Tuesday, 29 June 2010

World Cup Divers a Disgrace

I am fed up and tired of seeing the disgraceful diving that is going on in football. Grown men - big, powerful grown men falling in apparent agony to the floor as if they had been shot. It was so obvious yestarday too in the Brazil v Chile game and it was well managed by England's only representative left in the World Cup, Howard Webb. However I know that other referees will fall for the blatant dives in such important games.

Three men in particular struck me as cheats yestarday. Maicon, Lucio and Luis Fabiano.

Maicon is a massive man. Yestarday when running close to two Chile players he simply jumped to the floor. Replays show that at the time the two Chile players were about a foot away from Maicon and didn't touch him at all. Maicon was complaining on the floor - seemingly convinced that he had been hacked down. The referee knew that it was a dive and waved play on. But I say surely if they are allowed to get away with persistant diving the cheats will continue to do it. The referees are too afraid to caution the big name players. Understandabley, they want to avoid controversy, but if it isn't stopped now, I fear it never will.

Lucio, also a massive man and delivers committed and crunching tackles to his opponents, yet when he feels the slightest of touches to him, he too falls to the ground and in the latest Brazil game it was as clear as day that he was once again trying to cheat the referee.

Fabiano was just a small one yesterday, but it annoys me because so many International footballers do it. A tiny bit of contact to the back whilst jumping for the ball, and Fabiano clutches his face as if he had been punched in the mouth.

I absolutely hate it when footballers do this, and I know it isn't just the players named above, but the referees and FIFA need to clamp down on this and punish players more severely -make an example of someone. Oh yes, and bring in technology to the game, so we know for sure.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Time to "Join the Immortals"

England showed today how much winning meant to them.

The players were completely exhausted by the end because they worked so very hard to make a nation proud of them once again. The committed, fearless, last-ditched defending was the typical England fight that the world (sometimes) fears. We didn't make it to the top, but our players certainly haven't peaked in this tournament and that means our team hasn't peaked which can only mean an even better performance against Germany.

I have no problem with playing Germany. They are a good, successful footballing side with a better history than us, but I feel that we can beat them. Germany won against Ghana - not by a great margin, and I have no doubts at all that England are a better team than Ghana, especially in the defensive department. If the team turn up and start to play with pace - closing down the opposition and putting pressure on them as well as keeping the ball well, we will win.

Rooney didn't have a great game, and we will continue to make excuses for him when he misses good opportunities, but he definitely improved from the last two games which I dare to mention. Gerrard is adamant that goals are "round the corner" for Rooney, and I'm sure that when he gets one - which he will, he can continue to do so. In addition, his partnership with Defoe, being supported by Gerrard and with Lampard making dangerous runs into the box was very effective. While they still had something left in the tank, they were very dangerous and given those sort of opportunities again, they will take them.

It is time for England to stand up and be counted. Against Germany, we must show them our passion and skill. We must show them why we are a team to be feared. And we must show them why we are contenders to win the World Cup. As the Carlsberg advert says "It's time to join the immortals".

Monday, 21 June 2010

Just play Joe Cole

If ever England needed to put in a convincing display for the pride of their nation it is on Wednesday against Slovenia. We need to win. Nothing else is acceptable, and we need to win in style if England are to progress further.

Another thing England need to do to progress further is play Joe Cole. England need to dominate the midfield on Wednesday and so to do that, Capello should play five in the middle with Rooney up on his own, supported by Joe Cole and Gerrard. I've said previously on this website that Heskey will not get goals or win games, and at the moment he isn't even doing what he is supposedly best at - making Rooney play well. The Heskey system isn't working, so the "iron fist" should make it's move and cut Heskey out.

You should play players where they are good at playing. The team that I feel should play on Wednesday, taking into account the players Capello has said he will start or is likely to start is as follows

D. James - Obviously in Goal

G. Johnson - Right Back

J. Terry - Centre Back

M. Upson - Centre Back

A. Cole - Left Back

G. Barry -  Centre Defensive Midfield, can push into Gerrards pos. if Gerrard pushes up

A. Lennon - Right Wing

F. Lampard - Centre Midfield

S. Gerrard - Centre Midfield / Rooney Support

J.Cole - Left Midfield / Rooney Support

W. Rooney - Lone Striker with Gerrard and Cole's attacking support

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Play Green or this Goalkeeping Curse Will Continue

Rob Green will forever be remembered for his terrible mistake, even more so if England don't qualify for the knock-out stages of the World Cup. The only way that he could possibly make up for it in the mind of every Englishman and woman is if he saves all penalties in the World Cup final - if we make it that far.

Goalkeeping mistakes have been with England for a while. Some may call it a curse. Others are less superstitious. But there is a problem. David James has been a victim, along with Paul Robinson, Scott Carson and now Rob Green. It doesn't look as if the pattern will stop, and it is England's biggest problem.

When David James made his mistake(s) he was labelled "Calamity James". He has the ability to make an easy save or decision into something much harder than it is. A liability you can call him.
Paul Robinson was a very good 'keeper before he made his mistake. Everyone lost confidence in him, which in my opinion was slightly harsh. All he could of done was to stop the ball instead of swinging straight away, but a cruel bounce proved too much.
Scott Carson's in-experience and nerves in the big Croatia game showed, as he allowed the ball to slip through his gloves into the net.
Now Green. A simple stop. He could have stopped it with his foot. Anything. Just get his body behind it. But it just didn't happen. He was unlucky.

But really, the only way to stop all of this is to find one goalkeeper who we trust - Joe Hart is a candidate, and stick with them. If they make a mistake, just build them up and get them going again. It isn't as if the goalkeepers listed above were dreadfully bad. They were good goalkeepers - not great, but they definitely have the ability.

