A fairly quiet weekend on the transfer front unless you count The News of World’s revelation that Jose Mourinho tried to sound out Stephen Gerrard over a move to Inter. Oh and Rafa has been told by to Statler and Waldorf to cut Crouch’s asking price!
The first piece about Gerrard and Inter is clearly nonsense and barely worthy of dignifying with comment. For example the figure mentioned is £30m! Gerrard has made no secret of the fact that he intends to stay at Liverpool and try to ride things out there. A few months ago he even suggested that he could envisage himself never leaving. One wonders if the story would have even seen the light of day had, for example, England been involved in Euro 2008. It’s also been widely reported that Mourinho is after some of his old Chelsea players, one of them being Frank Lampard. Does Mourinho think that he can achieve what so many England managers have failed to do by successfully playing Gerrard and Lampard together?
The second “story” suggested that Crouch’s price will be cut to £10m as the Star Spangled Duo fear losing him for nothing. Crouch only has a year left on his contract. It’s ironic that Rafa is holding out to try and maximise the profit whilst the owners want to cut the price. To this end I can’t believe this is true. Maybe, if Crouch was still on our books towards the end of the summer but it’s very early days yet?
To Euro 2008 and the Liverpool’s involvement to date has been zero! Philipp Degan, not yet a Liverpool player anyway, didn’t start for Switzerland in their game against the Czech Republic. I think I spotted him on the bench nudging Swiss Captain Alexander Frei to alert him that he was on the stadium’s big screen. However, Frei, with his country losing and having just sustained an injury that probably means his tournament is over, understandably wasn’t in the best in moods! Nice one Philipp!
Elsewhere injury has denied us a possible look at Ryan Babel in the Holland v Italy game tonight. However, Spain begin their campaign tomorrow against the Russians. Torres has naturally attracted much attention and in an interview with Ian Hawkley in The Times (click here for full article) Torres draws someone interesting comparisons between playing for us and his national team.
What’s happened so far? In general the games have run true to form and haven’t produced anything to write home about yet. The two hosts, as probably predicted by many, lost although the Swiss can count themselves a tad unlucky. Portugal and Germany did what everyone expected them to do, Croatia look to be feeling the loss of Eduardo and ditto the Czech Republic re Rosicky and Neved. They will probably need to rely on the form of Petr Cech more than have done so in the past?
The TV coverage continues to amuse and depress in equal amounts. John Motson’s description of the opening ceremony, complete with cubes, cows, milkmaids and clocks, was of Alan Partridge vintage. The irritating habit of presenters thinking they are terribly witty by linking words together because they rhyme or sound good continues. So far, and I paraphrase, we’ve had Gary Lineker, the biggest offender of them all, saying that “Hakan Yaken had a chance but was lacking” and then “the Czechs win thanks to Sverkos’ (scoring with his) shin”. On the other side we had the less inventive “Joy in Geneva” for Portugal. Here’s one for future presenters who are tempted to invest in this cheap, unimaginative way of providing insight. “It isn’t funny and it isn’t witty in fact, all things considered, it’s rather shi**y”
Finally why oh why oh why did Radio Five Live see fit to dredge up Steve McClaren as a summariser for the Croatia vs Austria game? Isn’t that a bit like Yoko inviting Mark Chapman to the funeral?