All posts by Peter Crepaz

‘Arry tells ’em how it is – A look back at what Redknapp thought of a young Frank Lampard (Video)

West Ham have developed some of England’s finest players over the past 15 years or so and you can argue that Frank Lampard is the best of that brilliant bunch from the Irons academy.

The man who is currently on the verge of becoming Chelsea’s all time top goalscorer has enjoyed a magnificent career which has seen him win the Premier League, FA Cup, the League Cup and, of course, last year’s Champions League. Not too shabby, eh?

There were some, however, who thought that Frank wasn’t all that back in 1996 when he was just a young lad and questioned then manager Harry Redkanpp’s choice to start him on such a regular basis.

‘Arry answers his critics in true ‘Arry fashion, though, stating that he thinks Lampard will be one of the best mdifielders in the world and that whoever questions his choices should ‘Fark off son!’.

OK, maybe that last bit isn’t true but ‘Arry certainly knows a good player when he sees one which is why he bought Chris Samba for QPR in the January transfer window! 

I’m joking, I’m joking. But take a look at this fantastic clip from what looks to be a West Ham fans forum attended by good ol’ ‘Arry and a young Frank Lampard.

Please note the stupid haircuts. Lampard’s I can forgive as he was young and perhaps a little naive but Redkanpp’s is truly shocking.

Stupid red card of the week (Video)

During this years League Cup final between Swansea and Bradford City there was a rather unsavoury moment between Swansea’s Nathan Dyer and Jonathan de Guzman.

With Swansea three goals up already they were awarded a penalty. Dyer, who had already scored twice, quite understandably wanted to complete his hat-trick. I mean, who wouldn’t want to score a hat-trick in a cup final at Wembley? It is the ultimate dream for an English footballer.

But, for some reason, de Guzman did not want to hand the ball over to Dyer and an argument broke out between the two before Dyer reluctantly backed down and de Guzman scored the subsequent penalty to make it 4-0.

Personally, I am on Dyer’s side here and he had every right to feel aggrieved. If I was him I would have exchanged some strong words, and maybe a couple of headbutts, with de Guzman after the game for denying him a dream hat-trick at Wembley.

Anyway, I believe that Dyer was fully justified to argue with de Guzman over who should take the penalty. This incident, on the other hand, between two team-mates from Honved of Budapest is completely ridiculous.

Davide Lanzafame (the chap with the interesting haircut) manages to get himself sent off after acting in such a pathetic and petulant fashion upon discovering that he would not be taking a penalty.

What a prat.

A closer look at a Barcelona superstar – The Xavi turn (Video)

It is hard to believe that Xavi is 33-years-old. 

The Barcelona midfielder has been such mainstay in the Catalan’s club starting XI that it is odd to think of it without him.

He has enjoyed magnificent success with the club and his midfield partnership with Andres Iniesta has been integral to Barcelona’s recent glory.

Whilst Iniesta is the more attack minded of the pair, Xavi is the steady beating heartbeat that keeps Barcelona’s passing game ticking. He is so good at his job that you hardly notice him doing it.

Generally, if you are able to win the midfield battle you are more likely to command the game and Xavi’s calm, consistent brilliance in the middle of the pitch is a fine example of excellent midfield play.

What Xavi is able to do so well is recognise where pressure is coming from, turn away from it and fine space to manoeuvre. It may sound simple but in a high tempo game where you have a split second to make a decision, it certainly isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Xavi, like Johan Cruyff, has made it an art form and here is a video showing the little Spanish maestro at his brilliant best.

An early prediction for the all-German final

What do I know eh? I picked Juventus to go far in this season’s Champions League and they were humbled by the mighty Bayern Munich machine at the quarter-final stage.

It was disappointing for Juventus, no doubt, but they came up against the best team in Europe and a team that look to be a super power for years to come. Can Borussia Dortmund stop Bayern’s ascent to the summit in Champions League final?

Munich are surely favourites having dismantled Barcelona 7-0 over two legs but had Borussia Dortmund taken their chances in the second leg against Real Madrid they would have won by a similar margin in the Bernabeu. 

There is much to be admired about Jurgen Klopp’s team and the manager has fine array of talents at his disposal. If they are to overcome Munich in the final they will be need every player to be at the top of their game; Robert Lewandowski needs to replicate the form and finishing he displayed during the first leg of the semi final whilst Marco Reus and Mario Gotze need to weave their magic in the midfield.

The difference with Bayern is that they have so much talent in every position that they are able to compensate if one of their star players is having an off day. The same cannot be said for Dortmund, however.

It will be a brilliant final; a celebration of German football’s rise to the top and the country’s two premier teams will battle it out for the European football’s most coveted prize.

