Posts Tagged ‘donovan’

World Cup Bet Of The Day – Day 2

12/06/2010

Yesterday’s bet was a touch unlucky not to come off I think. Uruguay more than held their own and on another day Forlan might have scored that snatched chance in the second half. We mustn’t dwell however and there’ll be plenty of opportunity to get in the black.

Of three games today I think the most interesting option comes in the England vs USA match just as betting against England always gives you good odds. This will easily be the toughest of the three group games England face and I think it will be pretty tight.

The US have plenty of Premier League experience amongst their ranks and players like Dempsey and Donovan are actually pretty good. The right side of their defence is the weak point though with Spector at right back and DeMerit at centre back. England will look to a floating Gerrard and Rooney to exploit that area of the pitch.

Despite both teams being involved in relatively high-scoring games recently, I suspect there may not be too many goals in this match. Both Capello and Bradley will want to avoid defeat at all costs in order to set themselves up for the latter two group games. Under 2.5 goals is a skinny 10/11 on but quite a good shout.

That said I think that England’s quality should, eventually, shine through which is why I think a half-time/full-time forecast of draw/England might be the one to go for.

Bet of the day:

England to draw at half-time & win at full-time @ just under 4/1.

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T

Transfer Window Hits and Misses

04/02/2010

The January transfer window just passed saw the lowest spending since 2003, a whole £140m less than last January’s whopping £170m. Clubs have been certainly feeling the pinch and seem to be much more careful with their money. While it’s far too early to judge here are some thoughts on who could be hits and who might be misses.

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The Free Transfers

I think Sol Campbell to Arsenal is quite astute and judging by the game and a half he’s played thus far, he looks like he can still cut it in the top flight. Certainly a better option than Mikael Silvestre! Over in Manchester, I was less convinced by City’s signing of Patrick Vieira. I think it will be difficult for him and there will be games where the pace is too much for him. That said, he’ll bring a lot to that dressing room and should be good for cameos where games are being closed out.

sol campbell arsenal

Beats playing for Nott's County.

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The Loans

With money a bit thin on the ground, some of the most interesting deals were loans. Landon Donovan looks to have fitted straight in at Everton and I think he’ll do well for the remaining time he’s over here. Senderos from Arsenal is also a good move – the Swiss has stagnated a touch but people think he’s rubbish just because Drogba messed him a few times. Name me a central defender that hasn’t struggled against the Drog.

Bolton have got a couple of good youngsters in Weiss and Wilshere from Man City and Arsenal respectively. Wilshere in particular could be an instant hit if his cameo Carling Cup appearances are anything to go by. Basturk is one of those players who was once good on Football Manager but I’ve never seen him play enough to comment in real life. Fat Sam had a decent track record with signing older creative types at Bolton and the Turk could be sneaky good for Blackburn.

Maxi Rodriguez will be rubbish for Liverpool and Amr Zaki will be rubbish for Hull. Fellow Egyptian Mido might surprise a few people at West Ham. With a £1K a week wage he’s motivated to prove people wrong if nothing else.

wilshere bolton arsenal weiss

I can't decide whether he's disgusted to be holding that shirt or if he's just very cold.

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The Cold Hard Cash

The biggest signing was Man City getting Adam Johnson for £6m+. An interesting one this, he’s done well in the Championship this season but I don’t see where he’s going to fit at Eastlands right now. You have Bellamy and Petrov both playing on the left and they’re both playing very well. One for the future me thinks, but he’ll have a great mentor in Petrov who is an excellent left winger.

After much of the window saw both Porstmouth keepers being linked with moves away to the same clubs, it was eventually Asmir Begovic who left, joining Stoke for £3.25m. He was wanted by Spurs too but apparently legged it from the hotel they were putting him up in. I do wonder whether he will displace Sorensen, they seem kind of at the same level to me. It’s a good signing for next season though.

Elsewhere Victor Moses should get lots of opportunity to prove he’s worth £2.5m at Wigan given that Jason Scotland has yet to score this season, while Benni McCarthy should score enough to justify his £1m move to West Ham. Sunderland have got a good prospect in Matt Kilgallon for £2m.

Birmingham had lots to spend but only got some squad depth in the end with Michel and Craig Gardner joining for £3m each. They’ll be useful, nothing more nothing less.

adam johnson

As good as Stewart Downing. Maybe.

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Harry Redknapp’s Wheeling Dealing Transfer Merry-Go-Round

Let’s face it, Spurs deserve a whole category of their own. Any team with Harry Redknapp in charge is always likely to make deals but when you cross it with Spurs’ odd transfer policy you’re bound to get some baffling deals. First up, they bought Younes Kaboul back from Portsmouth for about £5m (less if you count what Pompey still owed).

This is by my count the fifth player they’ve bought back in about 18 months (Keane, Defoe, Crouch & Chimbonda the others) and they’d probably save themselves a lot of money if they didn’t destroy careers in the first place. Kaboul has improved but won’t play when everyone is fit, so as usual lots of foresight there. Two right backs (Naughton and Hutton) went out on loan leaving them with only Corluka.

eidur gudjohnsen spurs

Come on Harry, let's not play games. You know you want me.

Gudjohnsen was brought in on loan. I’m not sure about this one, it kind of depends where he plays. He certainly hasn’t been a striker for a few seasons now but is a decent player. I get the feeling Redknapp is addicted to buying players he once liked the look of. Lets be honest now, they don’t really need Gudjohnsen do they, but Redknapp just couldn’t say no to a bit of sexy loan action.

The one striker leaving was surprisingly not Pavlyuchenko but instead Robbie Keane who left on loan to Celtic. You don’t normally loan your captain out do you, but by the sounds of it they were constantly changing the price of Pavlyuchenko. No doubt the same happened with Bentley which is why he’s still there too.

harry redknapp

Buy me Harry, no buy me!

