I have just seen this piece from ITN where they say Big Phil Scolari has named the following payers as instrumental in him losing his Chelsea position.
Big Phil is quoted as saying "The real owners of football at the moment are the players. The coach, in most European clubs, has no strength to contradict them.
"The people sacked are always the coaches. The main players already know this. That was my problem at Chelsea. Drogba, Ballack and Cech did not accept my training methods or my demands."
Big Phil was touted as the big personality Chelsea needed to conquer the Champions League, but at the time he left he seemed as demotivated as Chelsea fans, with Chelsea seemingly in danger of being overtaken by Aston Villa in the Premier League.
Scolari seems to suggest that big name player now have more control of team affairs than the manager himself. Is this the natural progression of inflated player wages and profiles or just an example of a manager that could not get to grips with big named, and big ego players? In which case does this give more stock to managers like Sir Alex Ferguson and Fabio Capello who take a no nonsense line and still get results?
Have your say in the comments.
28 Jun 2009
I have just seen this piece from ITN where they say Big Phil Scolari has named the following payers as instrumental in him losing his Chelsea position.
24 Jun 2009
Well I didn't see that coming...
The US beat *Spain* pretty convincingly, now that they may celebrate
I still stand by my earlier comments, but this is at least an achievement, and certainly makes up for the group stages
As for Spain, it was pretty much the same team that beat us, it just went a bit awry, they have still beaten us and have a 100% record in qualification, but it shows they are beatable and can give us hope that they may not be invincible come the World Cup
The pundits are blaming it on them only having played the likes of New Zealand and Iraq and not being ready for a technically decent, if not brilliant, team
Anybody can win on their day...
Following the news that Setanta lost its Premier League rights, it has now lost FA Cup and England games as it has gone into administration
Unsurprising to say the least, but the real issue is: who will pick up the spoils - will it be ESPN?
...All you can be sure of is that it won't be the BBC
22 Jun 2009
ESPN has won the rights to take over the broadcasting of 46 Saturday & Monday evening Premier League games for the 2009/10 season, and subsequently 23 Premier League games per season for 2010/11 to 2012/13.
ESPN have indicated that they will make the games available via BskyB on a pay-TV platform, though pricing is not yet been made available.
Setanta lost the rights when they failed to make the required payments to the Premier League to carry on showing the games. They have today been dealt a second blow when the SPL pulled it's contract, again for non-payment, and it is now expected that the SPL will return to Sky Sports.
Setanta are thought to be on the brink, and have stopped accepting new customers. They will now be losing customers with the loss of the Premier League rights, myself included.
Setanta retain their rights to the FA Cup and England Internationals which is split viewership with ITV, though the future of these broadcasts, along with many other non-football sports packages may soon be auctioned if the broadcaster does fold.
What are your thoughts on ESPN's gain and will you remain a Setanta customer?
Phil Brown is being quoted today as declaring his interest in signing Michael Owen. Owen becomes a "free agent" at the end of the month and will be leaving Newcastle after an unsuccessful spell at the club.
Owens career has gone backwards since he left Liverpool for Madrid. At Real his first team opportunities were limited, though he impressed when selected. So after one season he moved back to England, but the price tag was too high for some potential top half teams, and only Newcastle were prepared to offer mega bucks to sign Owen and maintain the wages.
Since then injury has plighted the former England star.
We asked a few weeks back, where will Owen go and no one put Hull in the frame. However, it would be in my opinion a good move for both Owen and Hull.
For a start, if Michael Owen wants to get back to Champions League Football (of which he has played very little for someone of his reputation) he needs to find his legs again. He needs regular football, but seems short of the requirements of playing twice a week, at the highest possible standards. Hull would offer regular Saturday football in the Premier League and would likely accommodate Owen by playing two up front - and Owen is at his best when playing with a partner.
Secondly though there would be a drop in his wages, he will stay in the Premier League, in front of the eyes of some of the best managers in the world, including England boss Fabio Capello.
Thirdly, though Owen strikes me as sans-ego, but he could probably benefit a bit of hero worship, and some renewed confidence. Newcastle fans can rightly feel aggrieved that the club did not get their moneys worth with Owen, but he did not injure himself on purpose; and that does not mean he cannot shine again.
If he can find his legs and then some goals for Hull City, the fans will take to him. If Hull can find mid-table safety for a couple of Seasons it will be job done and Owen can maybe then look at a last shot with one of the bigger clubs.
Let us know what you think.
I know there is nothing better going on - but do we have to have to have such attention drawn to a game between the US and Egypt?
Is this picture of Clint Dempsey, looking like he's won the Champions League, really necessary as the first thing I see on BBC football?
Wow, the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup...
