June 21, 2014

Recife

Caught the packed (sardines) metro from the bus station into the centre of town.

Heard a guitar strumming and singing in Portugese, followed the sound and found myself in The Nossa Senhora Do Rosário Dos Pretos Church.  The acoustics were great and it sounded nothing like religious music so I sat in the church and enjoyed that for 30 minutes. The time now 7a.m.

The Nossa Senhora Do Rosario Dos Pretos Church


Walked around and found the site of the first bridge in Latin America first built in 1643. As I was crossing I saw a net being thrown into the river on the next bridge. I was amazed to see one minute later the net hauled out with a large fish.

The Nossa Senhora Do Rosario Dos Pretos Church


Later walking down the street I saw a man drop his car keys, I picked them up and followed him, saying disculpe (excuse me) I got no reaction as he did not recognise his own keys. I demonstrated what had happened and he then realised they were his. I was rewarded with a coffee.

Brazilian Post Box


I didn't mention it but in Brasilia I had a spare ticket for the game. I looked for someone suitable to give it to and saw 4 Brazilians under a tree, a father and three sons. I asked if they spoke English. They shook their heads. I asked if they wanted a ticket they said "Yes".

I told them they could have it but I was not going to be responsible for the battle over who would have the ticket, they understood every word. The eldest son came with me.

Architecture in Recife


I mentioned a problem a mutual friend had yesterday, well someone was arrested... correctly. They confessed that before they were caught they had also left a restaurant without paying, and so they accepted that they were being punished for this.

Thinking about how to get dulce de leche. I remember after my visit to Uruguay finding it in Sainsbury's. Then I thought.... just now Uruguay is closer!

Sugar cane


Still wandering around I saw sugar Kane (not distilled) and as is customary had a drink. The vendor had no change for the small note I gave her, so I had a fresh fruit concoction sprinkled with cream, raisins and something else, for the note.

Recife has some wonderful (restored) colonial architecture, recently repainted, with the clear blue early morning sky there were plenty of good photos to be had for anyone with a decent camera.

Recife architecture


For the first time there were people at the metro to help visitors and there was security present... unlike Fortaleza, where I put forward my proposals to make the places safe for others in the future i.e. the police should be visible, to ward off criminals and not hiding in their office. Unfortunately the tourist police did not understand English.

Manuel arrived at the game in customary fashion (i.e. late) and I didn't expect to be saying that Costa Rica are one of the best teams I have seen in my five games so far.

Italy v Costa Rica


Managed to send the previous day's blog thanks to Claudia63 sitting two seats away who was unaware I had hacked her wifi, using the Brazilian formula explained earlier. Found another way to access wifi through a local network Oi, they are linked to BT and as I have an account with them, using my BT password & username it works......when the network is strong enough.

After the match, made the long trek back to the city centre, walk, bus and packed metro.

I had time to kill, it was just getting dark so I decided to head to the stop imaginatively titled 'Shopping'. Brasilia had the same and there was a modern shopping centre next to the metro there. On the way I met two Norwegian, Chile fans.

This time I got out the metro and realised this was not the same scenario. There was no sign of anything around a local woman assured us that Shopping was just round the corner. Then we saw a bus with the destination Shopping Recife, so we jumped on.

By now, I think you understand that Brazil is huge and so too are the cities. The bus travelled for about twenty minutes before we reached the shopping centre! We then decided to head to the beach area Boa Viagem. We sat and talked as we listened to the waves crashing in the background. A very pleasant evening, we tried to swop tales of our adventures in Brazil. I went first and they immediately said that there trip had been uneventful. I said I would be grateful for the day that my travels were.

I realised they were trying to give me more material, as I left them about 10p.m. and headed to the airport for my 2.20a.m flight that would take me to São Paulo, where I would change planes before landing in Rio.

They helpfully suggested that I could catch the bus to the Airport from a nearby street, instead of the 10 minute walk back to the Shopping Centre. I pointed out that the stop they referred to was going in the wrong direction!

I did however, check and sure enough I headed back to the shopping centre to catch the bus to the airport.

Whilst completing computerised check-in I completed their questions, but am wondering what will happen next as they insisted on having a telephone number for next of kin (provided they were not also on the flight).

© Ross Clegg & Soccerphile.com

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June 20, 2014

Natal

Natal, Brazil
Caught the overnight bus from Fortaleza....just seven hours this time and arrived at 6 a.m.

Arriving in Natal as dawn broke it was clear they had heavy rain in the night. As it began to get light there were still grey clouds overhead.

Now I needed to sort out how I was getting to Recife for the game at 1.00 p.m. tomorrow, the original plan was that I was travelling with Manuel by car, you'll realize after yesterday's episode that something went wrong with those plans.

Lots of Mexicans here and they are doing the same thing, so it was no surprise when I heard the buses to Recife were full. Of course being one who doesn't give up I persisted and managed to book a bus out at 23.45 tonight, for the five hour journey.

So what to do in Brazil by the sea as the rain pours down?

Head to the mall for some shopping (to replace things) and where the FIFA ticketing centre was located. There was no sign of any local buses, so I had no option but to take a taxi.

During the journey my driver talked (as taxi drivers all over the world do) non stop. Despite neither of us speaking each other's language I think we understood each other. This was borne out by the fact that he accompanied me to the ticketing centre and explained my case and remained with me for the next two hours.

I understood that Natal was safe but that Recife was dangerous and had a reputation for crime like Fortaleza.

I was now told that FIFA had said yesterday that under no circumstances would they reissue tickets. Keeping quiet about the fact that I had done that yesterday I said I accepted that, but would like to see if it was possible to buy tickets.

Again I was told this was not possible. Yet outside a large queue had formed obviously looking for tickets for tonight's game Japan v Greece.

Japan v Greece, Natal


My FIFA helper took pity and asked about the games I needed. He tried but no luck, he suggested trying the Internet. He saw my iPod and asked if I had wifi, I explained that even when I get it it rarely works (as I was advised by Camila before I set off. Thank you.)

He proceeded to try the different networks that came up and (as I had already worked out) entered the same name for the password. I told him that was typical Brazilian and he acknowledged it was. Nothing worked so he suggested a large nearby supermarket which had Internet.

Japan fans in Natal, Brazil


I asked a few questions and found that initially he didn't know if the shopping mall would open today as on match days the cities had declared holidays. He later found it would open at 3p.m.

He also informed me that there was a bus strike today.

So off to the supermarket where I got to kick my first ball in the aisles, with some kids before we got told off! I took one of the chocolate world cups off the shelf and gave it to one of them who then paraded it round the store, before putting it back.

The connection to the Internet was slow and when it did come up it failed, after my third computer I looked at the assistants and said "Brazil" they immediately fell about laughing. I had read that Brazilians say this when things don't work out, and felt that after the week here that I have had, I was entitled to use it.

So it would appear my only hope for the two missing tickets will be Pedro's sign.

I guess by now you'll realize at the moment I feel a bit like the Uruguayans without their dulce du leche (which is as good as sugar Kane!).

