Tag Archives: Florent Malouda

Premier League ‘Bosman XI’ – Team Of Stars Out Of Contract In The Next Summer

Lampard-Bosman-XI

As we get close to the new year and the January transfer window, we make a team with the Premier League players who will be out of contract at the end of the season and could leave for free.

From the start of the new year, all these players can start negotiating with other clubs for a better contract and can join them for nothing in the summer. This year the likes of Michael Owen, Emile Heskey and Paul Scharner found new clubs, while Owen Hargreaves, Craig Gordon and Harry Kewell are left waiting for a phone call.

So come next summer which players could be moving on for free from the Premier League? Here is our Premier League ‘Bosman XI’..

Premier League Bosman XI

Subs:- Brad Friedel (Tottenham), Kolo Toure (Man City), William Gallas (Tottenham), Maynor Figueroa (Wigan), Florent Malouda (Chelsea), Mladen Petric (Fulham), Franco di Santo (Wiagn).

Note:- The likes of Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Jamie Carragher are also in their final year of their respective deals but have been excluded from the team because it is too hard to see them playing for anybody else.

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France 1-1 England – Player Ratings

Both Joleon Lescott and Samir Nasri were on target for their respective teams as England and France battled out to a 1-1 draw. Here, we take a look at how the players fared at the Donbass Arena in Donetsk on Monday.

FRANCE

Hugo Lloris – 6
With England having just one attempt on goal, he was largely untrouble. He was dominant in his own penalty area and managed to deal with England’s crosses easily. Joleon Lescott’s header from a Steven Gerrard did beat him in the first half, but he had no chance to stop it.

Matthieu Debuchy – 7.5
Debuchy was one of France’s star for this match. He was very dangerous making his overlapping runs and going forward, at the same time he did his defensive duties very well. He coped well with the threat of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and kept him at bay for the whole game, and then later also dealt well with Ashley Young.

Philippe Mexes – 6
Was lucky Welbeck didn’t get many chances to take on the French defence. It’s very well known that Mexes lacks pace and if Rooney was playing the AC Milan defender could have been in huge trouble. Made an important clearance from a James Milner cross towards the end of the game.

Adil Rami – 6
There was some discussion at the start of the match whether Rami should play or Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny, but the Valencia man proved his doubters wrong as he put in a solid display in the center of the defence. Like Mexes, he was largely untroubled by the English attack for most of the game.

Patrice Evra – 6.5
Gave away the needless foul which lead to Lescott’s opener from the resulting Gerrard freekick. Otherwise the Manchester United left back had a steady game. He was stable defensively and at the same time good going forward.

Alou Diarra  – 6
He is only there because of the injury to Yann M’Vila. He was at fault for England’s opener, as he let Lescott get in front of him and head the ball past Lloris. Made a couple of good tackles here and there, and troubled Hart with a powerful header from a Samir Nasri freekick in the first half, but otherwise he was not involved a lot in the game.

Yohan Cabaye – 7 (Sub Off 84′)
Put in a very good display, as he was the link between the defence and the attack for France. Delivered a couple of dangerous corners and put in a couple of dangerous through balls but his team couldn’t make any good use of it. Came close of scoring, with one superb volley, taken on the rise, which was deflected just wide.

Florent Malouda – 5 (Sub Off 85′) (Flop of the Match)
Continued with his Chelsea form, as he was very anonymous almost the complete game. The former Lyon winger lacks the pace to the trouble the opposition defence and saw very little of the ball. Was substituted in the 85th minute.

Samir Nasri – 8 (Man of the Match)
Was the best player on the pitch. The Manchester City man scored his country’s equaliser, beating club teammate Joe Hart and was the heart of every chance France created to threaten the English defence. Enjoyed playing in center role just behind Karim Benzema and is one of players to keep an eye on during this tournament.

Franck Ribery – 7.5
Was very impressive and continued his club form for his country. Like Nasri, he was the heart of the French attack. He worked hard through out the game by cutting inside from the wings but was  largely left frustrated by the English defence. He will be credited with an assist to his name, as it was him who passed it to Nasri.

