Thereâ€™s news today that Sam Allardyce was at Anfield last night, and didnâ€™t even bother to check out Saturdayâ€™s opponents Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park, where they were thrashed 4-0 by Aston Villa. We hope that doesn’t cause a good reaction from Rovers against us on Saturday.
Porto didnâ€™t fare much better last night, going down 4-1 to the Liverpool giants, in their Champions League tie. The win means Liverpool have only to win their final qualifying game against Marseilles to go through to the next round of the Champions League, and they certainly appear to be in resurgent form, with Torres getting two goals.
Bruno Alves – 6′ 2″ Portugal defender is excellent in the air
The Newcastle United manager was apparently looking over Portoâ€™s 26-year-old center-back Bruno Alves, who was also watched by top scout Bobby Saxton just last week. Thereâ€™s no doubt that Sam has his scouts looking all over for defensive reinforcements, before the January transfer window opens. We also understand that Newcastle were in Holland on Sunday to check out 24-year-old Swedish defender Jonas Olsson, of NEC Nijmegen in the Dutch League.
Paul Montgomery was also seen at Parkhead where Celtic beat Shakhtar Donetsk 1-0, and apparently some of the Ukrainian players were the focus there. So it does look like Sam is thinking about further strengthening his defense â€“ but if he brings in new players for the back line, he may have to unload one or two of them in the summer, since we brought in 6 defenders just 3 months ago.
And exactly how much Sam will be given to spend in January, will depend on both who he wants and how well we do in our next 7 games before the end of the year.
Bruno Eduardo Regufe Alves, who was born in November, 1981, is a 6â€™ 2â€ central defender at Porto, for whom he has played 35 times since 2005 and scored 2 goals. He is strong tall player who is a particularly good header of the ball. Alves gained a place to in the FC Porto starting eleven this season and has not looked back and Portugal manager Luiz Filipe Scolari gave the defender his full Portugal cap in June of this year against Kuwait. He has since played 6 times for his country and scored one goal.
But we don’t think a player outside the Premier League will be the instant success we need to steady the defense. We’d rather see Big Sam go after some tested Premiership players like Ben Haim of Chelsea and/or Olaf Mellberg of Aston Villa, although it appears Olaf does not want to stay in England.
What do you think? Which defenders should we be going after in January? Let us know – comments are always very welcome.