Looked for some help to get to the stadium later in the day and found two people from England, who having been based on the Northern coast, were able to give me useful tips for my next destination.

Met another old friend, by chance, inside the stadium, Sebastian can be found usually near beautiful women. I spotted him having his photo taken and ruined the shot!

For the first time I managed to watch a game on TV. It left me singing "Soy, celeste" as I later watched Japan v Greece from the best seats I have had this tournament.

By now you will have seen that the stadiums have all been magnificent (as usual) but I heard that for the last game it took some time to get back into town.

So I planned my escape from the stadium beforehand by foot to the bus station.

On the way out I bumped into another friend, and went with them for the bus.

One of his companions had been arrested earlier in the evening, (for nothing, honest) and kept in custody whilst the game took place and he was due to appear in court at 8.20 a.m. tomorrow morning. But the bus to Recife departed tonight....with him on board.

© Ross Clegg & Soccerphile.com

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June 19, 2014

Concacaf – World Cups Dark Horses

The post Concacaf – World Cups Dark Horses appeared first on FootyBlog.net

So we’re well and truly underway at the World Cup now and reading through news and stats the other day I came across a little pearler of a fact.  CONCACAF are pretty much the best performing FIFA region so far in the tournament. 

Between the member countries (USA, Mexico, Honduras and Costa Rica) they have;

Wins – 3
Draws – 1
Loss – 1

This compared to the other divisions lines up to show they have all (with the exception of Honduras) got off to a blistering start.  Blistering is definately the word I’d use for Clint Dempsey’s superb 29 second solo effort in their opening game.  It is not what I would use to describe Mexico’s game with Brazil the other day but holding the hosts to a draw was a more than commendable result.  Albeit with the Mexican keeper being their stand out player.

This all adds up in my opinion to a possible heavy presence of this division  in the next round, obviously Costa Rica have still got some work to do but their early demolition of Uraguay should buoy them for their upcoming games.  It looks as though Mexico and the USA might not have a whole lot to worry about from this point in. Mexico are very well placed to advance.

Could this add up to a CONCACAF winner?  Certainly this is hyperbole, but they have definately shown us that teams from this region of the globe aren’t just gap fillers…

The post Concacaf – World Cups Dark Horses appeared first on FootyBlog.net

June 18, 2014

Premier League 2014/15 Fixtures Released

The post Premier League 2014/15 Fixtures Released appeared first on FootyBlog.net

It’s the moment that all football fan has been waiting for. Nothing says that the new season is fast approaching better than the release of the season’s fixtures! Taking a team by team breakdown, we’ll look through each teams opening and closing six fixtures of the upcoming season, and see whether the fixture gods have been kind or harsh.

Note: Fixture dates below are as released on Wednesday 18th June, and are subject to change due to TV viewing.

Arsenal

Arsene Wenger will have mixed emotions looking at his first six games of the new season. With the Gunners traditionally being a little slow to get up and go on the opening day (last season’s 3-1 home defeat to Aston Villa a good example here), he would be foolish to consider that 3 points are a guarantee against a reborn Crystal Palace side under Tony Pulis.

He should also beware of a trip to last season’s Championship champions Leicester, back in the big time for the first time in ten years under experienced manager Nigel Pearson. And he probably won’t be thankful for an away day to Everton so early on, who last season beat them 3-0 at Goodison Park.

Home ties against Manchester City and local rivals Spurs, will test Arsenal’s hunger for silverware having finally got themselves a taste of it by winning the F.A Cup last season.

As for the final six fixtures, Arsenal will be aware that ties against Chelsea and Manchester United could be potential title deciders if they are still in the hunt going into the final five games. The remaining four fixtures surrounding those two crunch games could provide them with some momentum going into those.

First 6
16.08 Crystal Palace (h)
23.08 Everton (a)
30.08 Leicester (a)
13.09 Manchester City (h)
20.09 Aston Villa (a)
27.09 Tottenham (h)

Final 6
18.04 Sunderland (h)
25.04 Chelsea (h)
02.05 Hull (a)
09.05 Swansea (h)
16.05 Manchester United (a)
24.05 West Brom (h)

Aston Villa

Villa boss Paul Lambert will be hoping his team can make the most of their first three games of the season, including two home matches against Newcastle and Hull. An opening day trip to Stoke will be tricky, but what’s trickier as he will know is the following three ties against Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea. Maybe it will be a blessing in disguise to get two very tough away days out of the way early?

He will certainly be happy to see only one top team in his final six. If Villa are within reaching distance of the relegation zone come the end of the season, wins against any of the remaining five (four of which are at home) should ensure them top flight status for another season.

First 6
16.08 Stoke (a)
23.08 Newcastle (h)
30.08 Hull (h)
13.09 Liverpool (a)
20.09 Arsenal (h)
27.09 Chelsea (a)

Final 6
18.04 QPR (h)
25.04 Manchester City (a)
02.05 Everton (h)
09.05 West Ham (h)
16.05 Southampton (a)
24.05 Burnley (h)

Burnley

Burnley fans and the team no doubt will be excited to see the return of such names as Chelsea and Manchester United onto their fixture list, and will no doubt flock to Turf Moor in their thousands to see their local heroes host Chelsea and Manchester United for their first two home matches of the season. Perhaps their better chances of points in their first 6 lie with Sunderland at home, and West Brom away.

As for their final six, only a trip to Everton can really been seen as a nasty surprise. The rest, if Burnley are fighting down the wrong end of the table, will be targeted by Sean Dyche as winnable games to retain their top flight status for another season.

First 6
16.08 Chelsea (h)
23.08 Swansea (a)
30.08 Manchester United (h)
13.09 Crystal Palace (a)
20.09 Sunderland (h)
27.09 West Brom (a)

Final 6
18.04 Everton (a)
25.04 Leicester (h)
02.05 West Ham (a)
09.05 Hull (a)
16.05 Stoke (h)
24.05 Aston Villa (a)

Chelsea

Jose Mourinho will just like Arsene Wenger be aware of new blood in their opening day fixture. Fans will expect nothing less than routs away at Burnley and at home to Leicester to send signals intent to their title rivals. Away days at Everton and Manchester City could be potential slip up points.

Chelsea’s final six games will really show what they are made of. Worthy champions will have to dispose of the threats posed by Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool, and make the most of their home advantage in two of those games. A repeat of Sunderland at Stamford Bridge last season would not be tolerated this time around, especially on the final day of the season.

First 6
16.08 Burnley (a)
23.08 Leicester (h)
30.08 Everton (a)
13.09 Swansea (h)
20.09 Manchester City (a)
27.09 Aston Villa (h)

Final 6
18.04 Manchester United (h)
25.04 Arsenal (a)
02.05 Crystal Palace (h)
09.05 Liverpool (h)
16.05 West Brom (a)
24.05 Sunderland (h)

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace fans will be excited going into the new season. There were perhaps times last season under Ian Holloway where they didn’t think an opening game away at Arsenal was a realistic thought. But since their rejuvenation under Tony Pulis, the Palace faithful will travel on the opening day full of confidence in their ability to cause an upset. Their first three home games prove good grounding to start the season on a high.

