The future looks red for David Moyes and his modest ways

January 7, 2013 in Premier League

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Predicting the future can be a dangerous business, particularly in football. One can be left nursing a serious case of ‘egg on face’. Nevertheless, some predictions look more plausible than others, such as Jonny Evans becoming a future Sunderland captain, and Mario Balotelli ending up in prison for attempting to replicate Eric Cantona’s infamous karate kick. Add to that the plight of David Moyes and a couple of his Everton cast, and suddenly I don’t look so zany after all.

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Ballsy Banter Roll Of Honour 2012: Player of the Year

December 21, 2012 in Awards

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We come to our fifth day, and it’s the big one. The category that sorts the men from the boys, the people that have risen above the rest to have the best year of their respective careers.

This category, is ‘Player of the Year’.

Let’s see who our esteemed panel have chosen in this instalment of this year’s ‘Roll Of Honour’.

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FA Cup Third Round Preview: Part 2

December 13, 2012 in FA and Carling Cup

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Mansfield Town/Lincoln City vs Liverpool

Relegation to the Conference is perhaps the most devastating thing that can happen to a club in the English game. There’s the financial reasons, of course, but also, there can’t be too many leagues in Europe, nay world,  harder to escape then the Blue Square Premier. With only two promotion spots, and but one automatic spot, the league can be a purgatory. Mansfield Town have found this out the hard way, and the reality that one poor season can potentially ruin the club for the next decade. But they have showed signs of rallying,  losing in the play-offs last season and being in contention for them again this year.

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The Manchester derby: Rooney crucial as United debate whether to stick or twist

December 7, 2012 in Premier League

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In the simplest terms, there are three ways in which a team can set itself up to win a game. Football Manager players will be familiar with the following options; Counter, Control, Overload. This week, Sir Alex Ferguson will be wondering which card to play. Ferguson has never been a deep thinker when it comes to the tactical side of the game, and United’s approach to games is often startling simple and predictable, yet often deadly effective. This week, Fergie’s two options are as good, or perhaps as hopeless, as one another - and the success of either will centre around Wayne Rooney.

Firstly, I say two options because United haven’t a hope of controlling the derby match, dictating play, possession and tempo. The personnel is simply not there and United struggle to police games against the likes of Wigan and Queens Park Rangers, never mind a City team gifted with power, pace and poise through its spine. So that’s a non-starter.

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How do UEFA solve a problem like Europe?

December 3, 2012 in Europe

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The Champions League is arguably the greatest club competition in the world; a tournament steeped in history, graced by the world’s best players from years gone by, and has offered up some truly memorable games in its 57-year history, if we count the European Cup. It still offers that today, despite being bloated by the group stage. The Europa League, in comparison, has always been the problem child, the one who has not achieved the dizzy heights of its brother, and instead of being loved, it’s seen as a waste of time by both managers and fans. Michel Platini, the head of UEFA, has seemingly noticed this and has had some thoughts about the future of both competitions and has mooted the possibility of combining the two. Is this a good idea? And what else could they do to shake things up a bit?

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