Wednesday, 2 December 2009

United's Young Guns

Two very comparable performances and two very comparable results from Manchester United's youngsters over the past week has many people, including myself, wondering - does this new breed from United's acamedy have what it takes?

Friday, 20 November 2009

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Player Poaching

In football???

Surely not.

Well I thought that too but a story I read in the Daily Mail today made me think again.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Great Success...Not So Much For Europe's Big Boys


Barcelona 1 Rubin Kazan 2

Liverpool 1 Lyon 2

Rangers 1
Unirea Urziceni 4

What's going on with the world?!

It is quite simply the beauty of the modern game.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Football On Tap Hits The Airwaves

That's right. Tonight at 8pm at, Football On Tap makes it's radio debut.

The plan is to have a guest in every week to talk about the weeks football stories, mainly focused on the Premier League.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Back In The Game

Finally, settled in.

Sorry for the delay but moving to a new uni takes it's toll! That's all done now and life is grand!

I write this as I wait to start my first real piece of journalism and coincidentally it takes me to Old Trafford on this fine afternoon. United are playing Bolton at 3pm and I thought it was only right that I choose a United based topic: the goalkeeping situation.

With Foster's form questionable at best, van der Sar continuing to age and Kuszczak not up to the task of holding down the number 1 jersey questions are starting to be asked.

Do United need a new 'keeper? Persevere with Foster? Sign van der Sar to another extension?

Who knows but my money is on a new 'keeper in the offing for the Old Trafford faithful. Interesting names have been linked: Akinfeev from CSKA Moscow, Patricio from Sporting Lisbon and David James from Portsmouth (???). We shall see how that one develops.

So my goal for the day is to get fan's views on the subject as my friend goes for the Fergie "Wiley's unfit" row and the reaction from Bolton's fans to Megson defending Sir Alex.

Should be an interesting day. Testing the waters of my journalistic skills. Good times :)

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Capello's Selection Dilemmas

Well we are now into a World Cup season for domestic leagues around the world and although it is ten months away, let's hazard a guess as to what is going through England coach Fabio Capello's head.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Eduardo Banned For Two Games, Can Of Worms - Opened

UEFA have certainly invited a lot of work for themselves haven't they?

With the recent announcement that Arsenal's Croatian forward Eduardo has been banned for two Champions League games, the European body will invite a combination of praise and criticism with their latest actions.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Game Week 4: What I've Learnt...

Arsenal - Nothing to worry about. Continue to play the way they have been and they will be genuine title contenders. Arshavin to assume role of key player alongside Fabregas. Eboue a disgrace with dive.

Aston Villa - Will look to Liverpool game throughout season as springboard and inspiration, Ashley Young must remain fit.

Birmingham City - Get Benitez to full fitness ASAP as he has shown strength and ability in his substitute appearances in the league.

Blackburn Rovers
- Kalinic needs a goal to get up and running, proven goal scorer in Croatia but yet to net in England.

Bolton Wanderers
- Combined aerial threat of Davies and Elmander looks promising.

Burnley - Will be needing to thank goalkeeper Jensen a lot more this season.

Chelsea - Complete domination, continue current form and they will certainly be champions. Perfect balance in squad.

Everton - No real creative threat without Arteta, lucky to grab win against a poor Wigan side.

Fulham - Looked exhausted from their European exertions. Greening strangely looks out of his depth.

Hull City - Possibly look to Altidore to start and provide goals, Folan and Fagan don't have it at this level.

Liverpool - Appauling attitude from Lucas, expect him to be kicked off the pitch by next opposition.

Manchester City - Promising start to the season, maintaining optimism could be key for team spirit. Adebayor and Barry continue to impress.

Manchester United - Uncharacteristic poor performance from Carrick, Fletcher to step up and become main-stay in midfield.

Portsmouth - Piquonne not found feet quick enough, Dindane needs to do so before Pompey find themselves in real trouble. Cannot afford to sell anymore big name players before Tuesday, i.e. James and Krancjar.

