Sunday, 27 February 2011

England Draw against India

Now normally this headline would bore everyone, however once in a while cricket serves up a game that ends in a draw that is more thrilling than a Justin Bieber hair cut.

The football world cup that took place in the summer of last year in South Africa was largely dissapointing. The hype was built up around teams with some of the best players who have ever graced the footbal pitch. The hype dissapointed and the world cup was one of the most boring certainly iv ever seen.

Over in India at the moment the cricket world cup is taking place. The hosts, India, have great potential around their team. With great batsman Tendulkar going into the match looking for another world cup hundred.

The toss at the beginning left India going in to bat first, and the hope surrounding Tendulkar delivered and the home fans went mental as he went past the 100 mark with great speed. An average total for a One Day international match was around 300. Anything over than that would set a hard chase for the second team to come to bat. India ended their innings on 339.

England came out to bat with optamism. Captain Strauss managed a total of over 150 runs and set a great standard for his team to go on and win the game with ease. However England slipped in the middle order with no one really helping Strauss out adding to their total.

It left England needing 29 runs from the last 12 runs. This turned into needing 15 runs from the very last over. Bowlers Swann and Shahzad batted out the over and managed to get a draw out the game. This was one of the most exciting games of cricket iv seen in a long time and was a great game for English fans who could never hoped for a draw after the collapse which was suffered.

If you get chance to see some of the highlights from this game, then look out for it!

Saturday, 26 February 2011

A Spin Off!

Hey guys, just a quick update for ya midday!

Iv created a new blog that I will be maintaining as well as this one to give you a flavour of my musical taste. Be sure to check it out and follow if your interested in anything musical as well as sport. I'll be updating it with bits of music news I find interesting as well as giving you samples of what im currently listening to!

26th - 27th Feb Weekend Preview

Saturday, 26 February 2011
Aston Villa v Blackburn, 15:00
Everton v Sunderland, 15:00
Newcastle v Bolton, 15:00
Wigan v Man Utd, 15:00
Wolverhampton v Blackpool, 15:00
Sunday, 27 February 2011
West Ham v Liverpool, 13:30
Man City v Fulham, 15:00

The final weekend in February sees the premier league return to Saturdays after the short break from FA Cup action. 
Blackpool are travelling to Wolves back off a convincing 3-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur however they are without captain Charlie Adam while Bolton will be travelling further north for a trip out at Newcastle United. Earlier in the season Bolton thrashed Newcastle at the Reebok thanks to a lot of help from former Bolton, now Newcastle captain, Kevin Nolan. Nolan spent most of the beginning of his professional career at the Reebok and helped gain Wanderers promotion to the premier league. He was also a pivotal figure in maintaining Bolton's stability in the premier league and helping them gain European qualification for the first time in their history. Bolton will also be looking to bring back on loan forward Daniel Sturridge into his starting line up, after being without the Chelsea striker midweek in the FA Cup.
Its wigans turn to welcome table toppers Manchester United this week who have Giggs and Michael Owen available for selection. Wigans pitch will be a talking point after a harsh winter draws to a close having a major effect on their playing pitch at the DW Stadium. Wigan's groundsmen arn't just burdened by the weather, they also have to compete with Wigans rugby team using the pitch too. The state of the pitch will hopefully help Wigan out a bit and stop United playing their usual football.
Joe Cole could return to the league for Liverpool after featuring in the Europa league tie midweek as they take on relegation candidates West Ham on Sunday while Man City will take on Fulham. Manchester City are coming in to the weekend after a good performance in europe this week. New signing Edin Dzeko making a good start to his career over here in England by netting two goals.

