Man utd vs West Ham preview


After what was the MOST impressive performance from any premiership club this season against Blackburn, Manchester united pit their wits against lowly west ham united.

Expect Manchester to start with fringe and youth players against the hammers, in order to rest some key players for future fixtures.

Tonight’s match in the Carling cup is a great chance to propel some of these players into the limelight when they visit Upton Park to play in the Carling Cup quarter-final.

Although this competition is not Manchester uniteds main concern, they are the current holders of this trophy, so they be looking for a good performance.

United set to start Kuszak in goal who is solid enough, he has ability, but is by no means a long standing replacement for the ever present Van Der Sar.

Wes Brown looks likely to captain a defense that will contain Chris Smalling Jonny Evans & Fabio at left back. This back four should have enough steel to withstand west hams attack of Piquionne, McCarthy and Cole.

Although with Michael Owen, Valencia and Hargreaves unavailable through injury, Darron Gibson will be pushing for a starting place while upfront a pairing of Javier Hernandez and Federico Macheda is probable, leaving United with Rooney on the bench.

I think Ferguson will also squeeze in the old pro Giggs and leave Obertan on the opposite flank.

But Upton Park is not an easy place to get a result, West Ham Gaffer Avram Grant will have his side nicely relaxed and ready to play in front of an eager crowd.United though will have to negotiate fortress Upton Park as West Ham have gone five games undefeated at home.

The pressure of the premiership is off west ham tonight, who are currently rooted to the foot of the table. They can take some comfort in their 3-1 win over wigan this past weekend, and just go out and enjoy the occasion.

West Ham may make a game out of this one, at least in the first half anyways! if West Ham take their chances we will have a smashing game on our hands. West Ham have some quality in the squad with the likes of Scott Parker, Dyer, Noble & Collison – But the decision needs to be made by Grant to either play or rest them as they have a massive game against sunderland this coming weekend.

Meanwhile, Danny Gabbidon, Frederic Piquionne and Valon Behrami are all doubts after picking up knocks at the weekend.

Going into the game United have won their last six meetings with West Ham and have kept five consecutive clean sheets against the Hammers.

Last time the two teams met in the League Cup, back in 1985 Norman Whiteside’s goal gave United a 1-0 third-round victory.

If United manage to pull out a victory they would be making their 13th appearance in the semi-finals of the competition.

My prediction is as follows….

I expect a tight affair during the first half 0-0

With United edging it comfortably 3-0 at full time.

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All time best 11 – non footballers


Here is my all star non footballing dream team of athletes.

Iv gone with a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Ill start at the back with my goalkeeper, only the greatest basketballer ever! Guaranteed to have brilliant agility, exceptional ball handling skills. Micheal Jordan, probably better than Yashin, Schmeichel, Buffon, Banks ect. Would have been a great goal keeper.

Across the back four

My two center halves are imposing and strong, and would fill the most experienced and hardened forwards with fear. Muhammad Ali and New Orleans Tight end Jeremy Shockey.

Ali, would be my ball player, tidy, skillful, composed – similar to brazilian lucio. Shockey is the brick wall, hard, tough, aggressive and an AMAZING tackler. (not American football tackling). Two solid defenders with height, speed, aggression and power! A pairing not to be messed with

My other full back is Reggie Bush, my second American Footballer in the squad. An athlete with lightning pace and amazing strength. He will smash through tackles, win the ball in every situation, and help in attack with his rapid speed. A Julian Dicks with bags full of speed.

The right full back is American Lance Armstrong, he will be without his bike!!! i imagine Lance to never stop moving, the engine of the team, encouraging and battling till the very end. Probably the vice-captain of the team, strong willed & focused a formidable opponent. Not as technically gifted as other full backs out there, but a great defender and a true winner. Comparable to a Nobby Styles or Dennis Irwin

i have Usain Bolt as my winger, the quickest man in the world, id expect Bolt to be a marauding up and down the flank, devastating opposing defenders with his lightning speed and skill. Great height and strength i can imagine Usain notching a few goals at the back stick.

