Tag Archives: Giovani Dos Santos

Premier League’s Five Forgotten Players

With all the teams busy with their pre-season preparations for the new season, it’s time to look forward and build-up to the new season which kicks-off within a month’s time. Today, we look at Premier League’s five forgotten players. Footballers who came in with a lot of hype and expectations, but now have faded away or suffered bad injuries and are almost forgotten by the fans.

1. DENILSON – ARSENAL

The product of Sao Paulo’s youth academy, Denilson joined Arsenal in 2006, a few weeks after the Gunners had lifted the FA Cup – their last trophy till date. The Brazilian was described as “a little bit in between Tomas Rosicky and Gilberto” by the Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and he made his debut in October same year. He has made around 153 appearances for the Gunners but has been very inconsitent with his performances and has also failed to deal with the physical demands of the Premier League. Last season he was shipped back to Sao Paulo on a season long loan, where he picked up two red cards in the opening three games, which caused some commotion in Brazil. The Brazilian Under-17 international has agreed to stay at Morumbi for another season on loan, after which he will have just 12 months left on his Arsenal contract.

2. PARK CHU-YOUNG – ARSENAL

Arsene Wenger spent around £5m to bring the South Korean international forward to the Emirates from Monaco last August. During the press conference to unveil the striker, the Gunners’ boss declared: “He will add true quality to our attacking forces and will be a valuable addition to the squad.” A season later, the 27-year-old has made just one Premier League appearance. With Nicklas Bendtner (Sunderland) and Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad) both away on loan, fans had expected their new signing to shine in his debut season and follow the footsteps of his former Korean skipper Park Ji-Sung. But that never happened, as the Korean was able to play just seven minutes of Arsenal’s 38 Premier League games last season. The striker who has netted 25 times for South Korea will have an important part to play for his country at the Olympics this summer, but Arsenal may sell him before the transfer window closes.

3. ALBERTO AQUILANI – LIVERPOOL

The Italian joined Rafa Benitez’s Liverpool in 2009 as a replacement for the Spaniard Xabi Alonso – who departed for Real Madrid. A fee around £17m added to expectations heaped on his shoulders following impressive displays during his seven years with his home club, AS Roma. Unfortunately the lady luck was not on the Italian’s side, as he had to wait until November 2009 to recover from an injury and make his Premier League debut. A lot of comparisions made of him to Alonso, proved immature as Aquilani was more attack minded and preferred playing further up the field. After a poor first season and the departure of Benitez, the Italian was sent away on loan to Juventus in 2010/11 and then to AC Milan last season. Even though Aquilani has made just 18 appearances for the Reds, the arrival of Brendan Rodgers and the signing of compatriot Fabio Borini (from Roma) looks to have given him a second chance to prove himself at Anfield.

4. MICHAEL JOHNSON – MANCHESTER CITY

The academy graduate at Manchester City, Johnson burst on to the scene as an 18-year-old where his vision, passing ability and control of the ball in the midfield started the talk of him becoming one of the future stars of English football. But his career has gone the other way around thanks to a succession of abdominal, knee and groin injuries. Since making 23 Premier League appearances for the City in the 2007-08 campaign, the 24-year-old has featured just 11 times in the league in the last four years with seven of those on loan at Leicester City. Roberto Mancini is looking offload the former England Under-21 international but there are no takers for him and will have to wait till his current contract to expire in June 2013.

5. GIOVANI DOS SANTOS – TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

Juande Ramos brought the Mexican – a product of Barcelona’s famous academy of La Masia – to White Hart Lane in the summer of 2008 for a fee reported to be around €6m. The young attacking midfielder impressed in his first season in the capital making 12 appearances for the first team before he was loaned away to Ipswich for the reminder of the season. Dos Santos failed to impress Tottenham’s new manager Harry Redknapp – who was appointed after Ramos was sakced for poor results – which resulted him being sent away on loan to Galatasaray in 2009-10 and then to Racing Santander in 2010-11. The 23-year-old remained at White Hart Lane last season but was able to feature only seven times in the Premier League after his commitments on-and-off-the-field were questioned by the former Portsmouth and Southampton boss. The Mexican international has just a year left on his four year contract and will be available for free at the end of the season but he is desperate to leave and return to the La Liga before the end of August.

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5 Issues AVB Must Solve At White Hart Lane

Andre Villas-Boas has been appointed as the new manager of Tottenham Hotspur, just seven weeks after Harry Redknapp guided them to fourth place in the Premier League.

The 34-year-old’s appointment will create some concern at White Hart Lane following his disastrous tenure at west London rivals Chelsea last season where he was fired after just 27 league games in charge. The former Porto manager failed to convince the fans, the players or the owner that he was the right man to deliver them success. In order to avoid a repeat of the same fate with Spurs, here are five issues he must deal with at White Hart Lane..

