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England Far From Impressive In Narrow Win

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A lacklustre England needed two late own goals to overcome Japan in their final warm-up game before the World Cup.

Marcus Tanaka gave Japan a shock 7th minute lead with a clever corner and England were extremely poor throughout the first half. However, Lampard won a penalty early in the second half but for the second consecutive time, it was missed. This time thanks to a truly great save. He will now be going into the World Cup with two missed penalties on his back and should he get the opportunity to take one in South Africa, he may just buckle under the pressure.

With the game opened up, own goals from both Tanaka and Nakazawa in the last 18 minutes gave England a very nervy win to take with them to the World Cup. On form like this, I can't see them beating any of the top teams at the World Cup and I don't expect them to get any further than the quarter-finals. Nothing would please me more than seeing them knocked out on penalties by Portugal yet again.

City winning race to sign Dzeko

Thursday, May 27, 2010

There is no doubt that Manchester City are going to be busy this summer, and they have started the rumours already. Edin Dzeko, one of the most wanted strikers in the world at the moment, is apparently the first player they will be bidding for this summer.

Dzeko, 24, has been a revelation for Wolfsburg since his move for Czech club Teplice in 2007. His goal record is fantastic speaks for itself, 54 goals in 94 games for Wolfsburg.

I've seen Dzeko play a good few times. I was interested in him in his second season at Wolfsburg after hearing he was linked to the likes of Arsenal, Man United, AC Milan etc. Since then I've only seen him play in the Champions League, and I have to admit he was impressive.

Should he arrive at the City of Manchester Stadium, it could signal the end for a few of the Man City wasters e.g Santa Cruz and Robinho. Even Emmanuel Adebayor has been linked with a move. I don't care who goes, it would be fantastic to see Dzeko playing in England.

World Cup 2010 Update- Essien Out


Injury-prone Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has been ruled out of the World Cup. The Ghanaian scored 3 league goals and looked to be at his best before injuring his right knee in January at the African Cup of Nations.

Essien was not expected to be out for more than 3 months but complications during the operation led him to a much longer layoff. He is now rushing to be fit for the start of the new season.

This dashes any slight hopes Ghana had of winning the World Cup, as with Essien fit many had predicted them to be the first African team to do so. In my opinion, they won't even get through the group stages as I feel Germany and Australia will now beat them to it.

Birmingham Begin Summer Shopping Spree


Birmingham have started their Summer shopping with the signings of Ben Foster and Nikola Zigic, costing £6million each.

The Blues have ended their fans hopes of signing Joe Hart, by opting for Man United reserve keeper Ben Foster instead. After the amazing season Hart has had while on loan at Birmingham, I
thought they would have attempted to sign him on a permanent basis. Man City must have been reluctant to let him go however and now Ben Foster has a lot to prove next season, filling in the big gap Joe Hart has left.

Zigic, who stands at 6ft 8in, will become the tallest player in the Premier League next season. On loan at Racing Santander last season, he scored 13 goals in 19 league games so I'm sure he will be quite a handful for defenders next season.

Mourinho to bid for several Premier League stars

Monday, May 24, 2010

Jose Mourinho is expected to complete a move to Real Madrid shortly, and with that several Premier League clubs could be in trouble of losing their best players.

The likes of Didier Drogba, Fernando Torres, Ashley Cole will all be on Mourinho's radar. All these players would probably love to play under Mourinho, the best manager in the world in my opinion. Drogba and Cole already played under Mourinho and Chelsea were very successful during his reign. Gerrard would be keen to play for Madrid following Liverpool's disastrous season. Torres might not want to join Madrid considering he started his career at their rivals Athletico.

It's not just Chelsea and Liverpool who will have to worry. Wayne Rooney, Robin Van Persie and Emmanuel Adebayor are all potential targets, as well as Diego Milito, Wesley Sneijder and goalkeeper Julio Cesar.

I can't wait to see what transfers the 'Special One' will make during the summer. I have no doubt he will want to improve Madrid's squad, its just a question of who.
Sunday, May 23, 2010

After an amazing season in which his side won the treble, José Mourinho has admitted that he is set to head for Spain to take over at Real Madrid.

Inter Milan impressively beat Bayern Munich yesterday 2-0 at the Bernabéu to add the Champions League to their Serie A and Coppa Italia wins. Both goals from Diego Milito either side of the break were enough and Bayern never looked like scoring.

However, in an interview after the match, Mourinho has stated his desire to become the 10th manager of Real Madrid in just 7 years. When asked by German channel SAT1if he had coached Inter for the last time, he answered: 'Yes, I have'. Asked if he was set to join Madrid, he replied: 'Yes.'

I think it's a big risk him going there as his defensive football may not be good enough for the prestigious club. Fabio Capello is a perfect example of this. He got them the title in 2007 but it wasn't good enough due to his defensive tactics. However, I do believe the 'Special One' will win many trophies with them if given the chance.

Henry heading to West Ham

Saturday, May 22, 2010

An English Premier League club has apparently made an amazing bid to bring Thierry Henry back to England, but it's probably not who you think it is. West Ham have offered Henry a massive £75,000 a week contract in order to lure the Frenchman to Upton Park.

Henry left Arsenal to join Barcelona a few years ago, but after a few seasons he fell down in the pecking order, falling behind the likes of Ibrahimovic, Messi, Iniesta, Pedro etc. And now with the signing of David Villa, it looks like if he doesn't go it will be another season on the bench. West Ham are the team reportedly trying to save Henry from a season on the bench.

"We're trying to assemble a more prolific strike force at West Ham and I'd love to have Henry here.''


"Our club is in debt but a striker of his quality and standing would make it a great deal. Henry is still up there with the best.''

I personally would love to see Henry back in England. He was without a shadow of a doubt one of the best strikers in Premier League history. I think he would do well at a club like West Ham. If he were to go back to Arsenal, there could be a chance he would be sitting on the bench like he was at Barcelona, but at West Ham he would easily make the first 11, despite being 32.



Villa heading to Barcelona

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Spanish giants Barcelona are set to sign Valencia striker David Villa for a reported £34 million. Barcelona have been keen admirers of Villa for some time, but the Spanish striker had been reluctant to leave Valencia, until now.

"The Spanish international is due in Barcelona on Thursday evening and will have a medical on Friday morning.''

What a signing this will be for Barcelona. They already have one of, if not the, best teams in the world. Adding Villa to their squad of superstars will make them even more formidable than they already are.

More than likely, Villa will not be their only acquisition. They are already very keen on Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas, and will probably bid for a few more players as the summer goes by. With David Villa coming in, will this signal the end of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's time at Barcelona? I hope so, he isn't good enough for them.




How can Barca be stopped?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

After yet another impressive season, Barcelona look set to expand on their attack-minded side. A 99 point league win obviously mustn't have been good enough as now Barcelona look set to land Spanish duo David Villa and Cesc Fabregas this Summer.

With negotiations with Villa ongoing and Fabregas recently declaring his intention to go back to his home club, the two deals look very likely. A midfield of Xavi, Iniesta and Fabregas will be blistering going forward, but I don't see how it would work defensively. This means they will have to play either Toure or Busquets, who are both hopeless, imparticularly Busquets. This will be their weakness unless they fix it this Summer.

However with a strikeforce of Messi, Ibrahimovic and Villa, I can't see any team stopping them...

Chamakh set to be Arsenal's first signing of the season

Monday, May 17, 2010

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger looks set to make his first signing of the season. Reports today suggest Bordeaux striker Maroune Chamakh is set to sign for the Gunners on a free transfer.

Wenger has been a keen admirer of the Moroccan front man for some time, and even had a bid rejected last summer. Now it looks like he will be getting his man for free under the bosman ruling, surely a stroke of genius from the French tactician, showing his interest in the player knowing he wouldn't sign a new contract if the chance to play for Arsenal was a possibility.

However, if they had paid the extra few million for Chamakh last summer, it could have solved some of the problems caused by Van Persie's injury. Well, there is nothing he can do about that now. I don't really know enough about Chamakh to say if he will be a success or not, but Wenger is rarely wrong with these type of signing.

A perfect end to a perfect year for Chelsea

Saturday, May 15, 2010

What a years its been for Chelsea. Premier League champions for the first time in four years, broke the record for most goals scored in one season, Didier Drogba top scorer and Petr Cech most clean sheets, and now the the icing on the cake, winning the FA Cup.

It almost wasn't their day though. Hitting the woodwork 5 times in the first half, missing a peno and conceding a peno, which was missed fortunately for them. They did win it though, a fantastic goal from Didier Drogba wrapped up the trophy for them.

So, all in all it's been a good year for Chelsea, fair play to them. However, focusing on different things, with the Premier League campaign over, we will be focusing more on transfers and the World Cup from now on, that is of course until next season.

3 More Awards For Chelsea

Friday, May 14, 2010
Chelsea have added three more awards to their already impressive season. Along with the Premier League they won last week, Drogba has won the Golden Boot and Cech the Golden Glove. A special merit award has also been given to them for the 103 league goals they've scored this season.

Drogba scored an outstanding 29 goals in just 32 league appearances, bypassing Rooney (26) on the final day. And Cech kept 17 clean sheets in 32 games. Although Reina also had 17 clean sheets, Cech got the award due to his better ratio of clean sheets to games played.

Chelsea became the first team since Spurs in 1963 to score over a century of league goals. This was due mainly to the 3 games in which they scored 7 goals and the 8 goal demolition of Wigan.

