Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Where have all the midfielders gone? It might sound like a mad question but given the state of the modern game it is one of the most pertinent.
Last night Manchester United and Marseille met in the Last 16 of the UEFA Champions League. Truly, it was one of the worst games the Champions League has ever produced. Neither side managed a clear cut chance on goal all night. Stifling tactics cannot be blamed; rather the enemy on the night was poor players and specifically poor midfielders...
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Something occurred to me while I was watching 'True Grit' the other day. It is a brilliantly acted and directed film that rarely puts a foot out of place while telling it's tale of retribution and relentless characters. However, one thing also stood out, the story is also a metaphor for the English Premier League...
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Wayne Rooney ended Manchester City's slim title hopes at Old Trafford today as Manchester United won 2-1 to move within touching distance of the Premiership trophy. The England striker scored an amazing overhead kick that must be considered one of the greatest goals of the season, or any other season for that matter, as United gained the result their ambitious play deserved...
Friday, February 11, 2011
Ex-Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has taken over from Roberto Di Matteo as manager of West Bromwich Albion after the Italian was sacked following a disastrous run of results that saw the Baggies lose 13 of their last 18 games. It will be the 63-year-old's 21st management job in a football career that has spanned 46 years.
The move back into the dugout for has come much quicker than anyone expected, including Hodgson. From being unceremoniously sacked by Liverpool after just six months it was assumed by the watching football world that the well liked manager would take a well deserved break from the game.
However, it would seem that his desire to succeed Fabio Capello as England manager next summer after the Euro 2012 finals would be the main catalyst to a quick return to the game.
Chelsea FC pulled off one of the biggest transfers of all time recently, when they took Fernando Torres from Liverpool for £50 million. The move was seen by many as Roman Abramovich flexing his financial might to not only get the Pensioners back in the title race, but also as a way of bringing the Champions League to Stamford Bridge.
However, while that may have been the Russian Oligarch's main aim, what he has achieved is a further erosion of the fragile foundation under Carlo Ancelotti's feet.
As the league table stands, Chelsea has 44 points and is a full 10 points behind the leaders, Manchester United, with just 13 games to go. Considering that the Red Devils have only lost one game from the previous 25, it looks highly unlikely that Alex Ferguson would allow his team to lose four games from their remaining fixtures to leave the Blues with a chance at retaining their title.
This, of course, means that Chelsea's only real aim for the rest of the season is the trophy that Roman Abramovich craves so much...the Champions League.