Friday, August 22, 2008

Chelsea and Scolari: Destinations of the Stars

Is Luis Filipe Scolari the new Pied Piper of football?

The former Portugal manager leaves international football for the chaos, charisma and kudos of the Premier League, and suddenly players such as Deco, Boswinga, DiSanto and Sinclair trail behind like mice following the tune of his pan flute. Today Chelsea signed Sporting Lisbon youth Fabio Paim, the Next One to come out of its prized academy. They can't wait to don blue, eat bad food in London and play in the shadow of United, Liverpool and Arsenal.

And there are more. Robinho continues to insist that Madrid is no longer a fit for him and he wants to play up front for Big Fil. And reports today have it that Chelsea has upped its bid for the Brazilian star to 32M. Chelsea has reported spurned Kaka for Robinho. Robinho told EFE in Spain:
"Staying at Real Madrid is not my objective for the season. My wish is to play in the English League, Chelsea have a great squad, a great team, it will be a good deal for me and the club. It's not for the money, it's simply that I want to play in the English League. I've completed a cycle, I've played three seasons at Real Madrid and I've given everything. I've scored goals and we've won two leagues, which isn't easy. I believe my time at Real Madrid is at an end. I hope that the directors come to an agreement with Chelsea to resolve the situation as quickly as possible. Every player is different. I have my own personality and character. I haven't spoken to the press before to avoid controversy, but now I'm telling the truth. I want to leave."
(Don't you wish you had a dollar, pound or euro for every time you heard a player say it wasn't about the money?)

Give Scolari credit. He came out and said he's not playing for the treble this season, no he wants a quad of cups. Will he get it? I'm not ready to join the cult of Chelsea after its Week 1 4-0 win over Portsmouth, but Scolari may have the swagger and stars to get it done. Somehow he swayed Frank Lampard from heading to Milan to play for the first Pied Piper of Football, Jose Mourinho. Ricardo Carvalho and Paolo Ferreira are still at Stamford Bridge too.

Wigan awaits this weekend, and Manchester United is not far off when on Sept. 21, Chelsea hosts United in a Champions League final rematch. Too bad United could not hold up its end of the bargain and battled Newcastle to a draw in its opener. It would have been special to have both teams 4-0 heading into the match.

Somehow, don't you get the feeling the match on the 21st comes down to a John Terry penalty try? Somehow, I think he makes it this time.

BTW, there is a great caricature of Scolari done by Niall O'Loughlin. Check it out.

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