Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Suarez Hand Gesture to be Investigated by FA

The on field conduct of controversial Liverpool striker Luis Suarez is once again set to be scrutinised by the FA following an incident involving the player during Monday night's Premier League match against Fulham. The Uruguayan striker appeared to "flip the bird" at the home fans following his side's lackluster 1 - 0 defeat at Craven Cottage - a match in which 10 man Liverpool failed to extend their excellent away run in the league.

Suarez is already in hot water with the FA having been charged for allegedly making racist remarks towards Manchester United's Patrice Evra (a charge the player and his club denies) but the FA have confirmed they are now looking into last nights incedent in more detail but are waiting to receive the referees match report before taking stronger actions.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Saturday Soccer - There's Nothing Quite Like It

You have to love Saturday mornings. Having a lie in, cooking a fry up, sticking on the telly and getting amongst all the hype and build up of the next round of games in the Premiership and Football League - then off on the train, to the pub for a few with your mates and then scuttling to the ground to watch your beloved local team get a good stuffing by some super rich oil baron owned team that puts your first 11 to shame. For me and thousands of others across the world, this is football - and there's nothing quite like it.
     In my opinion, the build up and banter with your mates you enjoy every weekend is as much a part of the big day as the match itself - winding them up, having a joke and voicing your know-it-all opinions on who's going to come home with the points up and down the country. If you enjoy football banter as much as I do you'll probably also enjoy a little flutter now and again - and with sites like Luxbet soccer betting has never been so easy - whether you team play in The EPL, The Bundesliga, Seria A or the Australian A-League. 
     There's no better feeling than proving your mates wrong and winning yourself a few beer tokens to spend on Saturday night after the game - and lets face it EVERYONE wants the bragging rights to be their own. Football is a social game and enjoying the banter that goes with it is what makes it so special.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Best Football Jokes and Banter for Manchester City Fans

Warning: Man United fans who don't want to know the score please look away now! :-P

After what has been surely already been nothing short of an incredible week in the life of all the Manchester City fans out there following your superb 1-6 win at Old Trafford on Sunday, as we move towards day 3 of the working week you may now sadly be running short of new and exciting ways of ribbing all your United supporting work colleagues - now that all the viral email jokes have already done the rounds. Well worry not, help is at hand as here are some more belters I have received here at EFB, consolidated nicely into one place that should help you to keep the fires of fun burning in your workplace. Sincere apologies to the red half of Manchester...

It was a tough night for United - their defence was at sixes and Evans
United have been beaten 6-1 - but don't worry there's still 2 sets to play for
I was asked on Sunday morning "when do Man United kick off?" - I replied "about every 5 minutes"
Whats the difference between David De Gea and a black cab driver? - The cabby only lets 5 in
Recent supports suggest Fergie is in some bother with her majesty - apparently something to do with a "sick swan"
The Glazer family were said to be keen to get the true Man United fan experience on derby day - they were on their way back to London 20 minutes before the final whistle.

I'm sure you will agree these are some funny jokes for Man City fans that should provide some inspiration for further hours of torment :-)

However, if you want to make sure you can remain the truly "noisy neighbour" of the office or schoolyard for many long weeks to come (or at least until they get their own back and win the title ;-) ) why not check out the blog 1000 reasons to hate man united for some further inspiration!

DISCLAIMER: Please note not all contributions on the above are family friendly (although many are very funny) and I do not control the content of this site.

Feel free to comment further on these below and share any other Manchester derby jokes you may have right here at EFB - but please keep your football banter clean!

Chin up Fergie.....

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hammers Confirm Olympic Move Still In Their Plans

Championship giants West Ham United have confirmed they are still very much interested in a move to the London Olympic Stadium following the completion of next year's Olympic Games. The Hammers had originally won the bid to take over the ground as part of the legacy of the games, but with legal challenges from London rivals Spurs and Leyton Orient looming it was instead decided that the stadium would remain in public ownership as a valued asset and be leased out instead - with some circles of the British press reportedly claiming the rental of the ground would cost a fee in the region of £2 million per year.

