Pablo Daniel Osvaldo

Pablo Daniel Osvaldo still a no-show for Southampton

Leave a comment

Southampton’s resident bad-boy continues to grab headlines. Pablo Daniel Osvaldo, a record signing for the Saints last season, left Roma amidst a host of discipline issues, issues that also saw him kept out of the Italy national team. He then fell out of favor with his new club after headbutting his own teammate.

Now he’s gone missing for Southampton preseason training. The Saints began their preparation for the 2014-15 Premier League season two weeks ago, but Osvaldo missed out due to medical reasons. He even had a doctor’s note.

But the forward’s excused absence only extended to last Sunday, yet Osvaldo is still nowhere to be found. It seems, however, that the club are aware of the reasons behind his absence and have given their approval — even if they’re not sharing the story.

It seems likely, however, that Osvaldo’s lack of training with the club gives further reason to believe that he’s played his last game with Southampton. He was already listed as available for transfer back in January, after headbuttting teammate José Fonte — in fact, many suspected he’d done it just to engineer a move away from the club.

To an extent, it worked. Osvaldo went back to Italy, joining Juventus on loan. But with few league starts and just one league goal — against former club Roma — the bianconeri declined to make the move permanent.

Now Southampton must find a willing buyer. The club paid around $22m just last year, but between Osvaldo’s reputation, the headbutt and his disappointing season, they will be lucky to find a team willing to pay even close to that. Internazionale are interested, but they are holding out for a loan, with the option to buy at the end of the season.

Norwich vs. Southampton: Lineups and Discussion

Leave a comment

Southampton travel to Norwich today, hoping to keep their unbeaten streak alive (10 am ET, watch live via NBC Sports Live Extra). The Saints have picked up four points from their first two matches and Mauricio Pochettino’s men are hoping for three in a row against a slightly struggling Norwich side.

Southampton made a good start to the season with a 1-0 away win over West Brom, but were held to a 1-1 draw by Sunderland last week. However, the Saints have something special up their sleeve for Norwich, as they’re handing a debut to new forward Pablo Osvaldo. The Italian international joins from Roma, and his appearance on the pitch could very well bring a dramatic goal…or an elbow to the forehead and an instant red card. Either way, things could get interesting.

Norwich played out a 2-2 thriller against Everton to start off the year, but couldn’t find a goal against Hull City last week, losing 1-0. With just one point to their name, the Canaries are already looking to turn the season around. Chris Hughton is hoping that making a couple of changes to his lineup will help: Johan Elmander makes his full Premier League debut today, while captain Sebastien Bassong also returns after missing the first two matches through injury.

Will Norwich get off the ground today at Carrow Road? Will Southampton make the Canaries sing? Or will it be a dull day all around? Seems unlikely, considering these two’s styles, but tell us what you think.

Lineups

Norwich:  Ruddy; Whittaker, Bassong, Turner, Garrido; Snodgrass, Fer, Johnson, Redmond; Elmander; van Wolfswinkel.

Southampton:  Boruc, Chambers, Fonte, Lovren, Fox, Wanyama, Schneiderlin, Ward-Prowse, Lallana, Osvaldo, Lambert.

Fiery striker Pablo Osvaldo set to join Fulham… this could go badly

3 Comments

Controversial AS Roma striker Pablo Osvaldo is close to securing a switch to Premier League side Fulham.

Why the negative vibe you ask? Well, he’s got previous.

The only reason Osvaldo is leaving Roma is because he’s had an almighty fall out with just about everyone at the club.

Do Fulham and their new mega-rich owner Shadid Khan really want to deal with Osvaldo’s antics next season?

Also, what if he doesn’t get along with Dimitar Berbatov? That has the potential, from those two alone, to make Fulham’s locker room one of the stroppiest and most negative in the Premier League.

But it shouldn’t all be doom and gloom.

Behind the veil of a troubled and flamboyant individual lies a sensational soccer player. How often do we see these mercurial talents gone bad in today’s game? Mario Balotelli, Joey Barton, Carlos Tevez and a handful of others could easily take the mantle as soccer’s bad boys.

Yet Italian international Osvaldo has the potential to be one of the very best. In flashes he has shown his goalscoring potential at Roma and in La Liga at Espanyol. The Argentine born striker has scored 47 goals in his last 99 league games, he is as strong as an ox, has incredible acceleration and can bring others into the game telepathically with his hold up play. On his day, he’s sensational.

But when things don’t go his way, it’s not a pretty sight. He’s been sent off nine times in six seasons, has returned late for winter camps, fans have vandalized his car at the training ground after he snatched a crucial penalty kick away from captain Francesco Totti… then missed it. The list goes on and on.

source: Getty Images
Can Osvaldo finally exorcise his demons?

Like I said, he has previous.

But the latest blowout from Osvaldo is why he’s on his way out of Roma. The 27-year-old was dropped for Roma’s biggest game in years, a Rome Derby in the Coppa Italia final in May against their bitter rivals Lazio.

Following Roma’s loss, Osvaldo refused to get his runners-up medal and insulted interim manager Aurelio Andreazzoli before punching an advertisement board used for post-match TV interviews. Andreazzoli didn’t hide his feelings towards Osvaldo.

“Causing a scene when the TV cameras are running is nothing new for him,” Andreazzoli said. “But then in private he just moans and whines. That’s his problem, though, not mine. For a player who represents the national team, he should have better ethics. But again, that’s his problem.”

After hearing that interview, Osvaldo sent out the following Tweet. “You’d do more good if you admitted to being incompetent… Go celebrate with Lazio.”

For that outburst Osvaldo was left out of Italy’s Confederations Cup squad. Oh dear. Someone didn’t go to the social media training day…

Anyway, at Fulham maybe Martin Jol can keep a handle on Osvaldo and get the best out of his talents. A change of scenery and a new challenge could do the Italian forward the world of good.

But if it all goes pear shaped, expect an in-game scuffle between him and Berbatov. Flip a coin, this could go either way for Fulham.

Gervinho close to Roma switch – agrees to terms

1 Comment

The last 24 hours have seen multiple reports declare Arsenal are in talks with Serie A side Roma to sell oft-injured striker Gervinho.

Now, Sky Italia are reporting Gervinho has agreed to terms with the Italian club, and all that remains to complete the deal is for the two sides to close the €1.5 million ($1.98 million) gap in their evaluations of the player.

Depending on the reports you trust, it would seem the possible transfer fee is anywhere between €7 and 9.8 million.

https://twitter.com/tancredipalmeri/status/360472440951934978/

The 26-year-old Ivorian hasn’t been able to cement a solid first-team role at the Emirates since moving from Lille two years ago.  Much of that is due to his long injury history.  He’s also been accused of diving by Newcastle manager Alan Pardew and suspended three matches for slapping Joey Barton in his Premier League debut.

He’s scored 11 goals in 63 appearances (45 starts) for Arsenal across all competitions.  Gervinho’s former manager at Lille, Rudi Garcia, is now the manager at Roma, having just taken the job in June.

Many have also speculated that the deal could involve a swap for Roma striker Pablo Daniel Osvaldo instead of straight cash, although the Italian has not nailed down where he wishes to end up, with Fulham also heavily in the mix.