Archive for the ‘General’ Category



I’m off on holiday to Turkey today until Saturday the 26th. There may be sporadic posting. There probably won’t. See you for the knock out stages…


Wenger Losing The Plot? An Interview Exclusive



Crazy Wenger

Crazy Wenger

Two defeats on the trot for Arsenal, in which five were conceded and none scored. Life is most certainly not rosy at the Emirates and Wenger is feeling the heat.

Here at the Sportboys we are sick of hearing the usual boring old Match of the Day post-match interview with Arsene where he tells us that he believes his team has the mental strength and commitment to pull through and that *insert Northern team* were too rough with the poor old Gooners. Therefore, through the use of a few contacts, we got access to Monsieur Wenger ourselves and we were a little surprised to hear what he had to say. Following a fourth consecutive year of falling out of the title race before the final run-in, is Arsene finally losing the plot?


Live Report – Arsenal v Wigan, Carling Cup, 11/11/08


One of the Sportboys went along to the Emirates this evening to see Arsenal take on Wigan in the Carling Cup 4th Round. Arsenal, once again playing their youngsters and reserves, were looking to build on the 6-0 win over Sheffield United in the last round. Wigan meanwhile, put out a strong side, aimed to continue their progress after victory over Ipswich in Round Three.  At a discounted £10, it was good value and there was a pretty much capacity crowd.

A surprisingly good view from Row 10 of the Lower Tier

A surprisingly good view from Row 10 of the Lower Tier.

I’m not going to write a full match report. You can find one in The Times, Guardian, BBC or Telegraph. Needless to say many Arsenal youngsters once again impressed including Jack Wilshere (just 16) and Aaron Ramsey in the middle of the park. Jay Simpson worked hard and got himself two goals on his full debut and overall Arsenal had five English players on the pitch, something I’m not used to seeing. Kieran Gibbs had a good game at left back and it was heartening to see Titus Bramble being useless as always. Zaki ran around a lot for Wigan but didn’t really get any service. He was somehow denied by Fabianski in the dying minutes too. I was impressed by De Ridder, who went on quite a few mazy, stepover runs and was the only creative outlet on the Wigan team. Referee Stuart Tanner was pretty poor but luckily had no major decisions with which to ruin the game with.

The highlight of the evening (and main reason for this post) was the third goal by Carlos Vela. After a sumptous chip in the last round to complete his hat-trick against Sheffield United, he scored an arguably even better one tonight. Enjoy



Weekend Betting


Three of our five midweek tips came in (Adebayor scoring, Everton clean sheet and under 2.5 goals in Liv-Por) meaning we had a profit of £5.66 on our £10 stake. Let’s take a look at the weekend’s fixtures to see if we can win some more.

Chelsea v Sunderland
With an inform Chelsea at home against an out of form Sunderland, it’s hard to find any real value here. I see nothing but a Chelsea win, it’s just a question of how comfortable. Let’s try Chelsea to win both halves @ 2.28.

Everton v Fulham
Last season Everton took ages to keep their first clean sheet but once they did they were pretty solid for the next few games. They finally kept their first clean sheet this season on Wednesday and I don’t see Fulham, with a mighty two away goals all season, preventing them from keeping another. Everton not to concede @ 2.32.

Man Utd v Hull
Home win, no surprises, no value. If you really want to bet on this match try over 3.5 goals @ 2.32.

Middlesbrough v West Ham
You figure West Ham have to stop losing at some point but Middlesbrough have somehow got themselves in the top half by beating the teams around them. I don’t really know what will happen in this match and to be honest I don’t really care. It’ll be one of those matches that gets shoved right to the end of Match of the Day because there are no highlights to show, just scrappy goals. I suppose we could try Alves to score anytime @ 2.72.

Portsmouth v Wigan
I think this will be a low scoring game but none the less a Portsmouth win. Adams has enough talent at his disposal to overcome any crazy tactics and ideas he might have. Meanwhile for Wigan, Zaki has been quiet recently and no one else is up to scoring for them. Let’s try a punt on Portsmouth to win 1-0 @ 7.6 or under 2.5 goals @ 1.86.

Stoke v Arsenal
Arsenal have dropped many points against poor sides this season but it seems like Wednesday’s calamitous 4-4 draw has finally brought a few things home. Expect a big backlash against Stoke, whose only weapon is the Delap throw. With Gallas injured (read dropped), the defence may actually mark their men for once and nullify the threat. Take Arsenal to win -1.5 goals @ 1.93 and Fabregas to score anytime @ 3.85. 