Big roger Federer would be on my opposite wing,the tennis legend would be a master on the flank. Great technique and control, the Swiss would be a constant attacking threat. A cool calm and calculated individual, Roger would be the skipper of the team.  A level headed, mature and humble man. A winner and natural leader!

Two midfielders would be formula 1 legend Schumacher, the German would be my Beckenbaur in midfield. Methodical, meticulous spraying passes all over the park.The second would be rugby star Johnny Wilkinson, a pure machine with an engine to go from box to box. Wilkinson would be tough and strong in the tackle, breaking up opposition attacks! while being able to set up attacks with his wide range of passing, a set piece specialist with England’s extra points & drop kicks – i see Wilkinson causing havoc for opposing defenses with his dead ball skills.

My tricky attacking midfielder joining up with the front man, is Italian jockey Frankie Dettori. The mischievous play maker would weave in out of space, causing problems for the cumbersome defenders. Skillful and elusive he would link up the midfield with attack and add the extra pace and creativity needed in the final third. A play maker, and entertainer this tiny fans favorite would be a modern day Messi.

Finally up top i would have Ian ‘BEEFY’ Botham, the ex England cricket player played professionally with Scunthorpe to keep fit during the off season.  A big charismatic individual, with a work man like attitude and huge heart, would have been the sides prolific scorer. Great size and strength, BEEFY would have been an aerial threat with Wilkinson’s service into the penalty box. A natural talent combined with a sharp sporting brain, would have allowed BEEFY to torture opposing defenders. A great individual that would have gelled the team together, and been the life and soul of the party in the changing room.

A unbelievable team of winners and characters – great talents forming to make the ultimate all time best 11.



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Be a Git, dont be nice


As the old saying goes “good guys finish last”….being nice in sports as in life gets you no where!

Winners are GITS (British slang for someone who is contemptible), they have a swagger & an attitude. They don’t care what others think of them, they go out there and get the job done.

You may not like them, & you may disagree with the things they say and do. But you cant argue with the results.

While nice people are more concerned with what their neighbor thinks of them, the git is ‘cashing cheques & breaking necks’.

I’m going to use a few examples in all areas of life to prove this…

GIT                                                          NICE

  • Floyd wayweather                                Ricky Hatton
  • Roy Keane                                              Jamie Redknapp
  • Alex Ferguson                                       Graham Taylor
  • John Mcenroe                                        Byorn Borg
  • Dennis Rodman                                     Tracy McGrady
  • Maradona                                               Gary Linekar
  • Joe Nameth                                            Dan Marino
  • Geoffrey Boycott                                   Micheal Atherton
  • Mark Waugh                                          Nasser Hussain
  • Lawrence Dalaglio                                 Will Carling
  • Alex Higgins                                           Steve Davis

Other gits in the world who over shadow their counterparts include, Terrell Owens (cocky, confident 6 time pro bowler), Russel Crowe (head strong, ladies man! Oscar winner in gladiator – nominated 2 other times), Donald Trump (no need for explanation)

Above Mark Waugh, was the Australian cricket captain from 1999 to 2004 & One of the most capped Test cricket players in the history of the sport.

Waugh terorized opposing teams with his superb batting displays and great examples of leadership. A fantastic captain who was renowned for his coolness and aggression under pressure.

On the other hand England had Nasser Hussain, a very elegant and skillful opening bat, but when the pressure was on to make runs  he failed to provide.

An educated and nice fellow, Hussain was often found wanting at the hands of more aggressive and ruthless captains, such as Waugh.

And then there was Roy Keane, a marvelous leader with great drive and determination. Keane would run through a brick wall, or any opponent that got in his way.

The Irishman excelled as captain at the highly successful Manchester united, winning every domestic and European honor during his tenure.

Keane renowned for his rants and outbursts was a true winner and never gave anything less than 100%. He once criticized supporters after a Champions League victory at Old Trafford. Roy nicknamed “keano”, complained about the lack of support by some fans when the opposition were dominating the game, saying

“Away from home our fans are fantastic, I’d call them the hardcore fans. But at home they have a few drinks and probably the prawn sandwiches, and they don’t realize what’s going on out on the pitch. I don’t think some of the people who come to Old Trafford can spell ‘football’, never mind understand it.”.

