An Unholy Alliance

Wednesday, 24 February 2010 · 0 comments

Something amazing is happening in the North West.  Born from a mutual hatred of uncaring, selfish and money-orientated owners two of football's biggest rival supporters, Liverpool and Manchester United, are on the verge of a truce in hostilities to join forces in a single voice against the ownership of American businessmen that have taken both clubs severely into debt and failed on promises made at the beginning of their tenure.
Manchester United are nearly £800million in the red (maybe the Americans think that if their team's shirts are red, then so should everything else!) which consists of £500million raised through a recent bonds issue that has only given the

Fourth-Place Playoff Plans for Premiership

Tuesday, 16 February 2010 · 0 comments

So Game 39 was a non-starter, what else can the bureaucrats at Premiership HQ come up with to generate even more money? Eureka! Someone cried, “Let’s have a play-off for fourth-place.”  Is this a good idea?  Really?
There have been many blogs and articles written of late supporting this idea providing a variety of reasoning why it should be at the very least considered, with one of the strongest being that it might break the monopoly of the Big-Four on the Champions League places.  From the need to inject some excitement at the end of the season (what? the title race isn't exciting?) to the desire to break the stranglehold of the Big-Four.  But the need for change has to be carefully considered before drastic action should be taken.  Also, just because there are four teams that vie for the top four places every year, is this league not exciting?
Let's look at the example of The Championship.  After a long, hard gruelling season, a team finishes third only to have to engage in further battles against teams that have not proven themselves good enough over the course of a season as they fight for a place in The Premiership.  Think of it as the last-chance-saloon (or father Christmas)

The Football Edition of Monopoly

Saturday, 13 February 2010 · 0 comments

Notts County and Portsmouth. Both clubs will have to go through a “fit and proper persons test” to prove that potential new owners will be able to manage the club yet this isn’t the first time that both clubs have changed hands this year. For the fourth time this season, Portsmouth are looking for new owners once more after Ali Al-Faraj failed in his bid to attract new investors. The current “owner” does not wish to own the club and only took over after Portsmouth failed to pay back the money he had loaned the club.

Left Back... In the Changing Rooms!

Friday, 12 February 2010 · 0 comments

The problems just keep piling up for Fabio Capello. More injury worries for a coach already tarting to feel the stresses and strains of a predatory national media. The biggest news this week is that Ashley Cole has been ruled out for three months with a broken ankle. This is worrying news indeed, especially when you consider the problems English players have had this season. Glen Johnson’s season has been injury-plagued making him a doubt, Rio Ferdinand off-form and injured some of this season, John Terry mired in a personal crisis. Midfield is no different. Steven Gerrard has barely hit top form when fit this year, Gareth Barry has been steady but virtually anonymous for Manchester City, Joe Cole has been injured for much of the season, Frank Lampard has played well in a top-of-the-table Chelsea team but has failed to hit the goal-scoring form of previous seasons, Shaun Wright-Phillips has not played well at all for City while Aaron Lennon, in wonderful form for Spurs, has failed to reproduce that at international level - and is currently injured.
In attack, the old work-horse Emile Heskey could not score if his kid’s lives depended on it - that’s presuming he ever gets into a scoring position anyway. Much like Jim Morrison of The Doors who turned his back on the audience because he was so nervous of performing, Heskey has his back permanently to the goal that it is a wonder that he remembers what an opposition goalkeeper looks like. That leaves only Rooney. A player that has taken on the mantle of main-man at Manchester united since the departure of the Portuguese Prince, Christiano Ronaldo, bloggers and reporters are slowly running out of superlatives to describe how brilliant Rooney has been this season with many dramatically carving into print their fears should Rooney suffer an injury before the World Cup.
Rooney’s importance to United cannot be overstated this season as his goals have kept a side shorn of much of their defence for long spells, breathing down the neck of Chelsea. But it is not just his goals that have captured the attention of scribes all over the land. His performances this season have been so fantastic that more begrudging supporters have applauded his effort, work-rate and obvious quality, evident in the applause he received from Villa fans after chasing Ashley Young down the left-flank in the 80th minute with no sign of tiredness. That coupled with a maturity not previously seen from a player known for his fiery temper has seen those pundits look at Rooney with a new-found admiration.
Should Rooney suffer an injury before the World Cup has begun, many pundits and journalists fear England’s bid to win the tournament for a second time will be over such has his form been this season. So those of a religious nature should start praying now because England without Rooney will not stand a chance in South Africa.

