Thursday, 15 August 2013

Around the horn; Pre-season banter.

Hello all. the panel is back. This week we discuss the Suarez and Rooney conundrums, Rodney promises to be more coherent because he is soberer, Paul continues his love-hate affair with Wenger, Agano uses his words sparingly and I do a lot of editing. Enjoy.

"Even if Wenger's big head tells him to play Diaby, the long-legged slouch will be injured for 28 games, so no worries there"

 1. Who do you reckon will be the most high profile flop following this transfer season? 

RodneyIt would be between Fabregas, Thiago, Bale or Cristiano Ronaldo for Man Utd. But seriously, I'll say Llorente at Juve DEFINITELY!! Higuain might also be one not to watch. Negredo at City as well
NB:Please don't save these predictions as they might make me sit down end of season. 

Paul: The only reason I won't say Aubameyang is because I don't rate that highly, therefore any failure to light up the Bundesliga should come down to his being an average player (for me). My money is firmly on Neymar though -forget what I said last time around. The presence of Messi, as well as his not-so-average minions Iniesta and Pedro, on the same team threatens to water down his star appeal. He may perform just fine but I fear it may not be to the standards he has gotten us used to. Hence, we'll be screaming yaggwaamu! (Ed: read 'he got finished')

Agano: My choice would be Roberto Soldado; he is a good player, but he is not the type that will cement Spurs as a top 4 side.

Editor: I reckon it's a toss-up between Llorente and Zaha. Llorente has been vegetating in Spain for a year. Zaha is still a bit too raw for me; he could have benefited from Fergie's tutelage. This being a pressure season for United also doesn't help his cause. Mario Goetze is also in the running(he's likely to be more underwhelming than flop) mainly because he's made of the same injury-prone glass that RVP was made of before the 11-12 season. Also Goetze may find fitness when Bayern's midfield is already settled and it may be hard for him to walk straight in.

2. What do you think about the Rooney situation;  Where do you think he’ll end up? How does it affect United? Who replaces him? How will he fare at his next destination(make educated guesses here). 

Agano: Rooney's time at United is up. Rooney under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea will be reborn. Who will replace him? Step forward Danny Welbeck! (Ed; see Rodney's comment about Wellbeck)

Rodney: Rooney's behavior makes me appreciate Stevie G so much more. This guy asks for better players and when they come, he complains for being subbed. But big clubs don't sell to rivals so he's not going to Chelsea. This is not Arsenal!! Once again ignore this if he ends up there. Man United need him though; he can affect whether they finish 2nd or 3rd considering that Stewart Downing scored more goals than Valencia, Nani and Young combined. *Awkward moment*. (Ed; I didn't know this stat until now; it's unbelievable)

Paul: Rooney has already been usurped by RVP so no more talk about a replacement. Chelsea would be the ideal place for him to reignite his batteries. Luckily, he thrives in high tempo systems like Mourinho's. I wouldn't worry about him.

Editor: Methinks Rooney will be sold to Chelsea.....after Sir Alex's stand at Old Trafford is re-named 'the Bebe stand'. United don't want to be classed with Arsenal. i reckon he is either angling for a better priviledged position(at per with RVP) in the team; or maybe a move to a Monaco or PSG in January or next summer.

 3. How do you rate Juve’s chances of winning Serie A at the canter; and also their CL chances considering they solved what seemed to be their Achilles heel for the past couple of seasons by signing proper strikers like Tevez and Llorente?

Paul: Juventus is a go. The fact they have stuck around even through the toughest of times... oh hell, they are Champions League material, good enough to win Serie A.

Editor: Despite the fact that I think Llorente may flop, Juventus are still going to win the Serie A with ease. Napoli will make a chase of it but that's all it will be. Knowing that no one ever defends the Champions League which eliminates Bayern, I would think Juve, alongside the big Spanish two, BVB and Chelsea, to a minor extent, would be the front-runners for this season's title.

Rodney: Serie A will be wild this season and we can thank PSG for sponsoring this league. So many quality players in the league now. Napoli will chase them all the way. This is a new Rafa; he walks around with his top buttons on his shirt undone, relaxed. No homo. He can do something with this team and its kinda his last big chance. Juve will be the usual  Juve. Their only worry could be Buffon. Both teams at least UCL quarters, maybe semis if the draw is kind.

