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Eleven players I’d like to see leave the Premier League August 30, 2011

Posted by Alex Tomchak Scott in English soccer.
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Today, it appears Joe Cole and Christian Poulsen are poised to leave Liverpool for Ligue 1. I’m sure Liverpool fans are pretty happy to see the two remaining emblems of Roy Hodgson’s era out the door. I’m also pretty glad to see them go. Poulsen’s talentless and negative and nobody likes to see him play. Joe Cole’s presence in the league was a monkey on its back: sure, everybody’s having a good time, but we should really resolve the Joe Cole situation. Now, at least, he’s under the rug where we don’t have to think about him.

But why stop at these two. The Premiership still contains plenty of players I’d like to see out. Here’s eleven of them:

Brad, don't listen to what Shay's telling you!

Goalkeeper: Brad Guzan, Aston Villa.

This is an act of patriotism: When Guzan was learning his trade at Brad Friedel’s feet, he was the master’s apprentice. But with Friedel gone, he’ll be taking his cues from Shay Given, not good news for those of us who like to see American goalkeepers communicate with their defenders and claim crosses. Guzan would be better off coming back to MLS and being first choice.

Well that was a mistake

Right-back: Marcos Angeleri, Sunderland.

It seemingly became apparent to everyone within days of Angeleri’s signing that he was a huge mistake. I feel like he should be put out of his misery.

This is what I like to see

Center back: Steve Taylor, Newcastle.

I don’t like to see his I’m-God’s-gift-to-defending attitude on the pitch. John Terry has the same thing going on, but he also has going for him that he is an excellent center back who can read the game. Taylor just roughs people up.

Maybe this is why he hasn't been quite the same since the 2006 World Cup ...

Center back: Pablo Ibanez, West Brom.

Pablo kept Carlos Marchena out of the Spain team at the 2006 World Cup, a testament to his quality. Not being able to hack it at West Brom doesn’t mean a player’s not good — Borja Valero struggled there before becoming one of the best midfielders in La Liga. If Pablo returns to La Liga, I bet he’ll be a valued asset to someone. (Carlos Cuellar might like a return to Spain too)

We'll probably never see Beye play again

Left-back: Habib Beye, Aston Villa.

Beye spent a couple of seasons looking incredible in the Premiership, but lately Aston Villa managers have preferred Chris Herd, Eric Lichaj and Carlos Cuellar to him, none of them really right-backs. The Senegal international should get out and do something with his career, but he’s bound to retire, unnoticed, on the Villa bench.

Get out of there!

Right midfield: Giovani dos Santos, Tottenham Hotspur.

You get the really frustrating sense Dos Santos is just sticking around Spurs because he knows he won’t get that kind of money elsewhere. The silly thing about that is that Dos Santos could become one of the best players in the world if he found a team where he could fit in, like say Villarreal. Then a raise to a better salary than the one he’s on now would surely be forthcoming, rather than the decade of benchwarming that seems inevitable if he stays put for a couple more years.

This man is no fun

Central midfield: Steven Gerrard, Liverpool.

Look how much fun Liverpool’s players are having right now with all these zippy new midfielders, not to mention how much fun you’re having watching them. Once Gerrard comes back, the fun could be over; he’ll just muscle his way into the team ahead of one of Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson and start spraying overambitious balls into the stands. I have a better idea: send Gerrard to MLS to become the US league’s next geriatrico.

You can make this face in the Championship

Central midfielder: Michael Tonge, Stoke City.

Tonge is one of a cadre of players with nominal, lower tier top flight experience Stoke kind of scraped together to fill out the squad following promotion (along with Andrew Davies, Tom Soares, Amdy Faye, Ibrahima Sonko). All of them were pretty much just punts and few remain. Tonge could do a job for a Championship team; let him return there. Soares, Robbie Blake and Rob Hulse are other hostages to squad depth who should drop down.

Wouldn't anyone like to buy a nice Russian international for a good cause?

Left midfield: Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, Everton.

