He’s had it. Lukas Podolski of Bayern Munich and Germany, is tired of coming off the bench for his club team and has said it’s time to get out. He has had trouble getting into the starting lineup seeming that Luca Toni and fellow German Miroslav Klose are Bayern’s starting strikers. Here’s what Podolski had to say in his own words…
I wouldn’t have [signed] had I known that things were going to turn out like this,I would be a bad footballer if I contented myself with sitting on the bench. This is too much! I’m not making any progress here.
Lukas Podolski on his situation with Bayern Munich
With such a talented player, several teams have reportedly shown interest in the striker. So far rumors have circulated that Manchester City, Roma, and Fiorentina will all try to pursue Podolski. Manchester City has been adament on trying to get a big name player as a part of their squad but has failed to do so. During the summer, they tried to acquire Ronaldinho but failed to do so as he signed with AC Milan.
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David Beckham and the Galaxy haven’t had much luck in the past month. Becks, Landon Donovan, and the Galaxy have fallen from the top of the Western Conference all the way to 5th. Last week head coach Ruud Gullit left the team for personal reasons, a move that Beckham understood but was not happy with.
Obviously, it’s disappointing, it’s disappointing to lose somebody who’s a good coach and a good person.It happens in football clubs and it’s happened here. Maybe it happened too early, but we wish him good luck in whatever he goes on and does.
David Beckham on Ruud Gullit’s Choice to Leave LA Galaxy
Along with Gullit out the door went Alexi Lalas, who was intregal in getting Beckham to the states. With a negative aura surrounding the Galaxy, they had to make a move quick. Thankfully the made the right move in hiring Bruce Arena, former US national team coach. This move puts Arena at the helm in place of the temporary coach, Cobi Jones, who despite his inexperience could turn out to be a good coach in this league very soon.
Now, I’m not a fan of the Galaxy. Quite frankly I’m not a fan of any particular MLS team. What I am a fan of is soccer in the USA. And as of late it seems as if the sports’ success in the USA is reliant on David Beckham and the LA Galaxy. The move was a gamble, and almost an all or nothing effort to intensify the sport of soccer in America. As of today I can easily say the move has been a failure. But all hope isn’t lost. Bruce Arena is a coach who is capable of picking this team up and bringing them into the playoffs.
Arena led DC United to two MLS Championships in the early stages of the MLS as well as rebuilding a US team that seemed doomed after their 1998 performance in the World Cup. As of late he has had some difficulty as the US team failed to get out of the group stage in ’06 and his last MLS coaching job with the Red Bulls left him with a record of 16-16-10, a record the Red Bulls expected to be better. Despite the recent troubles Arena is still a great coach, arguably the best American coach and is exactly what the Galaxy need right now.
Arena’s first game will be against the Brian McBride and his new team the Chicago Fire on Thursday night. Chicago sits 3rd in the Eastern Conference and look to build around the newly acquired McBride. The Galaxy are winless in their last 8 games and are searching for something. That something will be found by Bruce Arena who if his resume reads correct will turn this Galaxy team around and turn US Soccer around…again.
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By Sean Connolly
Depending on the health of David Villa, Spain will have the three most effective strikers in the game this Sunday in the UEFA Euro Final against Germany. They were also good enough to get past the bad luck of the yellow jerseys.
Germany’s defense has squandered silly goals throughout these Euro Finals, and behind that defense is, how should I put this, inept keeper in Jens Lehmann. He made two crucial errors that resulted in goals in the game against Turkey, so don’t be surprised if Fernando Torres, David Villa, and Cesc Fabregas make him look just as awful.
If you’re a Germany fan, you have to admit that the Germans haven’t been convincing. If not for the foot of Lucas Podolski, Germany wouldn’t have even made it out of the group stage. Other than his header against Turkey yesterday (which thanks to a lightning strike that ruined the video feed for ESPN, I did not get to see live on television), Miroslav Klose has yet to be as effective as he was in the 2006 World Cup. Michael Ballack has looked sluggish at times and Podolski seems unable to play 100% for 90 minutes. Germany is limping into this final and they will need much more to win over Spain who comes into the final in stride.
For the second time in the tournament today Spain picked apart Gus Hiddink’s Russia. They looked unstoppable on offense, and their one minor weakness in their defense played brilliantly. Puyol and company shut down Russia giving them little to no chance of putting the ball passed Iker Casillas. The most impressive part of Spain’s dismantle of Russia, was on their third and final goal. After a turnover by Russia, Spain played keep away from Russia’s Andrei Arshavin (who, with his tremendous performance throughout these Euro Finals, may find himself in the English Premiership, more specifically Chelsea, with a lot of money), forming a perfect triangle and passing around him. In what looked like a set drill in a practice session in which you have to pass the ball a certain amount of times before you moved forward, the ball was dumped forward to a wide open Cesc Fabregas who had room to roam. He broke away down the pitch with David Silva trailing down the middle and Fabregas placed it perfectly on Silva’s foot and he buried the ball past Igor Akinfeev and ended any chances of Russia coming back.
Fabregas’ performance off the bench was by far the most impressive in Euro this year. He came on for the leading scorer in these Euro Finals and put on a scintillating performance. As soon as he graced the field he brought enthusiasm, excitement, and ultimately goals to the Spanish side. Fabregas ended up with two remarkable assists. With Torres creating chances but not finishing them, expect Fabregas to start in the final against Germany.
Throughout this tournament Spain has been the most convincing team. Of the four powerhouse teams, Portugal, Germany, Italy, and Spain, Spain has been the only team play to their potential. They come into this game at their best with Cesc Fabregas at the start of becoming the most successful Spanish player in the past 25 years. Sunday’s match will have little competition, my prediction…3-1 Spain. Their first Euro title since 1964.
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