PRE-SEASON REVIEW

The Spoiler’s Summer Awards – Part Two

Aurelio De Laurentiis and Gokhan Inler

The star turn of the summer, joined by his new glamour signing…

There’s adulation for a Serie A club’s president, criticism of Arsenal’s impatient fans and Lyon’s lack of transfer activity in the second part of our pre-season review…

Most Entertaining Off-field Personality – Aurelio De Laurentiis
Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov made a late bid but as the SPL season has already started, he had to be disqualified. No doubt he’ll blame mafia forces at work. With most owners in England avoiding controversy and QPR’s letting Neil Warnock do all the talking, it was left to the ever reliable Serie A presidents to provide the fun. Surprisingly, Palermo’s Maurizio Zamparini was usurped by Napoli’s Aurelio De Laurentiis, who has laughed at Roberto Mancini, threatened Uruguay, called Lionel Messi a cretin, unveiled his star summer signing with the aid of a lion’s mask and, saving the best until last, kicked off at the meeting in which the new season’s fixtures were announced, running off and hitching a lift on a moped. What a hero!

WTH Moment – The climax of the Emirates Cup
The Emirates Cup has never signposted to how well a side will fare in the upcoming campaign – after all, Arsenal usually win it! To tempt fans to turn up this time, Thierry Henry and his New York Red Bulls were invited and the forward, having not been allowed to switch teams at half-time, instead helped his current side hold the Gunners to take the trophy. Oddly, the home crowd were furious at drawing a friendly, booing at full time at a volume that they’d struggle to match in a title decider.

Least Active Website – Olympique Lyonnais
It’s not just The Spoiler that has been quiet this summer (sorry again for that!). Imagine how painful it must be for Lyon fans to refresh their club site at an hourly rate eager for news of that elusive first summer signing only to be kept waiting for so long that the new Ligue 1 season is just days away. Instead, supporters of the seven-time champions of the 2000s have instead had to read about their latest pre-season defeats, before receiving a crumb of comfort that someone might finally arrive on Monday with the news that former star Mahamadou Diarra is training with them.

Do any other players, managers or board members deserve a mention for their pre-season heroics? If so, shower them with praise below…


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