All posts by Cameron P

Championship Sides Are Interested In A Loan Move For Real Madrid Youngster Martin Odegaard

 Martin Odegaard

Norwegian midfielder, Martin Odegaard is looking for a loan move after one first team spell at his parent club, Real Madrid. The high profile youngster just signed a contract with the Spanish giants worth £2.3 million. Odegaard drew serious attention last season with remarkable forms for both the Norwegian national team and his former club, Stromsgodset.

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With the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo at the attacking midfield position, Odegaard has only seen playing time once in the Champions League when he came on to replace the former Ballon d’Or winner. Odegaard has seemed to grow frustrated with playing for Real Madrid’s B team (Real Castilla) on a permanent basis and has complained that the opposition isn’t strong enough.

The 16-year-old has drawn immediate attention from Championship teams when he claimed that he wants to leave Spain on a short-term loan deal to further his football knowledge. While it is unconfirmed which Championship sides have a reported interest in signing the youngster, clubs such as Birmingham City, Bolton Wanderers, Brighton and Hove Albion, Ipswich Town and Wolves are among the sides to be rumored in wanting to escort the midfielder to England.

Real Madrid seem to be brushing off the rumor mill in its early stages. They would prefer he stays with the B side, or moves on a short loan deal to another Spanish side, such as Getafe. Odegaard is expected to make at least one other appearance for he senior Real Madrid side before the transfer month in January. It is assumed his next appearance will take place in the first round of the Copa del Rey against Segunda Division B side, Cadiz. While it isn’t the ideal opponent to showcase his skill with the first side, Odegaard should relish the opportunity if he wants to grow his market and heighten his demand when the transfer market opens in January.

 

Sebastian Polter to be Punished for Angry Tweet

sebastian polter

Disciplinary action will take place for Queens Park Rangers, as their summer signing, Sebastian Polter deleted an angry tweet when he wasn’t named in the match squad against Sheffield Wednesday.

The 24-year-old came to Loftus Road after a spell with Mainz 05 where he scored 14 goals in 29 games. Polter has been in the papers recently, admitting that he hasn’t been able to take to the English game right away because of the “style of play”. Whether the game is too fast or too physical, Polter didn’t go into great detail, but one can imagine he hasn’t made the transition that he was expected to make when the move was made during the transfer window.

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The penalty for Polter’s tweet has yet to be determined by the club, though it would be assumed a hefty fine would be tossed his way within the next couple of weeks, possibly days. Rangers boss, Chris Ramsey admitted his disappointment to the press after the penalty was announced:

“I’m disappointed that he’s tweeted and, having spoken to the players, we’re all in it together and I think they probably share that disappointment,” Ramsey said.
“It’s an internal thing. We have a social-media policy at the club and it will be dealt with internally.”

In this day and age where social media has become a staple point for voices and opinions, many clubs (if not all) now have a social-media policy. Why Polter thought it was a good idea to voice his disapproval on Twitter is anyone’s guess. All we know is that a penalty is coming and if he wants to find a place on the first team (or even the bench), Polter needs to start concentrating on adapting his football. It will be interesting to see; however, if Polter’s tweet happened to work the manager over for the next match. Will he make the bench or even start when Rangers play MK Dons on Saturday? QPR currently sit 10th in the Sky Bet Championship.

 

Cole Signs With Celtic

Carlton Cole

Celtic have signed experienced striker, Carlton Cole after a training audition that has lasted over the past several weeks. Cole’s deal runs until 2017. The 32- year- old striker formerly played in the English Premier League with West Ham United and Chelsea FC. Cole made his earned salary in his prime while he was with West Ham, having 259 appearances and 57 goals for the Irons from 2006-2015.

Cole is a large presence at the striker position, boasting a 6’3” frame with massive strength. Although not the quickest and most finesse of strikers, Cole will compliment the other attackers on the Celtic squad using his size and strength to draw defenders in closer, creating more space for strikers like Leigh Griffiths, and Anthony Stokes.

When Cole spoke with the press after he signed his contract, he wanted to make sure he pointed out that it wasn’t about the money; but the pride of putting on the Hoops kit:

“It was the same at West Ham, if you put on that shirt and you wear it with pride, the fans would take to you and you would get a good rapport with the fans.
“That’s what I’m here for, I can see the same sort of thing at Celtic.”

Former Celtic boss, Neil Lennon has said that he was interested in bringing the striker to his new club, Bolton. But with Cole certain to make a move outside of his hometown of London for the first time, he wanted a new experience and a city that felt like home.