Tottenham v Liverpool
I’m still not convinced by Liverpool, you can’t win the title by playing badly in 37 games (I’ll give them the  Chelsea match). Tottenham didn’t play all that well against Arsenal but took their chances. A lot depends on King playing. If he and his dodgy knees can hold up then I could see Spurs frustrating Liverpool and they have enough going forward to score against them. I’m going to go for the draw @ 3.5.

West Brom v Blackburn
Blackburn to win @ 2.92. I can’t be bothered to write any more about this. Another game for the last five minutes of MOTD. 


Bolton v Man City
Bolton are really, really bad. I thought Elmander has been injured but turns out he has just done nothing since scoring on the opening day. I’m trying to decide who was a bigger waste of money – him or James Milner? Gary Megson will never be a good manager and come May (if he gets that far) he will have Bolton relegated on his CV. Bolton thoughts aside, Man City have been terribly inconsistent since the takeover. Win one, lose one, buy one. They are too good for Bolton though and should comfortably win this one. Man City to win @ 2.42.

Newcastle v Aston Villa
Newcastle have actually done ok under Joe Kinnear (what a surprise, the media jumping to conclusions) and are on a one game unbeaten run. Aston Villa are the team most likely to threaten the top 4 this year and in Ashley Young have someone who consistently runs their play and is involved in most of their goals. I’m not overly convinced they’ll beat Newcastle but I fancy Young to get a goal @ 2.6.

Quick Thought on Bentley


Yes it was a great goal and yes he meant it. Almunia should have done more but instead went for that palmed “camera save” thing he does. However all this talk of goal of the decade is a bit silly. It wasn’t even best goal of the night. Lampard’s goal against Hull was.

Mmm, chips!

Mmm, chips!



Sunday Roundup



Blimey, seems that last post was a bit pre-emptive. We’ll start with the news that Spurs have finally got rid of Juande Ramos and replaced him with Harry Redknapp. Perhaps more importantly, they have also got rid of Damien Comolli. Arriving from Seville a year ago, Ramos came with a reputation as one of Europe’s brightest young coaches. A year on he leaves Spurs bottom of the table with no wins this season. The unbalanced squad is full of promising youngsters and has a wealth of attacking midfielders (hey, if it works for Arsenal…) 

Despite winning the Carling Cup last year, his league record was nothing special – 35 games brought just 10 wins, 11 draws and 14 defeats. For a club with top 4 ambitions, 41 points over that period of time just isn’t enough. There is also the remarkable anomaly that whenever Gareth Bale is in the team, Spurs have never won a league game (15 and counting now). Moving away from that, I think Redknapp is good appointment. He should steady the ship and gradually move them up the table. His record at Portsmouth was excellent and given time he should be able to create a decent team out the various bits and pieces he now finds himself with. Although he is meant to be picking the team against Bolton today, what price their first win of the season coming away at Arsenal on Wednesday?

Going back to an earlier point about Comolli, his removal should help Tottenham build a better squad that addresses their needs (defensive midfielder, defensive midfielder, defensive midfielder). Adopting a policy of buying young talent to later sell on at profit is fine but ultimately the team should come first. Going back to Martin Jol (now top of the Bundesliga with Hamburg) the manager would state that he needed payer x (a defensive midfielder ironically enough) but because of Comolli would end up with Darren Bent. The whole Dimi Bertatov fiasco doesn’t need going over again but needless to say that it should have taught Spurs that it’s not always about the balance sheet figures. It’s no secret that Daniel Levy and ENIC are looking to sell just as soon as he can market Spurs as a team in the Champions League but they need to realise that to do so they need a bit more stability and strategic thinking and not just worrying about sell on values or squeezing an extra couple of million from Manchester United. 




Anyway moving on, today we see Liverpool face Chelsea at the Bridge in the big game of the day. It will be a good test as to where Liverpool’s title ambitions really lie.  Whilst a win would be fantastic I think Rafa will be delighted with a draw, especially considering Chelsea’s home record and the fact that Torres is out (I just don’t see Robbie Keane troubling Terry and Carvalho).

Arsenal face West Ham at Upton Park, looking to build on the last couple of games and keep in touch with the leaders. Their season has been a bit stop start but with the return of their first choice defenders they should have enough to overcome the Hammers.

Congrats to Hull too for continuing their march up the table and providing me with a wealth of cheap fantasy football players. I did find it slightly patronising how the media are saying plucky little Hull are joint top. They’re not. They’re third – goal difference counts for a reason.





Hello, and welcome to The Sport Boys – a blog written by two people with a mutual love for all things football.

Expect to find regular posts on everything from analysis of the daily goings on in the Premiership to who you should pick as captain for your Fantasy Football team this week. As we develop the blog we hope to start including podcasts, guest features and plenty more besides. As well as football, we may also focus on any interesting stories from other sports.

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Thanks for reading,

The Sport Boys.

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