Saturday, December 08, 2007

Calling for a Boycott

And no I am not referring to a boycott of the Spice Girls Reunion. Seriously, I am so disturbed today, that I had to write on my one day off. Feyenoord is MIA...again, and to tell you the truth, since I saw him at the Spice Girls Reunion show the other night, he has gotten even weirder then usual. Is that possible? No one here today to keep the Azzurri Dreams offices running smoothly, except for me. So I decided, and realized, there really is a comparison to be made between how I run and operate Azzurri Dreams, and what the FA is trying to do in hiring a new coach.

My boycott is simple. I am calling for the José Mourinho fan club to stop positioning this guy as the top contender for the gaffer of the English Side. What the myopic English fans do not realize is how wrong for the job this guy is. True he is a winner. I will give him more credit for his work at FC Porto then for his work at Chelsea. And as if reading Feyenoord's ever-absent mind, I will tell you why.

He won the domestic league and Champions league with a team from the Portuguese League. I, and I mean, I or anyone could have coached the Chelsea teams he had for the last few years. And no disrespect to the FA Cup, a poultry two league titles with the pounds spent at Chel$ki, had to be expected.

His football was unimaginative, dry, and functional. But they won. No one can take that away from him. Ever wonder why they got rid of him this year, and of all of sudden, a certain flair come to the London club with the hiring of a Dutch field master, Henk ten Cate and the continuous approach for a truly once again potentially spectacular player in Ronaldinho?

Chelsea needs to contend for the Champions League, like the top teams in Europe have been doing for since the tournament took over as the pre eminent club football tournament in Europe. I mean, if Liverpool (aka Liverdrool, since I tend to fall asleep watching their matches), can win in, why and what is wrong with Chelsea?

And while I applaud him for actually fielding English players in England(novel concept, huh Arsenal and Inter, use domestic talent, very interesting??), his lack of creativity ultimately cost him his job. And the point is this. True Jose truly understands the English game, but lets be honest, he is not going to get this job. Brian Barwick is not going to hire him. Jose is simply positioning himself, getting some attention and headlines and keeping himself relevant.

What England needs is a coach that understands the English game, and can mold a strong defensive spine, and create some creativity at the same time, and get his flank players to be able to make a cross (reference to this mornings' Chelsea Match where Shaun Wright Phillips could not make one). Creativity is the key word here. I know I have said to hire someone with experience and age, someone willing to go at his own way and be willing to deal with the consequences.

What the FA needs is to look beyond the obvious, like so many fans are incapable of. Go old school, look at the rosters of the great Liverpool and Manchester Teams, and start cold calling to inquire who is still alive and who is still willing to get off the links to even consider this position. Alan Shearer and Gerard Houllier are potential candidates. But lets all agree, their is once again, no need to make a hasty decision, i.e., Steve McClaren.

I mean it could always be worse, like the Scottish Vacancy that has Grahame Souness associated with it. Just when the national program was on a rise, you are going to consider giving it this guy, who has dismantled more teams that I can even rattle off. I digress, as always, but lets just wrap it up and say this. Stop the internal bickering at the FA, make sure your assistants are not sleeping with the coaches, and no not make a hasty decision.

Azzurri Dreams

Friday, December 07, 2007

Rumor Control

I owe our growing readership an apology...again. I know this, as last night, set up an interesting moment in the careers of Feyenoord and I both. As I sat patiently awaiting my opportunity to shower Victoria with presents, I saw Feyenoord in the same line as me waiting to get into the Spice Girls reunion show in Lala land. He pretended to ignore me, and let me tell the ever growing Azzurri Dreams readership, Feyenoord has been acting very very strangely lately.
I quickly, asked, if you are," here, who then is answering our phones...?" but he just pretended to ignore me, so typical lately. I am wondering if Feyenoord is seriously considering another job offer at another football orientated website. I pretended to have better seats then him, but I could not lie. He had the better tickets because of his Azzurri Dreams Press pass. But the conversation quickly evolved to what I know best, which besides know the Spice Girls reunion is football.
One of the best times of the year is among us...almost, the winter transfer market. And what I have asked for in the past, is actually happening, i.e, the big clubs holding off and potentially acquiring ONLY one player if not anyone! Can you imagine Manchester United or Inter not associated with the next wonder kid or Ligue 1 starlet? But I digress and here is the latest. The latest rumors are:

