Posts Tagged ‘England’

Weekly Photoshop – Andy Carroll

07/09/2010

Newcastle’s new number 9 is the theme this week. One hat-trick against Aston Villa and already he’s the saviour…

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andy carroll

Allegedly a bit of a naughty boy.

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More here.

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Weekly Photoshop – Joe Cole

27/07/2010

This week’s theme was new Liverpool signing Joe Cole. After weeks of speculation over where he would sign, Cole surprisingly chose to leave London and head north. I’m sure Harry Redknapp must be gutted.

I never quite understood the clamour to sign him; he hasn’t consistently performed for several seasons now. Of course injuries have taken their toll but if he was that good, Chelsea wouldn’t be letting him go. A decent signing considering he’s free but I bet Benayoun has more impact as his replacement at Chelsea.

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joe cole liverpool

It might have seemed like a good idea at the time, but I worry for the future of this relationship...

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World Cup Roundup

14/07/2010

So suggesting a bet on Holland in the final meant the bet of the day running total ended 0.77 units down, which isn’t awful considering two-thirds of the group stage were missed. In better punditry many of the pre-tournament tips came off. Of the more impressive ideas, I suggested Germany to reach the semi-finals @ 12/5, Argentina to get nine points in their group @ 12/5, Uruguay and Mexico to go through in group A @ 13/1 and Uruguay as an each way bet @ 66/1.

I wrote that England could well suffer a second round knock-out, while tipping Holland @ 9/1 almost came off. The goalscorer tips were a touch unlucky too with each way suggestions Klose (33/1) and Suarez (100/1) just missing out on the top four.  Enough gloating (there were plenty of dud tips too after all) and time for a few highlights and lowlights.

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Best Game: England vs Germany had controversy, some great football, good goals and it dispelled the hype surrounding so many of England’s stars.

Worst Game: Most of the ones in the first week.

Best Goal: Tshabalala’s in the opening match was great for the moment and Van Bronckhorst in the semi-final was great for the pureness of the strike but I think Villa’s first against Honduras tops both.

Worst Miss: Yakubu vs South Korea. Dear oh dear.

Most Dramatic 5 Minutes: Spain vs Paraguay gave it a good try, with three penalties in the space of a few minutes, but you can’t beat the end of extra-time in the Uruguay vs Ghana match. Goalmouth scramble, handball on the line and red card, missed penalty with a semi-final place up for grabs, undignified celebrations by the man sent off and then a penalty shoot-out shortly after. Wow.

Best Pundit: Clarence Seedorf. There weren’t many to choose from but he was insightful and refreshing. Some good features too.

Hero: Paul the psychic octopus.

Villain: Take your pick from Suarez, the Jabulani ball or the French team going on strike. Oh and James Corden too.

Best XI Of The Tournament: Casillas; Lahm, Puyol, Lugano, Coentrao; Schweinsteiger, Xavi, Sneijder; Mueller, Forlan, Villa.

Worst XI Of The Tournament: Green; Otamendi, Terry, Cannavaro, Evra; Melo, Kaka, Ribery; Anelka, Rooney, Torres.

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World Cup Bet Of The Day – Day 27

07/07/2010

Running Total: -2.2 units

Bit unlucky last night as Uruguay’s late second goal ruined the handicap bet on Holland to win -1 goal. At least the stake was returned though.

I’m finding it really hard to call tonight’s second semi between Spain and Germany but I think ultimately the Spanish will have a bit too much for Jogi Low’s side. Spain have played lots of quite defensive teams so far while against England and Argentina Germany could do as they pleased. That’s not to say Germany can’t beat Spain but I just think they’ll find it more difficult against a more tactically organised side. I could spend ages previewing this but I’d rather just enjoy the game!

Bet of the day:

Spain to beat Germany @ 13/8

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The FA Get Something Right

05/07/2010

Just a quick thought on Capello remaining England manager for the next two years. For once the FA have made the right decision and gone for a bit of long term thinking instead of just following what the media tell them.

While Capello must hold some of the blame for England’s World Cup exit (mistakes with his squad picks, tactical stubbornness), it’s good to see the hyperbole surrounding the so called golden generation of England players has been put to rest. It was telling that despite the technical limitations of the England squad being there for all to see, first port of call was to blame it on the foreign manager.

