Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Intimately Azzurri

No this is not a picture of Feyenoord on vacation. As if Feyenoord and I did not have enough to do, he had to perform CPR on me this morning. Having found me passed out in the Azzurri Dreams offices pre-dawn, he was determined to know what had caused this sudden change in my physical appearance.
When he leaned over to breath 'life' into me, I was so startled, I sprayed him with my limited edition of Intimately Beckham perfume. I went ahead and told Feyenoord I had passed out from the odorous and gaseous intoxicating fumes of this over-hyped package...he wondered if I was talking about David Beckham or the perfume. Touché, I said!

Things have gotten so nutty, that Sir David could not even attend this ceremony to launch his perfume. Nor could his skinny wife that now rivals Peter Crouch as the skinniest Brit alive. But at last account, his fragrance had outsold his wife's by a 2-1 margin. I can only imagine what type of text messages are going back and forth as we speak. Then Feyenoord, slapped me. The first one was talking about his sweaty lover in his absence he said. The second time, was so that I would focus and report the news of the day.

But he was adament I not stoke the Ronaldo rumor. Ok I wont, but Milan are worried about his 18-20M valuation from Real Madrid, and Fabio Capello being who he is, already has made it known he prefers the Dutch Phenom as his number one striker. Something fishy at Milan, might have to do with only having a one goal lead going into their Champions League Match, but they have nixed their moved for Brazilian Sobis. Attention has now turned to Carlitos, aka Carlos Tevez, now that he has said he will never play for Corinthians again and has gone into MIA. Iaquinta is still in play here. They should get bold and grab Adrianno from the brain trust at Inter, but then again I am not here to start rumors.

Roma, once again proving me correct and showing, that they, unlike Inter, will play some attractive ball this season, are on the move for some good players. They are intent to sign Vucinic while also bringing in Esposito. Both these kids can flat out play and would add speed and length to Roma's attack.

Inter. Ok, here we go again, have agreed to purchase Mauro Camoranesi from Juventus. Phenomenal player with width and speed, too bad Inter have another 16 midfielders. What is another player to contirbute to the fall of their coach come this spring? Anyone thinking what I am for his replacement with the Annointed One, Marcello Lippo?

And in the please don't say so section of today's news, Anelka is off to Bolton. If anyone can turn this kid around, its Big Sam. But why oh why do you need this kid? If Juventus, yes Juventus, a relegated team, can say no to a perpetual malcontent such as Bobo Vieri, why couldn't Bolton do the same thing. Then I just remembered, I was writing on Bolton and decided to quickly move on. I have lost all concentration, which is typically what happens when watching any English match and have decided to stop writing. I will be back shortly with more news.

Azzurri Dreams

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Dutch Team

No I have not decided to go with a Dutch motif today to appease Feyenoord so that he would leave this shacked-up existence to respond to the media inquiries that are coming into the Azzurri Dreams offices. I know for a fact, he is alive and well, and while his lover is napping, he is sending me SMS messages showing what a powerhouse Van Basten's team is after yesterday's triumph. I responded by saying, when you win a game against a)someone other then Ireland, b)a penalty shoot-out, or c) a game that actually matters, there is nothing to talk about and go back to your business...and notice the SMS messages have stopped coming in.

But suffice it say to say, last night after their great performance, something we have been mentioning for a while happened. Liverpool signed Dirk Kuyt which does two things:

1)It spares us the bummer of having him play for Newcastle where his career would have rotten away worse then a Grahame Souness pep-talk

2)This insures Van Basten's future team, young team is all playing in England(competitive league), keeping them in top shape and all playing Champions League. The exposure will be great for these guys. And while I know Feyenoord, the team, have lost another great player, the Dutch national side now have another kid aside from Robben, V. Persie and van der Vaart that will be playing top flight football for a few years before the real opportunity will arise, the World Cup in 2010. Van Basten's future success is linked to these youngsters as well as Klaas Jan Huntelaar. Now for the rest, lets have some fun with this:

AC Milan delegates are in Rio to negotiate the transfer of Carlos Tevez. Finally, the rest of the world will be able to see this kid play. Not to say it again, but I will, players like Tevez do not end up in England. Sorry Fergie

Massimo Oddo also is ok'd to transfer to AC Milan. Good pick-up, even though he was on bench for Marcello Lippi's, incredible squad, he's young, an excellent crosser of the ball, and should make the Milan defense younger by about 45 years...and that just on Cafu's side.

And rounding up the Dutch mood for today, our condolences to Servaas ("Faas") Wilkes who passed away yesterday. Another great Dutch player, gone, but never to be forgotten.