Keane made further headlines in 2001, when he was sent off for a blatant knee-high foul on a player, who had previously jeered and mocked Keane when he was hurt on the ground.

Obviously an act of revenge! Keane received a three game suspension and a £5,000 fine from the FA.  But further punishment followed after the release of his autobiography, in which he stated that he intended “to hurt” Håland.

I’d waited long enough. I fucking hit him hard. The ball was there (I think). Take that you cunt. And don’t ever stand over me sneering about fake injuries.

And on the other hand there is Redknapp, regarded as the future of English football.

He made his debut for Bournemouth at 16, was signed by Liverpool as the most expensive teenager for 350,000 pounds aged 17, made his debut for the high flying scousers at 18, within 3 seasons was the club captain, and was touted as the next England skipper.

Equipped with great vision, passing and control, Redknapp was the quintessential central midfielder. However, with the allure of stardom, Jamie was soon rubbing shoulder with celebs and showbiz big wigs. Redknapp was deemed by many to be now concerned more with modeling and cat walking, than playing football.

Redknapps demise continued when after numerous injuries, he failed to regain his youthful form . Dubbed ‘spice-boy’ for his flair for fashion and socializing with pop stars, Redknapps career was summed up profoundly by the daily telegraph newspaper

high-spirited, fun-loving young player, a central feature of Liverpool’s talented and entertaining, but perpetually under-achieving, squad of the Nineties.

And then there was Maradona, considered one of the games most controversial, yet greatest stars.

He was suspended from football for 15 months in 1991 after failing a drug test, for cocaine in Italy, and was sent home from the 1994 World Cup in USA after testing positive for ephedrine.

His outspoken manner & a self assured attitude,  was highlighted during this past world cup in South Africa when he assailed that Pelé should “go back to the museum” and pronounced that Platini, the Uefa president, thinks he “is better than all the rest”.

A Fifa world cup winner in 1986, runner up in 1990, Golden Ball for Best Player of the FIFA World Cup in 1986, Best Footballer in the World Onze d’Or in 1986 & 87, World Player of the Year in 1986 & Fifa’s player of the century.

Maradona was a rogue but also a master of the game. He scaled the ranks of footballs elite, starting from the poverty stricken streets of Argentina.  Maradona was a poor, under privileged child who denied all odds to become one of the worlds best

Which leads us to Gary Linekar, renowned English goal scorer. (finished his career 2nd of all time goals for England).

Lineker is noted for never having been cautioned or sent off by a referee during his professional career.  A fox in the box, linekar was lethal in and around the goal mouth. Yet never won a major trophy domestically or internationally.

A celebrated nice man, Linekar will always be known for never receiving a booking over any of his footballing feats.

Linekar, failed to live up to his potential due to a lack of bite and killer instinct. And for that reason, Linekar will never be considered one of the worlds great goalscorers. Just a nice bloke who does commentary for the BBC & makes funny crisp (chip) commercials.

On reflection, being nice gets you ran over and left behind the pack. You’ll find the git at the front elbowing and working his way to a medal.

I want a Doctor that’s a Git, i don’t want small talk or a warm bedside manner. I don’t want nice, i want someone who is going to operate on the right organ & limb

I want my captain to be a GIT. I don’t want him signing autographs, turning up at kids parties and appearing on all commercial broadcasts. I want him leading the team, motivating the squad and getting us the win.

I want my mechanic, coach, drummer, golfer, designer, C.E.O, striker,astronaut, chef, teacher, goalkeeper, dentist, pitcher & point guard to be a GIT. Because i know they wont finish last.

So  if being successful means being a git, & this success comes at the expense of somebody else. WELL THAT IS LIFE MY FRIEND – LIFE IS TOUGH – IT WAS ME OR HIM – ITS DOG EAT DOG.

So in conclusion, the next time somebodys say “be nice!”, remember that nice guys finish last! and Gits dont.

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Spoilt kids in US soccer.


