Wednesday, 28 May 2014

QPR Back to the Premier League


QPR had one aim this season get back to the Premier League and by hook or by crook they done it. Rangers were expected to win the league, if not at least come second. But a season of ups and downs it all came down to the gamble of the Play-Offs. Wigan in the semi finals, most people favourites, because of their Wembley experience. What Harry Redknapp done though was get his team tactically bang on for three massive games.

The first at the DW Stadium he played a team that 
1. Don't Concede. 
2. Don't lose the game. 
3. If you can score grab a goal. 
4. If you can't score don't worry just don't lose.

Which is exactly what happened. 0-0 Back to Loftus Road, Wigan took the lead early which meant QPR had to go all out. With the fans behind them they dominated Wigan and deserved their extra time win via Charlie Austin who won player of the year, fans player of the year, goal of the season and any other award going. 

So in the final it was Derby County, this young side full of promise, pace and excitement. Steve McClaren was suppose to know QPR inside out after his 3 month spell at Loftus Road earlier in the season. On the big pitch of Wembley their young legs were going to rip QPR apart surely? They were made the favourites, but QPR's experience came through in the end. They kept their heads and after going down to 10 men they got the job done in dramatic style.

Football can be cruel, and this was cruel on Derby they were the better team but they could not break down QPR. Rob Green, Richard Dunne & Joey Barton put in big performances, when in mattered the most. It was a goal from a striker who has had his critics that won it in the end. People moan about the money he's getting, and he spent a lot of the season injured but ask any QPR fan for the last 3 months of the season off the bench Bobby Zamora has been a star.

At Wembley he got his moment, Junior Hoilett wiggled past two Derby defenders and put the ball in the middle, Richard Keogh's slice, pass, panic whatever it was went to Bobby's left foot and he lashed it in the the top corner. Time stopped Derby players fell, their fans cried & the QPR end erupted. It was so last in the game I feel it was shock that Rangers managed to score killed Derby and Rangers fans pinched themselves 'did this really happen'?.

Somehow with 10 men at the national stadium QPR done it. They have their haters in football on how they do business but a lot of it is jealousy. Harry Redknapp is not popular with many football fans, Barton is clearly not the nations most popular player but it was a real two fingers up at his doubters as he lifted a Cup at Wembley Stadium not many players can say that.

QPR did what they had to do, it was a long season but in the style and manor they done it, it was something the long suffering Rangers fans will never forget.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Premier League Review - Liverpool Blew It, City Won, Chelsea should have done it & Moyes Killed it.

After a season of highs and lows I look back at what will be an unforgettable season for many sides but for all the wrong reason. To start off let's look at the new Champions Manchester City.

In true City style they made their fans wait till the last day of the season to seal up the league, but really they shouldn't have even been given this gift. They had the best squad, but after the defeat to Liverpool then draw at home to Sunderland it looked over for them. However City won the last 5 and showed they do have the bottle to see out a title challenge. Unlike Liverpool who were so close to their first ever Premier League title. The Reds started to believe, they started to dream, they couldn't let it slip, but sadly they did.

It may have been the two buses by Chelsea that hit them hard, but in reality it was the leaky defence that finally sealed their downfall. Liverpool have been the most exciting team going forward but sides know you always have a chance of stealing a goal. 3-0 up at Palace cursing to a win they went to chase the goal difference, only thing they screwed it up and let in 3 the other end. Even if the other team get it back to 3-2 you must have your wits about you to at least make sure you get the 3 points but it wasn't meant to be. It was whatever you say a great season for them. Rodgers took a team from 7th to 2nd. His aim was Champions League but as the season went on the expectations were raised you could see how Gerrard wanted it so much. You could see in his eyes, in interviews this was the season if ever to do it. Sadly it looks like Gerrard may be one of the Premier League greats to never actually win the title.

Chelsea managed to get 3rd without even having a decent striker, they were my pre season pick and if Jose can quite comfortable get a team top 4 pretty easy and stay in the title run pretty much all the way if he does find a few strikers, he might get it right. Arsenal got top four like they normally do, looked like winning the league for some time in the season like they normally do, came out of the Champions' League group like they normally do, but the 9 year pain is over. Arsenal winning the FA Cup is a massive kick up the backside they needed and more importantly Wenger. He now must build and buy to capitalise on this momentum in the summer.

The story of Manchester United will go down in history the man who Sir Alex handpicked failed dismally. It was United's worse season in the league ever. He shattered so many records its untrue. He panic buys a player who United didn't need he clearly lost some of the players (What club captain organises a new deal mid season) and some players maybe didn't believe in him in the first place. When he was sacked no United player come out and said anything, maybe they weren't fussed to see him go.