Karim Benzema – 7.5
France’s main target man didn’t get on the scoresheet but had a lively game. He was kept quite by the solid defensive pairing of John Terry and Joleon Lescott but managed to trouble Hart with a couple of long-range efforts.

Subs

Hatem Ben Arfa (Sub On 84′) – N/A

Marvin Martin (Sub On 85′) – N/A

ENGLAND

Joe Hart – 7
The England keeper was by far the busier of the two keepers and made several smart saves to keep his side in the game. He would be disappointed for letting Nasri’s shot beat him at near post but that was the only blight in an otherwise blameless performance.

Glen Johnson – 7
The Liverpool right-back had a good game. He did very well by not giving Ribery a lot of space to run with and was also one of England’s threat going forward. But still he could improve on his crosses.

John Terry – 7
Terry was an imposing figure at the back of the English defence, using all his experience to contain the threat of Karim Benzema. He marshaled his troops and ensured that the English defence kept their shape.

Joleon Lescott – 7
Made sure that Gary Cahill’s absence was not felt at all. Was very sound defensive alongside John Terry and also was good in the air. He showcased his aerial abilities by scoring England’s opener from a brilliant Steven Gerrard freekick.

Ashley Cole – 6.5
Was troubled a lot through out the game especially by the dangerous overlapping runs of Debuchy, but as always used his experienced and coped up well with them.  Made several timely tackles to break up the French attack.

James Milner – 6
He was selected ahead of Theo Walcott just to help Johnson out with his defensive duties and he did well against the threat of Ribery. Was, however, poor going forward and didn’t cause any threat at all to Patrice Evra and was also guilty of missing a glorious opportunity in the first half.

Scott Parker – 6.5 (Sub Off 78′)
Parker was quietly effective in his role as the anchorman and by throwing himself around to block a couple of shots. Combined well with Gerrard to deny France their second goal. Got tired towards the end and was replaced by Jordan Henderson.

Steven Gerrard – 8
Was England’s best man on the field. The skipper was an inspirational figure and delivered a brilliant freekick which led to Joleon Lescott’s headed opener. He is a dangerous man going forward but was probably told by Hodgson to sit back a bit and help Parker with the defending. He did his defensive duties very well, clearing a dangerous Evra cross and later heading away a curling Benzema shot in the second half.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 6 (Sub Off 77′)
Was a surprise inclusion ahead of Walcott and Downing but the 18-year-old did not justify his selection with an unexceptional display. Showed some flashes of brilliance but was overall subdued and easily bullied off the ball.

Ashley Young – 6 
Young had a mediocre game by his own standards as he played up front, just behind Danny Welbeck but was always a threat to French defence while going forward. Didn’t create much except for that wonderful through ball to James Milner, who was unable to capitalize on the chance after beating Lloris.

Danny Welbeck – 7 (Sub Off 90′)
Welbeck was sharp throughout the game and completely justified his selection ahead of Andy Carroll and Jermain Defoe. His movement on and off the ball was perfect and came back often to see more of the ball and to get involved in the game. Didn’t get many chance to proud a save from Lloris or trouble the French defence.

Subs

Jermain Defoe (Sub On 77′) – N/A

Jordan Henderson (Sub On 78′) – N/A

Theo Walcott (Sub On 90′) – N/A

Analyzing Eden Hazard’s Possible Move To Chelsea

Finally and hopefully the Eden Hazard transfer saga is over as he is set to join ‘Champion’s League Winners’ or ‘European Champions’ Chelsea, after he announced his decision on his twitter page yesterday.

Chelsea defeated Bayern Munich in the finals of the Champions League this month and have qualified for the next season’s Champions League as the holders of the tournament after having finished sixth in the Premier League. There is no official announcement by either Lille or Chelsea about the transfer but its has been hugely speculated for the past two-three days that the clubs had agreed a fee in the region of £33m and the player had made up his mind about signing for the Blues over Manchester City and Manchester United.

Here we analyze Eden Hazard’s move to Chelsea and what does it mean for the club.

Is the transfer a Done Deal?