Today’s generation of kids are so mentally weak and soft, it is a wonder how they function and survive.

Pampered, indulged & spoiled this generation have all their needs entertained & met

The main cause of this derives from parents, fussing and cajoling over their kids every need and desire.

This behavior is most evident amongst youth soccer players within America. A working class sport everywhere in the world, where individuals place jumpers for goal posts, and play huge games over areas with no perceived boundaries or markers. Yet in the US FOOTBALL has been turned into a bourgeois and pompous upper class sport.

Expensive fees to join clubs and teams, pricey equipment such as jerseys and boots, and over priced individual training sessions to accommodate the wishes of over bearing parents. Are a few factors that contribute to this dilemma.

Hard working, tough nosed, working class kids are lost to the cheaper more accessible basketball courts and grid iron fields. Soccer looses the determined, resilient, tenacious & uncompromising athletes, but retains the affluent, bratty & impudent youngsters.

America has some of the greatest athletes in the world, yet none of them play soccer.

  • Micheal Jordan
  • Jerry Rice
  • Barry Sanders
  • Jesse Owens
  • Joe Montana
  • Mike Tyson
  • Andre Agassi

Current stars

  • Floyd Mayweather
  • Micheal Vick
  • Lance Armstrong
  • Micheal Phelps
  • Dwayne Wade
  • Kobe Bryant
  • Lebron James
  • Alex Rodriguez
  • Reggie Bush

Parents who overindulge or spoil their kids, leave them unprepared & with a low tolerance for stress. Spoiled athletes make poor competitors because they truly can’t tolerate the stresses of competition. Life has been too easy for them to build any emotional strength and resiliency.

And soccer is full of them, and it starts at a very young age.

An overprotected individual has had life to easy! Daily encounters with “environmental yeses” stemming from parent’s create weaknesses.

Never coming across no, presents a lack of confrontation or investigation. Hence, when an individual affronts the barrage of noes during a competition, they will find the stimulant to challenge this out of reach and too threatening.

This current generation of youth soccer players, College soccer players & even top level professionals within US Soccer. Have been groomed and served by parents who have built them up to believe the sun shines out of their backside! – attributed with an arsenal of superiority and a unrealistic view of their ability. This group refuses to listen, finds difficulty with instructions, & ultimately falls short when confronted by challenge!

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From Ball boy to Captain to Coach – The Barca Fairytale


Josep Guardiola, the current head coach at famed Spanish giants Barcelona is one of the worlds greatest coaches. A deep thinker, hard worker, honest, intelligent and a tough individual. Josep ‘Pep’ Guardiola’s tenure at Barcelona has seen a plethora of major titles.

  • 2009/10 League
  • 2009/10 World Club Cup
  • 2009/10 European Supercup
  • 2009/10 Spanish Supercup
  • 2008/09 Champions League

Pep is a Catalonian through and through, he was signed by the spanish giants at the tender age of thirteen and ascended up the ranks until he made his first team debut aged just nineteen in 1990.

A great picture in the Daily Mail newspaper shows a young Pep Guardiola celebrating amidst the players, and then coach Terry Venables (raised aloft).

Guardiola was submerged within the culture of Barcelona at a very young age, by spending almost all his playing and coaching career with the club, ‘Pep’ has be able to nourish and promote the style, flair and history that the club emits.

Guardiola as a ball boy celebrating a Barca triumph

During the legendary Barca side created by Johan Cruyff in the 90’s, Pep was the only Catalonian in the side. Under Cruyff’s regime of ‘total football’, Cruyff was able to produce arguably one of the greatest teams ever.

Pep aged just 20 anchored the midfield and snuffed out any threats by the opposing team.

Cruyff had assembled a side of masters. With a young, yet hardened & demure Guardiola patrolling in midfield.

