That was quite the European football off-season. The sun went up, people made coffee, perhaps went to work or enjoyed a nice day at the park, maybe read the paper a bit, uploaded some domestic league fixture lists to Google calendar, made a nice dinner, shared a bottle of wine with the missus while watching Cake Boss, and then toddled off to bed, and the sun went down.
Welcome to the 2012-13 European football season! On the menu today: some
meaningless Champions League qualifiers that some have attempted to spin into the “unofficial start of the domestic calendar,” which is utterly ridiculous. If you are that desperate, bonne chance to you in your endeavours finding Linfield v B36 Tórshavn on television, or even the Internet.
Okay, time for England news. And we all know by now that ‘news’ is in fact a series of official Tweets. Here’s this one:
The Club is delighted to announce Andre Villas-Boas as Head Coach.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) July 3, 2012
How this affects Jan Vertonghen rumours is beyond me.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is convinced Luis Suarez will stick around.
Arsene Wenger wastes no time in turning down the France job in light of Lauren Blanc’s resignation.
Roberto Martinez speaks the truth about English club academies.
Apparently Man United want Moutinho, and other assorted transfer nonsense care of the Telegraph.
Stuart Pearce says sorry for omitting David Beckham from Team GB in the Olympics, although he didn’t really need to.
In Italy news, Andrea Pirlo is pleased Italian national team coach Cesare Prandelli will be staying on.
The Gazzetta Dello Sport meanwhile looks at what Spain’s dominance could teach the Italian national team set-up.
The three tenors break up begins: Lavezzi leaves Napoli for Paris St. Germain.
In Spain news, Real Madrid are already picking out a shirt number for Luka Modric, reports Marca.
In Canada, Toronto FC’s Danny Koevermans is named MLS player of the week. So something for the Dutch to be happy about.
Some thirty year-old Italian defender not named Nesta is linked with Toronto FC.
Duncan Fletcher checks the stats and notices TFC are crossing a hell of a lot less.
Fletcher notes on his own blog that off-the-pitch developments for TFC aren’t going as well as those on the pitch.
Meanwhile Montreal confirm they made an offer for Alessandro Nesta.
And the Vancouver Whitecaps will do well to take some pressure off their goalkeeper.
In bits and bobs, the FFF targets four France players for disciplinary action, a video of Iker Casillas asking the ref for mercy on the Italians is making the rounds, James Lawton makes a fruitless comparison between Spain 2012 and Brazil 1970 (and apparently doesn’t know Pele was shite), and Blackburn line up Nuno Gomes.
And that, give or take, is the story so far…