Graham Matheson

Weekly Predictions - Results

Wednesday, 10 February 2010 · 1 comments

The Big Match Centre Weekly Predictions - Results

Saturday, 6 February 2010
Barclays Premier League

Bolton 0-0 Fulham,
Burnley 2-1 West Ham
Hull 2-1 Man City,
Liverpool 1-0 Everton,
Man Utd 5-0 Portsmouth,
Stoke 3-0 Blackburn,
Sunderland 2-0 Wigan,
Tottenham 0-0 Aston Villa,

Sunday, 7 February 2010
Barclays Premier League

Birmingham 2-1 Wolverhampton,
Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal,

Graham got five results right with two perfect scores!

This Week's News

Tuesday, 9 February 2010 · 2 comments

Blackburn fan dies after collapsing during Stoke match

Whilst there was some fantastic and exciting football over the weekend, it must not be forgotten that a man lost his life at the Stoke v Blackburn match.  The Blackburn fan, Mr Taylor, was found unconscious just after half-time after an incident in the Brittannia Stadium's South Stand.  Police have detained a 25 year old man to "help with their enquiries" after details where released of how the incident transpired.  It was alleged Mr taylor was hit with a bin and had to be treated immediately at the scene for a serious head injury and cardiac arrest.  He later died in hospital at 1:55am.
Staffordshire Police are appealing to anyone who witnessed the incident, or who may have videoed it on their mobile phone, to contact the Major Investigations Department on 01785 233600, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

La Liga News

Barcelona finish with nine men against Getafe but still manage to win 2-1 thanks to goals from Messi and Xavi... Real keep the gap to only 5 points with a routine 3-0 victory over Espanyol at The Bernabau, the goals coming from Ramos, Kaka and Higuain... Deportivo continued their miserly defensive record with a 0-0 draw away at Malaga taking them a point behind Sevilla in 6th place... whilst Valencia maintained their grip on third place with a 2-0 victory over Valladolid, the goals coming from Banega and Villa.

More news to follow

Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal: Effectiveness triumphs over the effete

Sunday, 7 February 2010 · 2 comments

A war of attrition yesterday in Merseyside; today, a contrast of styles in North London. Arsenal's inventiveness and crisp passing style, epitomised by the diminutive attackers Nasri, Fabregas and Arshavin, against the power and aggression of Chelsea's Drogba, Terry and Carvalho. Super Sunday is Sky's moniker for weekly Premier league battles and this was indeed a Super Sunday game.

England to face Wales in Euro Qualifying


England face a tricky couple of games against Wales in their qualifying group for Euro 2012. The draw for the Championship was made today and sees England face Switzerland, Bulgaria, Wales and Montenegro whilst current holders, Spain, have the Czech Republic, Scotland, Lithuania and Liechtenstein to contend with. While the rest of the home nations have a few long flights to eastern Europe to battle with the likes of FYR Macedonia, Estonia, Russia and Slovakia. Not too mention the poor quality of football pitch and fabled eastern bloc facilities.
The only real interesting thing of note to mention was Capello's immediate response to a reporter, "No questions about Rio Ferdinand, John Terry or the captaincy. I have spoken with John and will speak with Rio. No problem with the captaincy. Thanks and bye."  Obviously knew the question was going to arise.  Cracking answer, though.

