Premiership Conclusions

20.12.09

You might well say it’s a bit early to be drawing conclusions from this weekend’s Premier League action given that there’s still plenty of fixtures to be played tomorrow and Monday, but I think we can safely say that Saturday’s action both on and off the pitch has given us plenty to be discuss to be going on with. Plus, tomorrow is likely to be both my last day with an internet connection for some while and very busy, so there’s no time like the present.

To business at hand then and as I said yesterday, this season’s Premier League action is proving to be nigh on impossible to predict. We’ve now had two weekends full of surprise results and the established order that has developed over so many years seems to be quickly unravelling. It’s hard to know what to make of it at times but I think at least some conclusions can be cautiously made.

Click through to find out what they are…

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Are the ‘big four’ crumbling?

13.12.09

Chelsea's defence undone for a third time by Everton: are they crumbling?

Last week Manchester City came from behind to beat Chelsea by two goals to one and many a football pundit saw that as proof that, despite all the draws and flattering to deceive, the Eastlands Billionaires could be a real threat to the ‘big four’ this season. Thus, after Everton’s injury-decimated side also matched Chelsea with a 3-3 draw yesterday, the same logic could be used to suggest that my beloved Toffees too, could realistically hope to breach the big four this season.

Such logic is clearly flawed though, because even as an Evertonian I’m realistic enough to know that we pose no threat to the Champions League spots and City’s inability to beat Bolton yesterday has seemingly confirmed that they too lack the necessary consistency to ‘break’ the top four. However, I still think we may see an unfamiliar team near the summit of the Premier League this season, considering Chelsea’s recent stutters alongside those of the other ‘big four’ clubs, it could be argued that they are not as untouchable as they have been in recent seasons.

Click through for the full article…


European Football: Three Conclusions

18.09.09
Will Evertons new star Bily help Russia shine in South Africa?

Will Everton's new star 'Bily' help Russia shine in South Africa?

After a full midweek’s worth of Champions and Europa League action, we should have plenty to talk about. Unfortunately, most matches involving English sides went… pretty much as planned. Still, I’ve drawn a couple of conclusions from this little lot of results, do let me know what you think…

1. Russia are going to have a cracking World Cup.

We all remember just how well Russia played at Euro 2008. I watched an awful lot of that tournament when I wasn’t moping around and wishing England were there, and the Russians were brilliant. Not only were they technically good, but they just seemed to run and run and run and then, for a change, run some more. They work incredibly hard, have great discipline and are a very effective team. Plus, they were managed by Mr. Magic himself, Guus Hiddink.

Click through for the rest of this, plus two more conclusions…


WDKF Wednesday: The Professor Proves Us Wrong?

19.08.09

WDKF Wednesday Topper

It’s Wednesday again (they do seem to come round very quickly) which means that I’ve posted my weekly article over at We Don’t Know Football. This week I’ve taken a look at the goings on at the Emirates Stadium where Arsenal were almost completely written off before the season but are now being heralded as the country’s form team and genuine title challengers.

By having a wee look at their new tactical set up and analysing the mentality of the squad I’ve tried to get past all the media hype and determine whether Arsenal are the real deal or not. I even went to the great lengths of creating an animated .gif image for the post, but it seems that something went wrong so if the words get boring (never!) you can sit and watch a tactical diagram move. I fear I’ve built it up too much already.

Please do click on through and have a read though…


Guest Blog: Fanaticism and Football

12.05.09

guest-blog-topper

Hi all, sorry for my lack of posting over the past couple of days, as I said below, I had my parents up and had a really busy but enjoyable few days. That said, there was some good football to be watched and enjoyed so I hope no one missed me too much while I was away.

I’m back in action today though with a guest blog over at Soccer Fan Base, which is a sort of retrospective look at the issues that have plagued this Premier League season and an analysis of what that says about the state of football in today’s world.

Click through to read the post at SFB…


Microphones: A Refereeing Solution

07.05.09

Referee Ovrebo is surrounded by outraged Chelsea players at the final whistle.

Referee Ovrebo is surrounded by outraged Chelsea players at the final whistle.

Having watched the great Champions League semi-final 2nd leg between Chelsea and Barcelona this morning, I was pleased to see that the standard of attacking play was as high as we had hoped for, and I was gutted for Chelsea, to come so close after playing so well, only to see it all slip away at the very last second, was harsh. Worse though, was the refereeing, and both sides can feel hard done by after another shambolic refereeing performance, following on from yesterday’s game.

It is such a shame that such a good game of football will ultimately be remembered not for two great goals, not for some heroic defending from Chelsea, some persistent attacking from Barca and for the result, which is of course always remembered, but instead for the tragic refereeing that plagued it. It’s becoming an all too familiar trend, and it needs to be addressed. Fear not though, for (as Baldrick would say) I have a cunning plan…

Click through to find out more…


Champions League Predictions

05.05.09

champions-league-predictions-topper
Well, I must admit I’m excited about the second legs of this season’s Champions League semi-finals. The first legs, granted, weren’t quite the classics that we perhaps anticipated, but you have to admit that they are now nicely set up for some pretty tasty second legs. So who’s going to fight on through and have the honour of playing for European football’s biggest prize?

Click through to find what I think…