Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Out On His Owen This Summer!

Following another injury-ravaged campaign in which he failed miserably to help Newcastle in the Premier League, I could not believe the gall of Michael Owen’s ‘come and get me’ plea to prospective suitors.

The 29-year-old, who cost the Geordies £17million from Real Madrid four years ago, has enjoyed a magnificent wage from the club but failed to repay them on the field. In four seasons he played just 71 games and scored 26 goals.

While Newcastle struggled last term Owen’s injury problems restricted him to 12 league games in which he managed just four goals! The Magpies were subsequently relegated and Owen wasted no time in trying to secure a contract with another club as his deal at St James’ Park is set to end this week!

The problem facing Owen, who says ‘the Premier League is where I feel I belong’, is that the only interested parties are Hull and Stoke City. No disrespect to these two clubs but I feel Owen had his sights set a little higher when pondering where to continue his career next season.

No ‘bigger’ clubs have expressed a solid interest as yet and it appears not many clubs can or will agree to pay him what Newcastle have stumped up since 2005!

If Owen used his head and stopped thinking about where HE wants to play and how good HE thinks he is, he could use this situation to propel himself back into hero status and boost his career in the long run.

Instead of enforcing the majority of football fans’ thoughts that modern-day footballers are all self-centred, money-grabbing, disloyal buffoons, Owen could dispel the myth with a goodwill gesture to his current employers.

Having earned a handsome living from the game – and Newcastle in particular – surely it would not hurt him to offer his services to the club for another 12 months on a wage that suits the club?

That way he could try and regain his match sharpness and eye for goal in the Championship, while possibly helping Newcastle reclaim Premier League football at the first attempt!

Owen could be given the freedom of the Toon if it all worked out, while the worst-case scenario is that he could at least say he gave it his best shot!

True it would not go down well with Fabio Capello, but then again the England coach does not seem in a rush to hand him a recall to the Three Lions squad. And his chances of returning to the national team fold would be barely enhanced by a move to Hull or Stoke!

The chances of this scenario happening are between slim and none. But what a refreshing change it would make if a footballer actually tried to give something back!

Written by Craig Smithson, a professional sports writer who blogs about football betting.

Monday, 29 June 2009

England Expects!!

After a pulsating semi-final against Sweden where England nearly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, England face old foes Germany in the European U21 Final tonight in Sweden.

If the semi-final success was done the hard way, tonight will be even harder - No Joe Hart, no Campbell, no Agbonlahor - all suspended and there is a possibility that Theo Walcott won't play due to injury.


Thursday, 25 June 2009

When The Red Red Robin........

I bumped into an old friend yesterday who has supported Charlton Athletic all of his life and lives about 20 minutes away from the Valley.

After the normal greetings and the gracious how are you's, we got onto the subject of football and the first question he asked me was.

Are you still going to The Bridge? Of course I answered yes and I asked him, 'Are you still going to the Valley?'

Of course he said yes like I knew he would.

Despite Charlton's relegation to League One he was unfazed, he confirmed it was a terrible season and despite Charlton's performances he still managed to get to THIRTY-NINE games.

Put my twenty-five games or so right in the shade!!

One game he did miss last season was Plymouth Argyle away.

Instead he flew off to New York to watch Joe Calzaghe fight at Madison Square Gardens.

Plymouth, New York, Plymouth........?

'When the Red, Red Robin goes bob bob bobbing along....'

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Bye Bye Setanta

I have no sympathy for the demise of Setanta Sports only sympathy for the couple of hundred Mr and Mrs 'Normal' who will lose their jobs.

I have no sympathy for those presenters and commentators who jumped ship from their previous employers to board the gravy train that was Setanta Sports.

To be honest I don't believe that LIVE football should be controlled and maintained by satellite TV companies but it is the way of the world and we live in that world.

Once upon a time, football was for the masses, now it is for the elite.

Not only are the 'real football' fans being priced out of going to matches, they have to pay a monthly subscription fee not to one satellite company but two, of course if they want to watch live games from the comfort of their armchair.

Setanta's demise has opened the door for ESPN (the sporting arm of Disney) to buy out the Premier rights for next season and beyond.

Whether I transfer my subscription to ESPN remains to be seen - I will just have to wait and see how many times Chelsea will be featured between the start of the season and Christmas.... wink, wink!

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Tevez Quits The Ure

Not surprisingly Carlos Tevez has told Man Ure that he wants to leave Old Trafford.

But where will he go?

Chelsea or Man Citeh?

Thursday, 18 June 2009

In A Fix With The Fixtures!

Wednesday morning at 10am was when football fans across the country were tuning into their TV sets or logging on to internet websites – well those media sources willing to pay the extortionate fees – to find out the full fixture list of their respective team for the coming campaign.

However in the days of saturated live TV coverage I am starting to think releasing the full dates of when teams are due to play – especially Premier League and Championship – might as well be left until the top brass at Sky and Setanta (finances permitting) get their mucky paws on them!

To be honest people requiring the fixtures to plan days off work, family functions, Christmas and basically fit their lives around their club’s games – which many people do – are wasting their time scribbling these freshly published fixtures into the trusty diary!

With Friday nights, Saturday lunch-times and evenings, Sundays and Monday evenings all now the home of live football on satellite TV, you can guarantee even the mediocre teams in any of the top-two leagues will have around four of their matches tampered with.