Agano:Tevez and Llorente will fit seamlessly into an already stable Juventus core. They will retain the Serie A title but fall short in the Champions league.

4. Suarez; comments on how badly the buck-toothed one is handling this situation considering how LFC have brought  themselves  ridicule defending his shenanigans. 

Editor: To paraphrase Didier Drogba, "Suarez is a f*****g disgrace". Liverpool have defended him the way a mother would defend her idiot child, in public while privately wanting to smack the s**t out of him. He is repaying them in full.. He said the press was hounding him and he wanted out of England; Arsenal is situated in England's capital!! He says he wants CL football, see Rodney's comment. You can take a man out the village but you can't take the village out of him 

Rodney: Same answer as with Shrek. I don't understand this argument players have these days, "eh eh eh I want to play Champions League football what what."(sic) The *expletive*? Sign for Celtic then, they qualify every year and have as much chance of winning as Arsenal. A move from Liverpool to Arsenal makes no sense to anyone. Education is important!! Idiot!!

Agano:If Suarez has pulled a U turn, it's only because he "can't leave", not because he "wants to stay". Damage limitation by Suarez's camp. Player power is still alive.

Paul: SUAREZ!!! The true mark of a badda** is the ability to leave off-field problems in the dressing room. He is obviously not quite right in the head. I personally still hate him for that Ghana thing (though I would have no problem watching him bang them in for Arsenal). I thought I would never see worse unsporting behaviour... until he came to the premiership! He is, without a shade of doubt, being himself in the way he's handling this transfer -selfish

Liverpool should have known better. They are just as culpable as he is. Standing by him after that racial slur flies in the face of the fight against racism. What were they thinking? That the lion wouldn't turn against its trainer one day? The fact that he sought an agreement for them to sell him to a CL side when the opportunity arose should have rung alarm bells in their heads. Suarez might lack class in the way he's handling this but Liverpool should have seen it coming. Holding onto a girl that don't love you no more is outright silly. Cut him loose.

5. Luis Gustavo to Arsenal; does it vastly improve Arsenal, as in, to the extent of battling United  for third or second at least? How does he fit into the Diaby, Carzola, Arteta triumvent?

Paul: I think Wenger should play Arteta, Gustavo and Carzola. Even if Wenger's big head tells him to play Diaby, the long-legged slouch will be injured for 28 games, so no worries there. That would be a vastly improved midfield. It would mean there's somebody to compensate for Arteta's lack of pace. Things would be even more interesting with Wilshere in the mix. Given Fergie's departure and United's midfield frailties, even RVP wouldn't be enough to pin Arsenal down. Then again, I'm not sure he's the man to fix Arsenal's psychological block. That alone makes things 50-50. May be Gustavo + Suarez + a decent left back and a change in Wenger's tactics.

Editor: First of all, I will only believe the signing when I see it. Wenger may be up his old tricks just to keep the fans excited and thinking he will re-enforce. If he signs, the Diaby problem should be solved for good. i still don't think he can make enough impact to change Arsenal's eventual finishing place.

Agano: Gustavo"s move to Arsenal will not happen. Naples beckons. (Ed: I think that situation has changed since this was written but one would understand why anyone wouldn't have faith in Arsenal making a sensible signing like Luis Gustavo. Until he's presented, Naples may still beckon)

Rodney: I can't avoid laughing at Diaby. Luis Gustavo is brilliant and will improve Arsenal. Wenger should play him with Arteta in a double pivot with Wilshere ahead of them. Santi Cazorla plays on the wing as inside forward. As for Arsenal finishing 3rd, that's not happening. They will fight with Spurs for 4th. Tottenham's midfield for next season is scary; there are beasts; Paulinho, Dembele, Capoue and Sandro. Yeezus! Once again ignore this if Arsenal finish 3rd.

Thanks for reading and thanks to our panelists for their contributions. If you think they are interesting enough, follow them on Twitter,.. or not.  

Lumala Paul - @paolo_waabwe
Rodney Kayonga - @officialrodneyk 
Agano -    @AKiravu

Editor -  @Johnkabanza