August 20, 2018

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.

Sour grapes Arsene?

Posted on November 30, 2009 by in Arsenal, English Premier League

This is what Arsene Wenger said about said about Didier Drogba….. sounds like sour grapes to me

“It’s funny because he doesn’t do a lot but he is efficient in what he does. You would be surprised by the number of balls that he touched today. Drogba is in a period where he kicks the ball and it goes in. You can’t tell me that for the first goal, the ball went where he intended it to go. At the moment he just goes for it and it goes in. The first was the goal of a striker in complete confidence… How can he see Eduardo kicking the ball out of Cech’s hands when there was a Chelsea player in front of him? That was a massive mistake by the referee. I just think that we made mistakes and the referee got the turning point of the game wrong: 2-1 is different to 2-0 at the start of the second half. The referees this year … our game with Man United, the Chelsea game … they have been decided by the referee. The referees don’t want video but it’s difficult to understand why not. Why doesn’t he ask? Because he’s too scared to be intimidated, to be under pressure to use the video.” – Arsene Wenger.

Ancelotti said  “I believe we will win the title.”

Now there has been a lot of comment about referees recently.  Who knows if it is justified, but, the referees are an excellent may to manipulate the ebb and flow of the premiership.  Taking Forumula One as an example it is clear that manipulation on a fundamental basis in sport is not uncommon.

The results at the Emirates on Sunday is testament to Chelsea’s great defence. Just look at the number of clean sheets they’ve had this season.  It is a amazing to think that this should be possible with all the injuries woes Chelsea have suffered of late.

In comparison out of the 13 games Arsenal have lost this season they have conceeded 18 goals…. not a pretty sight Arsene.