Tag Archives: Clint Dempsey

How Would Wesley Sneijder Fit In At Tottenham Hotspur?

Sneijder-Spurs

Tottenham could be set for a major coup in the January transfer window after reports in Italy claimed Inter Milan midfielder Wesley Sneijder has agreed terms on a move.

Sneijder, who starred for the Netherlands at the 2010 World Cup, has been out of the Inter first-team for almost three-months because of a pay dispute. The Serie A giants apparently want him to take a pay cut, and the Netherlands international is willing to leave the club and move on.

Manchester United came very close to signing him in the summer of 2010, and Inter rejected their advances and £30 million plus offer. With the Dutchman struggling with injuries and his form dipping over the last two years, their failure to cash in is looking like an error of judgement. Even so the playmaker is very talented, and is wanted by many clubs across Europe. At 28, he still has plenty to offer and a new challenge may well be just what he needs to get his career back on track.

Fenerbahce are said to have made an enquiry for the Champions League winner, and the two Manchester clubs (City and United) are also in the race, but the reports in Italy have made Tottenham the favourites if the London club can agree a fee – believed to be around £10-12 million.

There is every chance the Dutchman could be a huge success and a right fit at White Hart Lane. Sneijder’s best postion is as an attacking midfielder just behind the striker and Spurs could well be the club to make it work for him.

Andre Villas-Boas’ preferred formation of 4-2-3-1 would see him fit straight into the line-up. With Aaron Lennon on the right and Gareth Bale on the left, the void Rafael van der Vaart vacated for a central attacking midfielder role would be ideal for him. So far, new signings Gylfi Sigurdsson and Clint Dempsey have attempted to fill it but have not been very impressive. With the midfield platform of Mousa Dembele and Sandro behind him, Sneijder would have ample of time and space to dictate games.

So, if the opportunity to bring the former Ajax and Real Madrid star to White Hart Lane crops up, as it has, then Tottenham should grab it with both hands.

The two big issues Spurs will face in trying to secure his signature is the present lack of Champions League football and his huge wage demands. But the Dutchman sees Tottenham as club on the rise and if Spurs can satisfy Emmanuel Adebayor’s demands – who was earning almost the same at City as Sneijder is doing at Inter – then why not Sneijder’s. With Daniel Levy at the negotiating table the fans can remain optimistic about and can be sure that they won’t pay over the odds for the midfielder.

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The Best Tottenham And Chelsea Combined XI

Ahead of Saturday’s mouth-watering London derby between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at White Hart Lane, we here at IntoTheTopCorner.com have decided to make the best combined XI using both the team’s players.

Tottenham’s new signing Hugo Lloris misses out to Petr Cech in between the sticks, while in midfield, there is no place for Ramires, Scott Parker, Clint Dempsey and Chelsea’s new wonderkid Oscar. Up front, Fernando Torres is picked as the lone striker ahead of Emmanuel Adebayor and the inform Jermain Defoe.

Premier League Team Of The Week – Gameweek 6

See who have made our Team of the Week from an exciting sixth weekend in the Premier League. Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham have provided two players each, while there is one each from Sunderland, Stoke, Manchester United, Everton and Newcastle.

Simon Mignolet (Sunderland)

The Belgium international played a vital role in ensuring Sunderland registered their first win of the season. Mignolet made series of superb saves to keep Wigan at bay and also added to his clean sheet at Arsenal.

John Terry (Chelsea)

After the week he had, everyone though he won’t be completed focused on the game but he proved everyone wrong. The Chelsea skipper lead his team to victory by marshaling his troops and was rock solid at the back.

Ryan Shawcross (Stoke)

The Stoke skipper was as solid as a rock at the back along with Robert Huth. Shawcross symbolises the hard working and fierce nature of Tony Pulis’ side as he worked tirelessly to limit Swansea’s threat and keep a clean sheet.

Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur)

The Belgium international has to be one of the signings of the season. The versatile centre-back who started as a left-back combined with Gareth Bale to score the opening goal within two minutes which helped Spurs beat United at Old Trafford for the first time since 1989.

Juan Mata (Chelsea)

The Spaniard was the best player on the pitch against Arsenal. He troubled the Gunners’ defence in open play and was equally dangerous from set-pieces. His freekick in the second half won the Blues the game. He was the difference between the two sides.

Paul Scholes (Manchester United)

The 37-year-old, who came out of retirement last season, has been one of United’s top player in the midfield this season and against Spurs he was again at his very best. His perfect diagonals and long balls seemed as the only outlet for the Red Devils and he was at the heart of almost everything of the comeback effort.

Nuri Sahin (Liverpool)

The Turkey international scored both the goals in the Capital One Cup win over West Brom during the midweek and was once again at his very best against Norwich on Saturday. The on loan star from Real Madrid scored his first ever league goal for the Reds in his third league appearance and completely bossed the midfield.

Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur)

The Welshman was one of the star performers for the Andre Villas-Boas’ team against United as he was no match for Rio Ferdinand and his defensive colleagues. He ran from the halfway line into the United box before striking a right-foot shot past Anders Lindegaard. He also set up Clint Dempsey’s second half winner.

Luis Suarez (Liverpool)

Suarez was perhaps the best player of the weekend as he repeated his last season’s hat-trick at Carrow Road as he troubled the Canaries. The Uruguayan international had chances to score more goals but was very unselfish at times as he set up Nuri Sahin and was denied a clear cut penalty.

Nikica Jelavic (Everton)

The Croatian international forward has not lived up to the standards he set last season but looked very sharp against Southampton as he scored twice to help Everton ease past the Saints 3-1 at Goodison Park.

Demba Ba (Newcastle United)

Newcastle’s Senegalese striker is one of forwards who has been in some top goal scoring form this season and he proved that by scoring a brace against Reading. His both the goals were worth a mention as the first one was a magnificent volley, while the second one was very controversial.

Five ‘Big Name’ Premier League Signings That Never Happened

The transfer window is finally over, and Premier League managers and chairmen can rest easy and concentrate on the matters on the pitch, for another few months at least.

Now that the dust has settled, we can take a look at the five ‘big name’ transfer deals in the Premier League which were very close to happening but never happened in end.

1. Hulk (Porto) to Chelsea
The Brazilian was continuously linked with a move to Stamford Bridge throughout June and July and at one stage it looked like it was almost a done deal. Hulk even admitted he wanted to leave Porto and join the European Champions, but the Portuguese champions insisted they had never recieved an offer from the Blues. In the end, Chelsea gave up the chase because of his hefty price tag and wage demands and instead signed Wigan’s Victor Moses. The powerful left-footed forward joined Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg this week, for a fee of around £40m.

2. Joao Moutinho (Porto) to Tottenham Hotspur
The Portuguese playmaker was the man Andre Villas-Boas wanted to replace Luka Modric at White Hart Lane. But Spurs had to first sell the Croatian to free up funds to buy new players and Modric’s transfer to Real Madrid took weeks to be agreed and completed, which left the London club with just few days to wrap up the Moutinho deal. On deadline day, Spurs did agree a club record £20m fee with Porto but problems surrounding personal terms and third party ownership issues scuppered the deal.

3. Lucas Moura (Sao Paulo) to Manchester United
The Brazilian wonderkid was Manchester United’s top transfer target this summer after the Red Devils failed in their pursuit of Eden Hazard. After seeing a £23m bid rejected by Sao Paulo, United came back with an improved offer and also reportedly had a bid in the region of £30m accepted by the Brazilian club. But the mega-rich PSG came in at the last minute, paid £35m for the youngster and snatched him away from under the noses of Sir Alex Ferguson

4. Yann M’Vila (Rennes) to Arsenal
The French midfielder was reportedly very close to joining Arsenal before the Euros in Poland & Ukraine but a training ground bust-up with his France teammates made Arsene Wenger to reconsider. The sale of Alex Song to Barcelona saw the rumours start again, but Arsenal’s north London rivals Tottenham had also entered the fray and in the end, Wenger decided against a late move for the Rennes midfielder and stuck with his players.

5. Clint Dempsey (Fulham) to Liverpool
Liverpool’s American owners were so confident of signing the Fulham forward that they announced on their official website the US international had signed for the club in July. A month later, the Reds did look favourites to complete the deal on transfer deadling day, with the 29-year-old desperate to leave Craven Cottage and join the Merseysiders. But with Liverpool refusing to pay anything more than £4m for the forward, Dempsey joined Tottenham late in the day for £6m, leaving Brendan Rodgers with just two senior strikers at his disposal.

Premier League 2012/13 Team Preview – Fulham

Welcome to IntoTheTopCorner’s team-by-team preview to the new Barclays Premier League season. Here we look at Fulham’s vital stats, their summer transfers and analyse their chances.

Manager: Martin Jol.
Captain: TBD
Stadium: Craven Cottage (25,700).
Last season: 9th.
Leading scorer (PL): Clint Dempsey (17).
Odds: Title 1500-1. Relegation 7-1.

In: Mladen Petric (Free, Hamburg), Sascha Riether (Loan, FC Koln), Hugo Rodallega (Free, Wigan), George Williams (Undisc., MK Dons).

Out: Dickson Etuhu (£1.6m, Blackburn), Marcel Gecov (Undisc., Gent), Zdenek Grygera (Released), Andrew Johnson (Free, QPR), Danny Murphy (Free, Blackburn), Bjorn Helge Riise (Free, Lillestrom), Orlando Sa (Released).

