Category Archives: Headlines

Summer Football – Top Competitions to Watch During the Summer Break

Summer break can be a dull time for football fans worldwide. All of the top European leagues have finished, including the Champions League and Europa League, and the champions have been crowned.

While superstars like are enjoying their vacations in exotic locations, you would think that there isn’t much going on in the world of football during the summer.

The truth is, however, that there is plenty of exciting games scheduled for the next couple of months that the true football fans will definitely enjoy.

Without further ado, here are the top competitions that you should watch this summer.

FIFA Women’s World Cup

world cup

The eighth edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup is underway, and we’re slowly approaching the knockout stage. This is the chance for you to see the best nations on the planet competing against each other for the most prestigious trophy in women’s football.

Team USA is the favorite to win the tournament, but they expect to encounter stiff resistance from the hosting France, as well as England, Germany, Netherlands, and a few other teams. The final is scheduled to take place on July 7th.

Copa América

The CONMEBOL America Cup is the best international competition in South America, although special invitees often include teams from North America, and in 2019, we will even see Qatar and Japan entering the competition.

This year’s Copa América is hosted by Brazil who is also the favorites to win alongside the two-time defending champions Chile, as well as Uruguay, Columbia, and Brazil.

Just like the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the Copa América final will take place on July 7th, so we know that that’s going to be a day with plenty of excitement for football fans.

U21 Euro

While the European clubs are on a break, the young European nations are taking center stage. The 2019 UEFA Under-21 Championship will feature 12 best teams on the continent. This is a great way for you to take a look at the players who are expected to represent the future of football. The group stage started on June 16th, and the final will be held on June 30th.

Germany is looking to repeat its successful run from 2017 and win the third title. Spain, France, England, Belgium, and the hosts and five-time champions of the tournament Italy are among other favorites.

Euro 2020 Qualifications

The first half of the Euro 2020 qualifications wrapped up earlier in June, but they will continue in late summer, or more specifically, in September.

There are 10 groups with 55 teams who are all looking to find their spot at the next year’s UEFA European Championship. Only 20 teams will qualify directly (top two from each group), while the playoffs for the remaining squads is scheduled for March of 2020.

Manchester Switch for Most Valuable Premier League Club

Pep Guardiola

As they continue on their quest to lift the title for the second year in a row, it seems that there have also been other knock-on effects thanks to the success of the once Manchester underdogs, Man City, it appears that now Manchester United has also lost their most valuable financial Premier League Club crown and it has passed to the worst team possible for them, local rivals Manchester City as reports.

A new study into football finance has made some shocking revelations that upend the perceived placement of the Premier League teams and now rank Manchester City at the top. Climbing by £385m the team is currently valued at £2.364bn which easily leaves them in the highest spot. Manchester United has taken a hit of £376m and now has a value of £2.087bn, but leaves the comfortably in second. The loss is thought to be lower profits and a higher wage bill. It is also interesting to note that the top six ranking clubs make up for nearly three-quarters of the total value of the whole league. The other four clubs in the top six are Spurs, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal which ironically are the six teams ranking first on the table, although not quite in that order.

The study used figures from 2017/2018, and while the numbers might change by the end of this season, the placings are not predicted to change all that much. Only the two Manchester clubs have a value over two billion; every other club comes below this. The next three clubs all saw a jump in value, it was just Arsenal that dropped, and this is down to the fact they were not in the Champions League that season. They have values of Spurs (£1.837bn), Liverpool (£1.615bn), Chelsea (£1.615bn) and Arsenal (£1.368bn). Which to be fair are still some pretty vast numbers. Interestingly it is Burnley that sits in seventh and have a value of £398m some considerable way behind the top six, but they were not to be the “most sensibly run club in the Premier League financially”. Overall looking at the cumulative value of all the clubs in the league there was a 1.6% fall which equates to £14.7bn.

Speaking about Manchester City the notes from the study state that the reason they are at the top is due to higher revenue and lower wages, a profit of £39m from selling players, and the fact that this then removed some of the highest earners from the wage bill. “The ownership model of Sheikh Mansour, which effectively means that the club is debt free, means that there are no loan interest costs and no dividends are paid to shareholders either,”

The study, which was carried out by the University of Liverpool’s Centre for Sports Business Group also notes that calculations were based on data with the factors of “Account revenue, profits, non-recurring costs, average profits on player sales over a three-year period, net assets, wage control and proportion of seats sold.”

Football’s Worst Refereeing Decisions

 

 

Football is no stranger to injustice; finding an honest referee who has never made a bad decision is as rare as finding a Manchester United fan from Manchester. With the introduction of VAR and goal-line technology, these instances are thankfully decreasing. In the past there have been some egregious decisions that have caused public uproar, and here are our top 5.

