Thursday, 22 December 2011

No Plan B?

After a fourth defeat in the last five games QPR now after a promising start look to be facing a relegation battle. QPR need improvements and fast, in the Premier League it’s quite easy to get in a bad run and slip down the table. Now with trips to Swansea and Arsenal it will be very hard to see where their next win will come from. What QPR need to do is to invest in the transfer window and quickly. There's no point waiting till the 31st January they need to sort the deals out fast. A centre half, centre midfielder and a striker is a must. They have been linked with the likes of Bent, Defoe, Pavlyuchenko, Zamora and Jelavic as forwards and hope to snap up Bassong if Cahill leaves Bolton and goes to Tottenham. Whatever happens they need to improve and quickly or Warnock could face talking another team down the first time of asking. Remember at Sheffield United? He was funny in his press conferences, but never had a plan B, blamed West Ham and Tevez and went down.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

The Only Way Is Europa.........

Here’s my little update from the world of football. Since my last blog both Manchester clubs have slipped out of the Champions League. It’s a blow for both teams as they would both fancy their chances of going the distance. The Europa League awaits them both but I fell City will take that tournament more seriously than United. Mancini has already said he would like to win it, and the noise from old Trafford are more of its an embarrassed feeling of being there.

In the Premier League, Tottenham's six game winning run came to an end at Stoke on Sunday. Arsenal are in the top four for the first time this season. They haven’t lost in the league since their defeat to Spurs back in October.
From the promoted sides Norwich are sitting in 10th Swansea 11th & QPR 13th. All three clubs will be more than happy to finish there come May.

Routed to the bottom are Bolton after their opening day win at Loftus Road they have only beaten Wigan & Stoke in the league. Losing the rest, but Coyle doesn't seem under pressure, not like his rival down the road Steve Kean. A man under pressure from fans since day one has had all type of stick. With a real battle on his hands to keep his job he will have to try and pick up wins fast as were nearing the transfer window, that could be a time when changes are made. Wigan sit in the last relegation place, but form has improved with two wins from their last three. However with Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Stoke coming next it will be a hard Christmas.

In the Championship Southampton are sitting pretty at the top with West Ham second. As always the Championship is tight, with 8 points separating 3rd & 12th.In League One Charlton have a 5 point gap from Sheffield Wednesday in seconded. MK Dons are the form team with 7 wins from their last 7 games.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Euro 2012 Draw

Group A
Poland (co-hosts)
Greece
Russia
Czech Republic

The co-host Poland will be happy with this draw; they face the Euro 2004 winners Greece which will be tricky. Remember Greece played the opening game of Euro 2004 when they beat Portugal and went on to win the whole tournament. I think Russia will be the strongest team in this group. Czech Republic will fancy their chances in grabbing that second spot but I think the host will edge it.

First: Russia Second: Poland

Group B
Holland
Denmark
Germany
Portugal

The ‘group of death’ as there is in every tournament. This one will be pretty good viewing for every football fan. Holland, the 2010 World Cup runner-up are the seeded team and a lot of expectations will be on them to finally live up to their expectations and win a tournament since Euro ’88. Germany maybe the strongest team in this group after a very impressive World Cup this young side are dangerous and with likes of Gomez and Klose to pick from to lead their attack they’re one of the early favourites. Portugal got through via the play-off & hopefully we see Ronaldo take a tournament by storm, he is capable so will it be next year? Denmark are the weakest team in this group, but FIFA ranked 11th have nothing to lose, their expected to go out, however would you be surprised if they sneaked through?

First: Germany Second: Holland

Group C
Spain (holders)
Italy
Republic of Ireland
Croatia

The holders will have to be cautious in this tricky group. Italy them 2-1 recently and Ireland will show no fear. Spain will get through as their quality is very strong. Italy do have a bit of a striker problem and a lot will depend on Mario Balotelli, can this talented player show what he has on the national stage? Ireland again a team who got through via the play-off will go into this tournament with confidence. They way the fixtures fall mean they could have showdown winner takes all game against Italy. Croatia are no walk over’s though, a steady side hard to break down and with some talented players they will be a danger.

First Spain Second: Ireland


Group D
Ukraine (co-hosts)
Sweden
France
England

Again like their fellow co-hosts they will be happy with this draw. Getting England means a lot of hype around that game and beating them would go down in history. However heir best chance is finishing second. Sweden is a side who can’t be taken lightly and if they win their opening game they will fancy their chances. France after a very poor World Cup have had a bit of a clear out and this fresher side will think they can top this group. England will be pleased with this group. They have beaten Sweden recently, and should beat Ukraine. The danger is that first game against France where it’s a must not lose game.

First England Second: France


Thursday, 24 November 2011

Where has as it all gone wrong for Chelsea?

After Chelsea’s defeat in Germany to Bayer Leverkusen manager Andre Villas-Boas is a man under serious pressure no matter what he thinks. As Chelsea sank to their third defeat from their last five games I look into where has it gone wrong? Well Chelsea was on a run of six unbeaten going in to their game at Loftus Road towards the end of October. A game where Chelsea thought they would walk all over their London rivals. This didn’t happen that day in West London Chelsea lost the game and lost the plot. The repercussions of that match have still left an effect. QPR won 1-0, but the game will also be remembered for John Terry’s racist slur, Chelsea’s ill-disciplined team (7 yellows and 2 reds). Plus AVB was fined £12,000 after the game for comments made about the referee.

Since that match Chelsea have only beaten Blackburn Rovers & Everton on penalties. Their defence looks weak, Terry is getting exposed and David Luiz is not the best partner. Centre of midfield is a problem, Lampard is not the player he once was and him not changing his game is holding back Chelsea. If you look at Ballack yesterday, who was similar to Lampard has changed his game for the team. If Lampard wants to continue at Chelsea he has to change his game. The other players around him don’t really seem to be clicking at all. Mikel, Ramires & Meireles basically do the same thing. There’s not much creativity in there. Up top there’s an even bigger problem, a 50 million pound one. Torres has not looked like the player he was and if he doesn’t improve the big money flop could find himself out the door. I still feel Drogba can do a job but he wants to be loved and played week in week out, Chelsea won’t give him that. Sturridge looks good but he can’t do it on his own.

Where does Chelsea go now? Well Wolves next should be an easy win. Liverpool return in the Carling Cup which could go either way depending on what team is sent out. A trip to Newcastle in early December will be hard, and then Valencia comes to the Bridge in a massive Champions League game after that, with Manchester City four days later. Will AVB still be there come then? Only time will tell.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

After this weekend’s events what have we learnt in the Premier League.

Firstly its Man City’s title to lose, 11 wins and 1 draw in the league at this point they look unstoppable. Man United have a problem in centre midfield. Rooney is filling a gap there and Fergie knows he has a problem. There’s a lack of creative talent in the centre of the park, missing out on Nasri & Sneijder is showing plus the loss of Scholes showed how good he really was. Young could move into the centre where he did play for Aston Villa which could be an option.

