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Goodison Park

Goodison Park: where Dave Sibson belongs.

Those Evertonians lucky enough to be attending the home game against Stoke City today may well notice that Goodision Park feels a little more complete than it has done for the past two years. That is because Dave Sibson will be attending his first match there in that time.

Dave is the type of supporter who is the lifeblood of a football club, but one of those people that the modern game sadly thinks it can do without. The club must count itself lucky that he wants to return at all after the way it turned its back on him. Truly it goes to show just how deeply Everton Football Club runs in his veins.

They Think It’s All Over… temporarily breaks hiatus to speak out against the appalling treatment of a fellow Evertonian by Everton Football Club and our justice system.

Click through for the full story…


Premiership Predictions


So, the first weekend of fixtures since the transfer window closed and fans across the country get a chance to see what their managers have splashed out on – or not, as the case may be – in January. After nearly a week training with their new teammates, the big money January movers will know that they have to perform this weekend – first impressions are just as important in football as they are out in the real world, and especially interesting will be the Suarez-Torres face off at Stamford Bridge…

Stoke City vs. Sunderland (Sat, 12.45pm)
Steve Bruce didn’t waste too much time reinvesting some of the money he received from the sale of Darren Bent, and in Sessegnon and Muntari he may well have added some real quality to his midfield – how quickly they can bed in and get going though, is another question. And, despite the potency of the Gyan/Welbeck partnership, I think Stoke at home will probably be able to strangle the life out of the Black Cats a little, and expect them to maintain their strong home record in the Premier League, though probably not in enthralling fashion.
Prediction: 1-0.

Click through for previews of the rest of the weekend’s action…

Guest Blog: Good Riddance to Bad Commentators


Here’s an article I wrote for World Football Commentaries which takes a look at the scandal that errupted around Richard Keys and Andy Gray’s sexist comments last weekend. While the pair have been rightly lambasted for the derogatory comments towards women, I feel that the focus on the sexist aspect of their comments has actually overshadowed the fact that they were guilty of a crime much more widespread and just as potentially damaging to the future of the game.

Click through to find out why I think it’s good that they’ll no longer be commentating for Sky Sports…

Hard but Fair: We need to see stricter punishments for reckless tackling.


Kevin Nolan destroys Anichebe's leg in Feb 2009. Anichebe still hasn't fully recovered.

It was slightly ironic, I felt, to see Newcastle writing to the FA to encourage them to appropriately punish Nigel De Jong for his tackle that broke Hatem Ben Arfa’s leg, sidelining the midfielder for at least six months. I have every sympathy for Ben Arfa, he was a player with massive promise, as he showed by scoring a thunderbolt against Everton a few weeks ago (curse him…), but my sympathy for Newcastle is tempered by the memory of a tackle from Kevin Nolan on Victor Anichebe in February 2009.

Nolan went right over the top of the ball with both feet, studs raised, and – here I struggle for a suitably voracious adjective – smashed into Anichebe’s ankle, leg and knee all at once. Anichebe returned to action a full 11 months later, but only managed eight appearances in the second half of last season, as he was constantly afflicted by niggly injuries that are the result of having his leg all but destroyed by Nolan. Nolan received a red card for his offence, and thus missed a game or two through suspension, but a year and a half later, Anichebe is still struggling to get onto the pitch.

Click through for the full article…

Man City: The club we love to hate.


Robinho: the embodiment of the 'Man City problem'

Everyone hates Man City right about now, don’t they? Well, aside from the City fans that is, but deep down, they’re wondering what happened to their club. The club with fight and spirit that went all the way down to Division 2 (in old money) and still attracted a full house to Maine Road, and the club that bounced back again. I wonder what those fans, the fans I saw when I went to watch City against Burnley (don’t ask me why) during those dark days, make of their beloved club now.

Click through to find out why everyone hates Man City…

World Cup Final Prediction


Will Spain celebrate a first World Cup triumph?

Four long years of waiting and it’s gone in a flash. It doesn’t help, of course, that England bowed out so soon but I have still enjoyed watching the latter stages of the competition and I think we’ve got a very good final to look forward to. I feel a bit sorry for the Germans who I thought were excellent and deserved at least a final appearance, but Spain showed their quality in the semi and the Dutch have been very effective throughout the tournament.

Which really only leaves one question doesn’t it… who’s going to win?

Click through to find out…

Guest Post: A Moral Dilemma – The Hand of God II


Today I bring you a guest article that I wrote for Steve Amoia over at World Football Commentaries. After seeing Luis Suarez’s controversially heroic deliberate handball that saw Ghana thwarted in their World Cup Quarter Final against Uruguay I was struck by something of a moral dilemma. I know that what he did was wrong – but I would have done the same thing. Would you have acted differently? Should blame be attributed to Suarez? Should Ghana feel aggrieved? Should the punishment have been more severe?

Click through (and scroll down a bit) to find out more…