Friday, July 31, 2009

Win a cool Sony Ericsson phone!

You know the World Cup would be played next year in South Africa and that would mean we would be without transfer stories and our beloved Premier League! :(

However, you can brighten up your mood by being in a happy place (even with the Internationals going on!) courtesy Sony Ericsson.

They are giving a cool W995 phone Sony Ericsson W995 to one lucky winner.

All you have to do is e-mail me with the answers to the following questions.

1.Who won the last world cup?
2.Who is hosting the current world cup? (the answer is written here somewhere!)

As simple as that! You don't need to be a football geek to know the answers!

Is that all what you can win? NO! The winner would also be put in a lucky draw to win a Willy Wonker styled golden ticket and see the team of your preference play right there in the stadium , including the final!! Or in case you don't get that you can always watch it at home on your new Sony BRAVIA TV!

T&C: Contest closes on 23rd August and open only to UK residents.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Top 5 : Dirtiest Players

Bad Tackle

Football is called the "beautiful game" but unfortunately its not applicable in all situations and to all players.

Sometimes the game is marred by idiotic fans who run down the pitch and disrupt the play. On other occasions these fans hurl abuses at the players who give it their best on the field. The worst of the fan trouble is when the fans turn violent and attack other fans or try to harm the players. What they need to understand is that the sport they love so much wouldn't exist if it weren't for those players and the clubs wouldn't exist if it weren't for the fans, so stop with the violence and abuse.

Then there are the players who spoil the image of the game by being utterly aggressive on the pitch which isn't necessary in most cases but go too far.

So how about we list down some of the dirtiest players who have played recently. By dirty I mean a player with bad tackles and rash challenges rather than a player who would dive and cheat.

Let's get on with it then, the five players you wouldn't want to play against or if you do, you hope you play on an entirely different position where they can't touch you.

  1. Gennaro Gattuso (AC Milan and Italy)
  2. This feisty Italian has a weird weird sense of motivation. He looks like he's part of the Italian mafia and can be described as made of bricks. Nicknamed as the "Rino" and rightly so. The following video would leave you in no doubt that you better watch out if you see them playing!

  3. Roy Keane (Former Manchester United and Republic of Ireland)
  4. Former Manchester United captain famous for his tunnel and then on the pitch fight with then Arsenal captain Patrick Viera in 2006 and his personal duel with Ireland manager Mick McCarthy over in South Korea-Japan during the World Cup showed his on the pitch and off the pitch aggressiveness. The following video is a great watch. (Courtesy : Dirty Tackle)

  5. Robbie Savage (Former Derby County and Albion and Wales)
  6. A player with a long career in the Premiership and the accolade of receiving the most number of yellow cards in the premier league(90). Despite that huge number of yellow cards, shockingly he's been only sent off twice. Hated by many for his simulation and antics of getting opposition players booked. A player who was head butted by Dion Dublin after a confrontation between the two players which got the whole team involved. In the funny incident below Savage gets knocked down by the referee's elbow and Shearer shows him a red card!

  7. Eric Cantona (Former Manchester United and France)
  8. Eric Cantona, brilliant footballer. Referred to as "King Eric" by Manchester United fans and neutral football fans alike. Magical with the ball and ability to score from anywhere around the box. However, his arrogance and bad temper led him to a hefty ban when he attacked a Crystal Palace fan (pictured above).Amongst the many incidences he attacked his fellow team players and publicly insulted the French national team coach. Catch the video of Cantona's bad tackles and goals below.

  9. Joey Barton (Newcastle United and England)
Joey Barton who has been more trouble off the pitch rather than on the pitch for all the teams that he's represented. A player with loads of potential but lack of brains. He attacked his own team mate when he was with Manchester City and has had numerous jail records and court appearances to show off rather than the number of goals scored. Now part of a relegated Newcastle United and history of a red card when he last played against Liverpool won't do him any good for the future. Video of his attack on Sunderland's Etuhu below.

Who do you think is the dirtiest of the five? Or would you rather suggest someone who I missed out..? Leave a comment!

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Silvestre is worth a pound

Mirror's Brian Reade thinks Arsenal's Mikael Silvestre is worth a pound. In a dig at the Frenchman who has had only one season with the Gunners.

In his article, which can be read here, he mentions how Bordeaux's Marouane Chamakh is valued at more than £7million which was Arsenal's bid for the player.

Bordeaux seem to be wanting cash + Silvestre as a deal for the Moroccan striker. To take it further, the columnist then comments how Chamakh would then be worth £7,000,001.

In my opinion, Silvestre is a great defender who has been wonderful at Manchester United and then now at Arsenal.

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Girl would give sister for pic with MO7

Manchester United began their pre season campaign in Asia with a game earlier today against Malaysia XI which they won 3-2 courtesy a Michael Owen winner.

Michael Owen who would be wearing the lucrative number 7 jersey for the Red Devils replaces Cristiano Ronaldo who headed to Real Madrid in a world record £80million deal.

Anyway, in the pic above of a fan who had come to see Manchester United play has a little banner which reads

"Would give my sister 4 picture with OWEN"

All well and good to say Michael Owen has fans after his brochure was sent out to various clubs. But to give your sister for a picture? I think they mistook the new number 7 with the previous number 7. The previous one would have winked and obliged too!

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Baby Tevez is born in Manchester

On the left is newly born who is 6days old and on the right is the guy who recently moved from the red side of Manchester to the blue.

What's common between the two? The newly born is called Tevez Thomas after his mom, a Manchester United fan, wanted to name her third child after her favourite player.

However, she had named the baby hours before Argentine took the switch to the Blue side of Manchester.

This did give the mother a little trouble as the whole family is full of Manchester United supporters but decided to continue as it is.