Tottenham look to be firing on all cylinders now, pace down both wings and they have the creative spark with Modric and Van Der Vaart. Now with Scott Parker doing the dirty work they look in good condition for top 4. Newcastle United’s first test against City was always going to be hard after an easy start to the season, but they do look solid at the back and have been exciting to watch. Chelsea look to have forgotten how to defend, lost their strength and lost that fear factor about them. This was everything Mourinho worked so hard making them do. AVB is struggling, coming from Portugal where it’s easy to be successful if you’re managing FC Porto he is now seeing how hard it is in England. Liverpool beating Chelsea shows they can compete against the tops sides and look much better without Carroll. They should get top 6 but not top 4.

Arsenal had a slow start to the campaign but are now roaring up the table, but if they get an injury to Robin Van Persie who will get the goals? QPR have made the best start out of the promoted clubs, their win at Stoke showed they have the bottle for the fight, but you wouldn’t expect anything less from a Warnock side. At the other end of the table Bolton look to be the contenders of the big side to go down. The other North West sides don’t seem to be fairing well either, as Wigan look doomed and Blackburn Rovers with Steve Kean struggling to win the fans over it will be a tough winter for them.

Monday, 14 November 2011

England are going to win the Euro's!

You could get carried away with England's beating of Spain last week but whatever Cesc Fabregas says England did play OK and their tactics threw the Spanish team. Yes Spain usually face teams that will play with two banks of four but they normally break through. Saturday they didn't and that gives England a little more hope going into the Euros. By playing like England did they will either, win 1-0 every game, draw 0-0 or lose 1-0. Only time will tell if England's tournament form has improved as we know they can get through the group stages with ease. But here's a few reason to be optimistic.

1. The youth have no fear. The likes of Phil Jones, Jack Rodwell, Danny Welbeck, Kyle Walker all look like this could and will rise to the occasion when need. Unlike the old crop who looked scared and nervous playing for England this lot look to be as cool as a cucumbers.

2. Great Keeper, Joe Hart is ever present for City, kept out one of the best keepers in Shay Given last year. He should have started at the World Cup.

3. No Gerrard / Lampard problem. Now with a 3 man centre midfield this issue has gone. Parker does the dirty work then Jack Wilshere plus another will do the rest.

4. Poland and Ukraine, it won’t be too hot which has been a cause of many excuses for years with England.

5 The WAGS are back so you never know!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

England...

Would it be a bad thing if England didn’t qualify for Euro 2012? Would it be a bad thing? Capello is leaving after the Euro 2012 tournament. So do we want to go to another tournament with high hopes and fail again? I’m telling you if England head to the Euros with Capello once again it will be a quarter final fail because Capello and England don’t know how to play in tournaments. The old guard is still there stealing positions and players who won’t be anywhere near the squad come Brazil 2014. England need to plan or the future now. Harry Redknapp in, make sure Wilshere is fit. Bring Welbeck, Sturridge, Carrol, Rooney, Bent because their the future.

Nasty Chants...AGAIN. But is it that bad?

With what happen at White Hart Lane last Sunday, I do feel slightly sorry for Arsenal fans, and I’m not talking about losing 2-1 to their rivals Spurs. What I am talking about is the chanting directed to Adebayor. Now for some reason a chant as naughty as it was is being talked about as if it’s the sin of the century. This chant or chants going on at this game has been going on for years, remember the Tottenham fans were at it too. They even came up with the first Adebayor song! and the Wenger one was if I’m right was started by Manchester United fans. If you don't know the chants I’m sure you can find it on Youtube if you have that time on your hands. Anyway the question is, Is it right that these chants happen? Should fans been thrown out? Is it as bad as racism or is it just banter at the football?


I don’t think it could ever be stopped, and banning fans won’t help. There’s always someone else who will die for a ticket and that fan could just as well sing these songs. Of course it’s just a minority of fans doing it and I’m pretty sure that same fan who sings derogatory songs to Adebayor , Redknapp, Rooney, Giggs, Cole, Terry etc etc I’m sure if they saw them in the street they would probably ask for an autograph and a picture and post it on their Facebook.


Follow on Twitter @Sean_FootyMad

Friday, 23 September 2011

Nasty Chants

After the Leeds United v Manchester United game this week, there was a dark cloud that shadowed the great performance by Man United and especially Micheal Owen. The rivalry between the two clubs everyone knows is nasty. It's different to United v City or even United v Liverpool because Leeds are not as successful as the Reds or have the money of City. This weeks incident in question was the back and fourth chanting about each clubs disasters. We know what they were, but is it time for action against these chants? They are inexcusable and nasty, but how could it be stopped. The fans that sing it may have been very young at the time and not seen how bad it was, or do it as part of the tribal football fan atmosphere. It would be very hard for police to pinpoint fans that start the songs or bring banners in the stadiums but video technology and other forms of CCTV and data base systems could track them down. Its a situation that comes across all around the country not just with the two teams I have mentioned. It happens at Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal Celtic Rangers etc, hopefully it don't cause another incident which the fans are chanting about.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

My Update

Haven’t blogged for a while so let’s have a quick look at what’s been happening around the footballing world. In the Premier league, QPR have a new owner & have brought a host of new players including Joey Barton, who is now the captain. Arsenal are struggling and seem to be leaking goals like a dodgy tap. Wenger replaced super-stars Nasri & Fabregas with Yossi Benayoun and Mikel Arteta, not exactly like for like. Chelsea wouldn’t sell Arsenal a player they think is good enough to improve a rival and Arteta is too injury prone.


Torres slowly is looking like he is getting back to some decent form for Chelsea. However his open goal miss at Old Trafford will knock his confidence again. Manchester City look very strong and the title at this point in time looks like it’s heading to Manchester with United also having a great start.

In the Championship its very tight, Southampton lead the way at the minute but West Ham do look very strong with a load of Premier League quality players there they should get there or there abouts.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Premier League Predictions 2011/12


1. Manchester United
2. Manchetser City
3.Chelsea
4.Liverpool
5.Arsenal
6.Tottenham

To go down:
Blackburn
Wigan
Norwich City

Premier League 2011/12 Preview

Arsenal


Well as I write this Fabregas & Nasri are still at The Emirates, but if they stay which I severely doubt they will find it hard this season. Yes Arsenal can play the best football in the Premier League, yes when it’s going well it all looks brilliant, but when it’s bad, it goes very bad very quickly and usually from February to the end of the season. Arsenal would be great if they had a decent keeper, 2 big strong centre-backs, a defensive midfielder and maybe a striker. What Wenger has brought in is another Theo Walcott in Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain. The pressure is on Wenger to end Arsenal’s long wait for an honour, I think the wait will continue.


Key Man- Jack Wilshere – The England man has progressed faster than Ramsey, and will have a lot of pressure to fill in the gaps left by Nasri or Fabregas. If he can add goals he will & control his fiery temperature he could become the Paul Scholes of Arsenal.