Potential alarm bells could be ringing for their final six games though. If form takes a turn for the worse, three of their final four matches against some of the best players in the world does not make good reading. Wins over West Brom and Hull at home before those matches will be vital to give Palace their best possible chance of survival.

First 6
16.08 Arsenal (a)
23.08 West Ham (h)
30.08 Newcastle (a)
13.09 Burnley (h)
20.09 Everton (a)
27.09 Leicester (h)

Final 6
18.04 West Brom (h)
25.04 Hull (h)
02.05 Chelsea (a)
09.05 Manchester United (h)
16.05 Liverpool (a)
24.05 Swansea (h)

Everton

After last season’s positivity, you could forgive Roberto Martinez for not being at all intimidated by seeing Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool at the top end of this fixture list. With the former two being home games, good results could see Everton challenging at the top end of the league once again this season. They will know that Leicester will be more than fired up at the King Power Stadium though on the opening day.

The final six games make nice viewing for Everton. With Manchester United and Spurs both being home games, there is a chance for Everton to find form here and challenge for a European or Champions League spot here. Their final game of the season against Spurs, could well be a play-off for one of those spots.

First 6
16.08 Leicester (a)
23.08 Arsenal (h)
30.08 Chelsea (h)
13.09 West Brom (a)
20.09 Crystal Palance (h)
27.09 Liverpool (a)

Final 6
18.04 Burnley (h)
25.04 Manchester United (h)
02.05 Aston Villa (a)
09.05 Sunderland (h)
16.05 West Ham (a)
24.05 Tottenham (h)

Hull

Steve Bruce’s Hull team have a lot of pride to take from last season’s successes, and will be thankful that their start of the season eases them back into action. It will be important that they balance league priority as well as enjoying a European football campaign, as former teams in similar situations have come to find European football as a distraction from the league, and can tire players out. So Bruce will need to rely on the full compliment of his squad if Hull are to have an equally impressive season to last, especially when their final six fixtures see them host three teams that are fully expected to be in the hunt for the league title, as well as two others that could be scrapping for their lives.

First 6
16.08 QPR (a)
23.08 Stoke (h)
30.08 Aston Villa (a)
13.09 West Ham (h)
20.09 Newcastle (a)
27.09 Manchester City (h)

Final 6
18.04 Liverpool (h)
25.04 Crystal Palace (a)
02.05 Arsenal (h)
09.05 Burnley (h)
16.05 Tottenham (a)
24.05 Manchester United (h)

Leicester

Leicester will be delighted to be drawn a home game for the start of this coming season, especially against the likes of Everton. They can get used to seeing the likes of England internationals Ross Barkley, Leighton Baines, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck as their second and third home games of the season sees the arrival of Arsenal and Manchester United. Even a tough first away day of the season to Chelsea will see more of a ‘bring it on’ attitude, rather than one of fear. Their more realistic chances of points early on perhaps lie against Stoke and Palace, although those away games are never easy as many will tell you.

Mind you, boss Nigel Pearson will be happy to get the bigger names out of the way early on, as his final six fixtures largely consist of what will be expected to be relegation rivals by the time May comes around. Survival perhaps, is in their hands.

First 6
16.08 Everton (h)
23.08 Chelsea (a)
30.08 Arsenal (h)
13.09 Stoke (a)
20.09 Manchester United (h)
27.09 Crystal Palace (a)

Final 6
18.04 Swansea (h)
25.04 Burnley (a)
02.05 Newcastle (h)
09.05 Southampton (h)
16.05 Sunderland (a)
24.05 QPR (h)

Liverpool

The fixture gods have been kind to Liverpool going into August. Away challenges at Manchester City and Spurs, as well as hosting Merseyside rivals Everton early on in the season will test Liverpool’s hunger for the title again having come so close last season. An opening day fixture against Southampton will see an earlier than expected reunion for new signing Rickie Lambert against his former team.

A test against Chelsea late on in the season, could potentially see one of the two ruled out of the title hunt, but Brendan Rodgers’ team will be fully expected to win the other five, as long as the ghosts of Crystal Palace don’t come back to haunt them again!

First 6
16.08 Southampton (h)
23.08 Manchester City (a)
30.08 Tottenham (a)
13.09 Aston Villa (h)
20.09 West Ham (a)
27.09 Everton (h)

Final 6
18.04 Hull (a)
25.04 West Brom (a)
02.05 QPR (h)
09.05 Chelsea (a)
16.05 Crystal Palace (h)
24.05 Stoke (a)

Manchester City

The Premier League champions are tasked with Newcastle at St James’ Park as they begin their title defence. They will have to find winning form quickly if they are to be successful in their quest, and make the most of their home ground advantage to survive the challenges of Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea inside the first six games of the season.

Manuel Pelligrini’s men ave a fairly routine finish to the season, although Spurs and Southampton on their day are fully capable of putting a spanner in the works and blowing the title race wide open. City fans will remember how difficult QPR were to brush aside late in the season not long ago.

First 6
16.08 Newcastle (a)
23.08 Liverpool (h)
30.08 Stoke (h)
13.09 Arsenal (a)
20.09 Chelsea (h)
27.09 Hull (a)

Final 6
18.04 West Ham (h)
25.04 Aston Villa (h)
02.05 Tottenham (a)
09.05 QPR (h)
16.05 Swansea (a)
24.05 Southampton (h)

Manchester United

Louis van Gaal will perhaps be thankful that his opening fixtures suggest that he will be ‘eased’ into Premier League action in his debut season. On paper, his team will be expected to achieve great things under his new reign and many will be surprised if it isn’t six wins from six by the time they have played West Ham at Old Trafford on September 27th. Facing all three promoted teams in quick succession though, could be a potential stumbling block for the Dutchman.

As for his and United’s final six, an away day to Chelsea and a home tie to Arsenal on the penultimate weekend of the season could see any team miss out or claim the league title. If it comes down to it, a final day fixture against Hull won’t seem too daunting if points are needed.

First 6
16.08 Swansea (h)
23.08 Sunderland (a)
30.08 Burnley (a)
13.09 QPR (h)
20.09 Leicester (a)
27.09 West Ham (h)

Final 6
18.04 Chelsea (a)
25.04 Everton (a)
02.05 West Brom (h)
09.05 Crystal Palace (a)
16.05 Arsenal (h)
24.05 Hull (a)

Newcastle

Alan Pardew has been given a difficult opening day fixture, entertaining last seasons league champions Manchester City. Once past them though, Newcastle will expected to push on and gain points from their next five games.

Pardew will be expected to spend serious money this summer, so if they are expected to be in the top half again this coming season, Spurs at home will perhaps be their final test of distant European football hopes, before being tested by the likes of Leicester, West Brom and QPR who could possibly be fighting off the threat of relegation. So overall Newcastle can be happy with the look of those fixtures. Their main challenges look as though they will be mid-season.

