Gio Moves on, Nery Stays Put

I want to start this out with an update on Salvador Cabañas. Last night, his doctor stated that when they bring him out of sedation to run their battery of tests, he recognized his family members. Good news. This morning, though, the doctor stated that the cerebral edema has grown, which is adding pressure in the skull. The doctor went on to say that this is what they expected, so they will have to keep him sedated in order to hopefully slow down the edema. In these cases, according to the doctor, the edema peaks 72 hours after the initial trauma.

¡Fuerza, Chava!

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There are 11 Mexican players that are honing their craft in Europe.

Or at least they are trying to hone their craft.

The 2009-2010 season for the Mexican expats has been highlighted by injury and inactivity. Rafa Marquez has been slow to regain his form after sustaining a knee injury in last year’s champions league. Andres Guardado was having a a fine season before he was brutally tackled a few weeks ago, aggravating a calf injury. He is out at least another month. Same with Guille Franco, who was playing well for West Ham before he went down with another setback. Giovani Dos Santos missed Tottenham’s pre-season due to Tri duty, and when he finally got back to action, he was clattered down. He suffered a 2nd degree ankle sprain and was out for 3 months.

There are some that do see the field: Carlos Vela has gotten a few bones from Arsene at Arsenal. Hector Moreno and Francisco “Maza” Rodriguez are regulars with AZ and PSV in the Dutch league. Carlos Salcido and Ricardo Osorio are not playing as regularly, but are playing nonetheless.

And then there is the curious case of Nery Castillo. You remember Nery, don’t you? Prodigious talent. Temperamental personality. Occasional crazy. After a splendid Copa America in 2007, he took the big money offer to play for Shahktar Donetsk, spurning Olympiakos, the club he had been with since he was 16. Arguments with the coach and poor decisions left him out of favor with the Ukrainians. He then went on loan to Man City, only to separate his shoulder a few weeks into the spell. Back to the Ukraine he went, but not before trying fruitlessly to secure another loan spell with Real Betis.

Limited action is a kind way to describe what Nery had in 08-09. He did, though, ruffle feathers in Mexico with his “I’m in Europe and you’re in Mexico” tirade during the SGE era. Nery started two games for the Tri in the hex, and both times he had to be subbed early for injury. Inactivity will do that to you.

This year saw him being sent on loan to another Ukrainian team: Dnipro. We all thought that would be great. PT is what he needs, and he’ll get back to his brilliant level of play again. He doesn’t even see the bench. Nery knows that he has to play in order to be considered for the World Cup, so he spent the better part of this winter break to secure a loan back to the club where he was nicknamed Nintendo: Olympiakos.

Let me preface this by saying that I am not making any of this up. On January 14, his agent confirmed that the two sides had come to terms on a loan spell. 1.5 Euros for a year and half loan. All they needed was the fax from Shahktar to seal the deal to come over the weekend. The fax comes. It has different terms altogether. No deal. The following Tuesday, Nery’s rep assures the media that a deal had been reached, it was just that the Ukrainian elecetions had delayed the response. The fax will close the deal. The fax comes. It says no loan, but we’ll sell him for 12 MM euros. No deal. It’s still not over. Last Friday, Nery’s team again convinces Shahktar to agree to a new term (2 MM Euros, for 1.5 years), if the Ukrainians send along that crucial fax, of course. Nery would play the difference from the original deal.

On Monday, Nery literally blockaded himself in the Olympiakos front office until the fax arrived. It did. But the Ukrainians changed the terms again. 2.3 MM for 1.5 years. “What do you mean Ukraine is weak?”

It’s been a rough few years for Nery. In addition to his footballing career cratering, he lost both his parents to cancer a few months apart. He had a kid, but then got separated from his better half. It’s no wonder he acted BS crazy when he got minutes in the Hex. There is no denying that he is difference maker, but 3 years of inactivity is going to make it very hard for him to earn a spot in the final 23.

Mexico did get some good news on the transfer front from the other side of the Bosporus. Turkish giant, Galatasaray agreed to terms with Tottenham for a 6 month loan (and an option to buy) for Giovani Dos Santos. Gio will reunite with his former coach, Frank Rijkaard. I’ll admit that I do not know much about the Turkish Super League other than the fact that fanatical is not a strong enough adjetive to describe the fanbases. And if the national team’s performance is any kind of barometer, then I have to think the quality of play in the Turkish league is pretty good.

The most important thing for Mexico, though, is for Gio to get back into form and find his rhythm. He did that last year when he was loaned to Ipswich Town toward the end of the season. He was sensational in the Gold Cup that followed.