Blog Archives

How likely is Charlie Austin to Southampton gossip to happen?

Analysing the Transfer Gossip – 25th July: Liverpool, Roma, Valencia and more

Analysing the Transfer Gossip – 24th July Part Two: Bale, Ronaldo, Remy and more

Analysing the Transfer Gossip – 21th July Part Two: Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs and more

Analysing the Transfer Gossip – 16th July Part Two: De Rossi, Honda, Taaarabt and more

Analysing the Transfer Gossip – 14th July Part Two: Drogba, Dzeko, Higuain and more

Analysing the Transfer Gossip – 13th July Part Three: Rooney, Benteke, Krul and more

Donkeys Team of the Weekend 13/05 – West Brom, QPR and Stoke lead the shame brigade

It’s all well and good seeing who is the best of the weekend but how about the worst. This is not a team you want to be getting in to.

Donkey Team of the Weekend: West Brom The West Brom showing at Norwich was inexcusable and had Steve Clarke turning various shades of red in rage. Norwich is a difficult place to go to certainly but to concede four times to one of the least effective attacks in the league when you are considered one of the better defenses was bad but the manner of the goals was horrendous. All four came from West Brom errors either indirectly or glaringly directly.

Ben Foster – West Brom Rob Green must be breathing a sigh of relief not to have ended up in this team after two errors but he was forced in to one of those. Foster had a nightmare. He is a solid keeper but he is prone to unbelievable errors. His massive air swing at the ball with his favoured left foot gave Grant Holt an easy tap in and Norwich survival in the league. He also spilled the ball twice in his box as if trying to corral a bar of soap.

Jose Bosingwa – QPR This was the worst individual 45 minutes of the season. 45 minutes, because he was subbed off at half time having cost his team two goals and flattened them after a nice start. Not bad for £55k this week. Point at two of the QPR fans in the crowd and the chances are their combined salary this year doesn’t match what Bosingwa got for this 45 minutes. He gave away a ridiculous penalty and then an awful hospital pass to Rob Green gave Newcastle what would prove to be the winning goal. He didn’t even look like he cared that he was humiliating himself and his wage payer either.


Jonas Olsson – West Brom Olsson has been reliable and consistent for West Brom for some time but he was terrible at Carrow Road. He was indecisive and ineffective and cost them the first goal. He also got himself in Foster’s way to cause his error. Not what you expect from him.

Gareth McAuley – West Brom Own goal, four goals conceded, misplayed offside to cost a goal. Oh dear. Like his partner McAuley has been a rock this season but he was not at it. Normally a calm influence at the back he couldn’t help swing the tide as West Brom collapsed in the second half.

Goran Popov – West Brom It says a lot that his direct opponent Robert Snodgrass made the Team of the Week yet Popov finds himself here. He didn’t come close to stopping him and the majority of the Norwich threat came down his flank. He also didn’t offer much help or width going forward and was lucky not to suffer the fate of Billy Jones the right back who was taken off at half time.

Charlie Adam – Stoke City It’s 1-1 at half time in the Stoke Spurs game with Stoke looking to give their home fans something to cheer about to end the season. Charlie Adam, on a booking after clattering Jan Vertonghen, steps out for the second half having already completed a stunning 9 of 15 passes for a truly amazing 60% pass success rate and a mind blowing 0 out of 3 long passes. So what does he do? He lunges in from behind, no where near the ball, and gets sent off. Thanks Charlie, see you next year.


Stephane M’Bia – QPR I’m not sure why Harry Redknapp played him with his open courting of a return to Marseille in the week but he repaid him with a performance of impressive ineptitude. How does this take your fancy? 15 passes completed, 3 fouls. WOW! It’s hard to pick out players from the QPR Newcastle game because it was so awful Hatem Ben Arfa aside but M’Bia’s was notable.

Ramires – Chelsea Chelsea needed to beat Aston Villa to secure Champions League football for next season. They were 1-0 down to a Benteke goal when, on 44 minutes, Ramires gets himself idiotically sent off. What makes it worse is that he was actually playing fairly well until he got himself sent off but he is very lucky not to have cost his team with his ill discipline. If Benteke hadn’t lost his head and Frank Lampard rescued them Chelsea would have lost.

Giorgios Karagounis – Fulham Playing in central midfield Karagounis was responsible for stopping the roaming Coutinho and also for giving central supply to Dimitar Berbatov. Well, Coutinho ran riot throughout the game, including making two goals from the middle of the pitch. To add to this, Karagounis completed a measly two of thirteen passes within 25 yards of the Liverpool goal. In other words, he lost the ball 11 times with Fulham on the attack.

Jon Walters – Stoke City Walters played on the right of the five man midfield but essentially as a second striker. He tries hard and people admire his work rate. But if you look at what he actually did against Spurs it will be horrifying for Stoke fans. Although probably not, because bless him he runs hard. Walters recieved the ball 21 times in the game. With this, he completed just 11 of 18 passes, 0 successful dribbles and 0 successful crosses. So he was -10 on turnovers on his own, he lost it 10 more times than he received it. Giving the ball to him resulted in negative outcome on 10 of the 21 occasions. But, he does run hard.

