Monday, March 28, 2016

And the Over Hyping Begins...

England World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst has come out and said that if England don’t get to the semi-finals of the Euro’s then it would be “extremely disappointing.” Now I wouldn’t dare say anything bad about the hat-trick hero of ‘66 but what I will say is that this comment is just the tip of the over hyping iceberg.

Before the game, fans were slating the choices of Hodgson, saying he had picked a poor side and that he isn’t fit to be England manager any more. Now suddenly after beating the current world champions Germany (in a friendly) we’re now suddenly good enough to be one of the top four sides in Europe?

I’ve just had a quick look at the European sides that will be competing in the Euro’s and I must say England would be very lucky to get to the semi-finals. Countries such as Spain, Germany, France, Italy and Portugal could easily dominate England in a competitive match while countries like Belgium, Poland and Sweden could also prove tough opposition for the Three Lions.

I was one of the fans who said that Hodgson’s selection wasn’t good enough (see Roy Announces England Squad to see my take on it) and I still stand by what I said. We all know, no matter how well the lads played on Saturday he will still play Rooney over Vardy, he will still leave out in form players in favour of higher profile players and I’m gonna dedicate a section of this post as to why Hodgson shouldn’t take Jordan Henderson…

Jordan Henderson is a bang average footballer. He has no real range of passing, can’t tackle and thinks arguing with the referee over every decision makes you a good captain. He has quite good position sense, a good example being his late run into the box against Germany but his shot was poor, if it wasn’t blocked by the defender it was gonna be straight at Neuer.

People (Liverpool fans especially) love to call him world class simply because he has 1 good performance every 10 or 15 games. That doesn’t make you world class, that makes you Robbie Savage at best. Jordan Henderson for me is no better than Jonjo Shelvey and if Klopp does decide to sell the Reds captain in the Summer I think Henderson will struggle to get another England call up...but I digress.

As I said earlier, the comment from Sir Geoff was just the tip of the iceberg. There’s also been comments comparing Dele Alli to former England captain Bryan Robson. Now I am one of the people currently on the Alli band wagon but to compare him to one of England’s greatest players after less than one full season of Premier League and English football. He’s 19 for fuck sake.

Speaking of young players, there was talk of Marcus Rashford getting a late callup to the Euro’s squad which pissed me off something rotten! He’s played well for Man United yes. He’s scored some crucial goals for them yes. But he’s only 18, played a handful of games and is already being tipped as the next big England star...I wish the press would just leave him be for now.

Back to Hurst’s comment though. Is it mad to hope for a semi-final appearance from England? No of course it’s not. But to come out and say anything less is a disappointment puts a lot of pressure on the lads heads. The commentators made it abundantly clear that the average age of the starting 11 against Germany was 24, do those lads really need that kind of pressure at that age?

I personally would be happy if we qualify past the group stages. There’s tough teams in there with us, it’s some of our players first taste of an international tournament and it’s an achievable target. Every game afterwards would just be a bonus and the whole nation can take it just one game at a time instead of wondering how we’re gonna do in the next round and the round after that and the round after that…

England have always had an issue with over hyping players or over hyping our chances in tournaments. It’s beginning to go that way for Euro 2016 as the press keep saying we’ve won all 10 qualifying matches and we’ve just beat Germany. But let’s be honest, the teams we were against in the qualifiers weren’t the strongest footballing nations (one of which was San ‘fucking’ Marino) and like I said earlier, the Germany game was a friendly…

I mean the Germans had Emre Can at right back, it was Mario Gomez’s first call up since November 2015, there was no Jerome Boateng, they took off Hummels at half time...they even brought on Arsenal reject Podolski for Thomas Muller...I mean it was still a good side that the Germans fielded but not half as good as what it could’ve been. They won’t be making silly substitutions when it starts to get competitive.

Also we only really came alive in the last 30 minutes. You can guarantee that if we do that against the likes of Spain, France, Italy and even Holland on Tuesday we’ll probably end up conceding 2 or 3 goals in the 60 minutes where we weren’t alive.

