Friday, March 16, 2007

Pub Quiz Time

Well, I'll be pretty busy over the weekends so busy yourself by answering all those questions below!

1) What nickname was given to Francis Jeffers following his move from Everton to Arsenal?

2) For which club has Jeffers recently being playing on loan for?

3) From which club did ManYoo sign Juan Veron from?

4) In what year was his £28.1 move completed?

5) True or false - Chelski signed Shaun Wright-Phillips for more than £20m?

6) What's the higher figure - the number of games Jonathan Woodgate played for Real Madrid or the number of millions the Spanish club spent buying his services?

7) Name the striker Aston Villa bought in 2001 for £6m who scored a grand total of zero goals during his ten-game stint at the club.

Name the deranged club which bought Jean-Alain Boumsong from Newcastle in August.

Which £11m flop remains Tottenham's record signing?

How many goals did Chris Sutton score during his one and only season at Chelsea?

Some are really quite tricky. Stay tune this Sunday for the answers! Anyway, have a great weekend ahead.

Mesmerising New Trick From Ronaldo

It certainly did make the defenders confused as to where he is going. Good job son, get up and say 'you got served!'

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Case Of 'If It Ain't Broken, Don't Fix It'

Yet again, the football authorities are suggesting new and 'improved' ideas to show who's the daddy and who's in authority.

In spite of the growing problem of football violence on and off the field as well as the racism problem that still plagues some major leagues in Europe, they chose to turn away from them and instead, focussed on the wrong matter at the wrong time.

I'm writing this due to the fact that I can't accept the way they turn a blind eye on matters that are turning football into a major farce. We could see it time and again, week in week out. Simulations and divings are not addressed as well as the whens and hows of implementing the long awaited 'video technology'.

Violence still breaks out both on the pitch and in the stands as we moved into the 21st century. Fans are supposed to be educated and behave better or is it? Even an English League Cup Final can't draw it's curtain down without 'handbags' and the pushing and shoving.

Stadium safety and security are still not under a uniformed rule as the Italians could tell you. A place where thousands of lives are at stake, the safety of these people are chosen to be ignored. Even in a prestigious competition such as the Champions League, stadium violence and unrest can still be found. The Lille and Man Utd. match made us aware that this problem still exists and again, nothing seemed to be done.

Now, the newly elected president of UEFA, Michel Platini, a legend of a footballer, but is he really the man to solve all the problems that plagues football? Everyone has his own policy and it seemed like monsieur Platini is more concerned about the big clubs in Czech Republic and Poland not getting recognition rather than the image and the overall well-being of the game as a whole.

On the other hand, the English FA are so pathetically ineffective in the dealings of that fateful League Cup final. They used TV evidence for punishment but still, it seemed like they got it all so wrong. Emmanuel Adebayor was adjudged to punched Frank Lampard using TV evidence but surprise, the supposed victim said nay.

Turning all their senses away, they want to scrap draws from the league, a penalty shoot out to be carried out if so it happens. Tell me, is this the league being 'Americanised' or is it to improve the penalty taking skills of the English players? It sounds more like the former.

Anyway, what's wrong with draws in football? I know it's the most boring outcome you can have but it is going to encourage inferior teams to hold out for a draw, knowing that they could get really lucky in the penalty shoot out. If they're scrapping draws for more entertainment, the only ones who're entertained are just themselves.

Other than the fans of the Czechs and Polish teams, who would be remotely interested in watching them compete in the Champions League? It's okay to have one or two underdog teams like last season's Artmedia Bratislava but I think most would rather watch a 4th place team in let's say, Germany, than some Eastern European team.

BUT, that doesn't mean they should be marginalised. There's always a way out without having a drastic change in the format of the Champions League. Why not group these clubs from countries with lower UEFA coefficients into a play-off and perhaps, a few of them to make it into the qualifying round?

To me, there's more problem in football than just teams drawing league games and minnows not getting their chances. We're talking about football's image as a whole. Are they going to clean up? Or are they letting it rot?

Something better be done before it's too late, when there's no one in the stands anymore.

New Anfield To Be Bigger Than Expected?

Good news, my fellow Liverpool fans. According to reports, new owner, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, have suspended the work of the new purposed Anfield and ordered a review of the plans.

Of course, it's not putting a stop on the project but rather, an increase of seatings at the stadium. That's what the reports choose to believe as it seemed like the most possible option.

