football forecasts: check this out

Well after my earlier posting saying how bored I was with the whole footie scene, suddenly it all kicks off. What a last 24 hours! And I have to say that several of my predictions have already kicked in:

–  Utd land Berbatov at last but what a frigging protracted saga. I got a call from my good mate Shay from the States a couple of hours before the transfer deadline, who’d just heard that Man City had made an audacious bid for the player. He’s a big Spurs fan (London boy) and was pissed that the club were considering selling a key player to a top 4 team. I think he could have lived with selling him to Bayern or Barca but Man U (or City) was too much after Keeno left for Liverpool. Fact is money spoke and once the bidding got beyond £30M, all those issues at board level at Spurs got forgotten (including the tapping up accusations against Man U). All very cynical. But I think the loan deal with F Campbell is inspired – how did Gill/Ferguson pull that off?

–  Wenger makes a last minute bid for Alonso. I said he was a great buy for Arsenal. But why did AW wait till the last minute to make the bid – by all accounts he had a £30M transfer kitty so why delay? I suspect AW wants to be viewed as the Prince of Parsimony because he feels the financial structure of the major clubs isn’t ethical. So was he looking for a last day bargain?  I suspect yes, but he’s short in midfield and I would have signed Alonso weeks ago. But despite having the money, AW missed out. Bad call in my view sorry PGOB but this was a player you absolutely needed in my view and could have had for less than £10M.

–  I said Curbishley would go soon but he has left within frigging hours. Bilic must be in the frame.

–  I also said Thaksin would sell up his interests at City but I didn’t figure he’d do it within 24 hours….So City are now owned by the Abu Dhabi bunch. Total fun. I cannot believe that they tried to high-jack the  Berbastov deal but I am absolutely delighted that they stole Robinhio from Kenyon’s grasp. Such fun. I can’t believe that Man City are backed by impossible wealth but bring it on. Roman Ab are you watching?–

–  Newcastle. I said it could implode and it looks like it’s about to happen wih Keegan’s apparent departure. Surely all they are discussing now is KK’s severance pay – it’ll no doubt be millions. Ah well Kev back to the football circus eh. They could go down. Sorry Lol.

Now that’s what I call a new season 08!!!!

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football; time for a fresh perspective?

Well the new season’s started and it’s a long time since I did a footie posting. Prompted by Charlie Cranium’s recent comments I thought I should offer up some thoughts on the season ahead which you’re all welcome to challenge. Let me know what you think.

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hats off in the premiership

Well things are shaping up in the Premiership and it’s time to pay some dues I think. So hats off to:

– Pesky Heskey for scoring that late equaliser last night against Russia FC. They’ve doggedly pursued Man U but I can’t see them overhauling the reds now. Good on yer Emile (that’s twice this year you’ve brought a smile to my face)

– Avram ‘Hannibal’ Grant. I was sure he was dead man walking when Chelski were playing that crap football earlier in the season and they recruited Henk ten Cate as his assistant on apparently double Grant’s salary. But to be fair he has kept Russia FC in the title chase, in the semis of the Champions League with an opportunity to avenge the defeat to Liverpool and he’s matched Mourinho’s Premiership first season points achievements (minus a trophy of course) and maintained their undefeated home record. That’s not bad for a guy nobody rated. Of course it could all go tits up before season’s end but let’s not be churlish.

– King Kevin. Yep I’ve been slating the guy quite a bit since his 3rd coming, doubting whether he had anything in him as a decent manager any longer. I was forecasting possible relegation for the Toon and KK’s dismissal but he’s turned it around. 3 wins and a draw in their last 4 matches are not to be sniffed at and they have rescued the season. I still think that game against Fulham was a clincher. If they’d lost that I reckon a deep fog would have descended on the Tyne but they won the game – KK’s first victory and the spirit and the confidence returned instantly. He’s got a huge re-bulding job to do there and he’ll never recruit some of the best players in the world again (well that’s Dennis the Menace’s job now) but he’s got them going in the right direction.

– now that Newcastle have steadied the ship, I think a big hand is deserved for Messrs Hicks, Gillette, Parry and Benitez for turning a great club into the Premiership’s latest circus. It’s like watching the scouse version of Phoenix Nights. The co-owners detest each other and one wants the Chief Executive to resign. The CE hates working for the Americans and is trying to do a deal with the Dubai consortium he thwarted in the first place. The manager distrusts the CE and believes the owners don’t understand football at all. The owners and the CE don’t rate the manager and tried to tap up another guy for the role who’s never managed another club in his life. First Leeds, then Newcastle and now Liverpool. Such fun – unless you’re a hapless fan of course, in which case it must be a living nightmare. It only needs that dodgy Chairman of Man City to get extradited for corruption and embezzlement for the next Billy Smart’s to be created. Don’t you think the FA or the Gov’t should start to consider the possibility of denying overseas entities the opportunity of owning our major football clubs? I don’t know how you prevent it when clubs are publicly traded companies but it needs to be considered IMHO.

– Gareth ‘Jumpers’ Southgate. I’m starting to think he’s got the makings of an excellent manager. As ever hats off to Steve Gibson for his foresight and backing. Mind you he did also appoint Steve McClaren as manager which just proves that you can’t be right all the time.

– Paul ‘camcorder’ Jewell for showing the Derby fans that going down isn’t all bad.

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champions league

Well I hear tonight that Tom Hicks one of the co-owners of Liverpool FC has today asked his CE Rick Parry to resign. It’s getting to be almost Newcastle like up there. Blimey I watched the Champs League match v Arsenal the other night and it was a tremendous game and fantastic win for Liverpool. Today the party celebrations are over eh… Continue reading

benitez and the jettison

They say Rafa Benitez has been feeling insecure about his position at Anfield for some time, and that has caused the occasional public spats with the American owners and the sometimes lacklustre team performances. Well I wonder how he feels today to learn of the admission from Tom Hicks that he and fellow owner George Gilllette had a ‘secret’ meeting with Jurgen Klinsmann back in November? Hicks says that Liverpool were struggling at the time and the personal relationship with Benitez was rocky so it was an insurance policy in case the relationship deteriorated further and Benitez decided to leave. Oh yeh? Continue reading

forza meelan

So Milan get revenge tonight against Liverpool in the Champions League, which looked to me to be about the fair result. Liverpool look a great team in need of a true quality striker and I’d be very surprised if Rafa doesn’t get the funds to make a major signing in the next week or so. Little Tevez might be the man to come in with any number of players on the way out, Bellamy and Fowler for sure, Kewell and Zenden maybe, Gonzalez and Garcia possibly etc. But if you do sign Tevez, Rafa please don’t get rid of Crouch. The two of them playing in tandem would be just wonderful to watch – like Arnie and De Vito in Twins. I bet they’d be handy too.

This is only a brief posting for a change but I couldn’t close off without commenting on the shock I felt at the extent of the injury to Inzaghi when that ball bounced up and hit him in the stomach. He was in agony poor lamb. Surely they ought to have given him life-restoring surgery at pitch-side or morphine at the very least. Strangely though he did look remarkably well after he’d scored that second goal. So brave and yet it must have been terribly agonising for him to leap those barriers and lap up the adulation of the meelan fans when the final whistle went.

Big girl.

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