Sunday, 27 February 2011
Arsenal v Birmingham, F, 16:00
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One & BBC One HD from 1500 GMT, highlights on The League Cup Show; also live on Sky Sports 1; listen on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC local radio; text commentary on the BBC Sport website
Sunday is also the date of the Carling Cup Final. The Carling Cup being another cup competition over here in England which is played earlier in the season than the FA Cup. Not as much importance is based on this cup competition from the higher clubs in the premier league but it is still a great chance to add some silverware to the clubs trophy cabinet early on in the season. 
The League Cup final, as it also known, is held at Englands national stadium Wembley. Arsenal will be looking to take advantage of getting to the final having not seen silverware at the club for a few years even thuogh its demanded of a top level club these days. Arsene Wengers team will look to show the rest of England that they have indeed matured enough to win trophies. They will have to do so with the news coming in that they could be without captain Cesc Fabregas.
Birmingham City, a team that don't often get to finals of cup competitions will also be up for it seeing as they want to take this opportunity with both hands. There is an injury doubt over former Arsenal player Hleb, but the blues will still be hopeful of coming away from London with the trophy in their hands.


Thursday, 24 February 2011

Champions League !

So the second lot of round 16 fixtures were this week! Chelsea dropped Drogba to try Anelka and Torres up front on their own for the first time whereas earlier in the month they tried all three strikers in the premier league. Manchester United played away from home suffering from a string of first team injuries.

22nd Feb
Kobenhavn 0-2 Chelsea

Lyon 1-1 Real Madrid

23rd Feb
Marseille 0-0 Manchester United

Inter Milan 0-1 Bayern Munich

Tonight theres a few Europa league fixtures that I can update you on tomorrow, Liverpool and Manchester City included. Other than that not a lot happening in the world of English football. The American guy running for Fifa president has teamed up with ChangeFifa, follow their progress on Twitter

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Fifa 11 Transfer Update

So this week is Champions League week again, there were some games last night and some more tonight, including Manchester United's away trip to Marseille. Will update you tomorrow on the results and highlights :)

Just thought I'd let my followers know, especially cause I know a lot of you are into your gaming, The Fifa 11 Transfer update is going live tonight, around 5pm GMT.


I cant wait to try out Liverpool now they have a decent striker partnership, and obviously Chelsea with the new addition of Fernando Torres.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Weekend Round Up

6th Round
Stoke City - West Ham United/Burnley
Manchester City/Aston Villa - Everton/Reading
Birmingham City - Bolton Wanderers
Manchester United - Leyton Orient/Arsenal

So the weekends action saw Leyton Orient score a dramatic 89th minute equaliser against Arsenal, Manchester United edge out Crawley Town by one goal, Chelsea get knocked out at the hands of Everton and Manchester City progress thanks to putting 5 passed Notts County. My local team, Bolton Wanderers also got through to the next round beating Fulham 1-0 thanks to a volley from Croat Ivan Klasnic. 

Birmingham 3-0 Sheffield Wednesday
Stoke City 3-0 Brighton and Hove Albion
Manchester United 1-0 Crawley Town

Click the scores for highlights of the games :)

When theres a lot of action been played, whether it be FA CUP, Champs league, or Premier league, im gonna start giving match highlights in videos rather than my big round up and just pick the odd match out here and there for an indepth report from me/give my opinion on something in the world of football.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

There is hope!

There is hope, and it comes in the form of an American Journalist.

An American Journalist named Grant Wahl has promised to run for the post of Fifa president and replace current president Sepp Blatter. 37 year old writer has said he sees himself as the "peoples candidate" against a 74 year old Blatter when the roles comes up for a vote in June.

Fifa is the governing body in the world of football, making the decisions that affect the world of football all the way round the world. There are those in the world of football who disagree in the state of the game at the moment with the big debating point coming in the form of Goal Line Technology.

Matches from top to bottom have been changed on moments of whether the ball has crossed the line or not with one of the biggest examples coming in the most recent FIFA's world cup in South Africa when England midfielder Frank Lampard had a goal dissallowed against Germany when replays clearly showed the ball had crossed the line. Fans think that Blatter is out of touch in the way he see's the game and that it cannot progress without technoligical help to make sure these big decisions are correct.

Fifa have also come into criticism regarding the vote for who hosts the 2018 and 2022 world cups. The candiadates had to publish and present why their country was the right one to host and then FIFA would get behind closed doors and vote.