I guess an Fa Cup win against Portsmouth tomorrow will be the icing on the cake.

Torres in race to be fit for World Cup

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What a major blow that would be to Spain's World Cup dreams. If Fernando Torres isn't fit enough to compete in the World Cup, its fair to say Spain's chances of winning will have dramatically decreased.

Some people will argue that one player doesn't make a team, and I'm not saying that. Spain have many fantastic players including Villa, Xavi, Fabregas and Iniesta who can all be match winners, but losing such a prolific goalscorer who could easily score 10 goals in the competition would be a major blow to anyone. Spain losing Torres would be like England losing Rooney, Argentina losing Messi or Portugal losing Ronaldo.

"Right now, we cannot say whether Fernando will be ready in time for the first match against Switzerland.'' - Spain team doctor Juan Jose Garcia Cota.

Even though I won't be supporting Spain at the World Cup, I would love to see Fernando Torres playing. One, if not the, best strikers in the World. It would be a pity if he were to miss out, especially considering Spain have such a good chance of winning it.
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My England World Cup Squad

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

With Fabio Capello set to announce his preliminary 30 man squad for the World Cup tomorrow (tuesday), i have decided to to give my own version of the team he should bring:

Goalkeepers (3)
I would bring David James as first choice with Joe Hart and Paul Robinson as back-up. Robert Green has been dodgy all season which is why I'm leaving him out.

Defenders (8)
John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Ashley Cole and Glen Johnson are definites and I would bring Leighton Baines, Matthew Upson, Micah Richards and Michael Dawson. Average cover for the full-backs but after Bridge's stupid decision to quit, there aren't many others, and no way would I bring that Gary Neville wanker.

Midfielders(8)
Obviously Lampard and Gerrard have their seats on the plane but what England don't have is a holding midfielder to sit behind them. Barry is over-rated and has been muck all season but he has to go as there's not much else I would take the risk in putting Hargreaves in with him, a semi-fit Hargreaves is better than Gareth Barry. England have several wide players but the ones I would choose are Milner, Walcott, Lennon and Joe Cole. SWP misses out as I already have two similar players to him in Walcott and Lennon. Walcott could also be used alongside Rooney in attack.

Forwards(4)
Rooney is a certainty and I would bring the Spurs pairing of Defoe and Crouch with him. I also think the 24 league goals scored by Darren Bent earn him a place. As for that donkey Heskey, I don't care what anyone says, never in a million years should he be going!

Thats only my version so lets hear what you think... Either way, they're just going to get knocked out in the quarter finals!

Premier League awards

Monday, May 10, 2010
Its been a very interesting season, to say the least. In the end Chelsea won it, Man United were runner up and Portsmouth, Hull and Burnley were relegated as you all probably know. This post is just some awards I would like to give. There will be good ones, and bad one. A lot of you will disagree no doubt.

Best Player - Wayne Rooney
Some people say one player doesn't make a team, but Rooney, this season, was the exception. With a difference of more than 20 goals between him and United's second top scorer, it shows how important he was to them.

Best Manager - Harry Redknapp
Good auld 'Arry Redknapp really did work wonder for Spurs this season. The first team to break the top four in years, and he coped with the pressure of the fight for that 4th spot, and of course the chance to play in the elusive Champions League. A deserved winner.

Best Goal - Maynor Figueroa
What can you say about that goal. Half way line, free kick, straight into the top corner. It was one of them goals you will only see once ever ten years. Figueroa will never hit a better striker than that. Beauty.

Best Buy - Thomas Vermaelen
This was a tough one. I pondered between Vermaelen, Valencia and Dunne for best buy of the season. In the end I chose Vermaelen for the simple fact that it was his first year in England and he settled automatically. He was even Arsenals top scorer for a while. A eye for goal and not scared to get stuck in, something Arsenal needed.

Worst Buy - Alberto Aquilani
£20 odd million, and for what? What did Alberto Aquilani do? Nothing. OK, he was injured for a while, but even so, if i spent £20 million on a player I'd expect more than what Aquilani gave. Not even half the player Alonso is.

Worst Manager - Rafa Bentiez
Liverpool fans will hate me, but can you really argue this one. 7th place just isn't good enough for a club like Liverpool. Poor managerial decisions e.g selling Alonso cost Liverpool dear.

Best Celebration - Jimmy Bullard and Emmanuel Adebayor
Jimmy Bullard is probably one of my favourite players in the Premier League, simply because of that celebration. Mocking Phil Brown's decision to have his team talk outside, it made everyone, bar Brown, laugh. Secondly is Adebayor's celebration. Sprinting the length of the pitch to taunt the Arsenal fans was stupid, but it was funny.

That's all I can think of right now, if I think of any more I'll add them in. If you think of any, let me know.

