William Gallas has not exactly endeared himself to Arsenal fans with his constant moaning and whinging, but his latest announcements are sure to ease the rift whilst drawing an extra ounce of hatred from north London neighbours Spurs (tribalfootball.com).
The former Chelsea defender said:
“Tottenham want to finish above us and we will do everything to make sure that does not happen.â€ He followed up by reassuring Gunners fans that there is life after Thierry Henry. “We have to prove we can play without him and I am very confident the players we have at Arsenal are good enough to replace him,â€ he said.
You would expect any member of Arseneâ€™s squad to make such statements, but for some reason coming from Gallas it seems more an attempt by the former French international to get some â€˜loveâ€™ back from Emirates fans who may have begun to feel a little weary of his mutterings.
According to the dailies, West Ham will make another bid for Derby youngster Giles Barnes after having an offer of Â£2.5m rejected (The Sun) – and have contacted Real Madrid about a price for Antonio Cassano (tribalfootball.com) as well as trying to prise Nicky Shorey from Reading in a Â£5m move (Daily Mail).
By my calculations, Hammers owner Eggert MagnÃºsson has forked out over Â£40m in transfer fees alone since he arrived last November and appears to be keen to spend some more of his personal fortune. As long as the players are wisely chosen by Alan Curbishley, then Upton Park will surely be a much happier place this season – with considerably less interest in the bottom of the table and an eye to the top.
Of the three targets, Shorey and Barnes are far more appetising than the Italian â€˜show ponyâ€™; however, Steve Coppell and Billy Davies are keen to keep their young talents so the biscuit king may need to dig that little big deeper.
Fiorentina are considering a move for Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon (La Nazione). Apparently a fee of Â£17m has been mentioned in relation to this whopping non-starter of a story. There is absolutely no way Martin Jol would sell and equally no way the nippy winger would leave – so let’s leave it at that!
Another Italian side, AS Roma, are eyeing Spurs fullback Pascal Chimbonda (tribalfootball.com) – and this dealmay have more potential. Chimbonda has been consistently linked with Chelsea over the summer, but now that SWP seems to be back in Joseâ€™s good books and is therefore unlikely to form part of a swap deal added to the likely arrival of Brazilian Daniel Alves, it seems the former Wigan defender may move elsewhere.
Personally I think this is simply mere speculation derived from a reputation Chimbonda earned following his rather unsubtle move to leave Wigan, famously handing in his transfer request minutes after their defeat at Highbury. He may have been harshly branded following this incident and I think he is more than likely happy at White Hart Lane.
Back to West Ham and Craig Bellamy, who has announced to the world that he is a changed man (tribalfootball.com). The Welsh international said:
“I’ve made mistakes, of course I have, particularly as a young kid. These days, though, it’s a lot more difficult, the way the world is. I’m sure you can remember the time when the football journalists and the players went out together for a drink. Could that happen now? I doubt it.
”It’s sad, really, because the way it’s gone is not the way I want to see it. I’ve been involved in a bit but then so have others, including Wayne Rooney and even John Terry, who is England captain. It’s the way of the world, unfortunately.”
Whilst it is good to hear the maturing tearaway explaining how he is trying to rid himself of his reputation, actions speak louder than words and Mr Bellamy has rarely been out of the media glare following a series of incidents that would make Joey Barton wince. That said, I do hope he does well at Upton Park, as it may just work out for him there. He may find being part of a side who are in the middle of a renaissance more to his liking than his awkward spells at Liverpool and Newcastle.
Everton manager David Moyes is set to seal a double swoop for Middlesbrough striker Yakubu and Portuguese playmaker Manuel Fernandes for up to Â£19m (various). Everton need quality strikers to take the burden off Andy Johnson, and even with up-and-coming talent like James Vaughan on their books, Yakubu could be a useful acquisition as he has a proven goalscoring record in the Premier League.
Attacking midfielder Fernandes, 21, impressed many, including myself, whilst on loan at Goodison last season, but just how much money does David Moyes have to spend? The Toffees are also supposed to be on the verge of signing Lucho Gonzalez for a club-record Â£11m and have invested Â£6m wisely with the capturing of Leighton Baines. So where will it end!
Finally, Tottenham midfielder Danny Murphy is wanted by Leicester City (The Sun). I think that says it all, the level of club approaching Murphy. No offence meant to the Championship side, but it confirms what many Spurs fans have thought for a while – that the former England internationalâ€™s heyday has long since passed.