Saturday, 14 January 2012

Super Sunday Predictions

Goal 228?
Swansea v Arsenal

I am going to go with a comfortable win for Arsenal here. Swansea have a good defence and a great home record, however if Arsenal get their usual possession we know Swansea let teams play and aren't known for pressing players, and this could set things up, only if Arsenal can be clinical.

Arsenal could be relying on Thierry Henry for goals, but I don't think he will start so I am going to predict the Gunners' current stars will get the show started, then Titi to come on with Arsenal leading comfortably and score against the 35th Premier League club, having already bagged against all other 34.

Swansea 0-4 Arsenal

Newcastle v QPR
Can Newcastle continue their strong home form?
I am going to go for a home win here, despite QPR potentially being revitalised by the arrival of Mark Hughes. With Joey Barton suspended and QPR's recent lack of firepower they will struggle here. Newcastle are missing key players too however I feel have more depth, but will after look elsewhere for goals with Demba Ba absent. 

QPR have been linked with Alex (bottom left of picture), Wayne Bridge and Onouha this week, however I think they will need strikers too if they are to survive, lets face it, 0-0s won't keep you up. I am going to predict another blank for Rangers tomorrow too.

 Newcastle 2-0 QPR
Newcastle 2-0 QPR

Friday, 10 June 2011

Martinez rejects Aston Villa

So its official, Roberto Martinez has turned down an opportunity to become Aston Villa manager. Villa had gone through all the right channels to talk to Martinez and Martinez himself was gave Dave Whelan's blessing.
However, Roberto has turned down the opportunity to move to a bigger club, with a bigger budget, bigger stadium, bigger fan base and most certainly a better personal wage.

Martinez, 37, has established a reputation for attractive football during two years in charge at Wigan and in an earlier, promotion-winning stint at Swansea.
He also spoke often of his commitment to the Latics and their youthful squad during the recently-concluded campaign, which saw Wigan escape relegation from the Premier League only on the final day.
Can he really take Wigan further? This is a young squad, and most players will only use Wigan Athletic as a stepping stone in their careers. The wage budget also will struggle to attract any big names and their established big names, such as N'Zogbia look to be on their way out.
I personally think Martinez has made a big mistake, though I do think they will narrowly avoid relegation again as I believe the 3 newly promoted sides, QPR, Norwich and Swansea will all go down.
What do you think? Leave us a comment with your thoughts and follow this blog for more football stories.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Fulham appoint Martin Jol as Manager

Back in England?
So as I predicted in one of my posts a couple of weeks ago, Mark Hughes has parted company with Fulham.
Today they have confirmed the appointment of Martin Jol.
Lets face it, Mark Hughes is a good manager, and he went to Fulham when his options were limited, but now he has a chance to apply to the Villa job, and as I predicted earlier, I think he may return to Blackburn providing Steve Kean is relieved of his duties.
So why has Martin Jol chose Fulham? They aren't the biggest club, they have a small ground and are a mid table team. Maybe Jol has already been knocked back by Villa. One thing is for sure, what ever he wants to achieve at Fulham he will have to do it on a budget.

My prediction: Fulham will finish in the bottom 5 in the 2011/12 season.

What do you think of this appointment? Follow this, and leave a comment.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

United look for Revenge

You'll Have to Do More than DIVE!
As we look forward to the Champions League Final at Wembley on Saturday Manchester United have been in the press for the wrong reasons. With the press typically looking to stir things up, Ryan Giggs' revelations have not really damaged United's preparations for Saturday; so Fergie says. I guess we'll have to wait and see anyway.
In the week building up, it is inevitable that the sports pages will have United talk somewhere, with ex-greats giving their opinion, managers giving their predictions and quite more interestingly current United players telling of their feelings of the big day.
United's captain yesterday said something which someone has needed to say for a long time, Nemanja Vidic told the Daily Star, "You Won't Con Us."
Lets face it, most foreign footballers, and some of ours have been shown by the cameras to be true cheats and shown to have no sportsmanship at all. Last year 'SkySports' made a 1 minute clip of Danny Alves in a single match diving to the ground and rolling around like a little girl. And Barcelona aren't short of drama queens. Vidic was quoted as saying, "We have to focus and concentrate and then it won't be a big deal to handle the things we know will come."
Oh really? I mean how easy is that, lets face it, when Barcelona are being out scored in a match or not looking like winning it, there is nothing they won't amount to. We've seen diving, simulating, imaginary card waving, surrounding the officials and rolling around to waste time when you've just been shoulder barged.
When this is happening how easy is it to keep your cool? I really hope Manchester United do, I think Barcelona need a taste of their own medicine and as much as I hate to say it I think to win this contest United will have to play Barcelona at their own baby game. Fergie should send his players to a drama class this week and give Barcelona a reason to feel robbed. Barcelona have a fantastic team of footballers its just a shame most of them were brought up to cheat.