I wonder if Manchester United would allow him to be a season ticket holder!?

[Source : Manchester Evening News]

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Adebayor completes City move

Adebayor joins Manchester City

Emanuel Adebayor has completed his move to Manchester City from Arsenal on a five year deal.

The Togolese striker joins the City revolution and a huge list of strikers with summer signings of Roque Santa Cruz and Carlos Tevez from Blackburn Rovers and Manchester United respectively.

Along with the summer buys, City already have Robinbo, Bellamy, Bojinov and Benjani in their squad as attacking options.

The transfer is believed to be worth £25m ($41m). Adebayor passed a medical on Saturday and had earlier sorted his work permit to complete his move.

City's official website ended few days of speculation regarding his future as he was linked with Chelsea, Manchester United and AC Milan.

Crowd of 300 City supporters thronged the stadium for his unveiling.Adebayor said :
It made me feel really welcome and special and I can’t wait to play for City’s fans and show them what I can do,” he declared after completing the bulk of the paperwork.

I was born to play football and that is what I want to do. I have come here to make history for this club and those supporters. Its what the chairman and the manager told me that they want too and I can’t wait to get started

Mark Hughes reflected the club is moving forward with the signing and said :
Emmanuel has been one of the top forwards in the Premier League since he arrived from France and we are delighted he has agreed to come and join us.

Along with the other signings we have made in the last two windows he will greatly enhance our ability to compete with the top sides.

His arrival is another clear indication that we are determined to augment the players we have here with the best of international talent.

He adds vital balance and power to our attack. He has everything a top forward needs. He is versatile, powerful, quick and agile on the ball.

I am looking forward to working with him as are the rest of the staff. He will definitely add a new dimension to our play. I have been a great admirer for a long time.

Adebayor would now head to South Africa to join his team mates for pre season friendlies.This also brings City's spending to £130million.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

United cancel Indonesia trip due to blasts

Blasts at the Ritz Cartlon in Jakarta
[Source : Sydney Morning Herald]

Manchester United have canceled their trip to Indonesia after fatal blasts ruptured two luxurious hotels, Ritz Carlton and Marriott in Jakarta.

United were to play Indonesia Super League XI on Monday and incidentally were supposed to stay at the Ritz Carlton.

United's official website read :

Following the explosions in Jakarta – one of which was at the hotel the team were due to stay in – and based on advice received, the Directors have informed the Indonesian FA that the Club cannot fulfil the fixture in Jakarta on the 2009 Asia tour.

Manager, Sir Alex Ferguson was shocked to hear about the blasts as they touched down in Kuala Lumpur.

It was a bit of a shock. We got the news just as we landed and it’s very disappointing.

The organisers of the Indonesian FA have worked very hard to get Manchester United over there and it’s a terribly big disappointment for them. There’s no other decision we could have taken in regards to the safeguarding of our players. We feel we’ve made the right decision.

It has been hinted that there could be changes in United's tour dates with David Gill not ruling out the possibility of the Indonesian side traveling to Kuala Lumpur for the game.

Deepest sympathies go out to the families of the people inside those hotels and people of Jakarta.


Downing joins Villa

Stewart Downing joins Aston Villa

Aston Villa have completed the signing of England international Stewart Downing from relegated club, Middlesbrough.

The deal is worth £12million and for a four year period.

Downing is currently sidelined due to a foot surgery after a tackle on the last game of the season against Villa took him out until October. Despite not being able to start the season, Martin O'Neil decided to sign the player anyway.

Villa's official website read :

Villa have completed the signing of England international Stewart Downing.

The four-year deal was finalised after the left-sided star agreed terms and passed a medical.

Downing becomes Martin O'Neill's first summer signing and adds more quality to the manager's claret and blue squad.

Downing has been left a big admirer of O'Neil and said :

As soon as I spoke to the manager at the training ground, I wanted to play for Villa and I wanted to play for him.

He has great ambition and wants to build a good squad to take the club forward. I want to be part of that.

As an outsider looking in, it was obvious that Villa were a club on the up. You can see a chairman and manager who want to build great things.

They have done that over the past few seasons, particularly by finishing sixth last time around, which was great.

But once you get here and see the stadium, the training ground, the people behind the scenes and the manager with his ambition and hopes for the future, it's even better than you realised.

Downing has also reiterated his intention to play for England next year in South Africa which is what has forced him to move away from the club he has always supported and would always support.

With this deal done, do you think it makes way for Ashley Young to look for newer pastures? Manchester United anyone?

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Video : Sepp Blatter tumbles

Sepp Blatter takes a "dive" while shaking hands. And you thought only players did that! Disgraceful actions of FIFA supremo.

*Shows a red card*

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Birmingham bring in Ferguson

Barry Ferguson moves to Birmingham City

Scottish club,Rangers have accepted Birmingham City's bid for Darren Ferguson believed to be in the region of £1million.

It is now upto the player and Birmingham City to finalise the deal on a personal level.Birmingham City is managed by former Rangers and Scottish national team manager, Alex Mcleish.

It would be his second stint in Premiership football after a spell with Blackburn Rovers four and a half years back.

Lately, the player had run into controversial moments with the national side where he was found drunk during international duty which ended his international career.
This brought about sanctions into his club career as well, where he was scrapped of his place in the team.

However, he later regained his place and was part of the SPL and Scottish Cup winning side.

Another player with disciplinary issues joins England. Now Barton won't feel lonely!


Jerome extends Birmingham contract

Jerome extends contract with Blues

Birmingham City have extended Cameron Jerome's contract by five years to put an end to the speculation regarding his future.

The St.Andrews based striker had been linked with many clubs but heavily towards Middlesbrough who had been relegated at the end of the season.

He scored nine times for the club where they gained promotion to the Premiership.


