Adidas AdiPower Predator Review


Adidas' latest incarnation of the legendary Predator.

I, like every football obsessed kid in the nineties, always dreamed of wearing Adidas Predators. When I pictured myself kitted out in the blue of Everton lifting the FA Cup, or in the white of England scoring the decisive goal in a World Cup Final, I was wearing Adidas Predators. They were the dream.

With the dawn of the Premier League era came Adidas’ revolutionary boot, for the first time, here was a football boot that was more than a running shoe with studs, something that did more than stop you from slipping over. Here was a boot that, like the glitz and glamour of the Premier League, like the technology of Sky’s razzle dazzle television coverage, like the arrival of exciting foreign talents on our shores, actually enhanced the football itself.

Click through for the complete review…


FA Cup Final Focus: Manchester City


Can Tevez be for City what Ferguson is for Everton?

Even before I tuned into watch Everton play Man City last week, I knew Everton would win. I’d known since it had been revealed that Duncan Ferguson would be making his return to Goodison Park before the game. The big man is a true Everton legend, an icon who represents the commitment and passion that epitomises the club. In dark times, Duncan was our hero, he helped keep our heads above the water.

And Man City, in their current guise, don’t have that. It’s the reason why Everton have got such a hoodoo over them in recent seasons (we’ve beaten them in seven of our last eight meetings) and why City’s undeniable wealth of talent has not yet been transformed into the sort of genuine success, you know: the glittery silvery kind, that all their lavish spending surely demands. Is today the day that changes?

Click through to find out…

FA Cup Final Focus: Stoke City


Pulis has transformed Stoke this season, can he finish it in style?

I wrote a guest blog, back in early November, where I suggested that Stoke were coming a little bit unstuck because Tony Pulis was attempting to take them away from their tried, trusted and maligned formula of direct football. Looking back now, it’s easy to think I was talking nonsense – Stoke are preparing to compete in the FA Cup Final today, and they sit a very comfortable 8th in the Premier League.

But back when I wrote that, Stoke had made a pretty average start to the season and you could really see them struggling to retain the Premier League status they had fought to retain, almost literally, for two seasons before this campaign. Pulis spent some decent money in the summer, bringing in some talented players who somewhat broke the mould of what we’d come to expect from Stoke City previously.

Click through for the full article…

Premiership Predictions


A somewhat curtailed Premier League fixture list this weekend, due to two all-Premiership FA Cup semi-finals being contested, will be no less crucial for many of the sides fighting to avoid the drop, with a host of what can only be called six-pointers between teams who find themselves being dragged downwards. Arsenal will look to make up ground on United while they’re on Cup duty too. How will it all go down? Read on…

Birmingham City vs. Sunderland (Sat, 3pm)
Both of these sides find themselves nearer to the bottom of the table than they probably should – both possess some real quality in their squads, but have somehow struggled to find any real consistency. Things look worse for Sunderland at present, as they’ve not picked up three points in a very long time, and they need to stop the rot. St Andrews may not be the place to do it though, as Birmingham’s form has looked OK lately and they’re well aware that they still need to keep picking up regular points to avoid being sucked further down the table.
Prediction: 2-1.

Click through for the rest of this weekend’s predictions…

Premiership Predictions


We return to Premier League action after a week off for international fixtures, and what with England’s canter to a win against Wales and the match against Ghana, despite it’s praise as one of the best meaningless friendlies for a long time, still just being a meaningless friendly, it’s a welcome return. Everything is literally still to play for, with the title undecided and conceivably about half the clubs in the division could still be relegated. It’s going to be a fascinating end to the season, so here we go…

West Ham United vs. Manchester United (Sat, 12.45pm)
The international break probably came at the wrong time for West Ham who were finding a little form and momentum before it, and they face a tough test to get back to winning ways straight away here. They’ll have been relieved to see Scott Parker return uninjured, but slightly miffed that Wayne Rooney, for United, will be fresher than their England star because he is, in Capello’s mind, ‘more important’. United have Chelsea in the Champions League on Wednesday, and one could see Freguson resting a few – but I don’t think he will. After an international break he’ll want to use this game to get his team back together and as a warm up for Wednesday.
Prediction: 1-2.

Click through for the rest of the weekend’s predictions…

FA Cup Predictions (4th Round)


Such is the magic of the FA Cup, it’s probably madness for me to even try to predict any of this weekend’s results – there will be one or two ‘cupsets’ at least. However, I’m going to give it a go anyway, but to give myself a fighting chance I’ll be selecting just five of the fixtures to preview and predict, involving teams whose form I actually know a little bit about – so despite the tagline of this post, this hopefully won’t be too much random guesswork…

Click through for predictions for the weekend’s Cup fixtures…

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…