No. No transfer is a done deal until its confirmed and announced by both the clubs involved. Eden Hazard has just made his choice that he wants to join Chelsea but the club have refused to confirm the transfer in a statement to the Associated Press stating: “As with all transfers when we have something to announce, we will announce in the usual way.”

That means there is still time for other clubs like City and United to come in and hijack the deal. The transfer won’t be a done deal until the two clubs agrees a fee and the player passes a medical. And there have been no official reports from either Lille or Chelsea that things have been agreed.

What the does Eden Hazard signing means for Chelsea?

Eden Hazard is one of the most sought after players in world football and Chelsea beating the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City for his signature means a lot for the club.  When Didier Drogba announced he would be leaving the club in the summer after his contract expired, the Chelsea fans were worried and looked at Juan Mata and Fernando Torres as their primary force of attack. But now with Eden Hazard signing surely the future is bright at Stamford Bridge.

With the arrival of Eden Hazard – who has 20 league goals and 15 assists for Lille this season – Chelsea now boast an incredibly impressive midfield with the likes of Juan Mata, Frank Lampard and Ramires already in it. All of them are great passers of the ball and can score some important goals as well. Chelsea looked more a defensive minded team last season especially in the Champions League, but now with the arrivals of Kevin De Bruyne, Marko Marin and Eden Hazard they certainly have more versatility in the final third.

The midfield of the Stamford Bridge club now is a powerhouse which consist the likes of Frank Lampard, Michael Essien, John Obi Mikel, Ramires, Florent Malouda, Oriol Romeu,  Marko Marin, Kevin De Bruyne, Josh McEachran, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard. There not many teams in the world who can boast that much of talent and depth in the middle of the field.

Where will Eden Hazard play for Chelsea?

Hazard started the last season on the wings for Lille, but as the season progressed he was moved in the center by coach Rudi Garcia and was given the role of the main playmaker of the team. That drastically increased his performances for the Ligue 1 side and saw him end the season with 20 goals – including a hat-trick in his last game for the club – and 15 assists.

According to the recent reports in the Daily Mail, Hazard said he wanted to play the same role that he played for Lille, the number10 role for his new club, that is the role just behind the striker, the role of main playmaker. He would be playing the exactly same role at Stamford Bridge. The Blues played with a 4-2-3-1 formation under Roberto Di Matteo and if the Italian becomes the next permanent coach of the club then that formation would fit Hazard perfectly, as he would be the main man just behind Fernando Torres.

With his brilliant passing skills and creativity Hazard would perfectly fit in the role which he has asked for and at the same time could help Torres prove his worth to the club. Torres by no means had a bad season as compared to his first six months at the club but now with the arrival of Hazard expect Torres to get some more chances to score some more goals this season. I always said Chelsea needed a playmaker to get the best out of  Torres and now finally they have got Eden Hazard.

At the same time the arrival of the Belgium international will also help to fill the void left by the departing Salomon Kalou. As stated before Hazard started his career on the wings and so when needed Hazard could also play on either wings. His ability to play with either foot, dribbling and pace would cause major trouble to fullbacks.

Why did Hazard choose Chelsea over United or City?

According to the reports in the Daily Mail, Hazard stated he would choose the club that would guarantee him more playing time and would also give him the number10 role. Chelsea were the best option among the three that would satisfy his demands. They desperately needed a playmaker as they can’t depend on Frank Lampard anymore to perform all season as he isnt getting any younger so Hazard was always going to be the main man around whom the team would be build, if he joined the Blues.

United play an orthodox 4-4-2 formation which meant Hazard would have to play on the wings where he would have faced some stiff competition from Antonio Valencia, Nani and Ashley Young for a starting place or he would have settle in the center of midfield besides Michael Carrick. Both the roles didn’t guarantee him much playing time as he wanted and neither gave him the number10 role which asked for. At City, Hazard would have faced some tough competition from David Silva and Samir Nasri for the role he wanted and at the same time he won’t have got the same amount of playing time he would get at Chelsea.

