Saturday, June 03, 2006

Kala cautions Sheva

It is a sign of the times that Kakhaber Kaladze is warning Andriy Shevchenko of the drawbacks of English Football. A year ago it would have been unthinkable. For Kala was all set for Chelsea, in the same way as Hernan Crespo was set for Milan. Kala was to be used as a pawn in the deal, and it would have gone through had Mourinho not plumped for Asier Del Horno in the last minute.

A year later, Kaladzhe has proved to be one of the revelations of the season in his new role at central defence. The Georgian and Sheva were teammates at Dynamo Kiev, and remain close friends to his day. So he was obviously disappointed to see his friend leave. “We have lost a great champion and I have lost a great friend,” said Kala. “I am happy for him because I know he is content with the choice he has made”.

However, he warned Sheva that not all would be to his liking in England. “However, I don’t think it will be as easy to acclimatise in England”. “Here in Italy there is great hospitality and warmth, I believe that in countries like England and Germany people are colder. I don’t think that Andriy will feel the warmth he has done in Italy.”


Not a bad point. Only, Shevchenko and his wife didn't seem to realise that. But they should soon enough.

The other day, i read this article about how the writer had gone to a Premiership match in which Chelsea played. All the stars were there: Lampard, Terry, Robben, Joe Cole.. As were the 'New Blues', as the new legion of fans who have started to swear by Chelsea after the Abramovich revolution. The football wasn't electric, but efficient. Chelsea were controlling the match, but the goal was not coming. The New Blues were growing restless. Right before half-time, Lampard struck and Chelsea took the lead.

Goal! The crowd was in raptures. When the match resumed, with Chelsea still leading, the number of New Blues in the stadium had considerably come down. Where did they all vanish? Surely they didn't leave mid way? Well, it turns out that they did.

You can't blame them. They came to see the stars, saw them; they wanted one of their star men to score a goal, he did; And maybe, just maybe, they wanted their team to win. And Chelsea had a vice like grip on the match, so it would've taken a miracle to lose. That was it. Their duty was over. What they had come for had been acomplished. They could leave now.

So, that is where Sheva is going. If he's looking for new challenges, that's one hell of a challenge!

Friday, June 02, 2006


Galliani laughs off match fixing rumour

Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani laughed off reports that the draw with Udinese (which incidentally helped them clinch 4th spot and enter into a Champions League) at the end of the 2004-05 season was fixed.

It is rumoured that a telephone conversation took place between Leonardo Meani, the Milan referee liasion and an Udinese official before the match and it is reported that Milan agreed to do the favour and in return we got Marek Jankulovski for a cut price. Doubtless an interesting theory, but Galliani had no plans to entertain it.

“I know nothing of the call that they talk about,” he said. “It is obviously evident and clear even to a child that this has originated from Turin. They want to involve Milan so that their position, which everyone knows about, does not look so bad”.

They’re looking to make it seem that the Juventus system and the Milan system are the same thing. It is not true at all – there is only the Juve system and everyone else has been affected and damaged by it.”


Thursday, June 01, 2006


Moggi suggests change of name
Insists 'Don Berlusco' would be perfect

Disgraced former Juve director Luciano Moggi's lawyer alleged that contrary to popular speculation, Moggi was not after all the man behind everyhing that was dubious in Calcio, but rather, he was its savior.

This extraordinary suggestion has come about amid reports that Jim Carrey is getting increasingly restless as his reputation as the world's ultimate showman has taken a severe beating recently, thanks in no small measure to Luciano Moggi and his lawyers. The public are reported to favour the elderly, fatherly-looking Italian over the eccentric and unpredictable Carrey.

“Moggi has always moved only to preserve Juventus’ status against the real power centres,” claimed lawyer Fulvio Gianaria in newspaper ‘La Stampa.’
“I am referring to Milan, who have the television companies and therefore the possibility to negotiate and buy up the pay-per-view rights of the clubs.”

Here, treat urself :D :

The incident was given an official twist with Milan issuing the following statement in the official website:
In answer to the declarations made by Mr Luciano Moggi's defence lawyer in 'La Stampa' newspaper today, A.C. Milan deplores manifestly what has been asserted by the defence team that it is 'true that Milan buys and sells television rights.'