Bobby Zamora – QPR The Donkey of the Week by a long way which is impressive in this company but look at this; Do you want a striker who has admitted he doesn’t enjoy the game or feel any passion for it? Do you want to pay him £50k a week? Do you want him to have 0 shots on target, one final third pass and for him to lose out in aerial duels twice as often as he wins them? And also to complete just 52% of his passes. Of his passes! At least Walters has dribbles and crosses in his ridiculous possession surrender. Zamora gave it away 14 times just by passing. he didn’t even attempt a take on and had a failed cross. A spectacular display of atrociousness.


The Weekend Awards – Nonsense on and off the pitch

The Weekend Awards are a somewhat serious, somewhat tongue in cheek affair in summary of the best and worst of the Premier League. The usual drama followed the Premier League circus this week, so what was the best and worst?


Highlight of the Weekend

Frank Lampard notches 203

I guess you could nominate the send off to Sir Alex Ferguson at Man United and it would run this close but to me Lampard’s was a moment that might not have happened. Where Ferguson is in complete control of his retirement, nicely timed for a league winning Old Trafford celebration that also allowed David Moyes a home farewell, Lampard had to rely first on being played, and then on getting those elusive goals to reach the record. When it became clear at the turn of the year that Chelsea weren’t looking to keep him and in his increasingly deep role opportunities for goals looked scarce. It seemed that the goal record might be out of reach. However, he kept professional, didn’t become selfish and kept racking up the goals and wins to drag an exhausted Chelsea back to the Champions league next season.

He actually is a Leader and Legend and should always be the captain when he plays. Never mind some of his deplorable team mates, Chelsea need him to be the face of their club for next season.

Lowlight of the Weekend

Brainless Red Cards

Charlie Adam, Cristian Benteke and Ramires all got two yellow cards. Bare that in mind. None of them got straight reds. They combined for 147 minutes out of a possible 270. None of them lasted more than an hour. For two bookings? And it’s not as if the bookings were unavoidable. All of the offences which brought second yellows were just ridiculous decisions and Adam and Benteke cost their team badly. Ramires was lucky to be saved by the Lampard show.

Goal of the Weekend

Kevin Mirallas (1st) vs West Ham

This was magisterial goal that should show anyone that doubts the football that David Moyes can get United playing exactly what they are capable of. Leighton Baines started the move deep in his own half and after laying the ball off he blazed forwards in to space. After some nice one touch passing Baines was found precisely by Fellaini and he dummied inside before laying it back to the Belgian. Fellaini then nudged it on to Pienaar who immediately put it straight in to Mirallas’ path and his finish with one touch from the edge of the box was unerring. Lovely stuff.

What are you talking about?! Part One

Tony Pulis on Charlie Adam’s Red Card

As always, Pulis used his post match comments to excuse another Stoke showing which was despicable in it’s lack of ambition, quality and entertainment by talking absolute rubbish about the referee. He said that when Adam slid in on a yellow card he ‘gave the referee an opportunity to send him off’. The implication is that the referee couldn’t wait to send him off and that this was an outrageously soft decision that would only be given against Stoke. It’s pretty simple really. You can’t tackle from behind. It’s a booking. It’s a foul even if you get the ball now. Adam didn’t get the ball and was on a booking. Guess what happens next then?

Strangely, during this diatribe he didn’t mention that Stoke only managed six shots all game with the only one on target being the goal. It also must have slipped his mind that his team managed an eye watering 69% passing accuracy which includes a breath takingly bad 72% accuracy on short passes. He also didn’t say that his team commited twice as many fouls. But here’s the big one. In 90 minutes of football Stoke created three chances to score. Three! But that isn’t why they lost, it’s because of the red card.

What are you talking about?! Part Two

Harry Redknapp and Alan Pardew

Anyone who hadn’t seen the incidents in question from the QPR Newcastle game would be forgiven for thinking that the referee had a horror show. But, he didn’t. Redknapp was upset about the penalty awarded against Jose Bosingwa but Bosingwa near enough had Ben Arfa’s whole shirt in his hand and hauled him away from getting in a shot. It’s just clearly a penalty. Pardew was bafflingly complaining about the red card for Rob Elliot the goalkeeper. Elliot was booked already and then decided to catch the ball outside his penalty box. Not near, not on the line, but clearly outside. So it’s a red card right? Weird.

Really?! Moment of the Weekend

Rob Green picks up a back pass

Another to add to Rob Green’s blunder list which thanks to the atrocity committed by Ben Foster isn’t even the biggest howler, but certainly the most mind bendingly bizarre. Armand Traore passes the ball back to him in the box and for some reason Green bends down to pick it up. Maybe he think’s it’s 1991 and it’s allowed again. Its not Rob. Adding to the comedy was Mark Lawrenson’s Match of the Day analysis in which he blamed Traore.