Stat-The Gunners had a league high 17 different goal scorers in 2010/11


Aston Villa


There was unrest at the appointment of Alex McLeish from near neighbours Birmingham City, they have sold Young & Downing. That’s around 20 goals and 35 assists lost already. They have brought in a quality keeper in Given and Charles N’Zogbia , and do have some good young players in Bannan, Albrighton & Delph. They will of course rely on Bent to supply most the goals, but if he doesn’t get the supply Villa will find it hard. Villa must have a good start or the fans will get on the back of Big Eck faster than Agbonlahor in a 100m sprint.


Key Man – Has to be Darren Bent, he will get the bulk of the goals and is hoping to have a good season so he is front runner for that England number 9 shirt next summer.


Stat- 81% of Villa’s goals last season was scored by an English player.

Blackburn Rovers


Kean kept them up by the skin of their teeth last season. Rovers are a team that you know will work hard but their main problem is scoring goals. This season I think they will struggle. No real goal scorer.


Key Man- David Jnr Hoilett, the Canadian born forward shone last year towards the end of the season. Rovers will need a big season from him.


Stat- If all Premier League games finished at half time last season Blackburn would have finished 4th.


Bolton


Bolton had a great season and then it all went a little wrong when they faced Stoke in the FA Cup semi final, after that crushing defeat they lost their last five PL games. Daniel Sturridge has gone, Lee & Tyrone Mears are out for long periods with have broken legs. Stuart Holden is coming back from injury and the future of Gary Cahill is still in doubt.


Key Man- Kevin Davies is still the key part to how Bolton play. Coyle has made them more eye catching but there main tactics is using Davies’ power, strength and height to good effect.


Stat- Used a joint low of 24 players in the PL last season.


Chelsea


With a new manager Andre Villas-Boas at the helm there’s a sense that Chelsea may have got a manager to lead them to where Roman wants them to be, Champions League winners. The League though is the bread and butter. AVB will want to get this Chelsea team back in line like Mourinho had them. I think his strict attitude is what Chelsea need, they haven’t brought anyone of yet, but Modric is the player they want. The main issue for Chelsea is making the team work with Torres, get that right Chelsea can go a long way.


Key Man – Frank Lampard, missed a lot of last season with injury. If Chelsea can get 20 goals out of him again & keep him fit he could firmly put his name down in the greats of Chelsea history.


Stat- The Blues defenders netted league high 11 goals in 2010/11


Everton


Either they start the season slow and get better, or come out the block fast & get worse. Last year it was slow so all the Everton fans hope the pattern will continue. They once again haven’t spent money but do have a very good team when all fit. Moyes though may be coming to an end at Goodison, I think he has taken them as far as he can & with lack of investment he may see a new challenge elsewhere.
Key Man- Leighton Baines, broke into the England squad last season, he can play left back or wing, can score goals and has a great delivery from a dead ball. A good season from him may get him another opportunity on the international stage.


Stat- Everton had 12 shots cleared off the line last season the most in the Premier League.


Fulham


Martin Jol has come in and Fulham fans can look forward to his attacking forward this season. Fulham rely on their home form to survive and this season will be no different. The Europa League may become a distraction for a squad that doesn’t have much depth.


Key Man- Clint Dempsey, he consistently gives good performances and chips n with the goals. The American international is a fans favourite and will want to have another good season.


Stat- Fulham only conceded one penalty last season.


Liverpool


This is a massive season for Liverpool, no European football means they can focus on the one thing Liverpool fans really want, a Premier League title. After being surpassed by United last season they no longer can hold that over them. Kenny has brought in £100m worth of talent so can Liverpool really mount a serious challenge?


Key Man- Luis Suarez, off the back of a great second half to the season, he went on to win the Copa America in the summer. Know he can show the Premier League how good he really is.


Stat- If the PL begun when King Kenny took over the reds would have finished 3rd.


Manchester City


The richest club in the world are now in the Champions League, this could be the start of a major shift in the footballing world. They won the FA Cup last season which is massive for the club. Now by adding Sergio Aguero & Clichy with the likes of Toure & Dzeko who already have a year in English football under their belts it’s a massive season.


Key Man- Vincent Kompany, with all Cities’ attacking options keeping it tight at the back is what’s going to be important. Kompany will be the new captain & will marshal that defence which will enable the more creative players to do their stuff.


Stat- City scored 24 goals in the opening 30 minutes of PL games in 2010/11 a PL high.


Manchester United


19. That means everything to everyone connected with United. Now the goal is 20. Sir Alex has brought in young players now to build for the future. Scholes leaving and Giggs coming to the end he has looked for players who can fill these massive gaps for years to come. Ashley Young, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones & Tom Cleverley will have all have massive seasons.

Key Man- Wayne Rooney, had a bit of a shaky start to the season, but ended well. He scored that goal against City, but still owes the United fans after his antics. He will want to get at least 20 goals in the league & stay fit for the Euros next summer.

Stat- Only one man scored a first-half goal at Old Trafford last season, Charlie Adam for Blackpool.


Newcastle United


The black clouds are gathering around St James as Barton causes controversy on twitter. Nolan & Enrique have gone so Pardew has a real job on his hands. The Cockney Mafia are not the most popular people in the toon, but Pardew has brought in Yohan Cabaye from Lille which is a very shrewd singing and hopefully he will link up with Cheik Tiote well.

Key Man- Cheik Tiote had a fantastic first season & will be remembered for his volley against Arsenal in the 4-4 draw. He does pick up a lot of yellow cards but the fans love him and will be vital in a midfield without Barton & Nolan.


Stat- St James’ Park saw more goals than any other PL ground in 2010/11 (68)


Norwich City


Back to back promotions might be one of the hardest things in football to do, but Lambert did it. Norwich scored so many last minute goals last year which shows they never give up, they have to carry on that belief this season. They will find it hard though and it could be a very long season.


Key Man- James Vaughan has PL experience from Everton even though he is young, his partnership with Holt will be crucial.
Stat- City scored 43 goals in the last 30 minutes of games last term more than any other side.

QPR


After a 15 year absence the Super Hoops find themselves back in the big time. They won the Championship in style but matters above have seen Warnock have to seal with only bringing in players on frees. Yes they did get DJ Campbell for £1.25m but surely they need to invest to have any chance of staying up? Warnock has the players backing, the fans backing but maybe not the board. QPR will rely on their home form to have any chance of staying up. Loftus Road is not a 30,000 brand new, shiny new bowl looking like stadium with a beautiful surface. This won’t suit the better teams and could play right into QPR’s favour.


Key Man- Adel Taarabt, tore apart the Championship, he didn’t get his move to PSG, but if he can show he do it in the PL he can become an even bigger hero at Loftus Road. He will be a marked man so it will be interesting to see how he deals with it.


