Wednesday, 28 April 2010

New Man United shirts 2010/11 leaked

The new Manchester United shirts have been leaked and it looks like they are taking an 80s retro look to things.

Thanks to the guys at for the pics.

New Australia football shirt 2010/11

More new kits this time the shirt that Cahil and the lads will be wearing in South Africa:

Can Van Gaal complete turnaround against Lyon?

Bayern Munich face one of their biggest games in recent history this week when they tackle Lyon in the Champions League semi-final second leg.

Carrying a 1-0 lead from the first game, reaching the final would be a personal triumph for their manager Louis Van Gaal after his career looked to have stalled a few years ago.

After a trophy laded spell with Ajax and then Barcelona in the 1990s Van Gaal took charge of the Dutch national team and infamously failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup.

Unsuccessful second spells at Ajax and Barca followed before an 11th place finish with minnows AZ Alkmaar in 2007 seemingly put Van Gall on the road to mediocrity.

Read the rest of this entry.

Fine Margins define success an failure for Everton

David Moyes echoed most Evertonians thoughts on Sunday when he said their chances of a Europa League place were "slim" despite a last gasp win over Fulham.

Liverpool's win over Burnley the same day means the Reds have to lose their final two games while the Toffees have to collect maximum points in order for Europa League football to return to Goodison next season.

But the very fact we are even talking about Europe with two games to go is credit to the way the players have turned the season around and displayed title winning form since the turn of the year. However, that positive also brings huge frustration.

The year Everton decided to make a poor start to the season and not challenge for the top four is the year when the race of a Champions League spot is at its most open.

Read the rest of this entry.

Premier League football - it makes you sick

Was it the shock of Nani scoring a goal? Were the half-time prawn sandwiches a bit iffy? Or maybe some volcanic ash had descended on Old Trafford and made everyone a bit nauseous?

Whatever it was, the Old Trafford groundsman had more than just mud and sweat to clean up from the pitch after United’s 3-1 win over Spurs following Patrice Evra’s on-field vomiting ten minutes into the second half.

And with millions of people watching Evra’s, and later Nani’s, affliction was shared to the world thanks to the sharp focus of a TV camera – I’m glad I haven’t got HD.

It seems odd that most TV companies refuse to show pitch invaders, choosing instead to show clips of the corner flag or the subs warming up while the commentators talk about everything except the half naked man being rugby tackled by three stewards, but they will gladly show Evra bring up his lunch. It is just as well Carlo Ancelotti took his Chelsea players to the cinema on Saturday lunchtime instead of watching the game.

Read the rest of this entry.

Steven Gerrard - latest

Will the expected media explosion didn't happen did it? Either the supposed 'super-injunction' worked or it was all a load of Twitter/football blog inspired internet nonsense (I suspect it was the latter)

The Echo picked up on the internet rumours and posted this denial story with quotes from Alex Curran herself. I guess it was too sensational to ever be realistically true.

Now England fans can focus back on Wayne Rooney's fitness.....

Monday, 26 April 2010

The worst miss of all time??

The MLS has never really enjoyed the best of reputations and it can't have been helped by Kansas Wizard's striker Kei Kamara,who somehow managed to miss an open goal from SIX INCHES!
I missed an open goal from that distance once I admit, but I was 9 at the time so I think I can be forgiven.

As for Mr Kamara, well, lets just say it's a shocker...

Miss of the century

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Wayne Rooney injured again - season over, World Cup in doubt?

We all knew it was coming didn't we?

After a fantastic season in which he has carried United almost singlehandidly in the Premier League title race it was invetibale Wayne Rooney would pick up an injury in the build up to the Word Cup.

Playing him just a week after spraining his ankle was bad enough but now it appears a groin injury, which saw him sit out the 3-1 win over Spurs, will curtail the striker for the rest of the season.

Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed before the Spurs game on Saturday the injury could keep him out for 2-3 weeks. If that is the case then a months rest should see him right for the big kick off in South Africa. However what worries me most is United gambling on Rooney'a fitness to secure them the title(which will happen I gurantee you!) running the risk of a serious injury which will keep him out for longer - a serious groin strain could rule him off for a month or more easy.

I suppose it is all part of the hysterical build to the biannual soap opera that is England in a major tournament - but it would be nice if it could be straight forward for once...

Crossed fingers all round!

Who will escape from World Cup Group A?

With less than 50 days left until the Word Cup I thought I would add to the excitement by looking at who I think will qualify from Group A which contains France, Uruguay, Mexico and hosts South Africa.


Not everybody’s favourite team after their controversial play-off win over Ireland but the gods were shining on them when they were drawn in a favourable group. However, Coach Raymond Domenech is unpopular with fans and what looks like an impressive team on paper needs to stand up and be counted. They might be some people’s football tips to win the tournament, but I have a sneaky feeling they may crash and burn in this one.


