have a very close eye on breaking news on friendly going's on, for one reason and one reason only, no not for the result, not for the goal scorers, but for the reason and fear that one of your teams star players might get injured and as a result not be able to turn out for them in the next league game!!
With the Premier League becoming more difficult to win with every passing season I can understand fully players pulling out and it wouldn't surprise me if the clubs encourage them to do so in order for them to be fully fit for the league campaign, especially as they pay their wages, I think they are fully within their rights to request this is so.
One perfect example of this is the now retired Dean Ashton, the former West Ham striker was injured on England's training ground and as a result after much treatment was forced into an early retirement as he was unable to resume his playing career.
Ashton subsequently took the F.A to court over the going's on and has just got his pay-out.
This is scant consolation as at the time Ashton was regarded as one of the most promising and talented front men about, he was highly regarded as England's brightest hope in many years across the footballing world.
West Ham also suffered through no fault of their own and are still to this day struggling for a replacement of the quality of Ashton.
So why do the Football Association keep doing this to our game??
Surely games like this could be re-scheduled for a less dramatic and frantic time of the season??
No wonder the Welsh wizard Ryan Giggs only played a handful of games for Wales when the pressure was off, he chose, whether it be by choice or luck, to play in the most minimal amount of friendlies for his country, and is still held in the highest esteem by all of his peers.
It cannot be hidden either that at the age of 37 he is still performing at the very top level for one of the biggest clubs in world football, obviously this is not solely down to the lack of friendly participation but it makes you wonder if it has played a big part doesn't it???
If you fancy having a go at writing something try looking here: 

Monday, 7 February 2011

Goals Goals Goals!!!!!!

43 goals this weekend in the Premier League!!!!!! Yup....43!!!!!!!
The record breaking weekend bought up some brilliant attacking football and some amazing results, with three of the top five clubs getting beaten!!!!
I can only start with what was being billed as 'the game of the weekend' and 'striker showdown' with Chelsea hosting Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.
The build up to this game was spicy to say the least, and that was before Liverpool's star striker Fernando Torres jumped ship and departed for the lights of London to join up with the blue's in a staggering £50 million deal on deadline day just days ago!!!!
So the debut date was set and couldn't have been written any better than Torres to face his old club the next weekend. Liverpool fans were livid at the way he had dictated the transfer seemingly out of nowhere, and therefor he was going to get some stick, and added to that, a jibe that he had no joined a 'big club' also stoked the fire upon Merseyside no doubt.
Liverpool lined up with their new acquisition Luis Suarez warming the bench as King Kenny went with a solid line up up against a Chelsea side that looked on paper to be frightening.
Early mistakes by the red's let Chelsea get an early grip on the game but as the clock ticked Liverpool gradually started to control the game and fashioned a great chance for Maxi Rodriguez who somehow managed to hit the bar from two yards as the goal was left gaping.
Torres had a half chance but was foiled by the ever sprightly Carragher, as he flew across the floor to block the Spaniard's effort.
After the break Chelsea did come out fighting and had much of the possession, but Liverpool limited the hosts to long range efforts which were never looking like troubling Reina in the Liverpool goal.
Then the telling moment of the match as a mix up between Cech and Ivanovic left the ball glide between them, and the free scoring Meireles smashed the ball into the net putting the visitors ahead.
They then continued to control the game and albeit for a couple of half-hearted penalty claims, the blue's never really looked like scoring and the stats confirmed this with the home side only managing one shot on target in the whole game.
So sweet, instant revenge for the red's faithful with Torres in mind but for the Londoners it would worry me more that they were not creating anything....
So the future looking brighter for the red's, and suddenly they are back in contention for a top four finish, an amazing turn around from the days where people were looking at them in the relegation zone!!!!! My opinion is that they will finish 5th, just at whose expense????.....
Wolves vs Manchester United.......forgone conclusion we all thought and when United took the lead you could have forgiven the Wolves fans if they thought the worse, but Mick McCarthy's team had other ideas.
As they have many times this season, without getting the results for their efforts, Wolves battled back and went ahead just before half time.
The golden boys held on in the second half and added United to their scalps this season of Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea.
Arsenal travelled to Newcastle and a club that had their own transfer saga concerning Andy Carroll, who in the end replaced Torres at Anfield in a £35 million deal, but didn't manage to get a replacement for themselves, so you could see why they were expecting the worse when the gunners arrived in the north east.
And after ten mins you couldn't find a reason to keep them watching as Arsenal went 3-0 up and looked like the floodgates were not going to shut!
A fourth followed and many of the Magpies' followers were already heading for the exits, and the half time tea had not even been boiled up yet!
Then five minutes after the break Diaby was red carded after a clash with, who-else but Joey Barton.
The game was dead and buried as far as everyone was concerned but the half paced cruise to the line didn't materialise, instead the black and white army that had stayed got the comeback of all comebacks as two 'dubious' penalties paved the way and sandwiched in between was a Best strike and the dramatic comeback was completed in the 87th min with Tiote netting to earn Newcastle a most unlikely point, and I'm sure a hairdryer dressing room for the Arsenal players!
This was not the end of dramatic games, Wigan and Blackburn fought out a 4-3, Aston Villa and Fulham shared four gaols and ended up 2-2, Stoke even shared five goals with Sunderland as they run out 3-2 winners but the most dramatic game left to talk about was at Goodison.
Everton played host to Blackpool, a side with huge results against the big sides this year.
The home side started well and went ahead but only to be pegged back before half time. Then the home side went ahead again just after the break, the away side suddenly remembered their half time instructions as they rallied and again drew level, and then went ahead much to the surprise of everyone!
Twenty-five mins left Everton had to start again, they managed to pull level on 76, but then went ahead on 80 mins!
The home fans were going crazy and so was the score, and just as the goal flurry looked to have finished the home side added a fifth in the 84th minute and ended Blackpool's resilience.
Brom come to an end either!!
Crazy weekend and proof that the English League is the best league in the world.....