Anyway’s that's all I have to say. I’m sure some people will say that it was a stellar performance and that I should be putting it down but all I want to say to these people is that this is a reality check. I’m just hoping to keep people’s feet on the ground so there isn’t an over reaction if we don’t reach the heights of Europe’s elite...I hope you all understand.

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Cheers for reading.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Flight of the Owls III

It’s been a little over a year since I last wrote about The Wednesday and I must say a whole lot has changed. Stuart Gray’s gone, we’re challenging for a playoff place but somehow Sheffield United are still shit hahaha!
~ For those of you who haven’t already read Flight of the Owls part 1 and part 2 then please feel free to have a look. If you already know how shit Wednesday have been in recent years then please continue reading this ~

Where to begin though? Well in my last Flight of the Owls post Chansiri had just taken over as Wednesday chairman and looked to be testing the water, not making rash decisions too soon and rocking the boat. Clearly waiting for the season to end.

I wrote a lot about how good of a coach Stuart Gray was and said he’d be the manager to take us to the Premier League. I even stand by that decision now (even though I know a lot of other Owls will disagree) but I must say he wouldn’t have got us there with as much class as Carvalhal.

Yes a few weeks after last season finished Gray was relieved of his duties and in came complete nobody Carlos Carvalhal. The Portuguese was relatively unknown in England before coming to us but I must say he is managing to get quite a reputation with his slick passing style of play.
~ Side note: is it just me or does his suit look like he’s borrowed it off Harry Hill? I think it’s the collar that gets me but I don’t know why~

A manager who has built on from what Gray started last year, adding in quality players such as Hooper, Forestieri and four foot of pure magic Barry Bannan, having them all play football the way it’s meant to be played. It’s not just the attack though, Carlos has managed to combine attractive football with equally attractive defending, really putting to shame Stuart Gray’s side from 12 months previous.

Now although I was gutted that Stuart got sacked, I must say it was a brilliant business decision from Chansiri. If I remember correctly when the Thai businessman arrived at Hillsborough he admitted to knowing nothing about football, this can be deadly in a club owner but he sure as shit knows how to run a business.

He has identified weaknesses, invested in them and now we, the fans, are seeing the benefits on the pitch. One glaring weakness was the lack of investment in the squad. We’d remarkably managed to gain some real quality before Chansiri even bought the club in Westwood, Lees, Lee, Hutchinson and Coke but we lacked an attacking flair in the final third.
~ Clearly joking about Coke by the way...just found out he was with us for 5 years! Shocked to say the least ~

To fix this issue, in walks Matias, Wallace, Joao, Lopez, Sogou, McGeady, Bannan, Hooper, Forestieri and even attacking defenders in Hunt and Pudil...I’m on the brink of waking up from this dream. Now to turn this dream into a wet dream, all I need to add is that some of these players aren’t even preferred first teamers *screeches like a little school girl*

But enough about what’s happened in the meantime, I want to talk about what is happening in the here and now. Wednesday are currently 6th, going into the international break with two 3-0 victories behind us. Hopefully we can shake off any rustiness to continue this fine for against Huddersfield next weekend.

Before this though we had a little bit of a shaky end to February where we drew two games against QPR and Hull which wouldn’t have been bad results if we hadn’t lost to Preston and Rotherham as well. Two games which, if we’d have won, would’ve seen us 4th in the league and challenging for a automatic promotion spot.

The main reason I’d say we lost those games was because we were missing Forestieri (him getting sent off against Preston and being banned for the Rotherham game). I’m actually so glad that Wednesday don’t have to play this week because with Fessi being called up to international duty I don’t know what we would’ve done without him.
~I’ve just been informed that Fernando Forestieri wasn’t called up to the Italian squad, apparently they’ve gone for some shit houses like Pelle, Immobile and Balotelli? ~

Now this small fact is worrying me as I don’t want us to revolve around Fernando. We have a lot of creative players in our side but I do get worried some weeks when I see the amount of clear cut chances created. And I mean real clear cut chances, the type where you would expect your nan to score the chance 99 times out of 100.