Chelsea are Champions

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Its official, Chelsea have won this years English Premier League, and in some style. 8-0 was the final score which saw them win the league and score the most goals in the Premiership in one season ever. A good day for the Blues, to say the least.

Coming into today's game Chelsea had to win, if they lost or drew and United won, the League would be staying in Old Trafford. However, thanks to goals from Anelka (2), Lampard (1), Kalou (1), Drogba (3) and Cole (1) Chelsea ensured the title was heading back to Stamford Bridge.

I think its fair to say Chelsea probably deserved it. Although they slipped up on occasions, they always looked like favourites to win. Scoring 103 in one season deserves some sort of silverware.

Man United, Arsenal and Tottenham made up the top four. They will all play in the Champions League next season, provided Tottenham make it through the qualifiers. Meanwhile Burnley, Portsmouth and Hull will all be playing in the Championship next year.

What a season!

Tomorrow I will be giving this seasons awards, in my opinion. Worst/Best player, worst/best buy and all that crap.

The Upcoming Football

Saturday, May 8, 2010
Yes, the 09/10 Premier League season has reached its final weekend, but don't worry, there is still so much to look forward to in the coming weeks. In this, my first post, I will discuss the upcoming finals and give my predictions.
Within two weeks of the season ending there will be three major finals. Firstly Fulham will be hoping their Europa League run will have the fairytale ending when they meet Atletico Madrid in Hamburg. Fulham have done fantastically well to make it this far but I feel the class of Aguero and co. will prove too strong.
The Fa Cup Final between Chelsea and Portsmouth follows on Saturday and although I do feel Chelsea have the quality to see off relegated Portsmouth, I reckon it will be a closer game than people make it out.
The following Saturday is the Champions League Final with José Mourinho's Inter Milan facing Louis Van Gaal's Bayern Munich. These are two teams that may not have been tipped to make it this far at the start of the competition, and I predict a boring, defensive game. The only players that I can see opening the game up are Holland's Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben (if fit). I reckon Mourinhos tactical prowess will prove the difference between the two sides but I wouldn't rule out a penalty shootout.
With everyone focusing on these finals, it's easy to forget about the battle between Nottingham Forest, Cardiff, Leicester and Blackpool in joining Newcastle and West Brom in the Premiership next season. I have to admit that I'm no expert on the league but I'd like to see either Blackpool or Cardiff (both have never been in the Premier League) make it.

SWP to Arsenal?


Word on the street is that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is interested is saving Shaun Wright-Phillips from Man City, where he is clearly unhappy. Wenger has always been a fan of the little Englishman, and now this could be his chance to secure his services.

Wright-Phillips has fallen down the pecking order since the arrival of Roberto Mancini, starting only seven games since his arrival and was substituted in six of them. He is also complaining that Mancini will not offer him what he wants on his contract. Mancini could be willing to let him leave for around £5 million, a good price for a good player.

But is Wright-Phillips the answer to Arsenals problems? Definitely not. There are three reasons why I don't think they should sign him. 1) Theo Walcott is better. 2) Arsenal do not need another lightweight midfielder. 3) Bar the signing of maybe one striker and one midfielder, preferably a strong powerful one, Wenger should be concentrating on his defence before and goalkeepers. Get rid of that waster Almunia, bring in someone decent and Arsenal might stand a chance.

Henry heading back to England

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Barcelona striker Thierry Henry has been told that he can leave his club at the end of the season. The French striker hasn't had is best season and was even booed by his own fans after the handball affair which knocked Ireland out of the World Cup.

Henry was a regular at Camp Nou but has now found himself behind Messi, Ibrahimovic and Pedro in the Barcelona front line, and has scored just 4 goals in 19 appearances.

"He still has a one-year contract with us, but after a disappointing year I do not know what he will do.'' - Barcelona president Joan Laporta.

I would personally love to see Henry back in England. I would especially like to see him back at Arsenal. Not sure if he would have the same impact, but it would still be interesting.


Will Chelsea mess it up?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Chelsea beat Liverpool 0-2 today which saw them just one victory away from winning the Premier League, and its fair to say they would be the worlds biggest bottlers if they messed it up now.

It was a three horse race, now a two horse race. After defeat to Spurs Arsenal's title challenge was over, so it was left to Manchester United to battle it out with Chelsea for the Championship. Chelsea's biggest challenge was Liverpool, whom they beat today and now only defeat or drawing to Wigan at home could deny them the title.

Part of the reason they won today was because of Steven Gerrard, a player whom Chelsea could be keen to sign. Gerrard made an absolute howler of a back pass to set up Chelsea's first goal. A mistake? More than likely. Some will speculate he didn't want Man Utd to pass out Liverpool on the amount of league titles they have won.

So, unless Chelsea to lose Wigan and United beat Stoke, Chelsea will be Premier League champions. Personally I'd rather them than United, but that's only because I'm sick of United winning it.