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Sunday, July 17, 2005

SWP finally to go as Cole is finally to stay?

SWP has his wishes granted as both Manchester City and Chelsea agree a fee for him said to be £21m. This comes after City manager Stuart Pearce said both the club and the player are happy about him staying at the City of Manchester. I wondered how strong the resistence would be to move to the champions. My colleague TS spoke of SWP being a fan of the Gunners and the son of famous former Gunner Ian Wright, why he should be Arsene Wenger's next target. But Chelsea have gotten there first. I hope that it will not be a repeat of another winger who stood out at his club, moved to Chelsea and then ended up on the sidelines, partly through injury, only to be bought by another club without actually stamping some authority with the Blues. I wonder if this means either Arjen Robben or Damien Duff will be on the bench, Joe Cole is knocked further down the order, or does Mourinho have a different position but similar role in mind for SWP?

While Arsenal look to have missed out on signing SWP, and have a void to fill with the departure of Vieira to Juventus, another u-turn occurs with Ashley Cole set to agree on a rumoured £70,000 weekly wage with Arsenal. After the left-back said previously "They've left me feeling there is no way back, that they don't want me to put my beloved Arsenal shirt on again." This sounds so eerily familiar. So he seems to remain at the club, and the captaincy has gone to Henry, it would appear. I don't feel there is anyone else deserving of it, other than Bergkamp. But Gooners can correct me if I'm wrong, wasn't Vieira one of only three players on £60,000 or more per week? Therefore, his highest-earning wages are replaced with another in Cole. Hence, in my opinion, the offered deal.

With the blue side of Manchester looking to continue without SWP, and possibly with the addition of former Red Devil Andy Cole, do the red side consider doing the same with Rio Ferdinand? He is said to be on the request for a higher salary while the board consider they have offered him a lucrative enough contract. I understand he has two years left but I cannot forsee him going in to the season without making a thorough decision on his future. The rumour machine says his agent being Pini Zahavi shows he is awaiting for Chelsea to come in for him to partner Terry, leaving Carvalho and Gallas as cover. Certainly a section of Man Utd feel he is being negative after they booed his every touch in the Clyde friendly, along with taunts of 'greedy'. Back in May, after Utd's win at Charlton, Ferdinand was jeered and his reaction was:

"If I was one of them I'd wonder when the deal was going to be signed as well. I won't pretend it was a comfortable feeling to have your own supporters getting on your back but they need to know I want to stay at Old Trafford. I do want to stay at Manchester United - I have said that from the beginning.....They couldn't be further away from the truth if they think I want to go. Contracts do not get signed in five minutes. Most players take about six months to sort out a deal. I've no intention of leaving. I want the contract sorted. If I could have signed it yesterday I would have."

As for Liverpool, Jamie Carragher has stated that he visualises for this season a finish outside the top three as he considers the club do not have the resources that Chelsea and Man Utd can lean back on. After the Champs League, it is definitely paramount Liverpool mount a serious challenge for the title, to establish ourselves thoroughly as one of the best teams in the league every season. I don't expect the title, that would be way too expectant, but I expect competition for every position, so it's good Rafael Benitez is making more signings. I expect a better run of wins than the past seasons, better performances and more goals. If that means we are still some way of the mark for the title, fine, as along as we play like champions and make a solid effort of or aim for the Premiership title.



Blogger T said...

I share Redsman's concern that SWP's progress may be interrupted by lack of first team opportunities at Chelsea.

Duff, Robben, Cole, and SWP will battle for two positions. At the moment, despite costing a huge £21 million transfer fee, I see SWP as fourth of the four.

I wonder if Chelsea would have been so eager to get the deal done at any cost if Arsenal hadn't sold Vieira?

On Ashley Cole, I'm happy that he has not played his last game in an Arsenal shirt. He is Arsenal through and through and a vital member of the side. To lose both him and Pat in the same summer would have been difficult for the team.

7/22/2005 2:55 pm


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