Spurs Get a Flat Tire

Luka ModricTottenham have been very good this season, there’s no denying that, and one only has to look at the league table to see they have 4 wins in 4 matches.  One of the key players this season for Spurs has been Luka Modric, who has really come into his own as the crafty midfield play-maker for Tottenham.

Given his role in the Spurs revolution the news that he has sustained a broken leg in the match again Birmingham will be a serious blow.  Reportedly Modric is expected to be out of action for at least six weeks.  Leaving Tottenham to try and find a spark from somewhere else.

As an England and Manchester United fan I can’t help taking some heart at the Croatian’s misfortune.  He will miss both the International World Cup quantifier between Croatia and England next week, and also the Premier League meeting with Manchester United the following weekend.  He will be sorely missed by his teams in both events.

Wenger’s Fourth Official Farce

Arsene Wenger Old Trafford sent offIt was a great match between Manchester United and Arsenal yesterday, in which Arsenal took a first half lead, but United came back in the second half with a penalty and an own goal to nick the result.

There were a couple of incidences which bothered me.  Firstly where on earth did the referee find 5 minutes of added on time at the end of the match from?  Surely such a long amount of added on time should be reserved for a serious injury, severe time wasting or some kind of players bust up.  There were almost no stoppages in the game last night, I think the officials need to be held accountable for time added on.  They can’t just base the the time on how heated the game is, or how much chance one team has of coming back.

This brings me to the second point; in the final seconds of the 5th minute of time added on Van Persie scored a would be equalizer only to have it chalked off because Gallas had been offside when he nodded the ball down.

Meanwhile Wenger was celebrating the goal on the sidelines only to realize it wasn’t going to count, he then took his frustrations out on a water bottle, kicking it down the sidelines.  This is when 5 minutes of absolute foolishness began.  Keeping in mind that time was already up and the match was one kick of the ball away from the final whistle, the 4th official decided to call the referee over and report the Wenger water bottle kicking.  They then discussed the situation for a while and decided to send Wenger to the stands, where the Arsenal boss had to walk into a sea of Old Trafford faithful all booing, jeering and making certain gestures.

As if this walk of shame was not enough, the officials then decided he was not far enough back from the pitch and would need to come back down and instead leave the field completely.  As a United fan I just about fell off the couch laughing, but I can imagine there are quite a few irate Gunners fans out there, seeing their manager treated in such a manner.

Wenger had not even got off the field before the final whistle came.  The officials should be thoroughly ashamed of the way the game end, and the way they handled Wenger’s understandable water bottle incident.

Premier League Predictions Round 4

Get your predictions in for this weekend’s matches.

Prediction Results:

  1. David: 11pts
  2. aaron: 8pts

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Pascal Chimbonda; Premier League’s nomad

pascal chimbonda 2009Tottenham have just announced that Pascal Chimbonda will be switching teams again.  This will be his 5th transfer to a Premier League team in the last 4 years!  The latest destination on his tour of England is Blackburn, with Rovers reportedly ready to pay a £2million transfer fee.

It’s hardly surprising that another switch was on the card seeing as Tottenham now have Benoit Assou-Ekotto at left-back, who’s looking like a top class player, and also Gareth Bale as a backup.  It seems unlike that Chimbonda would get much game time at all.

All the moving around has got to take a toll on a player and it appears to have taken a toll on Chimbonda, who has seen both his first team appearances and transfer fees eroded.  In 2006 he was worth £4.5 million from Wigan to Tottenham, now his value has been cut in half.

2005–2006		Wigan Athletic 2006–2008		Tottenham Hotspur 2008–2009		Sunderland 2009–2009		Tottenham Hotspur 2009–????		Blackburn Rovers

Vidic set to stay at United

Nemanja Vidic pledges to stay at UnitedIt’s always worrying when transfer talk starts to consistently circulate about a key player.  And recently there have been numerous stories about Nemanja Vidic leaving Manchester United.  The most recent reported destination was Barcelona; AC Milan and Real Madrid have also been mentioned.

There have also been reports that Vidic’s wife is unhappy in Manchester; but I’m not sure how true this story can be if she managed to live in Moscow before coming to the UK.

Vidic has put the gossip to bed by clearly stating that he will be staying at United for at least this season.

United need Vidic for at least this season; they have some great prospects coming through with Johnny Evans already proving last season that he is a top level center back and ready for first team football.  The red devils also have Craig Cathcart and Johnny’s brother Corry Evans who also look like quality players, but still learning their trade.

