Friday, 18 February 2011

There is no magic to be had at Crawley v Man United

As the nation gears up for another FA Cup weekend journalists and TV producers are desperately searching around for the most romantic FA Cup angle to fill their endless coverage.

Non-league Crawley Town, the first side from outside the football league to get to the fifth round for 17 years, is an obvious story given they are heading to Old Trafford to take on the footballing behemoth that is Manchester United.

But ask any fan of non-league football and they will tell you the Crawley story isn’t necessarily the one of ‘plucky underdogs’ you might expect.

Quinn right to have Sunderland FC vision but he can’t blame stay away fans

Upon announcing losses of £25.5million – underwritten by owner Ellis Short – Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn has gone on the offensive with regard to fans who watch his club’s games in the pub or on internet streams at home.

Quinn is concerned about falling attendances this season, despite the club hovering in and around the top six.

That wasn’t in the plan when he sold the future vision of the club in 2008 to Texan billionaire Short, who has invested a further £28million of his own money into the club this season alone.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

West Ham win new stadium ahead of Spurs, but no-one seems completely satisfied

In what has become an increasingly bitter and personal battle to win the right to take-over the Olympic Stadium West Ham appear to have won the race ahead of Spurs.

But if that proves to be the case, the decision has to be confirmed by London Major Boris Johnson and the government, you get the impression Hammers fans aren’t exactly ecstatic with the move.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Arsenal's Wilshire latest victim of England hype machine

Here we go again.

With the class of 2010 ruthlessly chewed up and spat out by the media; labelled spoilt over-paid, over-rated wasters, the press hordes have moved onto their next target.

That person is Jack Wilshire, a young player of extreme talent yes, but one who is already been placed on a pedestal he is not yet qualified to fill.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Predictable drop-outs for ill-timed England friendly

The difficulties in juggling club management and international management are once again in the spotlight this week with England set to play a pretty pointless friendly in Denmark.

Coming as it is between two sets of Premier League games and a week before the resumption of the Champions League it is little surprise there has been a flurry of drop outs.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Kenny Dalglish starts to make his mark on Liverpool

For Liverpool fans this victory is by far the sweetest of the four consecutive wins under manager Kenny Dalglish so far.

Games between Liverpool and Chelsea always have an edge anyway. The Reds represent the old guard, with esteemed history and tradition but have grown weary and fallen on hard times. Chelsea are the cheeky
nouveau riche upstarts, a symbol of Premier League’s modern excess.

West Brom the latest club to push the panic button

West Brom, usually a shining example of stability and sensible management at board level, have plunged their season into chaos by sacking their manager Roberto Di Matteo.

True, the club have been on a shocking run of 13 defeats in 18 games but as Di Matteo pointed out via the LMA on Sunday, they haven’t been in the bottom three since the opening week of the season.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Suarez sweeps in new Liverpool era

A massive PR exercise has been taking place at Liverpool in recent days.

Make no mistake the departure of Fernando Torres was a hammer blow to the club’s morale.

He, alongside Steven Gerrard, was a talisman and the two players they could truly call World-class.

The signing of Luis Suarez was meant to persuade the sulky Spaniard to stay at the club, a sign of their ambition, and fans were drooling at the prospect of the pair playing together.

But Torres’ insistence that he wanted to leave left Kenny Dalglish and Liverpool board with a problem – not least what to do with the giant Torres mural outside the club shop.

The £35million last-ditch signing of Andy Carroll was their answer.

With the Torres money burning a hold in their back pocket I don’t think they cared how much they paid, in fact the bigger the better, anything to detract attention from the sight of Torres in a blue shirt.

Ex-Liverpool players-turned-pundits filled the sports pages and sports news channels, telling us all what a good deal it was, how Torres wasn’t that much of a loss and they are better off now anyway. All of a sudden a desperate situation had apprently been turned round.

Whether that is true or not is open to debate and will only ever be proven a few months down the line. But for the here and now Liverpool don’t care, they needed to give the fans a boost and bring back that air of anticipation back to Anfield rather than the Hodgson-era feeling of dread.

Complete things by giving Suarez the number seven shirt and Carroll the number nine and the supporters entered the ground misty eyed, remembering glory days gone by and believing a new chapter was about to begin.

It worked. Stoke did their best to batter and bruise the men in Red, holding on for 47 minutes before the deadlock was finally broken. Then, as if written in the script, Suarez came off the bench and scored to the delight of the home crowd.

The plan has worked perfectly so far. But with the window now shut, this is where the real work begins.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

I'm not a Chelsea fan, nor a Liverpool hater, but I do find this funny

A reaction to my story about Torres handing in a transfer request on Friday:  
Anonymous said...

    lol ...dream on

Anonymous said...

    bull$hit story, will never happen. Torres won't hand in transfer request.

Anonymous said...

    Torres has loyalty. Sorry.

Imran said...

    Obviously written after a pint too many!
    Dream on ...

(at least Imran had the decency to put his name to his quote!)

Anonymous said...

    the drinking mans blog?...very apt cos you must be pissed rent couldnt call this the thinking mans blog after all could you? w*nker

Anonymous said...
Amusing rumour to liven up an otherwise rather pointless bid by Chelsea. Quite simply, no chance on earth. Liverpool will point-blank never sell Torres to another English club and the player has repeatedly made public his intention to stay at the club and honour his contract. I guess it's worth the risk to start the rumour, not as if the british press has any credibility to lose.
Anonymous said...

    more bullshit 

I'm guessing these are the same people who guranteed themselves a spot on the front pages of the nationals by burning their Torres shorts last night?

It  just goes to show that lots of money and the ticking clock of the trasnfer window does strange things - just ask Jim White.