Despite all of Barcelona's 'Do what it takes' attitude, United do have one advantage; Barcelona have never won in England in the Champions League, they even lost 2-1 to hopeless Arsenal in the early knockout stages. Can United take advantage? I hope so, but lets not forget, Wembley has recent bad memories for United having lost the FA Cup semi final there to Manchester City, and lets face it, on the big day then, United did not show up.



Manchester United 1-0 Barcelona

Manchester United 1-1 Barcelona (Barcelona to win on pens)
Vidic                  Villa

Manchester United 0-3 Barcelona
                 Messi (2)

Sent Off:

Van Der Sar


Time of first goal:

51-60 mins (I personally have this bet on)

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Monday, 23 May 2011

Departing Managers

Thank You and Goodbye
So here comes the time of year when many managers lose their jobs. Many sacked after relegation, underachieving and the others of course who leave by "mutual consent."
Since the start of May we have seen 6 managers in the English leagues lose their jobs. Long serving Sammy McIlroy was sacked as Morcambe manager, followed the day after by Mickey Adams of Sheffield Utd, Mark Robins of Barnsley, Nicky Forster of Brentford, Avram Grant of West Ham and most notably and many feel unfairly, Carlo Ancelotti of Chelsea.
Two out of the six sacked here must feel hard done by, especially Sammy McIlroy who has done fantastically at Morecambe in his 6 years there, including taking them to the Football League. Carlo Ancelotti might have underachieved but are Chelsea really going to find someone better? The Premier League is now getting so competitive, many clubs are going to feel like they could have done better. Liverpool are now coming back into the mix, Manchester City are leaving their mark whereas Arsenal are getting fed up with not winning any silverware and are set to spend, and there are Manchester United and Tottenham looking to finish in the top four. If Chelsea don't get it right, they might be the team to fall out of the top four.

So, with a month of close season now for the players, which Chairmen are going to get power happy and sack their managers in the next month, or who will walk out? Here's who I think:

Dave Jones - After several years of close sniffs of the premier league and several play-off disappointments, I think Cardiff City's board will be fed up with Jones' inability to motivate his players for the second half of the season and in those big games.

Alex McLeish - No doubt he will be in high demand, he is a good manager and with Mark Hughes' contract still not sorted at Fulham and West Ham being interested, he may be pried away from his post.

Steve Kean - After a poor league finish and Steve Kean's obvious lack of experience, and with the chance of major summer Investment, I think Blackburn will want someone with more experience, maybe Mark Hughes could make a return.

Gerard Houllier - with his illness and Aston Villa's poor end of season finish, Villa may look for someone they are sure they can rely on and will be able to get them back up the table. After the massive £24m spent on Darren Bent, Villa will be disappointed with Houllier's impact.

Billy Davies - Like Dave Jones, Billy Davies is a man riddled with play-off misery. With his constant banging on about getting more money, he does himself no favours with the board and he in my opinion already has one of the strongest teams in the championship. I think his time could be running out.

Nigel Clough - Derby may look to replace Nigel Clough after his 2 seasons at the club have failed to get them anywhere near the play-offs. Last season saw them nearly in a relegation battle and lets face it, Derby County are a big club with a big fan base.

After a good first season I can't understand why Fulham have yet to extend Mark Hughes' contract. With only a year left to run, he can leave without compensation in January. I think a surprise return to Blackburn may be on the cards.