As the vote is set up like this is created a canvassing for votes from the potential hosts and accused FIFA deligates of taking bribes to give their votes to a certain country. When asked about these bribes Blatter has always refused to look into them further and seemingly to ignore the accusations.

The American, Wahl has is gaining momentum from social networking sites and other journalists from around the world. "Wherever I go, I encounter lots of dissatisfaction with Fifa. People aren't happy with the way it has been run but up until now there has been no way for anyone to register their feelings," claimed Wahl.
Wahl has also suggested that Fifa need a wikileaks style clean out of the documents to show what has gone behind closed doors.

To be able to staind for the presidency he has to gain one nomination before the 1st of April this year and the election will be held at FIFA's annual congress which will take place from 31st May to June 1st.

Its a shame that this won't gain momentum and he probably is the wrong guy for the job but someone totally different from Blatter needs to replace him. Im personally backing any form of change with regards to FIFA and if you'd like to learn more/follow another campaign to change the face of FIFA you can follow ChangeFifa on Twitter

FA cup Saturday round up

Yesterday I brought you news of the FA Cup was back around in the footballing calender. Well yesterday one of the favourites to win the comptition, Chelsea got knocked out of the competition at the hands of Everton!

With Chelsea underperforming in the league pressure started to build on manager Carlo Ancelotti. Critics were suggesting Chelsea needed to win the FA cup to make this season a worthwile one for the fans.

The game got to 90 minutes 0-0 with both sides having chances. As the game is in the cup, there can't be a draw and therefore the teams went into extra time. Frank Lampard opened the scoring and looked like he had spared Chelsea blushes however a minute before the game was due to end, Everton full back got a free kick on the edge of the area. If he scored he would put the two teams into a penalty shootout to find out who would progress to the next round and he did just that. The game went into a shootout and Everton came out on top, with Anelka and Ashley Cole both missing their penalties.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Crawley can leave Old Trafford with their heads held high as they only lost by one goal and even had Manchester United playing for time worried they would lose their one goal advantage. You can watch Crawley Towns Manager's post match press conference reaction here.

Other 5th round games are due to be played today whilst the FA Cup draw is around 4 o clock.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

The Fa Cup round 5

Saturday 19th Feb (5th Round unless stated otherwise)
Chelsea - Everton (Round 4 replay) KO: 12.30
Birmingham City - Sheffield Wednesday KO:15:00
Stoke - Brighton KO:15:00
Manchester United - Crawley Town KO:17:15

Sunday 20th Feb
Manchester City - Notts County (Round 4 Replay) KO:14:00
Fulham - Bolton Wanderers KO:15:00
Leyton Orient - Arsenal KO:16:30

Monday 21st Feb
West Ham - Burnley KO:20:00

Now I am aware a lot of people who read this blog are from America/Canada, so a quick explanation is due. The structure for English football is to have 4 main football leagues, and lower leagues below these. Throughout the course of the season the teams participate in a two cup competitions. Excluding the top teams in the top division of English football who also participate in more cup compeitions with other nations top teams. 
One of these cup competitions over here in England is called the FA Cup. Growing up with football in your life meant that the FA cup was always high on the calender. It gives teams lower down the league ladders to come up against the top teams, and some times pull off a cup shock. The only explanation for a lower team doing this is known as "The Magic of the FA Cup"

We are now in the 5th round and the draw has set up some magnificent ties. Non league Crawley Town will be facing Manchester United who are currently top of the Premier League. A real achievement to even step out onto the same pitch as the likes of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Wayne Rooney.

My local team Bolton Wanderers are up against Fulham today, hoping for a good cup run this year, would love to see us win the FA cup for the first time since the 1950's!
The dream for any player growing up in England is to lift the FA Cup at the national stadium, Wembley, and the cup always brings a nice break to the usual league fixtures. I hope I've made the FA Cup somewhat interesting to any non football loving readers out there! If you fancy watching any streams online of these games most are streamed online if you do a quick search. All kick off times are GMT.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Arsenal 2-1 Barcelona

Great game, Arsenal went behind in the first half via a goal from World Cup winner David Villa. Barca threatened all the first half as Arsenal looked to play a very high defensive line in order to take the game to Barca. They did that and made themselves chances yet kept being left open when any one of Barca's midfield played a delightful through ball for either Messi or Villa.