First 6
16.08 Manchester City (h)
23.08 Aston Villa (a)
30.08 Crystal Palace (h)
13.09 Southampton (a)
20.09 Hull (h)
27.09 Stoke (a)

Final 6
18.04 Tottenham (h)
25.04 Swansea (h)
02.05 Leicester (a)
09.05 West Brom (h)
16.05 QPR (a)
24.05 West Ham (h)

QPR

QPR and ‘arry Redknapp will have mixed feelings about the look of their fixture list. They may have to wait for the riches of the league to arrive at Loftus road, but it’ll be important for them to make the most of home ties against Hull, Sunderland and Stoke in-between difficult away days to Spurs, Manchester United and Southampton.

If QPR are to be in a relegation scrap as most might expect them to be, away days to Liverpool and Manchester City won’t be met with as much enthusiasm as equivalent fixtures at the start, but they have opportunities to gain the points they need to survive through the other four fixtures. An away trip to Leicester on the final day of the season, could be a win or die scenario.

First 6
16.08 Hull (h)
23.08 Tottenham (a)
30.08 Sunderland (h)
13.09 Manchester United (a)
20.09 Stoke (h)
27.09 Southampton (a)

Final 6
18.04 Aston Villa (a)
25.04 West Ham (h)
02.05 Liverpool (a)
09.05 Manchester City (a)
16.05 Newcastle (h)
24.05 Leicester (a)

Southampton

New manager Roland Koeman will be relishing being thrown in at the deep end when his Southampton side travel to the red side of Merseyside on the opening day of the season. The word ‘reunion’ may not necessarily apply to him directly, but his team will know all about the threat that Rickie Lambert poses should he play. There are perfectly achievable home wins in Koeman’s first three games at Saint Mary’s.

Looking to the final six of the season, a final day away day in the blue half of Manchester could be either difficult or an exhibition type affair, depending on whether or not the title race is decided by then. Away days at Stoke, Sunderland and Leicester might look OK for now, but if these teams are battling at the wrong end of the table, these games will become more difficult by the week.

First 6
16.08 Liverpool (a)
23.08 West Brom (h)
30.08 West Ham (a)
13.09 Newcastle (h)
20.09 Swansea (a)
27.09 QPR (h)

Final 6
18.04 Stoke (a)
25.04 Tottenham (h)
02.05 Sunderland (a)
09.05 Leicester (a)
16.05 Aston Villa (h)
24.05 Manchester City (a)

Stoke

Stoke’s top half finish last season will see a call for the same again as they entertain Aston Villa on August 16th. Their first two fixtures give them plenty of time to find form before a tough away day at Manchester City, and the challenge of facing unknown quantities in Leicester and QPR. Mark Hughes should be optimistic of a bright early season though with the way their home fixtures shape up.

By the time May comes around, Hughes will be hoping home games against Spurs and Liverpool late on will be welcome challenges. On the off chance they are battling a relegation fight however, those matches suddenly don’t look as appealing. However, with four home games in their final six, there is plenty of chances to make home advantage count.

First 6
16.08 Aston Villa (h)
23.08 Hull (a)
30.08 Manchester City (a)
13.09 Leicester (h)
20.09 QPR (a)
27.09 Newcastle (h)

Final 6
18.04 Southampton (h)
25.04 Sunderland (h)
02.05 Swansea (a)
09.05 Tottenham (h)
16.05 Burnley (a)
24.05 Liverpool (h)

Sunderland

Sunderland rode their luck last season, somewhat appearing to have given their opponents a ‘head start’ before striking gold on a rich run of form that saved their season. Gus Poyet will be hoping for a much more comfortable ride this time around when he can influence things from the off. West Brom away will be met with a smile, before challenging ties against Manchester United, QPR, Spurs and Burnley that will perhaps define where they realistically see themselves this season.

If they are in trouble again with six games to go, a final day fixture away at Chelsea might perhaps seem placed somewhere between possible and impossible, considering last seasons away day success when requiring a win. Other away trips to Arsenal, Stoke and Everton are to be met with caution.

First 6
16.08 West Brom (a)
23.08 Manchester United (h)
30.08 QPR (a)
13.09 Tottenham (h)
20.09 Burnely (a)
27.09 Swansea (h)

Final 6
18.04 Arsenal (a)
25.04 Stoke (a)
02.05 Southampton (h)
09.05 Everton (a)
16.05 Leicester (h)
24.05 Chelsea (a)

Swansea

Garry Monk will be looking forward to sinking his teeth into his new fixture list, with an opening day trip to Manchester United, which is perhaps made a little more difficult by the hyped up arrival of Louis van Gaal. But despite another difficult away day to Chelsea, Swansea’s remaining opening four games don’t look too bad. Burnley though, will be an unpredictable and lively threat at the Liberty Stadium.

Looking at Swansea’s final six, games against Arsenal and Manchester City will leave Monk hoping that league survival will already have been obtained by the time these games come around. Without European distractions this season, an away day to Palace on the final day shouldn’t have too much riding on it.

First 6
16.08 Manchester United (a)
23.08 Burnley (h)
30.08 West Brom (h)
13.09 Chelsea (a)
20.09 Southampton (h)
27.09 Sunderland (a)

Final 6
18.04 Leicester (a)
25.04 Newcastle (a)
02.05 Stoke (h)
09.05 Arsenal (a)
16.05 Manchester City (h)
24.05 Crystal Palace (a)

Tottenham

Eyes will be on new manager Mauricio Pochettino as his new Spurs side travel to Upton Park on the opening day of the season, before hosting a promoted Championship side in QPR for his first home game. Seeing how they fare against Liverpool and London rivals Arsenal, will see where Spurs are realistically aiming for this season.

Spurs could have a say on where the title ends up this season when they host Manchester City on May 2nd, although of course many a Spurs fan will be hoping that means a swing towards themselves. A final day trip to Goodison Park however, might be a more realistic battle in determining whether Everton or themselves will be playing European football the following year.

First 6
16.08 West Ham (a)
23.08 QPR (h)
30.08 Liverpool (h)
13.09 Sunderland (a)
20.09 West Brom (h)
27.09 Arsenal (a)

Final 6
18.04 Newcastle (a)
25.04 Southampton (a)
02.05 Manchester City (h)
09.05 Stoke (a)
16.05 Hull (h)
24.05 Everton (a)

West Brom

New manager Alan Irvine will be looking to win over the Baggies faithful after his surprise appointment, when he welcomes Gus Poyet’s Sunderland to the Hawthorns on the opening day. He’ll be relieved his toughest challenges early on come in the shape of Everton and Spurs, but his team will be expected to show signs of encouragement when facing the other four.

And those signs of encouragement will need to be full in effect by the time the final six showdown comes around. Games against four title challengers in Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal don’t at first sight give any hope of points if West Brom were caught up in a relegation fight, with away trips to Palace and Newcastle being deemed as last ditch chances to acquire points.