Stat- The R’s kept 25 clean sheets last season 4 more than any other side.


Stoke City


Stoke last season showed their not just an aggressive side they can play a bit. Reaching the cup final was fantastic for them, & now in the Europa League it’s like a dream land for all Stoke fans. Their a solid team who all work for each other, now they have to reach that next step and have a solid top 10 finish and do their very best in Europe.
Key Man- Jonathan Walters had a very good season, can play right wing or up front, should be looking to get into the double figures this season.


Stat- Stoke took 570 long throws in 2010-11 the next highest was Bolton with 288.


Sunderland


Bruce has brought in virtually a whole new team. Injuries last season saw them plummet down the table so now they have numbers, but maybe not quality. Will be interesting to see how all the new players link up.


Key Man- Asamoah Gyan will be the main man up front, has lots of energy and flair and will want to improve on his 10 goals he scored last season.

Stat- The black cats have kept a clean sheet in 6 of their previous 10 opening day games.


Swansea City


The first time a Welsh team are ever in the Premier League, they play some exciting football and will be interesting to see if that style will work in the top flight.


Key Man- Scott Sinclair scored a hat-trick in the play-off final to cap off an excellent season. Now he will want to test himself against much better defenders His pace will be an outlet for the swans.


Stat- Sinclair scored 27 goals last season


Tottenham


Tottenham will aim to get back into the Champions League where they done very well last season. Their problem was scoring goals, & to date they still haven’t brought in a new striker. If they lose Modric it won’t be a good sign of intent. Spurs are also in the Europa League which Harry has clearly stated he doesn’t want to be in. I can see a good cup run for Spurs this season.

Key Man- R Van Der Vaart, when fit he will get the goals/ assists and make Spurs tick, however he is to injury prone.


Stat- Spurs scored more goals from outside the box than any other PL side (15)


West Brom


Roy Hodgson came in and steadied the baggies ship, they stay up with ease in the end & this season should be the same. The Shane Lon signing went under the radar but it was a great bit of business.
Key Man- Chris Burnt, an amazing left foot, great delivery gets the goals. How he is not at a bigger club yet is a shock to me.


Stat- The baggies went a record 34 PL games without a clean sheet in 2010/11


Wigan

Stayed up on the last day of the season, but after losing N’Zogbia I think their time is finally coming to an end in the top flight.

Key Man- Hugo Rodallega a great player who will have even more pressure on him, he can score but how much supply will he get?


Stat- Wigan are the only team to have played in the top flight & not be relegated.


Wolves


Nearly went down on the last day in fantastic style, but managed to save themselves just. McCarthy brought in Roger Johnson to sure up that defence and the signing of O’Hara will improve their midfield.


Key Man- Jamie O’Hara was on loan last year and done really well, now signed permanently he can be the star for the Wolves.


Stat- Wolves have won only 3 of their last 23 PL games on the road.


Friday, 5 August 2011

Football League Picks 2011/12

The Football League kicks off this weekend with the first game being Hull City v Blackpool. There’s some amazing stories in the football league, West Ham can they go straight back up? Leicester City, with Sven and all their money can they do it? The ‘Wally with a Brolly’ is at Forest, Leeds United a massive club can they go up? Brighton & Southampton can do a Norwich and get back to back promotions. Here’s my picks for the football league.

Championship

Promoted:


Leicester City
Leeds United

Play-Off:


West Ham United


Look out for – Hull City & Brighton

League One


Promoted:


Preston North-End
Sheffield United


Play-Off:


Scunthorpe United

Look out for- Brentford

League Two


Promoted:


Bristol Rovers
Crawley Town

Plymouth


Play-Off:


Torquay


Look out for– Swindon

Saturday, 23 July 2011

QPR £0 spent so far

With QPR looking like they’re going to lose star man Adel Taarabt and not re-invest in the team we have to start looking at their chances of staying in the Premier League. Losing Taarabt is bad, but not replacing him, or boosting the squad is going to be the writing on the wall. Rangers have brought in Jay Bothroyd & Kieron Dyer, both on free transfers. They are linked to Danny Gabbidon & Brian Murphy both will be frees. They gave new contracts to Cerny & Helguson and look like the deal for DJ Campbell will fall through. So it’s a grand total of £0 spent this transfer window. QPR could be the first team ever to get promoted to the Premier League and not spend any cash in the summer.


There’s clearly something wrong at Loftus Road. Do the board really back the manager? Warnock's job was in doubt as soon as they got promoted with various managers linked to his job. He hasn’t been given money to spend and it doesn’t look like he will. Players have also turned down a move to the club with his position not 100% being the reason not to come. Do the board really care about the club? Do they have the clubs best interests in heart? Well going by the ticket rise and no player or sponsorship deal I don’t think so. The best thing for QPR is to have this board go ASAP to give them any chance of staying in the Premier League. But I fear Rangers could start this season poorly, and this board will get rid of Warnock early and struggle to get to Christmas without being too far adrift from the pack. Whatever happens QPR do it in style and it will be a memorable season in W12.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Transfer Update

A lot of deals going through now and the rumour mill is over-flowing. Sunderland have been in the market the most so far. Their latest signings are Wes Brown & John O’Shea from Man United & David Vaughan from Blackpool. There good players who can play at this level. Sunderland fell short last season when they got struck by a number of injuries. So Bruce seems to boosting the squad by numbers. But is it a case of quantity not quality?


From the promoted side Norwich City have done the most business so far. They have brought in 6 new faces so far, nobody spectacular but Bradley Johnson & James Vaughan are good signings.


Stuart Downing seems to be the next big player looking for a way out of Villa. Arsenal have reportedly tabled an offer in the region £15-18million for the England winger. I’m not a fan of Downing. I think he had a good season in a very poor Villa team but is over-rated. He was meant to be England’s answer to the left wing when at Boro but that hasn’t happened. Also when at Boro’ he was top boy ahead of Adam Johnson who I think is and will become a much better player. But at least Arsenal finally looks like making their movements. They do need a centre back are there’s a few crying out for Arsene to get, Cahill & Samba for example. If they keep hold of their prized assets that’s a different story. Fabregas & Nasri are still Arsenal players but for how long?


Aston Villa are looking to bring in a new keeper maybe Shay Given but I could see Ben Foster moving across the city. There also looking at Spurs full back Alan Hutton. Stoke City look to have won the race for Carlton Cole for a deal around £6 million. Chelsea’s Michael Essien has been badly injured in training so maybe a move for Joao Moutinho at FC Porto or another look at Scott Parker is on the cards. Sergio Aguero is leaving Madrid, but to Juventus or can Man City see him as a replacement for Tevez who again has come out stating he wants to leave Manchester. Charles N’Zogbia looks set to leave Wigan and his destination could be Villa Park if Downing goes. Wesley Sneijder’s move to United has hit a snag with his wage demand.


