Posts Tagged ‘football’

Portsmouth Unveil WW1 Tribute Football Shirt

Posted on: September 9th, 2014 | by Steve | No Comments

Portsmouth Football Club have honoured every member of the ‘Pompey Pals’ who fell during World War One by including their name on the football clubs new home kit.

The Pompey Pals, the 14th and 15th battalions of the Hampshire Regiment, recruited heavily at Fratton Park.

They went on to suffer heavy losses at the Great War, with more than 1,400 making the ultimate sacrifice.

The names of the 1,400 Pompey Pals who fell in the Great War are woven into the new home shirt

The shirt was launched on the 100th anniversary of Britain’s declaration of war on Germany, while the club also unveiled a Pompey Pals memorial at Fratton Park paying tribute to those who served.

The football shirt reflects the 1914 version and contains the first ever badge worn on a Portsmouth football shirt.

Do you have any interesting or inspiring stories relating to football shirts or football kits? Let us know by commenting on facebook or twitter.

The Football Management Merry-Go-Round!

Posted on: August 27th, 2014 | by Steve | No Comments

The new Premier League season is only in its second week but before it had even started, we had the first managerial casualty of the season. Tony Pulis left Crystal Palace by mutual consent 48 hours before the new season started. Since taking over in November with the club bottom of the table, Pulis turned the clubs fortunes around and managed an impressive 11th place finish. However, after disagreements over the summer with chairman Steve Parish over potential new players, and wanting more control over who the club signed, the two parties agreed to terminate his contract leaving the club with no manager going into the new campaign.

With the talk at the start of every season about who will be the first manager to go, it got us thinking here at Pendle, about the amount of managers that clubs go through these days and what does it take to succeed as a Premier League manager in the current era?

During the course of last season no fewer than ten managers lost their job during the season with another two leaving at the end of the season. They say that being a manager these days is all about getting results, and it’s true it is a results business, but is sacking a manager every season because it hasn’t quite gone your way the right thing to do?

For some clubs it works, like discussed before Crystal Palace made the right move in sacking Ian Holloway and Employing Tony Pulis, but it doesn’t always work like that, both Fulham and Cardiff suffered from sacking their managers last season. Fulham went through three managers last season sacking Martin Jol with the club in 18th place in December, he was replaced by Rene Meulensteen, which proved to be a bad move as the club were rooted to the bottom of the table when he was replaced in February, Felix Magath came in for the end of the season and with only 3 wins from 16 games it’s no surprise that the club went down, but would they have stayed up if they had have kept Jol in charge to the end of the season?

Norwich suffered a similar fate last season, sacking their manager during the season and getting relegated, but unlike Fulham and Cardiff, Norwich sacked their manager in April with only a month of the season to go, was that the right move to make? Should they have stuck with the manager at least until the end of the season, or should they have sacked him earlier on to give a new manager more of a chance to keep the club in the top flight?

At the other end of the table, manager stability is vital to mounting a challenge for the top four or the championship. Most of the clubs in last season’s top 7 seem to change their manager almost as much as they change kits, since the Premiership started in 1992 there has been 15 different managers at Man City, 8 at Liverpool, 9 at Everton, and 17 at Tottenham and Chelsea. But only a few of those managers have had success, 3 titles for Chelsea with two different manager and 2 titles for Man City again with 2 different managers shows that sacking a manager after one poor season doesn’t work.

But how do you judge success? In a division of twenty teams there are still only four places for the Champions League, so is fifth place and below a failure? Surely there must be teams for whom mid-table is success enough, or narrowly avoiding relegation is their prime objective, but then Stoke sacked Pulis after finishing 13th in 2012-13, and big Sam is under a lot of pressure at West Ham after what many would consider was a good season.

Does the problem lie with the clubs’ boards expecting too much from their team in a division that was so competitive last season that there was only 14 point separating 9 places, or is it the fans who have unreasonable expectations, or both? What do you think?

Let us know what you think? Is stability better than change? Let us know if you have any stories of managers being in charge at your club for long periods of time.

Have Liverpool Blown Their Big Chance?

Posted on: May 8th, 2014 | by Steve | No Comments

Only one week remains in the Premier League this season and Manchester City have taken the advantage of their rivals mistakes and now have one hand on the trophy.