1. Win Over The Dressing Room And The Supporters

At no stage during his spell at Chelsea did Villas-Boas got the full support of the dressing room. The former Porto manager’s age counted against him. He was 33 when he took over at Stamford Bridge, younger than senior players such as Frank Lampard and barely older than the captain John Terry. With no playing career and only a few years’ coaching experience, he lacked the dignity of older managers and when results didn’t go their way, the protesting voices grew. In the end, Abramovich directly blamed these critics within the squad for the premature end to the Villas-Boas’ tenure. But after a number of humiliating defeats, including the 3-1 defeat against Napoli that left them on the brink of exiting the Champions League, the fans had run out of patience as well.

At Spurs, Villas-Boas must create an immediate bond with his squad. This should be easier than at Chelsea with fewer big egos in the dressing room and he has the advantage of a full pre-season to shape his plans. A strong start in the league will banish the disappointment of Spurs missing out on Champions League qualification and help win over the fans, who would probably have wanted a more experienced manager.

2. Sort Out Luka Modric’s Future

An immediate priority will be to sort out the future of Luka Modric, who is reportedly wanted by Real Madrid and also is a long-term target of Manchester United. The Croatia playmaker, who was an integral part of Tottenham’s success under former manager Harry Redknapp, was promised a new deal last summer after rejected Chelsea’s approach, but he has yet to commit his future to the club. He has made no secret of his desire to play Champions League football again and even though he was not at his best last season, he is still one of the most gifted midfielders in the Premier League.

With Modric not inspired by the prospect of playing yet another season in the Europa League, Villas-Boas must waste no time in persuading the most influencial players in his squad to have faith in his plans. If he still wants to leave, then Spurs should let him leave and cash in on him. A fee of £30m-£40m for the former Dinamo Zagreb playmaker who turns 27 soon, would be great business.

3. Strengthen The Defence

To compete for the Premier League or for a place in the Champions League next season, Villas-Boas needs to ensure his team have a very strong defence. That means going to the transfer market. The first priority will be to finalise a deal with Ajax for their skipper Jan Vertonghen. Negotiations for the Belgian international have dragged on all summer and a stage has come that he is already back in pre-season training with the Dutch club. But with most of the hard work completed, Villas-Boas should be able to quickly seal the deal.

Doubts remains over the future of Ledley King. He has become a hero in the eyes of many Tottenham fans after 14 years of loyal service to the club. But the question is how often will he feature in the forthcoming new season. His well-publicised chronic knee problems caught up with him towards the end of last season which may force him into retirement, where he is expected to be offered a coaching role. Such is his influence, if King breaks down again, it will leave a massive hole in the back line – despite the impressive form of Younes Kaboul and the return of Michael Dawson from injury. Vedran Corluka has already departed White Hart Lane this summer, joining Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow for £6m, but the need for defensive acquisitions is less urgent than bringing in new faces up front.

4. Bloster The Strikeforce

Following the departure of Louis Saha this summer and Emmanuel Adebayour’s return to his parent club Manchester City, Spurs have only one recognised striker in their squad – Jermain Defoe. The former Portsmouth forward scored 17 club goals last season – despite spending much time on the bench – but didn’t feature in England’s UEFA EURO 2012 campaign beyoung a 15 minute cameo against France.

Therefore, Villas-Boas will have to immediately dip into the transfer market to buy at least two strikers and his cause will be helped by the transfer budget expected to be given to him by Daniel Levy. Adebayor was a hit last season scoring 18 goals in 37 games but his wages, reported to be around £175,000 a week, have been an obvious stumbling block. If Tottenham can reach some sort of agreement with the former Arsenal man then they should. If that is not possible then another hitman must be pursued. Villas-Boas reportedly has his sights on the 22-year-old Chelsea frontman Daniel Sturridge, with a £10m bid being lined up but Roberto Di Matteo is keen to hang on to the player. Hulk would also be a perfect fit but he appears to be on his way to Chelsea. Brazil striker Leandro Damiao and Marseille’s Loic Remy are possible alternatives.

5. Get Rid Of The Deadwood

Although Andre Villas-Boas will want a big squad that will help him challenge for silverwares on all fronts, there are plenty players increasing the wage bill who could leave. Vedran Corluka, Niko Kranjcar, Louis Saha and Ryan Nelsen have already left, but there are still plenty of others who could be discarded. Giovani Dos Santos, Heurelho Gomes, Sebastien Bassong, David Bentley, Jermaine Jenas and a couple of more reserves players were all out of the first-team picture under Harry Redknapp. Clearing them off the wage bill would free up plenty of money for new signings.