But West Ham vice chairmen Karren Brady insists her club will still look to move from their current home at Upton Park to the new London Olympic Stadium - which will have a reduced capacity of around 60,000 following its post Olympic modifications but would still represent a significant potential for the club to increase revenue from gate receipts, should they return to the Premier League. Meanwhile Barry Hearn who is Chairman of Football League rivals Orient has also confirmed they remain interested in challenging West Ham for the lease deal and would accordingly participate in the new bidding process for the lease of the ground.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fergie Not Surprised By Flying Form Of "Noisy Neighbours"

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he is not surprised by the strong start to the season made by local rivals Manchester City. The blue half of Manchester have assembled a talented squad at vast expense over the last couple of years and have matched united point for point so far this season with 6 wins and only 1 draw from their opening 7 Premier League fixtures. Only goal difference now separates these English football heavyweights heading into this weekend's international break but Fergie admits the performances seen so far from the so called "noisy neighbours" have not shocked him:

"I've said all along that would happen" Fergie explained to Inside United.

"They are a good team and they were always going to be there or thereabouts.

"Sergio Aguero was bound to do well, coming into the Premier League, because he is such a goal threat around the penalty box. David Silva is also a very good player.

"We just have to make sure we are ready for City when we meet them."

City striker Aguero has certainly already gone a long way towards proving his doubters wrong who had claimed he could not adapt to English football. The Argentine has been making an instant impact for The Blues - having already smashed 8 Premier League goals this season. Meanwhile winger Silva - also cited by Ferguson as a key player for city - has looked to continue his impressive form from last season with some silky and creative displays that have made him a vital part of City's goal threat.

The two bitter Manchester rivals are set to meet each other at Old Trafford on the 23rd of October in what promises to be the most eagerly awaited Manchester derby in years. Stakes are always high for fans of both the red and blue sides of Manchester on such occasions, but with City now emerging as genuine title contenders the fixture will surely take on an even greater significance in the wider context of this season's Premier League title race.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Kean Silences Critics as Fragile Gunners Continue to Misfire

Blackburn manager Steve Kean yesterday hit back at his critics who had claimed his days at the Rovers helm were numbered with a stunning 4-3 victory over Arsenal at Ewood Park. Rovers came out on top of a thrilling yet often shambolic encounter in which Arsene Wenger’s side again capitulated in defence against their stronger, more rugged opposition - scoring 2 own goals in the process. Around 200 fans had protested against Kean before the match as his side had struggled so far in the season and started the day bottom of the table. However, the shock result will give the defiant Kean at least some breathing space after he once again insisted he has the full backing of owners Venky’s. Jubilant Kean could not hide his delight at the final whistle as the result saw them leapfrog their opposition in the table. However, bookmakers still see the victory as nothing more than a stay of execution.

In contrast to Kean, Wenger again cut a forlorn figure following the match as he faces the unlikely prospect – dependant on today’s results admittedly - of being in the bottom 3 in the Premier League having already lost 3 of their 5 league games and with only 1 victory on the board against newcomers Swansea City. Wenger confessed his side currently looked “fragile” and that they were suffering a crisis of confidence following their 8-2 schooling at Old Trafford. Having lost key personnel in the form of Fabregas and Nasri the Frenchman must now be feeling the pressure more than ever as his club seek an ever elusive major trophy.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Potters Bag Defender Woodgate on 1 Year Deal

Stoke City have secured the services of former Leeds, Newcastle, Tottenham, Real Madrid and England centre back Johnathan Woodgate on a 1 year “pay-as-you-play” deal. The centre back - who’s promising career has remained dogged by persistent injuries - will also have the option of extending his contract by a year should he make a sufficient number of appearances for Stoke during the 2011/2012 football season.

     Enjoying arguably the best spell of his career at his first club Leeds United where he reached the Champions League semi-final in 2001, Woodgate has more recently found it extremely difficult to settle as a first team regular at his most recent club Tottenham Hotspur. Having again struggled to find regular and consistent spells of match fitness over the last 3 seasons, Woodgate was considered surplus to requirements at White Hart Lane, prompting manager Harry Redknapp to allow Woodgate to leave the club following the expiry of his contract.