Fabio Capello

Not his fault, well a little bit but not as much as the players.

Some of the suggestions of who could replace Capello were ridiculous, and perhaps that’s partly why he’s kept the job – the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. First off the idea that David Beckham could be the next to have a go. Really? A man with no managerial experience whatsoever and someone who last time I checked was still playing.

Just because it worked for Germany with Klinsmann and is kind of working for Argentina with Maradona doesn’t make it right. I have a lot of time for Becks but thankfully this idea was soon dismissed.

Next up we had the genius suggestion by Mark Bright of giving Glenn Hoddle another chance. Glenn Hoddle?! Ok, he was half decent 12 years ago as England manager but that doesn’t make him right in 2010. This is a man who had been completely out of the game since 2006 and last managed a top flight club in 2003. Next thing I know, someone will be suggesting his Sky colleague Jamie Redknapp!

Just stop, it's getting embarrassing now.

Sam Allardyce ensured his media mates put him forward. He needs to realise it’s never going to happen. His thuggish, unattractive style of football will never win any major tournament. Harry Redknapp can do likewise but whilst he has the style of football which appeals, the fact that his business dealings are even dodgier than El Tel Venables’ says all it needs to.

A few other names were floating about with the best option Roy Hodgson wisely deciding that the Liverpool job was far more appealing. As the week went on, everyone began to come to their senses and started disecting the overblown reputations of the players instead. Who’s have thought the likes of the Neviller and Roy Keane would be calling it right?

Overrated as a player, overrated as a human being.

So, partly due to the massive contract the FA tied themselves down with, and partly due to the realisation that John Terry et al are not nearly as good as everyone thinks they are, Capello hangs around till 2012. Credit to the FA for realising that for once it wasn’t entirely the manager’s fault. Here’s hoping that he now fulfils his promise of bringing a fresh approach.

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Weekly Photoshop – England vs USA

15/06/2010

WINNER: Another week, another £100 first place prize!

In case you missed it there was apparently some kind of soccerball game between the USA and England the other day. There wasn’t too much build-up and post match analysis from what I can recall…

England’s opening World Cup was indeed this week’s Photoshop theme in the Guardian. Hard not to focus on Rob Green really.

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england usa rob green top kill

Might be time for Capello to try a top kill strategy on that leaky problem of his...

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England USA Rob Green Obama vuvuzela

Obama was pleased at managing to influence the super high stakes game of straw football.

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World Cup Bet Of The Day – Day 3

13/06/2010

Running total: – 2 units

So for the second day running the suggested bet didn’t quite come off, with England failing to breach the USA in the second half having gone in level at half time. England are notorious slow starters in World Cups (just five opening wins from 13) so the final 1-1 scoreline was not surprising. I had a feeling I should have gone for under 2.5 goals.

Today sees Slovenia v Algeria, Serbia v Ghana and Germany v Australia in the evening match. There are clear favourites in all three games negating any value on a straight victory. I do like Serbia to win at just over evens (6/5 or 11/10 depending who you bet with) but it’s difficult to know how much Ghana will miss Essien’s presence.

Instead I’m going to try a pick a goalscorer in the evening game. I think Germany should beat Australia without too much trouble – I don’t see where the goals are in the Aussie side once you stop Tim Cahill or a past it Harry Kewell.

I imagine Germany will be starting with Miroslav Klose up front. He already has ten goals over two World Cups and will be looking to score in his third tournament. Australia are quite a physical side and his aerial presence will be important to Germany finding a foothold in the game.

With Ballack out injured I suspect Germany’s play will focus more on getting it out wide to the wingers Schweinsteger and Trochowski who can provide crosses for Klose. I reckon it’s risky to be on him as first goalscorer so let’s go with him scoring anytime at just over evens.

Bet of the day:

Miroslav Klose to score anytime vs Australia @ 11/5

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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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The Big World Cup Betting Post

11/06/2010

This afternoon 32 teams begin the fight to be crowned World Cup winners on July 11th. Well, strictly speaking only four teams play today but let’s not be pedantic. There’s a wealth of potential bets to place and some potentially big winnings to be had. I’m sure everyone has their opinion on what will happen so here’s my pick.