Azzurri Dreams

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Kiss the Shirt

No I am not referring to the fact that right now, Feyenoord is somewhere with his lover, probably kissing her sweaty shirt as he peels it off of her. I swear this guy takes more vacation then is humanly possible, but in all fairness, he does play a role in establishing AzzurriDreams as a media giant in the world of reporting football news.

But I am referring to the drama surrounding Shevchenko's first goal for Chelsea over the weekend. Now if only the game was as exciting as the fallout from his former AC Milan teammates responding to his kissing his new jersey, and all this exhilaration after one goal? Even Pele has been brought into the discussion to say that players need to stop kissing their sweaty jerseys. I thought the English press was hard to deal with, but the Italians...well we take drama to another level, but chicks dig it.

Supposedly, everyone chimed in and was upset that he showed disrespect to his former team and so quickly when he kissed his jersey. One should note, that any man getting such satisfaction out of kissing a micro-fiber polyester shirt, should be examined. And secondly, seriously who cares when he followed it up by saying the only jersey he truly loves is that of the Ukraine. For that I respect the world's greatest striker. As Feyenoord and I often discuss(excluding this week, since he is tied up or, is it the other way around?) country over club. One hard tackle by Gattuso in some eventual Champions League match should suffice to put all animosities aside.

Now for the real drama. Leave it to the brain trust at Inter to get creative. They are listening to offers for Adrianno from Manchester United and Real Madrid. The sum being thrown around is roughly € 45 Million , or only a tips worth more then was spent on Michael Carrick(still laughing about that one). OK I am exagerrting but you get the point, you cannot even compare the two players.
The strange thing, is if this deal goes through, Inter loses out on a young talent and has him replaced with Hernan Crespo(who I adore) but has a limited time left being a solid #9. Two years done the road, even with Ibrahomovich will not replace him. And by-the-way, players like Adrianno do not end-up in England. I wish Fergie would understand that. And in the rumor that I just wont let go of, if he ends up Real Madrid watch for the gordito aka Ronaldo to come back to Inter.

AC Milan need a striker. With the Fernando Torres deal still not finalized, the back-up plan is Vincenzo Iaquinta.

Lens midfielder Alou Diarra is off to Roma for about €5 Million.

Ok, now its time to shower to rinse myself of the dirty thoughts I have just had about Feyenoord and his lover. But I will be back shortly. But do expect a delay when ringing our offices, because my faithful assistant is not here to answer the phones.

Azzurri Dreams

Friday, August 11, 2006

Oh Captain, My Captain

To quote Walt Whitman is an honor. To quote him to discuss Sir David is blasphemous...but then again, here at AzzurriDreams, we can do whatever we want. Feyenoord and I talked about the 'news' that David Beckham is no longer the captain of England and has been omitted from McClaren's first match next week. Then we realized, unless you are metrosexual with a David Fetish or the English Press, this is really not news worthy anywhere else in the world. Who cares, when was the last time he played a full 90 and earned it for England?

I believe that due to his exhaustion, at always needing to be next to a camera and to make sure his wife does not eat too many tic tacs, he can now focus on playing club ball. For the remaining part of his career, he can dazzle us, for once in a long time, by just hustling and playing football. I know this is a bit of a stretch, but it could happen. Yeah, and England will play the short ball.
England need to rejuvenate itself, its image and hopefully qualify out of a very difficult group for the Euros. So like I have mentioned quite often in the last few weeks, go young, go different, and don't play five in the midfield. This is good change and only the beginning to make this his own team. McClaren and I have been speaking and he has hired me as a virtual assistant. If you are reading this, Steve, you are getting tired, very tired(I need tickets, I need tickets).
David Beckham's plight is like all players at this phase of their career. They cannot all be like Fabio Cannavaro, still excelling(I kid Feyenoord, that has grown tired of my allusions to the 4-time World Champions at any opportunity). They start to fade because their bodies change and the natural progression of the next generation of players that are coming in. They retire from International Play and let the youth take over. It will be difficult for Sir David to let go of the limelight. Unfortunately, even the great ones become carted off us last weeks news.

That is the unfortunate plight of the footballer, to still connect with fans long after their magic has passed. David Beckham's right foot has lit up many a stadium and will do for a little while longer. But to have his mug all over the soccer press and websites, today, I felt sorry for him because I was sadder to see the Swedish-Savant go then this guy. But I know not all is lost, I will get to heckle him when he comes to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy. Can you imagine him on the same bench with Landon and how much abuse(I mean friendly fan banter) the AzzurriDreams Staff will welcome him to this country with.