     With several clubs reportedly showing interest in the much travelled central defender, Stoke manager Tony Pulis said he was “delighted” that Woodgate had chosen to commit to Stoke City, and will move to the Staffordshire club as a free agent.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Spurs Maintain Hard-Line Stance Over Modric Transfer

Spurs are set to continue their hard-line stance against rival clubs as they continue to pursue the signing of their midfield star Luka Modric – in spite on the insistence of the player that Tottenham chairman Levy has now reneged on an agreement made with the Croatian.

Modric insists he struck up a verbal deal with his club’s chairman in Dubrovnik during the summer of 2010 that would allow him to leave White Hart Lane, should a higher profile club come in for his services and the North Londoners could agree a suitable fee. Modric insists that this was a key reasoning behind him extending his contract with the club, and that by refusing to open negotions about his future, he alleges that Levy has gone back on his word.

What is clear however at this stage, is that Levy has publically insisted the club’s prize asset is currently not for sale at any price, having already beaten away a £22 million pound bid from London rivals Chelsea – a bid which Spurs manager Harry Redknapp was quoted as describing as as “ridiculous”.

Although Modric had earlier this week refrained from handing in a formal transfer request, he has openly revealed this weekend that Levy has essentially presented him with the option of carrying on playing for Tottenham or becoming a non-participating spectator at White Hart Lane, as the club refuse to entertain any offers for the player from Premier League rivals or from overseas.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Fergie: No Fear of Barca - But We Would be Better with Brechin

A couple of nights ago as Manchester United achieved with the greatest possible ease the result even the most sceptical football follower could not have denied - a 4 - 1 victory in front of their own fans allowing a second string 11 to cruise their way past an over achieving Schalke side - most football fans across the world had long since shifted their thoughts to the mouth watering prospect of the Champions League final that awaits us - long before the final whistle was blown at Old Trafford. Wednesday night's semi final second leg fixture was almost a formality for United - who had built such a dominant platform from their 2 - 0 first leg victory away from home that they could afford to rest the majority of their first team with one eye on the weekend's critical league clash with Chelsea. However, as Alex Ferguson's men strode into yet another final they surely know the ultimate test of their footballing credentials still lies ahead - a clash of the titans at Wembley stadium against the imperious Barcelona.

     Whatever the "Special One" and his Real Madrid counterparts may have to say on the subject, few could deny Pep Guardiola's team boast majestic talent, and have fully deserved their reputation as the best club side in the world. And now the world awaits the Champions League final every neutral dreams of. In the press conference following United's victory, Ferguson had staunchly defended his team's Champions League credentials - claiming that while they had the ultimate respect for Barcelona as a fantastic side in terrific form, they would enter the tie without fear of the Spanish giants. However with the sublime talent of Messi in their ranks, even the great Glaswegian must surely fear a recurrence of their 2009 final defeat against the Catalan club - a night in which his side were left chasing shadows.

     When asked who he would like to have faced in the final and as to whether his team were out to avenge their 2 - 0 champions league final in Rome some 2 years ago, Fergie joked that a meeting with Scottish minnows Brechin City would have been preferable over the Spanish masters. Whether he opts for a combination of Anderson, Fletcher or Carrick in the centre of the park he will know they have to somehow stop Barca's playmakers Xavi and Iniesta from dominating possession and controlling the match as they have done so on so many occasions for both club and country over the last few years. With both sides boasting attacking full backs, the game may be open down the wings and could lead to an exciting fixture full of goals. Ferguson will hope however he can draw on the experience of solid centre back pairing Ferdinand and Vidic as well as ever-green keeper Edwin Van Der Sar to try and keep Barcelona at bay.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ferguson Turns Up Heat on Ancelotti Ahead of Quarter Final Clash

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has turned up the heat on rival Carlo Ancelotti, claiming Chelsea have become obsessed with the pursuit of European club football's biggest prize. The taunt comes ahead of tonight's critical Champions League quarter final second leg clash at Old Trafford, with United taking a 1 - 0 advantage into the game courtesy of an excellent goal from Wayne Rooney.

