Friday, 29 July 2011

Sports News Round-Up

This week has seen the return of the Old Firm League...sorry I mean the Scottish League. You'll forgive me for not focusing too much on this, aside from Celtic taking their already insurmountable two-point league at the top. I'll switch my analysis elsewhere, lest any nearby sarcasm detector overloads.

Man City have completed the signing of Sergio Aguero, completing what must be the most Argen-tiny (Aguero being 5 ft 7 and Tevez being 5 ft 8) strikeforce in the Premier League. This may seem like an obvious point, but the two will surely seldom play together. Aguero was quite clearly seen as a replacement for the seemingly Corinthians-bound Tevez, and Mancini will have a temporary headache on his hands. While Tevez will surely leave the club in January (and possibly still in August), his presence on the bench will not be good for team spirit. One cannot help but wonder what he will be whispering in his fellow countryman's ear.

The English contingent is underway in the Europa League, with Fulham and Stoke both putting themselves in good positions to reach the final qualifying round. Jonathan Walters headed home to give Stoke a 1-0 advantage to take to their away leg against Hadjuk Split. Fulham were held to a 0-0 draw against RNK Split, but with a home leg to come will be confident of progressing. Bobby Zamora and Andy Johnson were given a chance to re-ignite some sort of partnership by Martin Jol, which has seldom been allowed to happen, due to a combination of injuries to both.

While QPR manager Neil Warnock has never been long out of the headlines, his bosses are now making some headlines of their own, with talk of a fresh takeover bid. Bernie Ecclestone has already revealed he would be willing to sell his 69% stake in the club, and the club released a statement on their website referring to 'preliminary discussions.' Whatever the outcome, Warnock seems to be continuing his squad-building plans. Having already secured Kieron Dyer and Jay Bothroyd, QPR are now also in talks with DJ Campbell, who proved his top-flight pedigree last year with 13 goals for relegated Blackpool.

Any American readers will already be well aware of Bob Bradley's sacking as USA coach. While his results have always been good, it would appear his bosses simply wanted a fresh face after 4 and a half years. A 4-2 defeat to Mexico in the Gold Cup Final was his final bow, but he also reached the last 16 of last year's World Cup, and led his side to a runners up finish in the 2009 Confederations Cup. Aston Villa were sniffing around his services earlier this year, and he will surely not be out of work for too long.

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