George Roberts remember’s Jo’s two loan spells at Everton…
Everton’s previous forays into the world of Brazilian football had been unmemorable. Ask fans about Rodrigo or Anderson da Silva, and you’ll most likely be met with blank expressions. The loan signing of Jô in February 2009 hinted at better prospects, however. Here was a striker with a reputation: Manchester City had paid some £18 million the previous summer to sign him from CSKA Moscow. Jô himself admitted he hadn’t settled well at City and had struggled to adapt to the pace and physicality of the English game.
The early signs were certainly encouraging. Making his debut against Bolton, the striker scored a brace; three more goals followed before the season was out. David Moyes turned down the option of a £10 million permanent move over the summer, but happily took Jô back on loan when he again found himself once again surplus to requirements at City.
However, Jô’s lack of physical presence and shoddy first touch became obvious. If Everton had been a side with a genuine passing game, this may not have been such an issue. Continue reading
In one of the more bizarre transfer tales of 2012, Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar switched the San Siro for Loftus Road. Ash Rose, editor of Kick Magazine, takes a short look at his one season in the Premier League…
Few situations show QPR’s ridiculous transfer window spending in 2012, then the signing of Julio Cesar.
Having already given Rob Green a healthier contract then the one West Ham were offering him, Mark Hughes continued his own real-life game of Football Manager by bringing in the Inter Milan keeper on what we can only assume was an even bigger wage packet.
How Tony Fernandes and co convinced the former Champions League winner to move to W12 I’ll never know (obviously the suitcase fully of cash helped), but Green found himself relegated to number two after just one pre-season game. Continue reading
The False Nine’s bumper festive podcast has been labelled a “beautiful disaster” by critics, and can be downloaded now from Soundcloud.
For The False Nine’s final podcast of 2013, host Greg Johnson and TFN editors James Dutton and Hugo Greenhalgh are joined by a star-studded cast of Tom Victor, Escape To Suomi’s Rich Nelson, Get Goal Side’s Bobby Faghihi and his brother Ash Faghihi.
Chaos reigns as the crew chat about Andre Villas-Boas’ future in a manner detached from reality, why Andy Carroll is going to win the World Cup, City’s key to the Premier League title, and more!
As the Premier League enters annual sacking season. Jacob Mignano rails against the departures of Steve Clarke and Andre Villas-Boas…
Another weekend of Premier League football has come and gone. And another two managers have found themselves casualties of English football’s brutal win-now-and-at-all-costs nature.
I have never been a fan of knee-jerk firings. Tottenham’s decision to part ways with one of the world’s brightest young managers, following closely behind Steve Clarke’s sacking, reek of the term.
I can’t think of a manager in the past two or three years that has been quite as unlucky as Andre Villas-Boas. He could have been the right man at Chelsea, had he been given the time. As it turned out he was the wrong appointment, as Roman Abramovich searched for a quick-fix for his multi-billion-pound vanity-project.
At Tottenham it seemed Villas-Boas had found a much better fit, but despite having his side one-point better off than they were at the same stage last season – and in the midst of a far more competitive, and unpredictable, league season – he has paid for two humiliating defeats at the hands of Manchester City and Liverpool. Continue reading
SB Nation Soccer’s Graham MacAree profiles Oscar, Chelsea’s Brazilian magician…
There’s something of the child in Oscar. For most footballers, the spectre of failure compels them to take the safe route as often as possible, honing specific skills and executing them when the time is right. But children are notorious for their incredible blend of naivete and curiosity. Can I do this? Let’s find out! It’s a special kind of fearlessness, and it’s what makes Oscar so special.
There’s nobody else in this Chelsea team who can match what Oscar does. Juan Mata and Eden Hazard are magicians, of course, but there’s the feeling that they refuse to experiment on the same scale as Oscar does, favouring ruthless efficiency over flamboyance.
Which is why most of the most incredible, what-just-happened?! moments of last season came via Oscar. When Mata bends a free kick past the wall and just inside the post, there’s no feeling of surprise. Juan Mata’s is brilliant and will do brilliant things. Nor is it a shock when Hazard dashes through a cloud of befuddled defenders and slots past the keeper. That’s what Eden Hazards do.
Oscar’s trademark, on the other hand, is having the temerity to try the barely-plausible, to test the very limits of his skill at the drop of a hat. It seems as though the idea that what he’s about to attempt might not work never crosses his mind. Oscar’s moments of magic, in fact, are reminiscent of a certain Stamford Bridge legend. Continue reading
Anis Bazza looks back at Maicon’s inglorious stay at Eastlands…
Maicon’s arrival in Manchester was certainly an odd one. City already boasted arguably the two best right-backs in the league at the time while Maicon’s career was dwindling towards an inevitable return to Brazil. Inter Milan’s desire to get his huge salary off the wage bill meant Mancini couped the ageing Brazilian for as little as £3m. City supporters weren’t without their doubts though as Maicon signed on deadline day.
Maicon started plenty of games for supposedly a third choice right back, including both Champions League clashes against Real Madrid. He was even drafted into his first game against Stoke. It didn’t take long for Blues to realize why Inter had sold him so cheaply. I guess it’s fair to say Mancini, who was familiar with Maicon during his time at Inter, underestimated the effect age had on the Brazilian’s power and pace, two attributes that are so typical of his game. Continue reading
Struggling for gift ideas this Christmas? Well here’s a warning of what not to buy from Piers Barber…
In the lead up to December’s big, fat, festive day of retail reckoning, the football Money Making Machine well and truly kicks into full gear, churning out a multitude of overpriced souvenirs and tacky stocking fillers for all varieties of super-fan.
Here this year’s best examples of cringe-worthy football capitalism: Continue reading