Joe Devine’s weekly look at the Premier League weekend that was returns once again…
1. Liverpool turn another corner
Yes, Liverpool have once more turned a corner in a bid to arrive at a destination of some kind, presumably. With more twists and turns than the labyrinth, Liverpool’s season hasn’t got off to the best start. But with their last minute goal against Arsenal, and another 1 point claimed at home, Brendan Rogers has continued in his trend of describing every Liverpool game as a “turning point”. Leading British betting sites now have Liverpool odds on to reach the Triwizard’s cup should they turn yet another corner (they will also have The False Nine up against the court for crimes against Jokesmithery if they allow another Harry Potter joke to be published on their football website. You definitely could’ve said a Minotaur).
2. Manchester United to get bail
Manchester United are set to continue their mega spending-spree in January by getting bail. Arrested for the inability to think of anything better than simple word play, Manchester United were publicly jailed earlier this month. Despite claims that a lowly, comically desperate writer could be the culprit, the club took the blame and will be paying £90m for bail before their hearing in May. Making a statement earlier this week, the club said “it’s hard when not much happens”. It is likely that this case will be escalated to a European court as of next year. Continue reading →
TFN’s Chris Francis continues his run down of the top 50 players outside the Premier League…
30. Niko Kranjcar (QPR – on loan from Dynamo Kiev)
The most accomplished player in the league, Kranjcar is still a high quality attacking midfielder and at just 29 has plenty to offer. He has not benefited hugely this season by being asked to play almost as a second striker, but is capable of dominating games with his passing and quickness of thought. Needs to be more of a goal threat.
29. Lloyd Dyer (Leicester)
Rapid is the wrong word. Dyer, an out and out left-wing, who began his career with West Brom, is incisive, direct and quicker than anyone else in the league. In the past season there has been more end product giving Leicester a genuine threat either from the start or against tiring legs as a late substitute. Continue reading →
In one of the more bizarre transfer tales of 2012, Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar switched the San Siro for Loftus Road. Ash Rose, editor ofKick Magazine, takes a short look at his one season in the Premier League…
Few situations show QPR’s ridiculous transfer window spending in 2012, then the signing of Julio Cesar.
Having already given Rob Green a healthier contract then the one West Ham were offering him, Mark Hughes continued his own real-life game of Football Manager by bringing in the Inter Milan keeper on what we can only assume was an even bigger wage packet.
How Tony Fernandes and co convinced the former Champions League winner to move to W12 I’ll never know (obviously the suitcase fully of cash helped), but Green found himself relegated to number two after just one pre-season game. Continue reading →
Jon Wilmore of The Intangiballs argues that Harry Redknapp is looking to be pushed before he has to jump…
For a man who so vehemently declares he is neither a wheeler nor dealer, Harry Redknapp certainly seems keen on doing a lot of both in his alleged mission to get QPR back to the Premier League. His message is clear: let me buy who I want or hire someone else.
I’ve written before about how Harry’s disastrous Rangers reign has been given the sort of free ride the press would only grant their favourite son, so it is hardly surprising to see his latest declaration be treated as an act of defiance – a ‘clear message‘ to those damn tinkering owners just to leave him alone.
I’m not seeking to defend Tony Fernandes. He is, by all accounts, a bit of a clown. But his already numerous failings as the London club’s chairman would be dwarfed by the mistake that letting Harry off the leash in the transfer market would be. As a ‘football person,’ he claims, he and his fellow ‘football people’ should be allowed to pull the purse strings – the same kind of people having already played a part in Portsmouth’s financial nose dive not long ago. Continue reading →
Greg Johnson asks whether foreign managers have fallen foul of the English football psyche…
As he held the League Cup aloft in victory, shares in Michael Laudrup rattled up the ranks of the managerial stock exchange. His worth had already soared far beyond and above the valuations placed upon him in the summer, and come the close of business in May, it looks likely that Laudrup will have all but confirmed his place as one of the most attractive managerial investments around.
Swansea’s first major trophy in their 100 year history; Europa League entry for next season; exquisite football; the likelihood of an entirely respectable final position in the Premier League; and named as the man fans most want to takeover the reins at Real Madrid – it’s an impressive end-of-season growth report to reflect on for the Dane who co-founded a free-market think tank in his homeland in 2004. Continue reading →
Scott Jenkinsassesses the impact of Cristiano Ronaldo on Gareth Bale…
Every aspiring footballer idolises that one special player who is headlining the domestic league or leading their own team to glory and in turn tries to replicate their latest highlight reel moment on the local park and pitches. For my era when growing up and playing junior league football every time a free kick was won or lost, a familiar sequence would play out. Continue reading →
2013 marks the tenth anniversary of the January Transfer Window, Freddie Mickshik looks at some of the transfers that have become part of football folklore…
It’s the start of 2013, which aside from futile resolutions and intense hangovers means the opening of the January transfer window, as it celebrates its 10th anniversary. This mid-season shopping window gives managers the chance to add to their squad and potentially find those extra few goals or tighten a shaky back four enough to secure a title or beat the drop. The shortness and timing of it, however, means the new year sees many a panic buy (Savio anyone? Thought not.)