Most Deceptive Result of the Weekend

QPR 1-2 Newcastle

Considering this is dominating the awards given with a question and exclamation mark it says a lot. Newcastle are safe because of this result. Because of this, they are allowed to play in the Premier League next season. But, by Harry Redknapp’s own admission, QPR are not a Premier League team. They have an expensively assembled bunch of mercenaries with no fight or ability. And Newcastle only just beat them because Jose Bosingwa donated them a penalty and then an open goal after selling Green up the river with a heinous back pass. That’s it. That’s all Newcastle had to do to stay up. There’s a lot wrong up there.

Analysing the Transfer Gossip – 8th May: Part One

There’s always plenty of transfer talk throughout the season. So how much of it makes sense, and how much of it is just rumour?

Wayne Rooney, 27, tells his Manchester United team-mates he wants to join Bayern Munich in a deal that would cost the Germans £30m.


Full story: Daily Mirror

What’s the story? If David Moyes is the next United manager it will be very interesting to see what will happen with Rooney given their history at Everton. However, there’s not even a faint chance of Bayern signing him.
Does it make sense? No. If Moyes comes in and immediately gets rid of Rooney it will create the mother of all controversies if it goes wrong. Also, he’s not an upgrade for Bayern anyway.
Is the price right? Yeah £30m is about right. It’s kind of hard to value him given the confusion over his position.
Will it happen? 0/10 – more chance of Rafa Benitez being the next United manager.

Arsenal and Liverpool will have to stump up at least £10m if they are to capture Swansea captain Ashley Williams, 28, at the end of the season.


Full story: Metro

What’s the story? Liverpool have a natural link to Williams given their central defensive frailty and Brendan Brent’s history with Williams. The Arsenal link is rank laziness. When does Wenger sign 28 year old centre backs with no Champions League pedigree?
Does it make sense? Not really. Clearly he doesn’t fit the Arsenal signing pattern and he’s really no better than what Liverpool have already.
Is the price right? £10m is about £3-4m above his ‘true’ value but in terms of his sale value it’s about there.
Will it happen? 0/10 – Arsenal 7/10 – Liverpool: It shouldn’t but that’s not to say it won’t.

Atletico Madrid are believed to be preparing a £40m bid for 26-year-old Liverpool striker Luis Suarez.


Full story: Daily Mirror

What’s the story? This is get ahead of itself. For Atletico to even consider offering this they’d need to pocket the £52m for Falcao. If not this is a dead duck.
Does it make sense? Atletico are an excellent defensive side but chronically lack attacking flair since the losses of Aguero and Forlan a couple of years ago. Suarez would bring an X factor to their side. However, selling Suarez would be a massive statement from Liverpool and it’s really hard to see.
Is the price right? Yes. He doesn’t have the consistency and all around game to valued up with Falcao and Cavani.
Will it happen? 0/10 – No. I don’t see Suarez being wooed by Atletico and Liverpool won’t feel the pressure to sell that they might to Real/Barca/Bayern Munich.

Hull are planning a move for Birmingham defender Curtis Davies, 28, as they prepare for life in the Premier League.


Full story: Daily Mail

What’s the story?
Hull might have to look to the best of the Championship given their tight budget but they have a superb defence and almost no attack so this won’t be a priority.
Does it make sense? No. Chester and Faye at centre back should be more than competent at Premier League level.
Is the price right? Possibly £3m or so but that’s a lot for a luxury buy.
Will it happen? 3/10 – Maybe but it would be a very strange use of limited resource.

West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie, 31, can leave The Hawthorns if a suitable agreement can be reached with another club as the Nigeria international still has 12 months left to run on his current deal.


Full story: Birmingham Mail

What’s the story? Odemwingie made a big fuss about not being allowed to leave stable West Brom who took a risk on him and let him prove himself in England to try to join QPR. Yep, seriously…
Does it make sense? He’s despised by the fans so needs to go.
Is the price right? They’ll probably take less than the £2m Harry Redknapp tried to pay in January.
Will it happen? 10/10 – He’s gone.

Queens Park Rangers boss Harry Redknapp has revealed he expects 33-year-old goalkeeper Julio Cesar to leave Loftus Road at the end of the season.


Full story: Sky Sports

What’s the story? Cesar is expected to be one of many in the QPR fire sale this summer.
Does it make sense? You simply cannot justify paying a goal keeper £70k a week in the Championship.
Is the price right? He’d be worth £1-2m of anyone’s money.
Will it happen? 10/10 – Someone will take the risk. Perhaps Stoke/Sunderland if they lose their starter.

Barcelona are to step up their interest in Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina, 30, who has three years left on his Anfield contract.


Full story: Daily Mail

What’s the story? There is some confusion about the Barcelona keeper position as it had been reported they had agreed a deal with Borussia Monchengladbach to sign Marc-Andre Ter-Stegen.
Does it make sense? There are rumblings on Merseyside that Rodgers doesn’t like Reina and he seems a natural fit for a return to Barcelona.
Is the price right? £10m or so is about right.
Will it happen? 6/10 – It’s not as daft as it sounds. He’s not what he was but he’s still a safe pair of hands.

Stories collected by the BBC Gossip Column

%d bloggers like this: