Monday, September 28, 2009

Portsmouth Appoint McAllister as Harts Assistant Manager

The latest news from the Premier League this evening suggests that Portsmouth have appointed former Leeds United legend Gary McAllister as Paul Harts Assistant Manager. The Premier League strugglers surely need all the help they can get after a disastrous start to their season in which they have so far lost every league game and are already staring down the loaded barrel of top flight relegation. The former Scotland international midfielder is sure to provide some valuable experience as the back up to Hart as his Pompey side seek to rally before Saturday's relegation six pointer against wolves at Molineaux. Portsmouth have faced a turbulent time this season on and off the field after a takeover and string of poor performances in the Premiership leave them without a point after 7 games.

Monday, September 14, 2009

UEFA Bottle It Over Eduardo Dive Ban

Arsenal forward Eduardo Da Silva was this evening celebrating after having his 2 match European ban lifted by the regions football governing body UEFA. The Croatian international had previously had the ban imposed upon him after seeming to tumble to the ground all too easily to win a penalty in his side's Champions League qualifying victory over Scottish rivals Celtic at the Emirates Stadium on the 26th of August. In spite of there appearing to be minimal contact, the Gunners' hitman won a penalty as Hoops keeper Artur Boruc slid out to meet him as he raced towards goal - causing UEFA to later investigate the incident, before imposing a 2 game ban on Eduardo for his apparent deception of the referee. However, after an Appeal from the North Londoners, the ban has now been rescinded - meaning that Eduardo will now be available to face Standard Liege on Wednesday evening in the opening game of Arsenal's Champions League campaign. Although Eduardo is by no means the first to face accusations of simulation in the modern game, UEFA's initial seemingly positive and forceful move of making a stand on the issue of diving is now looking rather embarrassing following today's U-turn - and is a decision that will surely send mixed messages to football clubs across the continent and raise serious football questions. Arsenal themselves had been the subject of a contentious penalty decision recently after England striker Wayne Rooney was accused of diving in their recent clash at Old Trafford. However, Wenger will surely be delighted to see the overturning of what he had initially described as a "deeply flawed" sanction on Eduardo.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ronaldo Straight Out Of The Blocks In Spain With Real Debut Strike

World football's hottest property Christiano Ronaldo got off to a flying start for his new club with a debut goal on the opening day of La Liga. Real Madrid's most high profile "Galactico" acquisition of the summer scored from the spot in a 3 - 2 opening day thriller against Deportivo to make a dream start to his football career at his self confessed dream club. Their remains incredible levels of expectation on the shoulders of the former Manchester United player and world player of the year after his incredible £80 million move from Old Trafford to the Bernabeu. But his opening day goal means he has now hit the ground running and opened his account with the Spanish giants. As soccer stars go, Ronaldo surely heads the list on the grandest of all stages, and Real fans will surely have much more to come from the multi talented Portuguese forward. They will certainly expect to win La Liga this season and their are also major expectations in the Spanish capital that the Champions League trophy will also make a return after a 7 year absense that has pained their passionate fan base.

Pearce and Hodgson Lined Up For London 2012 Team GB Roles

As the excitement continues to build across the world for the 2012 Olympics in London there is increasing speculation in the English sporting press regarding the olympic soccer tournament set to be held at Wembley stadium. My English Football Banter Blog earlier revealed how the Great British Team would be entering their first team for many years (although it is set to comprise of only English players) and there has been more recent speculation amongst the football hacks as to who will manage the British young guns at the London Games. As current England under 21 manager, Stuart Pearce has an excellent claim for the position - having led the side to the final of the under 21 European Cup recently. However, some sources suggest that Fulham boss Roy Hodgson may also be in the picture to lead team GB. The experienced gaffer has done a great job at Fulham turning them from relegation candidates to outsiders for European contention and has an excellent international pedigree. In any the case, whoever leads out the British team at the 2012 olympic soccer it is surely certain to be a great showcase of young footballing talent from around the world.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Spurs Seal Deadline Day Bargain Buy To Land Kranjcar

Tottenham Hotspur sealed the deal on arguably the best value buy on transfer deadline today after securing the services of Croatian midfield maestro Niko Kranjcar from Premier League rivals Portsmouth. The 25 year old international completed a move thought to be in the region of just £2 million in the final moments of English football's famously frantic deadline day. Kranjcar will now rejoin former boss Harry redknapp at White Hart Lane who had previously brought the player to Pompey under his tenure on the South coast. Kranjcar becomes the third Croatian international at The Lane alongside defender Vedran Corluka and midfield playmaker Luka Modric - who has recently suffered a broken leg which will rule him out of Croatia's crucial qualifier against England at Wembley stadium later this week. Redknapp was quoted on BBC sport as being "really delighted" to land the player, adding that he beleived Kranjcar was a "fantastic player", and with Redknapp's lasting reputation as a great wheeler dealer in the transfer market, the Croat must surely be considered the real bargain buy of the summer in the 21st century football terms.