We take a look at this week’s football aka soccer in US news as a lot has happened from new signings to managerial appointments to Premier League players getting released.
Ayew on a free transfer is one extremely astute bit of business by Gary Monk. The Ghanaian is a regular international, has Champions League experience and was one of the French side’s best players over the years.
It certainly is telling how the new Premier League deal is helping all the clubs outside the top six attract huge names as there is also talk of Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace side potentially getting PSG’s Yohan Cabaye which would set up a great reunion between the former Newcastle employees.
As for Swansea, a signing like Ayew – if followed by a couple of others – could give them the edge required to challenge teams like Spurs, Southampton and Liverpool to enter the top six, something they missed out on this past season by just six points.
As it is though, Monk is working wonders for a side that was promoted just back in 2011 as Swansea recently broke their highest points total in the Premier League this past season.
Both clubs have made interesting appointments.
While McClaren failed with England, notably failing to get them qualified for Euro 2008, his club record is pretty good winning the Eredivisie with FC Twente while he overachieved with Middlesbrough before taking over the England job.
His experience in Holland could even see Newcastle going from a French influence to a Dutch influence with the club already having the likes of Daryl Janmaat, Tim Krul and Vurnon Anita.
As for Bilic, he is an enthusiastic and charismatic manager who had success with the Croatian national team but failed to do anything of note at club level. However, Hammers fans can definitely expect better football with him at the helm compared to former Sam Allardyce.
With clubs releasing players who are out of contract, there have certainly been some interesting departures this year.
With Arsenal, the most notable departure will be Abou Diaby. The Frenchman who is so talented but has also been so injury prone since suffering a broken leg in 2006, has only made 16 league appearances in the last four seasons. That’s four appearances per season on average and the former Auxerre midfielder didn’t feature at all in the Premier League this past season.
Because of manager, Arsene Wenger’s faith in his players, many expected Diaby to get a new pay-as-you-play contract but it looks like Diaby will now have to start anew somewhere else.
For Chelsea, Didier Drogba is the notable departure, departing Stamford Bridge for a second time in three years. While he wasn’t as effective considering he’s 37-years-old, he still did well to chip in with seven goals as Chelsea won the league for the first time in five years.
For Liverpool, Steven Gerrard will be leaving as expected to the LA Galaxy while Glen Johnson – who had been at the club since 2009 – is another big name who will be departing.
Lastly, Micah Richards, James Milner (Liverpool) and John Guidetti are the notable names to leave the Etihad for Manchester City.