Thursday, 17 October 2013

My England World Cup 2014 Squad


Goalkeepers
Joe Hart (Man City)
John Ruddy (Norwich)
Fraser Forster (Celtic)

Defenders
Kyle Walker (Tottenham)
Glen Johnson (Liverpool)
Phil Jones (Man Utd)
Chris Smalling (Man Utd)
Gary Cahill (Chelsea)
Phil Jagielka (Everton)
Ashley Cole (Chelsea)
Leighton Baines (Everton)

Midfielders
Michael Carrick (Man Utd)
Andros Townsend (Tottenham)
Theo Walcott (Arsenal)
Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
Tom Cleverley (Man Utd)
Jack Wilshere (Arsenal)
Ross Barkley (Everton).

Forwards
Danny Welbeck (Man Utd)
Wayne Rooney (Man Utd)
Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)
Rickie Lambert (Southampton)
Jermain Defoe (Tottenham)

Could Go:


Rob Green
World Cup experience, even though it didn’t go that well he has been in form this season, if it continues his experience could play a roll with a lot of young keepers around him.

Andy Carroll
How he comes back from injury will be vital, he’s better then Lambert but if not fit there’s no point bringing him.

Ravel Morrison
Impressive start to the season could be the wild card like Theo was in 2006. If he continues to shine he may be the lucky wild card. 


Mark Noble 
If you look at the last England captain to take his country to a competitive final, he is your man. He does pass the ball well but what is crucial he can take a penalty.

Wilfred Zaha 

Not the best of starts at United, but he is in a great position, if he does perform well for United with all the other English men around him, Hodgson will take notice. 

Alex Oxlade- Chamberlain 
Needs to play games for Arsenal to make himself noticed, he can play wide, centre and midfield. His pace is dangerous especially as a sub.

Frank Lampard 

Tough for Frank, he has so many youngsters in his place now, he does deserve another shot at a major tournament but it will depend on his Chelsea form, injuries and do we really need him.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Record Breaking Rangers....


QPR have had the best start they could have wished for in the Championship, after the debacle of last season the Super Hoops are joint top, undefeated in the league and have kept 8 clean sheets in a row. A club record for Rob Green, they now have a ‘team’ not just ‘individuals’. Charlie Austin is now finding the net. Hoilett scares defenders in this league with his pace and Barton has not put a foot wrong so far this season. Danny Simpson and Richard Dunne have been sensational at the back & we have seen the usual solid performances from Hill too. If Harry can keep QPR in the top 4 up in till Christmas I’m sure they will spend wisely again in January and it could be an instant return to the top flight.

Arsenal So Far So Good


  As were in the International break each team in the Premier League has played 7 games and it makes pleasant reading for Arsenal fans. It could be the signing of Ozil, it could be Wenger still ‘has it’, or it could be Arsenal have been the best of a average bunch so far this season. Aaron Ramsey is playing out of his skin and as Giroud has not been injured the one striker they do have has been doing the business. Can it last? It could, as Arsenal have players with injuries to come back. They have some harder games coming up which will see where they are, but beating Napoli with ease in the Champions League shows the Gunners could be back.

 Liverpool have had an impressive start to the season, Sturridge has been in fine form and now Suarez has returned surely this means good things? Three at the back seems to be working for Rodgers, I do feel they will slip down eventually but this fast start gives their hopes for top 4 a boost. Chelsea are in third without a decent striker all three have had a chance but none have been a stand out, in fact the best Chelsea forward have is playing for Everton this season. Southampton completes the top four with their only defeat this season coming at Norwich. They could well be the surprise package for a high finishes after they finished 14th last season. They also spent a fair bit in the summer.

 It’s been a rocky start for both Manchester clubs, United have had their worst start in Premier League history but now a new savour could rise in the form of Adnan Januzaj. His double at Sunderland saved Moyes from more criticism, and with Fellaini out till December which could be a blessing in disguise the young man may have a vital role to play. United’s best player so far has been Wayne Rooney, did he want to leave? Does he like playing for Moyes? We may never find out but at the moment he is the main man. City seem to be struggling away from home with defeats at Cardiff, Aston Villa & only a draw at Stoke. They look completely different at home, but the key thing seems to be keeping Kompany fit. Without him they seem to lose all confidence defending, also Hart need to cut out sloppy mistakes.