While it seems as though the striker found his “home away from home”, he may have to wait to make his debut with the Celts while he continues to heal from a nagging leg injury he picked up while in training during his audition. Cole says he seems to be making  progress towards returning to match fitness, something for Celtic fans to keep an eye out for within the coming weeks.

 

Bryn Morris Inks Loan Deal With York City

Bryn Morris

U-19 International, Bryn Morris has been loaned to York City after a loan spell with Coventry City ended prematurely. The high Middlesbrough prospect left Coventry and signed a one month loan deal with York City after failing to win a starting eleven spot on the roster. A move to York will help the 19-year-old work up his form and perhaps earn a starting spot for the Championship side before his one month spell expires.

Bryn Morris has been named captain for the English youth side as he helps orchestrate the midfield for his International side. Morris has 29 appearances through the English youth squad and 3 goals. His senior squad experience has been less lucky where he has only earned a total of 13 appearances for 3 different Championship teams where he will now hope to add more appearances for a fourth club. Morris is surely going to find his spot someplace in English football; however, with the challenges of gaining promotion and avoiding relegation an every week occurrence, most Championship sides are looking for experience and leadership to get them through the grinding 46 game schedule.

With a club like York City, it would be likely to see Morris’ first appearance with the Minstbrmen perhaps during a league cup or FA Cup match. York City will play Stanley in the upcoming FA Cup First Round on November 7th. Unless Morris cannot show his worth, or stay fit, we could see Morris make a small appearance, perhaps as a substitute. But don’t be surprised if boss Richard Cresswell looks to start Morris sooner to give his midfield a boost to get out of the relegation fight when they play 17th spot, Crawley Town on October 31st.

Reading’s Nick Blackman: ‘We’re Not Getting Complacent’

Nick Blackman

Midfielder turned forward Nick Blackman has rocketed his Reading side up to a play-off spot in the Sky Bet Championship, jumping over Middlesbrough, Hull City and Burnley.

Reading boss, Steve Clarke has looked like a genius after moving Blackman from the winger/midfield role up in front to striker. Since then, Blackman has scored ten goals in the league and eleven overall in just thirteen starts. Reading has six wins in the past eight (including their most recent 1-1 draw against Rotherham on Tuesday night, which Blackman also scored in) and Blackman has the Royals hoping to achieve their ultimate goal of promotion into the Premier League.

The 25-year-old was quick to let everyone know that no one is becoming comfortable this early in the season: “Everyone is working really hard on the training ground. We’re not getting complacent – we’re just going about our business and taking each game as it comes, everyone is enjoying playing with everyone, and you can see the quality of some of the link-up play we have got when we go forward. It’s frightening sometimes.”

Most clubs throughout the Championship will be scared about Reading’s forward progress up the pitch mostly due to the form Blackman has been in. During Tuesday night’s match against Rotherham, Blackman returned to an attacking midfield role, contributing to Reading’s 54% possession time along with fellow midfielders Oliver Norwood, Garath McCleary, Lucas Piazon, and Daniel Williams.

Blackman scored a rocket in the top shelf outside of the box and buried it past the Rotherham goalkeeper. The goal was assisted by Oliver Norwood. The draw to Rotherham put the Royals at third place behind a massive three points for Birmingham, and their win over Bolton Wanderers. The Englishman is in the middle of extending his contract with Reading and many supporters are urging the side to get the deal done. However, Blackman’s form has not been disregarded by other clubs. Whether Blackman chooses to stay at Reading or not has yet to be seen, but at this point in this season Blackman would be expected to stay put and wait for a bigger club to come calling after he gets Reading back to the Premiership in May.

Ipswich Extend Cole Skuse With A Three Year Deal

cole skuse

Ipswich Town midfielder, Cole Skuse has signed a new contract with the club, keeping him at Portman Road until 2018 with an option to keep him at the club for another year. Cole Skuse’s next match for the The Blues will be his 100th appearance for the club. While he doesn’t get on the score sheet often, Skuse has a commanding presence in the midfield and has the comfort of being a leader for the rest of the men in blue. He has one goal to his name for Ipswich and a total of 5 assists since signing for the club in 2013.

Skuse previously played for Championship side, Bristol City, where he accumulated over 250 appearances and will be remembered with The Robins for securing a win over Barnsley and giving Bristol City another season in the Championship during the 2012-13 campaign.