To me, if they are really reviewing it to make New Anfield bigger, then it'll certainly be welcomed. Because I fear that 60,000 is NOT enough for Liverpool. Even Old Trafford is 70,000 and why should we have a smaller ground that the one we're looking to catch up with?

But realistically, it's impossible to build a mega stadium at Stanley Park due to the City Council and the space constraints. From what I understand, the space isn't very big and it's not possible to build a stadium that holds, let's say, 90,000. That's unrealistic.

It looked to me like they're increasing to around 70-75k and that's reasonable, considering the fact that there are 20-30 thousand fans still on the waiting list for season tickets, I think that number is the most realistic of all. Although that could also mean something...

New Anfield will be delayed for perhaps, a few years. To me, the better! Then I'll have a chance to visit Anfield before they move out. It's always my wish to go to Anfield for a pilgrim.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

United Triump Over Europe (Okay, not really....)

Man Utd XI 4 - 3 Europe XI

MANU - Rooney (x2), Brown, Ronaldo;
EU - Malouda, Diouf (x2);


It was a match with little significance in terms of result as United managed to beat a team of European select. But it was a match that commemorated Man United's 50th year in participation of European competition, the formation of the European Union and of course, something for the society, as they managed to raise £1.25million for charity.

With players called up from various leagues throughout Europe, it was a night of brilliant goals, showboating and star-studded lineups. Even non-Europeans were invited to play with the likes of Ronaldinho, Mancini and El-Hadji Diouf.

Although the 2006 World Player of the Year, Ronaldinho, pulled out of the game, it was still quite a spectacle as football fans seldom gets to see so many world class players getting together for a good cause.

As a friendly, there were smiles and friendly gestures throughout and we all know we're in for a treat as both sides never really put their full effort into the game.

It took only 5 minutes for the home side to open the flood gates as Rooney latched onto Paul Scholes' through ball and with Spanish goalkeeper, Santiago Canizares, off his line, the Englishman managed to slot the ball past him easily.

Then the second came from an unlikely source as Wes Brown was on hand to finish off a brilliantly worked move by Ryan Giggs emphatically. The Welsh winger weaved through the defence and placed a wonderful ball for the defender to score.

But the European Select reminded everyone about their presence as they pulled one back through Lyon's French midfielder, Florent Malouda. He lashes out a wonderful left foot strike from outside the box with precision and power.

The star man of the show is no doubt, Cristiano Ronaldo, who showed us some of his trickeries that are thought to be taboo in the Premiership, as he awed the crowd with his side steps and fanciful flicks.

But aside from all that, he provided the very evidence as to why United have been brilliant this season as the Portugese midfield maestro struck a fantastic free kick past the hapless Canizares. The technique he used reminded us of Brazilian free kick specialist, Juninho, as he rammed the ball at such tenacity that it swerved and made it unpredictable.

Many at times, it would've ended up in row Z but since it's an exhibition match, it delivered what it promised. Even Zlatan Ibrahimovic managed to miss a penalty in some style as he rattled the bar.

There was the predicted half time wholesale change as United looked to rest some of their players for more important games ahead while European XI didn't put their players to waste.

The second half team included up to 4 Liverpool players and although it was only a friendly, you could hear the jeers from the crowd. But that didn't spoil the carnival-like atmosphere at Old Trafford as the 'Mexican wave' hits the crowd.

Wayne Rooney got a fourth as he finally managed to score in a 'European competition' since 2004 while El Hadji Diouf's double sandwiched the goal from the England forward. The Senegalese even managed to cheekily chip the ball into the net after being awarded another penalty.

It was indeed a rare event and it's thoroughly enjoyed by not only the 70 odd thousand people in the stands but also, for all who love the game.

What's Ronaldo Doing?

Have a guess... Caption comp anyone?

What's with that retarded looking face?

Fred The Red: 'HEH HEH you wussy boy, let me have a look at what's under your skirt!'
Ronaldo: 'You can try! But I'll tell sir!'

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Premiership's Overrated XI

Was reading through CaughtOffside and came across this article on Premiership's Most Overrated XI. Well, everyone have their own opinions and views so I'll let you have a look at my team of overrated and overpaid footballers.

Goalkeeper: Paul Robinson (Tottenham)

It's hard to pick an overrated goalkeeper as they are only 20 or so of them to pick from but I think Robbo is the clear winner here.

I'm not implying that Spurs are a big team but one would expect their goalkeeper to be a wee bit better. Perhaps he was a few seasons ago but has now gone down the road as one of those who promised so much, shown so little.