I admit for the US it is a slight achievement, being in a group with Brazil and Italy is pretty scary on paper - but let's face facts here, they lost to Italy 3-1, to Brazil 3-0, the only game they got a point off was Egypt - had Italy not lost to Egypt themselves (worst 'world champions' ever) they wouldn't have got through
Then to really showcase the level of mediocrity on display here I will explain how the US got through - it wasn't even on goal difference, both Italy and the yanks had -2, the US qualified by virtue of scoring one more (so also conceding one more) - hence why Climpsey's goal was celebrated in such a fashion
But really, let's have some dignity - this sort of ropey qualification isn't even something England have stooped to
If I spot an American celebrating anywhere he's getting an earful - this is a win over Egypt, the team ranked 40th in the world, pure and simple - which one qualified was a matter of statistics between three hopeless sides, there is no achievement in that
But anyway, Italy going out of any competition is good in my book, and I look forward to the final between Spain and Brazil, like I need to say who my money is on...
17 Jun 2009
Aston Villa v Wigan Blackburn v Man City Bolton v Sunderland Chelsea v Hull City Everton v Arsenal Man Utd v Birmingham Portsmouth v Fulham Stoke v Burnley Tottenham v Liverpool Wolverhampton v West Ham
Aston Villa v Wigan
Blackburn v Man City
Bolton v Sunderland
Chelsea v Hull City
Everton v Arsenal
Man Utd v Birmingham
Portsmouth v Fulham
Stoke v Burnley
Tottenham v Liverpool
Wolverhampton v West Ham
15 Jun 2009
It feels a bit like a grenade has been thrown under any transfer speculation talk, with the two best players in the world moving, with minimal drama to Real Madrid already this Transfer Window.
However, I am not going to let that stop me, so tell us about who you want to see your club sign, and who you will be happy to see the back of.
Tell us also how that wish list varies from who you actually think your team will sign.
My thoughts are on whether Man Utd will sign Carlos Tevez on a permanent deal or if the price will be too high and where he may end up elsewhere in that case. With Ronaldo gone, and if Tevez does not return the prospect of a big name forward, such as David Villa or potential wing replacement Franck Ribery will bring fresh excitement to the club, and might bring sufficient new energy to re-capture the Champions League.
11 Jun 2009
I know it's been covered but I'd thought I'd add my two cents
80 fecking Million!!!
That's obscene, Madrid break the transfer record twice in a week...and in a recession
Personally I view this as a brilliant bit of business from Fergie - he's got the best out of the boy and he's got way over the odds for him (is Ronaldo 70% better than Kaka?), and he loses a pain in the arse to boot - this continues a long line of big sales that have been lucrative - Beckham, Nistelrooy etc
My concern is two-fold - how will this affect Madrid? Is this level of spending tenable? I appreciate they're financially strong after they got a massive pay-out from the city under Perez but this must put them back into debt, and I doubt this will stop at a mere 136 million, even for one of the world's biggest clubs these are unprecedented new levels of spending and we don't know how it will affect such a club long-term, although I'm sure they'd get bailed out anyway
Secondly how will this impact on the wider footballing world? Will we see the giants race ahead in spending levels? - If that happens I can envisage somebody collapsing, especially considering the debts of Liverpool/United, maybe Man City will play along and 15 clubs will get left even further behind and football will become even more ridiculous
I know we say it all the time, but now clubs really are starting to feel the pressure and these new records may push them to the wall
But hey, maybe we'll see every premier league club become the plaything of an actually wealthy Arab oil tycoon
As for United - they'll live, as long as they keep Rooney they won't need a new superstar, but next season should be closer
Madrid are set to break the World Transfer Record, set by them in the last week by getting Christiano Ronaldo for £80million.
Should United sell Ronaldo for £80million? In my opinion, absolutely.
I think the real debate is exactly who will fill his golden boots at Old Trafford?
9 Jun 2009
Just a thought, but Michael Owen is out of contract this summer with Newcastle United and as such is available as a free agent to anyone who wants him and can afford his wages.
Despite a trouble few years with injuries, there is the young man who made the world stand up in a game against Argentina and spearheaded a five-trophy haul with Liverpool to win European player of the year.
So, will Owen be playing Championship football with Newcastle, will a Premier League team snap him up or is he off abroad again?
Kaka has broken the world transfer record and moved to Real Madrid for €68million (£59million). He has stated that AC Milan said that he would be helping the club in the recession by accepting the offer.
Kaka has also said that he spoke to a number of players, including David Beckham before agreeing to the deal, and that as a 27 year old he wants to maintain his chances of playing at the highest level for as long as possible.
Chelsea and Man City do not seem to have registered on Kaka's radar, even despite the +£100million offered for him back in January from City.
Is Kaka the missing link between the current Madrid team and Champions League success?
Will the signing of Kaka nullify interest in Christiano Ronaldo?
Has Kaka made the right decision by snubbing the Premier League?
Let me know what you think!