Many people would say Chelsea offered him more wages than the other two clubs but I feel there is no harm for the player to go for more money if he has chance to do that. We have seen in the past that money does buy success and Chelsea have proved that on many occasions, so going to Chelsea was not just about the money.

Will Hazard be a hit in the Premier League?

No one can say whether he would be a hit in the Premier League or will turn out to be Chelsea’s next big money signing that flopped. Hazard is a great talent and has the potential to be one of the best players in the Premier League but he needs to work hard. He won the Ligue 1 Player of the Year twice in the row with Lille but that doesn’t mean he would be a hit in the Premier League. He isn’t going to be as dominant at Chelsea as he was with Lille because Premier League is completely a different ball game compared to Ligue 1. The standard of the Premier League game is on a very higher level compared to any other league and we have seen many talented players come to the Premier League and failed. I just hope he lives upto his hype and reaches his potential as well as establishes himself as a Chelsea fan favourite.

Chelsea’s Expected Summer Departures & Top Ten Transfer Targets

By Chelsea’s standard this season has been a disappointment. With the Blues currently two points off the pace in the race for fourth spot in the Premier League, Roberto Di Matteo’s men are staring at the prospect of missing out on Champions League football next season. And while they are into the semifinals of both the FA Cup and the Champions League, Chelsea could well end the season trophy-less—for the second successive year.

A massive overhaul of the squad is needed and if rumours are to be believed then Roman Abramovich is finally ready do it this summer.  A huge clear-out is expected at the Stamford Bridge along with many new players joining the club, with the Russian ready to give his new manager a huge transfer budget. Here, Into The Top Corner looks at the expected departures this summer and also Chelsea’s top ten transfer targets.

Expected Departures

1. Didier Drogba

Has been Chelsea’s key performer since his arrival in the summer of 2004 from Marseille, but at 34 years old he is not getting any younger and his time at the club is coming to an end. The Ivorian who has scored just 5 goals in 19 Premier League games this season is out of contract at the end of the season. With the huge wage demands of the striker it is highly unlikely a new contract will be agreed.

2. Salomon Kalou

The Ivorian played a vital part in securing the 2nd place in the Premier League last season under Carlo Ancelotti, but he has been hardly used this season, especially by Andre Villas-Boas after the player failing to agree a contract extension with club. Kalou, who joined the Blues from Feyenoord in 2006, started in both the legs of the Champions League quarter-final win over Benfica but is expected to leave Stamford Bridge this summer having made just 15 appearances all season.

3. Paulo Ferreira

He was one of the first signings of Jose Mourinho when ‘The Special One’ took over as the manager. But since the departure of Mourinho and the arrivals of Juliano Belletti, Branislav Ivanovic and Jose Bosingwa to Stamford Bridge, Paulo Ferreira has fallen down in the pecking order but whenever given a chance he has always delivered a solid performance. Having featured just 6 times this season in all competitions the Portuguese is surely expected to leave the club in search of some regular first team action.

4. Florent Malouda

The Frenchman performed really well under Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti but has fallen down in the pecking order behind Juan Mata and Daniel Sturridge this season. With more than half of his appearances this season coming from the bench, the Blues will look to sell him this season and make some money before his contract expires at the end of next season.

5. Raul Meireles

Joined the Blues on deadline day this summer from Liverpool for a transfer fee in the region of £12m. Played very well in first half of the season under Andre Villas-Boas, but since the departure of AVB in March, Meireles’ form has gone missing. Many Chelsea fans have come out and criticized his performances in the Premier League especially in the match against Manchester City at the Etihad.

6. Jose Bosingwa

A big-money arrival in 2008, Jose Bosingwa has failed to make a long-term impact on the starting XI. The right back has shown stretches of being an excellent footballer, but his lack of consistency will be the reason why he is likely to depart. He has made 24 league appearances this season but regular lapses of concentration has resulted him in conceding some vital goals. His refusal to sign a contract extension will most probably see him leave this summer for nothing.

7. Yossi Benayoun

Joined the club in the summer of last season from Liverpool as a straight forward replacement for Joe Cole. Benayoun started the season impressively but a bad injury kept him out for almost the entire campaign. He was loaned to Arsenal at the start of this season as he was not needed at the club any more after the arrival of Juan Mata from Valencia and the return of Daniel Sturridge from Bolton. The Israeli is set to have talks on his future with Chelsea sooner than later but is expected to leave the club.