Committed thuggery wins the day

Saturday, 6 February 2010 · 0 comments

There are too many superlatives to describe this bitter, hard-fought encounter between the Merseyside rivals which saw two red cards in each half as well as a number of crunching and poorly-timed, plus some nasty, tackles.  So I will dispense with a poetic introduction talking of "passion and combativeness in a war of attrition" and instead focus on the finer details of a game that, minus the ball, was nothing more than brutal example of a city divided in hate.
A finely disciplined Liverpool side, down to 10 men for almost 60 minutes of this truculent match, easily held at bay a guileless Everton attack to win 1-0 in the 213th Merseyside derby.  The goal came courtesy of an inch-perfect corner from Steven Gerrard right onto the head of the battling Kuyt who easily out-muscled Howard and Neville to glance a header into the net.

Fight Club (Or the fight for fourth)


As the media circus over the Terry affair continues even after Capello's decision to demote the defender and the nation's army of bloggers are inundated with slavering, barely comprehendible comments from football fans, the issue of the fight for a top-four place renews with some interest today.  Liverpool have the chance to sneak into the top four, if only for a few hours, before Tottenham face Aston Villa at White Hart Lane if they can overcome an in-form Everton who have won their last three league games and produced a near-match winning performance at the Emirates before succumbing to a late Rosicky goal.  Victory is far from assured for Liverpool who are also on a good run, unbeaten in the last six league games, winning 4 and drawing two of those matches.

The Big Match Centre Weekly Predictions

Friday, 5 February 2010 · 0 comments

The Big Match Centre Weekly Predictions

Saturday, 6 February 2010
Barclays Premier League

Bolton 1-0 Fulham,
Burnley 2-1 West Ham
Hull 1-2 Man City,
Liverpool 2-1 Everton,
Man Utd 4-0 Portsmouth,
Stoke 1-1 Blackburn,
Sunderland 2-0 Wigan,
Tottenham 2-1 Aston Villa,

Sunday, 7 February 2010
Barclays Premier League

Birmingham 2-0 Wolverhampton,
Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal,

Another huge game this weekend as two of the colossal 'big-four' come face-to-face at Stamford Bridge. Ancellotti versus Wenger; Terry versus the world! This is a clash that will determine whether Arsenal stay in the hunt for the title or will they emerge as toothless and easily shut-out?

Graham's Weekly Predictions - Results

Wednesday, 3 February 2010 · 0 comments

Saturday 30th January 2010
Birmingham 1-1 Tottenham
Burnley 1-2 Chelsea
Fulham 0-2 Aston Villa
Hull 2-2 Wolves
Liverpool 2-0 Bolton
West Ham 0-0 Blackburn
Wigan 0-1 Everton

Sunday 31st January 2010
Man City 2-0 Portsmouth
Arsenal 1-3 Man Utd

Graham got 5 results right with 2 perfect scores this week.  

A brief affair...

Tuesday, 2 February 2010 · 0 comments

For years, many have complained at the lack of available talent amongst British coaching staff and that of the good coaches working in the lower leagues, an extremely small amount are given the chance to try their luck at a bigger club or a more difficult league. So it came as a surprise this season when, after sacking previous manager Darren Ferguson (who had achieved a remarkable feat of back-to-back promotions) the club opted to appoint a manager from outside the Football League; the impressive Kettering boss, Mark Cooper.

Curse a footballer's loins!

Monday, 1 February 2010 · 1 comments

Captain Courageous is now Captain Contradiction after the startling revelations surrounding John Terry's alleged affair with Wayne Bridge's ex-girlfriend, the French lingerie model, Vanessa Perroncel.  Reports suggest that Terry paid for the model to have an abortion after learning that she was pregnant with the married Chelsea skipper's child.
This news has come as quite a shock to Wayne Bridge, who has a son with Miss Perroncel, but some have suggested that it was this that soured the previously close relationship between the two England defenders.

About Us

Bringing you all the important daily news, gossip and big match reports from the week's most important games.
Expert analysis and opinion of the week's hot topics covering the English Premiership and La Liga we want to hear from you!
Written and edited by Graham Matheson, a Liverpool and Deportivo La Coruna fan.
Omar Malick, an Arsenal fan and season-ticket holder since being brainwashed as a child by his equally deluded father. Omar writes on all the unsavoury aspects of a game with all the moral equilibrium of an arms dealer at an arms fair.
Tom Parmiter, the resident expert on all things Championship

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