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So overall nothing that exciting happened, and as usual the bullshit rumour brigade was full of exactly that – bullshit. There are a few decent signings but you sense everyone is saving their dollar for some post World Cup bingeing. Because of course that’s when the best value can be found…

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T.

Fantasy Premier League – Gameweek 22 Preview

15/01/2010

Gameweek 22 is shaping up to be a big one for fantasy managers. After snow decimated the fixture list last weekend, we were left with just three games played meaning many managers only had a few players at most scoring them points.

In one of my leagues my nearest rival scored just six points while in my main league with the other Sportboy, the Football Guy and a few others, the story was similar. Nearly everyone had Carlos Tevez so the scores weren’t terrible but me picking him as captain meant I got 55 points and extended my lead to 37 points over 2nd place (now taken by Amer who was once upon a time sixth in the world). The week couldn’t have gone better really, and going for Tevez instead of Rooney as captain really made a difference.

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Gameweek 21 Top Gun (aka Tom Cruise Approves):

Carlos Tevez Top Gun Goose Man City

Maverick got stuck in the snow this week so Goose is here to approve of Tevez's hat-trick and his 2nd Top Gun.

Yes, in case you hadn’t realised Carlos Tevez was easily the top scorer last week – a hat-trick against Blackburn getting him three bonus points for a grand total of 17, or 34 if you made him captain like I did. Even though the game was initially in doubt I thought it was worth the risk as if it did get called off it would automatically go to my second choice Rooney.

Anyway, I digress. Benjani grabbed three assists in the same match for 13 points in what was his first appearance of the season. Not bad for someone who’s best has passed. Elsewhere Pienaar and Richards both got nine, as did Cameron Jerome.

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Gameweek 22 Picks:

With all the postponed games last week, many clubs have tried to rearrange them as quickly as possible. It means this week we have six teams playing twice: Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs, Bolton and Hull. Plenty of good teams to pick from and I’d say you’d want at least six players playing twice, if not more. Just be aware that Man Utd and Hull don’t play in gameweek 23 so don’t pick too many of their players for this week.

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Three Captain Choices:

1. Fabregas/Arsenal – A quirk in the fixtures means both of Arsenal’s games this week are against Bolton; first away, then at home. Fabregas is confirmed fit again so I would think that he’ll definitely play in both games. He’s been a stud this season and there have been just two (and a half) games where he’s failed to anything. Bolton away will be tricky what with Owen Coyle providing the new manager lift in performance, but the match at the Emirates should be a comfortable win. In any case, you’d be wise to pick him as captain this week. Arshavin would be my next Arsenal choice.

2. Rooney/Man Utd – The fiery striker has arguably easier games than Fabregas, with two home games against Burnley and Hull but I’m wary of a couple of things. Firstly, Utd haven’t been overly impressive of late and the FA Cup tie against Leeds showed they are still vulnerable in defence without Rio, Vidic and VDS. Secondly, Rooney can be a bit hot and cold, either having a massive game or doing nothing. He scored 15 against Hull recently but only got one point against Burnley away in August. A confident, but not surefire pick. Valencia would be the Man Utd alternative.

3. Defoe/Spurs – With all of Liverpool’s good players injured, it leaves us looking at Tottenham as the third team to provide a potential captain. Hull at home should be easy pickings for Defoe and he might just do something at Anfield too. Modric is back fit again and could get some good points if you don’t have the midget up front.

fabregas fantasy football captain

Gets a Captain's tick.

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Three Potential Transfers In:

1. Bolton players – This gameweek is admittedly difficult to envisage a Bolton player scoring heavily but even two sets of two points would be useful and Arsenal are not super solid defensively. I think Owen Coyle will give them a boost and hopefully make them a more expansive, attractive side. This could mean players like Matt Taylor are worth watching. They also have play twice in gameweek 26 meaning seven matches in the next five weeks.

2. Donovan/Everton – The American loanee made his debut for the Toffees last week and by all accounts played pretty well against Arsenal (he got an assist). I’ve always thought he’s overrated, and his previous record in Germany suggests that he’s not quite good enough at the top level. That said, maybe the Premier League will suit him. Plenty of US players have succeeded so maybe he will be the next (if only for a couple of months). It will cost you £6m to find out.

3. N’Gog/Liverpool – The young Frenchman is an interesting one. He has only played 412 minutes this season but has grabbed four goals and two assists, which is twice as many as a certain M. Owen. With Torres injured for six weeks, he should get a consistent run in the side. Liverpool are woeful this season but at £5.2m he may be worth a speculative punt as a third striker.

matt taylor bolton

Might be worth a pick.

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Three To Avoid:

1. Vieira/Man City – I think Vieira is a legend and as an Arsenal fan he gave me nine glorious years of midfield dominance but I can’t help thinking this move back to the Premier League is a bad idea. He’s only £5m but I don’t think he’s going to do much. Granted, he’ll probably have a big game against a team which doesn’t possess much pace and people will think he’s still great but I reckon it’ll will be a one-off. Not worth the bother.

2. Sorensen/Stoke – With David James about to join on loan, it seems Sorensen may be on his way out. With the World Cup coming up I can’t think that James would be moving somewhere where he isn’t guaranteed a first team place and rumours of the Dane going abroad have not been denied. Time to find a new penalty saving king.

3. Liverpool players – The good ones like Torres, Johnson, Gerrard and Benayoun are all injured for varying lengths of time. The others like Aquilani, Kuyt, Riera and Carragher have been useless for varying lengths of time.

Patrick Vieira Man City

Are you taking the mick?!

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T.


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