I can’t sleep, so rather than vexing my damsel with my tossing and turning, why not bang out a news report, in the wake of a busy day of World Cup qualifiers.
And guess who got whacked in the Spain/Armenia match? You guessed it; Andres Iniesta, the guy who must have gotten Gabi Milito’s injury luck. He took a whack to the exact same area that was already injured thrice over, and recovering very nicely, until Del Bosque decided “Hey, let’s see if I can totally hose over Barcelona’s chances for a successful season. If I can get their guys hurt, they’ll be available for training camp and stuff, all nice and early. Bet.”
But Iniesta, talking after the match, said it’s no biggie and he is expected to be fine. Both he and Xavi were immediately examined by doctors, the latter because of a recurrence of pain in his knee, that wasn’t sufficient for him to remove himself from the pitch. Of course, Del Bosque could have done us a favor by not playing Xavi for the full 90 minutes, but as I said, he has a team to get ready, and he can’t have his players messing about with playing Champions League finals and whatnot.
Sport by the by, has said that Xavi’s discomfort isn’t expected to keep him out of the Valencia match this coming weekend. So that’s good news on both fronts.
–We will have Eric Abidal for a while longer, according to reports that our French Greyhound has agreed to a 3-year deal with the club, and will finalize it as soon as he returns to his home locker room. Now, you might ask, where were the rumors, and transfer nonsense, and difficult negotiations, etc, etc, etc? Nonexistent. Because that’s how it’s supposed to be when you have a player as critical to the side as Abidal is. His buyout clause has been increased to 90m and access to a 24-hour running facility …. because you never know when he’ll get the urge. Wonder if Citeh, who the Daily Mail says wants them some Abidal, will be dissuaded by those numbers.
–Most of us watched that insane Argentina/Peru match, in which even Maradona’s ineptitude couldn’t scuttle Argentina’s luck. And know that I really and truly don’t give a rat’s ass about Argentina’s qualifications. I was watching simply to make sure that Messi didn’t get injured. He wasn’t, and played pretty well at times, vanished at others. More importantly, he wasn’t injured. Yay!
–It’s looking like Zlatan Ibrahimovic will have some free time around World Cup time, after Sweden fell to Denmark today by a 1-0 result. And I’d love to tell you that I’m all atwitter about Sweden’s chances. But again, I don’t give a rat’s patootie. Just don’t hurt BANGS. He emerged from the match fine, and I’m happy.
—EMD says, as we’ve all been predicting, that Gerard Pique will be next in the renewal line. They’re spouting some nonsense that we’re worried about the Evil Empire making a run at him, which makes me laugh. I can believe that Pique will attract some interest, but no way in hell does he go to play for that club. That lad is Catalan to his very core. He might burst into flames, like a vampire, were he to put on that shirt. Silly, silly EMD.
–There is some seriously, profoundly absurd shit going on with Robinho, the want-away Brazilian winger who, among other tricks, can score goals with his perpetually stuck-out bottom lip. And it depends on who you read. We have:
1. He’s coming on a loan deal in January
2. He might be coming on a loan deal in January, but Citeh will want to sell his ass outright.
3. (my favorite) UK toilet paper substitute the Daily Mirror says that we are going to offer Carles Puyol and Toure Yaya for Robinho and Vincent Kompany. Now this makes a lot of sense. What team wouldn’t want to trade the best defensive midfielder in the world (yes, I said it) and a back line stalwart who deserves to retire with the club, for a lazy, partying-ass Brazilian member of the All-Potential team, and a Belgian defender who couldn’t carry The Yaya’s jock if he had a cargo van.
4. We’re going to trade a subscription to BarcaTV and a xocolata fountain for the winger, but first we are petitioning the Liga for the right to play with two balls, since Robinho needs one pretty much, oh, like all the time.
The careful, astute reader might infer that I am not a fan of Robinho. And they would be right. But like luggage and hemorrhoids, the rumors about him just will not go away. Perhaps Guardiola is thinking that, like with Thierry Henry, Robinho is ready to buckle down and work for the chance at some real glory, hence the loan deal. If he sucks, send him home, no harm done. But I would rather take someone like Shakhtar Donetsk’s Willian, who is younger, actually passes and plays defense and has more pace. And his transfer fee would be something just over Robinho’s annual wage packet.
–We’re probably going to add another year to the loan deal of Keirrison, a favorite (not) of Pep “Hey, I didn’t want his ass anyway” Guardiola. No word on whether Benfica will giggle like heliumed-up schoolchildren as we ask them to occupy a roster spot with a non-playing, non-scoring striker for yet another season. Stay tuned.
–Some 12,000 more people per match are filing into the Camp Nou this season. Nothing like championships and international fame to get those turnstiles a rollin’ right? Average attendance is just north of 74,000, which is still short of the best season to date, 07-08, in which an average of 82,000 butts were planted in the seats.
—Gabi Milito is still on course. Dr. Ramon Cugat is cautiously optimistic, as this recovery period feels very different than the last time the mop-topped defender was said to be coming back. He’s training daily, without a recurrence of the knee pain that necessitated a follow-up operation. It’s feeling like his pre-season now, and he could be a very nice signing in our January transfer window. And for free. How ’bout that?
What if some wack job comes in and wants to clean house. Are you worried about that?*
“In fact, Pep and I are doing the planning for the 2010-2011 season.”
Will there be signings in the January transfer window?
Chances are strong, yes. We will be alert in case an interesting option arises.
In January …. let’s see if some of our defenders can work in the midfield. It is an option.
He’s a very interesting player and can play the Champions League. (Oh no, Txiki! Not you too!)
(*Okay, Sport didn’t really ask the question that way, but dude. Come on. Really.)