The Hand Of God

sad

Picture the scene: it’s the 1986 World Cup Quarter Finals, England face Argentina, just 4 years after the Falklands War, and the rivalry is rife. Football legend Diego Maradona is often mentioned in the same sentence as controversy, and  this game included plenty of just that!

51 minutes into the game Maradona scored with a blatant handball, the cross came in and Maradona buried it with his hand. Argentina went on to win the match 2-1, much to England’s disgust. The match has been immortalized as one of the most memorable moments in football history;the goal itself was dubbed The Hand Of God Goal.

 

3 Yellow Cards And A Partridge In A Pear Tree

sd

If you Google World Cup 2006, you’ll be met with lists of controversies. Most notable was Croatian Defender Josip Šimunić’s record 3 yellow cards. Australia fought Croatia for the group’s runners-up spot. The game ended 2-2, but the most interesting feat of the game was the number of times English referee Graham Poll carded a single player. Josip Šimunić received his second yellow in the 90th minute, he should have left the field immediately. Instead, he played a further 3 minutes before shoving referee Poll, resulting in his third yellow card, followed by a red.

Luis Garcia And The Friendly Ghost (Goal)

wq

A ‘Ghost Goal’ is a term often used when referring to a questionable goal. Especially in terms of whether the ball travelled over the goal line. In 2005, Chelsea met Liverpool in a Champions League Semi-Final. The game ended in a 1-nil victory for the reds, the goal’s validity is, however, debatable.

Liverpool winger Luis Garcia attempted an audacious chip over Chelsea keeper Petr Čech, the ball was cleared off the line by French defender William Gallas. Alas, Ľuboš Micheľ awarded the goal all the same. There are two groups of people you don’t wish to anger, football fans and José Mourinho, and Micheľ managed both.

 Schumacher Clatters Battiston

req

Seemingly, the worst referee decisions occur at World Cups. The stakes are high, the pressure is on, mistakes at this level are unlikely to be forgotten. The 1982 World Cup suffered its fair share of poor decisions. The most discussed was West Germany keeper Harold Schumacher’s collision with French Defender Patrick Battiston.

After a long through ball from Michel Platini, Battiston and Schumacher sprinted towards each other in a race for the ball. Battiston reached the ball first, flicking it over Schumacher, Schumacher leapt into the air to move the ball’s path, instead he heavily clattered into Battiston. The aerial challenge left Battiston unconscious, later slipping into a coma, he lost two teeth and cracked 3 ribs as a result of the incident. Surprisingly, Dutch referee Charles Corver did not award a free-kick.

Pedro Mendes Disallowed Goal

qwewqe

In 2005, Spurs Portuguese Midfielder, Pedro Mendes, took a shot at goal from 55 yards, chipping Manchester United Goalkeeper, Roy Carrol. Carrol fumbled the ball, but it had quite obviously passed the goal line, so it was an obvious goal. Well, to everyone except Mark Clattenburg.

Clattenburg failed to award the goal and continued with play. The match ended in a 0-0 draw, much to the disappointment of Tottenham.

 This list was created by professional Line Marking company, . 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Manchester United must offload Paul Pogba this summer?

paul-pogba

Why Manchester United must offload Paul Pogba this summer?

have had quite a few problems ever since Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement but the latest one that’s plaguing them is the whole situation with their prodigal son Paul Pogba.

The flamboyant Frenchman is a graduate of United’s prestigious academy but he departed the club a few years back and went out and made quite a name for himself. While he was at Juventus, he caught the club’s eye once more and he returned to Old Trafford in spectacular fashion for then world-record £89 million price tag – which is definitely not cheap by any measure.

It might sound like a crazy thing to suggest but when a club – or anybody, really – pay such a hefty amount, they expect positive results in exchange. And barring an occasion or two, Pogba has rarely ever lived up to his billing and it has now come to a stage where people are debating as to whether he should stay with the club or just move on. There is absolutely no doubt that he is insanely skilled and gifted as a footballer but there is a stark contrast between what he is capable of and what he is actually doing for the Red Devils.

Fortunately enough, United are in a decent place right now but more often than not, the club have been criticised for putting up unnecessarily defensive displays. The blame for that cannot be dumped entirely on Pogba though – it has to do more with Jose Mourinho and his tactics and all that (which can probably be a different topic for a different day). However, one cannot deny that Pogba has not had a hand in some of the terrible performances United have put up this season.

Yes, they are in still in the reckoning for a Champions League spot and are poised to finish the season on a strong note. But these internal problems concerning players have eaten up all their chances of posing a strong title challenge this season. One might argue that it is just a one-season thing and that they will be a lot more composed next time around. But United fans will agree that this is something they have been repeating every single season and it is high time that somebody is held accountable.

The mark of a good footballer is his professionalism and dedication. Unfortunately for the Red Devils, Pogba has shown neither. In fact, his many failures at the club have just given way to a load of excuses which, honestly, just seem like a big cover-up to hide the fact that the Frenchman is not the right choice for United.

