Villa away fixture a test of Manchester City’s title mettle

September 25, 2013 in Premier League by Louis Baxter

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It’s been an excellent seven days for Manchester City. Three games played, three games won, 12 goals scored and only one conceded. After a stuttering start, with poor performances against Hull, Stoke and most notably Cardiff, City appear to have found their groove under Pellegrini, playing some great football and getting goals from a variety of sources. But in a way, this Saturday’s low-key trip to Villa Park is a greater indicator of the credibility of their title challenge than Plzen, United or Wigan. Consistency was City’s great undoing last season; even in a season considered a gross failure, no team in the top 5 got the better of them over two fixtures, with City taking four points off Chelsea, four off Arsenal, and three off United and Spurs. Even in the maelstrom and disharmony of Mancini’s final days, City still managed a memorable 2-1 victory at Old Trafford, outplaying the champions on their home turf and muting their title celebrations somewhat. City have taken 12 of the last 15 available Premier League points off Manchester United, so perhaps that is not the greatest test of their title-winning credentials.


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Poyet’s place is not at sinking Sunderland

September 25, 2013 in Premier League by William Kent

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Gus Poyet, the highly rated up and coming manager, is tipped for the vacant managerial position at Sunderland, and after having initial success with a lower league club, the former Brighton boss is looking to step up a level. However, it seems as if people have already forgotten the exact same description was applied to Paolo Di Canio just 6 months ago when he joined Sunderland. Learn from the mistakes.
di canio

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Ozil Amazing

September 25, 2013 in Premier League by Lizzi Hollis

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After the loss on the opening day of the season to Aston Villa the frustration amongnst Arsenal fans on the subject of the clubs transfer policy reached fever pitch, with only one new player bought in over the summer (Sanogo fronm Auxerre on a free) but knowing there was £70m to spend was a topic of constant contention. Although our season picked up pretty quickly after this with wins against Fenerbache to qualify for the Champions League group and two wins against Fulham and Spurs (Whoop!) it reached September and still the only addition to the team was to resign free agent Matheiu Flamini from Milan. So when on transfer deadline day we were suddenly linked with Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid I was excited, but confused. As far as I am concerned we already had a pretty decent midfield with the like of Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta. Surely the bigger needs were for a centre back or a decent striker to assist and challenge an albeit very on form Olivier Giroud? What if he got injured? Our only option upfront would be Bendtner; the laziest and most unachieving player to grace Arsenal in recent years (yes, this includes Francis Jeffers and Chamakh). All of these questions continued to swirl in my mind and on the Twittersphere until 10 minutes into the game the following Saturday against Sunderland when Ozil set up a goal for Giroud that I can only describe as ‘scoregasmic’. The link up play between the two of them was incredible and the cross into Giroud was perfect, allowing him to easily break through the Sunderland defence and slot the call past Kieren Westwood.  The German had an assist under his belt within minutes of his debut.

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Footballer’s accessories: Remembered your boots, socks, shorts, mask?

September 24, 2013 in Funny Stuff by George Curtis

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Be honest. How much time did you spend in Sports Soccer scouring the shelves for as much needless apparel as you could fit in your Lonsdale sports bag ahead of the new season? From ‘muscle-warming’ under-garments to sweatbands that would never meet a forehead, from electrical tape to wrap around your wrist because… well, for absolutely no reason, to greasy boot polish that does nothing but stick to your hands in places you didn’t know existed. Well, ladies and gentleman, there’s a new product on the market that is set to rival those superfluous inhabitants of your bag’s hidden compartments. The mask, fashioned by Facundo Sava, Fernando Torres and Jim Carrey, is set to take the sports retail world by storm and dominate sales in a manner Gareth Bale would have a wet dream over.

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How do you explain a disastrous derby day for Manchester United?

September 23, 2013 in Premier League by Ballsy Banter

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Nemanja Vidic said this yesterday: “It is horrible to lose the derby game but it is more difficult when you lose in this kind of performance. We were never close.”

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