Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fans Across The World Ready For World Cup

Fans of the English national team are growing in excitement in the ongoing build up for the countries 2010 World Cup Campaign. The England squad are currently in preparation for their final friendly match before the start of the tournament as they are set to face Japan in Graz, Austria on Sunday (Kick off 1.15 GMT). Fabio Capello’s final England squad will be announced following the match, and fans are already speculating as to which 7 unfortunate players will be left behind as the squad is shrunk down from 30 to 23.
World Cup fever is clearly gripping England at this time, with the English press and television channels packed with stories surrounding the players and their fitness worries - most recently Wayne Rooney was the focus of such concern, although the start striker has since allayed any concerns on his fitness.
When the tournament finally gets underway when hosts South Africa play Mexico on the 11th of June, luckily fans will be able to enjoy all the World Cup the games live on terrestrial television channels as well as cable TV and internet. Its sure to be a great tournament generating interest from around the world – and no more so than in England.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Seasiders and Bluebirds Prepare For Lucrative Wembley Playoff Showdown

Blackpool and Cardiff City are set for the biggest day in the history of both their clubs as they prepare for today’s Championship playoff final at Wembley. For both sides it is a chance to make history by joining English football’s elite clubs in the Premier League for the first time in their history.
As well as providing the chance to ply their trade with the biggest clubs in the country and rub shoulders with some of the worlds greatest players, the match is said to be the most lucrative in world football - with the winning side expected to make up to £90 million through prize money, increased gate revenues, merchandising and TV cash. Increased parachute payments for the promoted club should they be relegated the following season also makes the Championship playoff final a game like no other in domestic football.
The financial benefits of victory today are surely not lost on Cardiff City who have faced a protracted period of financial uncertainty under former Chairman Peter Ridsdale - who has recently stepped aside from his role - with the club having faced no less than 4 winding up orders from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs for an unpaid tax bill reportedly to be in the region of £1.9 million pounds.
For Blackpool too the financial benefits of joining English football's elite must be spellbinding - a club who’s Bloomfield Road ground still sports temporary seating down one side of the pitch and a very recently completed stand behind the goal at the pleasure beach end. Victory today would also see the Lancashire club make astonishing progress from Football League 2 to the top flight in the space of just nine years.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Carragher Set For Shock England World Cup Recall

Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher is set to make a highly unexpected return to international football after a plea from England manager Fabio Capello. With experienced centre back Rio Ferdinand continuing to struggle with a back complaint, John Terry’s sporadic dips in form during this season, alongside the sidelining of other possible cover at centre back such as Jolien Lescott who has been out for the majority of the Premier League season after he stretches hamstring – the Liverpool veteran is now to make a return to the international scene. Having been widely tipped in various sources of the English football media to make a shock return to coach Fabio Capello’s World Cup squad, the centre back has now been officially named in Capello’s provisional 30 man England squad earlier this afternoon – with the full squad finalised to just 23 to be announced on the 1st of June 2010.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Grimsby Town Relegated From Football League

Grimsby Town have been relegated from the Football League for the first time in 99 years. A dismal run of form earlier in the season had left the East Coast club a mountain to climb after they had at one stage found themselves adrift in the League 2 relegation zone an entire 7 points from safety. The Mariners had showed some positive signs of producing an incredible escape over the last month or so, securing 4 wins and a draw within their last 6 league matches. However a crushing 3 - 0 away defeat at the hands of Burton Albion this afternoon has ultimately condemned the North Lincolnshire side to relegation from League 2 in somewhat dismal fashion. Grimsby’s disappointing result was in the end made irrelevant by Barnet’s late winner at home to Rochdale - the mariners needing Barnet to slip up and then win there match in order to avoid the drop. The Mariners must now face up to the prospect of life outside the English Football League for the first time in almost a century.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Owls Crash Out Of Championship After Draw

Sheffield Wednesday crashed out of the English football Championship after there disappointing draw with relegation rivals Crystal Palace at Hillsborough earlier this afternoon. The Owls were desperately seeking the victory that would have relegated their opposition but fell short of the mark in front of some a passionate home crowd. It lays the final nail in the coffin for Wednesday after a season plagued with disappointment and further exposed the frailty and shortcomings of one of the supposedly biggest clubs in English football’s second tier. They now face a battle to merely survive as a football club, with financial pressures mounting on the fallen South Yorkshire giants who were regularly playing Premier League football what seems only a few short years ago. Promise of new investment seemed to be around the corner from both a local consortium and the USA, but Sheffield Wednesday must surely now look a far less attractive prospect with fixtures to come against the likes of Bournemouth and Yeovil Town already certainties on next seasons fixture list. In spite of the excellent home support they regularly received this season, the club have regularly failed to convert chances into goals, and have struggles from the off to win games in the Championship. Palace in contrast were performing well and chasing a playoff place until a ten point deduction for falling into administration drastically altered the path of there season. The Eagles will have the last laugh though, as the Owls are sent tumbling back into English footballs third tier.