“Barry Bannan (17) delivered more accurate crosses in league matches than any other player in Europe’s top 5 leagues during September”. When that flashed up on my Twitter news feed, my first instinct was to favourite it. I’m not sure why at the time. I’m not sure how many are other people would. It’s not exactly Leon Britton being mentioned in the same tweet as Iniesta and Xavi, but the humble football stat is simply not just made for pub time fodder these days.
Tag Archives: Football
The beauty of having cameras and microphones dotted around Premier League stadiums is not the fact we can get that glorious HD (and 3D) experience or smirk at the odd expletive or two that leaks out pre-watershed, but it is because we get to see the collective and individual mood of a team captured in the heat of the battle that can often be missed being at the game. It is because of these very cameras and microphones that the millions watching the Arsenal versus Manchester United game today could fully absorb the feeling of supporters and even team mates towards a certain Andrey Arshavin.
We will probably have to wait until the updated version of Paul Scholes’ autobiography gets serialized in a newspaper to uncover the moment Sir Alex decided to coax the midfielder out of retirement. Perhaps he spotted him drilling his long range passes around the Carrington training ground like it was 1997 all over again and with one look at that crippling list of injuries thought to himself, “Ah, that boy is a bit special. Even at 37.”
“I’ve paid real attention to the history of the club and the great players to have played for it.”
Prior to securing his season-long loan to Newcastle United, Hatem Ben Arfa revealed that he took a good look at the tale of the Toon before deciding to move to the North East.
It’s understandable that the 24-year old, who has yet to find a home for his unquestionable talent and often fiery personality, has given this move some thought. Ben Arfa surely need only look back fifteen years to the summer of 1995 when a long-haired left winger from France arrived on Tyneside where he would swiftly acquire a Geordie God-like status.
I’ll be honest; I never wanted to get into Twitter. The whole concept of it just didn’t appeal to me, and seemed like another way for people to tattle on about things that have no value or relevance to my life. Sure, the same thing can be said about Facebook, I’ve got an account, but that is slowly becoming a place to share photos with family that live on the other side of the world and not much more than that.
Ah the Bosman, that rather major football ruling made back in 1995 that is now the bane of any manager trying to keep hold of their top talent, and for Football Manager/Championship Manager frequenters, a quick-fire way to get more quality into your first team squad if you can afford the wages (Taribo West anyone?).
Much has been made of Alan Pardew’s acquisition of Demba Ba in the summer, currently second in the Premier League goal-scoring charts and seemingly a shrewd bit of free business compared to the excessive fees currently hanging over the heads over strikers who are not really cutting it. Until the Senegalese striker’s rich vein of form leads the Geordies to some form of silverware or European qualification, his value for no money should be put on hold until the end of the season.
His explosive debut against Aston Villa is well rehearsed by football commentators ready to unleash at every opportunity they can sniff out his appearance from the bench. When ”Kiko’ followed up that crucial cameo with a poacher’s goal against Sunderland the following week, the young Italian forward had officially arrived.
That was two years ago, and the twenty year old from Rome has been missing in action after such a spectacular introduction to the football world. With injuries to Javier Hernandez, Michael Owen and a seemingly out of favour Dimitar Berbatov, has there ever been a better time for Federico Macheda to stake his claim in the United side?
Goalkeeping can be a lonely business; for most of that ninety minutes while your fellow teammate’s muscles strain to cover every blade of grass, pressing the opposition and fighting for possession, you stand focused, hands in your clammy gloves waiting for that moment to shine. It takes someone of great character to stay poised when your contribution can sometimes be so small.
It can however be an even desolate existence when you and your gloves don’t even make it off the bench. When you get the call you really have to seize the moment, none more relevant to the Hackney-born goalkeeper who has for much of his professional career had to wait to show his worth whether it be pulling on the colours of his club or the red, black and white of his country.
Oliver Kahn, regarded as one of the finest goalkeepers to grace the modern game, draws an imposing figure at six foot, two inches and with an almost innate ability to stifle the persistent endeavours of the most talented strikers he can be a frustration for any manager whose team have had the disgruntled pleasure to face him. His performances in the 2002 World Cup for Germany en route to the final looked to be rewarding the Lev Yashin goalkeeper of the tournament with the international silverware he so dearly craved to accompany the numerous honours won at club level.
With much of the talk of a 1984-85 season dominated about the growing violent behaviour on the terraces, on the pitch, Everton were drawing the plaudits as the FA Cup became the only trophy that stood in the way for Howard Kendall and his impressive team to secure a historic treble.