While Ferguson's claims are no doubt an example of the great manager's mind games in the build up to such a key fixture, it must be noted that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has made no secret of his desire to succeed in Europe - having pumped millions of pounds into the London club. However, it remains a trophy that has so far eluded the Blues, in spite of progressing to the knockout stages with extreme regularity in recent seasons.

In spite of the pressure building upon his broad shoulders, Ancelotti has however stated that he feels his job is not under threat - even if his side fail to turnover tonight's deficit and face elimination from the Champions League. The Italian was keen to point out that he has a year remaining on his current contract, and having received huge backing from the chairman in the form of the purchases of Fernando Torres and David Luiz in the January transfer window it seems unlikely that he will meet an immediate demise. However, defeat tonight would test Abramovich's patience further - with Guus Hiddink being touted as a possible replacement at the end of the season.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Beautiful Game Made Better With Money?

What do Beckham, Ronaldo, Tevez and Messi all have in common? The hottest women by their sides? The top teams in the world fighting for not only their skills but also their brand? More money than the mere mortal can ever imagine? Tick, tick and triple tick.

While there are many footballers out there who are admired, some are still yet to shine. Some have not been tainted by the wealth and keep the game close in their hearts, others have seen their finances grow incredibly as they themselves become a household name.

These success stories are borne out of some incredibly smart financial decisions (though there have been some howlers along the way, as can be seen here). In terms of the players' personal fortunes, the current rich list is nothing short of astounding:

10) Steven Gerrard, Liverpool and England - £11.1 million
9) Frank Lampard, Chelsea and England - £11.9 million
8) Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Barcelona and Sweden - £12.4 million
7) Carlos Tevez, Manchester City and Argentina - £12.6 million
6) Ronaldinho, AC Milan and Brazil - £14.2 million
5) Thierry Henry, New York Red Bulls and France - £14.8 million
4) Kaka, Real Madrid and Brazil - £15.4 million
3) Christiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid and Portugal - £24.8 million
2) David Beckham, LA Galaxy and England - £25 million
1) Lionel Messi, Barcelona and Argentina - £27.2 million

In Messi’s season 2009/2010 he scored 47 goals, at just 23 years old he has made history for Barcelona in becoming the top goal scorer in European competitions. Not only are Barcelona fans impressed at the skills of Messi, but football fans throughout the world are anticipating just who will become the top scorer of the Spanish League in 2011, Messi or Ronaldo. At 27 goals each the competition is fierce.

Their skills are quite frankly out of this world and millions would risk everything to watch them live for five minutes. However, should they really be paid millions to play a game many people throughout the world love and spend their Sunday’s having a fun kick about on the field?

Perhaps, perhaps not. But one thing we all know is that Messi may be paid a fair wedge, but he certainly has unbelievable tekkers.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Fergie Reverts to Siege Mentality as United Battle on 3 Fronts

In a week where Arsenal's dream of a historic quadruple has faded into near nothingness while Manchester United's hopes of bagging a terrific treble continue to burn brightly, Sir Alex Ferguson has sought to adopt an an all too familiar siege mentality in relation to recent media criticism and jibes he has received from rival managers of his attitude towards match officials. The wily old United boss - who has been charged by the FA over his remarks about referee Martin Atkinson following his side's defeat at Stamford Bridge - was in typically defiant mood as he rebuked comments made by Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish and former England boss Graham Taylor who had both spoken out against Fergie in recent televison interviews and the written press about Ferguson's rants.