Some games, like the one against Brentford the other week, everything just seems to go our way. But others, like an even more recent game against Brighton, we look almost as if we’re trying to overplay it and don’t even look like testing the keeper…

Before anyone thinks it I’m not nit picking. Like I’ve said in every other Flight of the Owls post the highest I’ve seen us finish is 12th in the Championship under Brian Laws so if we could finish higher than that I would be ecstatic and to see us do it with so much style and panache it's truly a great thing to behold.

Still 8 games left of this season and still a possibility of us achieving that automatic promotion spot. I won’t hold my breath on it but it would be a great achievement in such a short space of time. Even a playoff place would be a huge leap forward in my book, I’d have been happy with 11th if I’m honest.

Last thing I want to say is thank you to all the football fans I’ve spoken to about Sheffield Wednesday. Spoke to a few Leicester fans and Villa fans who spoke nothing but praise of our club, hoping that we’d be back in the Premier League soon. It’s always nice to hear your favourite club is held in such a high regard with other fan groups and to those people I say don’t worry, The Owls will be flying high very soon.

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Cheers for reading.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Klopp in a Win Win

Yesterday I was sat in my local watching the Tyne-Wear derby when I decided to check my phone for the other scores of the day. Liverpool  2-0 up. Not bad. A liverpool fan sat at the other booth also checked his phone at this point and stated “2-0 up. That Klopp’s a good manager.”

Fast forward to full time, Liverpool have let slip their 2-0 lead and lost 3-2. Does this make Klopp a bad manager? No it doesn’t as the bloke in the other booth said “f*cking hell, we lost 3-2. That’s cause it’s Rodgers’ team is that.” My question is hows that right?

How can it be Klopp’s brilliance that put them in the lead but Rodgers’ fault for fucking it up? Surely if Klopp is this world class manager who can get a 2-0 lead away with a shit team then he should be able to hold that lead with the same shit team?

I said it to lads that I was with, Klopp is currently in a win win situation. Because he’s being touted as God’s gift to the Premier League he can do no wrong, and when something does go wrong for them e.g. throwing away 2-0 leads, getting knocked out to West Ham in the FA Cup in the last minute, beating Man City 3-0 and then losing the Palace days later, etc. it's not his fault.

Klopp’s next two games are big ones. Tottenham at home and then an away trip to Dortmund in the Europa League. Now I’m gonna make a prediction with this one, Klopp’s Liverpool team will go all out against Spurs, either winning the game or unluckily being held to a draw. The German being hailed as a genius, a legend, Mein Fuhrer, etc.

5 days later against Borussia Dortmund however Liverpool will get absolutely spanked, a minimum of a 2-0 defeat with The Steve Merchant lookalike being called “unlucky” and “doing the best with the tools he’s got”...

Anyways the truth is I like Klopp. He’s a good manager who expects the best from his players and despite being criticized by the media for bringing in his high intensity training regime too early at Liverpool, I think it’s only because he believes he can get so much more out of this squad. This...shit squad.

Even though I did say I liked him there are two things that annoy me about the German. First of all is his constant need to showboat. Yes we get it you won, you’re happy about it, feel free to celebrate on the touchline. But having all the players celebrate in that way after a 2-2 draw with West Brom at home in front of the Kop is just embarrassing. Bill Shankly did everything for the fans but even he would look at that and think “what the fucks he doing?”

The second thing I dislike about Klopp is the fact that he manages Liverpool...let me explain. There are times when I feel like Liverpool fans don’t know what they want. I remember when Liverpool finished second in the 08/09 season. They got so close and missed out narrowly to Manchester United.

One year later and the manager that won them the Champions League four years previous and got them to within 4 points of the league was sacked. I remember many Liverpool fans rejoicing at the news, stating he was a bad manager. Personally I don’t see much difference between Klopp and Benitez.

I know a lot of people will read that last statement and say bullshit. To which I will reply Google it you slag! Benitez has won trophies in England, Spain and Italy as well as two Europa League trophies and of course one Champions League trophy. Klopp has only won trophies in Germany.

