Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

Hold the Back Page - Remembering Gary Speed - Man City / Liverpool / Luis Suarez / Rio Ferdinand / Euro 2012 Draw / Steve Bruce / Sunderland

Hold the BackPage returns for another edition with Willie Gannon back on board to join Neil Sherwin and Ger McCarthy in assessing the game’s recent talking points including the tragic passing of Gary Speed, the antics of Luis Suarez, Rio Ferdinand and Steve Bruce's sacking at Sunderland and, of course, no pod would be complete without a mention of the one and only Mario Balotelli...

It’s a rather sombre opening to this week’s podcast as the lads discuss the tragic passing of Gary Speed and share their memories of a fantastic player who has excelled for both club and country during a career which spanned more than two decades.

Hold the BackPage - Remembering Gary Speed by bpfootball

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Gary Speed 1969-2011: Football Legend Dies at 42

Manchester City's great run in the Premier League and poor run in the Champions League, Robin van Persie's unbelievable form, and Lionel Messi's and Cristiano Ronaldo's domination of the game we all love was all put into perspective yesterday after Gary Speed passed away at just 42-years-of-age.

The former Leeds, Everton, Newcastle, Bolton and Sheffield United player and current manager of the Welsh international team was found dead at his home in Huntington, Cheshire, by Police at 07:08 GMT. They said there were no suspicious circumstances in the death.

Sources have said that Speed had been found hanged.

Gary Speed is survived by his wife and his two children.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney...Robin van Persie?

Arsenal striker Robin van Persie is in the best form of his career. So far this season, he has bagged 11 goals in 13 goals in 16 games across all competitions including 11 goals in 12 English Premier League games.

Such is the Dutchman's phenomenal run of form over the last 12 months that many analysts are now comparing Van Persie to his contemporaries; Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney.

But how do these favourable comparisons hold up?

Friday, September 30, 2011

Peamount United Optimistic Ahead of Champions League Return Clash With PSG

Peamount United will travel to France to take on the financial might of PSG on Monday morning with the winds of hope flying their sails. The Dublin side trail their counterparts 2-0 after losing the first leg in Shamrock Rovers Tallaght Stadium on Wednesday night.

The Pea's, the first Irish side ever to make the latter stages of a European club competition, provided very good value for their partisan home crowd and matched PSG woman for woman until the French professional side's superior stamina and physicality kicked on as the game wore on.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hold The Back Page - Skinheads in Skirts - Man City / Tottenham 4-0 Liverpool / BRFC 4-3 Arsenal / Shamrock Rovers / The Rooney Rule / Gasperini

Hold the BackPage - Skinheads and Skirts by bpfootball

Hold the BackPage returns for another edition with Neil Sherwin again taking the lead and he is joined by Ger McCarthy and Willie Gannon to sift through the latest Premier League action. 

The lads discuss Manchester City losing their 100 percent record, Tottenham hammering Liverpool 4-0 and Blackburn beating Arsenal 4-3 as well as a number of other hot topics including Shamrock Rovers in Europe, the Rooney Rule, Gasperini being sacked at Inter Milan and Turkey’s innovative new measures to combat hooliganism...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Asamoah Gyan Transfer Leaves Sunderland and Steve Bruce Up The Creek...

The season may be just four games old but Steve Bruce and Sunderland's season is already on a knife edge. Having lost Asamoah Gyan to Al-Ain in one of the strangest loan moves the English Premier League has ever seen, the Black Cats have lost their focal point up front and now face a long cold wait until the January Transfer Window opens up...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hold The Back Page Podcast - Champions League / Manchester Domination of the EPL / Spurs / Dalglish and Liverpool / Peamount Utd

Hold the BackPage - Manchester Mania by bpfootball

The podcast is back for another edition as Neil Sherwin is joined by Ger McCarthy and Willie Gannon to discuss the opening round of Champions League action as well as the latest goings on in the Premier League as the Manchester clubs continue to lead the way.

With no vested interest in this year’s Champions League, Ger McCarthy is the perfect man to discuss the opening round of the competition as both Manchester sides picked up points. City were very much hit and miss at home to Napoli while, as Willie Gannon explains, United were far from convincing in their clash with Benfica. There’s also a look back at last night’s results for Chelsea and Arsenal as well as a round up of the rest of the games played.