Gibson extends United contract

Darron Gibson extends contract with United

Manchester United have extended the contract for highly rated midfielder, Darron Gibson until 2012.

The Republic of Ireland player made 14 appearances for the club last season and scored a beautiful long distance goal in the final game of the season against Hull.

Speaking to the official website, he said :

I am very happy to commit my future to United.

Last season I enjoyed every opportunity and when I got my chance I wanted to prove what I could do. I hope to continue that this season.

Now Sir Alex would expect him to push for more first team action in the Premiership as well as then in Europe.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Burnley sign Uniteds Eckersley

Richard Eckersley joins Burnley

Premiership's new boys Burnley have signed young Manchester United defender Richard Eckersley on a four year deal.

The 20 year old turned down a deal at Old Trafford and instead signed his future with the Turf Moor based club.

Since he's under the age of 24, Burnley would be liable to pay Manchester United some sort of compensation which both the clubs need to agree upon.

He becomes Burnley's fifth signing of the summer after acquiring Tyrone Mears, Steven Fletcher, David Edgar and Brian Easton.

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Lawrence extends Stoke contract

Liam Lawrence extends his contract with Stoke City

Stoke City's midfielder, Liam Lawrence has extended his contract with the club which would keep him at the Britannia Stadium until 2013.

This concludes weeks of negotiations between the player and the club over his future. He had two years left under his contract but wanted to improve it.

Speaking to the club's official website, Lawrence said :

I'm over the moon to have signed the deal.

I always knew it would get done, there was never any question of that, and now I can concentrate on performing on the pitch.

The club has changed so much from when I first come here, it's a different world.

Now to know that I will be spending the best years of my career here is fantastic.

He joined Stoke from Sunderland in 2007 at a fee of £500,000 and has scored 23 goals in 94 games for the Potters.


Burnley sign Easton

Brian Easton joins Clarets

Burnley have made another addition to their squad by signing young defender, Brian Easton from Hamilton Academical.

The player has been signed on for a fee of £350,000 on a three year deal.

He's played more than 100 games for the Scottish Premier League team when he joined the club at the age of 18.

He follows Steven Fletcher, David Edgar and Tyrone Mears to the Turf Moor club.

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Wigan duo extend contracts

Bramble and Boyce extends contract

Wigan's duo of Titus Bramble and Emmerson Boyce have extended contracts with the Latics until 2012.

Bramble had been linked with former manager Steve Bruce who is now in-charge at Sunderland and Villa were rumoured to be in the hunt as well.

Boyce had been linked with a move to new boys Wolves after the player had 12 months remaining in his contract.

However, both the players and the club have put the stories to rest by committing to the club on a long term basis.

Manager, Roberto Martinez was delighted with the move and told the official club website :

When you look at the performances of the two players over recent seasons it's a great reward from the club to offer them contract extensions.

They're real ambassadors for the club and great professionals who give you a good sense of continuity and competitiveness.

They offer stability, set themselves high standards and are excellent examples to follow. Both are at a great moment in their careers and I think their best years are still to come, so we're very lucky to have players of that calibre.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tevez joins City

Tevez joins City

Carlos Tevez has finally ended the speculation about his final destination after agreeing to a five year deal with Manchester City.

This also concludes a long time rumour mill that had been running over his future after talks broke through of his contract extension at Manchester United and the Argentine being linked to many clubs in England and abroad.He had been rumoured to join Liverpool as well but it was never confirmed by Rafa Benitez.

Tevez had earlier denied to any interest in making his loan deal with Manchester United permanent.

Manchester City's official website confirms he will be sporting the number 32 jersey for the Citizens after the formality of a medical is done with. Following which he will join his team mates in South Africa for pre season friendlies.

Manager Mark Hughes was delighted with the move after they ended their pursuit of Barcelona's Samuel Eto'o.

It is terrific news.Carlos is an international player of the highest class who possesses all the attributes that will help drive this club forward.

He is not only outstanding technically but he is a reliable goal scorer and someone who will contribute fully to the team ethic. He gives us another exciting, attacking dimension.

I cannot wait to welcome him to City. This is yet another deal that shows the commitment of the owner Sheikh Mansour to make this club the very best it can possibly be. I am sure our fans will give Carlos an exceptionally warm welcome.

He would now form partnership with Roque Santa Cruz in the new look formation at Eastlands.

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Sunderland sign Da Silva

Paulo Da Silva joins Black Cats

Sunderland have signed Paraguay international, Paulo Da Silva on a free transfer.The deal is for a period of three years.

The defender had been out of contract with Mexican side, Toluca and that's where manager Steve Bruce swooped in to sign the captain of his national side.

Bruce expects the player to be a hit at the Stadium of light and would bring in leadership qualities :

I'm delighted to have signed a player of Paulo's experience.

He is captain of his country and has played at the highest level in South America, so will bring leadership qualities to our side.

This is new manager, Bruce's second signing of the summer after he wrapped up the deal to bring in Manchester United's Fraizer Campbell.

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Delap extends contract at Stoke

Delap with his spectacular throw in

Stoke City have extended Rory Delap's contract until 2011.

The long throw specialist was earlier under contract till 2010 but now has penned a one year extension at the Britannia stadium.

Speaking to the official website, Delap said :

I'm delighted to sign for an extra year.

I said before that I'd like to stay here for as long as I can, and for as long as I feel fit

I think we exceeded everyone's expectations last year, apart from our own, and we've got to do it all again next season.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Real Madrid want Udinese Player

Gaetano D'Agostino celebrates

Udinese have confirmed that Real Madrid are interested in signing their midfielder Gaetano D'Agostino for at least a €25million buyout clause that he has or a cash + player swap stipulation. Udinese president Giampaolo Pozzo said:

I confirm that they (Real) are interested.

