Monthly Archives: June 2011

The big four for the Premier League 2011/2012 season

There is always a big fuss at the beginning of each season about who will make the top four places, of course being the Champions League places.

There is usually one of two methods that people tend to adopt when trying to work out who will end up in the Champions League the following season; the first is by establishing the top four teams by recent history. Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United and to then think who is most likely to drop out of this top four, in recent seasons the weakest team has usually been Liverpool.

Now though the paradigm has changed, last season Tottenham Hotspur were the team that Read On..

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Dalglish strategy is making sense

Without assessing the overall quality, or how Liverpool’s squad gels. Liverpool are making signings that should bring out the best in their manager.

Dalglish has experience and a winning mentality. The quickest way to get that across is to get rid of foreign players not capable of dealing with the rough element of the Premier League.

This could be Dalglish’s plan. To purchase more English or British players to make sure they go out onto the pitch giving their all, because they understand the passion and tradition of the club.

Of course the Premier League’s new quota rules are coming in and they must be considered as a factor. However despite this I Read On..

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What next for Pato?

Alexandre Pato has undoubtedly raised his profile by moving to Milan. His talent is there without question but he is not yet regarded as one of the best in the world.

I as a Man Utd fan would love to see Pato at the club. He is a more technical based player like Berbatov, but has quicker feet and more pace.

Arguably since the referee scandal circa 2005, the Italian league has lost its reputation and is no longer considered to be alongside La Liga and the Premiership as the worlds top leagues.

Pato is yet to experience any of the later stages of the Champions League.

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The downward spiral of Theo Walcott

Theo Walcott was supposed to be the next Wayne Rooney. The pure potential of having Walcott and Rooney, together with the general assumption that England will always have a fairly strong side, was going to lead us to glory.

That is not the case, which is mainly down to Walcott but also partly down to Rooney too.

Theo has a major weakness in my view. His decision making and his lack of pace whilst the ball is under his control.

He has made very few forward steps since joining Arsenal. Wenger has tended to leave him out of the starting eleven in the big games.

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2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup: The Famous Final Once Again

Last night in Houston, two incredibly intense games weren’t decided easily.  However, the late goals of both the USA and Mexico brought both of them to the final game of the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup.  This is the fifth time and third in a row these two have met in the final.  Despite Mexico’s fascinating start to the tournament, they’ve become a bit shaky late on in the tournament.  The United States has been playing better than they did in the group stage.  History favors Mexico who have defeated USA three times in the final and only lost once.  Will Mexico be able to hold on and maintain their form for one Read On..

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What would I do as Villas-Boas?

Chelsea are as we understand in the final negotiations to secure Andre Villas-Boas as their new manager.

So here is my advice to the new man. The only area that doesn’t need any refining is perhaps the goalkeeper situation. As far as we know Turnbull and Hilario are happy to play second fiddle to Cech.

In defence I would bring in a new right back and two central defenders and a new left back. Chelsea require a young left sided defender and central defenders who would mature in first team ready players in about two years time.

They need stronger cover at right back than Bosingwa and Ferriera who both struggle to defend. Read On..

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2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup: Two quarter-finals down to penalties!

Honduras, Mexico, United States, and Panama.  Four teams remain in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup.  The quarter-finals took place this last weekend, and many things happened that weren’t expected.  Two games went down to penalties, and the other two had many factors that couldn’t be predicted.  The United States had the most comfortable win, defeating a 10 man Jamaican team, 2-0.  Clint Dempsey scored the second goal for the United States which secured their victory and advancment to the semi-finals.  Mexico just did enough to defeat Guatemala, and both Honduras and Panama got by on penalties.  I have a feeling this is only the beginning of the excitement this tournament Read On..

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Statistics of the week with @optajoe

Football Rivalries are looking to bring you the top stats from the professional statisticians at Opta.

We’re going to rate our top five on anything football.

Stat 5 – All six of Man Utd’s PL games following a CL group stage matchday are at home, while all six of Man City’s are away. Contrast.

If Benitez was around he would complaining about the ‘fachts’ and just moaning about Fergie in general. He could still get a job in England so he may be around to speak up for himself.

Stat 4 – Manchester City have drawn all five of their home games on the opening day of PL seasons, with four of those games Read On..

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Football Rivalries: Plymouth Argyle

During Plymouth Argyle’s first foray into the Championship in the 2005-06 season, the club’s closest derby game was a 180-mile round trip to Cardiff City. Hardly on a par with the fierce derbies played out by teams sharing a city, but Pilgrims fans living in the South West take what they can get. It can be tough supporting a club isolated from the major cities and larger clubs of the country, but this can make feelings and loyalties to those lonely clubs even stronger.

The fiercest rivalry Argyle share is with Exeter City. 40 miles up the A38, Exeter are the most obvious choice for main rivals Read On..

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U21s: Czech Republic progress to the quarter finals at the expense of England

It was another below par performance from the u21 three lions. As with any team the English nation puts out at a tournament, hopes were high for the best youth players England has to offer and this wasn’t helped by the transfer dealings happening while some of the players were preparing for the tournament, Jordan Henderson and Phil Jones.

Sure, you would probably think that these transfer deals would only bring confidence to the players and perhaps it did for Phil Jones. But for Jordan Henderson it appeared to go the other way.  For a player in Jones’ position at bare minimum he is required to be strong in the challenge Read On..

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