     Ferguson was quoted as saying that people had "short memories" in reference to Dalglish's recent comments about the referee following his side's defeat to United earlier this season and also Taylor's now infamous tirade at the linesmen in an England qualifier when he claimed the referee had just got him the sack. The "nobody likes us we don't care" attitude of Sir Alex is certainly nothing new, and is one that he has used to deflect the media and public pressure and expectation away from his playing squad on a nunber of occasions as his side have faced the growing scrutiny and speculation that surrounds the Premier League title run in. No doubt at the end of the season (as he has on so many occassions), Ferguson will have the last laugh as his side continue to creep closer towards what would be a historic title win.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Footballers Using Cycling Sessions to Boost Fitness

As the English football season heads towards another exciting and intriguing finale, the top clubs from the Premiership and particularly in the Football League are finding their squads becoming increasingly stretched as key playing staff are lost through injury and suspension as their clubs press for trophies and promotion on a multitude of fronts. For lower league squads in particular who are often constrained by limited budgets and smaller playing squads, the loss of key players through injury can have a devastating impact on the overall success of their season.
     For these key reasons it is perhaps not surprising that clubs across England place paramount importance on the fitness regimes of their players - ensuring that all year round they are fit and ready to give 110% in fighting for their team and its cause - be it trophies, promotion or the battle against relegation. This focus on fitness is undeniably one of the key reasons that has made the English Premier League in particular, arguably the highest level of club football in the world today and as such is able to attract top professional players from around the globe. Professional players will go through set regimes on the training ground with their squads each week, taking part in various drills and exercises - but away from the training pitch top players will put in numerous hours in the gym and taking part in other training activities to maintain there fitness during the critical final period of the football season.  
     One such activity the can be very effective for footballers seeking to boost their aerobic fitness both during the season and in the period between seasons is cycling. Whether you are a keen amateur or one of the worlds top professional players, including regular bike rides in your training plans can be great for boosting your fitness. In order to make the most of your cycling sessions, ensure you use the best equipment you can afford. Top level equipment such as mavic wheels are always a great way that can help pros and amateurs alike reach their personal peak performance levels when on a road bike session.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Game Snowed Off? Pass Time Playing Soccer Games Online

With the latest bout of bad weather once again hitting the fixture list up and down the country over the weekend many unfortunate football fans from the lower leagues (and particularly north of the border) have once again been hit by the devastating prospect of facing up to a painful and boring weekend without being able to watch their beloved teams in action. Faced with prospect of no live soccer games, dads and kids across the land come up against the nightmare prospect of being forced to go shopping with the wife/girlfriend/mother, or equally uninspiring tasks such as cleaning the car/their bedroom. It goes without saying; these are things that football fans must seek to avoid at all costs!

Without football, this is what your Saturdays would be like.

Luckily if you want to beat the fixture postponement blues and get your regular fix of football during bad weather you can enjoy these online football games from the comfort of your own bedroom (they are also of great amusement for anyone stuck in a boring office). Younger football fans may also enjoy these games for kids to help keep the snowy blues away or pass away one of those boring Sunday afternoons. With a whole 3 days to wait from the weekend until the next round of Tuesday night football fixtures you’ll need something to keep you occupied, so try these games online to break up the mundane existence of life without football. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

9 Year Unbeaten Home Record Makes Mourinho Truly Special

This weekend marks another incredible landmark in the sparkling career of Jose Mourinho. The self dubbed “special one” can celebrate an incredible 9 years unbeaten at home in league football – a record that stretches across 4 countries and 4 of the world’s top football clubs: Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and his current club Real Madrid. The Portuguese manager has not exactly been starved of success, records, trophies and accolades over the last few years – but to go the best part of a decade without succumbing to defeat in front of your own fans is something that even he must surely have not realistically expected.

Mourinho’s Magical Home Record: -

  • FC Porto – Played 38, Won 36, Drawn 2, Lost 0 
  • Chelsea – Played 60, Won 46, Drawn 14, Lost 0
  • Inter Milan – Played 38, Won 29, Drawn 9, Lost 0
  • Real Madrid – Played 11, Won 11, Drawn 0, Lost 0

The last team to beat one of Mourinho’s sides was Beira Mar on the 22nd of February 2002 when Porto were beaten 3 – 2, but even then Jose’s team finished the game with only 9 men. The harshest critics would argue that Mourinho’s record is somewhat influenced by his counter attacking style and – particularly in his time at Chelsea and Inter – a strong focus on keeping clean sheets and shutting out the opposition. However, it is also a testament to the man’s unwavering desire and drive to succeed, to win trophies and prove to the footballing world that he is truly special. 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

United Battle Back to Overcome Saints Threat in Cup

A second string Manchester United side progressed to the 5th round of the FA cup after coming from behind against an exciting Southampton side. The Saints had taken a deserved lead late in the first half after Richard Chaplow blasted home an emphatic finish from inside the box past Manchester United debutant Anders Lindegaard. Much has been made of the arrival of United's new keeper following the announcement by Edwin Van Der Sar that he will retire at the end of this season - but the Dane could do nothing to prevent Chaplow's emphatic finish. However, instinctive second half finishes by United forwards Owen and the lively Hernandez broke Saints hearts.

