Category Archives: Editor Thoughts

Euro 2012 Offers Surprises and Disappointment While Tottenham Potentially Disrupt Their Progress?

The European Championships are underway and almost into the knockout stages but the tournament has not been without its shocks and upsets, including the elimination of both Russia and Holland, both of whom were expected to advance into the quarter finals without too much hassle.

Heading into the tournament as reigning champions, Spain were priced as favourites during the run up to the tournament but as the competition got closer, the Germans were catapulted into favourite status and from what we have seen of the two countries in action over the recent fixtures, you have to assume that Germany are more hungry for success than the Spanish based on their performances.

Spain are considered to be one of the most proficient teams in the world and with the title of world champions following their World Cup victory, they should be one of the most exciting teams to watch but I have to be honest in the fact that they have been disappointing for me, their lack on conviction in front of goal and failure to produce moments of genius have for me made Germany the team to watch in the competition.

England entered into the tournament with silent hopes that new manager Roy Hodgeson would be able to pull a shock victory out of the locker but without Wayne Rooney for the first two games of the group stages, the indication of the full strength of his side is still to be seen.

Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have impressed for England and the future stars look bright for the nation but hopefully the return of Rooney will offer a little more positive towards their tournament advancement chances and he will offer a threat that could place them as outsiders to win the competition but that could just be English pride hoping deep inside.

Other news shows that Tottenham Hotspur have decided to try to take their results to the next level with a change in manager, sacking Harry Redknapp thanks to the clubs failure to secure Champions League status this coming season (due to the fact that Chelsea won the tournament and so Spurs had to miss out by default).

The decision for me is completely the wrong one if the club are looking to move forward and the job that Redknapp has done during his time at the club can only be commended, making the club into serious top four contenders.

What’s next for Redknapp is still to be seen as he was overlooked for the England job but I would have loved to have seen him join Chelsea but thanks to the amazing job that caretaker Roberto Di Matteo managed to do in the latter stages of the Premier League betting season, the club decided not to shake up the squad and have given the former Chelsea midfielder a two year contract to show what he can do.

Dutch Show English That Youth Has A lot To Learn

In a game that we knew was going to be close, the English national side took on the Netherlands last night in a game that was about more than simply strutting their stuff in their newly designed strips, it was a chance for stand in manager Stuart Pearce to stand up from his usual under 21’s hidden gaffer seat and stand tall and proud in front of his own home nation.

England were never going to head into this game with a side that boasted the full extent of their selectional prowess, instead it was more about giving future English stars the chance to showcase their worth to the expecting nation as their country played host to a Dutch side that are known for their quality throughout their set up.

England never looked like they were as out of their depth as they did the moment that former Chelsea midfielder Robben showcased his ability in his mission to ensure that the Dutch lions were going to overcome their hosts and as the visitors headed home more than a secondary goal (the other thing being Chris Smalling), the game looked to have completely eluded the national side in what looked likely to end in a sea of boos and unrest within the English fan base but that was not to be the end of the drama that the game had to serve up, oh no!

Chelsea defender Gary Cahill decided that he had seen enough of teammates wasting their chances and failing to break the host deadlock, charging forward before latching onto a through ball in an offside position to slip the ball under the Dutch keeper in a move that simply lifted the atmosphere at the ground.

Man United attacker Ashley Young then decided that he was not about to miss out on the post match reactions without having his name mentioned and when last sub Phil Jones found the tricky attacker late in the game, Young lofted the ball into the Dutch goal to leave the game in what looked to have been a game of unbelievable good fortune for the home nation.

Don’t worry though Lady Luck haters, she was not about to help the English get out of their jam this or any other night, Robben once again showing an air of class to somehow lift that ball around a defender, off the shoulder of goal hero Gary Cahill and then passed an outstretched Joe Hart in the England goal that looked to have had the ball covered before Robben made use of the Chelsea defender to divert the ball past the Man City stopper.

The Dutch won the game 3-2 and it seems that many fans were happy with the result, a shock as the general feel of the nation is that winning is the only way that we will accept anything but I guess with the football, cricket and rugby dealing out losses, we’re used to it all now?

After the game caretaker manager Stuart Pearce stood in front of the media and informed them that he would not be a long term option for the position and said that the FA would have to find a suitable replacement….

Oy! Pearce you lost the game! We don’t want another no hoper steering the side anyway!

Telling Signs As Chelsea Look Lost In Premier League Race

Chelsea came into this season with the knowledge that their side finished second last term but that their side was also aging, but with a huge shift in managerial guidance the club look to have lost their killer instinct since they won the Premier League title themselves two seasons ago.

Bringing in a relatively new manager following only one appointment in his career, Andre Villas Boas was tipped to become the new Jose Mourinho after spending time under his guidance, many even going as far as saying that his analytical mindset would enable him to surpass the love for Mourinho at the club.

High hopes have clearly been turned into low expectation as the club fail to keep pace with Tottenham in third place this season and with a seven point gap seperating them from their London rivals and both Manchester clubs even further ahead, you have to see that Chelsea are fighting for little more than a Champions League finishing position thanks to their tired looking squad and they lack of quality at the times that the club need it most.

Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka and Frank Lampard are just a few of the aging stars that helped to secure the Premier League crown for the Stamford Bridge outfit two seasons ago but even their best efforts this term have failed to give the Blues anything to shout about.

£50 million man Fernando Torres has again failed to prove his price tag and the fans are becoming quickly tired of his lackluster performances that continue to see the former Liverpool hitman find scoring form, so you can assume that the club will be looking to recoup what they can for the Spaniard once they finish this season.

Manager Villas Boas was knowingly in the market for a new forward during the transfer window but no deal was struck and the Portuguese boss will be forced to continue to utilise his OAP side for the remainder of season, something that will be sure to add even more strain on his position as Chelsea boss following previous form that has shown that owner Roman Abramovich is not one to settle for anything less than silverware.

With a clear need to spend during the summer, players that are well known within the club are thought to be set for the axe as the club battles to keep the pace with free spending counterparts that are already investing within their youth and therefore their future.

The London based side look to be playing for little more than pride for the rest of this season with limited opportunity to be able to make a name for themselves within the silverware stakes but does Villas Boas have a magic analytical plan that could prove us all wrong?

The Blues meet reigning champions Manchester United in a match that could well result in their failings to compete on the larger scale, so Villas Boas will be looking to prevent any loss of points but their recent run of form seems to side with Manchester United for this one.