Archive for the ‘Jose Mourinho’ Category

Mourinho Starts House Cleaning At Inter

November 13, 2008

Its just eleven weeks into the Serie A season and league leaders Inter Milan are already to clean house. Jose Mourinho’s side is one of eight teams within striking distance of the top spot in what is so far one of the most competitive Scudetto races in many years.

While there has been recent talk of Argentine striker Julio Cruz wanting to leave in January, last night Mourinho announced four players he wants to put on the auction block as well; strikers Hernan Crespo and Ribeiro Adriano, and midfielders Luis Jimenez and Oliver Dacourt. All four have been either injury plagued or have fallen out of favor with the Inter boss over the course of the young season. While Mourinho still seems to be pining for Chelsea’s red hot Florent Malouda, it appears the special one is looking at nothing short of a complete overhaul of his team’s attacking options.

Lazio had sought the services of Crespo last summer and may still be interested in January. That said, Major League Soccer should give serious consideration to signing the 33 year-old Argentine. If not Crespo, then Adriano (who would otherwise be heading back to a Brazilian club) may be a viable option for MLS.

It also appears that central defender Walter Samuel, who has been out for months with a knee injury, may also have a tough time working his way back into the fold. If Samuel ends up on the departure list for January, I’ve still got to wonder if Mourinho may have his eye on Standard Liege’s American defender Oguchi Onyewu. He was sold on Gooch during his last season at Chelsea, when he asked the board to acquire him so its not too much of a stretch given that Mourinho tends to go after the same players, regardless of where he is coaching. Gooch has reportedly been focused on a move to England but if interest came from a big club like Inter, you just never know.

Is Onyewu The Answer To Inter’s Defensive Woes?

July 31, 2008

I recall during the 2006 World Cup when a colleague from La Stampa turned to me and called Oguchi Onyewu, the “American Materazzi.” Of course this was well before Materazzi’s incident with Zinedine Zidane during the World Cup final so there was no doubt he meant it as a compliment to the American player curently with Standard Liege. Two years later, I wonder if the fates of Materazzi and Onyewu may now somehow be connected.

Jose Mourinho has taken the reins of a powerful Inter Milan side which now finds itself in a defensive emergency just three weeks before the start of the Serie A season. Recent injuries to defenders Marco Materazzi and Christian Chivu have left the Nerazzurri with some big holes in central defense as they look to defend the Scudetto for yet another year. This has led Inter’s president Massimo Morratti to back onto the transfer market looking for a solution.

The loss of the soon to be 35 year-old Materazzi is a particularly hard blow given his strong physical presence in the middle, which is hard to replace at this stage. There was some talk in Milan of an interest in bringing in Chelsea defender Ricardo Carvahlo, who played for Mourinho at both Porto and Stamford Bridge. This may not be so easy since the failure to seal a deal on Frank Lampard may have soured both sides soured on any further negotiations right now.

When you look at the transfer pool at this late stage, there is not much depth in the available central defenders. This makes me wonder if Mourinho may look to acquire Oguchi Onyewu not only as an early season stand-in but as a player to take on Materazzi’s role in the future or better yet, to give him a sturdy physical partner to replace the often ailing Chivu. The new Inter boss had been keen to sign Onyewu in January 2007 during his last season at Chelsea but was not able to convince his club to spend the money at the time. Having been sold on him once before, could Mourinho now decide that the “American Materazzi” is at least a short term answer to Inter’s defensive woes?
At the same time, if Chelsea did sell Carvahlo to Inter, could this open an opportunity for Onyewu at Stamford Bridge and give Gooch the Premiership break he has been looking for? Is Gooch even ready for either club?
All speculation aside, the Bundesliga’s FC Cologne remains among the most interested in acquiring Onyewu for the 2008-2009 season. With 30 days left in the transfer period, only time (and money) will tell where he ends up.