Skuse led Ipswich to 6th place in the Championship last season but The Blues would be eliminated from Premiership contention when they lost to rivals, Norwich City in the semi-final Playoffs. Skuse hopes he can lead his side to yet another playoff at the end of this season, stating that his goal is to help Ipswich reach the Premier League while he remains at the club for the next three years.

“I knew my contract was up at the end of this season but the gaffer and the owner made it clear they wanted to keep me and I’m delighted it has been sorted and that my future is here for another three years.

“I’ve loved my time here. I never realised what a big club Ipswich is until I came here. The support the club enjoys is fantastic and hopefully we can get where we all want to be, the Premier League.”

While it isn’t an impossible task, the Tractor Boys will need to start gathering points throughout the Championship if they want to achieve Premier League status. The Blues currently sit in tenth position with 16 points after eleven games played. Skuse will put his new contract to work when Ipswich Town play Premier League rollercoaster side, Hull City at KC Stadium. The Tigers currently sit in seventh place with a three point lead over Ipswich. Hull City and Ipswich kick-off on Tuesday night, October 20th.

Leeds Owner, Cellino Banned From Ownership And Operations

Cellino

The owner of Leeds United, Massimo Cellino, has been banned from the Football League. His ban takes form of both ownership and Director of Football Operations. Cellino faces his ban after a conviction of tax evasion in his homeland of Italy. The ban will take place immediately (starting October 14th), until June 2016. This ironically follows Cellino’s removal of Leeds boss, Uwe Rösler and appointing former Rotherham United skipper, Steve Evans. Rösler is the fifth manager removed from Leeds since Cellino bought the club just 18 months ago.

The ban became news to Cellino on October 14th and he has been given notice that he may appeal the ban, but he only has 14 days to do so; that expiration date will be on October 28th. Cellino was found guilty in June of this year by a judge in Cagliari after he did not make payments on a Range Rover. He was also previously convicted for failure to pay almost £305,000 on a yacht that he bought in Cagliari in 2012.

After Cellino managed to overturn the ruling on his yacht, he was given Leeds United roughly a month later. The Italian is still facing three other convictions at this point in time. According to some reports found in Italy, Cellino is facing conviction on not paying taxes from a different yacht, irregularities in construction of a stadium while he owned the Serie A club, Cagliari, and also tax owed on two players that were brought into Cagliari while he was the owner of the club.

The Football League is aware of every conviction he faces which is why the ban has taken place so suddenly. Cellino and the rest of Leeds United will have to wait and see what happens to the 59-year-old over the course of 8 months to see whether or not he will actually come back as the Leeds United owner. A Leeds United “trust” group has already voiced their opinion on the matter; calling for Cellino to sell his stakes in the club, immediately.

Middlesbrough Manager Welcomes The Door For Chelsea Youngster Patrick Bamford

Patrick Bamford

Centre-forward Patrick Bamford’s role at Crystal Palace has become irritating for his parent club, Chelsea. After just two senior club appearances for the youngster in the Premier League, the Chelsea prospect is looking to get off of the bench and back to scoring goals. Bamford rejected a move that would have him stay at Championship side Middlesbrough for the entire 2015/16 campaign. Hoping to gain first team experience on loan at Palace, Bamford unbeknownst, finds himself on the bench week after week.

With his talent being wasted away and his fitness becoming delicate, Chelsea have had enough of seeing their promising prospect waste away on the bench and they have threatened to take the 22-year-old back from Palace to find him a club that is more suitable.

This is where speculation has turned to Middlesbrough manager, Aitor Karanka. When the Spaniard was asked whether or not he’d welcome back Bamford after leaving the club in the summer, Karanka said, “I told [Bamford] that he would have the doors open for him always [at Boro].” Bamford claimed the Player of the Year award for the Sky Bet Championship in 2014/15, scoring 19 times for Middlesbrough (17 in the league) with 39 appearances.

While this is only speculation, Middlesbrough would be wise to try and get Bamford back on a loan deal. Not only would he play first team football straight away, but he has already built chemistry with a familiar supporting cast. However, if Chelsea decides to bring back the striker, do not be surprised if they give him a spot with the first team at Chelsea. While Chelsea is star studded and experienced, their lack of form could entice Mourinho to hang on to the striker and use him off the bench as a motivator to his squad. In the uncertain days of Mourinho’s reign at Chelsea, he could look for anything (or anyone) to help his squad improve.

If however, Chelsea decides to loan Bamford out to another club, Middlesbrough will surely be the favorite to win him back. Middlesbrough currently sit in second spot in the Sky Bet Championship and with the sure foot of the young striker, Bamford could be just the player they need to challenge for the Championship title this season.