My son was set to meet them yesterday but he was unable to so we postponed everything until next week.

The buy-out clause of the player remains the same, €25m, but there's always room to reason. There are players they have that could interest us. It's an open negotiation.

D'Agostino is under contract with Udinese until 2014, has expressed his desire to play for the 9 time European champions.

It's the dream of any player to play at Real Madrid.They have a spectacular team.

That is why I'm nervous and excited. I thank Real for their interest, I am happy, but there's nothing official just yet.

Who is Gaetano D'Agostino?
This 27 year old player is described as a good passer of the ball and his ability to create chances upfront.He also has command in goal scoring from the midfield.

He has represented Roma, Bari, Messina and then Udinese in his senior career beginning from 2000 which has spanned a total of 232 games and has scored 34 goals in the process. The most coming for Udinese with 13 goals in his 3 seasons at the club.

He was swapped by Roma and Bari with Antonio Cassano joining Roma and both the clubs having ownership of the player.

He was instrumental in Messina's seventh place at the end of 2004-05 which is quite a feat for a newly promoted club.

It was at Udinese however that he made his regular place.He played 94 games for the Bianconeri.

On the international front, he has been part of the U-21 side for Italy since 2002 but has only made one appearance against Northern Ireland for the Azzurri.

Challenge for signing

Real Madrid would face the battle of acquiring the player from Juventus. The Old Lady had been in the picture to bring in the player to possible replace Nedved but the bid was rejected by Udinese because it was too low.

Another contender in the past had been Liverpool who were rumoured to be looking for the player if Real Madrid got their long time interest Xabi Alonso to bring in to the Bernabeu.

The deadline for signing the player was believed to be 6th July but that could be extended now that the talks have reached a crucial stage.

Good deal?

In my opinion, its not a good deal. We would be better off in pursuing a defensive midfielder rather than a midfielder who is better at going upfront and creating chances. We already have quite an impressive lineup going upfront with Ronaldo, Kaka and Benzema in the bag. Except for the new signings we would most certainly retain quite a few of the earlier squad members (which is still not clear). Raul would be the choice upfront unless Pellegerini could do the improbable and bench the legend, which would be the correct decision if the 2008/09 season is to be seen.

Xabi Alonso would be a better choice for me. He has the ability to hold up play as well as move the ball around covering the whole width of the pitch. Not to forget he can score some beauties from the halfline which is something which could some serious problems for the opposition goal keepers.

Except for the formation issues, the asking price is too steep for the player. We should rather look for some cheaper options to strengthen the defense if Alonso deal does break through.

What do you guys think? Leave your comments below.

P.S.: I would like to mention here that am a Real Madrid fan but totally unbiased otherwise.

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Pre Season-Fulham win,Burnley lose,Citizens draw

Andy Johnson scored against Melbourne Victory

Melbourne Victory 0-3 Fulham

Fulham avenged their first defeat in Australia by downing Melbourne Victory by three goals.

Goals by Andy Johnson, Eddie Johnson and Erik Nevland helped Cottagers to their first win of the pre season campaign.

Fulham proved too good for the A-League champions after their shock defeat to Gold Coast United last Wednesday.

Andy Johnson scored the first from the penalty spot just after the half hour mark after being brought down in the area.

Substitute Eddie Johnson scored the second in the 67th minute and Nevland put the game past the hosts with the third in the 73rd minute.

Fulham play Perth Glory on Wednesday to round off their Australia tour.

Burnley lose to Bradford

Bradford 2-1 Burnley

New boys Burnley lost away to Bradford getting their campaign off to a worst possible start.

Burnley took the lead in the 13th minute through a Graham Alexander screamer after Robbie Blake passed the ball to the midfielder.

Bradford squared matters before half time with a 12yard strike from James O'Brien.

They went ahead with a cool finish by Michael Boulding past Burnley keeper Brian Jensen which proved enough for the win.

Bojinov scored for City

1860 Munich 1-1 Manchester City

Manchester City displayed their young side in Germany and they turned out quite well as per the aspirations of manager Mark Hughes.

City went down in the 39th minute through a brilliant Alexander Ludwig goal which put the second division side up ahead.

Valeri Bojinov equalised for the Mancs after a fine pass from Weiss.

City started off with many of the youngsters from their academy and a start for Stuart Taylor in goal.

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Liverpool sign Mavinga

Chris Mavinga signs for Liverpool

Liverpool have signed young French starlet Chris Mavinga from Paris Saint-Germain and extended the contract for Nabil El-Zhar.

Mavinga is a left back who has very little professional experience in the league.This could be seen as Rafa's strategy to improve for the future as the player is only 18 year old and could feature in Carling Cup and FA Cup ties.The length of the deal is not revealed.

This is Liverpool's second signing of the off the season after bringing in Glen Johnson from Portsmouth. The reds beat Arsenal to sign the young French defender.

Meanwhile, El Zhar has extended his contract with Liverpool which will now run until 2012.

The player arrived in 2006 from St.Etienne and had a decent last season making 19 appearances for the Merseysiders.He follows Gerrard, Torres, Kuyt, Agger, Benayoun in agreeing their future with the club.

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Sunderland sign Campbell

Fraizer Campbell signs for Sunderland

Sunderland have signed Manchester United youngster Fraizer Campbell for a fee of £3.5million.

The fee could rise to £6 million depending upon his performances for the Black Cats. The player has signed on for a period of four years.

Its a major setback for Hull City and its manager, Phil Brown who looked like the front runners to sign the player who had a season with the Tigers where they qualified for the Premiership.

He played last season for Spurs on loan as part of a swap deal that brought Berbatov to Old Trafford. He had to endure a disappointing season as he made only 9 starts for the London based club.