 Sunderland find themselves rock bottom and Di Canio was the first managerial casualty of the season. He was entertaining while he lasted but they were going nowhere fast under him. They have the QPR about them just bringing in too many players at once, however Poyet does have time to turn it around. Crystal Palace are finding life in the top flight tough, Holloway has already had a touchline ban for moaning about the refs, he can’t afford to lose it as Palace need his energy on the sidelines. They have two London derbies coming up at home which could kick start their season as the fans are quite good and could be the 12th man. Swansea, Stoke, Fulham & Norwich are all on 7 points out of these four I think Stoke will struggle the most. The Stoke fans are being fooled by Hughes and they’re in for a rude awakening when they realise he is all talk.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Ukraine v England Preview


Roy Hodgson takes his England side to Ukraine tonight knowing avoiding defeat would put at least one foot for England in Rio next summer. With Danny Welbeck out suspended he now has to shake up the forward line. England already have a mass amount of injuries in that position, but tonight I can imagine he will bring in James Milner to the starting line up. Not the most inspiring selection but he seems to be Hodgson's go to guy when things get tricky. It tells a lot when you have the Spurs duo Townsend & Defoe who would be far more exciting and more of a goal scoring threat sitting on the bench. Don't be surprised if Tom Cleverley makes an appearance too as he is one of Roy's favourites. Lambert will start down the middle with Walcott on the right I say.

 Frank Lampard will get his 100th cap, Gerrard will start so will Wilshere, so that means no place in the starting line up for Carrick. He has been the most consistent English player for the past 18 months for his club, but he can't seem to find his way into the national team first 11. He has withdrawn himself from selection before and if this continues don't be surprised if he gets fed up again. The defence looks set even Kyle Walkers antics won't see him lose his place, more for the fact there's nobody to replace him. England are good enough to take all 3 points from Ukraine and with 2 home games against Montenegro & Poland to come England should qualify for the World Cup without any issues, surely they can't it mess up?

Prediction Ukraine 1-2 England

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

QPR Transfer Deals


QPR have done some very good business this summer they managed to shift out most of the big wages and players that let them down so badly last season. Harry has brought some terrific players (as he would say) Charlie Austin proven goals at this level. Danny Simpson and Richard Dunne have improved the defence. Karl Henry does the dirty work but Joey Barton has been brilliant so far and the fact he is still at the club is a massive bonus. Matt Phillips has not kicked a ball yet but again a very good player at this level. On the last day of the window QPR brought in Nico Krancjar, Tom Carroll and Benoit Assou-Ekotto on loans deals. Harry has worked with them all before and they are clearly the right sort of player. Carroll is a is future England player, Krancjar can bring creativity and goals. B.O.E is just like Simpson on the other flank, he loves to get forward. It could be a very exciting season for QPR with the business they have done.

Transfer window slams shut


 Now the transfer window has closed I look back at some of the last deals that went through and who have had a nightmare.

 Arsenal finally spent some cash and on a world class player, Wenger did pull this out the bag, after a frustrating summer for the Gooners they now have a new hero, Mesut Ozil. This transfer came out of the blue for many reasons, one Arsenal spending such a large amount of cash. Secondly the fact Arsenal didn't really need a player in his position but if you get the chance to bring in class you do it. The £42m pound deal puts some much needed excitement at the Emirates. The deal has been compared to when Arsenal brought in Dennis Bergkamp he defiantly can have the same impact.

 The other side of north London did the most business, Tottenham brought in 7 new faces for over £100 million. However they did lose Bale, but the squad itself has improved with some real talent Eriksen, Lamela and Saldado look exciting but how quickly will it take for the new faces gel? The expectation at Tottenham is higher than ever and top four with this squad is now a must.

 Manchester United had a shocking summer transfer wise, has there ever been a summer where United went after so many players but got knocked back so much? The fact they have only made 1 real signing for Moyes this is difficult as he has to implement his impression at Old Trafford. He has a title winning team but they won it last year because simply the others did not strengthen or were just awful. Sir Alex's figure still looms over OT and with the lack of changes if things don't go well the doubters will be out with 'Ferguson would have done this' or 'Ferguson would have got him'. Fellaini is OK but it's nothing exciting or the creative spark United needed, Ozil would have been ideal. He admitted he went to Arsenal because of the manager, would he have gone United if Ferguson was still there?