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Whirlwind return for me amidst the bedlam of the transfer window.....

Well well well......three weeks out of the country and the whole worlds gone mad?!?!?!?!?!
Or to the normal everydayer this is the English January transfer window......comparable to the Mad Hatters tea party if you like.
Last season's January window saw just short of 30 million squidlies splashed on players as the merry-go-round didn't really get going, what a difference a year makes it seems!!!
Manchester City pretty much got the ball rolling early doors with the £27 million signing of Edin Dzeko, this then has prompted them to release Adebayor to Real Madrid to link up with Jose 'the special one' in Spain.
not much else seemingly was going to transpire, but that is not how this window usually works, and it stayed true to its history again this year.
Deadline day yesterday saw one of the busiest days ever in a January window, with all sorts of comings and goings, too-ing and fro-ing's.
The major story developing was the transfer of Fernando Torres from Liverpool to rivals Chelsea.
A bid of £35 million was made and instantly turned down by the merseyside club, then a re-buffed offer was again turned down. Torres then handed in a transfer request which Liverpool also declined.
To even the most un-educated football follower it is plain to see that there had been foul play from the London club, an accusation of 'tapping up' was oozing out of the Liverpool hierarchy as Torres' agent insisted they listen to Chelsea's offer.
In my opinion this is what followed.....King Kenny met with the bosses and thrashed out a plan consisting of letting their star striker go if he was no longer committed to the cause 100% which Torres clearly wasn't but only if the price was on the reds' terms.
A price tag of £50 million emerged as the golden number that they would reluctantly accept as good business for the Spanish world cup winner.
I personally believe Dalglish earmarked this amount as adequate and in turn gave his executives a list of players he would want if the Torres deal went through, and only on those terms would they let the striker go.
Chelsea knew their price and a package of £100 million was readied by Chelsea in expectation of the deal going through.
Liverpool had already obtained the services of Ajax's captain and star striker Luis Suarez for £22.8 million, supposedly to partner the Spaniard, not to replace him. The Uraguan only had to complete a medical so that deal was always going through.
So how were the reds going to replace 'Nando'????
Signs were instant, a £30 million bid for Newcastle's own star striker Andy Carroll was tabled, surely they would gain the services of the 22 year old for this monstrous bid.....not to be. Newcastle's business minded owner the love/hate figure of Mike Ashley rejected Liverpool's bid, probably knowing the full £50 million they were imminently getting from the London club would act as a bargaining chip for the Geordie club.
Discussions were rife at Liverpool headquarters weighing up another bid for the trouble-some Carroll.
Indeed another bid followed as the reds tabled £35 million.....yes this is for a striker that has only been in the top flight for 6 months.....madness but it seemed there was no other options, and as staggering as that bid was Newcastle still turned it down!!!!!!
Enter the big twist, as it did in the Torres saga, Carroll was forced to hand in a transfer request of his own in order to seal his dream switch to one of the worlds most decorated clubs.
As with Torres this was enough for Newcastle to re-think their position as a slightly improved deal was worked out with Liverpool and duly Carroll made his way to the north west for his own medical.
With Carroll all but sewn up, Torres was then granted permission to go ahead with his own travel arrangements and eventually both deals went through with minutes to spare.
So Andy Carroll £35 million, club record signing for the reds, and an enormous British transfer record £50 million for Fernando Torres as he joined Chelsea.
I personally think the business done by Liverpool is better than what Chelsea got out of the money, but as always time will tell in the battle of the strikers.
The two teams meet this Sunday so could be a heated encounter.....
Chelsea didn't stop there, they also sanctioned £22 million for David Luiz from Porto taking the final spend for this seasons January transfer window a gargantuan £218,525,000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm still in shock but I now have no doubt in saying there are no players who are truly loyal anymore, maybe its a sign of the times but the likes of Carragher etc are a dying breed.
And with a spend of nearly £220 million in just one month, its scandalous considering we are in a so called recession eh?!?!?!?!?!?!?!