The QPR front Danny Shittu has signed a new one year contract. Jay Bothroyd & Jimmy Bullard are still strongly linked to the club. Blackpool has signed veteran Kevin Phillips so it could mean DJ Campbell will be on his way to London, but I don’t think Rangers will get him more chance with Andy Jonson. They also have lost the race for Carlton Cole. Adel Taarabt looks more likely to be leaving the club with only PSG having made an offer. But I feel he will start the season at Loftus Road.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Transfer Update

A little update for you, Cesc Fabregas is still an Arsenal player for now. Barcelona are rumoured though to be making a £35million bid within the next couple of days. If and probably when he goes all eyes will be on Nasri. I think he will be offered a new bumper contract & maybe the captains’ armband. However Manchester United are looking for a Scholes replacement. Wesley Sneijder is one prospect; United will offer him a bumper contract and would be an ideal player for them. Looking closer to home Luka Modric is someone on the radar. Chelsea had a bid rejected, the player wants to leave and United tend to get a player from Spurs when they offer big money. But Nasri is also an option for United. He could be tempted as he sees Arsenal offloading stars rather than bringing them in. I say Cesc will go Nasri to stay. Rumour has it though; Bolton’s Gary Cahill has put his house up for sale and could be making his way down to the capital.

Connor Wickham has completed his move from Ipswich to Sunderland. Will be interesting to see if the England under21 star can make the grade in the Premier League. Other rumours are, Neymar targeted by five clubs, I would say Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City Chelsea & Inter. Also, Alexis Sanchez to Barcelona looks to be on the cards.


On the QPR front, deals for Jimmy Bullard and Jay Bothroyd look to be completed soon. QPR are being linked to a number of players, the likes of Hargreaves, Cannavaro won’t happen & I don’t think QPR fans want a croaked player anyway. Adel Taarabt is making comments, (don’t know how true) about looking for a move but Taarabt will start the season at Loftus Road. (PSG are eyeing up a £10million bid). Craig Mackail-Smith reportedly snubbed a move to QPR because they could not rely on Warnock being manager at the start of the season?

Monday, 20 June 2011

Transfer Update

This week’s main transfer movements and rumours surrounded Tottenham’s Luka Modric move to Chelsea. The player has come out and said he wants to leave but Tottenham, but Spurs Chairman Daniel Levy has said there’s no way Modric will leave the club. Spurs want to be aiming for the top four year in year out, so they have to keep players like Modric. However they are known for selling their better players when the big money comes in. (Carrick & Berbatov to Manchester United for example.) The fact the player has come out and said he wants to leave for a ‘bigger club’ and Champions League football tells me his days at Spurs are numbered. He will probably leave for around the £30million pound mark in the end. Spurs could then use this money and invest in a much needed forward, maybe Samuel Eto’o & rumours of a move for Liverpool flop Joe Cole.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Transfer Update

This week’s big transfer rumours and deals have been around the North West clubs. Liverpool have sealed a £20million move for Jordan Henderson from Sunderland. To me this is a bit too pricey for a play with one England cap, and had an average end to the season. Liverpool are showing intentions to mount a serious title challenge next year. They also moved for Phil Jones at Blackburn Rovers, but he looks like he will be heading to Manchester United. He already has had and passed a medical at Old Trafford now it’s just about finalising the fee. United also look to have clinched Ashley Young from Aston Villa. A good signing as he will be a replacement for Giggs. Nani & Valencia haven’t quite filled Ronaldo’s boots maybe the Englishman can continue his excellent form and progression at Man United.


Spurs picked up Brad Friedel on a free from Aston Villa, who if they don’t find a manager quickly may just find all their best players out the club. (Downing to Arsenal or Liverpool, Walker on loan to QPR) Norwich City have boosted their strike force brining in Steve Morison from Millwall, and Swansea got Danny Graham the Championship top scorer from Watford for £3.5m. There’s also speculation at Arsenal over Nasri & Fabregas. Rumours still mount that United are in for Nasri & Barcelona still linger around Cesc like a bad smell. Barcelona have three targets this summer, Cesc Fabregas, Giuseppse Rossi and Alexi Sanchez. They will probably get 2 out of the 3 and if Fabregas is one Arsenal may find it hard to keep hold of Nasri.


QPR WATCH



QPR have been linked to a squad of players, but I feel the players that will come in are Andy Johnson, Kyle Walker, Jenas, Bullard & maybe Robbie Keane but that depends on getting AJ or not.

Monday, 6 June 2011

End of season prediction review

Now the season is over I will look back at my predictions see how well I did. The order of the top 4 I got bang on. Manchester United, Chelsea, City then Arsenal in case you didn’t know. I got one of the relegated team right in Blackpool. I also had Wigan but they survived on the last day. FA Cup I had Man United that went to Man City. Carling Cup I had Arsenal who lost in the final to Birmingham City. Then for the Champions League I tipped Barcelona right at the start of the season and got that correct! I predicted QPR’s promotion right at the start of the season too.


Now through-out the summer I will keep an eye on England under 21’s tournament in Denmark where we have a decent chance of reaching the final but winning it will be hard. Spain looks like they will walk it. I also will try and keep up to date with the latest major transfer deals and rumours as best I can.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

BYE BYE BUBBLES!

The story of West Ham’s season is like a storyline out of hit Sky One football drama ‘Dream Team’. The drama on the pitch came to a dramatic end on Sunday with a defeat at Wigan which confirmed their relegation. The hammers have been pretty rubbish all season and I feel they truly deserve to go down. They had one good player but the rest really need to take a long look at themselves, as they let the club and the fans down. The likes of Keane, Bridge, Upson and Boa Morte have not pulled their weight. In true West Ham fashion they gave their loyal fans hope by leading 2-0 at Wigan at half time looking like the great escape was on. Then the nerves kicked in and they went down 3-2. To top that the West Ham board, David Gold, David Sullivan & The Apprentice star, Karren Brady then swiftly sacked manager Avram Grant using a spare room at the JJB Stadium. The action didn’t stop there, at the end of season dinner, not so much a party; West Ham found themselves making the news again for all the wrong reasons. A fight broke out after a livid supporter confronted a player, then as it does in the east-end ‘it all kicked off’! The question now is what’s next at Upton Park? The last game is against Sunderland on Sunday and it may well have a very nasty atmosphere around it. The fans will be angry and disappointed after a disaster of a season, so the players and board will be in for a lot of stick. It will be the last time they see Scott Parker in a West Ham shirt so he will get a good send-off. But as the final whistle blows, they will all know they’re once again a Championship team. Looking to next season though, there is a bright side. They will play Millwall, Leeds & Cardiff City so queue 12pm Sunday kick-offs and a massive amount of police!

Monday, 9 May 2011

Play-Off Time!!

In the Championship it’s Swansea v Nottingham Forest & Cardiff v Reading.


My winner is Reading (Who I picked up at the start of the season)


In League 1: Huddersfield v Bournemouth & Peterborough v MK Dons.

