Scottish Premier League

Personality change at Killie

Share This Story

   
 

Wed, 26 Jun 2013 19:03:00

Werder Bremen have completed the signing of Italian full-back Luca Caldirola for an undisclosed fee from Inter Milan.

The 22-year-old, who spent last season on loan at Brescia, impressed at the European Under-21 Championships in Israel as Italy finished runners-up to Spain.

"Luca Caldirola is a very interesting player," said Bremen's director of sport Thomas Eichin.

"In spite of his young age he has plenty of experience. He is captain of Italy's Under-21s and has proven his leadership qualities at his previous clubs.

"We saw at the Under-21 Championships that he has lots of potential. He has a fine technique and a good eye, and he is very creative in opening up play too.

"We are delighted he has opted for Werder."

Caldirola, who passed his medical today, is looking forward to meeting his new team-mates.

"Werder Bremen is a big chance for me," he said. "As soon as my agent told me of Bremen's interest, I said I wanted to join them straight away.

"They're a club with a great tradition and I'm looking forward to the coming years."

Eichin has also dismissed reports linking Bundesliga side Bremen to numerous players, although links with former Borussia Dortmund striker Lucas Barrios were too strong for the director of sport to deny.

"I am regularly offered the services of up to 80 players every day.

"I am more than carefully looking at a name like (Lucas) Barrios, talking to my scouts and my manager about it.

"Of course, we will definitely keep on talking about this."

Barrios hopes to be available on a free transfer following contract wranglings with current club Guangzhou Evergrande of the Chinese Super League. The Paraguay international claims that he hasn't been paid by the club, having signed a four-year deal in July 2012.

The Killie chief opted for Johnston because of the disciplinary problems experienced by Kenny Shiels.

The former Queen of the South manager has agreed to two-year deal with the Rugby Park outfit after leaving Palmerston.

Irn-Bru Second Division-winning coach Allan Johnston replaces Northern Irishman Shiels, who was sacked after his outspoken media comments landed him a series of Scottish Football Association punishments.

And boardroom chief Johnston admitted the new manager's restrained disposition was among his selling points when selecting his dugout successor.

He said: "Having gone through some difficulties with Kenny, we didn't want to find ourselves in another situation like that.

"It was clear from the outset that Allan is a different personality and that he will focus on football and not get drawn into media situations in the way that Kenny was.

"Kenny was entertaining and refreshing. He always had lots of viewpoints to express. But unfortunately when you are involved in football you have got to operate within the football rules and you have got to respect the fact you are in the football family and treat everyone else - clubs, players, managers, rule-making bodies - with respect.

"There's a fine line between doing that and falling foul of the rules and regulations."

Shiels found himself on the receiving end of a four-match ban - two of which were suspended - following a row with Celtic boss Neil Lennon.

In April, he claimed Celtic were "the monster of Scottish football" following a spat over the nominations for the PFA Scotland Player of the Year awards and was later found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute and not acting in the best interests of football.

The punishment came less than six months after Shiels was banned for four matches after he accused fourth official Andrew Dallas of "fabrication" of evidence during a match against St Johnstone in November.

But Kilmarnock - who ended the season in ninth place in the Scottish Premier League - were able to dispense with his services after he failed to meet a contractual target which set finishing outside the bottom four as the minimum requirement.

His replacement though, confirmed no such clause had been written into his deal.

"We have not set any targets. We just go out to win every game. We will not be changing that philosophy," Allan Johnston said.

As well as the third-tier title, the new Kilmarnock boss also landed the Ramsdens Cup and PFA Scotland manager of the year prize with Queens last term but admitted he could not turn down a job in the SPL.

"It was a really hard decision, to be honest," he said.

"We had built a really good team and had a good relationship with the directors and supporters at Queens.

"It was a massive decision to leave but too big an opportunity to turn down."

The chairman continues to have his own troubles with outraged fans incensed by the decision to sack Shiels. Some are now following a not-a-penny-more mantra aiming to starve the hard-pressed club of vital resources.

But the new boss urged supporters to "get behind the team".

He added: "It makes a massive difference when the crowd is behind the team, especially when you have got young kids in there."

Allan Johnston declined to comment directly on the future of out-of-contract striker Kris Boyd but did say he was hopeful of adding to his squad, claiming had been promised funds by his namesake in charge of the Ayrshire outfit.

"We will be talking to a lot of players over the next month and we will need to bring in a lot of players to make sure we can compete in the Premier League," he said.

"The chairman said he is going to try and get right behind us and give us as much support as he can. There will be a transitional stage because a lot of players have left the club in the past season, so a lot of rebuilding to be done.

"Hopefully we can look to bring in at least six players but the more good players we can bring in to strengthen the squad can only help. We do have a lot of promising young players coming through so that is a major help too."

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

SOCCER Headlines