116street Soccer

Footballing from a lesser authority...

Location: New York, New York

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Look At All These Rumors

When Freddy Adu set out on his two-week trek to Manchester to find out how good he actually is, many observers figured the training/trial/whatever to be a mere publicity stunt, yet the word out of Old Trafford so far has been nil. A few Freddy photos made the rounds last week, but no one has heard anything from Adu, Sir Alex Ferguson, Malcolm Glazer or ManYoo's third ballboy. Even the messageboards have been devoid of info, and yet, emerging from the abyss, comes this completely uncredited article from Soccer365, dubiously explaining exactly what is happening behind those closed doors:

Teenage sensation Freddy Adu will turn his back on Manchester United at the end of this week despite an impressive trial at the world’s biggest club.

The Ghanaian born winger has surprised a skeptical team, with his skill while training with The Red Devils youth academy, but he has insisted that he wants to play for Real Madrid citing a belief that the EPL is too physical for him.

The rumor mill is flying fast and furious, with so many changes occurring within the U.S. soccer scene that it is almost impossible to keep up with all the speculation. When Red Issue, the Manchester United fan magazine, reported that Malcolm Glazer would buy the LA Galaxy, rename the team (ManUSA? ha!) and make David Beckham the centerpiece of this ill-fated business plan, the story was picked up by The Mirror. Sports Illustrated subsequently picked the story up and headlined it in their "Truth and Rumors" section. MLS fans, generally inclined to disbelieve such a report, started paying attention this time, having learned from last year's Red Bull wildfire that such rumors are not to be discounted.
The question, with so much innuendo flying around, is how does one go about separating legitimate speculation and insider info from mere wheel-spinning? When La Opinion reported that Luis Figo, David Beckham, Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane and Hernan Crespo (of all people) were all confirmed to join MLS next season in deals totaling $100 million, most MLS fans scoffed at such a preposterous rumor, but when the very same paper reported that Jose Pekerman would be taking over the U.S. national team, more than a few USA supporters took this new report a little more seriously.
The funny thing is that the rumor mill is not confined merely to fanzines or alternative-language publications. Just yesterday, Paul Gardner at Soccer America wrote that one of the Red Bulls' allocations "presumably will be Figo," which is great news for Red Bull fans who didn't read Soccernet's Ives Galarcep in his Monday blog entry. According to Ives, "(Bruce) Arena has plans and the Portuguese winger apparently doesn't fit into them." Even the insiders are getting conflicting reports these days.
What then to do with all of this inside info? If you love football gossip like we do, you get a conversation piece and a laugh, and try not to take it too seriously (who am I kidding; I took that Pekerman rumor to heart!). Besides, if you ignore the rumor mill, how can you get to enjoy a good one, like this one?

Andriy Shevchenko could be sent out on loan to former club AC Milan in the January transfer window...

...they claim he would only be allowed to return to Italy on a six-month loan deal for 'personal problems', as Shevchenko's wife is struggling to settle.

...reports on Tuesday claimed the Premiership champions were lining up a bid for Valencia's David Villa.

Ah yes, Sheva's wife; the twinkle in his eye, the bane of his existence?


Anonymous Matt said...

From what I understand, Sheva couldn't go back to AC Milan even if he wanted to - they have too many non-EU players already on their books. I give the Sheva/Villa murmurings a 1 on the scale of transfer rumor believability - 10 being a dead cert and 1 being complete hogwash.

2:47 PM  
Blogger Z. Jackson said...

There's no question he's not going back to Milan, but I'll be damned if this isn't the funniest January transfer rumor I've yet heard.

I love the idea of him going to England because of his wife's unhappiness in Milan, only to return to England - because of his wife's unhappiness away from Milan.

2:55 PM  
Blogger Z. Jackson said...

* I meant to say return to Italy

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Matt said...

Yeah, these footballers wives! She's an American model - how hard can it be for her to adjust to life in London? The Chelsea rumor that makes more sense to me is Micah Richards to Chelsea with SWP returning to Manchester in part exchange.

3:00 PM  
Anonymous McCrum said...

Shevchenko's wife is the bane of my existence as well. But, I'm not allowed to talk about it due to ongoing legal issues.

10:11 PM  

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