 Chelsea and Manchester City done their business early but some of the eye catching deals that went through were, Lukaku to Everton on loan, surprising Chelsea did let him go when I feel he is the best striker they have. James McCarthy also when to Goodison Park which was always going to happen with Martinez being there. Fulham managed to get Darren Bent & Adel Taarabt on loans one very creative player and one proven goal-scorer if they click it's a great move by them. Liverpool brought in Sakho from PSG which went under the radar somewhat, be a very good player, along with Victor Moses on loan his style of play will fit into the Rodgers way. Crystal Palace did a lot of business on the last day, Kebe, Hunt and Mariappa all came in to give them a fighting chance to stay up. Aston Villa brought in a £7m striker from Lazio, Kozak so it looks like a bit of competition for Benteke now. Sunderland brought in another Italian this time Andrea Dossena from Napoli on loan. Hughes' re-building at Stoke saw Stephen Ireland and Marko Arnautovic come in. This is a typical Hughes move going for somebody over 30 years-old on a massive wage and has done nothing for a while. West Brom broke their transfer record by bringing in Stephane Sessegnon who had fallen out of favour at the Stadium of Light. Plus they also got Victor Anichebe which is also a decent signing for them.

Best Business

Totteham, Chelsea and Manchester City

Worst Business

Newcastle - Seems like Joe Kinnear didn't want to call any chairmen in Europe and bring in numbers to St James'

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Premier League Preview 2013/14


Arsenal

If ever a season Arsene Wenger had to deliver it's now. The other top sides have changed their manager, he has the experience, they have the cash, debt free so what will Arsenal do this year? Not a lot I think. As of writing they don’t have Suarez they missed out on Higuian and have done nothing but get players out. If they do bring in a big name striker they could be knocking on the door of the title from a distance but I see another empty season for the Gunners & Wenger's reign could be done and dusted, like their trophy cabinet.

Key Man - Santi Cazorla - He started last year pretty well, even some comparing him to Mata, some Gunners even thought he was better. He isn’t but he is a very creative player and if Arsenal do anything this year I imagine he will pull the strings.

Aston Villa

The Villa stayed up with ease in the end, it did look very ropey at times but Benteke's goals virtually kept them in the Premier League. Lambert took the gamble with the kids and it worked, he will do the same again this year. They will be more confident as they managed to stay up last year and they should have enough again.

Key Man – Christian Benteke – Now the Premier League know what they will get from the Belgium, he’s strong, skilful and can find the net. In a World Cup year he will want to impress so he makes sure he is on the plane to Brazil.

Cardiff City

The new boys to the Premier League have the advantage of rich owners; the problem is luring players to this part of Wales. They have lost out to a few players but their season with be defined by their home form. Clubs won’t like travel here especially if the fans create a hostile atmosphere. If the come out weak they will get walked over with ease. Cardiff’s best bet is be nasty, scrap and fight for Premier League survival.

Key Man – Andreas Cornelius - The big money signing from Denmark will have his work cut out as the strikers around him are not quite top level quality and Bellamy won't start every week.

Chelsea

The special one has returned and the Premier League is a better place. Since he went away Chelsea have continued to win trophies, including the holy grail of the Champions League. The first thing I think he would want to bring back is the league title. He delivered their first in 50 years in his first year and they have a fantastic chance with probably the best set of midfielders in the league. Chelsea tend to start seasons well, they will be the pace setters but will they last?

Key Man – Eden Hazard – Hard to pick as they have so many. He seems to be a Jose type player, he has skills but will also works hard and has a fiery side, (ask the Swansea ball boy). He did have a good first year at Chelsea and when he was on the pitch they were much more creative.

Crystal Palace

The play-off winners are playing catch up on brining in players and of course they have lost Zaha to Man United and Murray is out for a very long time injured. Who will score their goals? Phillips won’t start many games and Gayle is unproven at this level. Holloway is a character and they will cause a few shocks but they will struggle if they don’t improve the squad and fast.

