Sunday Ticker: Vermaelen joins Barcelona; Arsenal win Community Shield; and more

Vermaelen-ISIPhotos

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By RYAN TOLMICH

In the latest move of their summer spending spree, Barcelona have brought in another piece to help solidify their defense.

Barcelona added defender Thomas Vermaelen from Arsenal Saturday, with the Belgian international joining the Catalan club on a five-year deal. Vermaelen is just the latest Barcelona purchase, as the Belgian joins forward Luis Suarez, midfielder Ivan Rakitic, defender Jeremey Mathieu and goalkeepers Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Claudio Bravo on the list of the club’s summer acquisitions.

“This is one of the best clubs in the world,” Vermaelen said. “It’s a dream for many players to come here, so it wasn’t a difficult decision for me to make.

“I want to put the injuries I’ve had behind me and look to the future,” Vermaelen added. “My aim is to play in lots of games and help the team. Last year was tough, but I want to start from zero and I am sure I’ll have a fantastic season here at Barça”

Here are some more news and notes from around the soccer world:

ARSENAL TOP MAN CITY TO WIN COMMUNITY SHEILD

After snapping their much-talked about trophy drought with an FA Cup victory in May, Arsenal have picked up their second trophy in a calendar year.

The Gunners brought home the FA Community Shield Sunday with a 3-0 victory over Manchester City behind goals from Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud.

Cazorla opened the scoring in the 21st minute, as the Spanish international sidestepped Man City defender Gael Clichy before firing past goalkeeper Willy Caballero for the first goal of the day.

Ramsey added a second right before the halftime whistle, when the Welch star finished on a pass from a heavily marked Yaya Sanogo to double the Arsenal advantage. Substitute Giroud added a third in the 60th with a 25-yard shot that found the top corner to effectively end any hopes of a Man City comeback.

With the victory, Arsenal pick up a major confidence boost less than one week away from the start of the Premier League season. Arsenal will kick-off their Premier League campaign Saturday at Leicester City, while Man City will look to put the loss behind them when they head to Newcastle Sunday.

AMERICA’S JIMENEZ LINKED WITH MOVE TO ATLETICO MADRID

After impressing throughout the 2013-14 Liga MX season, forward Raul Jimenez might just be making a move to one of the world’s best breeding grounds for young strikers.

The Club America and Mexican National Team star has been linked to a move to La Liga champions Atletico Madrid, who have famously produced such strikers as Fernando Torres, Sergio Aguero, Falcao and Diego Costa.

Club America’s sporting president Ricardo Pelaez confirmed Atletico’s interest Saturday after the team’s 2-0 victory over Tigres.

“The offer from Atletico Madrid is good,” Pelaez said, “and if both parties are satisfied, he’ll go.”

The club is set to have a meeting with Jimenez’s representatives this week to discuss the details, but Jimenez already has his sights set on Spain.

“It’s an opportunity that you can’t let go,” Jimenez said after the win. “(Atletico) is the Spanish champion, it reached the Champions League final and anyone would want to go there.”

NASRI CITES UNHAPPINESS AS REASON FOR RETIRING FROM FRANCE NATIONAL TEAM

After being omitted from France’s squad for the 2014 World Cup, it’s easy to understand midfielder Samir Nasri’s frustration with the international game.

The Manchester City midfielder announced Saturday that he was quitting the international soccer, citing unhappiness with coach Didier Deschamps the French National Team as the reason for his decision.

“Let’s face it, as long as he is going to be the manager I don’t think I have a shot after everything that has happened,” Nasri said.“I will only be 29 in 2016 for the European Championships but the French national team doesn’t make me happy.

“Every time I go there, there is just more trouble. I face accusations about me and my family suffers from it and I don’t want to make them suffer, so it’s better to stop it and focus on my club career.”

Despite his frustration with Deschamps, Nasri also insisted that he didn’t feel welcomed amongst his compatriots and said he didn’t want to be part of a group that added to his unhappiness.

“It’s not just him,” Nasri added. “He did what he thought was best for his team. I understand his choice, it is not something about him, I don’t have any problem with him. It’s just everything. It is not him who talks in the press, it is the press who say things about me and the players as well.

“Before this World Cup they were saying that some players complain [about me],” Nasri continued. “Why do you want me to be in the group with some players who can’t even be true in front of me and tell me that they have a problem? I don’t want to be there. I am not happy. I don’t want to go there any more.”

QUICK KICKS:

In response to Real Madrid’s addition of Kaylor Navas, goalkeeper Diego Lopez is set to leave the club for AC Milan. (REPORT)

Sunderland midfielder Jack Rodwell warns young players about joining former club Manchester City. (REPORT)

Aston Villa add French left back Aly Cissokho from Valencia. (REPORT)

With three potential choices at his disposal, Barcelona manager Luis Enrique is still unsure of his starting goalkeeper. (REPORT)

Liverpool routed Borussia Dortmund, 4-0 in Reds’ final preseason friendly. (REPORT)

What do you think of the Vermaelen signing? Do you expect more trophies for Arsenal this year? Would Atletico be a good fit for Jimenez? What do you make of Nasri’s comments?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, International Soccer, Mexican Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Sunday Ticker: Vermaelen joins Barcelona; Arsenal win Community Shield; and more

  1. introspective wonder says:

    Is Vermaelen even a world class defender? Sure he had a good season or 2 for Arsenal but that was like 3 years ago>

  2. Lion of winter says:

    1 has to wonder on the parallels of Nasri and Donovan and how both were excluded from their respective squads for Brazil. Just because you’re a great player on the field doesn’t mean you’re a great player in the locker room. Causing dysfunction among other players and obviously being being a rock in the eye of the manager is disastrous

    • slowleftarm says:

      And what’s the proof that Donovan was a problem in the locker room? Everything seemed fine until JK took over. Plus his son’s tweet is pretty conclusive evidence it was personal and not a decision based on merit.

