Thursday, February 28, 2008

Frank out!

Well maybe. The Guardian had a story today about Rijkaard considering the Chelsea job in the summer. As with all of these stories it quotes "a source close to Rijkaard" which could, quite frankly, be anyone. What he says though is pretty common knowledge. Frank is sick of the flack he's catching at the Camp Nou and is likely to leave in the summer unless the blaugrana win either La Liga or the Champions League. That he would then consider an offer from Chelsea fits too with his friend Henk Ten Cate currently installed as assistant coach.

Or not. I can't see Rijkaard going anywhere for at least a year if he leaves. There was a lot of talk of him wanting to take a year out at the end of last season so I think that's the most likely. He'll sit around, do some punditry, be linked with every big job going (Milan, Chelsea, Inter etc) and then he'll end up somewhere no-one predicted. Sid Lowe wrote a good piece on the back of today's news, extolling Rijkaard's virtues as a coach without going over the top. I think he'd be a good fit at a team like Chelsea but not necessarily under Roman Abramovich's interfering ownership. We shall see.

For his part, the noises coming out of the Rijkaard camp, via his brother, as that the reports are nonsense and that he intends to see out his contract.


In other news, it's emerged today that David Trezeguet had decided to leave Juve in 2004 for Barcelona until Fabio Capello persuaded him to stay. Presumably Barça would have signed him instead of Eto'o. This came out during the trial of Gea Sports Management, run Luca Moggi's son Alessandro and Marcelo Lippi's son Davide. It's not really news I guess but an interesting aside none the less. I'm a big fan of Trezagol. Oh, in other bianconeri/ blaugrana news, Gianluca Zambrotta has a right go at this old club in the current issue of Italian GQ. Football Italia has details.

Meanwhile at the Calderon...

Atleti have Kun Aguero, former blaugrana Simao, Raul Garcia and Pablo Ibanez back for the game on Saturday. Last time around Barça pummeled Madrid and won 0-6 and despite the respective form of the two sides I wouldn't expect a repeat or anything like it. Honestly I'd be happy with a draw. Next to the Real game at the end of the season, this is probably Barça's toughest away fixture.


Sadly one player who won't be on the pitch is former Barcelona midfielder Thiago Motta, who's going to miss the rest of the season after surgery on his left knee. Despite being only 25 it's hard to see Motta ever stringing a consistent run of games together let alone a whole season (he's only made three starts for Atletico). While he's not quite made of glass, his knees are shot and he picks up injuries at the drop of a hat (sometimes as a result of the drop of a hat...) I've always liked him though and I wish him well. Bon nit.

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