Another exciting set of games last weekend saw Liverpool lose ground at the top and Chelsea’s hopes of the title disappear completely.

The late kick off on Saturday afternoon saw Man City travel to Goodison Park with the hosts still hoping for a place in the Champions League, and it was the Toffees who went ahead after only 11 minutes with a sublime strike from England hopeful Ross Barkley.

However, City weren’t going to give up the title race that easily and equalised only 10 minutes later thanks to Sergio Aguero. City then went 2-1 up before the break to put them top of the league as things stood and only 3 minutes after the break City made it 3-1 putting them in a great position to close the game out and take a firm stranglehold in the race for the title.

A goal from Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku gave Everton hope but the points were City’s and they knew that the pressure was now on Liverpool and Chelsea to stay in the race.

Chelsea hosted Norwich at Stamford Bridge knowing that a win would put them top of the league and make the final weekend a three horse race for the title but, in a familiar story for the Blues this season, couldn’t seem to break down the Norwich defence. 71% possession and 23 shots on goal, but only 4 on target highlighted exactly where Chelsea have let the title slip this season. The game finished 0-0 and effectively ended Chelsea’s title hopes, all they could do was hope that Liverpool would slip up again on Monday night and Man City would fail to win either of their remaining two games.

In the final game of the weekend Liverpool travelled to in form Crystal Palace, knowing that a win would end Chelsea’s hopes and would put them back on top.

In a hard fought first half Joe Allen found space in the box to head in from a corner, although replays show that there were clear fouls on Joe Ledley, the player marking Allen, but the goal was given and Liverpool went into half time 1-0 up.

In the second half Liverpool quickly came out of the blocks and within 10 minutes of the restart they had scored 2 more goals to put them 3-0 up and odds on to go back to the top of the table.

Tony Pulis’ side grabbed what looked to be just a consolation goal 10 minutes from time, and when substitute Dwight Gayle scored a second 2 minutes later hopes of an unlikely comeback were high.

With only 2 minutes left Dwight Gayle popped up in space at the edge of the Liverpool box to equalise leaving Liverpool players in tears at the final whistle, fearing they had thrown away their biggest chance of winning the Premier League.

Two days later Man City played their game in hand against Aston Villa and with the Liverpool slip up they knew 4 points from the final two league games would be enough for them to win the Title for the second time in 3 years.

Villa, playing with more freedom knowing their Premier League status was confirmed, held firm to go in at 0-0 at half time, but in the second half Man City came out fighting.

Edin Dzeko scored twice in 10 minutes to put the hosts 2-0 up before Steven Jovetic grabbed a third. Behind the scenes they are surely clearing space at the Etihad trophy cabinet for the return of the Premier League title.

Yaya Toure ended the rout scoring a brilliant solo goal and Man City’s 100th goal of the season, becoming only the second team in Premier League history to do so.

At the bottom of the league the feelings were very different, Fulham were beaten 4-1 at Stoke to confirm their place in the Championship next season and Cardiff didn’t put up much of a fight in a 3-0 defeat to Newcastle as they were also relegated.

Sunderland performed a miracle and became only the second team in Premier League history to survive the drop after being bottom at Christmas with a 2-0 win against West Brom on Wednesday night.

That result meant that Norwich need more than a miracle to survive now, only 3 points behind West Brom, they need a 18 goal swing in their favour to stay up.

It’s been a fantastic season in the Premier League with twists and turns almost every week at both the top and bottom of the table. Can City claim a point at home to West Ham to clinch the title or will there be one final huge twist in this unbelievable season?

Dramatic End to the Championship Season!

Posted on: May 6th, 2014 | by Steve | No Comments

With the Premier League still a week from finishing, the Championship drew to a close with only the playoffs remaining this season. Already promoted Leicester and Burnley knew that Premier League football was already guaranteed for next season and, with the third, fourth and fifth places already confirmed, there was only one place up for grabs in the playoffs.

Reading hosted promoted Burnley and knew that either a win or equalling Brighton’s result would mean that there was a potential for a return to the top flight, and at half time everything was looking good for them, Brighton were trailing 1-0 to Nottingham Forest and even though they were losing as well they knew that at the time that was enough to claim the last playoff place.