As an attacker, he was regarded as one of the best (I use ‘was’ because let’s be honest, we have not seen much of his attacking skills at United) but ask him to drop a bit deeper to play alongside Nemanja Matic at a time when Ander Herrera was injured and – BOOM – Pogba plays in a haphazard manner which is cringeworthy, to say the least.

pogba

For a long time, it has been mentioned that Pogba is not all that strong at defensive duties and that is understandable. But to make a slip-up as huge as the one he made against Tottenham Hotspur was simply abominable. Spurs obviously exploited and scored the first goal within seconds. If Pogba cannot adjust for one single night and play with Matic in a deeper role to fill in for an injured teammate, then perhaps, United must just move on.

We are living at a time when outstanding football talents can be found at every nook and cranny across the world and it becomes unjustifiable to continue keeping a player like Pogba, who has failed on so many levels. It just seems to be a tirade of excuse after excuse whenever his inefficiency is brought up.

Earlier, it was said that Matic was purchased from Chelsea to play the deeper role so that Pogba would have greater power up front. Fair enough, Matic has done a brilliant job ever since he arrived at Old Trafford but the Frenchman – even in a preferred attacking role – could not do much to impress, besides just the bare minimum.

Now, once more, United are in the not-so-unfamiliar rut of scanning the market to sign a new midfielder in the summer. Why? To help Pogba with greater freedom and flexibility up front.

These excuses have gotten ridiculous to a point where it seems like the best option for United would be to just let Pogba leave. How many more players should Mourinho purchase just to “bring the best out of Pogba”? As a professional, he needs to be adaptable to any and every situation and that is something we have just not seen from him in a long, long time. If United are to harbour any serious hopes of winning the title anytime soon, they need reliable assets and at present, Pogba is nothing but a liability.

Hence, it is time for Red Devils to quit making excuses to cover up for Pogba’s poor performances and to just cut the cord and let him leave this summer. They need players who are genuinely in the team to win and not somebody who can merely boost their T-shirt sales.

Former Leeds United star Noel Whelan slams the current squad for their miserable performance

noel-whelan

Former Leeds United star Noel Whelan slams the current squad for their miserable performance

Former Leeds United star Noel Whelan has slammed the current squad for their miserable performance on Teeside against another of his former clubs, Middlesbrough.

A Patrick Bamford hat-trick left the Peacocks ensconced in mid-table with the door firmly shut on their promotion hopes.

With ‘Boro on the fringes of the playoffs, Paul Heckingbottom’s team were lacklustre and devoid of any attacking verve. The 3 – 0 defeat leaves them eight points adrift of sixth-placed Bristol City knowing that they must beat Championship leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers on Wednesday night or their Premier League hopes will die for another season.

Whelan spared nobody’s feelings after the match. “We didn’t turn up, “ he told BBC Radio Leeds after the final whistle.

“We were not on the front foot, didn’t win the second balls, didn’t win the battle and didn’t show any heart or fight when we were 1 – 0 down.”

The difficult conditions were no excuse, according to the striker who had played for Leeds between 1993 and 1995.

“[There was a] lack of creativity, we didn’t defend properly – you go through all the basics of football and we didn’t do them.”

paul-heckingbottom

Defending continues to be a problem area for Leeds. After the opening day win at Bolton, United went six games without conceding a goal. Now, they have kept one clean sheet in six and will most likely surpass last season’s total of 47 goals conceded on Wednesday night. Bamford’s trio of strikes took this season’s total up to 46.

Newly-appointed boss Heckingbottom didn’t mince his words either. According to the Gazette Live, he described their performance as “second-best”, telling the media afterwards that he had been “really honest” with the players in the dressing room.

The former Barnsley man summed up his feelings with one word: “disappointed”. A journeyman defender around the lower divisions, Heckingbottom knows what is needed if Leeds are to escape the Championship and he didn’t see it at the Riverside.

“Away at Boro on a windy night, their style is totally different. They were really up for it and we were second best.”

With Wolves visiting Elland Road next, the manager and fans will demand a significantly improved performance from the squad.

‘We have to cut the past loose and attack it’ – Chris Coleman’s hard-hitting message to players

chris-coleman

‘We have to cut the past loose and attack it’ – Chris Coleman’s hard-hitting message to players

Sunderland travel to London to face Millwall on Saturday acutely aware of their shortcomings which see them hemmed in at the foot of the Championship table. Five points adrift of Barnsley, whose match this weekend is postponed, Black Cats manager Chris Coleman is aware that victory against the Lions will offer the genuine prospect of avoiding a second consecutive relegation.

Coleman didn’t hold back at his pre-match press conference, according to local news outlet the Chronicle. His squad must face the current situation and show real character if they are to avoid the drop to League One.