Lulinha, the under 17 year old phenom is supposedly going to Chelsea. Hopefully, anything to spice up a Chelsea is game is well worth it.
Mirko Vučinić , finally, healthy, ala his Lecce Days, playing as Roma's goal scorer, linked with Real Madrid. Then again, what striker is not linked with Real Madrid. Just once I would like to see a player stay and give thanks and appreciation to a club while he got paid for rehabbing.
Amauri, also finally healthy, the move that was supposed to happen last summer, might finally happen now, with AC Milan, desperate to add yet another Brazilian. If he shows, the gordito aka Ronaldo I have to believe is LA Galaxy Bound.
Fabio Cannavaro, rumors continue to swirl around the master of central defense. He wants out of Spain, but if you have seen a Real Madrid game lately, even with Cannavaro there, their defense is...well lets just leave it there, I don't know if I trust my back four to two or three Brazilians.
Gianluca Zambrotta. As far as I have been told, going nowhere, even though Milan are trying to make a push for him
Adriano. I never thought I would say this, but maybe the Swedish-Savant might be able to resurrect his game. After all, is the party scene that good in Manchester? Maybe he can just focus on playing ball again.
Rafael Ferdinand Van Der Vaart. With a name like that he has to be good, right? After the move to Valencia fell through, he stayed at Hamburg. Just when I thought I had had enough of Inter, here they are again linked with yet another player. Visions of Bergkamp, anyone? Feyenoord will like this move, as he is already hounding me with SMS' telling me how the Azzurri should be fearing the Dutch in June 9th's showdown in Switzerland. Bottom line, this move actually makes sense, because no matter what the Italian press say, Caesar is not that great a playmaker, and this is the one thing Inter lack. The kicker, is he would be eligible for the Champions League. Don't count out Valencia in going after him again.
Yoann Gourcuff, gone from Milan and possibly heading back to France to play with PSG along with Juventus midfiuelder Tiago.
Tulio De Melo, Brazilian kid to Palermo

Azzurri Dreams

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Dreams do Come True

Well, enough said. The posting title says it all. Feyenoord will get his dream and watch his beloved Dutch play my beloved Azzurri in next years Euro's.

Since we have four stars, and he has none, I am not too worried. But, let me assess the group draw and come back with some notes and navigation's. Here we go, the countdown has begun.

I haven't seen Feyenoord this animated since the 2000 Euros or when I tried to out him and his performance last year when he disappeared with his lover. But seriously, I know you are the 'real' brains behind Azzurri Dreams, but can you , please please give me one minute to at least assess the Euros Draw. I have already lit my candle and asked the great Lippi for his guidance on how to navigate this group. You see he knew something about not only surviving but winning the previous group of death during the 2006 World Cup.

Brief Thoughts on the Draw:

Group A:
Czech Republic

Also very tough. And what this group has, is a home team, so you can never discount the home field advantage, the illogical calls they will get, and possibly Sepp Blatter communicating directly to the refs during matches to insure Switzerland at least advance to the knockout phases.

Group B:

Leave it to the Germans to always get an easy round to navigate. I swear these guys are always at least assured of a semifinal in every tournament.

Group C:

Where is the love?? At first take, you know there has got to be apprehension for the members of Group 3. To think that we get to ignite WWIII between the French and Italians, Gattuso and Raymond Domench warms my heart. I am confident we will see some beautiful matches, but realistically, two potential contenders could not make the elimination round.

Group D:

Guss Hiddink for leader of the WTO, UN, and President of the European Union. Seriously with this group, he will be able to weave his magic again and again. I can hear the FA making their offer to him somewhere between his second and third game.

And although there are member of the ever growing Azzurri Dreams readership, looking for their nearest oxygen tanks to help them comfort themselves and wonder what their countries did to deserve these draws, I leave them with this.

It could be worse, you could be England.

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