  • Koeman
  • Stoichkov
  • Romario
  • Laudrup
  • Nadal
  • Zubizarreta
  • & then later Romanian Hagi

Present England Coach Fabio Capello who coached Pep briefly at Roma declared,

‘At his peak, Guardiola was one of the quickest thinkers on the field. He was a true leader. He was calm, always had the right words at the appropriate moment. There are a lot of players who talk a lot and say nothing. Guardiola would find the right things to say’

 

Pep continued to flourish under the nurturing style of English man Bobby Robson, who described Guardiola as

‘ an extraordinary player – intelligent, clever, he knew the game, and he had an exquisite pass, precise, accurate. He never lost the ball.’

 

A fine testament there for Guardiola, by one of the games greatest footballing men. Yet statements like those above come accustom when discussing Guardiola. A strong & fiercesome competitor with exceptional vision and technique. It seemed natural that the next progression would be straight into full-time coaching. Once Guardiola took the step, the transition was one of ease & success.

After retiring Pep spent a short time coaching the Barca b squad,but in May of 2008 the Barca president announced that Guardiola would succeed Dutchman Frank Rijkaard at the helm of the Catalan giants.

However, even with such pedigree, Guardiola had his doubters. At the time Pep’s appointment was seen as a huge gamble by the club & President Juan Laporta

Shockingly to some, Guardiola won the treble in his first season. The la liga, copa del ray & the EUFA Champions League. In the process becoming the youngest manager ever to win the Champions league.

But what made this feet so great was the way it was undertaken. Pep understood the style of play Barca needed to produce. And found the balance between the spectacle of Barca as a club, and that of serious footballing business.

And with that being said, Pep transferred lavish stars from his playing staff, such as

  • Zambrotta
  • Ronaldinho
  • Deco
  • Thuram
  • Dos Santos
  • Edmilson
  • Eto (The following season)
  • Ibrahimovic

Bringing in players like

  • Alves
  • Busquettes
  • Pique
  • Keita
  • Villa
  • Mascherano

A meticulous manager, with deep knowledge & great skills of motivation. Guardiola is one of only 6 individuals to have won the Champions League as a player and coach. Furthermore, Guardiola is only the third individual in Barca history to win the spanish league as a manager having previously done so as a player.

It seems the ball boy who became captain, who became coach, was not a gamble, but a decision that seemed destined and now rightly justified.

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Rascal Rooney to doubt Ferguson.


As most people know, Wayne Rooney aka “wazza” has decided to exit the gates of Old Trafford and flee Manchester. For reasons he described as a ‘lack of ambition’ & a ‘scarcity of future big name signings’ from the club.

Rooney, bought for a whopping 25.6 million pounds in the summer of 2004 from his boyhood club Everton, was just a fresh faced 18 year old when Ferguson splashed the cash for the blossoming scouser.

Evertonians still have ill feeling towards Rooney over that transfer saga, as it was Rooney who put in the request after that very same club nurtured and developed him, & effectively fostered Rooney into the orbit of premier league football.

After Rooney’s bombshell this week, this very same feeling is edging its way into the Manchester faithful. But does Rooney have a point? or is he blinded by the ‘$’ signs? Is Wayne in the business of winning medals and championships or is he a disloyal money grabber?

Undoubtedly Rooney is a great talent, and his potential is limitless (although right now he isn’t showing it) but does he have a point?Is Ferguson’s reign coming to an end, and are United declining?

Personally i don’t think so, as Ferguson said earlier about the allure of United,

“I can’t see for the life of me why Manchester United won’t be able to attract the best players. There will be a queue from here to Glasgow in terms of players wanting to join Manchester United”

Ferguson’s knack for judging player potential surpasses any manager in the history of the game.

  • Ronaldo
  • Rooney
  • Scholes
  • Giggs
  • Beckham

Are just some of the players that Ferguson has groomed and brought up during his tenure at Old Trafford.

For Rooney to doubt a manager and a club as historic and prestigious as Manchester United, shows why Evertonians should still feel so aggrieved toward the England forward.

The Everton manager David Moyes and fellow Scot Ferguson have more in common than just being compatriots. Both have been scolded by the somewhat treacherous & faithless behavior of whom Ferguson’s calls a

” a one-off and a genius.”

As shocked as Ferguson & the Manchester United supporters may be, what shouldn’t shock them is when United sell Rooney and then build another youthful winning team.