“The only thing we can effect now is what’s in front of us. Concentrate on that, attack it and have a go.

“You’ll be amazed where you can reach and what you can achieve with just having a go, not missing the moment, not missing the challenge.

“And those are the constant messages I give to the players, whoever is playing.”

chris-coleman

Heavily reliant upon youth, avoiding a bottom-three finish will be a tall order for Sunderland. Millwall are on the cusp of the promotion play-offs and run-ins against the likes of Aston Villa, Derby, Fulham, Burton, Reading and Wolverhampton Wanderers, is tough by anyone’s standards.

However, the former Wales boss believes his players must enjoy the challenge if they are to succeed.

“If you’re afraid of giving everything you’ve got because there’s no guarantees of taking everything then these moments are not going to be for you.

“If you’re not afraid of defeat and failure – on the back of you absolutely maxing out and emptying everything that you’ve got – then these moments are for you and you’ll enjoy it.”

While the first-team is in London, the club is rightly gathering much praise for opening its’ doors to the homeless in the current spell of harsh weather.

For a sport where clubs are much-criticised for their unrelenting pursuit of money, to find a club with a strong sense of social responsibility and thriving links with the local community is a pleasing contrast.

Aston Villa will either succeed or fail altogether, says Australian international Mile Jedinak

aston-villa

Aston Villa will either succeed or fail altogether, says Australian international Mile Jedinak

Aston Villa’s rise to the promotion places is down to one thing, claims Australia international Mile Jedinak and that is “unity”.

Speaking to the club’s official website, the midfielder declared that the fans and squad think promotion is a realistic target this season, especially after the celebrations following the 4 – 2 win at Hillsborough which had seemingly underlined the belief around Villa Park.

“I’d say togetherness is the most important thing, which is something I’ve seen a lot of in this side.

“You only need to look at the scenes at the final whistle against Sheffield Wednesday.

“There’s a lot of unity here, and not just among the playing squad. The fans are really buying into this team and there’s a real mentality here now that we’re one big family – from players and coaches to staff and supporters.”

Mile Jedinak for Aston Villa
Mile Jedinak for Aston Villa

Villa are currently five points behind second-placed Cardiff City and 13 adrift of Wolves at the top. However, Jedinak is confident Villa will be in the mix at the end of the season.

“We’ve got to control our own destiny.

“We’ve still got to play a few of the teams in and around us, which gives us a good opportunity.

“Teams are going to take points off each other. Teams are going to drop points. It’s the way it works, especially in this division.”

“We need to make sure we’re on the right side of the results as often as possible and you do that by putting in strong performances.”

Now, their main priority must be to continue this sensational run of victories to ensure they can somehow make a strong case for promotion. If they are able to pull it off, Steve Bruce will succeed at ensuring that one of the most venerable institutions across England return to the promised land of the Premier League.

Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock cautious even as record-breaking promotion beckons

neil-warnock

Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock cautious even as record-breaking promotion beckons

Was this the most decisive night in the 2017/18 Championship promotion race? If it was, Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock refuses to allow himself or his players to get carried away.

Aston Villa, the closest of the chasing pack, fell to a 3 – 1 home defeat to Queens Park Rangers while both Wolves and Cardiff City forged clear victories, the latter 3 – 1 at Griffin Park.

Brentford took an early lead but the Bluebirds hit back with three unanswered goals. Warnock, chasing a record seventh promotion, refuses to accept that the results mean his side has one foot in the Premier League. As per a report by Derby Telegraph, this is what he had to say.

“We don’t get carried away because if you do, you get kicked in the teeth in the Championship,” the Yorkshireman declared.

“I am not confident of anything in this league because we have some difficult games coming up.”

Cardiff find themselves seven points clear of third-placed Aston Villa but have difficult games ahead, beginning this weekend with the trip to Derby. After that, they face other promotion hopefuls Aston Villa, Wolves and Sheffield United.

cardiff-city

Warnock is confident that his players are in the right frame of mind for the run-in.

“All the boys are enjoying it,” he said. “They know that all the pressure is on the big clubs because of the expectation of their players.”

They proved to their manager their strength of character after what seemed a disastrous December. “To win seven on the trot is a great feeling,” Warnock said.

“In December I thought we’d never win another game because we lost four on the trot, but this is amazing.”

Recovering their form so spectacularly means he has no worries about going a goal down during matches.

“We showed great character after going one down but that’s what (the players) are like. They are together with great spirit, and long may it continue.”

Warnock praised Brentford as “brilliant” in the first ten minutes but was happy his players responded before the halfway point of the opening forty-five minutes. They won’t be allowed to rest on their laurels.

“Everyone put a shift in tonight but now it’s on to the next game,” Warnock said, ahead of a difficult few weeks ahead.