And here we've come to Memorial Monday or May Bank Holiday...whichever you're experiencing, I hope you're being lazy like me, lolling in the bed and searching for soccer articles. A few things of interest:
Aston Villa are set to host La Liga club Valencia on Friday, August 6th. At Villa Park, of course, in case you missed the "host" part of that sentence. Should you be lucky enough to be able to attend this friendly, more details can be found on the official AVFC site. As for me, I'm just sad that David Villa left Valencia for Barcelona, because that would be a potentially hilarious bit of announcing.
Everton beat out something like twenty clubs, if you want to believe the hype and the gossip columns, to sign former Leeds striker Jermaine Beckford. Beckford will be jumping two levels from League One football to find himself in the Premier League, but the Toffees seem to think that his 31 goals in all competitions last season have created a solid enough reputation that they could afford to spend...nothing. Hey, he's a free transfer, why not take a chance? Now if only they'd sign yet another midfielder so that Bilyaletdinov could be on the market.
Fabio Capello has told the press he already knows which seven players won't be included in the 23-man South Africa squad, yet he's making the rest of us wait until tomorrow to find out. It's almost certain that Scott Parker, Matthew Upson, Michael Dawson and (sniff) Stephen Warnock won't be headed to the World Cup, given that none played a single minute against either Mexico or Japan. That leaves three more players to be cut. I'm guessing Darren Bent, who did not impress yesterday against Japan and who made a strong case that he only shone last season due to being a bright spot against a dull Sunderland background. Adam Johnson only got a few minutes of time against Mexico, and although he didn't make any mistakes, he likely isn't going this round. He's young, and he'll be there next time. There's one more that will hear the rejection call, and the likely candidates are Tom Huddlestone, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Michael Carrick. I firmly believe that Carrick deserves no spot on a World Cup roster, considering his frustrating performance against Mexico, but Capello likes him enough so it will likely be SWP that is dropped. Of course, you can visit any English media outlet and they'll be making different guesses than I, so I wouldn't go placing bets on these names.