Key Man - Yannick Bolasie the 24 year-old was a star last year for Palace and could make the step up. In central midfield he can test his talents against the best in the world; I think he will carry himself.

Everton

A fresh face at Goodison Park and Roberto Martinez will look to play it on the floor, pass and move tactics like he has done previously, but now with a better team. He has taken a few of his Wigan players with him and could go back for more if more of Everton’s better players depart.

Key Man – Kevin Mirrallas - Another Belgium in my list, he will have a key role for the Toffees this season. He will probably link up with Kone and with Fellaini’s future still up in the air he will have to step up. 

Fulham 

They did enough like normal again to survive, but had a poor run towards the end of the season which would be worrying. Now with the NFL boss Shahid Khan taking over from Mohamed Al Fayed it’s and exciting time for the many Fulham fans at the Cottage. However with Ruiz, Berbatov and Taarabt in the same team a few sulks will be inevitable.  

Key Man – Dimitar Berbatov showed his class last year and was a real transfer coup by Martin Jol. You know what you get from him, he won’t graft or run around a lot but his football brain is one of the best in the league.

Hull City

Hull did try to mess up promotion on the last day against Cardiff in sensational fashion, but Bruce’s men are back with the big boys. In defence Bruce has Davies, Figueroa, McShane & Chester so its not awful but they will have their work cut out. It’s the none existent midfield that’s the massive problem he will have to deal with.

Key Man - Danny Graham the only real ‘striker’ at the club. How interested he is will be a massive factor. At Swansea he did well until Michu overtook him, at Sunderland he was lost. How will he do in Hull? Not much of a party life so he can’t be too distracted. 

Liverpool

Rodgers will have his work cut out this year if Suarez leaves he gave the talk last season but Liverpool really did nothing special. The youngsters did OK and one more year under their belt they should progress, I say they have more chance in the cup competitions then a top 6 finish. No European football should help them be more consistent in the league. 

Key Man – Philippe Coutinho He came in at January and did shine, he will have to link up with Sturridge which looks exciting and he has been impressive during pre season.

Manchester City

A lot of new faces at the Eithad Stadium who gets the nod to play up front will be interesting. Augero didn't have his best of seasons but should be a starter, Jovetic would be next in line but Dzeko has been good in pre season. They have collected a side that will challenge for the title and I think Pellegrini will be up for the challenge. 

Key Man – Vincent Kompany – He is the rock of their defence when out injured he was truly missed. City also conceded way to many silly goals last term something they will want to knock on the head.

Manchester United 

A new man in the hardest job in English football, how will Moyes cope? Will he attract the names? It’s a harsh start for the new man with Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City all in the first 5 games how he does here will determine if the media will give him any leeway. United are still good enough to finish top 3 but will need a bit of luck to be champions again, and United are still crying out for a centre midfielder.

Key Man – Robin Van Persie Came to United to win things which he did, he scored important goals (City Away, Arsenal Home & Away) and some great goals (Villa Home). More of the same from the Dutchman who is number one man no matter who it upsets. 

Newcastle United

Just about stayed up last year but now adding Joe Kinnear in the mix could be a very bad move. Pardew could get fed up quite quickly if he does not get his way. It seems like Mike Ashley finds different ways to annoy Newcastle fans every summer. Pap Cisse seems like he wants to stay for now, but for Newcastle it will either go very well, or very bad, fast.

Key Man – Loic Remy, they missed out on him last year as he went QPR, but they have him now on a season long loan. He scored 6 times in his short time at QPR in a struggling team. I expect him to hit double figures and be one of the best finishers in the league next year. 

Norwich

With Holt gone Houghton has freshened up his strike force, Ricky Van Wolfswinkel is their big money buy how will he cope in English football? Gary Hooper can find the net but it’s a big jump as SPL defences are below average. Fer will add something different to a set of midfielder's who like to play for set pieces or whip the ball into the box to the target man.

Key Man – Ricky Van Wolfswinkel with a big price tag over his head he has scored goals in Holland & Portugal a lot lies on his head.

Southampton

Saints were never in real danger of going down last year, they even changed their manager which worked out for the better. They finished 14th in the end and beat Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea at St Mary's which shows they can mix it with the big boys. They need to strengthen the defence as they conceded to many sloppy goals.

