All posts by Peter Stickney

Former boss accuses Luis Suarez of having mentality of a child (video)

The man who gave Luis Suarez his first real break in football has provided insight to how the Liverpool striker’s head works, claiming that he has the mentality of a child.

Henk Veldmate, who brought Suarez to Holland from Uruaguay as an innocent 19-year-old, has criticised the way the controversial forward has acted after he was given a 10 game ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic last month.

The Sporting Director of Dutch side Groningen, the 56-year-old said: “He’s a grown up person but also, in the way he likes playing football, he sometimes has the mentality of a child.”

He also revealed that he only came across the striker by chance as he travelled to South America to take a look at another young player.

He said: “He had everything you see today, he scored a goal and did some fantastic dribbles. Sometimes you think he is lucky with his dribbles , he starts something and you think it is impossible. But in the end it works and he creates a chance and scores a goal.

“He dived to win a penalty, so all the things we see in Luis’ potential we saw in that 15 minutes and most importantly we saw he was a winner.”

So there you have it. As long as you can score goals it doesn’t matter that you cheat – as that just shows you are a winner.

Mourinho texts Lewandowski to join him at Chelsea next season (video)

It has been revealed that Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho has sent Borussia Dortmund goal-gobbler Robert Lewandowski a text message asking him to join his club. Crazy, I hear you shout. Well, it gets better. Rather than offering the Poland striker a move to the Santiago Bernabeu where Mourinho is currently employed, he has asked him to join him at Chelsea where is expected to be in charge of next season.

Now, you may be thinking that the story is a load of old garbage, and you’d be forgiven. However, the source reporting the message is none other than Sport Bild, the German publication who broke the news that Dortmund starlet Mario Gotze had agreed a move to Bayern Munich recently.

We are lucky to have a copy of the message here. It reads: ‘Hi Rob, only me – the special one. I want you at Chelsea. Don’t worry, I will get rid of Fernando. £200k pa with a new car. Let me know, lots of love Jose X.’

The above message may not be true, but you get the gist.

Lewandowski has been on fire this season, netting 33 goals in 37 games and has shown Mourinho personally just what he can do in front of goal. The Pole scored four goals when the teams met last month and hit the woodwork on numerous occasions in the second-leg of the Champions League semi-final.

I can hear the Chelsea fans rubbing their hands in anticipation already.

£12m Arsenal man tops Galatasaray’s summer transfer target list

Arsenal fans will be crossing their fingers that the latest bit of gossip turns out to be a load of nonsense. The story I refer to, which is being reported in The Metro, is that Galatasaray are on the cusp on making a move for Lukas Podolski.

The Germany international has already won the hearts on the Emirates faithful and continues to impress with his hard work and cool persona in front of goal, but with only two whole 90 minutes played this season it has been rumoured that he is fed up of being a bit-part player.

The former Koln man has hit the net nine times in his debut campaign in the Premier League and is likely to reach double figures as Olivier Giroud sees out his three match ban for his sending off against Fulham recently.

Galatasaray are suggested to be willing to offer a fee of £12m to the club and a four-year deal worth £130,000-a-week in wages for the player, and also offer the chance to play alongside one of the game’s greats in Didier Drogba.

The ambitious Turkish side don’t stop with Podolski when it comes to summer targets however. Oh no. They are also supposedly interested in former Chelsea winger Arjen Robben, Liverpool’s Luis Suarez and Udinese man Luis Muriel.

They have already shown how effective they can be on the European stage this season, and if they continue throwing money at clubs to add to their glut of stars then we can expect to see a lot more success at the Turk Telekom Arena.

Is Tony Pulis on the move?

Speculation is running rampant up whether Stoke City will retain manager Tony Pulis after this season.  Reports have recently surfaced that the club could lose their manager once the club has secured their place in the league for next season.   At present the team is 6 points ahead of Wigan for the last relegation spot.  Sunderland and Newcastle United are also 6 points ahead and Aston Villa only sits 3 points ahead of relegation.

The speculation over Pulis’ future is beginning to frustrate the 55-year-old manager.  When asked about reports, Pulis stated that “It’s just speculation. The thing with that is they have the right to write what they want and I have to accept that.  I had lunch with Peter and his brother-in-law on Tuesday and they never mentioned about whether I was leaving or not.”

Pulis has long had the support of Stoke City owner Peter Coates and there appears to be nothing coming from the owner about replacing his manager.  In fact, it has been said that the club’s chief executive Tony Scholes and Coates have both expressed confidence that their manager will be returning next year.

Stoke’s battle to avoid relegation is more than just a return to the EPL next year.  Relegation could cost the bet365 sponsored club a lot of money in the form of sponsorship and television deals.  For example, the chances of their bet365 deal being renewed would be unlikely.  Also, since they would lose any money tied to any EPL TV deals, the cash flow needed to get back up to the EPL would be severely hindered.

Stoke will not have an easy task ahead of them.  Their remaining matches include dates at Sunderland and Southampton as well as home games against Tottenham and Norwich City.  A single win may be enough to stave off relegation but a losing streak now could prove disastrous for the club’s hopes of returning to the Premier League next season.

The Transfer Window – An Agent’s Perspective

The world of the transfer window is a strange and mysterious place to those not involved. Players can come close to leaving one club for another and we, the public, know absolutely nothing of the nitty gritty aspects associated with any major dealings. Fortunately for us, we have an agent who can give us a glimpse into what life is like as the middle man, especially with January fast approaching.

What is your exact role throughout the transfer window?

I have a number of clients who we feel it may be in there best interests to leave current clubs be it on loan or a permanent transfer. This involves constant liaising with the player his current club and appropriate other clubs.

What is the general feeling amongst agents as the transfer window approaches?

As usual it’s frustrating that we have to cram all our business into four weeks, but that’s the rules we have to work within. I doubt the Fair Play Regs will have the desired impact so I expect the window to be very similar to last Januarys.

Is there a substantial difference between the January and summer windows?

January usually see’s more inflated prices with clubs being forced into a corner. The summer’s transactions are usually more considered and planned in advance.

There are rarely any big moves during the winter window – why is that?

Usually because selling clubs demand high fees as they feel the purchaser may be desperate.

As the clock ticks closer to the deadline, how quickly does the pace pick up?

I would say that 80% of the deals that will take place in Jan are pretty much already lined up and done behind the scenes.

Have you ever had any big money moves fall through at the last minute?

A lot of the time a number of parties can get involved in a deal that slow it down and can ultimately lead to it collapsing.

What is the general consensus with the club and player in question when this happens?

I think that players and clubs will always see this as a possibility. 90% of the time when it does happen the player’s agent gets the blame.

Is it harder to deal with Chairmen that are buying or selling?

I’ve never had any problems with Chairman be it when buying or selling

Simon Dent is the Managing Director of ROAR SPORT