My Winner: Huddersfield (Too strong for the rest after just missing out on the top 2)


In League 2: Shrewsbury v Torquay & Accrington v Stevenage


My Winner: Torquay United (Just got in the play-offs, there’s always one team who sneak up)

QPR back in the BIG TIME!

After an absence of 15 years Queens Park Rangers find themselves back in the big time, and it was fully deserved. It was a bit touch and go with all the speculation over the singing of Alejandro Faurlin and rumours of anything from point’s deductions, fines, relegation and even getting thrown out of football! In the end QPR heard the news everyone wanted to hear, just an hour before kick off on Saturday against Leeds the news came though that no point deduction would be given this meant QPR who lead the Championship from November would be going up as champions. To be fair it’s what they deserved. They have been the most consistent team in the league and have the best defensive record in the league. The team lead by Neil Warnock has been the best team by far. Warnock mixed experience, youth, pace, power and one magical Moroccan to take Rangers up to the Premier League. It’s now going to be very interesting to see what happens at Loftus Road now. They have some very VERY rich people behind them and could go crazy and buy their way to survival. Or do they stick with the core of the team that has done so well this season? Will Warnock stay or be pushed out? Will a bigger club come in for Taarbat? Whatever happens West London has a new addition in the Premier League and I know QPR fans can’t wait till that fixture list comes out.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

PFA Young Player Of The Year 2011

Samir Nasri

Started the season off flying, with the absence of Cesc he shone. But with injuries and Arsenal’s slump in form he faded, but still has had his best season at Arsenal scoring 9 goals.


Javier Hernandez


The little man from Mexico has had a great first season in England. He is a goal poacher who comes alive in the box. Similar to another United great Solskjaer is he carries on he can turn out to be even better.


Nani


Has had his best season at Old Trafford with 9 goals he is now showing the player he can be and why Fergie invested in him. His improvement co-insides with the departure of Ronaldo.

Jack Wilshere


He started the season as one of the Arsenal kids for the future, but now is a first team regular and an England starter. No player has grown more than Wilshere this season, who has held his own against some of the best midfielders across Europe this year.

Seamus Coleman


The young Irishman has been a key part to the Everton set up this season and is now getting recognised for his work. Others at Goodison may get the tabloid inches but he has a big future ahead of him.


Joe Hart

England and Manchester City’s number one has been consistent all season and there’s no sign of him giving up either jersey any time soon.


Gareth Bale


Has had a great season his hat-trick at the San Siro was a definite highlight, bagging 7 goals this season. He has tormented right backs all year. He would have done a lot more but the young Welshman still picks up a lot of injuries which could hinder him in the long run.


My pick would be Gareth Bale at Tottenham

PFA Player Of The Year 2011

Charlie Adam

The man from Scotland has been the star for Blackpool this season, with an impressive 9 goals so far. He is the talisman for the Sea-siders and deserved the January attention he got and will probably get his move at the end of the season.


Gareth Bale


Has had a great season his hat-trick at the San Siro was a definite highlight, bagging 7 goals this season. He has tormented right backs all year. He would have done a lot more but the young Welshman still picks up a lot of injuries which could hinder him in the long run.


Carlos Tevez


The best player at City by far this season, even though he did ask for a transfer in January he still has gone on to score 19 this season. City are a much better team with him in it, his hard work and never says die attitude.


Scott Parker


For a player whose team have been near the bottom all season he can come out with a lot of credit. Parker gets up and down the pitch every game and gives it his all. He deserved his place in the England team, deserves to be nominated for this award and deserves to be at a better club


Nemanja Vidic


Another solid season from the Serb, gives 100% every time he wears a United shirt. He sometimes goes over the top but the United fans love him. He is probably the best centre back in England and is well worth this nomination.


Samir Nasri


Started the season off flying, with the absence of Cesc he shone. But with injuries and Arsenal’s slump in form he faded, but still has had his best season at Arsenal scoring 9 goals.


My Winner would be Scott Parker at West Ham

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Champions League!!!

A footballing lesson was taught last night at the Bernabeu stadium last night, as Tottenham were well and truly beaten and are basically out of the Champions League. It was bad from start to end really as Aaron Lennon was taken ill minutes before the kick off which blew their game plan out the window. Then going 1-0 down to an ex Arsenal player wouldn’t have gone down well with the Spurs fans. But they were then let down by one of their most experienced and reliable players in Crouch. Two silly fouls equals two yellows which as we know is a red. From then on Madrid controlled the game and it was a matter of how many. Ronaldo move into the middle, Marcelo boomed down the left wing and Adebayor had his best game in a Madrid shirt. It will be a impossible task to come back from 4-0 down, even more with a Mourinho side, he won’t park the bus, a Real Madrid never do but he is more than capable of putting out a team to see out this tie.

In the other game Inter Milan were also given a beating by a Schalke side that are 10th in the Bundesliga. Three second half goals have basically put them in the semi-finals for the first time in their history. Inter did score probably the goal of the campaign:


But it will be very hard for the holders to make it through. Tonight’s game between Chelsea and Manchester United will be a tight affair. United lost on their last visit to the Bridge, but this time it looks like Ferdinand will play and Rooney will look to make more headlines. I can see United scoring, but Chelsea wining the game. My prediction is 2-1. In the other game Barcelona play Shakhtar I can’t see anything more than a home win I’m going for 3-0.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Wales v England Review

Wales 0-2 England

The game was a must win and they did. A formation of 4-3-3 shocked some fans but that change was needed a little too late but at least it has happened now. It was a comfortable win in the end. The goals came early and England never looked in trouble. Lampard scored from the spot his first goal for England for a long time, and Darren Bent scored the other. For me the most impressive players were Ashley Young, Jack Wilshere and Scott Parker. In a formation which suits these players Young destroyed the Welsh left back. He had a hand in both goals and looked comfortable playing there. He is a confidence player though and when things are going well he will look class. But what can he do against much tougher opposition? That will show how good a player he is. I think a move away from Villa will be on the cards soon so that may help his cause. The same argument can be made for Scott Parker. He been the best player at Upton Park this season and deserved a starting place. He done what needed to be done in front of the back four. He played it simple and easy, nothing special but a cool confident performance. I expected nothing less. Jack Wilshere passed his test for me. Clearly eased into his role next to Lampard some neat classy pass and moves. He looks now a starter for England for a little while now.

The game against Ghana will see a whole new England team as most have been released due to Champions League commitments. So that means another new captain. Whoever gets the armband will be proud to lead out his country in front a full Wembley Satdium, but he knows he is only really getting the nod as he is the only one left has the main boys have gone home!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Wales v England Preview

Today England take on Wales in the Euro 2012 Qualifier, it simply is a must win game for England. After the captaincy debacle it's matters on the pitch that matter. England should be beating teams like Wales, but we know England make nothing easy. It will be a full house and the proud Welsh fans will love to get one over their neighbours. Their hopes though took a massive blow as Bale was ruled out, now the main threat I feel lie in Craig Bellamy. On his day he can terrorise any defence and today Terry and Co better be weary.

