Manchester United - Euro Watch: Villa Is A Beast
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Euro Watch: Villa Is A Beast

David Villa's price is rocketing upwards, that's sure. The Valencia striker is regarded as one of the best in his position in Europe and is tipped to leave the struggling Spanish club this summer. But Valencia fans can look ahead with optimism: the club can demand an astronomical fee for this man.

I know that we are supposed to be looking for a big, strong centre-forward and while Villa ticks the third box, calling him 'big and strong' would be the overstatement of the millennium. He's lightning quick and possesses wonderful technical ability so he could be a brilliant signing for us, I think - he could provide Ronaldo's pace and goals.

His credentials were there for all to see yesterday as his one-man show crushed the hapless Russians - who, of course, finished ahead of England in the qualifiers... He linked with Fernando Torres to devastating effect and bagged the first hat-trick of the Euros with clinical precision. He was always involved, constantly looking for the ball, running at defenders, moving swiftly and intelligently when off the ball.

It was the magical Xavi once again who was pulling the strings throughout: we had the chance to witness his amazing ability at Old Trafford this season and his passing puts Fabregas in the shadows. What a pity that he's a born and bred Catalan, loyal to the club (unlike the aforementioned Arsenal midfielder).

But it was not all just glory for Spain, despite the 4-1 victory. Their defence consisted only of Puyol at times as Sergio Ramos, Juan Capdevila and Carlos Marchena fell asleep. Granted, Russia did little to trouble them but they hit the post and scored a goal, causing massive confusion among the backline on occasions.

It mattered little as at the other end Villa and co. tore their slow and ponderous defence apart but against opponents who possess greater defensive qualities Spain cannot afford to be so careless at the back. Ramos and co. must concentrate as hard as Villa does when presented with a scoring opportunity.

I was looking forward to the second game of the day, Greece v Sweden. After all, the holders were in action against Larsson and co. - I'm sure all United fans have fond memories of Henke's short stay at Old Trafford. Well, of this game I prefer to erase any memories.

It was truly horrible, like watching Romania v France again. Greece, surprising (and some would say undeserved though I do not agree with that) winners of Euro 2004 came for a 0-0 draw and set out to achieve their goal in a shameless manner: they deployed five defenders who, when got the ball, passed it around for a while, amid the booing from the stands before finally daring a forward pass that was usually a hoof and an aimless one at that.

Without the steeling presence and energy of Zagorakis who's retired since, they were a pale shadow of that 2004 side. Sweden, though were afraid of them and did not even dare to press the defenders while they were passing among themselves. Yet they realised in the second half that this team is absolutely beatable and proved the theory, thanks to a brilliant goal by Ibrahimovic after nice interplay between him and Larsson. Football won in the end - and it's hard to imagine Greece getting past the group stages this season.

The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday June 11 2008

Time: 1:07PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
I cant really understand how you can laud spains play but then in a previous articel slate portugal. both played fast paced football on the deck, and both were a joy to watch. on a side note, i think we must do everything possibel to stop villa goint to liverpool, coz him an torres look a quality pairing.
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11/06/2008 13:48:00

If we didnt have Tevez, i'd go for Villa this year, along with a proper heavy duty striker of course. Huntelaar wants to go to Real as well.... what the heck is going on with all this Real hype...its not normal
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11/06/2008 14:04:00

Yeahm i was wondering to myself..just what is the lure of real madrid. Ronaldo, Benzema, Huntelaar....even Villa is said to be intersted in Madrid. all i think is that if i was a player id rather go to a better league (england) where trophies are more probable. also, if i had to choose a club in spain id pick barca anyday, i just cant see what the lure of madrid is!
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11/06/2008 14:46:00

is villa coming 2 united?
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11/06/2008 14:52:00

probably not
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11/06/2008 15:43:00

Laudable opinion of Xavi over Fabregas. So petty a dig, it shows a distinct lack of class, but tbf that's to be expected. Fergie would love to have Cesc pulling the strings from the United midfield. Villa looked hungry and predatory, things came off for him on the night and much of the praise should be shared with his unselfish partner Fernando Torres who worked Villa into the scoring positions. Along a similar vein, I think Villa has the predatory instincts to put the ball in the net with fantastic efficiency, I think in the Prem he would need a very hard working target man to play off. So Liverpool with Torres and Alonso (if he stays) would be his best destination in the UK. ManUtd play lots of good interchange stuff, great crosses but don't have a target man (not necc a big lumbering lout who's good with his head), more a focal point of a more direct game (plan B or plan C) that can play with his back to goal and hold up play (like that **** Hughes, that **** Sh*r*ngh*m). So unless Utd lose Ronaldo to Madrid (50/50) I can't see who you would drop to accomodate Villa AND a target man (like Roque Santa Cruz). I don't think he would work at Arsenal, although he and Cesc seem to be on the same wavelength, only because Wenger insists on playing the hapless Adebeyor and the hopeless Eboue. If (and he won't) he brought in Santa Cruz and Villa, I think they would probably score 50% more goals next season than this season.
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11/06/2008 16:43:00

Understand that after last nights performance Ronaldo is going to the Olympics to take part in the diving competition he got plenty of practice last night........
Tiny T
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12/06/2008 13:04:00

Y r u hating on Fabregas hes better than all your central midfielders but u styll wanna try n chat s**t your team will fall apart if ronaldo goes last season you scored 80 goals ronaldo scored 31 of them next was tevez twith 14 i don think datz gonna keep you on top off the league but maybe cristiano will take pitty on you and stay.
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12/06/2008 18:07:00

gunner24,when Cesc has been around as long as Scholes and has achieved as much as him then I'd consider comparing them.Until then let him know Scholesy's boots need to be polished.
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12/06/2008 18:13:00

Gunner24 - I remember a certain Mr.Fabregas spent two games in Anderson's pocket.
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12/06/2008 19:23:00

you cannot tell mi that anderson is better than fabregas or your just lying to yourself
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13/06/2008 16:37:00

says he would like to go to Liverpool or Chelski you don't get a mention
Tiny T
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16/06/2008 12:58:00

Villa is far far better than Tevez will ever be!
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19/06/2008 09:33:00

Villa is staying at Valencia, I'm pretty sure. At least, all the Tottenham and Everton rumors are complete *****e; why would he leave for them when he's already in UEFA cup? But if he does leave--Can't see him fitting in without a big man beside him (at Valencia he works wonders with Morientes) at United; and I doubt we'll get Santa Cruz by himself, let alone with Villa. As long as Villa doesn't leave for Chelsea or Liverpool, I'm fine.
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01/07/2008 09:44:00

Scratch that-- Villa would work extremely well at United if Saha's fit.
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01/07/2008 09:45:00

Oh, and please. Scholes craps on Fabregas; and Anderson has and will continue to, I'm sure.
Report Abuse
01/07/2008 09:46:00

Carrick and Hargreaves, although we're not really comparing the same type of midfielder, are just as quality as Fabregas. Also, I'm not so clear on how Villa would replace Ronaldo. Villa plays in the hole, not on the wing. I'm assuming this means that he'd account for Ronaldo's goals?
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01/07/2008 09:48:00


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