Everton coach David Moyes needs money to sign new blood. Won’t someone take pity on him and give him a generous sum for one of his more undesirable
players (I’d like to see Joseph Yobo and Yakubu Aiyegbeni find new homes in the Premiership, though)? There’s almost certainly a Russian team with 10 million or so to blow on a languid left-sided longshot merchant, right?

Roberto Carlos doesn't know it, but he needs a Range Rover with pink hubcaps

Attacking midfielder: Stephen Ireland, Aston Villa.

I think I’ve already made clear just why and how he ought to find himself at Anzhi Makachkala.

This man needs to share his gift with the world

Striker: Ricardo Fuller, Stoke.

Fuller is a personal favorite of mine, a guy who’s so much fun to watch that it’s a crime to keep him hidden away on the bench. I totally understand Tony Pulis, because Jon Walters and Kenwyne Jones make a great strike partnership, but Ricardo Fuller’s erratic genius is something fans should get to see week in, week out somewhere. I would be incredibly happy if he signed for the Portland Timbers. Other forwards who should go where we can see their gifts include Craig Bellamy, El-Hadji Diouf, and Dimitar Berbatov, but they’re all likely to leave already.

Here are some transfers I’m trying to see on deadline day August 30, 2011

Posted by Alex Tomchak Scott in English soccer, Italian soccer, Spanish soccer.
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The transfer window will snap shut Wednesday, but before it does, there are a few things I’d like to see go down. I’ll go over some of them for you.

When Stephen Ireland moves to Anzhi Makachkala, it will be Samuel Eto'o performing the japery.

Stephen Ireland to Anzhi Makachkala

After accepting a drink from a shadowy man with a thick accent and a thicker mustache in a trendy Birmingham nightclub, Stephen Ireland wakes beneath a soiled newspaper in a dusty Moscow subway station.

His cell phone rings and its his agent, demanding to know why he signed for Anzhi Makachkala. His girlfriend has left him, his life is in tatters, and to make matters worse, on the training ground the next day, Samuel Eto’o delivers even more bad news: this time his gram really is dead.

Ireland, surprisingly, is gutted, and his despair over his grandmother, plus the Cameroonian striker’s obvious distaste for him, make the next six months a living hell. Eto’o, for his part, obviously disdains Ireland’s chrome-plated lifestyle and passes up no opportunity to play cruel jokes on the hapless playmaker. But one day, Anzhi finds itself 4-0 down at halftime against Zenit St. Petersburg and Eto’o puts his hand on Ireland’s shoulder in the changing room.

“Steve,” the striker says. “I made it all up. Your gram’s alive and well, and what’s more, she’s won the lottery. I’ve got her on the line for you.”

Ireland is overjoyed, and he and Eto’o each bag a hattrick in the second half, catapulting Anzhi into first place. Glad for the second chance to reconnect with his gram, he buys her a mansion in Moscow and he and Eto’o are over for tea after practice every weekday. It’s good for everyone; Eto’o’s burning desire and fierce intelligence have rubbed off on Ireland, making him not just one of Europe’s finest playmakers but a respectable man. Ireland’s gram finally feels like people aren’t constantly treating her as if she’s already dead.

As for Eto’o? He has found love. He proposes to grandma Ireland on the podium at the Champions League final and they live happily ever after.

It turns out well for Roberto Carlos, too, because Stephen Ireland gives the World Cup winner his garishly customized SUV, … and only then does the Brazilian realize a Range Rover with pink hubcaps is the only thing he ever wanted.

Ghost Dog to Arsenal.

With Arsene Wenger now the worst coach of all time, it’s clear that what Arsenal really needs is someone to kill him. Forest Whitaker’s character in Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai, the 1999 film by Jim Jarmusch has a well-documented inability to learn French. His love of exotic Japanese methods would quickly win him Wenger’s trust, but he has a proven history of turning on nebulously foreign employers whose leadership he can’t trust.

Marco Materazzi to Real Madrid

Let’s be honest, these two were meant to be together.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Arsenal

The Swede’s title-winning mojo is really the only thing Arsenal needs/the Gunners’ only hope.