     In the build up to the game there had been a great deal of hype surrounding Southampton's young star Oxlade-Chamberlain who has already been making a big impact for the League 1 side this season - with Gunner manager Arsene Wenger publicly announcing his interest in the pacey prodigy earlier in the week and rumours having circulated that Arsenal had tabled a substantial £10 million bid for the Southampton starlet. The winger produced a competent if not spectacular display, but it was Southampton's team performance and patience that were rewarded to give the side a warranted lead at the break. United had offered little in a first half display that had relied heavily on the lung bursting runs of left full back Fabio Da Silva - although recalled Michael Owen had earlier unintentionally struck the bar with a looping cross. With all of the club's regular back 4 absent for the trip to Saint Mary's it was perhaps understandable that United would look jittery but a highly competent footballing display from Southampton had put them under some serious pressure.
     After issuing the hair drier treatment to his inexperienced lineup during the break, Alex Ferguson opted to bring out the cavalry for the second half The introduction of the evergreen Ryan Giggs and the pace and trickery of winger Nani just before the hour mark had a particularly noticeable impact on the flow of the tie. After 65 minutes Michael Owen did what he does best, finishing instinctively from close range following Obertin's cross. The former England star had been playing in a deeper role than was expected in the first half - but in spite of a quiet game proved he is still a fox in the box by drawing United level.  

     With the goal you could immediately sense the direction of the tie had immediately turned and suddenly Southampton looked a shadow of the side they were in the first half. United could sense the weakness and began to up their game. And it was only 10 minutes later that Hernandez put the visitors into the lead. The "little pea" timed his run to perfection after being fed by a wonderfully weighted pass from Ryan Giggs and in spite of having seemingly lost his balance at the vital moment managed to slide the ball home into the bottom corner beyond Bialkowski. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Blackpool Heap More Misery on Liverpool

The latest chapter in the ongoing terrifying saga of humiliation and mediocrity for Liverpool football club unfolded last night in front of a jubilant crowd at Bloomfield Road. The Seasiders – enjoying the first taste of top flight football in their history – completed an improbable double over their North Western counterparts to pile further misery on Kenny Dalglish and his beleaguered side, winning 2 – 1 in front of their home fans.
     The match had started well for the visitors when Fernando Torres showed Liverpool fans what they had been missing in recent weeks – clinically smashing the ball home after being put in the clear by one of Liverpool’s hopes for the future; Martin Kelly. The full back has showed promise in recent games having stepped in for England international Glenn Johnson who’s form has seemingly deserted him in recent weeks and with the opening goal coming inside 3 minutes it looked as though Liverpool had perhaps started to turn a corner under new boss Kenny Dalglish.

     However, after such a promising start, things went rapidly downhill for Liverpool. Shabby defending allowed Gary Taylor-Fletcher to level matters for the home side. Liverpool looked shell shocked and as the match wore on the confidence and self belief that had been instilled in their players from their early lead soon evaporated as they descended into the kind of abject performance they have subjected their fans to on numerous occasions away from Anfield this season.
     Liverpool’s misery was complete when more abysmal defending allowed DJ Campbell to head hoe from close range in the 69th minute, with the result condemning the Merseysiders to a 5th successive away defeat – unthinkable for a club of such stature in English football. Even with an Anfield legend at the helm having replaced Roy Hodgson, it seems on the evidence of recent displays against Blackpool and Manchester United there is little to suggest that Liverpool will improve significantly on their lowly 13th position in the Premier League.