We know England will start with Jack Wilshire in midfield so it will be a big test for him. He has in recent weeks shone in an Arsenal team that has struggled. Now he is making the step up to an England starter, it could be a massive kick on in his career. Wayne Rooney will be sure to start up front but who will partner him. Andy Carroll has just got back to full training and working his way to full fitness. Is he ready to start up front today? I would start with Peter Crouch; he has an excellent international record and works well with Rooney. He is a fans favourite and can handle the pressure of a hostile crowd at the Millennium. It won’t be an easy game for England and of course there is a massive amount of pressure on them.
The team I would select would be: Green, Johnson, Terry, Dawson, Cole, Lennon, Wilshere, Lampard, Young, Rooney and Crouch. This would be in a 4-4-2 formation as England always play 4-4-2! Let’s see what Capello does. I predict an England win 2-0.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Top of the table looking the same.....

As we head into the international break this season’s title race looks like it’s going to be the same old faces, with a similar outcome. Man United sit top and 5 points clear of Arsenal. United have had probably the most average season for a long time. The defence is not great and the midfield has been a lot better. But they have done what United always do, get results when not playing well. Hernandez, Berbatov & Nani have been the main men for me. The little Mexicans first season in England have seen him scored 16 goals in all competitions this season. He is a true goal poacher, he reminds me of Ole Gunnar Solskjear who worked well with any partner he was teamed, Hernandez has done the same with Berbatov and Rooney.

Nani has stepped up his game a lot he had big boots to fill in the size of Ronaldo. He had been compared to his fellow countryman but never really was as good. However he has been a key player this season and has scored 10 times. He has done very well but I feel their last key player this year has been Berbatov. The Bulgarian has shown class in his own special way. He may not run as much as the others or track back, but he does find the space and get the goals with a tally of 21 so far this season. United are on course for a 19th title and they usually kick on this time of the season. I can’t see anyone stopping them.

Arsenal currently sit in second, after a two week period that saw them go out of three cup competitions they tried their hardest at West Brom to dent their title challenge. They got it back to 2-2, but again the same problem areas cost Arsenal dearly. The goalkeeper situation took a new turn as Wenger signed Jens Lehmann, Wenger never signs anyone over 30 years- old and hardly goes back to an old player, (he did go for Sol Campbell a few years back) is this a sign of desperation? He can’t amend his centre half problem now, but that cost them the cup final against Birmingham. If he did make a move in January to cover those problems areas they could have one cup in the cabinet and maybe slightly closer in the league. Their team look good on paper but in reality it’s the same old Arsenal to me, and they won’t win a thing. Again!

Chelsea in third are now nine points behind Man United and with a game in hand. They still have to play United at Old Trafford so it’s not impossible seeing them retain their title but it will be very hard, I think they will run out of games. Their mid season wobble cost them dear and maybe their focus could be on the Champions League this season. They will finish in the top three though.

Manchester City in fourth take up the last Champions League place but their negative style especially in away games bore me to death. With so much attacking options Mancini can pick from he comes out with such a defensive style. City can’t afford to let this season fizzle out. They have a great chance to reach the F.A Cup final and they need to finish in the top four. If they really want to go places, this team have to make this season count.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Update: Championship

I’ve been away for a while but now I’m back. I will start with a look at the Championship. QPR sit top of the table where they have been for pretty much the whole season. Now with a 10 point gap surely now the SuperHoops will be back in the big time. They could have a problem if the FA take action with a points deduction over the signing of, Alejandro Faurlin. It’s similar to the Carlos Tevez situation at West Ham a few years back. However Rangers say they have done nothing wrong. It would be a shame to ruin a fantastic season with matters with the men in suits at Lotus Road. QPR have lead the way from day one, with an exceptional defence Paddy Kenny has kept 20 clean sheets in the league this season. But the star man has to be Adel Taarabt; he has shown he really is too good for the Championship. The 21 year-old has netted 15 goals so far this season, was given the captaincy and he become a firm fan favourite. At times he will annoy you by not passing and sulking at times. But the goals he has scored and the assists and chances created more than make up for it. He will probably take the player of the year award at QPR & I would not be surprised if he takes the Championship award too. He will be a Premier League player next year and I hope it’s at Loftus Road.

Nottingham Forest where QPR’s closet contenders and looked to be a big problem. But with a run of 4 draws & 2 defeats from their last 6 games their fight for automatic promotion looks to have gone. They need to pick up form again because Burnley lie 4 points behind with 2 games in hand.

Swansea City currently sits second but it’s very tight for that second automatic promotion spot. Norwich City can go there tonight if they beat Bristol City. Cardiff have also gone off the boil, messing up against Barnsley, Palace & Ipswich recently. But they should bounce back with the players they have. Leeds United still plugging away and if they do keep within touching distance they go to QPR on the last day of the season. It could be a game where QPR lift the title and Leeds clinch second spot? Only time will tell.

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Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Fernando Torres Chelsea's Number 9

It was a January transfer window with some heavy deals going through right up to the last minute. But who were the real winners and who made rash last minute buys? I will start with the biggest deal, Fernando Torres to Chelsea. With a £50m price tag he has become the biggest transfers in history for British to British clubs. Torres is proven goal scorer in the Premier League; yes he has had a poor year in football by his high standards. He didn’t really turn up at the World Cup and this season he has seemed uninterested. He was linked to Chelsea in the summer that deal didn’t happen. However his best game though this season was against, you guessed it Chelsea where he score twice and gave a man of the match performance. Since the transfer window opened in January Torres has scored 4 goals in 6 Premier League games, was he playing for a move? Whatever the reason Torres got his move and joins what he calls a ‘big club’ in Chelsea. That is good business for them, who also brought in David Luiz from Benfica another shrewd bit of business. The highly rated Brazilian centre half will be a perfect foil for Terry. He is young, strong and skilful and defiantly one of the hot prospects in Europe today. Chelsea’s signings are a sign of intent and that Roman has not got bored and I feel their squad has improved.

The 2nd biggest deal was Andy Carroll from Newcastle to Liverpool. In a deal worth £35m (David Villa was £34.2 I’m just throwing it out there). Now this is where I see Liverpool panic buying in someone who has had half a season in the Premier League. He has got 11 goals in 19 appearances which is very good, but is he really worth that price tag? Can he really replace a player such as Torres? Or will they pressure of being at a club of Liverpool’s size and history prove too much. While in the Championship he did bang in the goals, but Michael Chopra and Peter Whittingham scored more that season, so are they worth over £30million? To me Liverpool got robbed for the price they paid and that could be because of the last minute rush of finding a replacement. Carroll has had a good start, but this is price tag purely on potential to carry on his form. He got an England cap off the back of a woeful World Cup and Capello being pushed by the tabloids really to pick him. Can he carry Liverpool into the future? Only time will tell. Luis Suarez was another transfer in to Liverpool. With an outstanding goal scoring record in Holland he comes to the Premier League hoping to wash away that image of him playing rush goalie at the World Cup against Ghana. If you didn’t know the last player to come from Holland to England with a better goal scoring record was Alfonso Alves, who turned out to be a flop. The Dutch league is no way near the standard of the Premier League and Liverpool are gambling on these two players to launch them into at least a Europa Cup place finish this season.