Key Man – Gaston Ramirez had a decent first season in England netting 5 goals, but was rotated quite a bit. I think this year he will feature much more in Pochettino’s plans.

Stoke

Mark Hughes is looking to show his disastrous time at QPR was a one off. Stoke have no pace, no creativity and no frequent goals corer, so Hughes has his work cut out to change this Stoke side. Their style of play has been found out now so Sparky has to do something to mix it up.

Key Man – Jon Walters – Probably the most consistent player at Stoke and gets the majority of their goals, without him they will struggle.

Sunderland

Di Canio came to Sunderland in a blaze of glory; his derby win has made him an instant hero. He has brought in a lot and how quickly they gel will determine how successful they are. However it does have the potential to explode at any-time.

Key Man – Emanuele Giaccherini comes from Italian giants Juventus this is a real coup for the black cats. I think he will be one of the better signings of the summer. 

Swansea City

The Capital One Cup success was well deserved after 2 entertaining years in the Premier League. They have European football now which is the next step how they deal with the Thursday/Sunday schedule will be interesting but the purchase of Bony shows their intent. The Swans also got Shelvey who I don’t rate but maybe Liverpool was to big for him. You would expect the fans will demand 6 points off Cardiff too this year.

Key Man – Michu – After an impressive first season teams will know what they get from him now. I feel the Europa League will be a stage where he could shine also expect him to hit double figures will league goals again.

Tottenham

Spurs where so close last year to get into the top four but lost out to Arsenal in the end. AVB has spent but it looks like Bale could be out the door. Everything good Spurs did last year came or involved him, I can’t see them matching that standard. Top 4 without Bale will be very difficult, I see Spurs doing better in the Cups this year.

Key Man – Paulinho – depending on Bale leaving he could become a stand out player. Already a full team international he can score goals.

West Brom

A very good season for the Baggies last time out, many expected them to struggle with new boss Steve Clark but West Brom came 8th. They had the advantage of Lukaku last year who was brilliant for them. The acquisition of Anelka could be a stroke of genius by Clark.

Key Man – Nicolas Anelka in what feels like his 20th club Anelka could have the Berbatov factor like at Fulham. He still is a quality player and you know what you get from him, he won’t do much running but has been firing them in during pre-season.

West Ham

The Hammers last year relied on their solid home form to secure Premier League safety. Big Sam has got his man Andy Carroll on a permanent deal but it was the likes of Diame and Nolan that were excellent in midfield which was the basic of their success. They have added to the defence but maybe one more winger will be on Sam’s mind before the window shuts.

Key Man - Andy Carroll another big season for Carroll could see him back in the England set up.

My Picks:
Premier League Top 4

1. Chelsea
2. Man United
3. Man City
4. Arsenal

Relegation

Hull City
Stoke City
Crystal Palace 

FA Cup - Manchester United
League Cup - Chelsea
Champions League - Real Madrid

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Football League 2013-14 Preview and Picks


Championship


In one of the toughest leagues in the world to get out of, it looks like a burial ground of ex Premier League clubs. 18 of the 24 sides have played in the top flight and will be looking to get back to the promise land. The favourites, the richest and the ones that will be looking for an instant jump back is QPR. After gambling on the big names, big money deals and wages Rangers 2 year stay in the top flight ended in humiliating fashion last year. They need to go up first time of asking, as a lot of players are on silly money with years to go on their contracts. They can’t get them all out so promotion is the number one target for the west London money bags, no matter what the chairman says. They have done well to shift some of them out the door but a lot of players who let QPR down last year will still be around come kick off. A strong start will be vital so they can sake off the negative energy of last season.


I expect Reading to be up near the top of the table, there in a much better state then the rest of the teams who went down, with a good manager in charge I think they will challenge. I feel Leeds will finally challenge properly this season, if they get a good start the fans will flock in and come those cold winter months Elland Road could be a very difficult place to go. Their transfer budget is tight but with a group of decent Championship level strikers they should be near the top. Watford look to have collected most of the loan stars from last season on permanent deals, it will be interesting if they have such a big impact this time around. 