Admittedly the Spaniard does have an 8 year edge on his German counterpart but you have to admit Jurgen has got some serious catching up to do if he wants to match Rafa’s record of winning trophies.

Anyways the reason I bring this up is because I can see Klopp going the same way as Benitez. Klopp could be given time to build his own team, get them challenging for the league and then before you know it he could find himself in the dole queue after a seeing his side drop to 6th.

Would he deserve the sack for that? Rafa had five good years before The Reds finished 7th and he got the boot, did he deserve it then? It’s typical of the lack of patience in football today from fans. Wanting a manager gone after one bad season or in some cases one bad performance…

Next season if Klopp manages to get his Liverpool side into a Champions League spot then he is setting a standard that he has to keep achieving, otherwise I think he will be thrown onto the scrap pile with the likes of Benitez and Rodgers…

But anyways that’s all I have to say about Jurgen Klopp. He’ll probably get another 3 years at the club at most before he’s sacked after a run of poor results following Jordan Henderson’s move to Barcelona...or at least that’s what Liverpool fans think could happen…

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Friday, March 18, 2016

Roy Announces England Squad

In the build up to England’s ‘domination’ of Euro 2016 they have two upcoming friendlies against the Netherlands and current world champions Germany. As usual questions have been asked over the side England manager Roy Hodgson will pick...and as it turns out I had even more questions to ask after he’d picked it…

Below is the team Roy picked:
Goalkeepers - Butland, Forster, Hart
Defenders - Bertrand, Cahill, Clyne, Jagielka, Rose, Smalling, Stones, Walker
Midfielders - Alli, Barkley, Dier, Drinkwater, Henderson, Lallana, Milner, Sterling
Strikers - Kane, Sturridge, Vardy, Walcott, Welbeck

Everyone seems to be applauding Hodgson for including Danny Drinkwater after his impressive performances for Leicester. When talking about the Euro’s BBC Sports said that “Drinkwater can make a late bolt for inclusion if he impresses” to which I’m going to reply “Bollocks!”

Jack Wilshere could become fit again on the last game of the season, have a 10 minute run out in a 2-0 win against Aston Villa and would still get called up to the England squad over Drinkwater. And why? Because the England squad is all about who you play for not how you play…

Example number 1 - Daniel Sturridge has been out so long he probably didn’t even realise Brendan Rodgers was sacked until he was starting against Southampton in the League Cup. They won that game 6-1, Sturridge scoring twice and being hailed the man to drag Liverpool out the shit. Fast forward to the Sunday after and Liverpool lose 2-0 to Newcastle, Sturridge missing a string of good chances…

Roy Hodgson has decided to take this man instead of Captain Consistency Troy Deeney, who is currently enjoying his first season in the Premier League scoring 8 goals this season so far. This guy has been overshadowed by Watford’s top goalscorer Ighalo but it must be said Deeney has been putting in just as much of a shift.

Or what about Jermain Defoe? The 57 year old is currently on 11 goals in the Premier League, feeding off mostly scraps for Sunderland which, let's be honest, will be all England will be able to muster when we play against Germany/Spain/France/Holland in the Euro’s. I understand that he’ll most likely get overlooked due to his age but I just thought I’d give the veteran a mention due to his fine form.

Example 2 through 5 - West Ham are having a great season and although Dimitri Payet is their standout performer, you can’t deny the quality of the English players they have. I genuinely can’t believe Aaron Cresswell, Michail Antonio and Mark Noble haven’t been called up.

Hodgson has picked some good left backs to be fair but I think Cresswell should be first on the team sheet for that position. Baffling choice to not include him at all, especially after the season he’s having.

Next Michail Antonio who is currently in the form of his life and turned down a Jamaica call up because he want’s to play for England. Don’t make him regret his decision Roy. He’s worked hard and deserves a spot on current form, whereas Walcott seems to be used more as a sub in Wenger’s side...not really fair in my book.