Fans of the ‘Big Four’ might as well bin their set of fixtures and just wait for Sky to dictate when they will be going to watch a match given the amount of times they are on the box!

I feel the simple solution is for the Football League and Premier League to print these fixtures off on a Saturday and hand them over to Sky et al. They can select their live matches until at least Christmas from the list and then give them back in time for all to be revealed by the Wednesday!

This would allow fans to know a definitive date when their team would be playing instead of swapping a shift for a match on Saturday September 19 only to find out a week later they will actually need the Sunday off work instead!

The present system is highly annoying and to be honest the remedy is hardly rocket science!

Hopefully the light bulb will flicker in the minds of someone who can actually do anything about it!

With thanks to Craig Smithson, a professional sports writer who blogs about football betting.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Pink Crop Top and Tight Denim Cut-Downs


2009/10 Fixtures

Tomorrow (Wednesday) is the day that the 2009-2010 season fixtures are published.

Due to extremely high 'policing' from the authorities and mega mega money that the authorities are demanding for rights to copyright, I am unable to publish said fixtures here.

However you can get ALL the fixtures from here and here from 10am (UK time) tomorrow morning.

Monday, 15 June 2009


I haven't posted a 'totty' picture for a while now and as England U21s kick off their campaign to become European Champions against Finland later on today..... seems a good time to start again.

The game kicks off at 5.15pm (UK time).

In the Confederations Cup, Spain beat New Zealand 5-0 (Liverpool's Torres scored a hat-trick in eleven minutes) and the hosts, South Africa drew 0-0 with Iraq.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Do We Really Care?

The picture has nothing to do with the following, but do we really care?

I like it!

Do we really care that Ronaldo doesn't care when he gets jeered and abused?

Do we really care that he is off to Spain?

No not really

One cheat gone, lets get the rest packing!

Friday, 12 June 2009

More Football?

Watch out for more football this Summer.

There is the UEFA U21s Finals being held in Sweden and in a dress rehearsal for the World Cup in South Africa next year, South Africa are hosting the Confederations Cup.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Where's Guus?

After Guus' FA Cup winning swansong at Wembley eleven days ago, Guus disappeared off the face of the earth.

Well he didn't really.

He went quietly back to Russia to resume his coaching duties with the national team.

Last night he took his Russian side to Finland and won the game 3-0, a victory that took Russia top of their WC2010 qualifying group.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

So Wembley Got A Crowd

Just over 58,000 fans made it to Wembley (despite the tube strike) this evening (Wednesday) to see England beat Andorra 6-0. To be honest it should have been 12 or more, but the crowd went home happy with SIX and I wonder how many punters got the correct score.

For the record Wayne Rooney scored 2, Jermaine Defoe scored 2, Frank Lampard and Peter Crouch scored the others.

Next week England U21s start their campaign to become European U21 Champions in Sweden.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Monday, 8 June 2009

Murdering A Principality?!?!

Still there is no news on the tube strike due to start 7pm Tuesday night, perhaps Wembley will be 'murdered' if the tube strike goes ahead let alone Andorra.

But what do you know about Andorra? Back in September England travelled to Andorra and won 2-0 thanks to two Joe Cole goals.

Andorra is bordered to the right by France and to the left by Spain and Andorra is predominately by occupied Spanish speaking residents. Approximately a quarter of the population (70,000) is made up of Andorrans.

To say Hello in Andorra, say 'HOLA,' but as Andorra will be in London this week, say HELLO.

But what does Andorra have to offer the intrepid traveller? Duty free, Skiing, The Pyrenees and Andorra for those with a load of £ or $ is a taxman's nightmare - A tax haven.

To quote The Lonely Planet:

"The town of Andorra la Vella is squeezed into the Riu Gran Valira Valley and is mainly engaged in retailing electronic and luxury goods. With the constant din of jackhammers and shopping-mall architecture, you might be in Hong Kong - but for the snowcapped peaks and an absence of noodle shops?"

Sunday, 7 June 2009

I Watched

As well as watching England beat Kazakhstan yesterday I also watched Brazil dismantle Uruguay in Uruguay 4-0. It was Brazil's first competitive win in Uruguay for 33 years.

Straight after that I watched Argentina luckily beat Colombia 1-0 in Buenos Aires and as I write Peru have just kicked off against Ecuador and they say the football season is over.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Asalam Aleykum (Peace Be With You)

After an indifferent start where England could have been 2-0 down inside twenty minutes, England won in Central Asia beating Kazakhstan 4-0 with goals from Gareth Barry, Emile Heskey, Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard from the penalty spot.

Roll on Andorra!!

Extract from the The Lonely Planet

"The ninth largest country in the world, Kazakhstan lies at the heart of the great Eurasian steppe, the band of grassland stretching from Mongolia to Hungary, which has served for millennia as the highway and grazing ground of nomadic horseback peoples."

Friday, 5 June 2009

World Cup 2010

England are in action twice over the next five days, trying to qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Tomorrow (Saturday) England play Kazakhstan and next Wednesday England host minnows Andorra at Wembley.

If the proposed tube strike goes ahead next week, how will people get to Wembley?

Wembley could be deserted as the Marie Celeste.

Monday, 1 June 2009

He DOES Speak English

Despite media reports that Carlo Ancelotti, the new Chelsea coach couldn't speak English, Ancelotti gave his first interview in ENGLISH!!

Watch here.