Ryan Giggs saw out the season just to cover the cracks but it was one to forgot for United fan's and with no European football next season all eyes will be on a full on attack for the League, top 4 is a must for the new manager. On the flip side Everton had a great season Martinez guided them to 5th & played football how Moyes' never did, also Ross Barkley shined this season. How did Moyes not see potential in him and went for Fellaini? Tottenham sold Bale, spent a heap of money sacked a manager didn't do as well as they should have done in the cups. They got a interim manager & then sacked him, classic Spurs, classic Levy.

Southampton started the season very well, they reached 40 points easy then took their foot off the gas. The English players excelled but how many of them stick around for next season will be interesting. Mark Hughes guided Stoke to their highest league position deflecting some of the negative reputation he carried from his time at QPR. 10th were Newcastle, middle of the road who started well but once Cabaye left they lost their way massively. They lost 7 of the last 8 games of the season and the fans have well and truly lost faith in Pardew. He managed to even keep his job after head butting Hull's David Meyler, but as much as the Geordies hate the 'Cockney Mafia' they won't be going anywhere soon.

Crystal Palace looked dead and buried before Pulis came in and he quite simply preformed a miracle. Not only did he keep Palace up quite easily in the end, he managed to beat Chelsea, ruin Liverpool's title bid and got Premier League manager of the year. In his short time at Selhurst Park he showed what a very good manager he is.

Swansea parted ways with Michael Laudrup early in the year and brought in Gary Monk no managerial experience but a club legend. It looked a bit sticky at times but a 12th place finish saw them stay up with no really issues. For the other team in Wales it was a completely different story. Cardiff got rid of Malky Mackay well Vincent Tan did, this didn't go down to well, along with changing the clubs colours things were on a slippery slope from the get go at Cardiff. They had waited so long to get to the top flight but they have well and truly messed it up. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer couldn't save them, his lack of Premier League managerial experience was shown and the blue birds finished rock bottom.

Going down with them are Fulham, who hired and fired what seems 9 different managers this year. They got rid of the MJ statue too and it all went wrong. A team that have been pretty abysmal away from home for many years it shocks me they haven't gone down sooner. A club who conducts themselves like this deserve what they got Championship football. Norwich were the 3rd team to go down. Houghton pretty much lost the fans early and stayed for too long their run in was impossible, so in came Neil Adam's who had no chance, they lost 6 of the last 7 but I feel that this team could quite easily come right back up if they get the next manager spot on. WBA, Hull & Aston Villa all breathed a sigh of relief as they stayed in the top flight, Hull had the cup final to shout about but for the others it was a pretty forgettable season. Sunderland were another team that looked done and dusted, but Gus pulled of a stunning run of drawing at City, beating Chelsea, Cardiff, WBA & Man Utd which got them over the line. West Ham stayed up with ease but I don't think the hammers faithful are too keen on Big Sam sticking around next season.

So in all I feel this season will be remembered for Moyes completely failing at Man Utd, Liverpool blew what was a excellent chance of winning their first ever Premier League title. If Chelsea bothered to buy a real striker they would have won this league & Man City may well dominate football in England for a very long time.

Monday, 12 May 2014

My England World Cup Squad

Goalkeepers
Joe Hart (Man City)
Ben Foster (West Brom)
Fraser Forster (Celtic)

Defenders 
Luke Shaw (Southampton)
Glen Johnson (Liverpool)
Phil Jones (Man Utd)
Chris Smalling (Man Utd)
Gary Cahill (Chelsea)
Phil Jagielka (Everton)
Leighton Baines (Everton)

Jon Flanagan (Liverpool)

Midfielders
Jordan Henderson (Liverpool)
Raheem Sterling (Liverpool)
Frank Lampard (Chelsea)
Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
Adam Lallana (Southampton)
Jack Wilshere (Arsenal)

James Milner (Man City)
Alex Oxlade- Chamberlain (Arsenal)

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


Monday, 5 May 2014

My Awards


Team Of The Year 

GK - H Lloris
RB - C Azpillicueta
CB - J Terry
CB - L Koscielny
LB -  L Shaw
RM - A Lallana
CM - Yaya Toure
CM - S Gerrard
LM -  E Hazard
S-   L Suarez
S-   D Sturridge

Player Of The Year 

Luis Suarez 

Young Player Of The Year:
 
Eden Hazard

Goal Of The Season:

1st Wayne Rooney v West Ham (New 'Beckham' Goal)

2nd Pajtim Kasami v Crystal Palace (How did he do that!?)

3rd Jack Wilshere v Norwich (That 'Team' Goal)

Flop Of The Season: 

1st David Moyes

2nd Gary Hooper 

3rd Andreas Cornelius