Mark Noble was the third player I wanted to talk about. Jordan Henderson is bang average...the only reason he is Liverpool captain is because Liverpool fans are hyping him up to be the next Steven Gerrard...he is not Gerrard. I’ve always liked Noble, he’s passionate, tackles hard, can play a pass, not the strongest in the air but, to quote Brian Clough, “if football was meant to be played in the air, God would’ve put grass up there.”

More examples? More?! Fine! How about Albrighton, Baines and Shawcross? Albrighton has been playing well for Leicester this season and can whip in a quality ball, Baines was England's best left back at one point but has for some reason been left out of Everton’s starting line up a few time and Shawcross is just a defender. I don’t wanna see none of this ball-playing defender bollocks, Jon Stones isn’t good enough defensively for me.
~ If any Everton fan’s can confirm if Baines has been injured or just unfavoured that’d be great ~

The last example I’m gonna give is a weird one so bare with me...Andy Carroll...hear me out. For years we’ve been saying England need to find their own identity, we need our own style of play. Well why don’t we just stick some big lad up front and have a pacey lad run off of him? I know I’m contradicting the Clough quote I put earlier but it just seems, to me, like a very English style of play.

Some teams that have played long ball football in the Premier League before have got the best out of average players, which is all England have got if I’m honest with myself. Average, over hyped, overrated, overpriced, overpaid players. So play to their strengths and play long ball football, get Big Sam in as well, fuck it we might as well go full force…

Personally I think Big Sam wouldn’t do a bad job for England, like I said he’d get the best out of the average players on show and I think he’d pick a side that would actually fit in with his tactics. Not like Roy who just likes to pick the only English players from the “fashionable clubs” of the Premier League e.g. MUFC, MCFC, THFC, CFC, LFC, AFC,SFC, etc.

I said it earlier that England’s selection is based on who you play for and not how you play. This kind of “top four” mentality is what is frustrating for me when I watch England, I’d even hazard a guess that if even Delph wasn’t injured he’d get in the side over Mark Noble which is an absolute joke...

But anyways, hopefully the side that’s been picked can do a job. Looking at the fact we’ve only got one out and out winger in Sterling I’m gonna assume Hodgson won’t be playing with them. Probably a 4-3-3 formation, 4-2-3-1 at a push which means Vardy either on the bench or on the wide flanks of the goalscorer in the Premier League getting played out of position, nice one Roy…*sigh*

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Magic of the FA Cup

What a weekend it's been for English football. Norwich manage to gain a point against Man City to help their fight against relegation, Leicester secure all 3 points to regain their 5 point gap at the top of the league and then there’s the magic of the FA Cup.

Now I want to start by saying that in recent years the FA Cup has bored me something rotten. Six out of the last seven years the FA Cup has been won by the so called “top four” clubs which is predictable and like I said boring. Admittedly when Wigan won it the other year that was quite exciting but I had a bet on City to win so that wasn’t a good one for me either...fuck Ben Watson...and fuck Mancini…

But I must say after the games at the weekend I will be keeping a much closer eye on the FA Cup. It’s just been truly typical of this unpredictable season that all the clubs left in the competition are teams you wouldn’t expect to be there.

Newly promoted Watford, form strugglers Everton and Palace and current high flyers West Ham. Even Manchester United are a club you wouldn’t expect to be possible contenders for the semi final after the poor season they’ve been having. Show’s the magic of the FA Cup is still there.

Now I’m only going to be talking about two games, one of which was the Manchester United vs West Ham match from Sunday. Now I'll say that the first half of this one was incredibly boring, looked as if neither team really wanted to step it up a gear in fear of a counter from the opposition. Second half

The game burst into life when Payet, who’d been reasonably quiet beforehand, began creating chances, linking up play and generally just being a nuisance for The Red Devils. I know a lot of Man United fans complained that Payet dived for his free kick which I agree with, it was minimal contact, but you can’t complain about the brilliance of what he did next. What a goal that was!