First 6
16.08 Sunderland (h)
23.08 Southampton (a)
30.08 Swansea (a)
13.09 Everton (h)
20.09 Tottenham (a)
27.09 Burnley (h)

Final 6
18.04 Crystal Palace (a)
25.04 Liverpool (h)
02.05 Manchester United (a)
09.05 Newcastle (a)
16.05 Chelsea (h)
24.05 Arsenal (a)

West Ham

And finally, Sam Allardyce’s West Ham. Fans perhaps at stages last season would not have expected Allardyce to still be in the managerial hot seat by the time they entertain Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs at Upton Park on August 16th, but fans can be happy that an early four match stint should be enough time for their team to find some form before facing tougher challenges in Liverpool and Manchester United during late September.

Their final six games look OK too, once an away trip to Manchester City is out of the way. League survival should be ironed out by the time they entertain Everton, although QPR, Burnley and Villa won’t go down without a fight.

First 6
16.08 Tottenham (h)
23.08 Crystal Palace (a)
30.08 Southampton (h)
13.09 Hull (a)
20.09 Liverpool (h)
27.09 Manchester United (a)

Final 6
18.04 Manchester City (a)
25.04 QPR (a)
02.05 Burnley (h)
09.05 Aston Villa (a)
16.05 Everton (h)
24.05 Newcastle (a)

Image: www.freeradio.co.uk

The post Premier League 2014/15 Fixtures Released appeared first on FootyBlog.net

May 31, 2014

May 30, 2014

Wenger Signs New Deal At Last

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has finally signed a new contract after months of speculation about his future. The Frenchman has never attached much significance to whether a contract is signed or ...

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May 25, 2014

Atletico Run Out Of Steam As Ronaldo And Co Triumph in Lisbon

In the end, it was all too much for Diego Simeone and his Atletico Madrid side.

Just when it looked as though Diego Godin's first-half header was going to be enough to bring home Atleti's maiden European crown, up popped Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos in the 93rd minute to plant a header of his own into past Thibaut Courtois to send the match into extra-time.

...

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Visit the About.com World Cup Section

Less than three weeks to go now under soccer's greatest event gets underway in Brazil.

I have been working feverishly on the site's World Cup section, which you can visit here.

The area contains match schedules, squad lists, team and player profiles, statistics, history and a special look back at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

...

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May 18, 2014

Atletico Feat One Of The Greatest

When the dust settles on Atletico Madrid's amazing La Liga triumph, it will be recognized as one of the greatest of the last 50 years.

This is a club who, in winning their first Liga title since 1996, broke Spanish soccer's traditional hegemony, at a time they had no right to do so. Coach Diego Simeone does not have a Lionel Messi at his disposal, nor the world's most expensive player Cristiano Ronaldo, nor last summer's most expensive purchase Gareth bale.

...

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April 30, 2014

Put Your Money On City

Chelsea's 2-0 win over Liverpool on Sunday was a real kick in the teeth for soccer's romantics.

The Reds' destiny - and the prospect of a first title in 24 years - was in their own hands until Steven Gerrard's cruel slip enabled Demba Ba to run clear and put Jose Mourinho's side 1-0 up before the break. Willian rubbed salt into Liverpool wounds late on.

...

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April 27, 2014

Spotlight on Schwarzer

At the grand old age of 41, Mark Schwarzer could have a big say on the destination of this season's Champions League.

Chelsea's first-choice goalkeeper Petr Cech was ruled out for the remainder of the season after suffering a shoulder injury in the 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid on Tuesday. Schwarzer replaced the Czech at the Vicente Calderon and proved a safe pair of hands as Chelsea eased to a draw in Spain.

...

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April 13, 2014

Liverpool Title Favorites After Seeing Off City

In one of the most enthralling games of the Premier League season, Liverpool took the box seat in the title race with a 3-2 win over Manchester City.

On a day when Anfield remembered the 96 people who perished in the Hillsborough disaster 25 years ago, Liverpool took a 2-0 half-time lead through Raheem Sterling and Martin Skrtel.

...

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April 10, 2014

Atleti Dreams Turning Into A Reality

They've now beaten both Barcelona and Real Madrid this season and on Wednesday Atletico Madrid's dream of an unlikely Champions League and La Liga double moved a step closer to reality.

...

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March 31, 2014

Can German Legend Break Incredible World Cup Record?

Back in the penultimate game of the 2010 World Cup, a desperate Miroslav Klose sat prone on the bench during Germany's 3-2 third place playoff win over Uruguay, with the striker just one goal shy of equaling Brazilian striker Ronaldo's all-time World Cup goal scoring record of 15.

...

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July 29, 2011

Tips for Better Sports Betting

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January 19, 2011

Cricket Betting Tips

Betting on cricket matches and cricket players has been going on for decades. Today there are number of online sites which offer betting services. Most of these sites allow people to place bets on games going on in all the prominent cricket playing countries. In any form of gambling and while placing bets it is important to know what the odds are and what you are up against. Cricket being a

August 28, 2009

Everton v Wigan Saturday Football Line up

On the 30th of August at 1500 hours, Everton will host Wigan at their home ground, the Goodison Park. Starting out, Everton are definitely the favorites, especially since they are the stronger side and they will be playing at home. However, Wigan does have a few tricks up its sleeve, and they will be hoping to win this match and thereby boost their players' confidence. The betting odds are

August 13, 2009

Burnley v Manchester United

Ardent followers of the Premier League will recall how newcomers Burnley managed to pull of incredible victories against seasoned teams like Chelsea and Arsenal last year. Their nascent Premier League ambitions were brutally cut short by Tottenham in the semi finals. Burnley returns to the Premier League this year, having signed up promising Scottish international Steven Fletcher, in the midst of

November 11, 2008

Football Star Beckham in His Element on the Field

David, along with Victoria Beckham, who attended the Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly (ESPY) Awards on Wednesday night in Los Angeles, expressed his satisfaction at being accorded a red carpet welcome.A red carpet will not be rolled out for Beckham when he hits the field Saturday night at Giants Stadium where the match between the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Red Bulls is slated to be

September 14, 2008

MSU’s Success in Football Crucial for Funding Entire Athletic Department

Michigan State University’s last athletic director who took its football team to the prestigious Rose Bowl Stadium was Doug Weaver who in Jan 1988 fulfilled this dream with George Perles, MSU’s football coach that year.Mark Hollis, MSU’s present athletic director is working towards achieving the same after 20years. "The goal is that going into every year, we have that legitimate anticipation that

August 31, 2008

Ancient small-school football rivalry in the south spreads to all sports

With the first gridiron feud between these two Virginia schools starting in 1883, the fact that the rivalry has not ended even after 125 years goes on to prove that this small-school rivalry is probably the oldest in the South.While the college students from Hampden-Sydney celebrated their 24-10 victory in the 100th game over rivals Yellow Jackets from the near Randolph-Macon College, they

August 05, 2008

Russia enjoys the Hiddink revolution

If you have been watching the Euro 2008 championships, you would have noticed the Russian advance through the various stages culminating in their booking a semi-final berth. For a side that was written off not long ago, the very fact that they reached the semi-final is in itself a great achievement. The credit for this amazing turnaround goes to the Russian side and its famous coach, Guus Hiddink

July 24, 2008

Repurposing condoms as soccer socks

Every now and then I read an article that catches me off guard and this is one such piece.