The second half of both games proved decisive, within 10 minutes of the second half starting Brighton had equalised and as it stood were claiming sixth place, but with news of this getting to Reading they equalised against Burnley and once again had the edge. However, in the dying minutes, Brighton top scorer Leonardo Ulloa headed home from close range to secure a place in the playoffs and a potential place in the Premier League for the first time.

At the bottom of the league it was almost as exciting, with two teams already down, Doncaster and Birmingham travelled to Leicester and Bolton, with the hope of staying in the Championship. With only a point separating the two before the games Birmingham knew that they needed to at least draw and hope that Doncaster would be beaten to have a chance. An hour in to the game Birmingham went a goal down to Bolton and then with only fifteen minutes to go things got even worse as they went two down.

Doncaster looked all but safe only to concede a highly controversial penalty with just fifteen minutes remaining that was converted to leave them preying that Bolton would hold on and beat Birmingham.

When all looked lost Birmingham fought back and scored to give themselves hope in the 78th minute of the game. As the 90th minute came Birmingham poured forward looking for the vital equalizer and with the final whistle about to sound Paul Caddis scored a dramatic equaliser to save Birmingham from relegation and sentence Doncaster to relegation down to League One along with Barnsley and Yeovil.

How do you think the promoted and relegated teams will fare in their new divisions next season?

Who would you tip to triumph in the playoffs and win a place in the Premier League?

Have Liverpool Spurned Their Greatest Chance?

Posted on: April 28th, 2014 | by Steve | No Comments

The 2013/14 Premier League season has had more twists and turns than most in previous years and this weekend continued to keep us guessing, with the top two playing each other and Manchester City travelling to inform Crystal Palace, it was going to be a big weekend at the top of the table.

In the early game on Sunday Liverpool hosted Chelsea knowing a win would put the title beyond Chelsea’s reach and effectively hand them their first Premiership Title. Liverpool started the game as they have in every other, attacking from the off, but Jose Mourinho used his tactical nous to stop the attacking threat posed by Liverpool and slow the game down by putting men behind the ball and closing down the space.

Despite Liverpool bossing the possession in the first half they were struggling to break down Chelsea’s defence and could only register one single shot on target in the first half. Despite this dominance in possession Chelsea had a strong claim for a penalty turned down by the referee, after Mohamed Salah’s shot struck the arm of Flanagan inside the area, and when Steven Gerrard slipped on the half way line Demba Ba was quick to react and run clean through on goal before comfortably finishing past Mignolet to put Chelsea 1-0 up at half time.

The second half followed the same pattern but once again Chelsea were holding strong and kept Liverpool at bay. Then, in the dying minutes of the game, ex Liverpool striker Fernando Torres broke clear and unselfishly played in Willian who slotted home from close range to put the result to bed.

With that game finished it was over to Manchester City to try to close the gap on the top to just three points and with the return of Yaya Toure they comfortably did so winning 2-0 against in form Palace at Selhurst Park.

Toure was involved in the first goal, a great ball into the box was just begging for someone to head it in and Edin Dzeko was on hand to score his 12 goal of the season before a great bit of passing play and a strong run from Toure finished off the game to leave them 3 points behind leaders Liverpool with a game in hand and better goal difference. Will Manchester City Win the League? Will Liverpool hold onto top spot? Who will slip up from now until the end of the season? It all points to City’s next game at Goodison Park being decisive, a win there will surely see City being crowned champions again at the end of the season.

At the bottom of the league it was just as intense, the bottom two clubs Sunderland and Cardiff played each other, Fulham hosted Hull City and Norwich travelled to play against Man Utd, with club legend and newly appointed manager Ryan Gigs in charge of his first game.

Fulham quickly sprung to a two goal lead and looked like piling on the pressure on the teams below them but the new Hull strike force of Jelavic and Long punished Fulham, the game ending 2-2 leaving Fulham despondent and with only an outside chance of avoiding the drop.

In the late kick off on Saturday evening, new manager Ryan Giggs won his first game in charge smashing four goals past struggling Norwich to compound their misery.

A high noon kick off on Sunday at the stadium of light saw Sunderland run out 4-0 winners against Cardiff to leave the welsh club bottom of the Premier League and all but doomed to relegation back to the Championship.

The three teams in the relegation zone seem to have it all to do now but who do you think will be the three to go down? Will Aston Villa get dragged into the battle? Can Fulham manage a surprise escape?