Part 2 sees attentions turn to the Premier League with the possibility of a two horse race for the title developing. There’s a look at Liverpool who faltered against Stoke, while questions are asked about the possibility of Tony Pulis’ side qualifying for Europe this season through the league. Asamoah Gyan’s money grabbing antics also come under scrutiny and to round off the pod, Willie gives us the heads up about a massive game for Peamount United in the UEFA Womens Champions League.

Don’t forget, you can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or RSS!

Also if there is anything you would like to hear on the show in future simply drop us an email, tweet or comment on Facebook.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 Things We Learned From Wayne Rooney vs. Kun Aguero and EPL Week 4

Manchester United and Manchester City dominated proceedings once again as the two sides continued their own private "anything you can do..." battle as both Wayne Rooney and Kun Aguero scored hat-tricks for their respective teams.

Liverpool traveled to Stoke for what many regarded as Kenny Dalglish's first real test of the season, which says a lot about how Arsenal are now perceived.

Speaking of the Gunners, they entertained Swansea at the Emirates as their struggling North London neighbours, Tottenham Hotspur, took on Wolves at Molineaux with Harry Redknapp entrusting his future to Emmanuel Adebayor and Scott Parker...

As with every Premier League weekend there was a multitude of talking points, so lets begin by going to the Emirates...

Monday, September 5, 2011

"The Older I Get The More I Love It" - Interview with Australian International Footballer Richard Garcia

"The older I get, the more I love it," says Richard Garcia when I ask if he still loves the sport he has played for near on a lifetime. The Australian international moved halfway around the world at just 15-years-of-age to learn his trade at the famed Academy at West Ham. He has seen the game from more angles than many professionals ever get the chance to see and is still as enthusiastic as he was on the day that he first pulled on a pair of boots.

From League One to the Championship and the Premier League to playing at the World Cup in South Africa, to suffering career threatening injuries, there is very little in the game that Garcia has yet to see.

I caught up with the midfielder, currently recuperating from a serious knee injury, to find how he is coping whilst out, how he views the game, and what he sees in his possible future after he finishes playing.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tottenham Transfers: 5 Last Minute Harry Redknapp Targets

He may not like being called a "wheeler dealer" but no transfer window can go by without Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp pulling a deal out of nowhere.

The window still has another eight hours to go and Spurs have already pulled off some of the best deals of the window as Emmanuel Adebayor, Brad Friedel, Scott Parker and Souleymane Coulibaly have all joined the club for less that £10 million, albeit with Adebayor only joining on loan from Manchester City.

Heavy defeats against Manchester United and Manchester City in their opening two games of the season guarantees that the White Hart Lane fax machine will be working right up until 23:00 GMT.

Here we look at some of the transfer targets Harry Redknapp is more than interested in...

Owen Hargreaves: Manchester City Snap Up Ex-Manchester United Star on Free Transfer

Owen Hargreaves is to join Manchester City in one of the most dramatic and sensational transfer deals of the summer after the ex-Manchester United player agreed to undertake a pay-as-you-play deal for the Champions League debutantes.

Fresh from signing Sergio Aguero, Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy and Stefan Savic it would seem that the free transfer of Owen Hargreaves to the club will gazump them all in terms of interest and,hopefully pray City fans, value.

"Shock signing" and Manchester City seem to go hand in hand since Sheik Mansour took over the club in 2008 and no one in their right minds would have suggested to add Owen Hargreaves to that list, expect perhaps for the midfielder himself...

Monday, August 29, 2011

10 Things We Learned From Manchester v North London and EPL Week 3

We're just three weeks into the new English Premier League season and we have already seen two of the greatest team performances of recent times, two of the worst team performances of recent times, and two clubs in crisis.
All in all it was a good day for Manchester as they beat North London 13-3 and the scary thing is, Wayne Rooney and Sergio Aguero are only going to get better as the season goes on.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Alex Ferguson Defends Wenger From Arsenal Supporters Before Dealing Knockout Blow

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has leaped to the defence of his rival Arsene Wenger and has hit out at the Arsenal managers recent critics by saying the "work he has done is the best in Arsenal's history." However, as always with Fergie there is more here than just meets the eye because the United supremo has also lashed his rival for allowing a five year barren run at the Gunners to happen.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Wilson Palacios to Stoke City? Why Tottenham Should Not Sell Their Hidden Gem

