You may remember some time ago we wrote to Javier Pastore shortly before he moved to PSG. Well he’s been there a few months now and we’ve finally heard back from the scoundrel. He ‘penned’ a short note to let us know how he’s been getting on in Paris with his new team mates and that sexy PSG kit.
Disclaimer: I received no such letter and this is a figment of my imagination.
A decidedly French feel to this week’s links, at least to begin with. Most of this has been influenced by the recent goings on at PSG where their new shareholder appears to have given them license to print money, bringing in a number of new players. One such star has been Javier Pastore, whom I wrote an ode to at the weekend (go and read it if you haven’t already). James Horncastle has written a comprehensive profile of El Flaco’s career complete with a number of very interesting quotes from former coaches Angel Cappa, Walter Zenga and Delio Rossi. You can read it here.
Continuing our promenade, Ben Lyttleton sums up the ten storylines worth keeping track of in French football this season for Sports Illustrated. Storylines such as ‘Are Paris Saint-Germain the new Manchester City?’ and ‘Is this Yoann Gourcuff’s last chance?’
Whilst there has been a huge exodus of talent from Serie A this transfer window, there have also been a couple of names arriving. Michael Cox (of Zonal Marking fame) profile one such arrival in the form of Bojan Krkic, who has moved from Barcelona to Roma.
Football stickers are great. Three Match Ban have produced a player quiz based on football stickers that is quite fun. See how well you get on with their latest offering on Copa America stars (old and new).
Over at the Oval Log, @FilippoInzaghi (not THE Filippo Inzaghi) takes a look at the shambles going on in Argentina with the league restructuring which initially appears to be happening entirely in order to save River Plate.
It wouldn’t be right for an Italian summer to pass without some reason for football fans to be cynical and concerned. The latest betting scandal could see Atalanta captain and club legend, Cristiano Doni banned for three years – effectively ending his career now that he is thirty eight years old. James Horncastle (again) explains how he got himself into this mess and why he’s regarded so highly by the locals of Bergamo.
Finally, a video of Javier Pastore put together by @AlexSLDN. Enjoy.
Don’t go. Please. I’ll miss you.
You arrived in Serie A as a relative unknown all the way back in July 2009, after your adventure with Huracan almost helped them to the 2009 Clausura back in Argentina. Your performance against River Plate, demolishing the Argentine giants, earned you many plaudits but it your slight frame – hence your nickname ‘El Flaco‘ – and lack of tactical awareness left the biggest European sides unwilling to take a risk on you.
At Palermo under Walter Zenga, you had to be content with coming off the bench for the majority of your first season and we were teased and drip fed small portions of your talent. Zenga remained resolute until his dismissal though “Until he understands how to play football, I will substitute him“.
You’re only 22, and Serie A will miss your youth – I can see the average age creeping up as you read this. Had you chosen any other team we may have never seen what you could do. You really should thank Delio Rossi. Once he was made Palermo manager, he trusted you and you began to thrive in this new found comfort zone. Rossi gave you freedom to express yourself in an all out attacking Palermo team – and what a side it was; you almost made the Champions League in 2009/10.
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