I wrote a piece for Crunch Sports today speaking about Theo Walcott’s future.
Archive for the ‘Football’ Category
Norwich City are back. Thanks to the 1-0 win over Arsenal on Saturday, the Premier League season can finally begin.
After the international break, the Premier League is back this weekend and I have been making some betting selections for Tips and Picks.
Each week I preview several Premier League games for Sporting Ways. One of the main ones to focus on this week is Tottenham v Chelsea.
I wrote my first blog for Norwich City blog My Football Writer last week. It looked back on the fantastic season of Paul Lambert and his man.
Here is a snippet -
“As soon as it emerged that Alex McLeish was set for the sack at Aston Villa, tongues were wagging and you can see why. Lambert would be the perfect choice for the Midlands club and would do a fantastic job – no arguments about that.
Would Lambert want to go to Villa Park though? Well, it seems nobody knows what he is thinking and this is nothing new. Who can ever pick the starting eleven each week for example?
Put another way, Lambert is his own man and always will be. When he left Colchester United, people said ‘Why would he go to Norwich? They are in a mess.’ The same can be applied to Villa now, but it doesn’t mean anything with regards to what Lambert will do.
We need to stop pretending we know what will happen with Lambert’s future. Nobody other than the man himself knows what he is thinking. Don’t be fooled otherwise by the ‘Isn’t it a backward step?’ or ‘He wants to be closer to Scotland’ brigade.
We should just enjoy the summer – as much as we can – and conclude that whatever happens, happens.”
I am working on a Euro 2012 project this week and it has got me very excited for the tournament.
Of course, my preference in the summer months has always been cricket – and always will be – but with Euro 2012, the football side of me can be fed too.
Here is a piece I wrote about the appointment of Roy Hodgson as England manager -
“Roy Hodgson has become the England manager. He was announced earlier this week as the man that will lead England in Euro 2012.
Already though, people are criticising the decision. Of course, this isn’t a surprise, anyone could have been announced and it would have been met with hesitation, speculation and general negativity.”
Fresh from securing the league title in their respective countries, Manchester United and Barcelona do battle on 28th May in the Champions League final at Wembley.
It is the final that most football fans around the world wanted. The most famous football club of all time taking on arguably the greatest club team of all time. Could we ask for much more?
It was Fulham who were the fastest out of the blocks at the start of the game, enjoying plenty of possession in the West Ham half.
Despite this, the first real chance fell to the home side as Frederic Piquionne’s header was cleared off the line by Carlos Salcido.
Fulham were always a threat though and were rewarded for their earlier dominance when Clint Dempsey volleyed passed Robert Green from inside the area on 33 minutes.
West Ham pushed for an equaliser before the break, but they were disappointing in the final third and failed to create too much.
They didn’t have to wait too long into the second half to get back on level terms though.
Brede Hangeland’s mistake let in Victor Obinna to cross the ball into the path of Piquionne who made no mistake from close range.
Both sides then had spells on top during the second half, with the majority of chances coming in the final ten minutes of the game.
Scott Parker could only find the side netting with his shot from a tight angle for West Ham and his team mate Robert Green then made a fine save from a close range Dickson Etuhu header.
Fulham had another opportunity to secure all three points in stoppage time, but substitute Diomansy Kamara curled the ball wide after being played clear on goal.
At the start of a lively match, Wolves started the better of the two teams with Gerard Houllier’s men failing to settle in the opening stages.
The home side didn’t make their extra possession count though and Villa slowly started coming into the game with James Collins forcing a good save from Marcus Hahnemann from his free header.
The away side then capitalised on their bright spell by taking the lead on 25 minutes. Marc Albrighton produced an excellent cross for Stewart Downing to tap home at the back post.
Wolves almost his back quickly, but they found Brad Friedel in excellent form as he made a double save from Steven Fletcher and then Kevin Doyle to keep his team ahead going into the break.
Mick McCarthy’s men started the second half as they did the first – on top. They made the most of it this time too, with Matt Jarvis’ dangerous cross finding its way into the back of the net.
Villa responded well to being pegged back though and despite occasional Wolves pressure, they always looked the more likely team to score a winner. They did just that in the 88th minute when Heskey headed home superbly from a Steven Warnock cross to secure the three points.
The Carling Cup may not be highest on the list of certain club’s priorities, but it certainly produces some cracking games. Take last night for example – incredible stuff.
Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool were all knocked out by teams they were expected to beat and this only touches the surface of the excitement.
I had the pleasure of doing live goal updates for the Chelsea v Newcastle game as well as the Scunthorpe v Manchester United one, so it is fair to say I was busy!
Newcastle ran out 4-3 winners at Stamford Bridge in a thrilling contest and Manchester United were 5-2 conquerors of Championship side Scunthorpe. I’m not sure I will cover two games that include 14 goals between them ever again!
As mentioned, there was drama for Liverpool and Manchester City too. Roy Hodgson’s men lost on penalties to League Two side Northampton Town, whereas Roberto Mancini watched on as his side were knocked out to fellow Premier League side West Brom.
All in all, it was a superb evening of football and shows that those who talk about the Carling Cup as pointless are extremely wide of the mark.
It was the home side who started brightly, showing excellent energy going forward and putting pressure on a nervous looking Fulham defence.
Cottagers keeper Mark Schwarzer was then lucky to stay on the field as he appeared to handle the ball outside the area.
Despite this good fortune, Fulham were struggling to get control of the ball and had to wait until the 23rd minute for their first half chance on goal as Moussa Dembele struck the ball just wide.
It was certainly Blackburn that were doing the majority of the pressing, mainly through Nikola Kalinic and El Hadji Diouf. They then deservedly took the lead after 30 minutes when Christopher Samba flicked a looping free-kick into the back of the net.
Either side of half-time though, there was a change in approach from Fulham and they were starting to have much more of the ball. They were rewarded for this on 56 minutes when Clint Dempsey headed home from a superb Carlos Salcido cross.
Both teams then had their good spells in the remainder of the game, with Danny Murphy’s free-kick with seven minutes to go the closest either side got to a winning goal.
The draw means Fulham maintain their unbeaten start to the season and Blackburn still go in search of their first win since the opening day.