He would look for more playing time at Sunderland under former Wigan Athletic manager, Steve Bruce.The transfer in itself though seems bizarre as Hull City were reportedly offering £5-6 million for the player. What brought about Manchester United's decision to offload him for a reduced fee is uncertain.

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Pre Season - Everton lose,Wolves win

Perth Glory 0 - 1 Wolves

Perth Glory hosted newly promoted Wolves for their pre season tour of Australia.

Wolves got off to a great start courtesy a Sylvan Ebanks-Blake strike in as early as the second minute of the match after he latched on to a rebound which had hit the sidebar.

The only downside for the Wolves from the game being Chris Iwelumo's metatarsal injury in his right foot which would most certainly keep the player out for the beginning of the season.

Bury 2 - 1 Everton

Everton got their pre season off to the worst possible start after going down 2-1 to League two side Bury F.C.

Everton manager made place for on loan signing Jo and debuts to Anton Peterlin and Shkodran Mustafi.

Everton went ahead in the 22nd minute courtesy a Louis Saha header supplied by Leighton Baines.

Bury equalised in the 64th minute through Ryan Lowe.And scored another in the 70th minute headed in by an unmarked Efe Sodje.

There were many chances for Everton but they failed to make the most of it eventually losing out in the end.

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Everton sign Peterlin

Anton Peterlin signs for Everton

Everton have signed young American midfielder Anton Peterlin who had impressed Moyes during trials in March.

The 22 year old player had been playing in the fourth division of US football league before he went for trials to the Merseyside club.

He was delighted to make it to a big club like Everton and aimed to even make appearances as a substitute.

It's great to be here.

I had a trial in early March and found out that Everton wanted me in April time. I was really taken aback when I heard.

I've been blown away by everything at the club because, compared to the States, it's a lot different.

My hope is to make my way and show the manager I can do well. If I can get on the bench and get off the bench this season, that would be fantastic.

He also aspires to be improve on his tackling skills.

My strength is probably passing, mostly, because my vision's not bad.

I'm getting better at my tackling, which is good because this is a very physical division.

Lately, I'd say I like to play a little like Michael Carrick - though I wouldn't compare myself to him just yet. We just have similar attributes.

I like to aspire to be like Patrick Vieira. I work hard and I pride myself on that. He worked hard and he never shied away from a tackle.

I try never to shy away from a tackle - I always go in there to win the ball.

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Man City's Fernandes moves out

Gelson Fernandes joins St.Ettienne

Manchester City's flop signing, Gelson Fernandes has joined French side St. Ettienne on an undisclosed fee.

Fernandes who made many substitute appearances for the Eastlands based club but failed to make place in the first team.

His place became even more obscure after Mark Hughes arrived at the club in 2008-09.

He made 59 appearances for the club and scored 4 goals in the process.

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Pennant joins Zaragoza

Liverpool's Pennant joins Zaragoza

Liverpool's out of contract player, Jermaine Pennant has joined La Liga new boys Real Zaragoza on a free transfer.

The player was out of contract at the end of June after spending the latter half of 2008-09 season on loan with Portsmouth.

He played for Liverpool in the Champions League final of 2007 but had recently failed to make the cut for the team.

He thus becomes Real Zaragoza's,who qualified back to the La Liga,first signing of the summer transfer window.

Pennant told the club's official website :

I wanted to come to Spain and I had offers from important teams in Europe but joined Real Zaragoza.

I really want to get started and do well in the league.

Do fans think it was the right move by Pennant who also had offers from other Premiership clubs? Comment away..

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Gerrard extends Liverpool contract

Gerrard extends contract

After agreeing to a contract extension back in April on a verbal basis, Steven Gerrard has put pen to paper to stay with the club until 2013.

The player returned to the club from his summer holiday for training and officially secured his future and services to the club he's played for all his life.

Manager Rafa Benitez was delighted with the extension :

We have spent this summer trying to secure the players we have.

It's really good to keep Kuyt, Torres, Agger, Benayoun and Steven. They are the here and now of the club and for the future it is really good.

We are really pleased. We have a lot of good players who want to stay, to win and compete. The message has to be the same again this year - to be there, to be contenders and to fight. If we can win trophies it would be fantastic.

Some message to be sending out to all the youngsters switching club over and over!


Thursday, July 09, 2009

Spurs' Zakora joins Sevilla

Zakora joins Sevilla

Spurs' defensive midfield Didier Zakora has signed for Sevilla after the two clubs agreed on the transfer fee.

The switch was likely to happen but only delay was in the clubs disagreement over the valuation of the move.

This brings to an end his three year stint at White Hart Lane where he made 134 appearances for the club.

Spurs' official website read:

The Ivory Coast international joined us from St Etienne in July 2006 and went on to make 134 appearances for the club, including being part of the League Cup-winning side of 2008.

We thank Didier for his contribution and wish him every success for the future.

Sevilla announced the Ivory coast player has signed a four year deal.

Zakora had this to say on the transfer :

I am delighted to join an ambitious club and am looking forward to the Champions League.

It is a great day for me. I have joined a very good team.

With nothing going the way for Spurs supporters in the transfer window in terms of players coming in,is this a good move? What do the fans think?

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Manchester United sign Obertan

Gabriel Obertan signs for Red Devils

20 year old Frenchman, Gabriel Obertan becomes Manchester United's third signing of the summer transfer window.

The Bordeaux player has signed a four year contract with the Red Devils.The fee of the transfer is not revealed.

He follows the previous signings of Antonio Valencia and Michael Owen to Old Trafford.

Speaking to the clubs official website, manager Sir Alex Ferguson said :
Gabriel is a player we have tracked for a few years now, but because of his educational programme our efforts to get him here have always been delayed.

