We’re back after missing last week through a technical issue! This week we talk about Paul Scholes for England, the best football tv ads, QPR and Wolves sacking their managers too soon, Messi/Maradona and discuss Robin Van Persie’s bizarre goading following Arsenal’s victory over Newcastle.
Paul Scholes coming out of retirement for Manchester United is looking more and more like a master stroke from Alex Ferguson. Since he returned, Scholes has been a regular in the United team putting in a series of solid performances and giving his would be successors a lesson in ball retention. It’s no co-incidence that Scholes’ return has seen United knock Manchester City off the top spot with a single point of breathing room. Scholes performances have seen that old question rear it’s head again: should England recall him? (more…)
The Daily Mail has today reported that Arsenal’s talismanic striker Robin Van Persie is set to leave to join Manchester City in a deal which will see Van Persie become the highest paid player in the league, earning a reported £210,000-a-week.
Arsenal fans need not worry just yet though as no deal has been reached between the two clubs and Arsene Wenger will be hoping his recent interest in Lukas Podolski may just tempt RVP to sign an extension to his current contract.
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini spoke about his admiration for Van Persie last week ‘Van Persie is one of the best strikers in Europe with Messi, Ronaldo – and Sergio and Mario’
Could RVP be following the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri out of Arsenal in order to win trophies?
Poor fella, he thought his team were finally going to win the league. He thought all those years of hurt were behind him and what do Swansea City go and do? They only beat Manchester City 1-0 leaving them in 2nd place. There’s only one thing for it. Cry.
Was it a penalty? Was it over the line? Every time there is a question mark over a big decision, the technology debate is dragged to the fore. It is a debate which seems to split supporters through the core, and even those who favour its use squabble over the extent it should be used. So, would technology enhance or destroy the English game? (more…)
Goal-shy Fernando Torres passed up the opportunity to take a penalty on Tuesday evening in Chelsea’s victory over Birmingham City. Had he taken the penalty and scored, it would have ended a 23 game goal drought for the out of form Spaniard.
Why did Torres refuse?
The official line is that Torres isn’t a penalty taker for Chelsea and unfortunately it’s probably true, he didn’t take penalties at Liverpool either – but lets face it, that’s a pretty boring reason so let’s take a look at some of the alternative reasons… (more…)
Arsenal have agreed a fee, believed to be around £11m, with German Club Cologne for 26 year-old Lukas Podolski. The Gunners have been linked with the player before and it appears they have finally got their man on what is reported as being a four-year contract.
The dynamic left-footed striker is noted for being fast, powerful and a clinical finisher. This is exactly the type of player that could take the Gooners to the next level, rather than being overly reliant on Robin Van Persie.
There was rumours of a big money move to Russia but Podolski told a German newspaper “Money is not the most important thing for me…what is crucial is the development of my game.”, clearly feeling the Premier League is the best place for his career to take the next step.
Arsenal fans will be hoping this is the first of many big-name signings, not only for the improvement of the team but also in the hope it will encourage Van Persie to sign a new contract in the summer. Lets hope for their sake, Arsene Wenger doesn’t forget the defense.
Football teams always have star performers who more often than not become cult figures and are idolised by fans, and these individuals are massively influential on and off the pitch. As a result of this, many other players generally go unnoticed, but are still integral to a team and their fortunes. It is often goal scorers or the footballers who display the most passion that supporters connect with better, and so it is easy to overlook players whose effect isn’t as blatant. Playing for a “bigger” club also makes players more fashionable and therefore attracting more plaudits on the whole. Here are 10 underrated Premier League Footballers: (more…)
There can be no doubt that Spurs have been entertaining this season, up until 6 weeks ago they looked like genuine title contenders as they played their attacking, free-flowing football that had neutrals across the land hoping they could sustain their challenge.
Unfortunately and perhaps predictably, when push came to a shove Spurs faltered and their title challenge was over. The premier league is unforgiving, 3 points dropped at the wrong time can be a huge psychological millstone, and so it proved with Spurs.
Meanwhile, those wily old dogs at Manchester United (no, not just Giggs and Scholes) continued to pick up the points whether their performances on the pitch merited them or not. United have a mental toughness instilled in them, even the young players have it. It’s difficult to explain exactly why or how, but it is there. In a season in which many say United aren’t at their best, they’re still keeping pace with billionaire neighbours Manchester City. The winning mentality, it seems, plays a large part – particularly towards the end of the season.
Some will argue that Manchester City don’t have that mental toughness, that winning mentality and as a team they would be right. City, however have individuals that do know it, that have won leagues with previous clubs – none more so than manager Roberto Mancini.
Spurs are looking likely to finish either 3rd or 4th this season and for the large part, they’ll be happy to settle for either – finishing the season above Arsenal would be considered a major success by most of their fans. With the departure of Harry Redknapp likely at the end of the season, do Spurs need a more experienced manager now? A manager that has won titles, a manager that can instil that belief in the players that they’ve lacked at crucial moments. Unfortunately for Spurs, managers of that pedigree are few and far between. Could the special one be on his way to North London?
Chelsea have parted company with Andre Villa-Boas following a string of poor results.
Former Chelsea midfielder Roberto Di Matteo has been appointed temporary manager until the end of the season.
A statement on the Chelsea FC website read “The board would like to record our gratitude for his work and express our disappointment that the relationship has ended so early.
“Unfortunately the results and performances of the team have not been good enough and were showing no signs of improving at a key time in the season.”
It was thought that Rafa Benitez would be the man to take charge after rumours circulated last week but the appointment of Di Matteo has brought an end to the speculation.
After a promising start to his management career AVB found a job that was simply too big for him at Chelsea as they look to rebuild an ageing team and compete in every competition.
The search for the perfect manager continues.
Come back Mourinho, all is forgiven.