Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Starting Eleven Football Blog Roundup

The Premier League--and the city of Manchester--may have a new superpower if the sale of City to Dr Sulaiman Al-Fahim's Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG) goes through in short order. The news broke in tandem this weekend with City's scoop of Robinho from Real Madrid, beating out Chelsea for the services of the Brazilian.

Al-Fahim has already set a target for his new toy: get into the 2009-2010 Champions League, which means a top four finish this season. Interesting. Whom does City intend on displacing? Defending European champions Manchester United? Chelsea, the uncrowned kings of Europe? Liverpool, a melting pot of a squad built for Champions League success? Or Arsenal, the fiscally responsible giant that plays the prettiest football in the land?

Here's all you need to know about Al-Fahim's intentions:
"A place in the Champions League is quite a jump from last season, but we are ready to sit down with the manager, find out the players he would like, and bring the right players into the club."
Money talks baby. So let's dedicate the start of today's trip around the football blogosphere to Al-Fahim and his buying power (no, my blog is not for sale..., well, maybe...)
  • Oliver Kay at the Times of London has a Magnificent Seven Mr. Al-Fahim could set his sights upon.
  • Caught Offside confirms City is planning an offensive on the top four.
  • EliteFootballTalk urges the top four to move over, there's a new giant in town. Kinda reminds him of the day in 2003 when Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea.
  • Spanish Football Sports throws some much-needed perspective into the Robinho-to-City deal, namely that Robinho has been remarkably average at the Barnebeu. Check it out; good stuff.
  • The Guardian blog, meanwhile, points out that City's acquisition by foreign interest drew much less scrutiny than last year's DIC talks to acquire Liverpool. Perhaps any ship in a port is better than one steered by Thaksin Shinawatra.
  • On any other day, Manchester United's signing of Dimitar Berbatov would have garnered huge headlines. Today, it's buried. Soccerlens has it.
  • EPL Talk has more comparisons to Chelsea and proclaims City has bought itself into the top four.
  • EPL Talk also has the news that Kevin Keegan's days at Newcastle are numbered. UPDATE: Keegan has been sacked.
  • Reuters Soccer Blog worships at the Berbatov altar, recalling his four-goal performance during Spurs' 6-4 win over Reading last season.
  • There's another intersting entry at Reuters making a case for the transfer window to remain open indefinitely.
Enough England already. Milan is still reeling from its loss to Bologna.
  • MCalcio has a great analysis on the strategy and thinking for Milan, especially in its offseason moves acquiring Ronaldinho and Shevchenko in particular. The pegs were in place, the thinking sound, and it practice, it failed miserably Sunday to a gutsy team.
  • AC Milan The Offside points out that ball possession wasn't an issue for Milan, instead it was about finishing, and even fitness.
  • Milan wasn't the only big team to lose its opener Sunday to a newly promoted team. Barcelona was upended by Numencia. All About Barcelona puts the blame on new coach Pep Guardiola; is it too late to bring back Frank Rijkaard.
  • Talking to the Doll has a recap of Benfica and Porto's 1-1 draw.
  • Speaking of Porto, Ricardo Quaresma has finally moved to Inter Milan. Football Transfer points out that an Inter midfield of Quaresma, Alessandro Mancini, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic tops Milan's Ronaldinho-Kaka-Shevchenko trio.
  • Portugoal looks at the bright side for Porto: Close to 31 million euros in spending money.
  • Closing it out, Soccerlens has the top 10 transfer deadline talking points.

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