Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Ukraine v England Preview

Roy Hodgson takes his England side to Ukraine tonight knowing avoiding defeat would put at least one foot for England in Rio next summer. With Danny Welbeck out suspended he now has to shake up the forward line. England already have a mass amount of injuries in that position, but tonight I can imagine he will bring in James Milner to the starting line up. Not the most inspiring selection but he seems to be Hodgson's go to guy when things get tricky. It tells a lot when you have the Spurs duo Townsend & Defoe who would be far more exciting and more of a goal scoring threat sitting on the bench. Don't be surprised if Tom Cleverley makes an appearance too as he is one of Roy's favourites. Lambert will start down the middle with Walcott on the right I say.

 Frank Lampard will get his 100th cap, Gerrard will start so will Wilshere, so that means no place in the starting line up for Carrick. He has been the most consistent English player for the past 18 months for his club, but he can't seem to find his way into the national team first 11. He has withdrawn himself from selection before and if this continues don't be surprised if he gets fed up again. The defence looks set even Kyle Walkers antics won't see him lose his place, more for the fact there's nobody to replace him. England are good enough to take all 3 points from Ukraine and with 2 home games against Montenegro & Poland to come England should qualify for the World Cup without any issues, surely they can't it mess up?

Prediction Ukraine 1-2 England

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

QPR Transfer Deals

QPR have done some very good business this summer they managed to shift out most of the big wages and players that let them down so badly last season. Harry has brought some terrific players (as he would say) Charlie Austin proven goals at this level. Danny Simpson and Richard Dunne have improved the defence. Karl Henry does the dirty work but Joey Barton has been brilliant so far and the fact he is still at the club is a massive bonus. Matt Phillips has not kicked a ball yet but again a very good player at this level. On the last day of the window QPR brought in Nico Krancjar, Tom Carroll and Benoit Assou-Ekotto on loans deals. Harry has worked with them all before and they are clearly the right sort of player. Carroll is a is future England player, Krancjar can bring creativity and goals. B.O.E is just like Simpson on the other flank, he loves to get forward. It could be a very exciting season for QPR with the business they have done.

Transfer window slams shut

 Now the transfer window has closed I look back at some of the last deals that went through and who have had a nightmare.

 Arsenal finally spent some cash and on a world class player, Wenger did pull this out the bag, after a frustrating summer for the Gooners they now have a new hero, Mesut Ozil. This transfer came out of the blue for many reasons, one Arsenal spending such a large amount of cash. Secondly the fact Arsenal didn't really need a player in his position but if you get the chance to bring in class you do it. The £42m pound deal puts some much needed excitement at the Emirates. The deal has been compared to when Arsenal brought in Dennis Bergkamp he defiantly can have the same impact.

 The other side of north London did the most business, Tottenham brought in 7 new faces for over £100 million. However they did lose Bale, but the squad itself has improved with some real talent Eriksen, Lamela and Saldado look exciting but how quickly will it take for the new faces gel? The expectation at Tottenham is higher than ever and top four with this squad is now a must.

 Manchester United had a shocking summer transfer wise, has there ever been a summer where United went after so many players but got knocked back so much? The fact they have only made 1 real signing for Moyes this is difficult as he has to implement his impression at Old Trafford. He has a title winning team but they won it last year because simply the others did not strengthen or were just awful. Sir Alex's figure still looms over OT and with the lack of changes if things don't go well the doubters will be out with 'Ferguson would have done this' or 'Ferguson would have got him'. Fellaini is OK but it's nothing exciting or the creative spark United needed, Ozil would have been ideal. He admitted he went to Arsenal because of the manager, would he have gone United if Ferguson was still there?

 Chelsea and Manchester City done their business early but some of the eye catching deals that went through were, Lukaku to Everton on loan, surprising Chelsea did let him go when I feel he is the best striker they have. James McCarthy also when to Goodison Park which was always going to happen with Martinez being there. Fulham managed to get Darren Bent & Adel Taarabt on loans one very creative player and one proven goal-scorer if they click it's a great move by them. Liverpool brought in Sakho from PSG which went under the radar somewhat, be a very good player, along with Victor Moses on loan his style of play will fit into the Rodgers way. Crystal Palace did a lot of business on the last day, Kebe, Hunt and Mariappa all came in to give them a fighting chance to stay up. Aston Villa brought in a £7m striker from Lazio, Kozak so it looks like a bit of competition for Benteke now. Sunderland brought in another Italian this time Andrea Dossena from Napoli on loan. Hughes' re-building at Stoke saw Stephen Ireland and Marko Arnautovic come in. This is a typical Hughes move going for somebody over 30 years-old on a massive wage and has done nothing for a while. West Brom broke their transfer record by bringing in Stephane Sessegnon who had fallen out of favour at the Stadium of Light. Plus they also got Victor Anichebe which is also a decent signing for them.

Best Business

Totteham, Chelsea and Manchester City

Worst Business

Newcastle - Seems like Joe Kinnear didn't want to call any chairmen in Europe and bring in numbers to St James'