Stoke City
- Rough and tough approach clearly wins you games. Proving successful with Delap's long throws but have no Plan B.

Sunderland - Good to see Gordon back in goal, at £9 million he should be playing every game, quality 'keeper. Jones and Bent continue to torment and will do so against the big teams.

Tottenham Hotspur - Modric injured and will be sorely missed, perhaps a cheeky bid for City's Petrov is on the cards? Crouch provides brilliant impact with chances and goals.

West Ham - More attack power needed, Diamanti to find feet quickly in England to aid Hammer's cause.

Wigan Athletic - Morale high after beating Villa away on the opening day. Morale low after being battered by Blackpool mid-week, Martinez needs to pick up fast beforeresults hit a slippery slope.

Wolves - Need to get Ebanks-Blake fit to provide further goal threat. Doyle and Keogh look nervous at this level.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

The End Of The Old Guard - AC Milan 0 Inter Milan 4

If there was ever a statement of intent from one team and the signal of the end of an era for the other then this match pretty much sums it up for both.

This evening an ageing AC Milan side were taught a lesson by a much more impressive Inter side. Who said Italian football was going stale? The problem is AC Milan are.

The Form Of Champions? Manchester United 2 Arsenal 1

It is commonplace to know that in the modern footballing world would-be league champions are those that are able to grind out results without playing well, sometimes with the opposition playing better than them. This is what happened at Old Trafford today.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Sneijder To Inter - Done

Mourinho's done it again!

After completing somewhat of a coup in acquiring Samuel Eto'o from Barcelona in a ridiculous deal at what seems the Spanish club's expense (£40 million and striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic) he's gone and done it again.

The Juggernaut That Is Manchester City

Well we're nearing the end of the transfer window and it looks Manchester City are closed for business.

For now.

UEFA Champions League Draw

Interesting eh? Some colossal ties lined up, and some not so. Let's have a look.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Game Week 2: What I've Learnt...

Well, from who played anyway. Other teams are involved in European fixtures this week.

Birmingham City
- Home form crucial to Premier League hopes.

Burnley - Brian Jensen will be just as important to their fortunes as the goals they score.

- Deco may prove integral in 4-4-2 diamond formation, Essien to play defensive.

Hull City
- Start with Geovanni, main creative threat.

- Have faith in youth, don't panic buy, i.e. Kyrgiakos.

Manchester United - Expect to delve into transfer market for big name player.

- Favourites for relegation.

Stoke City
- As before, Delap - throw - goal won't win you every game, especially away at Anfield.

- Bent important, don't take the foot off the gas when ahead against bigger teams. Cana and Cattermole would be missed.

Tottenham Hotspur - Defoe to have biggest season yet, with club and country.

Wigan Athletic
- Flying (too) high after result at Villa Park.

- Milijas just as important as Ebanks-Blake and Kightly, impressive first two games for the Serb.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Season 09/10: Real Madrid

Where do you start??

Looking at the Real Madrid squad it seems pretty safe to say they have two world-class players ready to fill any position on the pitch, whatever formation they play.

Having spent a ridiculous amount on players proven at the top level, the fact remains that these are players who have played at the top level, for club and country and should more than likely succeed at this great club.

Game Week 1: What I've Learnt...

Arsenal - Still need a strong defensive midfielder.

Aston Villa - Delph will struggle to fill Barry's shoes.

Birmingham City - Benitez looks exciting when fully fit.

Blackburn Rovers - Need to get Kalinic fit to start making up for Santa Cruz's goals (McCarthy and Roberts are past it).

Bolton Wanderers - Front three needs rejuventation.

Burnley - Can Graham Alexander keep pace with the Premier League?

Chelsea - Avoid injuries to Terry, Lampard and Drogba.

Everton - Let Lescott go, he doesn't want to be there.