If rumours are to be believed Stoke City and Tottenham Hotspur have entered advanced talks about the transfer of Honduran international Wilson Palacios from White Hart Lane. The combative midfielder signed for Spurs from Wigan in 2009 for £12 million and it is thought that Tony Pulis will pay Harry Redknapp around £6 million to secure his services.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Samir Nasri: New Manchester City Star Hits Out at Arsenal's Fans and Philosophies

Samir Nasri has left Arsenal for the cash laden pastures of Manchester City as expected....In one of the longest running transfer deals of the summer the French international - out of contract next summer - signed on the dotted line for Roberto Mancini around the very same time his old team were playing Udinese in the Champions League Qualifier with manager Arsene Wenger's future firmly in the balance.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

QPR Set to Sign Joey Barton on Free Transfer From Newcastle as Club Refunds Season Ticket Holders

QPR seem to have pulled off something of a major coup after Joey Barton confirmed that he is to have a medical in Shepards Bush on Wednesday night after Newcastle and Rangers came to an agreement over the midfielder.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Premier League Predictions: Champions, Top Four and Relegation

The 2011-'12 Premier League season is already promising to be one of the most exciting of all time. For the first time ever there are six teams who can actually win the title and there are at least ten teams who could end up getting sucked into the relegation zone thus making the league one of the most competitive in recent years.

Here we take a look at the title race with Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea and the race for fourth with Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur as well as the relegation battle which could in all reality almost involve the rest of the league!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Cesc Fabregas, Arsene Wenger and Pep Guardiola Sing "Wish You Were Here" As He Signs For Barcelona

The Cesc Fabregas Arsenal/Barcelona love triangle/transfer saga which has run for nigh on three years now finally looks to have come to an end. The Spanish midfielder put the last nail in his career as an Arsenal player when he chose to forego a £5 million bonus from the North London side. From there, negotiations were easy.

Here is a transcript of the final transfer negotiation between Arsene Wenger, Pep Guardiola and Cesc Fabregas to the tune of "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd.

Monday, August 1, 2011

EPL 2011/12 Preview: Arsenal May Struggle To Stay Top Four

Under normal circumstances the old Gunners' cry of "this will be our year" would be on the tips of many Arsenal fans' tongues. However, the likelihood of Arsene Wenger leading his troops to the title looks to be about as far away as it ever has, if not further.

Since 2005, Arsenal has slowly slipped backwards every season. Their decline from greatness has even become something of a perverse form of Chinese water torture for many of the Gunners fans, as they are now significantly lagging behind not only Manchester United and Chelsea but Manchester City too.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Manchester City Etihad Stadium Deal: Evading Financial Fair Play?

Liverpool's managing director Ian Ayre has joined up with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and Liverpool's owner John W. Henry in criticising Manchester City's recent £400 million sponsorship deal with Etihad Airlines.

All three have now called for the sponsorship deal to be investigated by UEFA as it now looks as if the stadium sponsorship monies will allow Manchester City to balance their books, thus falling in line with UEFA's new Financial Fair Play rules which will come in from next season.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Liam Gallagher Sings Blue Moon to Promote Manchester City's New Jersey

Everyone already knows that Manchester City has more money than every other team on the planet put together and just to prove it; they've hired Liam Gallagher and Beady Eye to sing "Blue Moon" in an MTV style video to promote their new jersey for the coming season...

Unsurprisingly, the ex-Oasis front-man gives a moody vesion of the Rodgers and Hart 1934 classic before launching into Beady Eye's 'The Beat Goes On.'

Some fans even went as far as to say that the music video was Kubrickesque, although how they jumped to that conclusion is anyone's guess. Maybe they had their 'Eyes Wide Shut' when they should have been concentrating on City's 'Paths to Glory'...

Anyway, for those who are interested. The jersey is still the exact same as last season and is still sponsored by United. (Etihad's meaning.)

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Premier League Changes Its "Weakened Teams" Rule

Premier League clubs have voted to change the rules regarding "weakened teams" in competitive EPL matches. After the June EPL AGM, clubs have now decided that any manager can field any combination of players once they are named from their initial 25-man squad.