They have a good record at qualifying from their group – but don’t go any further. They have been eliminated at the first knockout stage in their past four tournaments. They could have done with a kinder group though as their best players are also their oldest, take 37-year-old Chauthemoc Blanco for example. I predict they will go home with the wooden spoon.

Read the rest of this entry.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Steven Gerrard rumours

Ha you have to love the internet!

Rumours have gathered pace this morning about Steven Gerrard allegedly (yes that's allegedly!) cheating on his wife Alex Curran with a 16 year old and getting her pregnant. To add to the sensationalism Curran herself has been (allegedly) cheating on Gerard with a Derby County player.

And as a result Gerrard will leave Liverpool in the summer for a club abroad.

This is all unconfirmed rumour at the minute I have to stress, with talk of super-injunctions and Gerrard staying at a Southport hotel. The only sites I can find anymore on are below:

Once again Capello will have to deal with something other than football.

He should just sack the lot of 'em and start all over again!

World Cup tickets – the peoples turn?

I couldn’t help but raise a smile to this BBC blog I read the other day regarding the ‘luckiest fan in the world’.

Twenty-Nine year old South African Thulani Ngcobo has in his possession a ticket for the World Cup final,both the semis, and two of the quarters. All in all he has tickets for over half the World Cup matches after winning a sponsor's competition last year.

Fair play!

But what makes this upcoming World Cup even better has been the opportunity for ordinary South Africans to get tickets.

Yes FIFA’s decision to release over-the-counter World Cup tickets (or Soccer tickets as they have been called elsewhere) was done late, and the number available would have been less had the European allocation sold as many expected. But despite all that, the queues at the ticket centres in Cape Town and Johannesburg suggested the World Cup maybe one that is returned to the people again, instead of the suit wearing, prawn sandwich eating corporate brigade.

To contrast that with the FA Cup final, where only 50,000 of the 90,000 capacity will go to the clubs, or the Europa League final where each side will receive a paltry 12,500 each for a 51,000 stadium, it makes you realise how the real supporters have been sidelined in modern football's ever willing pursuit of greed.

Hopefully the sight of thousands of South African fans revelling in watching players they never thought they would ever see in person makes the organisers realise what the World Cup is really all about.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

More new football kits 2010/11

They just keep on coming! Here is some more offerings coming to a pitch near you this August:

Bolton home kit 2010/11 (this deserves a design award this one!)

Burnley home 2010/11 season - Andre Bikey in a 'hardest expression of the day' competition evidently.

Another Umbro classic for Blackburn Rovers' new 2010/11 away kit.

I'll bring you more as they come in!

New Chelsea shirt 2010/11

More madness from Premier League clubs as they abandon the previously sensible policy of producing a kit every two seasons to churning one out every year to milk the fans still further. It's ok though becasue Chelsea's effort this year has a bit of red on. So there. Hand over your £40.

New Liverpool kit 2010/11

It is supposed ot be a tribute to the kit they wore the last time they won the league - which is why it looks so OLD!!

Europa League would be Hodgson’s finest achievement

A 450 mile round trip is not the best preparation for a European semi-final, but Fulham have already proved capable of rising above obstacles placed in their path this season.

The cloud of ash belching out from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland means the Fulham squad will have to travel to Germany the old fashioned way, in a coach with frequent rest stops to keep the poor lads fresh and alert. But given the prize awaiting them, I'm sure the hours will fly by.

A place in the Europa League last four is unfamiliar territory for the Cottagers, but so is being in Europe in the first place - this is only their second ever campaign on the continent. However, they have progressed in the competition with all the smoothness and assurance of European veterans.

Much of the credit has to go Roy Hodgson, who has no doubt used the wealth of experience garnered from his time working across Europe to plot Fulham's path to Europa League glory.
Read the rest of this entry.

Man United close to crucial turning point

All good things must come to an end, even in football, and next summer it looks like one of the greatest managerial reigns the game has seen will finally come to an end.

It hasn’t been confirmed and remains in the realms of tabloid tittle tattle, but if the rumours are true then Sir Alex Ferguson will be hanging hang up the hairdryer for good and will vacate the Man United hot seat that has been his own since 1986.

The timing would certainly make sense, at nearly 70 Fergie is already a veteran and has called off his retirement once already. With his team one win title away from becoming the most successful English domestic side – something the betting odds suggest could happen this season – it would be a fitting way to bow out.

Read the rest of this entry.

Is Pienaar the shock answer to Liverpool’s problems?

With only a few weeks to go until the end of the season it is no surprise the summer transfer rumour mill is beginning to lurch into gear.

Football writers and journalists are either very clued up on who clubs are after, or simply take a scattergun approach when it comes to reporting transfer rumours.

Therefore fans aren’t particularly surprised when a player actually signs as it is usually reported several weeks before the event.

However, there would be one transfer which, if it happened, would send shockwaves across the Premier League and Merseyside especially.

Reports this week suggest Rafa Benitez will make a move for Everton’s Steven Pienaar.