And to be fair how many debatable decisions have gone Man United’s way in the past...even in this game with Martial’s goal. I noticed it as soon as it happened (I didn’t need Howard Webb to confirm it like Owen did) when Bastian Schweinsteiger blocked off goalkeeper Darren Randolph for Martial to tap it home. All in all though 1-1 was a fair result and I think MUFC have it all to do in the replay.

Onto the other game that I watched which was Chelsea vs Everton. For me this was an aggravating game to watch, a lot of big names with big wages and not an ounce of quality between them. One of the commentators (can’t remember who) spoke of how Aaron Lennon could get a late call up to the Euro’s and frankly for me his footballing brain is none existent and I’d rather take 55 year old Chris Waddle.

The lack of delivery from Lennon and Barkley playing so deep meant that the only way Lukaku was going to score was if he took on the Chelsea defense that’s what he chuffing did haha. When you’re up front and have nothing around you you can be in for a difficult but Lukaku made it look childsplay, scoring the only real chances that came his way.

After that goal, Everton came alive and a simple run from Lukaku combined with a simple pass from Barkley made it 2-0 to the Toffee’s. If Everton could take their away form into their home games they’d probably be challenging for a Champions League spot let alone a top half finish…

Last thing is Costa’s red card. All I wanted to say about that is ha ha ha ha ha ha ha tosser ha ha ha ha ha ha prick ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha cunt ha ha ha ha ha ha ha wanker ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha waste of space ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha twat ha ha ha ha ha ha bellend ha ha ha ha...ahem sorry about that. Oh and Barry got sent off too.

I only watched the highlights of the other two fixtures and have to say that Palace looked to have deserved their win but that wasn’t a penalty in my opinion, just because there’s an arm in the way doesn’t mean it's pulling you back, it was a dive from Bolasie for me. And the Watford game...wide...impossibly wide…#WengerOut.

Where does this leave everyone? Well Palace will face Watford in the next round which means that West Ham or Manchester United will play Everton. For me only Watford can afford to lose this one, I’m sure they won’t want to of course, I’m just saying the other clubs need it more…

Palace have been in some shockin form, for me this club is going to need some serious investment next season if they want to avoid a relegation battle, an FA Cup win could help that. Everton need Europa League football and Martinez as well as Van Gaal are vying to keep their jobs. Lastly West Ham will be hoping to say goodbye to the Boleyn Ground in style.

Now I think that not even an FA Cup will keep Van Gaal in a job but as for Martinez it’s the only thing keeping the fans sweet for now. I’m actually disappointed in the Everton fans who changed their opinions after that 2-0 against Chelsea. You either want him out or you don’t, fence-sitters are the reason so many people hate Arsenal #WengerIn #WengerOut…

Anyways hopefully we’re treated to a great final this year, like I said with the unpredictability of this season I’m sure it’ll be an eventful one. If it’s been anything like this season there’ll be plenty of goals, dreadful defending and plenty of ripped up bet slips...the magic of the FA Cup…

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Cheers for reading.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Toon Over the Moon

It’s happened everyone. Newcastle United have sacked their manager Steve McClaren less than a year after signing his three year contract. Quite a loss for Mike Ashley but of course he’ll be losing a lot more if the Magpies are relegated from the Premier League come May. To combat the drop he’s brought in everyone’s favourite fat Spanish waiter, Rafa Benitez.

Quite a surprising appointment when you take into account that the former Liverpool boss started out this season at Real Madrid...imagine dancing with a load of stunners at the beginning of a night out and then going home with the fat lass from the bus stop and that’s a vague outline of Benitez’s season.

With what seems to be quite a decent squad left for Benitez to play with, safety could very well be a possibility, if not for one big thing standing in his way...Sam Allardyce. Yes the Sunderland boss who has never been relegated from the Premier League looks to have turned The Black Cats around and are the team with the biggest survival hopes at this point.

For me though, looking at the Magpies fixtures, they pose just as much a possibility of staying up. They have fellow strugglers Norwich and Villa as well as a home fixture against out of form Crystal Palace. But before all that there’s the Tyne-Wear Derby where Newcastle’s season could be decided.