This move follows Wolves and Blackpool being fined and for fielding so called weakened sides during games in 2009 and 2010.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Bayern Munich Set to Sign Tranmere Wunderkind Dale Jennings

While the world and its sister watches Cesc Fabregas and his on/off Arsenal/Barcelona transfer with the kind of scrutiny one could associate with a microscope, Tranmere youngster Dale Jennings has stolen a jump on the Spanish star and now sits on the verge of completing the summers most amazing transfer deal.

With the two sides having agreed on a transfer fee of something in the region of £1.8 million, the youth will now travel to Munchen to undergo his medical at and within the next 24 hours the ex-Liverpool winger should become the latest player to join German giants Bayern Munich.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Hold The Back Page PODCAST: Robbie Keane / Andre Villa Boas / Ashley Young / Luka Modric / Cesc Fabregas / England U21's

Willie Gannon’s two part feature on Robbie Keane attracted a lot of attention on BackPage Football during the week and the lads chat about the pros and cons of Ireland’s record goalscorer. Keane has always divided opinions, and those of the podcast are no different!

In the second segment of this week’s show, there’s chat over Ashley Young’s move to Manchester United from Aston Villa, the appointment of Andre Villa Boas at Chelsea, and the latest from the ongoing Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona saga.

To round off this week there’s a look at the England under 21s and their dismal European Championship campaign and how it reflects the bigger picture of the nation’s international set up.

Don’t forget, you can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Old Alex Ferguson to Sign Young as he Builds His Final Team at United

Ashley Young's long proposed transfer from Aston Villa to Manchester United has moved one step closer after the England international passed a medical at Old Trafford on Wednesday. The attack minded midfielder is already said to have agreed terms with the Red Devils and it is now only a matter of time before he is officially unveiled as a United player.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Robbie Keane Biography: 14 Years of a Legend Being Taken for Granted

To say that Robbie Keane is much maligned would be something of an understatement. The ex-Leeds, ex-Inter Milan, ex-Liverpool and quite possibly the soon to be ex-Spurs striker has had to suffer more than his fair share of "slings and arrows" during his 14 year career.

It is, however, more than worth noting though that Keane is his country's top scorer of all time with 51 goals in 108 games for Ireland.

He is also the ninth highest goal scorer in Tottenham Hotspur history with 121 goals from 291 matches and the 10th highest scorer of all time in the English Premier League with 123 strikes.

Keane is the 10th highest scoring European international footballer of all time, the 27th highest scoring international footballer of all time, and, probably, most importantly he is the most prolific international striker of all time from the British Isles.

Which isn’t bad for someone who many feel isn't exactly a great player.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Full List of 123 Players Released by Premier League Clubs Following 2010-11 Season

With the transfer window just open and with Liverpool and Manchester United having spent somewhere in the region of £40 million on two English U21 internationals. One could almost be forgiven for forgetting about the small number of players who have been released from the respective clubs on free transfers.

Each facing the very real prospect of never playing again.

Here is the full list of all 123 players released from duty by Premier League clubs following the 2010/'11 season.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Last Eight For UEFA U-19 European Championships Finalised

Last years runners up, Spain, and Turkey have won through their UEFA Elite Phase Groups to complete the last eight the UEFA U-19 European Championships.

They will join, hosts, Romania, Serbia, Belgium, Greece, Czech Republic and Ireland when the competition begins in earnest next July.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Madjid Bougherra to Expose Transfer Loophole and Leave Rangers Under FIFA's "Webster Ruling"

Five years after benefiting from the "Webster ruling," Rangers look set to lose out on one of their star players after Madjid Bougherra signalled that he wants to leave the SPL champions.

It is widely believed that the Algerian defender, a signing from Charlton in 2008 for £2.5 million, has told the club that he will not only will turn down their recent contract extension offer but that he will now most likely invoke Article 17 of the FIFA transfers and contracts rulebook if he is not sold. Under the ruling players over the age of 28 can buy out the remaining years of their contract, regardless of length.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Qatar 2022: Exclusive Interview with Bid Inspection Project Manager

FIFA awarding the World Cup to Qatar in 2022 has certainly caught the imagination of the footballing public. For the first time ever the competition will make its way to the Middle East, where a vast untapped footballing community awaits with baited breath.

Jon Sinigaglia was Project Director for the FIFA pre-qualification bid inspection of Qatar and was an integral member of their winning bid team.

