Martinez off to a Flying Start

October 2, 2013 in Premier League

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Pre-season there was a realism from Everton fans about the effect of a new manager after spending the previous decade under a single manager. Even the optimists who had no qualms about Martinez’s appointment, many did, thought there was no realistic chance the team could match last seasons 6th placed finish. The general consensus being 7th or 8th, a solid start while Martinez gets used to the players and the players get used to Martinez. Compared to Manchester United fans, who went on about United having winning ‘in their DNA’ and thought replacing the greatest manager of all time with David Moyes wouldn’t have any effect. Perhaps this isn’t the time to point out United haven’t won a trophy without Ferguson since the 1960′s, and he was appointed in 86. Decent chunk of time that. Read the rest of this entry →

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

September 25, 2013 in Premier League

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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.

city

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England vs The Undroppable Player

September 6, 2013 in International

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David Seaman spent most of his England career being shit. After an excellent Euro 96, Seaman had established himself as a world class player in the minds of our coaching staff and in the media, in a way that remained over the years, no matter what he did in an England shirt; whether it was crumble like a house of cards in front of Dan Petrescu against Romania in World Cup 98, allowing him to score the winner that ultimately lead to us playing Argentina instead of Croatia; get scored on directly from a corner in a crucial qualifier vs. Macedonia having flapped at the ball like a blind man; or ultimately, the piece de resistance, getting scored on by a 40 yard free kick from Ronaldinho that essentially surmounted to a hoof into the box, and Seaman standing there like he’d been injected with horse tranquillizer whilst it flew into his top corner - the goal that knocked us out of Japan/Korea 2002, a tournament we were heavily tipped to win.

Football World Cup 2002 Brazil v England Read the rest of this entry →

The Perfect Start For Manuel Pellegrini

August 21, 2013 in Premier League

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When Manuel Pellegrini stepped out of the tunnel in his first competitive game as manager of Manchester City, the response was somewhat muted. Polite applause, certainly no hostility, but an absence of uproar nonetheless. In a way, this was understandable. The City fans loved Pellegrini’s predecessor Roberto Mancini. They viewed him as the man who finally brought City in from the cold, who gave them success after a lifetime of humiliation and under achievement, and his sacking made no sense to them. The only model of sustained success they have seen is the 25 plus year reign of Sir Alex Ferguson, and they wanted to follow in those footballing footsteps. The sacking of Mancini put an end to that, and left a lot of City fans a bit lost.

Pelligrini

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Season Preview 2013-14: Liverpool

August 14, 2013 in Premier League, Team Previews

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Liverpool have gone through a hard couple of years. Pretty much from the appointment of Roy Hodgson to the present day, everything just sort of hasn’t worked out, and it seems the fans of every other English club have revelled in the pointing out of this fact. I suppose it’s natural, Liverpool won everything there was to win for close to 20 years through the 70s and 80s, and despite never winning the Premier League, still pulled in a decent trophy haul in the 90s and 00s, winning both domestic cups on multiple occasions as well as the UEFA Cup, and oh yeah, the Champions League too. Not too bad for a supposed lesser period. But the turn of the 2010s has seen rumours of their demise no longer being greatly exaggerated. Perhaps this downturn is synchronized with Steven Gerrard ageing to the point where he can’t be the all-purpose hero he was any more. They’ve been absent from the Champions League since 2010, finished consecutive seasons below Everton, wasted millions upon millions of not exactly replaceable transfer fees on under-performing English players, the apex of which was the 35 million spent on Andy Carroll, who returned about eight goals and then was shuffled off to West Ham through the back door and for 40% of his original fee. Like I said, a hard couple of years.

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