As you know with the Championship it can be very random and anyone could pop up with a challenge the surprise package could be Nottingham Forest with fan favourite Billy Davies in charge they do have a few good players at this level and could break into the top 6. Mick McCarthy has the experience for getting teams up from this league, Ipswich ended last year well and have a chance of reaching the play-offs. Blackburn Rovers could also have a good season, Jordan Rhodes is the best finisher in the league so if the other Rovers players get their act together they could be near the play off zone.

Winners:   Reading
Runners Up:   QPR
Play-Offs Winners: Leeds  

Relegation: 

Barnsley 
Huddersfield
Yeovil

League One

Wolves are the heavy favourites for League One and rightly so. After bombing through the Championship in one year there the big fish in the League One pond. They should win the league with ease, however if you look at Sheffield United how have been messing around in this league for way to long, if they don't do it straight away  it could be a long road ahead. They have the stadium and fan power to dominate this league, automatic promotion is the minimum. 

The way Brentford sensational blew the chance of promotion TWICE says to me they will really want to avenge those mistakes. However is it the case of they blew the best chance they will ever get? Peterborough are the case of too good for this league, not good enough for the Championship they will be near the top. MK Dons could be ones to watch out for having just missed out on the play-off last season also relegated Bristol City should be around the top 6. 

Winners:   Wolves
Runner Up:   Peterborough 
Play-Off Winner:  MK Dons

Relegation: 

Colchester
Oldham
Coventry
Walsall

 
League Two 

Similar to League One with Wolves, Portmouth are heavy favourites to win this league. Their fall from FA Cup winners has been epic, I don't see them winning the league. Cheltenham and Northampton missed out in the play-offs last year and they could make it one step further and grab an automatic promotion place. Southend also have a good season with experienced manager Phil Brown in charge. 

Winner:   Northampton
Promoted: Portsmouth, Cheltenham
Play-Off Winners: Southend

Relegation 

Torquay 
Plymouth

Monday, 22 July 2013

Transfers Part 2 & QPR Pre-Season so far


Alan McGregor -  Besiktas to Hull after one season in Turkey he can test himself in the Premier League, was good across the boarder and will be busy this season as Hull still have a weak defence.

Jesus Navas Sevilla to Man City this nippy winger will add a new dimension to City’s attack, now fully over his homesickness issues in his younger day’s English football could suit the Spanish international.

Victor Wanyama Celtic to Southampton one of the deals of the summer so far, I feel he could have gone to a higher Premier League side but maybe they didn't want to gamble on a SPL star just yet, he should do the business for the Saints though.

Emanuele Giaccherini Juventus to Sunderland the Black Cats are looking to have a revamp of their squad. Di Canio made it clear what he wants from his side & the signing of this man from Italy could be one of the better ones.

QPR

After the trip to Austria with two games under the belt, one win and one defeat against two decent sides is good, but it was more about fitness and team building. QPR are still busy in the transfer market bringing in Richard Dunne, he's a good move, an experienced head but someone who will work hard unlike some of the others in the Rangers squad. Were still being linked with Gary Hooper not sure if we will get him but a striker is defiantly needed. Its also clear Julio Cesar does not want to take a pay cut which saw a move to. Napoli collapse, a lot of our players would probably have to take a pay cut leaving QPR, however I think he will end up staying and it could be a positive for us as he is miles better then Rob Green.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Transfers Part One

The transfer window hasn't quite hit full pace yet with some of the big four waiting for the other to blink first and with the striker merry-go round lurking round the corner, some are waiting for the right man to pop up or if they might already have the right man at the club already.

Some of the deals so far that catch my eye are:

Andreas Cornelius - Copenhagen to Cardiff, smashing their transfer record for a 20 year-old is a gamble for the Premier League new boys.

Andre Schurrle - Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea fresh off the German production line, he is Jose first major signing upon his return.

Dwight Gayle - Peterborough to Palace £8.5 million shelled out on a man who has not played top flight football with no Zaha & Murray he will have to hit the ground running.

Simon Mignolet - Sunderland to Liverpool he had a very good season in a average Sunderland side the Belgium will want to play game in a World Cup year and I think Reina's replacement.

Fernandinho - Shakhtar to Man City the Brazilian midfielder comes with a heavy price tag but is the steal City missed in the middle of the park last season.