Here he exclusively answers my questions about Qatar’s plans, ambitions, and ability to host such a prestigious tournament and about the legacy they wish to leave behind.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mohamed Bin Hammam Resigns From Presidential Election On The Eve Of FIFA Ethics Questions

Mohamed Bin Hammam has sensationally pulled out of the race to become the next President of FIFA, leaving Sepp Blatter as the only candidate left in the field ahead of the June 1st election.

The withdrawl comes just hours before the 62-year-old was due to face the FIFA Ethics Committee over allegations of collusion between his bid team and members of CONCACAF ahead of the 2022 election.

Bin Hammam is the current head of the Asian Football Confederation and masterminded Qatar's bid for the 2022 World Cup.

Barcelona 3-1 Manchester United : Highlights From the 2011 Champions League Final

Barcelona, inspired by the magnificent Lionel Messi, has beaten Manchester United 3-1 in the 2011 Champions League Final in Wembley tonight. But in truth, La Blaugrana destroyed the Premier League champions in one of the most one sided finals of all time.

The game saw four fantastic goals scored as Pedro and Wayne Rooneyexchanged efforts before Lionel Messi and an inspirational goal by David Villa gave Barca the trophy their dominance and play deserved.

Barcelona Are The Best Team We Have Ever Faced - Sir Alex Ferguson

In the aftermath of his teams destruction by Barcelona in the 2011 Champions League Final, Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has declared Pep Guardiola's team as "the best team I have ever faced."

La Blaugrana beat the Red Devils in a one sided affair in 2009. Last night was more of the same as bar an opening ten minute salvo, Barca dominated the game from start to finish with a sublime showing of their footballing philosophy.
"Nobody's given us a hiding like that but they deserve it," Ferguson said in reference to the difference between the two teams.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Beautiful Barcelona and Mesmerising Messi Give Man Utd a Lesson in Football

Barcelona, inspired by the magnificent Lionel Messi, has beaten Manchester United 3-1 in the 2011 Champions League Final in Wembley tonight. But in truth, La Blaugrana destroyed the Premier League champions in one of the most one sided finals of all time.

The game saw four fantastic goals scored as Pedro and Wayne Rooney exchanged efforts before Lionel Messi and an inspirational goal by David Villa gave Barca the trophy their dominance and play deserved.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

EPL Survival Sunday Review and Champions League Preview Podcast: Hold the Back Page!

Hold the BackPage - Everyone to Juve by bpfootball

The Hold the Back Page podcast is one of the best football podcasts on the Internet. Run in conjunction betweenSetanta Sports and Back Page Football, the podcast has rapidly built up something of a cult following amongst football fans across Ireland, England, Australia and the US.
This week, regulars Tom Fox, Ger McCarthy and Neil Sherwin were joined by EPL Featured Columnist and Premier League Report's Willie Gannon to discuss all things Premier League, Champions League, and Survival Sunday with a couple of weird stats thrown in for good measure!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Champions League Final 2011: Barcelona vs. Manchester United Tactical Preview

The Champions League Final. Barcelona, La Liga champions, will take on, EPL champions, Manchester United at Wembley Stadium in London in a match for the ages.

Two of club football's greatest teams will go head to head in a repeat of the Champions League Final in 2009 where La Blaugrana dominated the Red Devils in a very one sided affair. Armed with a better team ethic and with revenge in mind, Sir Alex Ferguson will lead his side out against Pep Guardiola and a team that many feel is the greatest club side of all time.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Chelsea Sack Ancelotti For Finishing Second and Line Up Hiddink, Van Basten to Replace Him

Chelsea FC have sacked their manager Carlo Ancelotti after Roman Abramovich deemed the clubs second placed finish in the English Premier League was not good enough. The Italian only joined the Blues last year and won the domestic double in his first season in charge but a trophy-less haul this term has seen him exit the club.

In leaving the club, Ancelotti has become the sixth manager to leave Chelsea in the last six years.

Birmingham, Blackpool, and West Ham all Deserve Their Relegation Fate

Blackpool and Birmingham City have been relegated from the Premier League after last day losses away to Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur respectively. They will join West Ham United in the Championship next season. The East London side went down last week after capitulating against Wigan Athletic who survived on the final day thanks to a 1-0 win away to Stoke City.