8. Hilario

Not much analysis required here. Hilario has served as Petr Cech’s backup since 2006 and has only appeared in 20 games over that stretch. Now 35, Hilario can look to finish up his career as a starter for a less-reputable club.

9. Romelu Lukaku (Loan)

Having made just 10 appearances for the club this season since his big money move from Anderlecht in the summer, the teenage is expected to spend the next season out on loan to gain some vital first team experience. With reports suggesting talks have already taken place, the Belgium international looks set to be on his way back to Anderlecht for atleast a season.

Top 10 Transfer Targets

1. Mario Gotze (Dortmund)

Gotze is one of the hottest properties in world football at the moment with the likes of Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona all interested in his services. Having just signed a new long-term contract and Dortmund favourites to retain the Bundesliga title this season, a move away from Westfalenstadion looks highly impossible and it would take a huge amount of money to make that happen.

2. Edinson Cavani (Napoli)

The Uruguayan has already scored 28 goals this season and has been linked with move away from Napoli to Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester City all season. Chelsea are in need of a regular goal-scorer given that Didier Drogba’s contract is set to run out this summer and Fernando Torres is still unable to make a consistent impact. Cavani could be the perfect man to fill the Ivorian’s shoes at Stamford Bridge.

3. Eden Hazard (Lille)

The young Belgium playmaker is set to leave Ligue 1 at the end of this season and that will sparkle a transfer scramble with the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter all interested in him. Hazard, who has 16 goals and 12 assists to his name this season, could be a great long term successor for Frank Lampard.

4. Alvaro Pereira (Porto)

Uruguayan international wing back has been a very impressive and a consistent performer at FC Porto since his move to Portugal in 2009. Andre Villas-Boas tried to get the defender with him to Chelsea last summer but the Portuguese champions rejected the move. The former CFR Cluj defender has stayed on Chelsea’s radar is looked at as a possible long-term replacement for Ashley Cole.

5. Cesar Azpilicueta (Marseille)

Spain Under-23 international is one of the most promising right-backs in Europe. He would be a welcome addition to the Chelsea squad, as current first-choice right-back Branislav Ivanovic often struggles to link up with the attack and his deputy Jose Bosingwa is struggling to rediscover his form and is expected to leave this summer.

6. Luka Modric (Tottenham) 

Tottenham playmaker was continuously linked to a move to Chelsea last summer but the Spurs hierarchy, however, stood its ground and refused to sell their prize asset. Despite having failed to reproduce last season’s form so far, Modric is still a much-needed addition to the Chelsea squad and will surely leave White Hart Lane if Spurs fail to qualify for the Champions League next season.

7. Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid)

He may be in great form this season having scored 24 goals so far, but he is still just a back-up option behind Karim Benzema & Cristiano Ronaldo for former Blues’ boss Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid. A move to London and the regular first-team football could be a tempting offer to rejected for the Argentina striker.

8. Hulk (Porto)

The strong and pacey Porto striker who can also play on both the wings and has been linked to a move to the Premier League for some time now, is apparently high up on Abramovich’s shopping list for the summer. But clearly the Portuguese champions would have reduce the Brazilian’s reported £88m release clause fee if they want any deal to be done between the two clubs.

9. Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli)

The Argentine international has been Napoli’s star performer this season along side Marek Hamsik and Edinson Cavani. The versatile forward who can also play on both the wings performed well against Chelsea in the Champions League scoring twice in the first leg. The 26-year-old who has scored 11 goals this season will be a very good addition to the Chelsea squad.

10. Falcao (Atletico Madrid)

The Colombian, who was linked with a move to Stamford Bridge last summer when Andre Villas-Boas took charge of the club, has taken to life in La Liga very well, netting 21 goals in the league this season. But as Atletico Madrid are unlikely to secure a spot in the Champions League a move to Chelsea may well appeal to the 26 year old former Porto striker.