Manchester United and Arsenal was the only ‘big’ clubs who didn’t make a move this January. Clearly both are happy with their squads, but I think it could be a mistake for Arsenal. Maybe a little cheeky bid for a centre half or centre midfielder could have helped, but as you know Wenger would not have wanted to be mugged in the transfer market. Arsenal still in all four competitions they entered might regret not buying.

I think it is interesting though that Liverpool sold to rivals. Manchester City would not let Bellamy go to another Premier League club he had to settle for Cardiff. They still have Shay Given doing nothing on the bench. They know you can’t give your rival clubs good players as your challenging for the same things. Manchester United would never let Rooney go to City, look at the impact Tevez has made, it’s very risky letting your rivals have one of your quality players. Arsenal wouldn’t do business with Chelsea. So have Liverpool now become a selling club and nothing more than a team who were great in the 80s but now they live in it?

My Top 3 Transfer Deals

1. Sulley Muntari to Sunderland. A big signing which has gone under the radar. He is on loan but a very good midfielder and Henderson will learn a lot from him.

2. Robbie Keane to West Ham. It could be the Tevez factor at Upton Park and give a massive lift, West Ham are in trouble, but Keane is expired and still can do a job in the Premier League.

3. James Beattie to Blackpool. Now you may find this strange but Blackpool having kept hold of Charlie Adam was hard enough now with Beattie who did nothing at Rangers is back at an unfashionable club, where he does well. Can score goals at this level and they will be vital for Blackpool’s run in.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Is it time for women officials in top flight football?

Can they run they line? Can the referee a top flight game? Are they any better or worse than male referees? Or should they stick with the female version of the game? Richard Keys & Andy Gray have once again brought this issue in to football. Here are a few for’s and against women officials.

The Pro’s

Women have become part of modern day football. That is a fact. At all levels they plan the game and in some cases they run the show, for example Karen Brady.

They now attend more games than they use to. You see them in the crowds, mainly in the home end sitting down not signing but they’re still there.

There’s no reason to say they don’t know the rules of the game, especially the offside rule as its now become very, very vague to what it actually is!

As long as their adequate and have the ability to do the job properly and fairly surely that’s all that matters.
Could this be the key that brings a bit more respect in to the game of football?

The Con’s

Can the female officials take the abuse? Fans up and down the country give all sorts of stick and abuse to the officials when they think they have got a decision wrong. How would a female feel if they had 30,000 fans screaming at them? Is it worth it?

Can they keep up with the pace of a top flight footballer? Walcott, Lennon, Bale and Rooney all are lighting quick and offside’s could be down to millimetres, can females keep up with the pace with a fully grown professional footballer or with an up-coming youngest like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Conor Wickham?

Is professional football a male sport that doesn’t need to be politically correct?

Will a modern day footballer actually listen and respect a female official?

Can it really work? Or does football need to start to use technology to help officials in the game already?

It’s a very interesting subject but I don’t know what the correct answer is. It will be interesting though to see what happens with Richard Keys and Andy Gray at Sky in the end.

Friday, 14 January 2011

My weekend picks

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Chelsea v Blackburn - Chelsea Win
Man City v Wolverhampton - Man City Win
Stoke v Bolton - Stoke Win
West Brom v Blackpool - Blackpool Win
Wigan v Fulham-
Draw
West Ham v Arsenal -
Arsenal Win

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Birmingham v Aston Villa - Birmingham Win
Sunderland v Newcastle -
Sunderland Win
Liverpool v Everton - Draw
Tottenham v Man Utd -
Man United Win

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

2011 is here & Man United lead the way (Just)!

AS we welcome a new year we could be witnessing the best run in to a Premier League title race for many a year. Manchester United currently sit top of the table, still unbeaten in the league but have struggled away from home. They have only picked up two wins on their travels this season which is poor for any United team. Rooney finally scored his first goal in open play for The Reds since March 2010! at West Brom on New Year’s Day. So hopefully with him slowly getting back to top form United can look to improve what has been an unimpressive start to a season. Remember though they do tend to kick in to top gear come late January.

The noisy neighbours City sit in second, and have shown that their true title contenders this season. I predicted they would finish third, but with Tevez leading the frontline they have done better than I thought. I expect them to buy again in January and they should finish in the top four, but where depends on how City go in the second half of the season. The pressure could get to them, the expectation from the owners and some fans could be a little too much. They still have a massive squad with a lot of players warming the training ground let alone the bench. This could cause friction in the camp. However it could swing the other way, Tevez, Johnson, Silva and even Balotelli could all become happy families and do the unthinkable and win the Premier League.

Arsenal are once again in the mix, they look on course to get to the Carling Cup final with a easy draw, but can they do it in the league. Nasri has been the top man this season he has scored, created and shown what a good player he has become where Cesc has been slightly quiet Nasri has taken on leadership. Arsenal now must use all the experience they have to go all the way this season. Too many times the gunners have faulted come March time, but face a big test tomorrow night when Man City comes to town. If they can beat City after their triumph over Chelsea, Arsenal could look end their 5 year spell without a major honour.

Tottenham are in the final Champions League spot and to be far they deserve it. Their approach to the game of all out has worked so far this season. Their performance in the group stages of the Champions League has been their highlight of the season along with their win at Arsenal. I don’t think they will win the league and this is down to their all out attacking tactics you have to keep clean sheets at the top level and Spurs struggle to do that. Also if they do progress in Europe it could also dent their title credentials, they won’t be use to playing so many games a week come the later part of the season how they take to it will be interesting viewing for every Spurs fan.

The other end of the table it’s tight as only four points separate bottom from 13th. West Ham where bottom at Xmas but could get out of trouble after recently picking up form. Surprisingly Fulham & Birmingham find themselves in the bottom three, after both teams had good seasons last year. It’s hard to call who will go down as there’s a lot of football still to play.
Looking at the Championship quickly it’s not as clear as it was a few weeks back. QPR are still top but a slight dip in form has given the chasing pack a chance to catch up. Norwich City have taken full advantage and now sit second. Cardiff City have slipped down to 5th and Swansea, Leeds and Watford complete the top 6. With the Championship as we all know if you put a run together and you will be up there, so it’s still all to play for. I will put my neck out on the line and say QPR will hold on just about and get promoted, along with Leeds and Norwich City. I hope!!
Sean Simara