Blackburn Rovers and Wolves, who played each other, also survived a last day scare and stay up. At one stage, Wolves had dropped into the bottom three but two second half goals combined with results elsewhere was enough to guarantee survival for Mick McCarthy's hard working side.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

EPL Relegation Battle:Blackpool and Birmingham to go Down On Survival Sunday

As "D-Day" or "Survival Sunday," depending upon which broadcaster you watch, looms. There are no less than five teams involved in the relegation scrap at the bottom of the Premier League.

Sorry West Ham United have already taken the dreaded plunge into the Championship after last weeks capitulation against Wigan Athletic and with just goal difference and the odd point separating five teams, two from Wigan, Blackburn, Wolves, Blackpool and Birmingham face the very real prospect of financial ruin and relegation.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Van der Vaart Pledges His Future to Tottenham as Redknapp Lines Up a Move For Drogba

Rafael van der Vaart has given Tottenham Hotspur fans the news they have been waiting to hear, by vowing to stay at the club next season despite missing out the Champions League. In the aftermath of Spurs losing to Manchester City it was widely feared that the influential forward would leave, but he has declared his intentions to stay at White Hart Lane by telling Harry Redknapp "I want to stay."

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pep Guardiola Compares "Extraordinary" Manchester United to Real Madrid

Just hours after they wrapped up an historic 19th English League title, and a full ten days before they meet in the Champions League Final in Wembley, Pep Guardiola has started cranking up the pressure on Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson by saying that the Scot's 2011 team are "extraordinarily strong and very similar to Real Madrid" in terms of greatness.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Manchester City is United as Red and Blue Celebrate EPL and FA Cup Wins.

Not since 1968 have both sides of Manchester had something to sing about, but history repeated itself today as, first, Manchester United were crowned Premier League Champions for the 12th time before Manchester City beat Stoke City on the FA Cup Final to claim a memorable double for the former industrial centre of the world.

United wrapped up their 19th English League title with a well taken penalty from Wayne Rooney as they claimed the one point they needed against relegation threatened Blackburn Rovers. While in London, Yaya Toure, a certainty for City's player of the year, scored the only goal of a one sided game against Tony Pulis' Stoke side.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Manchester City 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur: Citizens Qualify For the Champions League

Manchester City has qualified for the Champions League after beating Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 at the Eastlands. The victory came about thanks to a Peter Crouch own goal after just 15 minutes. The Citizens were second best for long periods of the match but despite Spurs dominating possession they barely created any clear cut chances on goal as a mean City defence led by Vincent Kompany stood firm.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Manchester United Sit On The Verge Of 19th Title After Destroying Chelsea

Manchester United sit on the verge of a record 19th title, thanks to a devastating win over their closest rivals, Chelsea, at Old Trafford. In truth the game was over from as early as 35 seconds after Javier Hernandez raced onto Ji-Sung Park's through ball to calmly slot the opener past Petr Cech.

Nemanja Vidic doubled the Red Devils' lead midway through the first half and from there there was no looking back. Frank Lampard restored some pride for the shell-shocked Pensioners with a late goal, but the damage had already been done by United who literally blew their opponents away with a first half performance of guile, pace, attacking ambition, and sheer hard work.

To claim their title, Alex Ferguson's team now only need one point from their final two games against local rivals Blackburn and Blackpool.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

EPL: Manchester United vs. Chelsea Tactical Preview

Manchester United takes on Chelsea at Old Trafford in a game that for many will decide the destination of the English Premier League title for this season.

With just three games to go, the two teams left standing after all the dust has settled are just separated by three points with an equal goal difference.

In other words, whoever wins this game should take the title and when all is said and done, this game for all intents and purposes is a final.

QPR Win "Double" By Gaining Promotion as Champions and Avoiding Points Reduction

QPR achieved something of a "double" yesterday when the won promotion to the Premier League as champions of the Championship but also avoided a points reduction despite being found guilty of breaking transfer rules by the FA.

Having found the club in the wrong in two of the seven charges brought against them, fans of the club then breathed a sigh of relief as the FA decided that an £875,000 fine was punishment enough and that a points reduction was not needed in this case.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Manchester United Beats Schalke 04 to Set Up Champions League Final With Barcelona

Manchester United beat Schalke 04 at Old Trafford to set up a mouth watering UEFA Champions League final against Barcelona in Wembley on May 28.