Kits

Key Man – Clint Dempsey
Dempsey has been linked with a move away from Craven Cottage all summer but nothing has yet materialised. With the American, who contract is set to expire next summer, expected to start the campaign with west London club, he will be one of the key men for the Cottagers this season. Dempsey’s goal record in the Premier League is truly impressive and if he ends up staying at Craven Cottage, the club will need more of the same this season to finish in the top half.

Opening Fixtures
18-Aug – Norwich (H)
25-Aug – Man Utd (A)
01-Sep – West Ham (A)
15-Sep – West Brom (H)
22-Sep – Wigan (A)
29-Sep – Man City (H)

Probable Formation (4-4-1-1): Schwarzer; Riether, Hughes, Hangeland, Riise; Duff, Ruiz, Diarra, Dempsey; Dembele; Petric.

Verdit: After a slugglish start following their involvement in the Europa League, Jol’s side settled into form and should again be looking to finish in the top half of the table. Mladen Petric has looked a good bargain after his displays in the pre-season, but a lot rides on whether the club can keep hold of the American star Clint Dempsey. The former Spurs boss has allowed key players like Bobby Zamora, Andy Johnson and Danny Murphy to leave and it will be very interesting to see how he builds a new attacking spine to the team. I don’t expect anything out of the ordinary from the west London club and may just miss out on a top 10 finish this season.

Prediction: 11th.

Premier League 2011/12 Season Review – Part 2

Wow!! What a season it has been. It surely goes down as one of the best seasons ever of the Premier League since its formation 20 years back. We witnessed some epic battles for almost every position in the league. Was it the fight to be crowned the Champions of the country or was it the fight to stay up in the Premier League we were entertained till the very last minute.

Will the Blue half of Manchester celebrate their first ever league win since 1968, we have decided to review the complete season in two parts. Here is Part Two.

Player of The Season – Robin van Persie

The Arsenal skipper has been in the form of his life this season. The PFA Player of The Year and Football Writers’ Player of the Year has almost single-handedly carried his team’s goal threat this season with a remarkable number of 37 goals in 47 appearances – only Theo Walcott is the other Arsenal player who has managed to score more than 10 goals this season. With Champions League football guaranteed for the next season and some good players joining the Gunners in the summer, the Dutch striker might just sign a new contract at the Emirates.

Manager of The Season – Roberto Mancini

Many would have gone for Alan Pardew or Roberto Martinez for their brilliant work with Newcastle and Wigan respectively this season. But for me it has to be Roberto Mancini. He has done a tremendous job at the Etihad this season. Yes, yes, he had loads of money to spend and had the best squad in the Premier League at his disposal but that didn’t make his job any easier. The Italian had to make the big-name players play together as team and also at the same time had to deal with a lot of the big-egos in Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez. He kept the squad motivated when United were eight points clear at the top in early April and looked like running away with the title.

Match of The Season – Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal

This has been the toughest choice of all. We have witnessed so many entertaining and memorable matches this season but in the end the 10-goal thriller at Old Trafford topped them all. United inflicted total humiliation on Arsenal, who recorded their worst ever defeat since 1896. Gunners came into this match with several players in defence and midfield either injured or suspended, while Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri had left the club for Barca and City respectively. Wayne Rooney was United’s inspiration with a hatrick, but Ashley Young also bagged a brace of two stunning goals. Danny Welbeck, Park Ji Sung and Nani also got their names on the score-sheet. Theo Walcott and Robin van Persie got very little consolation for the Gunners, while David De Gea saved a first half penalty and Carl Jenkinson was sent-off in the second half.

Goal of The Season – Papiss Cisse (2nd Goal) v Chelsea

The Senegalese striker had already given Newcastle the lead at Stamford Bridge with a left-foot volley in the 19th minute and when the game went into the 10 minutes of injury time, he topped that with a stunning shot from the outside of his right foot. Shola Ameobi touched down a throw into his path. The striker controlled it with his chest before striking a swerving angled shot that curved cruelly from left to right and ended up into the top corner, leaving Petr Cech helpless.

Signing of The Season – Papiss Cisse

The Senegalese international striker has been in red hot form since his January move to the Sports Direct Arena and he just edges out his compatriot and Newcastle teammate Demba Ba because of the incredible impact he has had. Many players take time to settle down with their new clubs but Cisse has settled in quickly at his new club and has managed to score a record breaking 13 goals 14 league appearances this season. He is probably one of the reasons why Newcastle have had such a successful season.

Flop of The Season – Stewart Downing

Liverpool paid a huge amount of £20m to get the England winger from Aston Villa in the summer. Everyone including Kenny Dalglish thought Downing could be the perfect player to get best out of Andy Carroll but it didn’t work out. Downing, an England hopeful and will probably always remain one, has made 36 appearances for the Reds in the league this season and has – wait for it – zero goals and zero assists to his name. Liverpool fans can argue that he was the Man of the Match in the Carling Cup final against Cardiff City but you can’t argue to the fact that he has been a complete waste of money and the flop of this season.

Team of the Season