Archive for March, 2014

Delight & Despair in the Premier League!

Posted on: March 31st, 2014 | by Steve | No Comments

With this week being a double game week there have been a lot of talking points but the best place to start would be the weekend’s games. With Chelsea and Arsenal playing in the early kick-off on Saturday lunchtime, no one would’ve expected what followed, a six goal drubbing and a red card to the wrong player, an explosive way to start the weekend fixtures.

After Chelsea sprung to a 2 goal lead so early on it was always going to be hard for Arsenal to fight back but after Kieron Gibbs was sent off for Alex Oxlade Chamberlain’s hand ball, the task went from hard to impossible, eventually going down 6-0 at the bridge, another heavy defeat for Arsene Wengers team at the hands of one of their title rivals.

On Tuesday evening Arsenal then hosted Swansea City at the Emirates with the hope of putting Saturday’s game behind them. Things started badly for the Gunners, once again going 1-0 down early on, leaving some fans fearing the worst. However, a fight back in the second half and two goals in as many minutes put them ahead only for a late Mathieu Flamini’s own goal cost them the three points. Could this be the final blow in Arsenals title challenge?

Arsenal could now face a real fight to hold on to the final Champions League Spot. Two wins in two games for Everton and a game in hand over Arsenal and Tottenham have left the Toffees in a great position to steal the place away from the Gunners. The match up between the two sides could prove to be decisive.

In the Manchester Derby on Tuesday evening, David Moyes tried to restore some pride after a nightmare first season in charge for the Scot, but the United faithful were once again left frustrated and bemused, as their team went down to another comprehensive 3-0 defeat at the hands of one their fierce rivals.

The question will inevitably be asked, was David Moyes the right man to take over at Utd? In my opinion no, definitely not. When he was in charge of Everton he took them to fourth place once but failed at the first hurdle in the Champions League, after that he could never repeat such success regularly finishing between fifth and eighth which was still seen as a significant achievement with the resources at his disposal.

It does however appear that he has only succeeded in bringing last season’s champions down to the same level, despite spending over £82 million on the likes of Mata, Fellaini & Zaha. The powers that be at Old Trafford must surely be wondering whether the style of football employed by Moyes will ever bring success back to the club.

Non League Football Review – Skrill North & South, Who are the Potential Winners & Losers?

Posted on: March 18th, 2014 | by Steve | No Comments

As the football season draws to a close there is still everything to play for down the divisions, non-quite as much as the Football Conference Divisions.

With North Ferriby United and AFC Telford United, relegated from the Conference Premier last season, battling for the top two places in the Conference North, with only a point in it with eleven games to go, neither side will want to give up in the hunt for the automatic promotion place.

With these two sides running away at the top of the league the fight for a Playoff place is between at least seven sides, Hednesford Town, Altrincham and Harrogate Town, despite having a three point deduction, are currently occupying the other three Playoff places, but down as far as Guiseley who, looking resplendent in their Pendle football kits, lie ninth but still have a great chance of stealing a place away. Although they may look too far behind, being eight points adrift from the fifth place side, they do have four games in hand and with a decent run being put together you can’t rule out a fourth successive season in the Playoffs. Could this finally be their year?

In the Conference South the top four teams are only separated by six points it could be an interesting run in for the rest of the season. Top side Eastleigh have got two games in hand over most, if they can win those, surely they will be in a great position to win the league and gain promotion to the Conference National for the first time in the clubs history.

With an eight point gap to fifth place, Ebbsfleet United, Sutton United and Bromley look likely to be battling for the Playoff places, and with what looks like only one place left available there are a host of clubs vying for the position. As far down as Concord Rangers in thirteenth place are still in with a shout, only nine points behind with three games in hand they could make a final push for a playoff place.

When you look slightly higher up the league it looks more likely though that Havant and Waterlooville or Bishop’s Stortford have a better claim to the place. With four games in hand they lie six and seven points behind the playoffs respectively, Dover Athletic will have a real battle on their hands to keep hold of the final promotion place.

England World Cup Squad – Who Should Be On The Plane to Brazil 2014?

Posted on: March 17th, 2014 | by Steve | No Comments

It’s currently one of the hottest topics in English football, who will make it into Roy Hodgson’s final 23 man squad for Rio?

For the recent friendly against Denmark he named a 30 man squad and handed a debut cap to Southampton’s Luke Shaw. Shaw, who came on as substitute has been in impressive form for his club and is widely tipped by many to get a place in the squad.

Hodgson also gave first England starts to Liverpool duo Jordan Henderson and Reheem Sterling who have played a vital role in their clubs upturn in form.

Roy has already said that Captain, Steven Gerrard and star man Wayne Rooney will be on the plane (barring injury) as competition for places really hots up.

The England boss has some big decisions to make…

With Chelsea’s Gary Cahill looking like England’s first choice centre half, who will play alongside him? Phil Jagielka seems to be the front runner but both Chris Smalling and Phil Jones will be looking to impress during the remainder of the season in a bid to change Hodgson’s mind.

The left back position also seems to be up for grabs. Does he go with the experienced Ashley Cole who isn’t playing much club football at the Bridge or will it be the ever reliable Leighton Baines who just seems to impress more and more as weeks go on but lacks “Big game experience”.

There is people in the game that say neither of the above, Luke Shaw is the man for the job – Is it too much to ask for the 18 year old to go there and handle the pressure and expectation that comes with pulling on the England football shirt?

Will Frank Lampards’ experience bag him a place in the squad or will youth be given a chance as the likes of Ross Barkley and Jordan Henderson continue to impress.

Wayne Rooney looks certain to be the spearhead of the England attack but it seems the jury is still out on this as many say that the Manchester United man continues to disappoint in an England shirt. In form striker Daniel Sturridge would be many peoples pick. Can they play together? If not, who would you leave out?

So many questions and not much time as Rio 2014 approaches fast!

Can England do it, Can they bring the Trophy home?

Let us know who you think should be on the plane and who should be left behind!

Football Season Reaching it’s Crescendo!

Posted on: March 14th, 2014 | by Steve | No Comments

With about 10 games left in the league, there is still all to play for.

The title race is now a four horse race with Liverpool joining the race with some very impressive results whilst playing some fantastic football, but can they keep up this run going for the final 10 games and win the Premier League?

In my opinion I don’t think they are strong enough to beat Chelsea or Manchester City but with a bit more investment over the summer and the place in the Champions League next season maybe next year could be their year.

Arsenal have the toughest run in of all the top 4 teams and if they lose to Tottenham in the north London derby this weekend they might have to be looking over their shoulders instead of ahead to the title race.

With so much going on at the top of the league it’s hard to take your eyes off it but you don’t have to look much further down the league to find that as high as 10th place West Ham could still be in a relegation battle, seems hard to believe in the middle of March but they are only 6 points off 18th place, Fulham look likely to be one of the three to go down but the other two places are anyone’s guess.

Sunderland have 3 games in hand over some the teams above them can this count in their favour going to the end of the season, although losing the Capital One Cup and then dropping out of the FA cup to Hull (another team in the relegation battle), might be tough to bounce back from. However, with Crystal Palace at home this weekend they might just have a chance of climbing out of the bottom three.

In my opinion I think that one of the other places will go to Cardiff, after sacking Malky Mackay they haven’t really got going at all this season, there seems to be a lot of unrest with the fans and the owner and this can’t be helping the football produced out on the pitch.

I wouldn’t like to pick the final relegation place this season, it’s just too close to call! Any one of 9 teams could go down but one thing is for sure it will definitely be going down to the wire.

Let us know how you think the end of this football season will pan out.