October 18, 2017

A monumental battle for the top 4

Posted on December 31, 2009 by in English Premier League, Liverpool, Man United, Spurs

How will the fight for premiership title develop? The battle for the top four is hotting up.

With Chelsea not looking the dominant force they once where it is not a clear cut finish for the Premiership title.  Some have commented that Chelsea are not the dominant force they once where.  With the parture of Didier Drogba to play in the Africa Cup of Nations Carlo Ancellotti is having to put his hope in the young strikers Fabio Borini and Daniel Sturridge.  Neither have scored for the club before.  Ancellotti can’t rely on Anelka because he is injured.  On top of this fellow Ivory Coast player Salomon Kalou and Ghana’s Michael Essien are also leaving to play in the Africa cup of Nations.

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What the managers age saying… Mancini a genius?

Posted on December 29, 2009 by in English Premier League, Man City

Mancini has only just taken over from Sparky and he has proven himself.  Since his start we’ve seen some excellent performanaces from the likes Carlos Tevez, viz Man City vs Wolves, 0-3.  Possibly showing a spot of genuis playing Bellamy and Robinho down the flanks.  Expect to see more of Bellamy showing off his work rate down the flanks feeding through loads of crosses  for Tevez to convert.  Mancini has taken his job back to basics.  Man City have managed a clean sheet in past games.  He has been working with Kolo Toure to firm up City’s defence.  It all sounds like the ingredients of making a top for team.  Firm defence and stricker working with consistant and proactive mid field.

Here’s what Roberto Mancini had to say.

“We have another 19 games, so all is possible. We have a good team and if we keep concentrating it’s possible [to win the Premier League]. We must carry on playing well and winning. Then, in two months, we can look at the situation [in the title race]. It’s important that we just play well and improve match after match. If we keep playing well, if we keep the ball on the pitch and play a short game, we can arrive in the top four.”

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As West Ham yo yo Spurs have sealed the double

Posted on December 28, 2009 by in English Premier League

The was a consensus view that the West Ham vs Tottenham game would result in a 3 -1 win to Tottenham.

At LetsCompareFootball we suspected that Tottenham would win this London Derby. Our view was strengthened further after reading a preview from SpursOdyssey.

The effect of West Ham beating Portsmouth and a well earned draw against Chelsea recently may have been underestimated because Spurs where only allowed to score 2 goals. However, the effect of West Ham’s injuries sustained at the weekend caused the Hammers not to score a goal at all.

The pre match view over at the West Ham blog was particularly good as it predicted that Jermain Defoe would be drafter to play his old club. Defoe took this role with bluster and scored with nine minutes remaining. The return of Ledley King, and especially Luka Modric from injury really boosted Spurs abilities. It was an early strike from Luka Modric who set Tottenham well on their way to three points.

Spursodyssey described Tottenham’s past performances against West Ham to back up their opinion of why Spurs should do the double over West Ham.

Foreigners are stealing top managers jobs

Posted on December 23, 2009 by in English Premier League, Man City

When the money comes the management changes.  Look at the top teams in the Premiership today.  All the top managers jobs go to foreigners.  With a campaign to promote home grown premiership football players gaining interest the same can’t be said for British football managers.

Why shoud it be this way?

It could be the higher wages…. this may explain why foreigners are so happy to come to the UK.

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The millions bring impossible expectations to Manchester City

Posted on December 21, 2009 by in English Premier League

Has Mark Hughes steps aside for Roberto Mancini you can’t help but wonder if the expectations of the Man City owners are impossible.   Where have the millions gone so far, Robinho, Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Adebayor, who have all be something of a disapointment.

Where will Mancini be looking to improve the team?  The flanks and defence will be a focus.  The defence looked weak against Sunderland.

Alan Hanson has been vocal in his suprise that Hughe’s is to be replaced by Mancini.  Understandable, he says, if it was for the likes of Gus Hiddink.  Roberto Mancini was a gifted player, but, his managerial qualities are still unproven, with his performance at Inter Milan probably due more to the lack of a real contender than real skill.  It may be worth checking the odds of Jose Mourinho suceeding Mancini at the Eastlands.