Bayern are hard to overlook due to the sheer strength and quality of their squad but Dortmund know them better than anyone else and if Klopp’s men are firing on all cylinders they could take home the silverware.

Where Jose Mourinho should really go

In the aftermath of Real Madrid’s exit from the Champions League at the hands of Borussia Dortmund there was a wave of speculation as to where Jose Mourinho would be heading next.

A quick look over comment sections told me that Chelsea fans were literally creaming themselves over the possibility that he might return to Stamford Bridge as it is somewhere that he feels loved.

Frankly, I’m not too fussed where he ends up; if it is a return to England, fine, or if decides that he is going to try out the Bundesliga for size then great for him.

If he fancies a challenge, though, why doesn’t he try being in charge of a lower league team? That would be a true test of his managerial skills, surely? He wouldn’t have a Didier Drogba or Cristiano Ronaldo to fall back on when the going gets tough and he would have to make do with modest resources.

I think I have just the club for the ‘Special One’, too, and that club is Leyton Orient. With this choice I have taken into consideration that Mourinho clearly enjoys working in a big city and with the Orient located in the east end of the capital he will be able to experience a vast array of different cultures.

The League One team he will be taking charge of isn’t too shabby either with pacy winger Dean Cox offering a threat down the right hand side and with striker Dan Mooney he has a proven goal scorer ready to excel himself to the next level.

If Mourinho really wants to justify his moniker than lets see him take the mighty Orient all the way to the Premiership. If he can pull off that feat there will be no denying that he is the greatest manager to have ever graced the sport.

 

Bale’s PFA triumph underlines importance of top four finish for Spurs

Gareth Bale’s double PFA award winning season has only made himself a bigger target for clubs who will surely come calling during the off season.

Bale is, arguably, one of the top three players in the world right now and his remarkable season with Tottenham Hotspur will not have gone unnoticed by superpowers such as Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

The Welshman is fully deserving of his triumph at the PFA awards although if it were not for Luis Suarez’s moment of madness against Chelsea, there would almost certainly be a different name on the trophy.

As it is, however, Bale has achieved something that only two players have previously achieved (Andy Gray and Cristiano Ronaldo are the other two) and he is one of the most prized assets in European football right now.

Which all means that it is absolutely imperative that Spurs are able to guarantee the young winger Champions League football next season, something they are currently not on course to do, having thrown away a 7 point lead on their neighbours Arsenal.

It all comes down to their visit to Stamford Bridge in a game that will decide who finishes come season end. Spurs have not enjoyed success on their visits to Chelsea in recent years but it is so vital that they come away with all three points, not only for this season but for seasons to come.

 

Late (and brilliant) contender for miss of the season (Video)

Can we, us devoted football fans, get enough of watching a professional completely balls up a easy chance to score a goal?

The answer, simply, is no. And it seems that with every passing season there seems to be worse and worse mishaps. This particular clip is from the Dutch Ladies’ league so please have your all-too-easy why women should stick to cooking and why men should stick to the football jokes at the ready.

There is no other way to describe this moment of footballing incompetence other than that it is truly appalling. The ball may have bobbled just at the moment of contact but that should have had no effect whatsoever on the outcome as the young lady was practically standing underneath the bar.

She knows it, too, and at the moment that she sends the football into orbit she is probably praying to high heavens (where the ball is now coincidentally) that no one is filming this embarrassing cock up.

But, as many people have probably already told her, life goes on, it is not the end of the world and all that. Unfortunately for her, though, it was being filmed and it is on YouTube so she will never be able to totally forget this terrible occurrence. 

And here it is for our viewing pleasure. Enjoy

 

An all German final on the cards

 

This is the return of a true superpower.

Germany (along with Brazil) have won five World Cups, which is a record, so it is safe to say that our neighbours from across the channel are a proud and very talented footballing nation.

Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich have reinforced this with their fantastic performances in the Champions League this season.

For a while now it has been obvious that the Bundesliga has been on the rise but with their dominance of their league and Europe’s premier competition Bayern Munich have sent a message that they are going to be a force for years to come.

With Josep Guardolia and Mario Gotze to arrive in the summer, and barring a Barcelona miracle, a Champions League final to come, Bayern Munich have displayed the kind of footballing superiority that will be hard to overcome for many years.

The professional manner in which the club is run is an example to the top teams all across Europe as Munich have built their team on a mixture of talent brought through their academy supplemented by shrewd and efficient signings.

Dortmund, too, are a club run with similar German efficieny and following their tremendous victory over Real Madrid have to be considered a danger come the final of the Champiosn League.

Whomever makes the final, however, this season’s competition has provided brilliant drama and even better football, which makes the race for the final Champions League spot in the Premier League all the more enticing.