Rob Green has proved that he is a good goalkeeper, and now that we have played him in the first game, it would ruin him, like it ruined Robinson and Carson, if we drop him for the second. We need to get behind the players and support them even if they make a mistake. I think that if Rob Green is never picked in a team under Capello at this World Cup, the goalkeeping problem will continue.
Who is ever going to want to take the number 1 shirt if their first mistake is followed with being dropped and never picked again?

Saturday, 12 June 2010

England Need Luck. Lots of Luck.

The BBC had J├╝rgen Klinsmann on their panel today to review Argentina's first game against Nigeria. He said a few insightful, interesting things which made a lot of sense. 

Being a World Cup winner himself with Germany, beating opposition of Argentina once in the final in 1990, and also playing big parts in two other World Cups as a player, he was able to give Lineker a bit of advice on how England could possibly win the World Cup this year. It wasn't so much advice as it was just logic that the press in England don't seem to understand. 

When asked why Germany have been so much more successful in World Cups than England have, despite their obvious talent, he told us that it was simply that little bit of luck that sometimes - or most of the time eludes England. He went on to say how the press in England are very "particular", and can put a lot of pressure on our English players to succeed. He pointed out England's unsuccessfulness in taking penalty's and suggested that maybe the players think, and worry too much about it, in comparison to Germans who are less pressurised by their home press and get on with the job at hand.

In the past few weeks, the press have been singing and shouting about the importance of Wayne Rooney, and saying that if he plays badly, England don't have a chance. If that isn't too much pressure, I don't know what is. The fact is, England are a team. Everyone should play together and help each-other out. We know Wayne Rooney is important, but this needless added pressure is not wanted and clearly hampers England's chances. 
Lets take some advice from the German. Lets not put added pressure on our team. Lets support England!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Robinho wants Barcelona move

The Brazilians representative has said "Any player in the world would love to play at a club like Barca." He went on to say that although Robinho's relationship with Manchester City is good, he does have a problem with the City coach Roberto Mancini. 

Robinho's representative went on to say that "We know City seeks a club for Robinho". 

With the purchase of Valencia's David Silva already this summer, and these comments, would that mean that Zlatan Ibramhimovich's place at the club is called into question?

Rooney Problems Equals England Problems

Wayne Rooney is a supreme footballing talent - that is unquestionable. He plays regularly for one of the best football clubs in history and is his nations only real hope of winning a trophy. What is questionable however, is Rooney's behaviour on the pitch - to match officials.

The Guardian newspaper has written an article about how, when England play badly, and don't do simple things like passing correctly, it makes Rooney angry, frustrated, and causes him to verbally abuse the referees. This is probably correct, however Rooney often becomes frustrated with himself. He often gives the ball away and takes it out on his team-mates with awful glares and waving of the hands as well as the referees and this really isn't a good sign. Yes, it shows that Rooney is a winner, it shows that he is eternally passionate to play and win in football. But for England's talisman to lose his temper when the rest of the team are doing badly really isn't a good sign for England if they want to win the World Cup - or anything for that matter.

In the Premier League, Rooney seems to get away with constantly shouting at the referees. As a Manchester United fan, I'm not complaining, but he has to realise that he will not get away with such abuse with the World Cup referees. They won't care that you are the golden boy for England. They won't care that you are England's talisman - England's best hope. They will send him off.

Some have said that they would be surprised if Rooney doesn't get sent off at some point in the World Cup. We have seen it happen before in major England tournaments; the 2006 World Cup - if I was to say Carvalho and testicles...

Four years on and the problem with Rooney's temperament that the majority had thought was disappearing is exposing itself once again. Why? The pressure of a whole nation perhaps?

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Why Ferdinand's Injury Isn't that bad for England

The fact is, this season, Michael Dawson and Ledley King have been fitter, more consistent and overall better defenders for their team.
They have both had more playing time than Ferdinand this season and have played significant roles in forcing Tottenham into the Champions League.
Ferdinand on the other hand has had a season plagued with small injuries which have had a detrimental effect on the way he plays. He became less confident and made even more mistakes on the pitch than he had done before his injuries. For much of the season, Ferdinand had a lot of help, and almost hid behind the massive rock that is Vidic at the centre of Manchester United's defence. If you think of how many goals United would have conceded if it wasn't for Vidic, Manchester United would have finished third place - behind Arsenal. Vidic made Ferdinand look better than he was - fact.

So I am not worried about England's defence in the World Cup. Yes, Ferdinand is a big loss in the England camp because he is a big character, however there is a replacement, in Michael Dawson, and I think this summer, he can shine, and really show the country why he is such a good defender.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Mourinho Could Be thinking of his Future At Manchester United

Jose Mourinho is the new manager of Real Madrid, and of course he will be looking for possible transfers to improve his team. Madrid have no shortage of money, so he won't have a problem with that, and the offer to be able to play with superstars such as Ronaldo and Kaka would persuade the best of players to join. Rumours have surfaced that Madrid president is very interested in breaking the bank to bring Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney to the club.

However, Mourinho has moved quickly to dismiss the chance of Rooney joining Madrid, saying that it would be "impossible" to take him from Ferguson, although he did also say that he would love to manage him.

Obviously, Rooney is an amazing player and anyone would love to manage him. But then to say that he wouldn't take him from Ferguson is a bit strange. It has been suggested that Mourinho said that he wouldn't take Rooney to avoid a rift with his good friend Ferguson, but maybe there are other reasons why he would like to leave Rooney at United.

A possible future Manchester United manager? Quite likely. Would he want the best players to be there when he takes over? Definitely.

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