5 Jun 2009
Well, it's international week again, and to be honest the usual banter over team sheets seems a bit drab - not surprising when we're playing Kazakhstan and Andorra, although to his credit it was some brilliant planning by Capello...from a realist's point of view
So anyway, I'm really only interested in a few things - who will Capello choose in goal? - he hasn't got the old donkey, so will he favour Carson, Green or Robinson - I choose Ben Foster, and also who will he give the striker's role too? Crouchy, Cole and Defoe are the real choices, and I just find it interesting to see who is at the front of his mind
Otherwise the tactics and approach are barely worth analysing - of course feel free to add any comments about it at the bottom
In the other Home Nations, Wales are against Azerbaijan, not that it really matters
The only other game is Ireland, who have a much bigger game against Bulgaria - I think they're good for a draw, any thoughts?
As for Scotland - not playing, but it's a very tight group and I think they need to watch out for Macedonia
So, with little real action, I instead chose to focus my own blog this week on.....gambling!
Personally I'm thinking Denmark to win group 1 (5/6) is a good bet - yes that's Portugal's group, and that's exactly why I think it's good - public opinion affects odds and it means Denmark are being rather overlooked I feel
For the short term - a Serbian double (Austria and Faroes) looks reasonable, as does the Netherlands and obviously England (not worth it though) - also Macedonia may be worth a punt
*Also congrats to my adoptive nation Australia, as they are probably going to be officially the first nation in the World Cup within the next 24hrs - the qualifying has been ridiculously easy but meh...it's an achievement, sort of
3 Jun 2009
The good people at Wikio have sneaked me an advanced look at the current top 20 rankings for Sports blogs in the UK based on Wikio’s unique rating system. The full list will be made public in the next few days.
The familiar big boys retain their supremacy, and congratulations to them, with a few new blogs moving up into the Top 20. Well done everybody!
Here is the new top 20
1. (=) Arseblog
2. (=) Gunnerblog
3. (+1) West Ham ‘till I Die – Iain Dales West Ham Diary
4. (+1) F1 Fanatic
5. (-2) Soccer Lens
6. (+1) Line & Length
7. (+1) Blog F1
8. (+1) Goodplaya
9. (New) Arsenal Insider
10. (+13) Football Banter (Yeah!!)
11. (-1) 4SportSake.com
12. (=) King Cricket
13. (+1) The Times Formula One Blog
14. (+3) The Corridor (A Cricket Blog)
15. (+118) Off The Post
16. (+8) FCB News
17. (+1) The Cannon
18. (-7) Snooker Scene Blog
19. (+31) Some People Are On The Pitch
20. (+15) F1 Minute
The personal good news is the inclusion of Football Banter in the Top 10 which is absolutely incredible really, and I want to say thanks to everyone who visits and links to here. Thanks also to Tarquin who has come on board as a team member and has put up some interesting posts.
I am still open to established bloggers who want to make regular or occasional Football Comments here, so if any one reading fancies it they can email me.
Posted by Daniel1979 at 15:42:00
2 Jun 2009
Spanish Radio is reporting that a deal is done for Kaka and he is on his way to Madrid. Milan representatives have confirmed that a bid has been tabled but have said that a deal is a long way off. It seems that Madrid have tabled an early bid in an effort to lure Kaka to Madrid before Man City and Chelsea could table their offers.
City can double Madrid's offer in the blink on a eye so the Spanish club know they have to get Kaka's agreement before more sizable bids can turn the head of the Italian club. However, City are now used to long and tough negotiations and will likely already have acted.
It could be an interesting few days.
I have to say I was a little surprised to see the news that Gareth Barry has moved to Man City today for a £12m fee. Apparently Barry was able to command a £92,000 weekly wage in return for his services. The early transfer will give Martin O'Neil the full window to shop for a replacement.
I think that most people, myself included assumed that Gareth Barry was off to Liverpool this summer after last summers pleas for Champions League football and considering the overtures from Liverpool in seeking to reach a deal worth around £18m. So it is a very good piece of business from Man City and Mark Hughes and a first class signing.
In fact I am not sure what happened to Liverpool or Barry's desire to go there, but that may drastically alter Rafa Benitez's summer transfer plans.
1 Jun 2009
After very little speculation and to nobody's surprise Carlo Ancelotti has today been unveiled as Chelsea's new manager, their 4th in two years, 5th if you count Ray Wilkins one game.
Chelsea fans seem to me to now be acclimatised to these roller coaster rides and the outpourings of ambition that have followed previous managerial arrivals has been absent. The general consensus is that a change of direction maybe needed and a few changes to an aging line up needed. Ancelotti though has become famous for getting th ebest out of aging players and may not feel the same.
Personally I think it is a fantastic coup for Chelsea and I feel Ancelotti will likely bring Chelsea the Champions Cup within 3 years, and is certainly of the calibre that could deliver it next season with minimal changes to the existing squad.
The speculation will now be on who is staying and who is leaving. I suspect that there could be some bigger stories there in the next week or two. I have a suspicion that Ballack, Deco, Kalou, Bosingwa and possibly Anelka are on their way out. There are already rumours that a number of AC Milan players would like to follow their beloved coach to London and that is where I think they will look to first. I have my doubts that Kaka will be coming, mostly because of the price, but I have a suspicion that Beckham may be top of the shopping list.
What do you think?
Update 02-Jun-09 22:36 - Cor, I was way off there.