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Its officially over

Andriy Shevchenko is officially a Chelsea player after he completed a (roughly) £30m move to Chelsea yesterday.
If he was miserable earlier in trying to compensate for his disloyalty to the club and he fans by asking us to 'accept his decision as man' , he was pathetic yesterday when he stated how 'proud' he was to be a Chelsea player.

Read it in his own words:
"I can go to Germany with a clear mind and proud to be a Chelsea player." They say money talks. It doesn't. Instead, it merely whispers in one's ear. And its effects can be..... Shevaesque. Huh. Talk about Spine.

Here's the link:

Stevie G to Milan?

Steven Gerrard, the ultimate utility man in world football, has been linked with a move to the San Siro. It is unthinkable, it is ridiculous and it is outrageous. But this is football. What a magnificent coup it would be if we could pull that one off!

Ancelotti's liking for attacking football is rather well known. Though the feasibility of having two sulphurous midfielders (don't ask me who's the other one, Ricky's gonna be furious) in the starting line up is debatable, the results can be unbelievably exciting. Gerrard, productive man that he is, can be deployed anywhere in the field - as a ball winner (there goes Rino), as a playmaker (oh dear, is that Pirlo shaking his head) or as the cunning strategist maneuvering through the opposition spraying passes all over and getting some goals for him as well a la Seedorf.

But there will be one hitch. Liverpool won't sell. No, not their Captain Sensational, no. Without Stevie G, the Kop wouldn't have a hope in hell. Anfield will witness riotous scenes. As for Gerrard himself, it would take some doing to convince him that he is wasting his prime years at a hopeless club but i don't think even Moggi would be able to drill that into his head. Anyway. Its always sweet to hear such rumours. You know, after all those Drogba stuff and all....

Sheva Deal

Sheva to call on Chelsea today

Andriy Shevchenko's imminent transfer to Chelsea will see him at London today holding talks regarding the deal. Milan have confirmed that he has been given permission to talk to the English Champions.

“We can confirm that he has been given permission to travel to London,” a statement on the Chelsea's website stated. If things go smoothly, the move would be completed by the end of the week. It is reported that Sheva could even have his medical on wednesday afternoon.

Milan's policy of not keeping a player who wants out is something to be lauded, as there are few, if any, clubs which follow it, leave alone clubs of the calibre of Milan. But iam afraid some players may be using it to their advantage. If they think Milan's policy of not playing hardball is ground for them to dictate terms to the club, then it is time the club reminded them who pays the wages. They need to be reminded that not playing harball is only an option, as is the option of sticking to the contract and asking a player to shut up.

Van Nistelrooy

Van Basten turns Milan exec

Netherlands gaffer Marco Van Basten has reportedly advised Ruud Van Nistelrooy to choose Milan as his next camping base.

The Milan legend, who has earlier spoken out in favour of his star striker during the aftermath of his fallout with Sir Alex, has now reportedly urged him to join Milan, pointing out that it is just the place to revive his career.


Well, the link is a bit long, but it is worth it so u can take the risk :)


Hernan not taking things for granted

Hernan Crespo knows all about the pain expectancy will bring. After all last season, he, on loan from Chelsea, had a successful campaign at Milan, and had his heart set on a permanent move to the San Siro, or if things went really bad, was even prepared to stay for another season on loan. But after much wrangling from both sides, he was ordered back to Chelsea with his heart stuck in Italy.

But instead of feeling sorry for himself after being forced to ply his trade in a country he felt alien, one can safely say that Crespo has silenced the critics who lambasted and labeled his passion for Italy as something of a defence mechanism he had developed to cover his inefficiency in the English country.

But even after helping his side to back to back premiership titles, Crespo says he still misses the Latino way of life and misses Italy. It has almost got nothing to do with the football. It has got to do with the people and culture.

When he was ordered back to London last summer only because his employers had not been able to get a big-name striker, Crespo should've had a reason to be despondent. But who would've thought that a striker no less than Shevchenko would be on his way to Chelsea the following summer? Even Hernan couldn't have figured that out.

But still, a wary Crespo is refusing to deal all his cards this time around, when speculation is rife that he could be used as a make-shift in the Sheva deal.
"With Milan there is nothing concrete and unfortunately the scandal situation doesn't help the transfer market," he said.
"I'd willingly come back to Italy, despite the fact that I feel good at Chelsea."

Of course, he should also be concerned about the ongoing match fixing investigations. But it is clear that he sure wouldn't mind one last crack at Serie A. Come to think of it, I wouldn't either.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Sheva replacement

Eto'o set to shun Milan

When asked to comment on rumours linking him to Milan, the Barca star chose the moment not only to state his unavailability, but also to crack a joke.

Regarding his future: “What would happen if Milan called me? I would tell them to not waste their time because my answer would be no.”

And now the joke: “I would suggest that [owner Silvio] Berlusconi signs [Didier] Drogba. He is one of the best strikers in the world right now."

Now, beat that!

Sheva replacement

Van the man for Milan?

Among all the rumours that have been sparked by Sheva's departure, Milan have most strongly been linked with Ruud van Nistelrooy. The Dutch striker, who has scored an amazing 150 goals in 200 games for Manchester Unied, has had a well-publicised fallout with Sir Alex Ferguson.

Milan are reportedly keen to bring him in, as they are on the lookout for a big name striker to replace Sheva. Here's what the BBC's site had to say on the rumour:

Milan 'eyeing Van Nistelrooy bid'

AC Milan are contemplating a move for Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy as a replacement for Chelsea-bound Andriy Shevchenko. Van Nistelrooy is reported to have fallen out with United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, while Shevchenko is about to begin talks with Chelsea.

"Van Nistelrooy is the man we want," an AC Milan spokesman is quoted as saying in The Sun newspaper. "He is one of the few players in the world who could replace Sheva."

The rest of the story :

Well, if you ask me, i'd say Van Nistelrooy would be a thousand times better than someone like Drogba. The fellow has aquired a rather ill-advised image as a diver, but his goalscoring record is beyond doubt. Scoring 150 goals in as little as 200 games in a league such as the EPL is something extraordinary.

I'd still prefer Ibra or Adriano if we could lay our hands on either of them, but in the likelihood that we won't i believe Van's the man.

Sheva Replacement

Ibrahimovic, Adriano, Ronaldo

The above three are unlikely arrivals to the San Siro, considering their importance to their respective clubs.

Ibrahimovic is a dazzling talent, but Juve, provided they survive the 'Calciopoli' ivestigations and remain in Serie A, would most certainly turn down any offer for their jewel, not least an offer from their direct title rivals. But if things don't go their way and they are relegated and stripped of titles, then Ibra will have the option to terminate his contract and jump ship. And i have no doubt Milan will waste little time snapping him up.

Adriano's is another story. He has publicly stated that he is not happy at Inter, which led to Cafu advising him to cross the city divide and join Milan. But after the fiasco of selling Roberto Carlos to Real Madrid, Cannavaro to Juvenus and most importantly, selling Seedorf and Pirlo to Milan, it is my belief that Inter will be paranoid about selling their most prized asset to their sworn rivals. Luis Figo to Real did happen, but such things happen once every 25 years or so.

The story of another Brazilian, the great Ronaldo, is poignant. The poor fellow has maintained a scoring average of 2 goals every 3 games throughout his career, but has got little recognition and far too little love for it. It is evident that he has grown pretty frustrated at the lack of respect and love his talent and exploits deserve at the Bernabeu, so he'll be keen to shift base and seek a club where he'll be happy.

The stories of Adriano and Ronaldo are not very different from each other, and a deal involving the swap of he two strikers may be on the cards. That could make things difficult for Milan. Ancelottti has been recorded expressing his wish to welcome Ronaldo to the San Siro, but that now depends on Real.

Sheva replacement


Barca's Eto'o has been linked with a move to Milan as a replacement for the departing Sheva. Eto'o is one of the few strikers in the world who would be able to fill the giant boots of Sheva at Milan. He has got pace, is brilliant with the ball, has a great positional sense and is a big match player.

Meanwhile, Cagliari's David Suazo, who has scored 22 Serie A goals this season, has also been linked with a move to the San Siro. Rumours suggest that he could be bought for as little as £6m and Milan could concentrate on strengthening the defence and the midfield with the remaining cash generated from Sheva's transfer. Now, that's an interesting option.

The link:

Sheva's replacement

Drogba for Sheva ?

The barter system has long been done away with, but Didier Drogba and his agent seem to be living in the stone age and insist 'Drogba for Sheva' would be the most natural thing in the world next to Marat Safin breaking raquets.

“Milan are very interested in Didier and he would be extremely happy to play for them,” Drogba's agent, Pierre Felot has been quoted as saying. Let us recall that Drogba a week back suggested that all was not well at Chelsea, what with his own fans turning on him at times. Well, when has he ever been popular with them, to start with?

"I’m not happy. For two seasons I have been unable to express my full potential. As for my future, it does not depend on me alone. I have two years left on my contract and so far have not received any offers.” Right after these comments, the unflappable Jose Mourinho, the Chelsea manager, lost no time in pointing out that the Ivorian still had some more years left on his contract and as he considered him 'non-negotiable', he (Drogba) had no option but to stay. "If he plays with happiness, he plays. If he doesn't, he doesn't" said Mourinho as he put a lid on his £24m pet's latest whim.

Drogba subsequently went on to say how much he loved life in London and how fans don't come asking for autographs. But the fact remains that he would love a move to Milan. But again, who wouldn't? Despite Barca's Champions League triumph, Milan are miles away from other clubs in terms of results.

The problem with Drogba is he has no class. That special ability to waltz past a defender, sell a dummy to another and round the 'keeper to hit the ball into the net is what it takes to be something special. If somebody doesn't have it, he at least has to have the vision to create goalscoring opportunities for his team. I don't see Drogba doing either of these.

All he has achieved during his time at Chelsea is attain a notoriety for diving, elbowing opponents and a glaring inability to take a game by the scruff and turn it on its head when a match is not going his team's way. He can hardly be called inventive and has no vision. It'd be a shame if he comes to Milan.


Practise match

Gila and Pippo on fire

Alberto Gilardino bagged 5 goals and Filippo Inzaghi scored a hat-trick in a practise match with local side Sestese here on Sunday. Azurri Coach Marcelo Lippi divided his team into two groups and made them play the local side, who were whipped 10-0 on both occasions.

Though the quality of the opposition certainly was not something to lose any sleep over, accounting for half the scoreline would've done wonders for Gila's confidence. Alberto also used the occassion to express his solidarity to Milan on the ongoing match fixing investigation.

“I keep reading in the newspapers that every day there is a new story linked to this scandal, but I have always maintained we should wait and let the magistrates do their job,” he noted. “In any case, I’d stay at Milan even if they were demoted to Serie B.”


Rossoneri regroup

Sheva may be gone, but he Milanello spirit has been retained by our fellow Rossoneri at Milan. Pippo Inzaghi, who recently turned down an offer from Fransesco Totti, no less, to partner him at Roma, has spoken of his respect for Sheva meanwhile implying that Milan will not be a lesser team for the striker's departure.

“I’ll never forget the phone call he made to congratulate me on my return to the Italy squad. Sheva was injured and had to plan his future, but he still found time to call me. It was a gesture I appreciated a great deal. I’m sorry to see him go, but if this is his desire then we must all respect it. "

"Chelsea will become stronger, but Milan remain a great squad and are inferior to no-one in Europe.”

Alberto Gilardino, who should shoulder considerably more responsibility next season than he did in his first this year, had this to say:

“He (Sheva) really helped me to settle down at Milan. Sheva is a champion, but we have other great players and will start the next season with the intention of winning everything – just like we always do.”

Words of encouragemant also came from an unexpected soure - Inter's Marco 'The Cow' Materazzi. “He (Sheva) is a world class player who can put you under pressure at any moment.
But Milan have other champions and will know how to replace him"
said the player despised (and that's putting it mildly, i tell you) at the Milan camp for his bone-crunching tackles on Milan players.

Sheva's appeal to fans

Andriy Shevchenko has released an open letter to his fans on his official website asking them to understand and accept his decision of leaving Milan. Here's the full draft of it:

"Yesterday was a truly difficult day for me and I thought long and hard before coming to this decision. Mine was a troubled choice, but I feel the time has come to think about the future of my family and my children, who are the most important things in my life.

A few days ago, I explained my reasons to Silvio Berlusconi, who is a very special person for me, as he is the Godfather to my son. He listened and understood. ‘Do what is best for you,’ he told me. For this, and for all the things he has done for me and my family, I will be eternally grateful. I also thank the club and Adriano Galliani, who did everything possible, and more, to keep me here.

Above all, I want to speak to the fans and ask them to accept my choice. I have read your messages this week and many of them brought a tear to my eye. I also understand your anger and disappointment, but I request that you accept my decision as a man. What you have given me over these years has been unique and you always made me feel at home. You have a piece of my heart and will be there always. Andriy."

Well, iam sure his PR secretary would've added that tinge of sentiment in it. I don't know how you feel after reading this, but it doesn't make a blind bit of difference to me. His exploits for Milan I shall always cherish, but this was the man who said he wanted to end his career at Milan a la Maldini, Baresi and Van Basten before jumping ship just a week later. What transpired between those two press meets, i don't know, but the fellow sure as hell doesn't convince me.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Milan in for Reveillere?

As has long been rumoured, Lyon's defender Anthony Reveillere seems to have become a summer transfer target. But it seems we have to fight it out with Inter. has the following take on the issue:

Milan Derby For Reveillere?

'Lyon defender Anthony Reveillere may be the subject of a summer tug-of-war between Milan and Inter, according to reports in Italy.
The former Valencia star has made it clear to his agent that he wants to leave the French champions.
The main reason for this appears to be the emergence of young defender Francois Clerc who has limited Reveillere’s first-team involvement this season.
Milan and Inter have both been watching the player for some time and may be about to do battle for his services.'

For the uninitiated, Reveilleire is a right back, is 26 years old, and seems will be a pretty good replacement for Cafu. We've been monitoring him for some time now and this would be the right time to bid for him, taking into account the (roughly) Pounds 35 m we'd get from Sheva's sale. The lad has Champions League experience, is a regular at Lyon and should settle down quite qucikly at Milan. What's more, he can also play as a left back.

Now, how would it be if we could lay our hands on Gallas also :wink: By the way, we hear Gallas may also be included in the Sheva deal. If there is one good thing that can come out of this sordid affair, this could be it.

Meanwhile, have a look at what has to say about Reveillere:

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Sheva decision: Press release

This is the complete text of the interview given by Andriy Shevchenko and Adriano Galliani to announce Sheva's departure from Milan:

ANDRIY SHEVCHENKO: ‘I want to thank the club a lot, Doctor Galliani, president Silvio Berlusconi who have listened and understood me. I want the club to evaluate my transfer fee. I would like to explain that it is a personal choice and has nothing to do with my relationship with the team, the club or anything to do with money, which is the last thing I think about. I am very sad to look into the eyes of the fans and read their messages. This is an important decision for me and my family. My wife has nothing to do with this. We decided together for the best interests of our family.'

ADRIANO GALLIANI: ‘There is little to add, I want to say how sad I am. Andriy knows it well but it's better not to say too much. The Milan philosophy does not change, we do not sell our top players unless they want to leave. A player cannot be stopped if he asks for a transfer even if it is this player who has scored the most goals in Milan's history after Nordahl. We understand Sheva's motivation and now we will open negotiations with Chelsea but they cannot think of just taking the best players in the world ... If we reach an agreement, it will be what we want and what Andriy wants. Andriy has given a lot to this team, he's scored 174 goals because I am counting the disallowed goal against Barcelona at the Camp Nou. It's a painful divorce but it has happened with Baresi when he retired and with Van Basten. Andriy is in his prime at 29. I've tried to convince him to stay - even one minute prior to the press conference.'

ANDRIY SHEVCHENKO: ‘It will be impossible to find a club like Milan. I have thought only about my family. I don't speak English, my wife Kristen does not speak Ukrainian - the only language we have in common at the moment is Italian. The only way to be able to teach our children our love that we have for them is the English language.'

ADRIANO GALLIANI: ‘I will close by saying that this is a victory for the English language over Italian just has it functions in the world. English is essential, in school, studying, for work to develop.'