Nathan Redmond - Birmingham to Norwich they have quietly gone about their business this summer, but signing the young Englishman is a good move by the canaries.

Dejan Lovren - Lyon to Southampton the young Croatian defender comes from the French league and is highly rated, the Saints had a few shocking defensive moments last year so he will probably be a regular.

Wilfred Bony - Vitesse Arnhem to Swansea another club smashing their transfer record, scored goals with ease in Holland can he do it in England?

Paulinho - Corinthians to Tottenham probably the most exciting player to be coming to the league so far, Spurs landing him show serious intent for next year.

Andy Carroll- Liverpool to West Ham after a successful loan deal he made the move permanent a World Cup year will also be an incentive for him.

Monday, 8 July 2013

QPR Pre Season So Far


What a surprise Chris Samba is heading back to Russia after he said that money is not everything. Well he was half fit, not really interested in the fight and just collected his £100k for 6 months. He didn't appear towards the end of the season which speaks volumes of where his head was at. However the fact Anhzi are stupid enough to pay the £12m back to QPR is pretty good business from the owners at Loftus Road. The singing of Danny Simpson shows QPR might just be taking it seriously in getting promoted right away. He is a reliable defender, will work hard and is under 30 years-old which is a rare thing for a QPR signing. He is probably getting decent cash though. They have weeded out some of the cling-ons in the squad but there's a long way to go still. 

 Bringing Steve McClaren back into football as a coach on a short term deal concerns me. Now it's interesting that QPR would get a manager who is actively looking for work, added the fact Redknapp could sound off and leave at any time he would be the replacement. This would be catastrophic for QPR. But if he is used as just a coach it could work out well, he has worked aboard and with England and did work with Sir Alex so he could add something.

 
The trip to Devon for pre-season is good as its not glamorous they will have to buckle down and we will see once again if we don't know already who wants to fight in the Championship. 

Friday, 24 May 2013

Champions League Final Preview


Champions League Final

As we come to an end of another exciting season, the main event on Saturday night (before the boxing) is the Champions League final at the home of football, Wembley Stadium. Two German sides mixing it up on English soil will be a must see event. I have been backing Dortmund for a while so I have to stick with them.

Borussia Dortmund

 

Key man Gotze is out, but he is on his way to Munich in the summer so how ‘up for it’ would be a real issue. They do have other real quality players that can shine at Wembley. Robert Lewandowski is a brilliant striker who is gaining attention form the giants of European football. This will probably be his last game in the yellow of Dortmund and he will want to go out on a high. Gundogan, Bender and Kehl as a midfield unit are one of the best. I feel the real star on the night could be Reus, he will take Gotze role and this youngster I feel will rise to the occasion.

Bayern Munich

After the heartbreak of last year bottling it on their home turf against Chelsea, it's no surprise they have reached the final again. They simple had too. There a quality team who blitzed Barcelona in sensational style in the semi finals and have some of the world’s best players. I do though think that last season still haunts them. If Dortmund takes the lead Munich could get nervous. These rivals drew twice in the league so even though Bayern won the title by miles, one-on-one its very close. I think players like Robben has the ability to shine on this stage but also can let you down when you need him most.

Iv backed Dortmund all the way so I will stick with them.


Tuesday, 21 May 2013

My Premier League Review


Man United

United won their 20th Premier League title with ease in the end. Finishes 11 points clear of Man City it was a worthy end to a fantastic career for Sir Alex. He left United where he would have wanted as champions. Van Persie’s signing proved key but United has players like Giggs, Carrick Ferdinand and De Gea all had great seasons that lead to this title.

Man City

A poor season from them, failed in the Champions League, never looked like they would retain their title at all. The FA cup debacle was a step too far for the owners. Mancini went and we will probably see a big turn around player wise at City this summer. However they did get second so some credit for that.

Chelsea

Europa League winners and 3rd in the league a good season? I would say yes, Rafa came in after Di Matteo got the boot and under massive pressure from fans who didn’t want him there, he did a pretty good job. Winning the trophy will be good for him but for the club the top 4 finish was vital. Looks like he special one will return too.