The Tyne-Wear Derby, in recent years, seems to have become no more than a gift of 3 points to Sunderland as The Black Cats have won their last six in concession and have not lost in their last eight. If Benitez wants any hope of survival he needs to win this six-pointer.

Moving on from the fixtures I want to talk about the squad Rafa has inherited. McClaren has just spent almost £30 million on to help keep his job which for me is like buying petrol for your car when you can’t drive it. He can buy all the things he needed to make it work but the man is clueless and in my opinion won’t be working in England after this departure...but I digress…

Jonjo Shelvey was one of the signings. A player who for me seems to think he could fit in well with Barcelona’s passing style but couldn’t even fit into Swansea’s. A good signing none the less and could be an important player in Newcastle’s survival.

Andros Townsend was another who, at one point, was considered the next big thing for England, fell out of Spurs’ team and is now regarded as a flop and a shit player? I seriously have no clue where this came from. For me he’s still that player who scored that ripper on his England debut, he might not be considered “good enough” for Tottenham but he’ll do a job at many other Premier League clubs. Very good signing.
~ Side note: that third player McClaren signed, Henri Saivet? Not a clue who he is to be honest. He can’t hurt the cause I suppose but I don’t know enough about him to pass a judgement. Just incase people were wondering ~

If you combine those two with the likes of Wijnaldum who I believe to be a world class player, Sissoko who I’m led to believe is really out of form at the moment but is very good on his day, Janmaat who provides a good attacking threat from right back as well as a good defensive ability and Mitrovic who hasn’t scored many but looks to cause problems when he plays you can see that Newcastle have the quality to stay up.
~ For the record I really want to write a post about Wijnaldum. This player can play any role in any team in the league for me. No one, not even Newcastle fans, will agree with me but honestly, if Newcastle stay up we’ll be seeing the best of Gigi next season ~

All they have needed is a manager with a bit of character, an idea, a plan. As I stated before I think McClaren is clueless, doing nothing managerially in England since his days at Middlesborough. The man couldn’t even get the Golden Generation to the fucking European Championships! The fucking Golden generation! Even Fabio Capello could do that and he didn’t even speak fucking English! Oh and another thing…
~ It was at this point I ranted in my head for an hour before having a cup of tea and settling British ~

Apologies for that, it’s a touchy subject. As I was saying Benitez has a plan he sets his teams out to exploit weaknesses in the opposition and he is ruthless, expecting no less than 100%. He’s also one of those managers who has the ability to work with good players as well as get the best out of average ones.

I mean, come on, he won the Champions League with a Liverpool side that had Gerrard and Alonso in midfield but with Djimi Traore at the back...against an AC Milan team that had a legend in every position of the pitch. Genuinely just Google that Milan team from the final and tell me how they got beat by a team that had Steve Finnan at right back.
~ To be fair that’s quite harsh. Steve Finnan was actually alright...but Traore? ~

Last thing I want to talk about regarding this is the relegation clause Benitez has requested for in his contract. The Spaniard may be taking a risk coming here but he’s not stupid. He knows it’s a tough job and wanted an insurance policy incase he couldn’t do it. I’m sure he has confidence in his ability as a manager but he can’t rely on players he’s never managed before to decide his future...can’t blame him for that in all honesty.

Hopefully the Benitez can turn the Toon around, but for me the only way they can turn around is if Mike Ashley leaves the club for good. The man is dragging the team down and doesn’t seem to notice the damage he’s doing. I mean who brings in McClaren after he couldn’t even get Derby in the fucking play offs?! Getting beat to it by clubs like Ipswich and fucking Brentford! And another thing…

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Cheers for reading.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Toffee Troubles

I wrote a post a while back about Romelu Lukaku and how he could potentially take Everton to a European spot this season...I still stand by what I said at the time but due to a ridiculous defensive record Everton find themselves 12th in the league, three places lower than where they were when I wrote that post.