Azzurri Dreams

Monday, August 07, 2006

All Wet

And no its not from the fans in the cheap seats that kept pelting my friends and I with water missile's as we watched the Barcelona-Chivas match at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

Its from the sprinklers that were turned-on in the second half of the match and to the amusement of 90,000 plus fans, I was reminded, no wonder no team wants to professionally play at this awful stadium. It made the pitch in Milan seem like a field of dreams. The last time I was at this stadium, Feyenoord missed two Van Nistelrooy and he still has not forgiven me.

But as one of the only four white guys in a wonderful crowd draped in Marquez jerseys, I was reminded what a wonderful experience live football is. Sprinklers and all. I am happy to be alive when it involves this nutty game.

Even with the two brawls in the stadium, a fat woman flashing us her breasts, Chivas not being able to score sitters, no Lionel Messi and Ronaldinhno coming on in the second half, watching the likes of Frank Rijkaard, Edminilson, Puyol and Von Bommel about sixty feet in front of me is a surreal experience. Better then any television experience, even with the new, plush flat-screens at the AzzurriDreams offices, the game, live is like nothing else. And this all for a pre-season friendly.

Can you imagine what it will be like when next month Feyenoord and I are in Portugal watching champions league matches? Actually I can, but I might be taking applications for his substitution, as he has completely vanished lately. If you are young, a female, into football and with and European passport, please send me your headshots...whoops I mean your resume and I promise to call you back. Tickets are pre-paid. But I digress.

As I sat in the stadium, talking to my Mexican brethen, I realized, just how similar we men are. We talk the same, we act the same, we struggle the same and we celebrate the same in this goofy game called football. And I would not want it any other way. The atmosphere and the pulse was a calumniation of great marketing and public relations and a lot of beer. 90,000 plus fans just watching a game. Of course, I told as many people as I could about this blog, hopefully our readership will spike today. Now if only MLS matches were this exciting. Now unto the news:

The real deals will start after this weeks Champions League matches insure teams like Arsenal and AC Milan they will have their Euros for spending this season. Rev them up because until the end of the month, the real deals are to be fast and players you thought were going one place, end up somewhere else.

Milan and Inter are in the race to get Zlatan Ibrahomovich. I don't know what Inter would do with this kid, since they just signed Hernan Crespo(on top of Cruz, Martins, Adrianno, and someone else to be yet named so so they could have him) as we have been saying for, how long now? But another version of the Milan derby is under way.

Franck Ribery wants out of Marseille. Why, that is such a shock. This is a repeat of what he did in Turkey last year. At this pace, he will have a new team every year and become the French version of Christian Vieri. Arsenal supposedly pick him for the fee collected after the sale of Reyes. What a neat coincidence.

William Gallas to Milan. Initially we had him going to Juventus, but we all know what happened, so now its between Arsenal and AC Milan. This would be a good move for Milan as their defense is about 218 years old. And Gallas said he wants to play in a different league. We wont hold the fact that he is French againist him.

Roma are set to push for Mahamadou Diarra with Milan eyeing this situation but like I said earlier, I do not expect any movement from Milan until after the qualifiers.

Palermo are now linked up with Mirko Vucinic as is Roma. This kid can flat-out play.

Juventus have officially made an offer of €4 Million to Corinthians for Ricardinho and are also intent on signing Ghanaian Sulley Ali Muntari. I guess this answers who is the hottest set of players post-World Cup(excluding the Juventus players) as they are being linked with many top teams. Nothing like beating the USA to increase your market value. More news to follow shortly.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Historic First:

Feyenoord has not picked up his phone for two days and it leaves me wondering how we are to build our media empire when he screens his calls. Who is setting up my next media days? I know he is at the Stadium in Rotterdham already looking, desperately trying to scalp tickets to his teams upcoming match against Chelsea, but let me tell you something my friend, do not spend the money. Any team with Shaun Wright-Phillips is not fun to watch so much that you need to spend your hard earned Euros. Especially with today's performance.

Some of my readers believe me wanting to replace him with Alexandria might have irked Feyenoord. But he has no idea what irked is until he has to listen to dumb and dumber(ESPN's Dave Ryan and Eric Wynalda) do play-by-play as I just have painstakingly done for the last 90 minutes as I watch the MLS All-Star Game. Seriously I could comment on the game, but Bruce Arena would probably blame me for everything, so I decided not to mention much.