Arsenal

Managed to get top four ahead of their arch rivals. Wenger proved again that he can, even with the worst Arsenal squad in a while can get the job done. However now they must push and buy some quality, if done correctly they could challenge for the title with the 3 clubs above them all changing manager.

Tottenham

Tottenham I feel blew it, they should have wrapped up 4th. They should have brought a striker in January too. Bale had a fantastic season and deserves to be playing Champions League football next season. Harry Redknapp lead them to 4th AVB finished 5th they have gone backwards.

Everton

A solid season as ever from Everton, now with Moyes leaving how will they cope without him and the likely fact their better players are probably leaving the club to this summer. Finishing above Liverpool again is always a bonus to the Everton fans.

Liverpool

A very average season for the reds, a club in transition under Rodgers will hope to do a lot better next year. The likes of Sturridge & Coutinho did shine towards the end of the season. Suarez good player but is a issue in the summer, a big offer could be accepted and Liverpool get rid of a bad egg.

West Brom

Had their highest finish in the Premier League, cursing to 8th in the end. This did surprise a few, to build on for next season will be hard if Lukaku is playing elsewhere. Will also be remembered for the Odemwingie transfer saga.

Swansea

Their Capital Cup victory was the high light of the season, also the purchase of the signing of the season Michu can’t go unnoticed. They did fade towards the end of the season with nothing to play for. Laudrup is a man in demand but I expect him to still be there next season. They will be itching for the Cardiff game next season to show who are the real kings of Wales now.

West Ham

The Hammers survived with ease in the end. Big Sam used his industrial tactics to his benefits, Carroll and Nolan blossomed under this. The hammers were solid at home and that was a factor in their high finish.

Norwich

The canaries stayed up with a bit to spare in the end after a bit of a sloppy season. Hughton will have to build on the squad in the summer, they need a goal scorer as Holt seems to have gone cold. A team full of hard workers and decent home form got them over the line in the end.

Fulham

Good start to the season but dropped quite badly during the second half. Berbatov was probably the reason they stayed up. If the season went on a few weeks longer they could have been in big trouble.

Stoke

I think they can find themselves quite lucky at this finishing position. Stoke were pretty woeful from the turn of the year. It seems like their route 1 tactics have been well and truly found out. They have no pace in the team they will need to freshen things up next term.

Southampton

The saints played some decent football this season. They picked up wins at home against Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea showing they could play with the big boys. Ricky Lambert showed he could do it at this level. The changing of manager half way through the season didn't harm them like other clubs.

Aston Villa

The gamble paid off with the youngsters. Paul Lambert believed in his young villains and with a few blips on the way Villa did save themselves. Next year they should find it easier to cope if in the same position. Benteke’s goals obviously helped them along the way.

Newcastle

Struggled this year with all the French players Pardew brought in. The Europa League took it out of them too. A poor finish and getting destroyed by Sunderland will still be on the Newcastle fans find come next season. A poor start could see the end of Pardew.

Sunderland

It was a poor season for the black cats just surviving by the skin of their teeth. Di Canio will be remembered for his over the top celebrations and interesting press conferences. Paolo says he wants to bring in fit hungry players. It’s a huge summer for them, again if the season went on a week or two longer they might have gone down.

Wigan

The FA Cup winners luck ran out this time, after 8 years in the Premier League they couldn't pull off the last minute survival this time. They play some good football with good players but can’t defend to save their life. That’s why they went down.

Reading

Not a strong enough squad to challenge in the Premier League in the end. They didn't invest, didn't back the manager in the window. Then they sacked him and the new manager had no chance of keeping them up. They are though in the best shape out of the relegated clubs to make a swift return.

QPR

‘How not to manage a football club’ is what they will call their end of season DVD. A shambolic season at Loftus Road with big money signings not working out, or even not wanting to play. The merry go round of club captain changed around 3 times. QPR didn't win a game until December, changed their manager spent big in January again, and still went down. They have no clue who will still be at the club come the start of next season and have a huge re-building job. But QPR have truly awful this year and deserved to finish rock bottom.



Manager of the season-  Sir Alex Ferguson
Player of the season- Robin Van Persie
Goal of the season-  Matthew Lowton for Aston Villa against Stoke
Pundit of the season- Graeme Souness
Signing of the season- Michu 
Flop of the season- QPR for a host of reasons