Cringe to think that he's a vice captain of Spurs. I just can't see him setting any sort of example and certainly don't inspire confidence eh? England's number one? It's probably down to the lack of backbone from the England management team rather than him being good.

Right Back: Pascal Chimbonda (Tottenham)

I don't get the media hype that surrounds this man. He's had a wonderful season with Wigan last season but he definitely didn't perform up to par this time round at Spurs. Perhaps it's a step too big for the Frenchman. He's good going forward but seemed like a suspect when it comes to defending. Well, what can you say when you're a defender and you can't defend well?

Left Back: John Arne Riise (Liverpool)

I know, you must be fuming now. 'HEY WTF YOU THINK YOU'RE WRITING, MAN!'. As a Liverpool fan, blinkered or not, could tell that Riise is not as good as what we made him to be all these years, ESPECIALLY at the left back slot.

He have been a great servant to the club and is perhaps, one of the first few names on Rafa Benitez's team sheet but honestly, other than his rocket shots and look-a-like-ability with Wayne Rooney, he's really not THAT good. He's not fast, can't take on defenders and always commits into tackle too soon. Makes him a rather bad defender to be honest....

Centre Back: Matthew Upson (West Ham)

Pfft, 7.5 million GBP. You must be havin' a laugh! Decent but honestly can't see what's the deal with him anyway.

Centre Back: Philippe Senderos (Arsenal)

I'm at a loss, whether to put Senderos or Bramble. But whatever it is, they both equally lost in certain football matches. For the Swiss, the mere mention of the name 'Drogba' certainly gives him a rightful trauma.

Slow and clumsy. Even now Arsene is struggling to decide a position for him to play. Might turn out to be more of a liability rather than asset. But he's still the Arsenal fans says....

Right Midfield: Shaun Wright-Phillips (Chelsea)

The price and expectations makes him overrated to a certain extent. He can be good on his days but he just looked like a kid lost in the playground too many times and the touted replacement for Beckham should not be found anywhere near the England squad.

Left Midfield: Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough)

One good season and is hailed like the saviour of English football and the answer to their left wing problem, this winger is constantly called up for the national team perhaps due to McClaren's position as the national coach. Can't beat a man and can't cross to save his life, a few good goals score does redeem his ailing reputation a bit.

Centre Midfield: Jermaine Jenas & Michael Carrick (Tottenham / Man United)

This two players will walk into any overrated XI with no trouble. Because they truly are! Both are sort of like the invisible man on the pitch while one cost a grand total of almost 20 million! They don't really do much, score a few goals here and there and that's about it.

England squad beckons anyway....

Striker: Jeremie Aliadiere (Arsenal)

Can't believe till now, he's still at Arsenal. How? I don't know. Perhaps back in their undefeated season, he was touted to be the new Henry. Well, perhaps, in Arsene they trust.......

Striker: Emile Heskey (Wigan)

Really, do I have to say more? Thankfully he's never going to be called up for England squad again....Oh hang on, he might! His goal scoring record speaks for itself and the amount of quids spent on this man (Liverpool, 11million, pffft!) is enough to make him the mainstay in ALL major overrated XI.

Subs: Chris Kirkland (Wigan), Jose Reina (Liverpool), Stephen Carr (Newcastle), Emmanuel Eboue (Arsenal), Paulo Ferreira (Chelsea), Titus Bramble (Newcastle), Kieran Richardson (Man Utd), Michael Ballack (Chelsea), Juan Angel (Aston Villa), Ashley Young (Aston Villa), Bobby Zamora (West Ham)

Agree with me or not? You have something to say? You're angry at me for mentioning your favourite player? Drop me a comment on what you think. I'm sure we'll have a cracking time discussing this! Fun time!

Salary Caps? Impossible...

The plan of having a limit to player's salary was brought up by two English giants, Man United and Chelsea only last week with the two teams involved in major contract talks with their star players.

United are looking to tie up Ronaldo's contract till 2012 while Chelsea faces a daunting task of persuading Frank Lampard from leaving Stamford Bridge for the bright sunshine of Catalan. Captain, John Terry, too wanted an improvement to his contract and he wants his pay to be on par with the highest paid in the club.

Why a sudden thought of this then?

Perhaps footballers are asking a little too much nowadays. It's scary to think that you could earn what some normal civilians earn in a year, in just seven days. With players demanding more, salaries skyrocket and inflate. Clubs are afraid to lose their best players over monetary issue and whatnot.