Barca ended the first half with over 300 passes completed, more than an average premier league team makes in a whole game. They completely dominated, playing triangle football effortlessly.

Second half Arsenal came out playing exactly the same, giving the ball away cheaply and having to work much harder to get it back. England midfielder Jack Wilshere shone throughout the game, looking comfortable on the ball. To think he isn't even 20 and was playing up against the two best Centre Midfield players in the world.

Half way through the second half Barca took off Villa and replaced him with the more defensive Keita. This substition looked to help Arsenal out with Clichy putting Robin Van Persie to the byline. RVP had the choice to pull it back to an oncoming Arsenal forward but instead chose to shoot to the near post where a stunned Valdes totally misjudged his decision. RVP than ran straight over to his manager, Wenger, and the whole stadium erupted. A year on from a crushing Barca display, Arsenal had got back in the game!

The final ten minutes, Wilshere played a ball forward to Fabregas, who then played in Nasri. Nasri ran down on goal, but just when he got into the box, turned round and assesed his options... Played a delicate ball straight through the middle of the area, passed two Barca defenders and fell kindly for Arshavin, who finished neatly passed Valdes.

Arsenal had clinched the 2-1 victory, setting up the return leg nicely on March 8th in Barcelona.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

The Goal Machine Is Back In Town!

Sunday's only Premier League game saw Everton travel to Bolton's Reebok stadium. A game which saw on loan Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge net his 3rd goal in his first 3 games. A very impressive stat which points the finger over to Chelsea's transfer deadline day signing Fernando Torres, worth £50 million.

The game ended 2-0 with a headed goal from Englands Gary Cahill  which also took a deflection. Bolton dominated most of the game with the Centre Midfield pairing of Stuart Holden and Mark Davies controlling most of the game. In the second half Everton did push forward and Tim Cahill had the chance to equalise when put one on one with the keeper but he chose to volley when a header looked like the simple choice.

Monday's game saw Chelsea take on Fulham. The game finished 0-0 but Chelsea were lucky to come away with even a point when American, Dempsey missed a last minute penalty. To think if Chelsea had kept their hands on Sturridge and not wasted this £50 million they could be doing a lot better!

Hope you guys had a stress free/painless valentines day

Monday, 14 February 2011

Quick one

Just a quick note to say I've had a busy day on today. Proper post coming tomorrow with details on Sundays and Mondays Prem games!

Will give me a good chance to catch up on all your blogs iv missed too ;)

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Rooneys back?

Saturday, 12 February 2011
Barclays Premier League
Arsenal 2-0 Wolverhampton | Report
Birmingham 1-0 Stoke | Report
Blackburn 0-0 Newcastle | Report
Blackpool 1-1 Aston Villa | Report
Liverpool 1-1 Wigan | Report
Man Utd 2-1 Man City | Report
Sunderland 1-2 Tottenham | Report
West Brom 3-3 West Ham | Report
2010 World Cup, English hopes of getting far in the tournament lay with Wayne Rooney. Much was promised ever since he scored a wonderful goal on his debut for Everton against Arsenal. However Rooney was a shadow of his potential. Looking tired, lathargic and showing a lack of effort which made English fans question Rooneys motivation. 

Rooneys Man Utd league campaign this season started how his world cup ended, making bad touches, decisions and shooting off the target. Fast forward to November of 2010 Rooney was due to feature in the Manchester Derby but got set off to the USA for 'Rehab' where he spent a few weeks. He came back to the UK and didn't really set the league on fire with his return.