We are delighted to get him now as he is an exciting prospect. We like to get young players and develop them, and we will see that in Gabriel over the next two years.

The Frenchman was equally delighted to make the move to the Premier League champions.
I am very happy to join Manchester United.

This is a big opportunity for me to play at such a great club. I am very excited to be here and I look forward to proving what I can do.

He would however miss Manchester United's pre season tour of Asia due to a slight injury.

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Bowyer joins Birmingham from West Ham

Lee Bowyer joins Birmingham City

Birmingham City have signed English international Lee Bowyer on a free transfer.

Bowyer had been with West Ham until the end of the 2008-09 season and had spent period since January 2009 with the Blues in the Championship.

The 32 year old has signed on a two year deal with the St.Andrews club.

Blues manager Alex Mcleish was delighted to make his seventh signing of the summer transfer window :
I'm very pleased that Lee has signed because he's a proven player," said the Blues boss.

You don't often get a player of Lee's calibre for nothing these days.

There's no transfer fee but there's a going rate in terms of wages and he deserves that.

We believe he's certainly still got the ability to justify his status as a Premier League player.

Bowyer follows Stephen Carr , Giovanny Espinoza , Christain Benitez , Scott Dann , Joe Hart and Roger Johnson to the club.

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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Van Persie extends Arsenal contract

Van Persie extends Arsenal contract

All the speculation surrounding Van Persie's future has been put to rest after the Dutchman extended his contract with the Gunners.

The duration for the contract extension isn't clear though.

Van Persie who moved to Arsenal from Feyenoord in 2004 has scored 63 goals in 177 appearances for the club.

He was Arsenal's top scorer last season with 20 goals from 44 games.Leading the club to the semi finals of Champions league and the FA Cup.Along with it the club finished fourth in the league.

Manager Arsene Wenger said :

It’s fantastic news that Robin van Persie has committed his long term future to Arsenal Football Club, we’re all delighted. Robin is a hugely gifted player and has the talent and goalscoring ability to win matches at the very top level. We have already seen many times what Robin is capable of on a football pitch, but at only 25, there is still much more to come from him. Robin has the potential to become a true Arsenal great.

Van Persie was equally delighted to seal the deal.

I’m so happy to have signed a new long term contract. I’ve been at the Club for five years now and there really is a great feeling here at Arsenal. We have a top class manager, a squad full of superb young players, a world class stadium and brilliant supporters. Arsenal Football Club has a very bright future and I want to be part of it.

My heart is with Arsenal and I just can’t picture myself in a different shirt. I just can’t see it now because I love this Club so much. If you look at the last five years, look at the steps I have made every season, if you look at the support the Boss and the whole Club gave me, the fans gave me, my team mates gave me – this is the right decision.


Jo joins Everton on loan

Jo joins Everton on loan

Manchester City have been culling their squad with Sturridge , Jacobsen , Nuno Valente and Andy van der Meyde seeing the exits.

Now they have made another addition to the list by loaning out Brazilian striker Jo to Everton.

Jo who joined the Merseysiders in the winter transfer window made 12 appearances for the club and netted 5.

His tenure with City hasn't been upto the mark as was expected with his transfer fee of £18million from CSKA Moscow as he just scored 1 goal for the Mancs.

Everton are still to confirm on the status of the deal but manager David Moyes had earlier stated of their inability to sign Jo on a permanent basis.

Jo is with the rest of the Everton squad in Scotland for pre-season training camp.

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Ben Foster extends contract at United

Ben Foster in action

Manchester United have extended the contract of England international Ben Foster by four years.

The player who is on the verge of a return after undergoing thumb surgery has also signed the contract for an extension which would keep him with the club until 2013.

He is seen as the one to replace Van der Sar, when the Dutchman hangs up his gloves.

He joined United in 2005 from Stoke and has spent 2 seasons on loan to Watford making 73 appearances in the process.

Foster told the official website:
I'm really happy to commit my future to the club.

The team spirit here is fantastic and working alongside Edwin and Tomasz (Kuszczak) has been a great influence on my career.

Manager, Sir Alex Ferguson was also delighted with the move :
We are delighted that Ben has signed a new four-year deal.

Ben is seen as one of the best young goalkeepers in England and we genuinely see him as a successor to Edwin Van Der Sar.


Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Quick Free Kick : What's the rule?

There are some rules in football that really confuse me and its actually up to the referee's discretion to which way the decision goes. One is the offside rule where the referee on the sidelines has to give in a decision when the ball is released from the back and the player in front takes a touch. Now this is highly controversial based on the linesman's view and sometimes his own ability to catch up with the player in front.

Another rule that I've been pretty confused about is the Quick Free Kick.

Let's start off with a little video which would show what exactly I mean by a quick free kick.

[If you can't see the video then head over to this link : VIDEO]

This is a video of a goal Thiery Henry scored for Arsenal back in 2004 against Chelsea. The referee officiating is Graham Poll(who is retired now). Henry scored while Chelsea were lining up the wall and Peter Cech wasn't ready. It wasn't the only time Henry had scored in such a cheeky way, Aston Villa were on the receiving end earlier. Poll had this to say about the quick free kick :

First you have to deal with the principle of a free-kick.

If the attacking team are fouled then it is they who hold the advantage.

With a free-kick around the penalty area, we always ask the players whether they want it quick or slow.

This is their window of opportunity to surprise the defence. If they want it quick, then they have given up the right to re-take it, no matter if it hits a defender who's three yards away.

The same goes if they kick it over the bar. They only get one chance.

The flip side is if they want it slow, they can't then take it while I count out the ten yards for the wall.

They must wait for my whistle. There is nothing in the laws of the game that say we have to indicate for the free-kick to be taken.

It's just like when someone wants to take a free-kick anywhere else on the field.