There are always a few transfer rumors about top class players, it’s what sells newspapers, but the talk about Vidic does seem to be above average, and I have a feeling he will not be with United forever.

United are back beating Wigan 5-0

Rooney scores 100th goal verus WiganAfter the midweek loss to Burnley, Manchester United desperately needed to put it behind them for the weekend trip to Wigan.  Prior to the game there was some negative defensive news with United announcing that Rio Ferdinand would probably be out for another 4-5 weeks recovering from an injury.  Johnny Evans also came out saying that he would, at some point, need surgery on his ankle and currently he has to take painkillers just to play.  On a positive note Vidic was back in the starting line up after recovering from his injury, but United will need both Ferdinand and Evans fit if they are to have a chance at the title.

The result at Wigan would put the Burnley embarrassment well behind the red devils, although with the score 0-0 at half time it looked like it could be another frustrating result.

The game was full of milestones with Rooney opening the scoring in the second half; heading in a Valencia cross to reach 100 Manchester United goals.   A few minutes later Berbatov opened his premier league account for the season to make it 2-0.   Only a few minutes more and Rooney grabbed his 101st goal with a deflected shot.  In 9 minutes United had gone from frustration to demolition.

Michael Owen then came on for Rooney and duly claimed his first premier league goal for Manchester United, from Nani’s setup.  Nani then finished things off with a last minute free kick that ending up in the net.

With United winning 5-0 and Arsenal beating Portsmouth 4-1, next weekend’s match between the two should be an absolute cracker.

Premier League Predictions Round 3

Get your weekend end score predictions in now:

Prediction Results:

  1. David: 7pts
  2. aaron: 6pts

With 10 out of 10 matches played. Click on any username above to see their predictions.

Click here to find out how the points are calculated

United undone, Liverpool bounce back

SAF defeat at BurnleyThe midweek matches provided some very interesting results.  As you can see from my woeful score predictions I was not expecting some of these scores.

Manchester United have been given an early wake up call with a 1-0 defeat to newly promoted Burnley.  While there’s not much they could do against the  stunning volley by Robbie Blake that put Burnley ahead the fact that they were unable to break down the Clarets defense over 90 minutes is much more concerning.  Although Rooney has been psyching himself up all summer to score more goals, he has never been a prolific goal scorer.  He is a great player and essential to the United team, but there really needs to be a striker who scores a lot of goals.  Michael Owen was supposed to be that striker, but he has yet to find his scoring boots.

Manchester United of course cannot be written off yet, and historically have started seasons with poor results, but Sir Alex needs to rally the troops quickly.

Liverpool put their opening day Tottenham defeat behind them by steamrolling over Stoke City 4-0 at Anfield.

At the moment the hottest looking team is Tottenham; who beat Liverpool at the weekend, and then thrashed Hull at the KC stadium 5-1.  They are currently sitting at the top of the table on goal difference.  I know it’s still early by I think Spurs could be the surprise package this season.  Their results have not been lucky, but excellent performances, and their squad quality looks very deep.

Burnley sign Bikey, Liverpool sign who…?

Bikey versus LiverpoolYou know finances are tight at Anfield when newly promoted side Burnley are able to out spend them in the transfer market.  Burnley have confirmed the signing of Andre Bikey from Reading for a reported fee of around £2.8million.

Meanwhile over in Liverpool, where as demonstrated against Tottenham the defensive squad depth is seriously depleted, Rafa has been given a shocking £1.5million transfer limit.  Given the fact that Liverpool have sold a number of players it actually equates to them having no transfer budget at all, only being able to spend funds generated from player sales.

Reportedly Liverpool are about to announce the signing of 30 year old Greek defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos from AEK Athens.  I had said Rafa was gambling by bring in Aquilani, but now he really seems to be snatching at straws to fill the gaping whole in his defensive squad.

I think Burnley have made a good move for Bikey, he may not be the best defender, but he has premier league experience, he is powerful and will not be pushed around by any team.  He also managed to grab a few clutch goals for Reading when they were in the premier league, and is a good offensive asset for set pieces.

As a Manchester United fan I just can’t help grinning at the news that keeps coming out of Anfield.

Premier League Predictions Round 2

Get your premier league predictions in now for matches taking place on Tuesday 18th August, and Wednesday 19th August 2009.

Prediction Results:

  1. aaron: 4pts
  2. David: 4pts

With 6 out of 6 matches played. Click on any username above to see their predictions.

Click here to find out how the points are calculated