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All Things Footie | Monday, July 29 | Jordan

Sullen Sherwood

Tottenham's midfielder Tim Sherwood has claimed that his club are ‘a million miles away’ from winning the Premiership and has put a fair share of the blame on Hoddle's inability to sign quality players. This followed by losing to QPR 3-2 in a friendly makes it a forgettable week for fans of the club. QPR were impressive and by all accounts played the (understrength) Premiership club off the park. Neither Gus Poyet, Darren Anderton, Christian Ziege or Teddy Sheringham played a part in the defeat, however Steven Carr completed 90 minutes for the first time in god knows how long; though how many more he'll complete in a Spurs shirt is a matter for debate.

On the other side of North London, Arsenal have officially completed the £4.5m signing of Brazil's central midfielder Gilberto Silva. I — along with Arsène Wenger — have to admit to knowing very little about Silva before the World Cup, but he seemed a player to quietly impress and not dazzle. Playing every second of Brazil's tournament he is clearly rated highly in his home country and in common with many of Brazils exports, his old club (Atletico Minero) seem to be proud of his progress.

It will surely take him a considerable time to adapt to the Premiership (Wenger claims South Americans require around 6 months) so I would expect Edu to start the season partnering Vieira, with Silva making his contribution after Christmas (if he proves good enough). Wenger now seems to have gone a long way to solving the Champions' major problems in defence and midfield without spending a fortune, the board must be pleased.

Anyone who caught the Rangers vs. AC Milan friendly earlier today was likely (perhaps surprisingly) to have enjoyed a competitive 90 minutes of football. I was hoping to catch Milan's new signing Rivaldo in action, though with talent like Pirlo, Maldini, Gattuso and Borriello on offer I can't say I missed him too much. Cyril Domoraud impressed at the back for the Italians, as did Ibrahim Ba — whatever happened to him?

With spells of mixed success at Marseille and Perugia on loan, Ibrahim Ba's 5 years at Milan have been troubled ones. I remember him signing for the then giants of Italian football in 1997, hailed as the most promising French talent of his generation, an exciting winger equally at home running at players as slipping through the killer pass. I suspect that the style of Italian football has not been kind to his talents and if someone was willing to give him a chance he could be a quality bargain buy; as he really doesn't seem to be wanted at Milan.

Sticking with Scottish football Magnus Hedman will soon complete his move to Celtic for a fee ‘considerably more than’ Espanyol's offer for Sweden's number one. Watching the SPL Champions in friendly action the other night against Ajax, I can't fathom their recent domination. The team seems packed to the rafters with players not quite good enough for Premiership football or players who may have cut the grade once but have seriously let themselves slip. John Hartson, Chris Sutton, Alan Thompson, Steve Guppy…

If there's one thing about football North of the border that really gets up my nose, it's how the smaller clubs are marginalized even more so than in England. If a club other than R or C unearths a star or resurrects the career of a veteran, one of the ‘big two’ buy him for a laughable fee and either leave him to rot in the reserves or (more rarely) end up making an even bigger star of him. It's not so much the fact that the smaller club loses an important player, it's that the fee paid is an insult to the idea of sharing the wealth.

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