Best Strikers in the Premier League – Week 9


It has certainly been an eventful last few days in the Premier League! Tottenham enjoyed perhaps the finest of weekend’s with a 4-1 demolition of Liverpool – their first win over the Reds in five years. Continue reading

Lopetegui moldea la Roja


Julen Lopetegui acaba de hacer oficial la lista de jugadores que acudirán a los próximos dos choques. El primero será frente a Israel y será decisivo para las aspiraciones de la Roja a la hora de participar en el Mundial de Rusia. Y el otro partido será de carácter amistoso, aunque ante un rival de la talla de Francia no hay amigos que valgan. En la lista de 25 jugadores, llama la atención la convocatoria de 3 futbolistas: Pedro, Deulofeu e Illara.

Pedro Rodríguez regresa a la Roja tras sus desafortunadas declaraciones en la pasada Eurocopa. Dijo públicamente que no quería ir con la Selección «solo» para hacer grupo, ante su enfado por no ser titular. Eso no gustó a del Bosque y no volvió a disputar ni un solo minuto en todo el campeonato. Tampoco lo había llamado Julen en las anteriores convocatorias.

Gerard Deulofeu ya debutó con la absoluta hace 3 años, fue en un amistoso frente ante Bolivia, pero no había vuelto a ser convocado. Ahora, es un ídolo de masas en Milán y se está forjando como futbolista maduro.

Asier Illaramendi es la otra de las novedades en la lista. Conoce las categorías inferiores de la Selección, pero todavía no ha tenido la oportunidad de debutar con la absoluta. Curiosamente, Julen y él se conocen bien de las sub-21, lo cual es una gran baza para el vasco; pero la clave para la llamada del selección ha sido el gran momento de forma por el que pasa Illarra.

Otros jugadores comienzan a asentarse, como Isco o Aspas. Pero todos no tienen cabida al mismo tiempo en la selección, por eso, algunos habituales, han sido baja en esta convocatoria. Quizá las más sonadas sean la de Lucas Vázquez o Sergi Roberto; Julen ha alabado el trabajo de este último en el Barça, pero ha afirmado que busca laterales con otras características para estos dos choques concretos. ¿Podría haber habido más novedades? En Las Palmas piensan que sí. Pero confiemos en el criterio de Julen.


Unsettled Pedro Rodriguez regretting summer move to Chelsea

pedro rodriguez

Chelsea forward Pedro Rodriguez is alleged to have told his friends his regret about leaving Barcelona for the Premier League strugglers this season following a difficult few months at Stamford Bridge. The 28-year-old made the surprise move after growing discontent with a lack of starts with the Catalan giants. Despite being a boyhood Barcelona fan who has gone on to become one of the longest-serving players in the squad, Pedro was convinced by Spanish teammate Cesc Fabregas to join him in London, but things haven’t quite gone to plan since.

Pedro has managed just one goal his seven Premier League appearances this season and that came on his debut against West Bromwich Albion. Since then, the Spanish international has gone cold for Chelsea, and he’s also suffered fitness woes that saw him miss the Blues’ defeat to West Ham, and put him in jeopardy ahead of this weekend’s clash against Liverpool. With Chelsea currently 15th in the Premier League after 10 games, life with the Londoners could be a lot better.

Pedro’s arrival surprised many as the Blues had Eden Hazard and Willian in the side, and Mourinho’s headline antics are spoiling his debut campaign. The former Barcelona star had a number of clubs interested in his signature, but took the risk to join Chelsea even after their poor start to the campaign. Barcelona have started the new season convincing enough to challenge for the league crown early on, and with the likes of Lionel Messi out of action for some time, Pedro will have been playing for the Catalans.

Matters aren’t helped with the Chelsea manager’s misconduct this season, and Pedro certainly won’t appreciate how Mourinho is ripping the club to pieces every week. A recent Capital One Cup exit now sees the Blues realistically out of two competitions already, and their Champions League campaign hasn’t started well either. A move to Chelsea never seemed to have much longevity in hindsight, and report are now suggesting the Spaniard is considering his future. Pedro has been struggling for form in recent weeks, and now finds himself stuck at Stamford Bridge.

The experienced forward has found himself on the losing side four times in his last eight games in all competitions, and looks set for a season without silverware. He won the treble with Barcelona in 2014/15, and started the season strongly, popping up with late goals after coming off the bench, but his gamble to push for regular action elsewhere has really backfired.

Chelsea winning the race to sign out-of-favour Barcelona forward Pedro

According to various reports, Chelsea are in the driving seat to sign long-serving Barcelona forward Pedro Rodriguez this summer in a deal worth around £21.6M (€30M). The Spanish international is considering his future with the Catalans as a result of a lack of playing time, and the chance to renew acquaintances with a host of international teammates could be the deciding factor that convincing Pedro to agree personal terms.

With the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez forming such a potent attack for Barcelona in the last campaign, Pedro just hasn’t been able to force his way into the team on a regular basis. He spent large parts of 2014/15 as an impact substitute, and this summer has been pondering a permanent switch for the sake of his fledgling career.

Chelsea are an attractive proposition, not least due to the Spaniards (Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa and Cesar Azpilicueta) at the club, but with the Blues coming off the back of a Premier League title and Capital One Cup triumph. Arsenal had looked for a long time to be the preferred destination for Pedro Rodriguez, as their playing style would sync perfectly with the 27-year-old, but Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and Fabregas are both alleged to have convinced him into choosing Stamford Bridge as his next home.

Pedro is an industrious player, who also boast high levels of pace, flair and creativity going forward. The Spaniard can play on either flank, and provides both goals and assists from the wide areas. Given how impressive Hazard & Willian were for the Blues last season, and with Juan Cuadrado also another wide option for the new campaign, Pedro wouldn’t be guaranteed a first-team spot immediately.

He would only leave the treble-winners this summer on the basis of being a regular in the starting lineup for his new club, which is why Arsenal had looked to be the most ideal destination for him. However, the chances of future success are certainly greater under Mourinho at present, more so than the like of Arsenal and another suitor in Liverpool. It’s unlikely any deal will be completed in the coming days, so Pedro has time to mull over his options before coming to a final decision.

Barcelona are still keen to keep him, however. The forward is held in high regard with the Spaniards, and is still deemed a useful cog in the operation, even if he’s no longer commanding a starting place. There’s a good chance he could stay to the Nou Camp if he’s not entirely convinced to move to England, so Chelsea would do well to make Pedro theirs this summer.