Monthly Archives: August 2010

Stoke and Birmingham City do good transfer deadline day business


When the news that Jermaine Pennant would be joining Stoke City until January flashed onto one of the many tabs I had open in my browser, the reaction was one of disappointment. Yet another Englishman abroad has failed to prove his worth outside of the Premier League. It has been a rocky period for both player and club, but perhaps his failure to flourish under a Spanish manager at Liverpool was a sign of things to come. Turning up late for training sessions and stuggling to impose himself on games for a full ninety minutes perhaps didn’t help matters either.

His failings in Spain will be good news for Stoke City manager Tony Pulis who now has one of the most talented crossers of a football on one flank and the club’s player of the year Matthew Etherington on the other supplying the kind of ammo that record signing Kenwyne Jones will surely thrive on.

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Filed under Football, Premier League, Uncategorized

Van Nistelrooy recall a reminder of the lack of strikers in the Dutch ranks


When Bert van Marwijk decided against taking Ruud Van Nistelrooy to the World Cup in South Africa this summer, the veteran striker understandably believed his eventful love affair with the Oranje was over. After three well taken goals in the opening two games for Hamburg, the predatory Dutchman looks back to his sharp best and finds his services are required for international duty once again for the opening games of Netherlands’s Euro 2012 campaign.

Injury to Robin Van Persie has opened the door for Ruud’s return, but Bert van Marwijk’s decision to turn to the 34-year-old who will be 36 when the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine comes around, surely must also raise questions about the pool of striking talent the manager currently has to choose from.

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Filed under Eredivisie, Euro 2012, Football

Gourcuff to Lyon a good move for Le Championnat


Hindsight is one of those great things in life; that opportunity to reflect on events with a clearer state of mind mind, to see where things went wrong, how you would do things differently next time, or whether you should have been in that situation in the first place.

If 23 Frenchmen and one astrology-obsessed manager looked back at the two chaotic weeks spent in South Africa this summer with hindsight, they probably would have joined Shay Given and the entire Republic of Ireland team in remonstrating with the referee over Thierry Henry’s handball antics on that night back in November.

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Filed under Football, Le Championnat

Huntelaar: Lacking a bit of Klaas?


If you are Dutch, have two great feet, a truck load of goals already locked up in the archives, then comparisons with Marco Van Basten are inevitably going to be made. Klass Jan Huntelaar made it all that more difficult to avoid when he joined the Rosseneri last year, but will the opportunity to emulate the great Dutchman be taken away from him after just one season at the San Siro?

Schalke are the latest club to show an interest in the player who is reported to have refused a move to the German side. The Dutchman is not ready to throw in the towel just yet even if the Milan hierachy see things a little differently.

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Filed under Football, Serie A

Sparky’s random reports: Sampdoria 3 – 2 Werder Bremen (Werder Bremen win 5-4 on aggregate)


In a weekly addition to the football randomness, I’ll be picking out a game a little off the radar and giving my in-depth report on a match likely to get a lot less love in the newspapers the next day.

With a night free of English interest in the Champions League, the Sky Sports multi-screen roulette (closing my eyes and pressing a number on the remote) served up the second leg match between Sampdoria and Werder Bremen, which was perfect considering I watched the first leg last week.

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Filed under Football, UEFA Champions League

Anderson: The future heartbeat of Manchester United


When you’ve tasted defeat in the most disheartening of circumstances or sit once again lamenting a season that never reached your high expectations, you will always search for someone to blame.

Maybe it’s the manager that got his tactics wrong on so many occasions you’ve given up counting, the players that weren’t fit to wear the shirt, or even the players you wish the men up stairs had opened up the chequebook to sign.

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Filed under Football, Premier League

Genoa get busy like Man City


Okay, so they may not possess a Middle Eastern sugar daddy like manager Roberto Mancini, but it has been a no less frenzied time in the transfer market for the northern Italian club thanks in part to a chairman who has made his cash from the toy business.

Kevin Prince Boateng, a star in South Africa and a rejuvenated player under Avram Grant at Portsmouth last season (once he rolled his sleeves up not just to show off his tattoos),  was the latest in a line of high-profile players to sign on the dotted line for Genoa this summer, even if KPB has been immediately shipped out to AC Milan on loan.

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Filed under Football, Serie A