I turns out that the big soccer fashion trend in Cape Town, South Africa, these days is to wear condoms on your feet to keep your socks up.

The need for such an innovated way of using these prophylactics is the result of a lack of proper soccer gear, such as socks with elastic to hold them in place. Since condoms are distributed for free in order to help curb the spreading of HIV, it all makes sense.
Sivuyile Nqawe of the Lingelethu Football Association in Khayelitsha said it was to "ease matters for those who cannot afford expensive brands of football kit on their mission to sharpen their skills to become future soccer stars".

"It is just a creative method and it works to alleviate the situation. You just break a condom packet, grab and stretch it. Then you put it on your leg," Nqawe said.

"You will find that in most instances players bring a box of condoms to a match and share them among teammates for the same purpose."
Another example of necessity being the mother of invention.

FC Dallas might lose Toja to Europe

Is Juan Toja about to play his final match as a MLS player?

Rumor has it that the longhair midfielder will fly to Romania tonight, after the All-Star match, to finish a deal with Romanian powerhouse Steaua Bucharest.

Then again, it is just a rumor. Accord to FCD coach Schellas Hyndman, "I expect him here to play against LA (on Sunday)."

Although this season has not been as strong as the first half of last year, Toja is still a vital part of Dallas's attack. If he does decide to move on to Europe, FCD will have a difficult time replacing him.

Then there is the ongoing speculation that teammate Kenny Cooper might also be soon to fly across the Atlantic. Those rumors have died down of late, but if both of these ended up being true, it is hard to see a way for Dallas to finish the season in a commanding fashion.

Is the face of FC Dallas about to change in a major way? We'll know within a week.

July 09, 2008

A Fitting finale to an Exciting championship

The recently concluded Euro 2008 championships in Switzerland were a resounding success by all accounts. If it was a spectator’s delight watching the scintillating games, it was an organizational and logistical success from the administrator’s point of view as well. The Swiss Defence Minister Samuel Schmid declared on Sunday that "It's been a mega event. The third-biggest sporting event in the

June 10, 2008

Sanchez Happy With Fulham Revival

Although drubbed by Arsenal in the Barclaycard Premier League opener, Fulham manager Lawrie Sanchez has hardly any doubts about the strength of his defense. He is the person who has been credited with the revival of the side. Fulham was not in the best of form when he had taken over the mantle of leading the side towards the end of last season.Chris Coleman, the predecessor to Sanchez, was under

April 03, 2008

World Cup History: Sweden

Sweden has already managed to put together a pretty impressive World Cup record. After all, the country has already achieved one final appearance as well as three top four finishes. It will certainly be interesting to see what the country still has to offer.

Sweden first participated in the Cup events in 1934. At this time, they beat Argentina with a score of 3 to 2 during the opening round. They then lost to Germany with a score of 2 to 1 during the quarter finals and the Germans went on to lose to Czechoslovakia with a score of 3 to 1.

After this first tournament, the event moved to France in 1938 and Sweden received a bye for the first round when Austria withdrew from the competition. They went on to beat Cuba with a score of 8 to 0 in the quarter finals and met up against Hungary for the semi-final. Here, they lost with a score of 5 to 1. Hungary went on to lose to Italy in the final, with a score of 4 to 2.

In 1950, Sweden managed to beat Italy with a score of 3 to 2 and then had a 2 to 2 draw against Paraguay. They moved onto the final four, but than lost against Brazil with a score of 7 to 1 and then lost to Uruguay with a score of 3 to 2. Although they did win over Spain with a score of 3 to 1, it simply wasn’t enough for team Sweden to move on.

In 1954, Sweden did not qualify for the tournament, but they hosted the event in 1958. This seemed to bring good luck to the team, as they had the best World Cup performance in the country’s history of the game. First, they beat Mexico with a score of 3 to 0 and then won against Hungary with a score of 2 to 1. The team then had a 0 to 0 draw against Wales and moved on to the quarterfinals. They went on to win against the USSR with a score of 2 to 0 and to beat Yugoslavia with a score of 1 to 0. They ended up making it to the finals and facing Brazil. They couldn’t pull of the win, however, and lost with a 5 to 2 score.

Sweden failed to follow up this good year in a positive way, however, as they failed to qualify for both the 1962 tournament and the 1966 tournament. On the other hand, they did qualify in 1970 and they did win their final group with a score of 1 to 0 against Uruguay. That’s as far as they managed to go, however, and Italy ultimately won the title with a 4 to 1 win against Italy.

In 1974, the team did a little better with a 0 to 0 draw against Bulgaria and a Group 3 victory. They won with a score of 3 to 0 against Uruguay. They went on to lose against Poland with a score of 1 to 0 and a 4 to 2 loss against West Germany. West Germany ultimately went on to win the title.

Things looked promising in 1978, with a 1 to 1 draw against Brazil. They went on to lose against Austria and Spain and finished at the bottom of Group 3. The team failed to participate in the 1982 and 1986 events, but returned in 1990. At this time, they faced Brazil and lost 2 to 1, and then went on to lose by the same score against Costa Rica and Scotland.

In 1994, the Swedish team managed to make it to round two after a 2 to 2 draw against Cameroon, a 3 to 1 win against Russia, and a 1 to 1 draw against Brazil. They went on to win with a 3 to 1 score against Saudi Arabia and went on to the last eight. Here, they faced Romania and drew 2 to 2. After the shoot out, Sweden came out on top with a 5 to 4 score. They then faced Brazil and couldn’t manage to pull out a win.

The team failed to qualify in 1998, but did participate in the 2002 event. They won a 1 to 1 draw against England, won 2 to 1 against Nigeria, and had a 1 to 1 draw against Argentina. They went on to face Senegal, but still couldn’t pull out a win.

2006 doesn’t look much better for Sweden. Although they will likely make the last 16, history shows that they probably won’t make it all the way. If they do manage to progress any further, they are not likely to take it all the way to win the title, despite the fact that the team does have a great deal of talent to offer.

World Cup History: Portugal

There are several more contenders for the 2006 world championship title in Germany than many may have thought. In fact, many are claiming there is a “new world order” that deserves to be recognized. Some of the teams being considered more closely include Greece, Turkey, and South Korea. Portugal is also being looked at as a possibility when it comes to winning the cup, though most people think they pose little threat to actually win the entire cup. After all, history has demonstrated that the team has not been able to capitalize on its assets and bring home a win.

In 2004, Greece won the European honors and Turkey and South Korea have also managed to make it to the semi-finals in 2002. Another dark horse that is starting to gain more recognition over the past few years is Portugal, despite the fact that the 2006 competition represents only the fourth time Portugal has participated in the World Cup finals. The first Portugal win came in 1966 in England and it is still considered to be the best main event performance for Portugal.