Sir Alex Ferguson's team dominated the 2nd leg with goals from Antonio Valencia, Darron Gibson, and a brace from Anderson Luis de Abreu Oliveira.

In making the final, the United boss becomes only the third manager in history to bring a team to the Champions League Final four times, joining a small but elite group of managers that include Miguel Munoz (Real Madrid - '60, '62, '64, '66) and Marcelo Lippi (Juventus - '96, '97, '98, '03) .

Saturday, April 30, 2011

EPL: Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur: Blues Win Thanks to Gomes and Controversy

Two controversial goals from Frank Lampard and Saloman Kalou were the difference between winning and losing and seeing their title challenge end for Chelsea against Tottenham Hotspur. Harry Redknapp's side had taken the lead against the run of play when Sandro scored a screamer from fully 30-yards before the latest in a long line of howlers from Heurelho Gomes allowed the Pensioners back into the game.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Lionel Messi: Comparing The World's Best Player to Legends Pele, Maradona, Di Stefano, and Cruyff

Lionel Messi has many devotees. The 23-year-old Barcelona forward is undoubtedly the most talented player on the planet, but how does he rank against the greats of the game?

Real Madrid and Jose Mourinho Left Embarrassed By Barcelona Champions League Defeat

Barcelona beat Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu last night thanks to two sublime goals from Lionel Messi. In truth, it was all that La Blaugrana deserved after Jose Mourinho and Real Madrid thoroughly embarrassed their own great names and standing in the game.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Spineless Arsene Wenger is Turning Arsenal into a Version of Tottenham Hotspur

Arsenal's tilt at the title has ended yet again, although the Gunners did hang in for longer than most predicted. However, the same old questions now need to be answered, the most prominent being: Why does Arsene Wenger not see what everyone else does?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Scott Parker Wins Football Writers Award 2011. It Should Have Gone to Luis Nani

Scott Parker has been voted 2011 Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers' Association. The West Ham midfielder is believed to have beaten off stiff competition from the likes of Nemanja Vidic, Jack Wilshire, Luis Nani, and Gareth Bale who won this years PFA Footballer of the Year award last week.

However, while no one would begrudge the likable Hammers midfielder the award - he has been the only ray of light at Upton Park this season - one must ask how Luis Nani of Manchester United fame did not win either the FWA or PFA awards?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

EPL: Tottenham Hotspur 3-3 Arsenal: Spurs Win North London Derby After Draw...

Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal served up yet another game of the season contender as they drew 3-3 in the North London Derby at White Hart Lane tonight. With both teams desperate for all three points a draw was the last thing either Arsene Wenger or Harry Redknapp had wanted.

However, the Spurs manager will be the happier as his team fought back from 3-1 down to draw level before dominating the rest of the game with Wojciech Szczesny coming to Arsenal's rescue as he repelled Tottenham attack after attack.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Stan Kroenke and Arsenal: The More Things Change The More They Stay The Same

It would seem that the old adage of "the more things change, the more they stay the same" will be most apt following Stan Kroenke's move to take control of the boardroom at Arsenal FC.

The American businessman is now in receipt of 62 percent of the club and is facing an uphill battle to take full control of it after both Alisher Usmanov (26 percent) and the Arsenal Supporters Trust (claims to own 3 percent and represent up to 15 percent) both refused to sell him their holdings within the club.

As such, the boardroom is now locked in a stalemate; on the pitch the club are more interested in finishing in the top four than winning trophies and given Stan Kroenke's past, this philosophy looks like it will be continued into the future...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Stan Kroenke Moves to Take Over Arsenal. Bright Future for the Gunners?

American businessman Stan Kroenke has increased his shareholding in Arsenal to more than 62 percent and has now agreed to make an offer for the rest of the club and to Alisher Usmanov who owns just over 26 percent of the club.

A full takeover of the club was triggered after Kroenke Sports Enterprises acquired the stakes of Danny Fiszman (16.1%) and Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith (15.9%) forcing him over the 30 percent threshold which forced a complete buyout of the club...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tottenham Fight to Save Their Season After Real Madrid Hammering

Tottenham Hotspur's season stands on a knife edge following their 4-0 hammering away to Real Madrid in the Champions League midweek. Qualifying to the Semi-Finals of the Champions League is an impossible task but finishing in the top four is still within their grasp...