As long as the ball is stationary and in the right place then the attacking team can take it as quickly as they like.

The referee couldn't have been more clearer in his stance and making us understand the law of the game.

Now let's fast forward to 7th April,2009. Champions League Quarter finals, first leg. Arsenal travel to Villareal's El Madrigal. Its the 45th minute, half time approaching and Arsenal are a goal down. Nasri is fouled 30 yards from the goal. The Gunners would want to go back into the tunnel with the scores leveled. Fabregas is swift in his approach and takes a quick free kick past Diego Lopez and gets a yellow card for not waiting for the Tom Henning Overbo's (Yes,the same referee who officiated the Chelsea-Barcelona semi final) whistle.

(Forward to 1 minutes 30 seconds into the video to see the quick free kick and the caution)

[If you can't see the video then head over to this link : VIDEO]

What was the difference between the two situations? Why couldn't Fabregas take the quick free kick and was handed a caution?

We have to understand the difference between a Quick Free Kick(QFK) and a Ceremonial Free Kick(CFK) which was made clear by USSF's "Free Kick and Restart Management" . A quick free kick can be taken by the attacking side in any situation without notifying the referee either verbally or visually and after ensuring there is a distance of at least 10 yards from an opposition player so as not to block the movement of play. Ceremonial free kick on the other hand are taken only on the referee's whistle after he's ensured the wall is at a distance of 10 yards from the ball.

The report goes on to say that the ceremonial free kick only be taken in the following situations :

1.Yellow/red card had been handed out prior to the kick.
2.A trainer was required to come on to the field.
3.The attacking team asks for the distance of 10 yards be enforced.
4.Referee decides to slow down the tempo of the game.

This is in total contrast with what the European referees believe on the quick free kicks as we read by Graham Poll's statements above. They are of the opinion that the referee checks up with the attacking side if they want it played quick or slow it down. What if the referee isn't in a position to check with the attacking side about their options? Or what if by the time referee asks its a little too late for the attacking side to make much use of it?

Leave comments on what you think of the whole quick free kick affair, which way should it be? Is it fair to take a quick free kick without notifying the referee even in an attacking position?

Also, as an amateur player who plays in the local park everyday without shin guards, offside and a referee. Would a goal stand if we score from a quick free kick? :)


Benayoun extends contract at Liverpool

Benayoun and manager Benitez

Liverpool's Yossi Benayoun has extended his contract with the Merseyside club until 2013.

Benayoun whose previously signed contract was to expire in 2011 has now extended it further by two years.

Benayoun arrived at Anfield from West Ham in July 2007 and has made quite an impact at the club.He has scored at very crucial junctures for the club in the past season.

Benayoun was happy to have his future settled so he can concentrate on winning trophies for the club.
I am very happy that we have reached an agreement. Of course, to be at a club like this is a dream come true and I want to keep playing here.

Hopefully now I can concentrate on the hard work that needs to be done and try to play better and better and win some silverware.

Manager Rafa Benitez was also happy to have his squad signing up long term contracts.
You know that our idea was to extend the contracts of some players and Yossi was one of these players.

He has been really good for us over the last year, scoring crucial goals and getting assists, so we wanted to keep him and I'm really pleased with the extension.

Benayoun becomes the fifth member of Liverpool's squad to renew contracts after Fernando Torres,Steven Gerrard,Dirk Kuyt and Daniel Agger.


Monday, July 06, 2009

Zhirkov signs for Chelsea

Chelsea have signed Russian international and former CSKA Moscow player Yuri Zhirkov.

The fee is reported to be £18million and the contract has been signed for a period of four years.

The 25 year old generally plays as a left back but can move up the pitch and be part of the midfield as well.

Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed the signing by saying :
Zhirkov, (Daniel) Sturridge - these are Chelsea players.

Earlier Chelsea had signed Daniel Sturridge from Manchester City and goalkeeper Ross Turnbull on a free transfer from Middlesbrough.

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Saturday, July 04, 2009

Manchester United sign Owen

In a shocking development and probably one of the most bizarre transfers you would ever see,Michael Owen has signed for Manchester United.

Owen who was out of contract at the end of June with relegated Newcastle United not keen to renew it.

There is no fee involved for the Englishman as he's been signed on a free transfer.The contract runs for two years.

The move by Owen to join Manchester United is considered to be motivated by desperation for Sir Alex Ferguson and Owen's desire to get back into the national side for the World Cup next year.

Owen who had been on the lookout for clubs in England and outside as well was first avidly approached by Hull but no deal took place.

On the transfer manager Sir Alex had to say :

Michael is a world class forward with a proven goalscoring record at the highest level and that has never been in question. Coming to Manchester United with the expectations that we have is something that Michael will relish.

Michael Owen was delighted to be part of Manchester United's setup and join Wayne Rooney and recent signing Antonio Valencia.

This is a fantastic opportunity for me and I intend to seize it with both hands. I am now looking forward to being a Manchester United player and I am fortunate that I already know so many of the players here. I missed pre-season last year and am pleased that I will be starting at Carrington from day one.

I want to thank Sir Alex for the faith he has shown in me and I give him my assurance that I will repay him with my goals and performances.

Now this is a shocking move for Sir Alex to make despite the money that he has received by selling Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid.Another equally shocking move was Garethy Barry moving to Manchester City.Which is a bigger shock for you? Do our poll and leave a comment. Thanks!

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Chelsea sign Sturridge from Man City

Daniel Sturridge has signed for Chelsea after rejecting an offer for an extension from Manchester City.

There has been no reported settlement between the clubs over the transfer fees and this looks set to be decided by a tribunal but experts predict the price could be around £5million.

The contract has been signed for a period of four years at Stamford Bridge.

He had also been linked to Aston Villa and West Ham United but Chelsea were clear runners since the start.