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The last 16 drawn…Champions League Update

Posted on December 20, 2009 by in English Premier League

Last 16 Draw

AC Milan v Manchester United
Porto v Arsenal
Lyon v Real Madrid
CSKA Moscow v Sevilla
Bayern Munich v Fiorentina
Inter Milan v Chelsea
Olympiakos v Bordeaux
Stuttgart v Barcelona

The first legs will take place on the 16th, 17th, 23rd and 24th February
– with the return legs on the 9th, 10th, 16th and 17th March.

Barcelona still head up the betting after the draw. They have been
slightly trimmed by the bookies from 7/2 to 3/1. Next it’s Chelsea at
4/1, followed by Real Madrid at 5/1.

Mourinho and Beckham to face old clubs…

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What’s James Milner’s chances of getting to South Africa?

Posted on December 16, 2009 by in English Premier League

James Milner has been turning out some good performances of late.  Most recently he helped Aston Villa get their 2-0 victory over Sunderland.  The bookmakers’ reccon his chances have gone from 46% to 64%.

After being switched to a central midfield rolw this clever player has stepped up a gear. Milner has proved his versatility after his wonder strike at Sunderland. He has to have one foot on the plane to South Africa.

Milner is likely to join the scrap for back up positions for the existing midfield favourites.  The well tested play of Lampard, Barry and Gerrard have almost guaranteed starting roles when England play the USA. Lampard’s timing of runs in support of attack give rooney the freedom he needs. Whilst Barry has played consistantly well at Man City since he arrived.  Gerrard has moved to the left.  Promted by the notion that Gerrard and Lampard can not gell in the central positions. Not a something we’d want to debate now.  But, it does seem to give Gerrard the space to play infield allowing Ashley goal to apply more forward pressure. Allowing him more movement can confuse full backs as who to mark. Given time to perfect link ups with Rooney from a wide position this could be a pottent combination.

With the number of midfield positions mooted to be eight there is lots of competition for the final spaces. Theo Walcott looks less likely. But Aaron Lennon at Tottenham is climing the pecking order. Michael Carrick, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Jermain Jenas all have a chance.  Then of course there’s David Beckham. Michael Carrick has got to compete with Own Hargreaves, although since serious injury he does not look like a serious contendor. Throw Ahsley Yound and James Milner into the mix there is lots to choose from.

Lets assume Lampard, Barry, Gerrard, and Lennon are safe.  If fitness is up to scratch you have Walcott and Beckham. This leaves 2 position up for grans.  With Hargreaves and Carrick odds on to get these, Millner needs to turn in a little extra to get the nod.

Don’t go Defoe

Posted on December 1, 2009 by in English Premier League

The Sunday Express have been circulating rumours that Barcelona the current European Champs are courting Jermain Defoe. It is no surprise, having scored 15 times for Tottenham and in international apprearences this season he is on top form.

Harry Redknapp would be crazy to sell Defoe especially as he has just managed to overtake Arsenal at the top of the table. However, after helping to Defoe to excel they could be looking at doubling their money. That could be hard to resist in anyones book, only in certain circumstances of course.

Realistically though, looking at who Defoe would be playing along side at Barcelona he’d probably spend a lot of time on the bench. Do you think the likes of Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thierry Henry, and Bojan would like loosing first team action to a newcommer?

Tottenham above Arsenal in the Premier League, are the gooners goners?

Posted on December 1, 2009 by in English Premier League

Tottenham have leap frogged Arsenal and are now on the coat tails of Man United and Chelsea. It is all to play for with Tottenham only 5 points behind Man United in the league.  Harry Redknapp as mentioned that he beleives Arsenal have lost their chance of winning the Premier League title.  Arsene Wenger’s comments of late have been more and more negative.

Harry Redknapp commented on Sky Sports News “Anyone who knew anything about football knew how strong Chelsea were before the weekend.
“And Man United, I said weeks and weeks ago that I could see Chelsea and Man United fighting out the championship this year and that’s how I am sure it is going to be again.”

Redknap beleives that if Chelsea can show such strength against Arsenal there is no stopping them.

Whether Tottenham can be a serious challenge to Man United is another thing.  Harry has thinks it likely that the two of them [Chelsea and Man United] will pull away at the top and will be fighting it our for the Premiership title.