Fulham - Zamora needs to be scoring on more consistent basis as opposed to relying on everyone else to.

Hull City - Don't panic buy because most other players turned you down.

Liverpool - Don't start with Lucas.

Manchester City - Gareth Barry is the key to City's success.

Manchester United - Lack excitement without Ronaldo, Rooney to try and make up for it.

Portsmouth - Loan signing Piquonne needs to find his feet fast or Pompey will be propping up the table.

Stoke City - Find back-up tactic for Delap - throw - goal.

Sunderland - Keep Darren Bent and centre backs fit, Ferdinand set for a big season.

Tottenham Hotspur - Going to struggle to find best XI due to sudden quality in squad (when fit).

West Ham United - Will rely heavily on Cole and Noble for goals.

Wigan Athletic - Martinez's status as an unknown in the Premier League will work to his advantage.

Wolves - Will stay up courtesy of Ebanks-Blake's goals and Kightly's industry (when fit).

Friday, 7 August 2009

Arsenal's Options

A defender?? A midfielder?? A striker??

You couldn't make up your minds could you as the vote ended in a tie between defence and midfield as the areas you think Arsenal need to strengthen first.

But we're going to go with my vote: midfield.

A Tale Of Four Strikers

With the strike force Tottenham Hotspur have you'd think they have the rest of the Premier League running scared wouldn't you??

With a strikeforce consisting of Jermain Defore, Robbie Keane, Peter Crouch and Roman Pavlyuchenko, Spurs should have a realistic chance of making a Europa League place this season.

The key word there: should.

Season 09/10: Fulham

While the 08/09 season was deemed a huge success thanks to Roy Hodgson's side securing a Europa League berth for the coming campaign, where do Fulham go from here??

Huntelaar To AC Milan - Done

He's going to Stuttgart? He's going to Tottenham? He's going to Levski Sofia??

No he's not.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Lionel Messi: God's Gift To Football

Is there a player out there that moves a ball with such grace, such elegance other than Lionel Messi??

His 38 goals for Barcelona last season played a major role in them winning a famous treble, but it was the way he contributed to the team in other ways as well that makes him stand out as a very special player.

Manchester United's Midfield Conundrum

Let's assume Michael Carrick is guaranteed a starting role in the United midfield for the coming season (which he probably is), who is going to assume the position next to him??

09/10 Season: Chelsea

How can you replace Guus Hiddink after the end of season form of Chelsea??

Well you bring in one of the most respected managers in the game.

Bent: Ready Made Replacement For Cisse

At first it looked a bit unprofessional didn't it??

Darren Bent has finally got his move to Sunderland and he claims that his famous rant on Twitter "paid off". Not that it was unprofessional, all part of the plan eh Darren?

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Delph Lands At Villa Park

It was good to see someone who Manchester City couldn't get their claws into wasn't it??

A brave decision too by the Leeds United board not to accept Hughes' wish to wait an extra week has benefited all parties as it looks like Fabian Delph will get some playing time in the Premier League this season.

Aquilani Deal Gets Underway

Who's that guy I left out from my last post??

Only the player that has been strongly linked to Anfield over the past couple of days.

The transfer of Italy international Alberto Aquilani from Roma to Liverpool seems seems to be Rafa's preference as a fee was agreed between the two clubs - believed to be around £20 million.

But how good is Aquilani and will he adapt to the physical nature of the Premier League compared to that of Serie A? Only time will tell.

Alonso To Real - Done.

But who's in through the Anfield door??

An undisclosed fee (around £30 million) has been agreed between the club and he has passed his medical, the signing of the contract remains a formality.

So with that deal done, plus the departure of Alvaro Arbeloa as well to Madrid, Mr Benitez now needs to look to the future and the players he will need if Liverpool are again to put up a substantial title challenge.

09/10 Season: Arsenal

Want to know the player that could potentially win the league for Arsenal this season??

Andrei Arshavin.