      • GW says:

        “his son’s tweet is pretty conclusive evidence it was personal and not a decision based on merit.”

        Hopefully, you are not a judge or a district attorney somewhere.

    • Tony in Quakeland says:

      Donovan = Cancer. Yup, another fantasy produced in the service of those dying to find excuses for Klinsmann’s bizarre decision.

      • GW says:

        What did you find bizarre about JK’s decision?

        • frank from santiago says:

          gw, so his son just felt like cutting down donovan all on his own for no reason? had nothing to do with maybe what he heard at home, or comments from his old man? c’mon, put two and two together already.

          • GW says:

            frank,

            I guess you believed them when they said there were WMD’s in Iraq?

            Let’s say JK in fact says awful things about LD at home to his son. And by the way, tell me that every rant you make to your friends and family about your a-hole co- workers is always 100% spot on and not influenced by the need to vent to those close to you.

            Let’s say you have affidavits sworn out by credible witnesses that testify that JK hates LD’s guts.

            All that would prove what exactly?

            Are you telling me JK loves all his other players, and has them over for dinner?

            I’ve had people working for me who I wouldn’t let anywhere my family or any decent human beings or animals but they were very good at what they did.

            You can make all the assumptions you want but that tweet was irrelevant because it does not tell you why JK cut Donovan.

            What we do know is that the USSF gave JK unprecedented power to shape the team and the overall program in whatever manner he saw fit. And that meant it was no longer Landon’s team but JK’s team. Before JK LD did whatever he wanted to do.

            My guess is he never adjusted to the culture change.

            I see no evidence anywhere that JK would let personal distaste influence player selection. Mikey and Deuce pissed him off royally, and defied him publicly by coming back to MLS when they did yet there they were in Brazil (though most of you wish he had left Mikey home instead of LD).

            There is an old saying that it is better to get rid of a player a year too soon than a year too late.

            I wanted LD in Brazil but if JK thought cutting him was better for the team I’m fine with it. All I know is this is a team with a much clearer long term and short term plan. The USMNT was never like that before.

            LD was a genius, a once in a lifetime talent but his time, his era, has passed.

            The US soccer world is, for better or worse, different now and LD’s retirement is one sign of that. The massive outcry about his Landon’s exclusion is as much about that and the anxiety over it as it is about LD.

            • Roy says:

              Two words: Brad Davis.

              That’s a reason why JK should have included Donovan. Davis could play one spot and played it poorly, while Donovan could have played about 3-4.

              • GW says:

                My guess is Wondo not Davis beat out LD.so to speak.

              • Pirithous says:

                He still chose to take Davis when he could have taken Donovan, whatever his reasoning. The idea that Davis was a better choice to have out there on the left wing of the Germany game in the first half is a complete non-starter. Once that happened, the debate was over — the decision to take Davis instead of Donovan was a bad one in purely soccer terms.

                It is still possible that there were non-purely-soccer (locker room feuds, etc.) reasons not to take Donovan, but the idea that JK made the right call on soccer grounds cannot be sustained, especially given Davis’s woeful efforts in that half.

    • Remy says:

      I would say that Nasri is a way better player than Landon Donovan. And I admire LD. There’s no similarities here. Nasri was disliked by the coach and his teammates. LD was like by most of his teammates but not considered a deserving WC player by JK. Many said that LD was better than Julian Green and John Brooks and that he deserved to go instead of them. They both proved people wrong and validated JK’s decision. I think JK managed to get the best result with the talent he had. And LD was not meant to be part of the WC squad and would have become a distraction if he went because he would have spent the whole time on the bench. End of story.

      • Pirithous says:

        How would he have spent the whole time on the bench? Brad David started on the left wing against Germany. No one can argue that Donovan would not have been a better option for that role. And no one has any evidence that Donovan would have been dissatisfied with a bench role (he came off the bench at times under Bradley, effectively and without any reported grumbles).

  3. Lion of winter says:

    Jimenez. 6’3. Tallest Mexican striker ever?

    It’s a shame MLS never tried to get him on loan up here. Heck pay him DP cash for a 6 month loan. would have been very beneficial

    • chuck says:

      Zague was 6’4 and he couldn’t head for sh*t

    • kevin says:

      You must be young or just started following football, but I still remember lalas going up against zague and Carlos Hermosillo

    • NASL TO EL PASO TX says:

      Mexico is producing top strikers nowadays, but ligaMX is now asking more money than before and the mexican talent stays in ligaMX until the good team n money comes.
      Mexico is a sleeping soccer giant, there getting taller, tougher, smarter and faster.
      There not as slow as before, or low in height.
      I see a crazy MLS vs ligaMX battle for talent and recruitment.
      Who will go with the international FIFA calendar first, MLS or ligaMX.

      • Remy says:

        Have you ever been outside in Boston, Montreal, Toronto, New York or Chicago in the winter? It’s a rhetorical question, by the way.

        • GW says:

          Have you seen the number of players, from South America and elsewhere who play in the Russian Premier league?

          Have you ever been in Germany or England in the winter?

          Have a good enough league and/or pay these guys enough and they will come.

  4. krjrjrjrjjejee says:

    what if JK took Donovan to Brazil and never played him except for a few garbage minutes? The LD fanboys would have gone INSANE