Before their excellent 1966 performance, they had been in a difficult group that pitted them against two of the most prestigious teams from the decade before. In 1958 and 1962, Brazil had captured world titles. In addition, Hungary was having an amazing period of football at the time. Despite the fact that they hadn’t actually won a championship during this period of time, the Hungary team from that era is still regarded as one of the most revolutionary in the history of the game.

Although Hungary wasn’t quite the juggernaut it used to be by the time 1966 came around, the fact that Portugal was able to win with a score of 3 to 1 at this time was quite an achievement. It was also here that Eusebio made his first goal while helping in a 3 to 0 win over Bulgaria. Eusebio added two more goals to his record while helping Portugal achieve a 3 to 1 victory over Brazil. Although some of the defensive moves used by Portugal at this game were controversial, the game still highlighted the fact that the Portuguese were a team to contend with.

The fact that North Korea beat Italy during the first round also helped Portugal, because this meant the Asian side would be their opposition during the last eight. It looked as if all was lost, however, when North Korea brought the score to 3 to 0 during the game’s first 25 minutes. With the help of Eusebio’s four goals, the team managed to pull out a 5 to 3 win.

The team then faced England and faced a real challenge. Bobby Charlton got two goals early on and Portugal wasn’t able to regain control. It took another 20 years before Portugal made it to the finals again. When Portugal made it to the tournament in Mexico, they were considered a difficult team to contend with, but they still were not thought of as a team that could win. At this time, Portugal found itself facing England in the opening group phase. Despite putting up a good fight, Portugal did not progress.

Once again, the Portuguese found themselves out of the World Cup action for a long period of time. In fact, they didn’t return until 2002. They were referred to as the “Golden Generation” during this time, but still did not fair too well. Despite the excitement surrounding Rui Costa, Luis Figo, and Fernando Couto, the young team wasn’t able to pull off a victory. First, they lost against the United States with a score of 3 to 2. They did win against Poland, however, with an impressive score of 4 to 0. With that victory, team Portugal’s hopes were improved. This was short-lived, however, as they were beaten by South Korea. The hopes team Portugal held in its young talent were quickly dashed.

After that disappointing season, Luis Felipe Scolari was brought in to try to revive the team. Scolari, who was the manager of the winning Brazilian World Cup team has brought new hope to the struggling team. After being beaten in Euro 2004, Scolari has something to prove to the world and he has just the team to do it with. In addition, it is a straightforward procedure to get out of Group D, which contains Iran, Mexico, and the former colony of Angola.

If history is any indication, Portugal is not likely to bring home the win in 2006. At the same time, they have a number of factors working in their favor. They have young talent that is thirsty for a win as well as a high-quality coach with something to prove to the world. The results of this match up remain to be seen.

September 19, 2007

Starting a Football Betting Career

As a novice to football bets, the first thing you must learn is the types of bets used. These are the basics to a successful betting career. There are various types of football bets. A few of them are Straight Wagers, Money Line Wagers, Half-time Wagers, Parlays, Future and Proposition wagers, Teasers, Reverse Wagers, etc. Gaining a basic idea about some of these would help you place bets

July 01, 2007

Rafa’s excited over new signings

Liverpool is all set to get bolstered with new signings. Manager Rafael Benitez is gung-ho about the possible move of major players like Javier Mascherano, Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso into his Liverpool squad. To add to the excitement is the speculated buy-out of ‘The Kid’ Fernando Torres from Atletico Madrid. Although played down by the Madrid officials, this move is definitely in the offing.

May 03, 2007

Free Bets on the internet

I was looking around on the internet as I often do for free bets. Most of the time online bookies offer you free bets as an incentive to sign up. Many of these free bets could be a straight $20 or £10 and sometimes as much as £60 / $120. You will also see regular offers such as place a bet on any market and your get a free goal score bet. The site that I was looking at for these free bets was

April 02, 2007

2001 no longer seems 6 years away...


That is how desperate the situation at High... no wait (forgive me) Ashburton Grove has become. Why do I mention a year normally associated with terrorism? That year encapsulated Arsenal's most embarrassing defeat in modern history - a 6-1 tub- thumping at the hand's of Manchester United. On Saturday lunchtime, Arsenal were treated to a another dose of an only slightly less venomous medicine, this time on Merseyside; in front of Liverpool's new American co owners - one wonders whether Liverpool's breathtaking display has left the Americans shell shocked that there just might be something more exciting than March Madness on this side of the pond?

Whatever the case, on this occasion, the terrorism is not being perpetrated by some Islamic fundamentalist, no - the terrorism is etched between the paper thin lines of Arsenal's permeable defense. These players have hi-jacked the Gunners' back line and transformed what are normal defensive rituals into Sunday morning comedy routines which only serve in aiding the opposition, not Arsenal.

All this was on a day when Arsenal were presented with a precious opportunity to cement their status as the third best team in the Premiership, hence securing another venture onto European shores next season. To say Arsenal "spurned" this chance is the understatement of the season. Suicide would perhaps be a more appropriate description. From the start, Arsenal were 2 yards off the pace, Liverpool harried Arsenal like blood thirsty wolves chasing a pack of hyenas, and the skyscraper they call "RoboCrouch" used his height to great effect. More irony for Arsene to ponder, two players the Frenchman previously rejected once upon a time played a decisive roll in this thrashing, number one being Jermaine Pennant whose spell at Arsenal was tainted with off the field controversy, and number two being Crouch - whom Wenger once described as “a basketball player who can play with his head”. I am sure messas Michael Jordon and Kobe Bryant would be equally flattered if they were on the receiving end of such a back handed compliment.

True defeats in the north of England are no stranger to the north London outfit. This season alone, Arsenal have suffered at the hands of Bolton, Man City, Everton, and of course Liverpool. And that does not account for the last gasp defeat to Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup; which extinguished Arsenal's only semi realistic shot at silverware this season. If Celtic and Rangers joined the English League tomorrow, rest assured there would be no welcome party from Arsene's boys...

So the heaviest Premiership reverse since February 2001. Accurate to point out that on that occasion the scoreline read 6-1 in Man Utd's favor, but way back yonder Arsenal were still second in the league, and were still fighting in the FA Cup and Champions League. This season's traditional northern drubbing comes at a time when Arsenal are officially annexed from every competition, so although 6 years ago Arsenal conceded two more goals, the picture still looked brighter than it does today considering Arsenal's league position and precarious premature exits in the FA Cup and Champions league (two arenas where Arsenal have flourished in recent seasons).

At the beginning of the 2005-2006 season Wenger said he was not one to look back because he harbors too many regrets on previous failures and misfortunes. One can only imagine that sentiment will have been reversed on Saturday as the Gunners provided their fans with an early, not so welcome, April fools joke of a performance!

March 04, 2007

My Rant on Fox...