Now of course this is going to cause a lot of finger pointing over who's to blame and most fingers seem to be fixed on Toffees boss Roberto Martinez. Some are even comparing the Spaniard’s current managerial reign with that of Mike Walker, a man who still gives some Evertonians nightmares.

Now for those of you reading this who actually agree that Martinez is just as bad as Walker just please lift your hand up to your face, either hand will do, and just give yourself a slap. Hopefully it’ll make you see some sense and realise that things aren’t as bad as all that, it’s bad but not that bad.

Now I’m not going to write about how Martinez has been “unlucky” or that “his players are letting him down” because frankly they’re both a load of bollocks. The reason Everton are in this situation is because of Martinez’s refusal to change his tactics…

Last Saturday against West Ham, one of the most inform teams at the moment, Martinez took a huge risk in persisting to attack whilst 2-0 up and with 10 men on the pitch. He had three points in the bag and what has he gained from it? Nothing and that is simply because of a lack of a plan B.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Martinez. What he did for Wigan year on year was nothing short of a miracle but when there’s low expectation the job is easier. Wigan weren’t expected to stay up year on year so their was no pressure on Roberto to do well, this is probably the first year he’s expected to perform in the Premier League and I think it's been a shock for him.

When there is an expectation on your club, you need to achieve it. Why do you think Chelsea have been through so many managers over the years, because they weren’t meeting expectations. Why was Martinez in a job for so long at Wigan? Because he was exceeding expectation every season.

Personally I would like him to stay, I think he’s a good manager and he’ll learn a lot from this season. Obviously though if he doesn’t achieve a European spot (which is still achievable if he wins every games from now until the end...) his job is going to become ten times harder with the looming possibility of losing Stones, Barkley and Lukaku…

I’m sure he’ll find suitable replacements for these players if they were to leave. He’s already shown he can sign quality players with lads like Lukaku and Deulofeu. Then again for every Lukaku and Deulofeu you have an Arouna Kone or Alcarez just behind…

It’s not about the signings though if I’m honest. He needs to change his style of play. Martinez tries to play like Barcelona but what he needs to understand is that they have different styles. Former footballer Ray Hudson said “they don’t force their football. They adapt to the circumstances, to their opponents, and eventually...well, they kill ya.” Personally I’ve never heard a truer description of Barcelona.

Whereas you look at Everton. They beat Stoke away 3-0 with some great play to force open up their defense who weren’t expecting such a strong attacking performance from an away side. Martinez then tries the same tactics of forcing play against West Brom at home, a team known for doing well at shutting up shop and they get beat.

Against clubs like West Brom, Southampton, Watford and “the top four” he needs to understand that you can’t force opportunities and that the build up needs to be more patient. This style works for clubs like Leicester who force attacks and don’t care for possession because they set up to constantly pressure the opposition, another thing that the Toffee’s don’t seem to do.

Another thing that hinders Everton in my opinion is that they don’t have enough defenders. Let me explain, Leicester have a back four of Huth, Morgan, Simpson and Fuchs. All of them barring maybe Fuchs is an out and out defender. Martinez loves a ball player at the back which shouldn’t take priority over a defender.

Why would you need a ball player and fancy play at the back? You don’t score goals from the back. You look at Arsenal and they have defenders like Koscielny and Mertesacker, not particularly ball players and they both know how to defend first and foremost. For me if Martinez wants to improve Everton he needs to sign a Ryan Shawcross type of defender; a leader as well as defender.

I say they need a leader because there seems to be no voice at all during set pieces which has been a real bad area for The People’s Club. It’s one of the ways that they’ve lost some many points this season from winning positions.

Everton’s away record this season doesn’t look too bad having only lost one away game this season. But losing seven home games this season for me is inexcusable, you should always be looking to make your home stadium a fortress which is probably one of the reason’s Everton fans have turned so much on Martinez…

But anyways that’s all I really wanted to say on Martinez, I personally wouldn’t want to see the Spaniard go but if he was to get sacked I don’t think anyone would question it. With that side he should be performing a lot better and I’m sure he will next season IF he’s given the opportunity.

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Cheers for reading.