Sunday, October 25, 2009

Chelsea Send Warning To Tital Rivals Ahead Of Sunday Showdown At Anfield

Chelsea sent a major warning to title rivals Liverpool and Manchester United ahead of today's massive clash at Anfield by demolishing a poor Blackburn Rovers side at The Bridge. The Blues never moved out of third gear in their 5 - 0 victory over Rovers who saw their dreadful away form continue. A dominant performance from Chelsea hitman Didier Drogba and a continuation of England midfield star Frank Lampard's return to form swept aside a Blackburn outfit that must now face a further daunting away trip to Old Trafford next weekend. Ghana international Michael Essien also fired in from long range on an afternoon of total Chelsea domination, where The Blues could have racked up a cricket score. The 5 nil rout was in fact Chelsea's biggest ever win against the Lancastrians and sent them back to the Premier League summit ahead of Man United's visit to Anfield this afternoon. United can however go back to the top of the Premier League if they beat Rafa Benitez' struggling Reds this afternoon.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Young Non European Footballers Still Struggle For Work Permits

This may come as very surprising news for fans of English football in the 21st century - particularly with so many foreign names flooding our professional leagues from the Premiership all the way down to League 2 - but it seems that even today, many young non European footballers are still encountering serious difficulties in settling in at their new clubs here in the UK. With the numerous top names earning big, big money in the English Premier League, it is easy to forget the problems that a young player may face when uprooting themselves and their young families to start a new life in English football.
Simple day to day things that we often take for granted can often be problematic in themselves, and barriers such as learning a new language, adjusting to the English culture and way of life, and the potential intimidation felt by “standing out” in what may often be predominantly English ethnic areas of the country can making settling into a new club very difficult. Add to this the problems of constant pressure from the English sporting press (particularly at the top level of the English game) and the possible difficulties with immigration and acquiring a work visa (which has proved problematic in recent years even for top established international players - such as Chelsea’s Alex) and you can understand that there are many factors that often go unconsidered by the average English football fan and the UK sports media.
While English clubs do have internal measures in place to try to help young players acclimatize to such conditions they can't account for every outcome, and naturally it will take time for foreign players to properly settle into their clubs. So please, before you start laying into your latest expensive foreign import on the terraces this weekend, put yourself in their position and spare some thought for the problems they may have encountered just to be able to pull on your team’s shirt.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

England Qualify For South Africa In Style - But Race For Tickets Is Yet To Begin

England last night completed their World Cup qualifying campaign with a fairly routine 3 - 0 win over Belarus at Wembley, thanks to a brace from giant England striker Peter Crouch and a goal from diminutive winger Shaun Wright-Phillips. An Excellent campaign - in which England have won nine of their 10 qualifying games - has seen the squad reach the World Cup finals in some style. However, as the England squad look forward to packing their bags for South Africa, the rush for fans to make their way to the finals has just begun. Tickets world cup 2010 are sure to be in high demand amongst English fans, as supporters once again dream of lifting what is arguably the biggest prize in international team sport for the first time since 1966. Much to the annoyance of the English public, South Africa 2010 tickets will be once again be in short supply through the English FA – certainly in comparison to the demand generated amongst supporters - and with many fans desperate to see their team in action during the tournament they are instead more likely to be set to seek South Africa 2010 packages elsewhere.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Barnes and Taylor Out At Tranmere

Manager John Barnes and his assistant Jason McAteer have been sacked by Tranmere. Former England legend Barnes and ex Liverpool star McAteer have been told that they were to have their contracts terminated by the club earlier this morning. Tranmere are currently sat in the League One relegation zone - and after a string of poor results in the league and their recent defeat in the Johnstone's paint Trophy earlier in the week, it seems that the Tranmere board have finally lost patience with Barnes and his regime. The decision brings to an end another turbulent period in the short but eventful managerial career of John Barnes - after an equally brief and difficult spell with Scottish giants Celtic resulting in his dismissal in February 2000. The club have taken the decision to put Physio Les Parry in as a caretaker manager to take temporary charge of Tranmere as they welcome Stockport this Monday night.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Blackburn Hit For Six By Rampant Gunners

Arshavin and Fabregas were once again in imperious form for their club as The Gunners dismantled Blackburn Rovers at The Emirates Stadium this afternoon. Arsenal ran riot in the second half against a Blackburn side low in confidence and suffering inconsistent form in the league this season. The home team once again produced some spells of incredibly stylish flowing football that can only be associated with this Arsenal side - who have become widely recognised as the most easy on the eye team in English football today. Arsenals attacking style proved too much for Rovers this afternoon, and the Lancashire battlers may well find themselves in the relegation mire come the end of the season. Arsenal however, will have much more lofty ambitions, as Arsene Wenger seeks to add a much needed trophy to all the accolades and qualities his young team clearly possess - and you may feel that with performances like this, who can stop them?

Pressure Mounts on Winless Keane While Tykes Resurgence Continues

Barnsley continued their battling bright start under new manager Mark Robins by beating Ipswich with a late winner at Oakwell in this weekends big Championship relegation six pointer. The former Rotherham boss has already started to turn the Reds' fortunes this season after taking the helm following the departure of Simon Davey earlier this season. John Macken scored a 96th minute goal for the Tykes after Town had earlier pulled level- but the Blues were ultimately destined to leave Oakwell with nothing folowing this crushing late defeat against their relegation rivals. Ipswich manager Roy Keane now faces ever increasing pressure from Towns supporters, who have yet to be treated to a single win in their eleven attempts in the Championship this season. Ipswich also therefore remain worryingly rooted to the bottom of the table with just 5 points on the board this season.