What do you think? Will your team lose its manager? Leave a comment.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

The Championship 2011/12

2011/12 Championship Favorites
I think we are going to be in for a treat next season in the Championship. These are not official favorites, but here is my take on who I think has to be in with a chance of promotion. You may be surprised not to see Cardiff in my prediction however I feel that with their losing mentality now they could collapse. I say this from experience as a Preston North End fan, we was in the play-offs 3 seasons out of 5 and narrowly missed out on the others, and now look at us! Anyway these are the teams I think have a strong chance of winning the League and being promoted;

WEST HAM UNITED - although they are going to lose a bunch of quality players, you have to feel that with the young players there that we know are going to stay, they have to be one of the favorites. With the likes of Jack Collison and Zavon Hines there, already with premier league experience, they will cause many championship defences problems. I certainly wouldn't be surprised to see them make an instant return.

BLACKPOOL - as a lilywhite, it pains me to admit this, but should Blackpool keep hold of Ian Holloway and continue to play their style of football, they are most likely favorites for the league title. I hope I am wrong and that they lose all their major assets including Holloway, and that football manager 2011 has got it right and they plummet down the leagues!

BIRMINGHAM CITY - I'm not too sure about Birmingham's chances, sure they have the investment, and there is the immediate attraction of playing in Europe. This however could hurt them in the league, what is already a small squad and will get smaller when some of the bigger players leave, they are going to have to contend with 46 league matches alongside the dreaded Europa League, something which Premier League sides are often effected by, and they have 8 league matches less. Due to the investment however, the are strong favorites, but I wouldn't be surprised to see them finish mid table, even more so if they lose the services of Alex McLeish.

NOTTINGHAM FOREST - Forest are now a very good team, but have a manager jinxed in the play-offs. However, should they add a few more players, they are more than capable of automatic promotion.

LEEDS UNITED - Should Leeds add a few more players to their already impressive squad, their fan base and manager should give them the edge next year to make the play-offs at least.

LEICESTER CITY - I won't go into too much detail as I will be writing a report on Leicester's spending power soon. They have to be title contenders, already with a number of proven premier league players on their books, they are looking to add and Sven has been told to spend his way to the promise land. Recent weeks they have been linked with Beckham, Heskey and many more proven players. Although these players are aging and their golden years are behind them, it is a clever move by Leicester City as not only should it give them a much better chance of getting promotion, they will make profits on replica shirts too, which will of course make the wages all that more affordable, and lets face it, with the investment or not, Leicester's fan base proves they can.


HULL CITY - as we always see, one team comes out of the blue, and for no specific reason, I am going to have a punt at Hull regaining their Premiership status.

So what are your thoughts? Do you think someone else is in with a chance? Leave a comment.

Final Day Drama

Relegation Ian-Evatt-able
So after the most intriguing relegation battle the Premier League has ever seen, we finally know the three that will go down to the Championship; West Ham, Blackpool and Birmingham.

In what was a dramatic final half an hour to the season, 4 of the 5 teams which could have gone down found themselves in the bottom 3. Only Blackburn managed to avoid finding themselves in that position after a fantastic first half performance which saw them 0-3 up at half time against a worried Wolves. Elsewhere Wigan survived with a less than comfortable 1-0 away win at Stoke, though at times, that might not have been enough.

Blackpool finally gave in, Ian Evatt doing what Manchester United found hard; beat the Blackpool keeper.

Birmingham deserved to go down after a very poor performance at Tottenham, hardly managing a shot on Goal.

So the last day results were;

Aston Villa                 1-0     Liverpool
Bolton                       0-2    Manchester City
Everton                    1-0     Chelsea
Fulham                      2-2    Arsenal
Manchester United     4-2    Blackpool
Newcastle                 3-3    West Brom
Stoke                        0-1   Wigan
Tottenham                2-1    Birmingham
West Ham                 0-3    Sunderland
Wolves                     2-3    Blackburn

A fantastic day of football which leaves the final premier league table of the season looking like this;

Man Utd3880
Man City3871
Aston Villa3848
10 Sunderland3847
11 WBA3847
13 Stoke City3846
14 Bolton3846
15 Blackburn3843
16 Wigan3842
17 Wolves3840
18 Birmingham3839
19 Blackpool3839
20 West Ham3833