Despite failing to beat Corinthians in the final, Chelsea and Rafa Benitez must have enjoyed the World Club Cup as it meant they could get away from the everyday grind of Stamford Bridge life, at least for a short while. Chelsea have won only one of the four league games they’ve played at home since Rafa Benitez took over, losing one to QPR and drawing two more. Considering that much of the new Chelsea power was established by an excellent home record under Jose Mourinho, the losses don’t go down well whoever their latest manager is, but as that new manager is a Spaniard who was adopted by Merseyside and Liverpool FC in particular, those losses go down like a Read more..
English Premier League analysis, news, reports, and tactics. Including Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City, and Newcastle.
Chelsea have capitalized on their Champions League win by signing one of the most coveted young talents in European football, in the shape of Eden Hazard. It was originally thought that Manchester would be the Belgian attacking midfielder’s destination of choice, but he announced on Twitter that he was to join the current European Champions for £32m. Chelsea are also said to be interested in Brazilian forward Hulk, who currently plays in Portugal for Portuguese champions FC Porto. The striker is strong and powerful and enjoys cutting in from the right, deploying his bullet like left foot shot, but many commentators have worried that he might be a bit green, and will need time to Read more..
During the past day or two the identities of the mysterious “Sky Sources” have been uncovered – in a café in Wigan. “Sky Sources” are usually the origin of any story Sky aren’t 100% sure about but want to be the first to report just in case, in true glorified tabloid fashion. It has recently been leaked that these sources consist of Dave Whelan. Whelan has excelled in his role of late, appearing regularly on Sky Sports’ 24 hour advertisement channel, otherwise known as Sky Sports News, as a primary source for many of the breaking stories of the day. He has kept close tabs on Roberto Martinez, who he affectionately calls “Roberto”, as Liverpool’s owners interrupt the Read more..
Below is a list of footballers in the Premier League who will be out of contract this summer, or who have already been released by their clubs. Chelsea especially have a number of high profile players whose contracts run out at the end of the 2011/12 season, and club legend Didier Drogba has already announced his intention to leave the club this summer at the age of 34. His last kick of a ball for the club being the winning penalty in the Champions League final. Other players with contracts expiring at the London club include Jose Bosingwa and Soloman Kalou. Many players from the clubs relegated from the Premier League will be looking for jobs elsewhere, Read more..
We’ve now reached the end of one of the strangest and most exciting seasons in Premier League history. The FA Cup winners and Champions League finalists Chelsea finished 6th, big spending soccer ballers Liverpool win the League Cup but finish 8th below Everton, and Manchester City wait until the last few minutes of the season to secure their status as the best team in England, and claim the title for the first time since 1968. Even now all the games have been played, the European spots are still undecided as Chelsea can qualify for next seasons Champions League if they win the final next week, meaning Spurs would miss out on Europe’s most lucrative and prestigious competition, Read more..
Blackburn Rovers came into this game needing a win to give them a chance of avoiding relegation, maybe a point would do, but they desperately needed the three points to take them level on points with QPR, and Bolton who will have a game in hand. These were the tactics which Steve Kean decided would be best suited to achieving this aim. He was obviously luring Blackburn’s two remaining opponents, Wigan and Chelsea, into a false sense of security. Having seen this they’ll think Blackburn are rubbish and slump to defeat – giving Blackburn 6 points and Premier League safety! Genius. The 0 shots on goal they managed in this game will mean Ali Al Habsi and Petr Cech won’t turn Read more..
Fans of Stoke City were outraged yesterday as they realised Aaron Ramsey had successfully recovered from a broken leg inflicted by their captain, Ryan Shawcross, in February 2010. Fans of the club booed the Arsenal player at every opportunity, but manager Tony Pulis played it down by saying -”I was more concerned about the Arsenal supporters booing Shawcross so I didn’t hear the ones on Ramsey.” Pulis admirably stifled his disappointment at Ramsey’s recovery, but a fan’s spokesman was more forthcoming with the club’s view on the subject. “We work hard on the training ground, week in, week out, on our dangerous tackling techniques, and to see players such as Ramsey recover from career threatening Read more..
Newcastle United’s signing of Demba Ba and Yohan Cabaye in the summer of 2011 didn’t prompt too many headlines in the transfer columns of world football. Indeed, the news of Cabaye signing for the club was often a footnote amidst reports of their failure to sign fellow Lille star Gervinho, who opted to join Arsenal instead. Missing out on Gervinho gave them £10m to spend elsewhere, maybe later on in the season, but more on that later. As for Demba Ba, it’s widely known that Stoke turned down the player on medical grounds, leaving the door open for Newcastle to secure the players’ signature on a free transfer after his contract at West Ham ended Read more..
Moneyball has been a buzzword in soccer football during the last year or so. Since John W Henry and the Fenway Sports Group took over at Liverpool FC, a lot of the attention surrounding the “Moneyball” method has focused on the exploits of the club, their scouting team, management, and of course the players. They have been the guinea pigs for a Moneyball experiment in football. John W Henry’s links with Moneyball/Sabermetrics are well documented, and he was even portrayed in the excellent recent film version of the Moneyball book written by Michael Lewis. Since mentioning in a previous article that these so called “new” methods could be simply common sense football management rather than Read more..
Pavel Pogrebnyak has scored two goals in two games for Fulham since his move from Stuttgart in January, and in a league which is often said to be difficult for new signings from foreign leagues to adapt to, Pogrebnyak has proven he has the ability to fit straight in at the Cottage. No wonder Martin Jol didn’t seem too fussed about the departure of Bobby Zamora, as he moved to sign the 28 year old Russian with money to spare. Pogrebnyak is a player who has always had the ability to become a good striker in the Premier League. He has the prerequisite great feet for a big man, is strong on and off the Read more..