But I just can't see how salary caps will work unless it's fully implemented by the English FA. The news about the supposed 'salary caps' is brought up by only United and Chelsea, in which they have a 'silent agreement'. But even IF it's implemented by the FA, I don't see it bearing any fruits at all.

How many of us truly believe they are ready to make sacrifices such as losing Ronaldo and Lampard just because they're thinking the lot of them are earning a wee bit too much?

To me, implementing the salary cap is just pure myopic. It saddens me to say this but I've mentioned many times, football is now run by the money. It's no longer the cog in the machine but the very drive for players to play. How many players in the modern age will actually give up a few grands to play for their club? It's a question clubs must answer for themselves.

Because with the salary cap, it's going to have an adverse effect in not only the club, but the league as a whole as well.

We knew the demand of Ronaldo as he wants his 60k per week salary doubled if he is to pledge his loyalty. Just imagine the United board snub his request. Can you see that happening?

Not for me. I do not see the clubs sacrificing star players just to look good in front of the media and setting a new trend. Because that's how the world goes round and no matter what you do, it's always going to come in a circle.

With star players not given their desired salary, they'll leave for other clubs which are capable of paying them what they want and just imagine the Premiership without the likes of Ronaldo, Drogba and Terry just because of contract disputes. The overall standard of the league will drop drastically in the long term aspect.

The money in the game now are brought about by the broadcasters and TV stations with their purchase of the league's rights. With standards going down, will they want to pay as much for the rights? It'll certainly affect the game a whole round in long term.

By saving an odd 20-30k a week it's going to make clubs lose millions in the future. Think about the consequences. The full impact of this action might not only be felt by the two clubs, but the league as a whole.

I must make a stand here that I'm absolutely astonished to see how much these players earn in a week but who can help it. The players salary are only going to be higher and soon, there won't be footballers but they'll be pseudo-entertainers with a name.

And the salary cap ain't gonna work, I reckon.

16 Weird & Peculiar Club Names

From Some People Are On The Pitch

1. Joe Public FC (Trinidad and Tobago)
2. Take Care Tigers (Guam)
3. Full Monty (Anguilla)
4. FC KooTeePee (Finland)
5. Missiles FC (Gabon)
6. Ethiopian Coffee (Ethiopia)
7. Prime Minister's Office FC (Laos)
8. Finance and Revenue (Myanmar)
9. Wongosport (Gabon)
10. School Boys (Lesotho)
11. Mighty Blackpool (Sierra Leone)
12. East End Connections (British Virgin Islands)
13. Eleven Men In Flight (Swaziland)
14. & 15. Shooting Stars (Nigeria & Zimbabwe)
16. Silver Shattas (Guyana)

Who would've thought of such nice names! Nice and creative, like Razak Pimpong.....oops!

Football Bloopers. Lol!

No need for me to comment actually. Just watch and laugh :D

Monday, March 12, 2007

You Think He Will?

Desperate times call for desperate measures. But after reading this news, I'm not so sure whether is it just desperate measures or plain stupidity on West Ham's part.

According to The People, Australian international, Lucre Neill can get to keep his £70,000 a week wages if he decides to stay on with West Ham next season, knowing very well that Championship football beckons.

No doubt he's had a pretty good World Cup campaign and a decent and capable defender. But offering him THAT sort of money is really kind of silly.

Finance aside, who think Neill will choose to stay on with West Ham? I for one think he's gonna stay and grab as much lucres as possible before jumping ship.
And the clear winner here is without a doubt, Neill.

And West Ham being the loser, paying someone with non-existent loyalty 70 grands a week. Great job!

Spanish Commentators Are The Best

Just listen to them go crazy during the recent 'El Classico'. If only we have this every week for the Premiership


Footballers In Stating The Obvious Shocker

Yes, well that's because Lionel Messi actually scored a hat trick in the recent 'El Classico'. Deep in injury time, Messi managed to score the equaliser and the score ended up just like most of the cup finals Liverpool were in, 3-3.

But the first time I saw that header, I thought to myself......

"Without Casillas, Real Madrid would have been relegated." ... Ifs if and but buts are pots and pants then there is no need for a tinker.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Best Of All 'Simulation'

Oscars Award, whatnot, I came across this video:

What do you reckon? Did he really get into fits or is he just the best actor in football history? Well, I can't tell...