Although United and Rooney seem to go hand in hand, much like Gerrard does with Liverpool and as Fabregas does with Arsenal. Ferguson will take United forward and create a new chapter with new fresh players. This is a testament to Ferguson, who consistently refurbishes and revitalizes teams before the situation arises.

Players that exited United during the height of their powers include

  • Ince
  • Kanchelskis
  • Ronaldo
  • Stam
  • Yorke
  • Heinze
  • Van Nistelrooy
  • Tevez

If Rooney finds his way to Madrid, Chelsea or even the blue side of Manchester,  United fans needn’t worry. Ferguson’s past dealings should provide clarity and confidence to those in doubt over Rooney’s departure.

And regarding Rooney, I still believe him to be one of the great modern day players, as well as one of the best players England have ever produced.

However, as demonstrated in Rooney’s past choices at Everton and now with United, I feel his decision is based of greed & egotism.

There isn’t a way up after leaving United, maybe financially there is. But as far as reputation, prestige, history, success & power go. United are ranked right up there with a rare and select few.

Early Wednesday morning, Ferguson humorously articulated:

“Sometimes you look in a field and you see a cow and you think it’s a better cow than the one you’ve got in your own field. It’s a fact, right, and it never really works out that way. It’s probably the same cow and it’s not as good as your own cow.”

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side postulates Ferguson.

So wherever Rooney ends up, he will be missed! but not for long.

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Gareth Bale – The Focus & Force Of Future Football


As a true Spurs fan, i am ecstatic about the current form and displays from the young Welsh man.

For many years the premier league & British football has hung its hat upon the fantastic work off Manchester United stalwart Ryan Giggs.

But as his tenure comes to a close, the game is soon to loose one of its great entertainers and top class performers. For the longest time Britain ( most notoriously England) has failed to produce a player of true flair, pace, skill & talent.  The most recent, Giggs aside, was Paul Gascoigne, & while Joe Cole has shown flashes of brilliance, he is yet to do it consistently and at the highest level.

For this reason we will always struggle internationally, as we fail to produce players of the caliber of

  • Robben
  • Messi
  • Ribery
  • Ronaldo
  • Schneider
  • Silva

With a tough, hard weathered attitude we consistently produce rugged central midfielders, gutsy central defenders & ferocious forwards.

  • Kevin Davies
  • Kevin Nolan
  • Rory Delap
  • Scott Parker
  • Cameron Jerome
  • Lee Bowyer
  • Titus Bramble
  • Emerson Boyce
  • Lee Cattermole
  • Joey Barton

All good players who currently play in the best league in the world, but none that possess the allure and sparkle of a

  • Van der vaart
  • Tevez
  • Arteta
  • Fabregas
  • Kaka
  • Ozil
  • Malouda

But…..And i do say that hesitantly, i think we may have ONE! and all of these hopes (especially mine) lay in the talents of Gareth Bale. Unfortunately he is not English, so he cant resolve the national teams left sided dilemma. But for a spurs fan! a fan of football! & a fan of seeing good young British players succeeding. Gareth Bale is our one bright hope right now!

The 21 year old, single handedly tormented the reigning European Champions – Inter Milan tonight ( 20th October) Bale capped his performance with a superb second half hat trick against arguably the best right back in the world, Brazilian Maicon.

The spurs boss Redknapp applauded Bales performance and enforces his current form by reinstating.

“He is an amazing young player. He scores goals, he can run all day. Even first half he gave the right back (Maicon) a torrid time and the right back is one of the best in the world probably,”

Http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/20102010/2/tottenham-bale-stay-says-redknapp.html

With Bales natural balance, close control and blazing speed, he is a breath of fresh air in the ever growing world of structured, militant, organized & unimaginative style of British football.

In Britain we should aim to build our current crop of youth players in a similar mold to Bale. lets stop stifling originality and encourage players to entertain and express themselves. Being a Tottenham Hotspur supporter, i may be bias. But i doubt many can complain and criticize the young Welsh mans impact & talent.

The British game would be far superior if their were more Gareth Bales out there!

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