A sideways look at Spanish football
Tim Stannard and Simon Talbot
To lose one gargantuan goal-machine of a footballer over the course of the summer, as happened to Manchester United with the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, can be considered unlucky.
To lose two is just plain daft.
But that’s the unfortunate fate suffered by Sir Alex in this close season. That’s according to former Red Devils striker Manucho, anyway.
The Angolan forward was being presented by his new club Valladolid earlier this week and was keen to announce what targets he had set himself in his first campaign in la Liga.
“My aim is to score between 30 and 40 goals,” boasted the confident newcomer.
After the giggles and sniffles had died down, his manager José Luis Mendilibar was forced to take the wind of his happy hitman’s sails by asking if “anyone has told him that last year we had a lot of games where we didn’t see the goal.”
But the Pucela coach had to apologise soon after, when reminded that a league where Deportivo’s Riki can find the back of the net on regular occasions can't be all that.
"Get off, Rooney, I'd've scored four by now"
The capture of the former United man is another sign of how Valladolid have been the busiest of beavers over the summer as they look to reduce the average age of their squad from somewhere in the fifties to the low thirties.
Although the side lost star keeper Sergio Asenjo to Atlético Madrid, Valladolid have picked up the might-be-handy-one-day striker Alberto Bueno from Real Madrid’s second side, Castilla, and have taken defensive midfielder Pelé on loan from Porto.
Some of the more pensionable players in the squad have either retired, been booted out or simply shot round the back of the training ground shed as the club looks for a safe mid-table berth next season and avoid the dramatic collapse of the last campaign, which saw them a nanobot’s knickers away from dropping into la Segunda.
Mallorca are another side who have been up to all sorts in the transfer market, but not necessarily in a good way.
The cash-strapped club are currently in the process of being bought out by businessman Carlos Gonzalez, but this has not prevented them from losing large and rather important chunks of their squad.
José Jurado and Cleber Santana have returned to Vicente Calderón after loan spells whilst keeper Carlos Moyá has moved to Valencia.
But most crucially of all, tasty playmaker Juan Arango has left Spanish shores for Bundesliga side Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Although some youngsters have been promoted to first team football, Mallorca's squad is looking 'waffer' thin and must be thrown into the same lobster pot of doom as Xerez as early favourites for the drop in the new campaign.
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Thoughts on www.marca.com/.../1248443133.html
Xerez could be dropping very, very early in the campaign indeed.
Manucho came on as a sub for Utd against Stoke last season for about 15 mins when the game was won. Ronaldo was running riot and set up Manucho 3 or 4 times with great chances. Every time he managed to make a complete mess of it, he failed to read the pass or headed over when it was easier to score and every time he messed up he would stare at Ronaldo with a look of "what the f**k was that. It was your fault I missed" I'm not sure why i liked him but i did. Good luck Valladolid i think you will need it.
I'd like to point something out in my usual spiteful manner - Barca Atletic dominated Tottenham for 45 minutes yesterday and still there are no news about that on fft.
Yes, I know it was a friendly, but - World's Best League my *ss.
About Alberto Bueno - I bet he's got a 4 mln buy-out clause.
And - Mouech-what? is he crazy?
LOL. at least he learned one thing from ronaldo, talk big. doubt manucho can do big though.
Manucho played for my side, Hull City, on loan and he was abysmal. Seriously the lad could not hit a barn door and we'd have been better off with Windass upfront.
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