February 23rd, 2012
Champions League Observations, Part II: Why? What? Really?
We should pay more attention to FC Basel ‘keeper Yann Sommer.
We’re warming to this observations business. It’s quick, easy and most importantly, allows us to sneak out of the office for an extended lunch break. Super!
1. Why have our loins never warmed to FC Basel’s Xherdan Shakiri?
Nope, he’s got no clue either. Image: CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images.
He’s achingly cute, takes his clothes off to reveal flawless flesh and is a transfer target for some of the biggest clubs in Europe , yet the most we ever manage is a mention of the poor pup in passing. Is it because, like team-mate Yann Sommer, he plays for a club that doesn’t pop up on our infamously crap radar too often? Or perhaps it’s because he looks about twelve (although that doesn’t usually put us off)?
Whatever the reason, the fact that Basel stunned Bayern Munich with a 1-0 victory in the first leg of their last sixteen tie, plus his increasing profile, means we need to up our game if we’re going to convince people we fancied him before he was famous.
Darn it. More work.
2. What the hell is going on at Inter Milan?
It’s easy for neutrals to be vaguely amused by the Inter fans chanting for Jose Mourinho to return to his former stomping ground, but the poor form of the club that won the treble just two years ago is a big concern. Last night’s fixture at Marseille was sprinkled with chances that both sides failed to convert, until Marseille’s Andre Ayew (left) scored in injury time.
This gives the French side a slender advantage going into the return leg, and Inter coach Claudio Ranieri a new record to ponder: seven games without a win in all competitions.
Any theories, Nerazzurri supporters?
3. Do Manchester City actually need Carlos Tevez?
We think City look fine upfront. You? Image: REUTERS/Nigel Roddis.
Since the Argentinian troublemaker gave our wildest dreams a serious boost (if he’s apologised, surely it’s only a matter of time before Frank Lampard starts answering our daily requests for a naked interview), speculation has been rife as to when he’ll reappear for Manchester City.
But the side seem to be doing just fine without his services, thrashing holders Porto 4-0 in the second leg of their Europa League match last night, and winning the tie 6-1 on aggregate. We prefer Sergio Aguero upfront, but people keep telling us that how hot a player is shouldn’t have a bearing on team selection. Weird, but bearing this in mind, do you think Tevez will be a valuable addition to the City strikeforce?
We’ll be back in time for afternoon cake, don’t worry.