Online video Score: 4 / five
Online video Score: 4 / five
Bayern Munich managed to extend their unbeaten run in the league after a comfortable 3-0 win over Augsburg on Saturday. This win means that last season’s treble winners have gone 37 matches unbeaten in the league, while they only recently went past record that had been held by Hamburg for several decades. It has been a great season so far for the club under the new management of Pep Guardiola. The fact that Borussia Dortmund lost their match against Wolfsburg means that by Munich going to the international break comfortable at the top of the table.
Franck Ribery, who is one of the players on the shortlist to win the FIFA Ballon d’Or award, has said that this victory was extremely essential because it helped Bayern Munich to extend their advantage at the top of the table during the international break. It is also very crucial because Bayern will be facing their arch rivals Dortmund when the league resumes in a fortnight.
“We started well and the early goal made it easier, but we didn’t play so well after that. It was better in the second half; we controlled the game and created a number of big chances. Now I hope my players come back fit after the international break,” said Guardiola.
Jerome Boateng scored after just four minutes on the clock, which helped settle any nerves amongst the Bayern team. Ribery goal just before half-time gave them a 2-0 lead, while Thomas Müller penalty in the 90th minute was enough to give them a convincing win.
“The second goal was important for myself and the team. We did well, were very aggressive and played better than last time out. The next game against Borussia Dortmund is vital for us. It’s a great chance to build a lead at the top and extend our record,” said Ribery.
Video Ranking: four / five
Video clip Score: five / five
Bolton Wanderers have managed to complete the signing of Liverpool midfielder Jay Spearing, who has been one of the best players for the club. He has been on loan at the club for an entire season. Even though Bolton did not have the best of seasons last time around, Spearing was excellent. He made 39 appearances for the club and he also won the player of the year award from the club. Spearing was sent out on a loan deal due to the lack of regular first-team opportunities at Liverpool. The arrival of new signings like Joe Allen restricted his opportunities at Liverpool.
After impressing at Bolton, the player will now be spending the next few years at the club. He has decided to make the move permanent for an undisclosed fee. He has signed a four-year contract with the club. Spearing came through the academy at Liverpool and made 55 appearances for the five times European champions. Bolton manager Dougie Freedman was especially delighted after announcing the signing. He has revealed that Spearing was one of the top targets for the club especially after the way he performed last season.
The club will be looking to get back into the Premier league after failing to make a promotion challenge last time around.
“Jay was my top target. He’s got the potential to be a very, very good player. What I like about him is that he comes in every day with the attitude to get better. At my last club [Crystal Palace] that’s what it was all about – the younger players coming through the system and making sure they apply themselves in the right way. That’s what struck me about Jay – not only was he a fantastic football player with a great pedigree coming from Liverpool, but his hunger and desire to get better was really the thing that struck me,” said Freedman.
Video clip Score: 4 / five
Movie Ranking: four / five
Aston Villa were recently shocked when they received a transfer request from star striker Christian Benteke, who has been at the club for just over a year. The Belgian striker was signed by the club for around £ 7 million only last year, but following an impressive season, he is now rated at £ 25 million by Aston Villa. There are several parties interested in him, but Chelsea and Tottenham are thought to be leading the race to sign the striker. Benteke took his time to settle in English football, but once he settled, he was almost single-handedly responsible for keeping Villa in the Premier league.
The 22-year-old scored 23 goals for Villa last season. Benteke has a history of going public in order to demand a transfer. This was indeed the case with the Aston Villa move as well when the 22-year-old went on strike after his former club Genk rejected a £ 5.5 million bid from Villa. It is a case of history repeating itself, but Paul Lambert is prepared to give the player another chance to consider staying at Villa. Many have said that Benteke should consider staying at Villa for this season in order to give himself the best opportunity to make it into the Belgian squad for the 2014 World Cup.
If the 22-year-old moves to a big club like Chelsea, he may not get the regular first-team opportunities. Following the arrival of José Mourinho, Chelsea have been keen on a big target striker in order to replace Fernando Torres, who has been a major failure. Since Benteke ticks all the boxes like physical attributes and age, it is believed that the 2012 European champions have now shifted their attention from Napoli striker Edinson Cavani to Benteke. They are expected to make an official offer in the next week or so.
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup has revealed that he had several offers from clubs across Europe including those in the Champions league to manage in the upcoming season. However, he decided to stay at the Premier league club after receiving assurances from the owners that they will be spending in order to strengthen the squad. Swansea finished in ninth position of the Premier league last season, while they also lifted their first major trophy in the history of the club in the form of the League cup. Many questions were put forth to Laudrup whether they could improve on the last season.
He has replied by saying that there were many clubs interested in him, but he has decided to stay at Swansea because he believed that improvement can be made. It is thought that PSG and Monaco were interested in making Laudrup as their next manager. The former Barcelona midfielder has managed a couple of clubs in Spain before coming to England to replace Brendan Rodgers at the Liberty stadium. Laudrup has said that consolidation is more important for Swansea at this stage. The club has spent huge money on several players including Wilfried Bony.
Laudrup is hoping that the arrival of new players will make Swansea a formidable force in the Premier league.
“I’ve never been close to leaving because I said I would stay this season; it’s important to us. We still have to consolidate this team, this club and a promise is a promise – that’s why I’m here. Yes, it’s true, there were some approaches from big clubs as well, even from Champions League clubs, but I said I was going to stay here,” said the Swansea manager. Bony has been signed by the club for a club record £ 12 million from Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem.
Movie Ranking: four / 5
Online video Score: / 5