I woke up this morning with emails from two different people telling me we are in for Ballack. And today’s New’s of the World has run with the ‘story’ as well as it being discussed on other forums by some people who rarely get stuff like this wrong (connections to the club). I’m beginning to wonder.. although I remain sceptical some of the people talking about this now are not ones for idle gossip/banter, so I dunno anymore. *shrugs. I’d love to know what the word is in and around Munich about Ballack. Anywho, if we had the choice between Ballack and Baptista who would you like to see at the club? I suppose the obvious choice is Ballack but I think the two are worthy of a pros and cons analysis to help with the vote Ballack Pros - This guy is a proven world class talent. In fact, he would have the choice to join any top club in the world – many would demote a player to the bench to accommodate him. - Technically sound in all aspects of his game from shooting on either foot to passing, heading, tackling (when he can be bothered) to the intelligence he displays when making his runs into the box. - Has a huge amount of big game and CL experience. - Would be absolutely undaunted in any way playing for Manchester United i.e he’d cope with the pressures associated with the expectation of winning/delivering every week, easily. - A midfield of –Ballack—Keane—Scholes? Hmmm… - An actual threat on corners and can take FK’s - He has a great scoring record from midfield. - The league he is coming from is very physical, the EPL should hold no surprises to him whatsoever. - David Jones could have no better midfield set to learn aspects of the game from then Ballack, Keane and Scholes - He undoubtedly enhances the actual 1st team immediately. To such an extent you would expect our midfield to be the best in the league. Cons - He’s 28. Although he has 2-3years where he is supposed to be in his foot-balling prime. - His ego is huge. If he doesn’t hit it off with SAF and his team-mates huge trouble ahead. Disharmony in the dressing room perhaps. - His arrival demotes Fletcher to the bench. You start a fit Ballack regardless of the system you play. Baptista Pros - He is only 23. That is a potential decade of service or the chance to sell him on for more than we pay for him. - He gives our midfield some badly needed pace and energy – this is something Ballack cannot deliever. - He scores lots and lots of goals. He has a great eye for the net. - Very hard player to contain. He and Rooney in the same team would be a nightmare to stop. - He can play 4 different positions and is cover for the 3 positions he is not playing in in any particular game. - Strong as an ox and robust. You would think he is ideal for the EPL if he has the heart for the battle (everything about him suggests he has to me) - A player that could become great with us and moulded into whatever we wanted. Cons - It has to be said that there is a lot more risk getting Baptista then Ballack who is an actual world star of the game. - He has no CL experience. - The acclimatisation process has to be something to consider. - 2 seasons of top level performance is small change compared to Ballack. - I’m not sure how much Bayern would want for Ballack but, as he is in the last year of his contract, I think Baptista would actually cost us more to sign as he has a few years left on his. I guess it would even out when wages are factored in. Feel free to add on pros and cons. I’m just wondering which way people will sway given such a choice. Essien is Chelsea’s to lose. I’d be perfectly happy with either of these two in our team and Jones coming through and then us either going in for Essien (if he’s still at Lyon) or someone else next year as the Keane replacement if Jones is still not ready by the end of this upcoming season. If king tw@t Rio signs, I’d say that would be our lot for the summer and we’d have a serious squad capable of winning the title.