Will newcomers survive the English Premier League?
FEB 7 — At first I was going to talk about the shenanigans during the transfer window and start with the return of Robbie Keane to my favourite club Tottenham Hotspur but then decided against it because it would mean mentioning a certain Spaniard who will never admit to his obvious lack of judgment when signing players.
So, we’ll skip that and instead look at some newcomers and predict their future in the English Premier League.
It is absolutely ridiculous to see Uli Hoeness, the German legend, and now the sporting director at Bayern Munich, suggesting that Nigel de Jong and some other Manchester City signings were flops after ONE game.
I am sorry Mr Hoeness but de Jong was simply great for Hamburg in his time, there thus prompting his capture by Manchester City. Or maybe Hoeness has never forgiven him for scoring the goal for Bayern Munich’s first-ever defeat at their new ground the Allianz Arena.
The Dutch defensive midfielder will be a huge success in his role and just watch him to see his intelligent reading of the game and neat passing. I would describe him as a Claude Makelele who can actually pass the ball forward.
In London, the loan signing of Ricardo Quaresma from Inter Milan looks great business for Chelsea. They have signed a winger with pace and power but he is an enigma. The lack of close control means Ricardo Quaresma relies on a push and run game thus making him very predictable.
He actually reminds me of another Portuguese winger of similar style, Simao Sabrosa, who has yet to hit the consistency required to be a superstar. Whether Luis Felipe Scolari will be able to improve Quaresma’s game, working together everyday, remains to be seen.
It has been said of Quaresma that he was the first choice of Alex Ferguson until some Manchester United players intervened and insisted the knighted one buy Cristiano Ronaldo instead. Wise players, indeed!
The biggest signing though is Andrei Arshavin at Arsenal. The Gunners have gotten one of the best second strikers in the world. By that I mean a truly Allesandro del Piero type of player.
Arshavin is a player who will roam the front line, beating players on either flank, scoring and setting up chances for teammates as well.
This little Russian has a big heart and is just the tonic Arsenal need to spark their season. The Gunners have become too predictable with their midfield options — “I am not a ball winner" Denilson, Abou “I play for myself" Diaby, Samir “I want to play in the middle" Nasri and Emmanuel “I don’t like playing midfield because it involves thinking" Eboue.
We can expect Arshavin to be a great success in a 4-4-1-1 formation, with Robin van Persie as the focal point of attack. It will be Emmanuel Adebayor who might be licking his lips at the anticipation of quality service and tap-in goals but he has to get his head right though.
In my estimation all three managers involved have made shrewd signings in areas where their teams needed strengthening, so good luck to Messrs Hughes, Scolari and Arsene Wenger.