And no! Surprisingly my tirade is not directed at the political vultures at the top of the blood sucking money making tree that is FOX. My venom is not directed at the political architecture of the network which continues to serenely support the Bush administration by constantly parroting the orthodoxes handed out by the Republican party which have led us into the quagmire of Baghdad and beyond.

However, my anger is directed towards one of FOX's sister channels, "Fox Soccer Channel", and more specifically, the Fox Soccer Report, which airs on channel 613 on satellite television at 10pm eastern, 9pm central. This show has ruined the prime principle of soccer broadcasting.

This dilemma compounds, what is to me anyway, a fundamental problem entrenched in the roots of this country. American media is incensed with a fixation of advertising by the mass; cramming as much in to as little time possible in order to make the maximum profit. I'm sorry, this simply does not work when it comes to presenting British soccer.

It may work with the endless carpet commercials sandwiched between the intervals of your Sunday morning conservative radio talk shows, it may work during the non stop commercials which display legal attorneys encouraging people to sue for an arm and a leg. And it certainly may work during the infamous ESPN show called sportscenter, which successfully transforms baseball and basketball highlights into tiny two minute segments representing only a portion of the actual game. But you cannot marginalize soccer highlights into such short segments, that action represents an unforgivable sin on "the beautiful game".

And the pirates that run this show Fox Soccer Report are complicit in this act. They have this wild idea of compiling all the soccer highlight reels from 4 or 5 different countries into a brief one hour segment. This leaves the viewer with a somewhat less than full filed taste in his or her mouth. Showing one clip from a game that lasted 90mins and declaring "the game ended in a tie game" is not the way to report a game of soccer.

Even on the few occasions when analysis is permitted (and believe you me, this is rare) the main correspondent, Bobby McMahon, is only provided with 15 seconds or so to either summarize, or preview a game. He often ends up saying "This is gonna be a close game but I see it going this way..." This is simply not nearly enough time to explain the tactics, players, or sheer mental psychology that surrounds international soccer. You have to allow your viewers to understand the emotional pysche of the respective players before a match, and what sort of tactical masterpieces the managers will employ during the match to win the game. Furthermore, I do not think Americans have grasped the concept of "derby matches", these are games which take place between local rivals where the seed of hatred between the two clubs age back 10s, if not 100s of years. Rivalries which make the Packers - Bears rivalry look like a tussle between two spoiled toddlers on a playground!!!!!!!!!!!!

So to conclude, Soccer is not Baseball. It does not deserved to be presented as if it were a commercial itself, no, this game deserves more respect. I hope Fox Soccer Channel changes its ways and adopts a more rounded approach when it comes to Soccer coverage. I can only hope that Fox allows Fox Soccer Channel the same adequate analysis time they allow Bill O'Reilly on "The Factor". Hopefully with less advertisements, and a more comprehensive analysis of the games at hand, the Fox Soccer Report may one day enter "The No Spin Zone".


(Highly unlikely in our lifetimes, however...)

March 03, 2007

Betfair - Betting Exchange

Betfair - Betting ExchangeBetfair is undeniably one of the largest online gambling operations in the world today. Betfair has offered services for some time that has not disappointed their clients, thus making the site the largest online. Betfair launched its site in 1999, and since this time, the site has become the greatest market share Online. Its online betting shares out rates many of

January 26, 2007

Arsenal Football Tickets

Well, the new football season has started and what better time is there to purchase yourself some Arsenal football tickets.Arsenal have some big games coming up and tickets are available for you to purchase.Don't miss out on all the action, the atmosphere just isn't quite then same when watching on the television! Check out Online Soccer for more information.

September 04, 2006

Defoe frustrated with Tottenham situation

Jermaine Defoe has admitted his on-going frustrations at not being a regular feature in the Tottenham starting line-up.After scoring for England and putting in a very impressive performances, Defoe has given his best shot and there's not much else he could do to command a decent role at club level.However, Defoe is going to get his head down and let the football do the talking rather than speak

Gallas makes Chelsea feelings known

Former Chelsea defender William Gallas has criticised former boss Jose Mourinho.Now having joined Arsenal in a deal which saw Ashley Cole head the over way, Gallas feels relived.The France international had been phased out at Chelsea and appeared to be on very bad terms with Mourinho. Gallas feels that the gaffer was fickle with his players and the same thing that's happened to him happened to

Lampard praises Arsenal signing

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard is happy with the signing of Ashley Cole.Lampard has played with Cole for England so he knows what he's all about and considers him to probably be the best left-back in the world.There's a lot of pressure playing for a big club like Chelsea but Cole has experienced it with Arsenal and England so Lampard doesn't think the defender will have any problems."Ashley is

Gerrard gets international praise

England boss Steve McClaren has praised midfielder Steven Gerrard.The Liverpool captain has been in good form for England and it's finally looking like he's transferring some of his inspiration from club level to international level.Now McClaren feels that the best is still to come from Gerrard as he'll be on the right hand side for England."He's been influential for Liverpool over the years and

Henry excited by new Arsenal big signings

Arsenal captain Thierry Henry feels that the club have made signings which will help them progress.Despite losing Jose Antonio Reyes and Ashley Cole, Arsenal have got William Gallas and Baptista, two very good players indeed.Henry considers Gallas to be the best centre back in the whole world and also believes Baptista can become a big player for Arsenal this season."I have known William for a

August 31, 2006

Cole completes awaited move

Andy Cole has completed a transfer from Man City to Portsmouth.Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp has been trying to strengthen his squad throughout the summer and the arrival of Andy Cole will be a great boost to their Premiership campaign.After passing a medical today Cole completed his move and hopefully we'll have some more news on this later, including quotes from the player and manager.

West Ham shock Arsenal with massive star signings

West Ham have shocked Arsenal and many people involved with football around the world by signing both Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano on year long loan deals.Anyone would have thought that Arsenal would be the club to go to over West Ham but in this case it looks like it's a matter of where first team football would be easiest to come by.Now Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will have to look

Aston Villa fail to make star signing

A move for Javier Saviola to Aston Villa will not go through as the players agent Alfredo Cabrera Brizuela insists his client wants another level.The move never looked likely from the start but it shows that new boss Martin O'Neill is very optimistic and feels he can bring some of the biggest talent to the club."The propositions are important, but Javier wants another level." said Alfredo Cabrera

Blackburn in striker talks

Blackburn Rovers are currently in talks with Roma over a loan deal for Shabani Nonda.Blackburn are looking to strenghthen their attack for the Premiership season and Roma are willing to let the 29-year old go.With two years left to run on his current deal, there is an option for Blackburn to make a purchase for the player when the loan has expired in the summer.

Sven getting £13,000-per-week from the FA

News that Sven Goran-Eriksson is still being paid by the Football association has angered Wigan chairman Dave Whelan.Even before the World Cup when Sven committed gross misconduct, Whelan stood up and said the FA that Sven should be sacked. That was the perfect opportunity to get rid of the Swede in his view.However, Sven was not sacked by the FA and is now still getting paid a reported £