The 19 year old scored four goals for City in the previous campaign for City with majority of the times coming in as a substitute.

Do Chelsea fans think he'd be a hit at the club?Is he good enough?

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Gibbs extends contract with Arsenal

After Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere comes the turn of another youngster Kieran Gibbs to extend his contract with Arsenal.

The England U-21 has signed a long term contract with the club.

Gibbs made his first team debut against Sheffield United in the Carling Cup in October 2007.

He made 21 first team appearances for the Gunners and played in the UEFA Champions League games as well.

Arsene Wenger was delighted with the development and said this on Arsenal's official website :
Kieran made such a great impact last season and the progress he made throughout the year was fantastic.

Kieran is an intelligent player with huge quality and he proved last season with his performances that he has great potential.

We’re delighted that Kieran has committed his future to Arsenal and we’re all excited to watch his future development at the Club

Other players who extended their contracts after the close of the season are Theo Walcott and Lukasz Fabianski.


Friday, July 03, 2009

Wilshere extends Arsenal contract

Hours after Aaron Ramsey extended his contract with Arsenal, another youngster Jack Wilshere has decided to stick to the Gunners.

The 17 year old made his debut for Arsenal in September at a tender age of 16 against Blackburn and he went on to make eight appearances for the club.

Wenger sees him as an investment for the future.

He even scored for the club in the Carling Cup against Sheffield United at the Emirates Stadium.

The English youth player plays as a creative midfielder although Wenger has used him on either flanks as well.


Wigan sign Honduras international Thomas

Wigan Athletic have signed Honduras international Hendry Thomas.

The midfielder joins from Deportivo Olimpia on a three year contract.

He had been wanted by the club a year ago but couldn't clear the deal due to complications in the work permit.

Manager,Roberto Martinez hopes he would make the same impact as Wilson Palacios and Maynor Figueroa did at Wigan.

Speaking to the clubs official website Martinez said :

Everyone knows how well Wilson and Maynor have done in the Premier League and it is no wonder there was lots of interest in Hendry, who comes from the same club as those two and has impressed.

He is a powerful figure in midfield, who can sit in front of the back four and destroy attacks, or can also come forward and score.

Thomas was delighted to be part of the English Premiership and vowed to make an impact.

I have worked hard all season to stay fit and qualify for the work permit rules and it is a dream come true for me to come to England. I have talked a lot with Maynor and Wilson about the club and I can't wait to start now.

I want to thank Roberto Martinez and Wigan Athletic for giving me the chance to come here and I'm determined to show them they have not made a mistake.

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Wolves sign Greg Halford from Sunderland

Wolves manager,Mick McCarthy has made his third signing of the week in the form of defender Greg Halford for £2m from Sunderland.

The other two signings for the Irishman have been Kevin Doyle from Reading and Andrew Surman from Southampton.

Former Sheffield United player plays as a right back.

Halford who had very opportunities at Sunderland when he arrived at the time of Roy Keane's managerial stint in 2007.

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Fulham drop 3 from squad

Fulham have released three players from their plans for the future.

The three players are defender Moritz Volz,striker Collins John and midfielder Leon Andreasen.

Volz who had quite a lengthy spell with the Cottagers since his arrival in 2004.However he was on loan with Ipswich last season.

Striker Collins John couldn't quite make an impact at the London based club and thus sees himself without an opportunity to be part of Fulham in 2009/10 who would be playing Europa Cup.

Leon Andreasen has joined German club,Hannover 96 after spending a loan spell with them earlier.

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Chelsea bring in reserve keeper

Chelsea have signed Middlesbrough's goalkeeper Ross Turnbull on a free transfer.

The 24 year old was without a contract at the end of June as Middlesbrough, who were relegated to the Championship at the end of the season decided not to renew his deal.

There was interest from other clubs as well but Chelsea were always the front runners and now they've made the deal official.

The shot stopper would be Chelsea's second option after Peter Cech and Hillario.

Chelsea's squad in the goalkeeping area had dwindled after Carlo Cudicini moved to Spurs at the end of last season.

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Thursday, July 02, 2009

Man City's unwanted lot exit

Manchester City have finally offloaded four of their squad members to reduce the burden on their owners' fat pocket and also make space for more signings.

Darius Vassell,Danny Mills,Diietmar Hamann and Michael Ball have left the club and would be able to join another club on a free transfer.

It doesn't come as a surprise to any as the players had not been part of Mark Hughes' plans in the past and nor would they be for the future.

All of them except for ball had been past their prime as Mills did not feature for City in the entire last year.Vassell and Hamann have had an injury plagued time while Ball lost his position to Wayne Bridge who arrived in the winter transfer window.

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Burnley sign Edgar from Newcastle

Clarets have signed Newcastle's David Edgar on a free transfer.

Newcastle United were relegated at the end of last season and Edgar would be excited to be given the opportunity again to be part of the top flight football.

The Canadian will give options to manager Owen Coyle at the back after he has already signed Steven Fletcher and Tyrone Mears.

Despite him being a free transfer,Burnley would be entitled to pay Newcastle some compensation fee as he is under 24.

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Liverpool sell Leto to Panathinaikos

Liverpool have decided to offload Argentine Sebastian Leto and Panathinaikos have swooped in to make a permanent signing.

The player arrived in 2007 from Lanus in Argentina but except for very few apperances in Champions league qualifier and League cup games he wasn't part of Rafa's lineup.

This was followed with his problems with getting a working permit and thus he was loaned out to Panathinaikos' rivals Olympiakos.

It was believed Olympiakos would make the signing permanent but the deal could not be agreed to where Panathinaikos swooped in to sign him.

It is expected the deal would be signed for 1.3million pounds for a period of four years.

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