Saturday 12th Feb, the early kick off saw Rooney get his chance in the big Manchester Derby that he missed several months before playing in a 451/433 formation which often saw the striker up top on his own. Playing in this role needs a good first touch and quick decision making which Rooney really didnt show. Luckily City missed an opening chance from Silva which left United a great chance to gain the lead when Nani got put through on goal from a great Giggs first time ball. He calmly finished and the teams went off for Half Time.

The teams resumed and both teams lacked any sort of goal threats until Manchester City brought on Edin Dzeko who clearly made an impact straight away. They then soon scored a deflected shot from Dzeko that hit the back of Silva.

Now look up, watch the video of Wayne Rooneys goal from a deflected Nani cross and let me know what you think in the comments! An absolutely amazing goal which really took the breath away when it went in. A player who had looked out of touch the whole season managed to pull off a goal that took immense quality.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Forgive me Father

For I have Sinned...

I phone users can now confess easier than ever before. For £1.19 users can go online and order an app that can not just help you confess your sins, but help you keep faith with God. The Confessions Program offers users tips and guidelines to help them with the sacrement and has gotten the backing from senier church officials both in the UK and the US.

The launch has come shortly after Pope Benedict XVI gave urging to Christians to embrace digital communication make their presence felt online. " I invite young people above all to make good use of their presence in the digital world" "It is important always to remember that virtual contact cannot and must not take the place of direct human contact with people at every level of our lives."

So has anyone got God's phone number? I need to make a phone call xD

Don't forget Valentines Day!

Monday 14th February.
If you have a loved one this is just a reminder to all forgetful soles that this Monday is Valentines day. No doubt you would have been reminded anyway by said loved one constantly since the New Year but I'd hate  for any of my followers to get themselves in a spot of bother.
If your still looking for that last minute special gift, something you can give your partner that will really tell them how you think of them. LOOK NO FURTHER!!

If your reading this in America this could be the answer for you. The Bronx Zoo in New York City is offering guests to name a cockroach after their loved one. For only $10 (£6.25) donations you can buy naming rights.

"Flowers wilt. Chocolates melt. Roaches are forever"

Friday, 11 February 2011

Looking ahead to Saturday

Saturday, 12 February 2011
Barclays Premier League
Man Utd v Man City, 12:45
Birmingham v Stoke, 15:00
Blackburn v Newcastle, 15:00
Liverpool v Wigan, 15:00
West Brom v West Ham, 15:00
Friday, the day where all football fans in England look ahead to the weekend and see who their team is facing. 
A few matches to pick out. The Manchester derby is this weekend, United have confirmed that their young defend Chris Smalling will be starting in the middle of their defence so it should give City some encouragement to play more attacking than they usually would against a top 4 team away from home.
Arsenal will be hoping they win more convincingly against a bottom half team and have got Wolves at home. Wolves who come back off a win against top of the league Manchester United. An achievement in itself and made even more so considering United were unbeaten all season up until that match.
Newly appointed West Brom manager, Roy Hodgson will see his team against West Ham. With their thoughts laying whether they can move into the Olympic stadium after the London 2012 Olympics. They are battling it out with Tottenham Hotspur for who can call the stadium in the East End their new home. The decision on who gets the stadium is announced later today!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Denmark 1 - 2 England

An experiment game of two halves saw Fabio Capello's new look team come from behind to win 2-1 away in Denmark.

Things were looking bad when Denmark opening the scoring around the 10 minute mark thanks to a lovely ball in from wide right from 18 year old Eriksen and finished by Liverpools Agger. However, in a matter of minutes Arsenal's Theo Walcott sustained a cut just underneath the eye as he played the ball across the 6 yard box for Darren Bent to put into an empty net.

In a first half were debutant Jack Wilshere shone out with his one two touch and run passes, new skipper Frank Lampard did put England 2-1 up with a delicate flick between the legs but was ruled out for offside correctly.

England got up to half time 1-1 playing like an England team which fans haven't seen for a long time. Half time came along with it a host of changes which saw Englands most capped full back get the captains arm band and 4 Aston Villa players on the pitch at the same time. The pace of the Villa frontline showed as England closed down the Denmark defence well and Ashley Young was slipped in to score his first for his national team from the edge of the box. A delicate little stab that was put nicely into the bottom corner giving the Danish keeper no chance.

