Football fans around the world usually get into a frenzy during this time when the player transfer window is open.
New arrivals tend to cause a stir. And without question, listening to the way Chelsea’s manager Jose Mourinho has been taunting Arsenal since the acquisition of Cesc Fabregas, the once ‘special one’ is also easily excitable. But maybe rightly so knowing Fabregas’ previous displays in England while at Arsenal. He was a phenomenon and will certainly make Chelsea the team to beat, considering his vision and imagination.
However, I am rather skeptical about the 32 million-pound man, Diego Costa. Although his imposing displays last season saw Atletico Madrid win the La Liga title but lose the Uefa Champions League final to Real Madrid, he has the markings of a real one-season wonder, I am afraid.
If it weren’t for the fact that Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid is paying the price for over-achieving and are now being ripped apart by the richer clubs paying top pound for their near-invincible team of last season, Costa should have stayed for at least another season at the Vicente Calderon to continue with the scoring streak he enjoyed last season.
But now with a change in scenery, the pressure is going to be on and he will be overwhelmed. Look at it this way, Costa was around on loan at Benfica and Valladolid before returning to Atletico. All that time, he was still finding his bearings, which is why when he hit a jackpot last time round, he should have continued with his growth before joining Chelsea, where the pressure to deliver is going to be at a premium unlike what it was at Atletico.
Like I wrote in April, that the success of Atletico Madrid would turn into a poisonous chalice, it has, indeed, come to pass. Already Costa, Adrian Lopez, David Villa and Filipe Luis have left while defender Joao Miranda and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois are also on the brink of departure unless otherwise. It will take a miracle of gigantic proportions for Atletico to compete at the same level with Barcelona and most especially Real Madrid next season.
In fact, it is going to be a rebuilding season for Simeone and how tough it is going to be putting up with the arsenal assembled across town: James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos, among others.
At best, Atletico Madrid will only be fighting for a champions league position but not the defence of the La Liga title. Fortunately for them, the other teams like Sevilla, Real Sociedad and Valencia won’t be able to put up a serious challenge, seeing that they have equally been depleted and their financial placing isn’t so sound.
Thibaut Courtois future
No sound reason would justify Mourinho having two world-class goalkeepers in Petr Cech and Thibaut Courtois in his squad. Well, apart from the possibility that it is greed to ensure that your opponents have nothing, yet you keep even what you don’t need.
But it is clear that Mourinho is ready to stifle the talent of either Cech or Courtois and cause grumbling in his dressing room the same way he blocked Demba Ba’s move to Arsenal last season, yet it was clear that move would have helped the player as opposed to keeping him as mere sparring partner to John Terry at the training ground in Cobham most times.
It is sheer selfishness and insensitivity from Mourinho because unlike other field positions, goalkeepers aren’t the kind of personnel you will rotate week in, week out.
Let him choose between Courtois and Cech. But you can’t have your cake and eat it too, Jose!
Rooney deserves captaincy
This should be a no-brainer. England’s most experienced player and go-to guy (key motivator) is Wayne Rooney. At 28, he has played for England since he was 18, which was at Euro 2004. With the kind of fighting spirit Rooney has, he will always lead by example, as has the retired Steven Gerard.
And as years have gone by, Rooney has exhibited that he can be a leader. His technical attributes are an added aantage and it isn’t uncommon for teams to pick their best players for the captaincy role. So, when you scour around the current England setup, Rooney being captain is certainty not even worth mulling about.
Equally so, is the case at Old Trafford. It is unlikely that Louis Van Gaal can be insensitive to overlook what Rooney has been at Manchester United. He has been the pin-up boy of the club since his arrival, and has developed to be the talisman and pseudo tag-line of the club.
So, the talk of Robin Van Persie being Manchester United skipper, indeed, defines the elements of people getting ahead of themselves. Van Persie has done well at United. Granted. But Rooney is more of a legend than Van Persie is, besides the fact that he has only been at the club for just two years unlike Rooney who has clocked a decade littered with success.
So, guys, hand he ‘Shrek’ both armbands and we get on with our lives.
Source : The Observer