My boredom reached an all new level on this lazy Saturday afternoon. No I am not talking about being so bored that I actually had to watch the MLS all-star Game. Actually I am...just in case you have no idea what I am talking about, the growing readership of AzzurriDreams knows I dislike the MLS. It reeks of mediocrity and a hype machine, which, well to say the least, does no good to the future of the development of its National team.

But you just beat a Chelsea team. Some would say it, so, it was Chelsea's b-side team, and their first match of the summer. But either way, and my compliments are, well very sparse towards American players(maybe in some way, that is maybe why Feyenoord is avoiding me, maybe he feels overlooked, overshadowed...more on the therapy, later though) you beat them and these are building blocks for the success of the game in United States. Moral victories go a long way towards shaping the future.

New heights were reached today. A slow, but productive, counter-attacking style that actually won you a game on a beautiful Dwayne DeRosaio goal. Congratulations. And to the MLS and its players, do not be annoyed that I keep my praise so short, I am sure Feyenoord is envious nonetheless.

Azzurri Dreams

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Rumor Has It

We are huge in the United Kingdom. Actually I over-exaggerated, more like England. Funny because I rarely have anything pleasant to say about the English...actually not really true, I love the English folk, its the French I tend to dislike...but then again who does not?

Feyenoord came into the AzzurriDreams office to find me alone this morning, in deep meditation, lighting many candles. He wondered if the visits to the doctors had gone well. I assured him I am healthy but was just praying for the football season to start. Seriously, how many MLS matches can one man endure? And since the start of my beloved Serie B...whoops Serie A was pushed back another two weeks, I had to call my physic and find out when I will actually get some competitive matches(barring the Euro's clash between Italy and France). I am feeling like a junkie needing a quick fix, and bad. Feyenoord assured me that we are close to the start of the new season. I said that the Charity Shield does not count. He said I should be nice. I said, what else do you have for me as I lit one more candle.

But August 16th looms he mentioned, when we will see the top English teams field teams, that will don't really look English. Look at the landscape of the top English club teams right now and, well to say the least, they look like Inter. Very few domestic, English players. But oh well, that might not be such a bad thing, right? It might cut down on the long balls and two-footed, studs up tackles into the shins. So with only a few days to the start of their season, I was wondering what is the most exciting thing happening in England right now. Besides the Swedish-Savant being unemployed, what else is there to report. I am reaching for anything right now.

I am just handed a piece of paper from Feyenoord that shows that Azzurri Dreams fastest growing readership is coming from England. So, ok twist my arm just a little bit more. The latest is this:

Are these photos of David Beckham in his Speedos while vacationing??: CLICKHERE, you dont want to miss this: Seriously, no children should browse these photos. Can I get away with calling him a wanker even though I am not English?

Ok, Feyenoord, just mentioned, to focus on the football:
Liverpool really want Dirk Kuyt. And he wants to go. He would make an interesting paring with the naughty-sms sender, Craig Bellamy with some tremendous speed between the two of them. But my hunch is Martin Jol, still laughing at how he got all that cash for Michael Carrick, will try to steal this kid.

Anyone that knows me, knows I am a huge Argentina fan and adore their players. So when one of the best central defenders, Roberto Ayala wants a new club, I have to speculate why he has not been snatched up. He would make a perfect fit with Fabio Cannavaro in the Real Madrid central defense and let Ramos play on the side with Cichino. Or he could end up at Inter with every other Argentian...no I am just kidding on that. This guy can flat out play, and even at 33, should be assessed by Manchester United, AC Milan and Roma. Why not, its my rumor. I can do whatever I want.

Seriously does anyone care about Robert Huth or Thomas Gravesen...I don't so I wont spend any time on it. The two best strikers left on the market are making it ugly with Zlatan Ibrahomovich claiming to use legal action to get out of his contract and Luca Toni calling on his crook employer to let him go so he can play Champions League. The funny thing, is I am convinced Juventus do want Zlatan to stay because even with a 17 point deficit, they will rise back to Serie A next year and to sell this player, so young and gifted does not make sense. Ok, now Milan can steal him.
The more interesting point here, is the legal precedent that might be allowed to let this player void his contract because on the demotion of this team(unless his contract had a disclaimer on this?). I know there are a lot of lawyers that read Azzurri Dreams, so if you know anything on this, specially with Italian Law, we would really like to hear from you.

I need to sign off, the candles are all dwindling now and Feyenoord believes this might be a safety issue...he is no fun lately. But this is a warm welcome to our new viewers overseas. Come back and come back often and please let your friends know. I might need some new friends. And please let me know when Wembly is completed.