Stories about the South African leaving are not new. With just 14 months left on his current contract and talks with the Toffees still ongoing, it is a becoming increasingly likely that Pienaar will seek a move elsewhere, especially if he has a good World Cup with South Africa.

Read the rest of this entry.

Derby defeat won’t stop City march

It probably isn’t the best time to say it, but in the aftermath of Man City’s last gasp derby defeat to bitter rivals United, it became clear that City are a club on the rapid rise.

So often a fixture that proved to be a minor irritant rather than a formidable challenge, City’s very expensive revolution has forced United to take them seriously this year.

Fergie showed that by naming his strongest line up, including veterans Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Edwin Van Der Sar.

United have been at the top of the English game for over a decade so it was no surprise they had the last laugh in this battle.

However, unless there is another crop of outrageously talented youngsters about to make the step up from the United academy, much of the United’s side are approaching their best before date.

Read the rest of this entry.

United’s second chance highlights decline in Premier League

When football fans map out their dream scenario for a set of fixtures things very rarely pan out as predicted.

But for Manchester United supporters, last weekend’s script couldn’t have been written any better.

A last gasp victory on the ground of their bitter rivals was followed by Chelsea’s implosion down at White Hart Lane. The desperation and disappointment of Ewood Park six days earlier was replaced with renewed hope as they were given a second chance in the title race.

But regardless of who goes on to claim the title, I feel Alan Hansen hit the nail on the head when he said an “average” team will win the league.

Throughout the last decade the bar was continually raised, starting with Arsene Wenger’s invincibles of 2004, Jose Mourinho’s expensively assembled dream team in the middle of the decade through to the Ronaldo-inspired United sides of recent years. All these sides would have had the league sewn up by now.

Read the rest of this entry.

Is Moyes the man to replace Fergie?

He may be focused on winning a nineteenth league title for Manchester United, but Sir Alex Ferguson is also reportedly planning his retirement as well. Reports in the press suggest Fergie will pack it all in next summer, leaving the board with the arduous task of finding a replacement for a man who has held the top job at Old Trafford since 1986.

It will be one of the most pivotal moments in the club’s history, especially when you consider the likes of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Edwin van Der Sar and Gary Neville will all hang up their boots then as well.

Whoever takes the job will have a massive task on their hands to rebuild the squad while continuing the trophy laden dynasty of the Fergie era – indeed the online football betting suggests he could add another league title this season.

There are plenty of contenders from both home and abroad. But one name that is continually mentioned is David Moyes.

Read the rest of this entry

Friday, 16 April 2010

World Cup 2010: Analyzing the Favorites from Each Group

In a World Cup in which the host is not a strong candidate for the title, there are more chances of success for other teams, however, the big teams are always going to be favorites and the level of rivals in each group will not always be the same.
The World Cup odds begin to be measured on June 11th in the opening game between South Africa and the Mexican national team, Mexico is considered the favorite to defeat the host at the Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg.

Group A: In a very difficult group, South Africa, Mexico, Uruguay and France will be facing each other. The favorites to qualify from this group are Mexico and France, the latter is ranked seventh in the FIFA ranking and became one of the strongest favorites to win the world cup.

Group B: In terms of technical quality, this group is considered one of the least complicated, especially for Argentina, which will have Nigeria, Greece and South Korea as opponents. The "albiceleste" will debut on June 12th against Nigeria after facing a difficult World Cup qualifying, with six defeats and four draws.

Group C: In one of the most important matches of the group, England will face the U.S. team in a meeting between the two favorites of the group and in which the odds favor Fabio Capello’s team. Slovenia and Algeria are not difficult opponents for the British and this will allow their pass to the next round without much trouble.

Group D: The teams in this group were all ranked first in the qualifying campaign; they are Australia, Serbia, Ghana and Germany. The three-time champion will face teams without much experience in the history of World Cups; however, Serbia's team was ranked above France with seven wins and 22 points. The favorite to rank in the top of the group is Germany, who ranks sixth in the FIFA rankings.

Group E: With extensive experience in World Cups, this group is composed of Netherlands, Japan, Denmark and Cameroon. With eight wins in eight matches, Netherlands is the favorite of this group and is one of the strongest teams throughout the competition.

Group F: In this group is the defending champion Italy with favorable opponents Paraguay, New Zealand and Slovakia. The "Azzurri" are ranked 5th and are considered one of the strongest candidates to win the South Africa 2010 World Cup after getting seven wins and three draws in the qualifying matchups.

Group G: Brazil is in the toughest group of the tournament, with the likes of Ivory Coast and Portugal, the battle between these teams for winning first place in the classification will be to avoid a possible encounter with Spain in the second round. North Korea will have a challenging game in the first match against Brazil on June 15. Brazil, the five-time champion, is the second favorite to win the World Cup after Spain.

Group H: The Euro 2008 champion is in one of the less challenging groups. La Roja will face the national teams of Switzerland, Honduras and Chile in a group that makes Spain’s road easier to the second round. Spain will face the toughest opponent in the third round and a final clash against Chile could be a factor in deciding the winner of the group.