A convincing win for England but we are a long way from being able to go far into a tournament. Our defence left gaps which looked to have been closed up when Dawson was replaced with Boltons Gary Cahill. The new defence pair of Terry and Cahill looked solid.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Come On England!

The morning of the first England game of 2011. With it comes a new optamism from me, fresh faces all over the place. A confirmed start for Darren Bent which means no Wayne Rooney in the starting line up along with Jack Wilshere playing just behind.

Looking forward to this game a lot more than usual international friendlies and was doing a spot of browsing the web reading up about more info on the game and found a few stats that might be of interest!

- England have won just four of their 14 opening games in a calendar year since 1997, with all four of those victories coming at home. The Three Lions defeated Egypt 3-1 at Wembley last term, after losing 0-2 to Spain in their 2009 opener.
- Of the last six players to captain England, four have lost their opening match – Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard & David Beckham – while only Michael Owen and John Terry have seen England pick up a victory on their debut as captain. 

- The Three Lions suffered humiliation on the last occasion that they visited Copenhagen to face Denmark, losing 1-4 in August 2005. This defeat, alongside their shambolic 1-4 defeat to Germany at the World Cup in the summer, was their worst loss since losing by the same scoreline to Wales in May 1980. 

So nothing like a few depressing stats to get you in the mood for an England game!

Wednesday 9th February, 7pm

International Football Live: Denmark v England


Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Frank Lampard named as England Captain

No rio, No Gerrard and John Terry available but denied since sleeping with peoples wives. The captaincy arm band falls in the hands of Frank Lampard for the friendly game against Denmark.

"I have monitored the last five games he has played and he has improved a lot," said England Manager Fabio Capello. "I watched him against Liverpool and he played very well. Probably he is fresher than the other players."

Capello also stated that Wilshere would start alongside Captain Lampard, as well as Darren Bent, Joe Hart and Ashley Cole. So not quite the line up I was hoping for but will still be worth a watch.

Denmark - England

Denmark - England (Wednesday 9th February)
KO: 19:45

Days before England play their first fixture of 2011, former England manager Steve McClaren is sacked by German team Wolfsburg. Wolfsburg find themselves in 12th position in the German Bundesliga only 1 point away from the relegation zone.

Memories of the last euro qualification games are brought back to the front of English fans minds and will hope to find the rythm the English team has missed for a long time.

From the original squad named on Saturday evening, Capello will be without Steven Gerrard, Peter Crouch and Ben Foster who all return back to their club teams. Where as West Ham pair Rob Green and Carlton Cole are called in as replacements.

Id like England to play an experimental line up, with Jack Wilshere being given time to show what he can do on the ball whilst also playing a new striker up front. Getting tired of Rooney playing up there and expecting the ball to come straight to him.

Monday, 7 February 2011

50 million ...

Doesn't get you much nowadays...

Not when one striker leaves and scores 2 goals in the same space of time. Daniel Sturridge completed a loan move to Bolton Wanderers on the same day that Fernando Torres left Liverpool in a deal reported to be worth £50 million.

Torres made his full debut yesterday in a Chelsea forward line that also consisted of Drogba and Anelka. They ended the game losing 1-0 to Torres's former club, Liverpool. Whilst a day earlier Daniel Sturridge started his first full game for Bolton after featuring as a substitute the match before. Against Wolves, Sturridge came on and score a very late winner for the trotters securing a much needed 3 points. The following match against Tottenham Hotspur he scored another goal making his goal tally for his new club 2 in 2 games.

This was Torres's first game I admit, but watching him with his new team mates was like watching him with his old. Lacklustre, tired, and generally not putting a lot of effort in. We will have to see how he performs in his next few games but as of yet, I think Chelsea would have been better off keeping Sturridge.

I am new round these parts...

I hope this cake will help you to make me feel welcome...