Azzurri Dreams

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

End of an Era

No, that picture is not of Feyenoord. It is the a picture of how I feel today. The end of an Era is upon us and we at Azzurri Dreams, are definitely, well to say the least very sad. We will need to name a new captain, find a striker who can score, and put the Swedish-Savant-era in the very distant future...that and work diligently towards a second star. Whoops, now I sound like Steve McClaren. Sven, please find a new job quickly and please let a microphone be near you on all your cruises or staff meetings because you have given me so much enjoyment over the last few months that I am seriously wondering if we can sustain Azzurri Dreams without your participation. Sven we will miss you but here is my take on the situation in England.

My question, actually more of a rambling today is to ponder the following in regards to the FA. You paid a stiff for close to five years all that money who brought you nothing but shame and a few quarterfinal appearances and yet you were not willing to pursue Hiddink or Scolari with the funds necessary. And no disrespect to McClaren, but seriously, he is not the guy for the job. And although I had to turn down the position because my numerous speaking engagements would not allow me to be in two places at once, my initial thoughts on the state of English Football are these:

Build your team on fluidity and be stern. Stick to one or two formations, not the Swedish-Savants preferred method of numerous formations on any given whim to match the mood of the last woman he was sleeping with. Keep your players informed but keep it simple. Play to your strengths.

Use the next two years and the qualifications for the Euros as the necessary development of your English youth. The tournament is worth, what half-a-star, so go young, give them experience and help them grow-up.

Don't put 5 in the midfielders(whoops 4, Beck's doesn't actually count, does he?) all playing the same position. Use some flair and go offensive, you have the strikers to do it, so use them.

Sell some of your top players to the other domestic leagues in Europe. It'll do wonders for their adaptability and growth in the game. They will learn to play different styles and get them away from only using the acclaimed long ball.

Don't think you are going to win simply based on history. Seriously, you have won 1 World Cup, nothing to brag about...unless you are the French. Stop the press from creating champions before they have proven something on the field. As far as we are concerned, for South Africa 2010 everyone is on equal grounds right now...well, except the Azzurri who just clinched their 4th, but we do not need to bring that up again.

And definitely not least importantly, please do not sleep with any of your staffers. Be the gaffer and let your players own the spotlight and let them excel. Do not talk behind their backs and of course, please do not have the stupid smirk on your face, as if you are actually deep in thought while watching a match...wait, this message is addressed to McClaren, not the Swedish-Savant, so strike the last point.

Azzurri Dreams

No Doubt

Like I keep telling Feyenoord, there is no doubt in my mind that what I write is true and will happen. Now convincing the powers to be to follow my advice is another story all-together. A difficult job. Almost like being unveiled at an Inter press conference but dreaming of playing for Manchester United...see Patrick Viera. But let us focus on the big deal that I have been talking about for a while. Feyenoord has been making all his calls and the rumors are in fact true, that is until they change again later today.

AC Milan have agreed to personal terms with Zlatan Ibrahomovich. Trust me when I say this deal is done. Now they just need to work on personal terms with the player himself. Next to be posted on their website is once again confirmation of something we have been talking about for a while--Gigi Buffon going there as well. Just a matter of time.

Juventus is looking to strengthen their squad with purchasing Livorno players Marco Amelia and Cristiano Lucarelli. They have also said they will not get rid of Mauro Camonaresi. Juventus is already building its team with an eye on being back to the Serie A after this season. And if that was not enough, they have already started pursuing Robinho...but I am not here to start rumors.

Now I could chime in on the Michael Carrick situation. But I wont. Ok I lied. Are you kidding me with what you paid for this 25-year old midfielder. Thats right, £18.6m for Carrick. If that is the case, what is a Seedorf, Appiah, Gattuso, Camonaresi or Cambiasso(all proven International Players) worth? Manchester United, once again, taking notes from the Inter braintrust, have overpaid...lets see, can we say Rio Ferdinand, part II? Just because someone asks for the money, does not mean you have to give it to them. Wow, good thing you leveraged all that debt because you are going to need it with another another average performance this season in both the league and Champions League. Good things you sell a lot t's and have premium sponsors because, winning titles is not going to fund your acquisitions.
Sir Alex, I know you have an eye for talent, but this is just too much. Seriously with the way Roy Keane played the last few seasons for you, why still focus on finding his replacement? I would have given you a Feyenoord on a season-long loan, whom even with his chronic smoking, would have been a better deal then this one.

Azzurri Dreams