Eyes on the prize.

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Favourites

The top three teams in the winner market are Spain at 4/1, Brazil at 5/1 and Argentina at 8/1. There’s not a great deal of value there but of the three I have Brazil as my favourite to win. They’re solid at the back with all the Inter defenders and also play two defensive midfielders to back them up. Up front Kaka is still a great player while Luis Fabiano is an effective striker.

If all three of those teams win their groups, Spain are scheduled to face Argentina in one semi-final which makes it trickier to back them over Brazil. You could go with naming the finalists – Brazil/Spain is about 10/1 while Brazil/Argentina is as high as a tempting 18/1.

Personally I think I’ll be going for all three teams to qualify from their groups with a maximum nine points. In that regard Brazil are 9/4, Spain 6/5 and Argentina 12/5. The risky treble is about 24/1.

Favourites to double up.

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If Things Go Their Way

Here we have the likes of England, Holland, Germany and Italy. All good sides but probably not a match for the three favourites. Betting on England is always a mug’s game in my eyes. The bookies have them down at 8/1 which is mainly to protect themselves from Dave the Daily Star reader who puts heart before head.

That said Capello and a fit Rooney is a far better prospect then the Eriksson and unfit Rooney of four years ago. In reality I think the semi’s (11/8) are the absolute limit for England but there’s a potentially tricky second round match against the group B runners-up which could see them knocked out early.

I like the look of Holland and they have some brilliant attacking options. Whether their defence holds up against top opposition is another story and whichever way they look at it they’re going to meet Spain or Brazil in a quarter-final. However, what’s betting without some fun risk involved so why not a cheeky pound on them to win the whole thing at 9/1? Thinking about it I think they’ll be a good team to bet on a match by match basis come the knock-out stages.  Personally I’ll be looking at Robin van Persie to do some goalscoring damage. More on that later.

Never write off Germany. 12/5 for the semi finals. I’ll have some of that.

Keep looking Wayne, you won't win it.

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Potential Flops

In my mind there are two teams who are ripe to flop completely and not qualify from their group – France and Portugal. I have different reasons for both. France are an ageing team and somehow still have Raymond Domenech as their coach. Some of his decisions are baffling. In fact no, most of his decisions are baffling. The senior players still have too much say and there’s talk of infighting within the squad.

Their group is on paper not too hard which is why this is an interesting bet. Uruguay should qualify and part of me thinks that South Africa will get a win in the opening game and somehow find a way to qualify in second. I’m sure Sepp will sort something out… The odds aren’t great – only 2/1 so maybe it’s better value to bet on the Uruguay and Mexico/South Africa forecast instead (13/1 or 21/1). On the other hand all the great players in their squad might have one last great hurrah.

Portugal in contrast are in the so-called group of death – Brazil, Ivory Coast and North Korea being their opponents. Brazil will top this group so I think it’s a straight fight for second between two of the biggest divas in the World Cup; Drogba and Ronaldo. I think the latter loses out, thus a Brazil/Ivory Coast forecast is a nice 11/4.

This will happen again. Though without Big Phil.

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Each Way Long Shots

Serbia and Uruguay seem to be getting a lot of love as teams who could go further than expected. They’re on the right side of the draw in terms of ‘only’ having Brazil instead of Spain and Argentina. At 40/1 and 66/1 respectively, they’re fantastic each-way bets. Both are technically good with differing strengths; Serbia having a top defence while Uruguay have Forlan and Suarez up front.

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Sharpshooters

Top goalscorer bets are always fun and if you consider that six goals was the winning total for six straight World Cups from 1978 to 1998 you only need a bit of luck to win on a high-priced each way bet. Germany’s Miroslav Klose won with five goals in 2006 and he again is fantastic each way value this time round at a general 33/1.

Holland have a group without any particularly defensive teams meaning Robin van Persie could fill his boots and be overall winner at 12/1. If you look at who’s facing the weakest teams (North Korea and New Zealand) then perhaps Luis Fabiano of Brazil at 10/1  or Italy’s Di Natale  at 50/1 could be worth a shout. Suarez of Uruguay can be found as high as 100/1 and if you think three goals was enough for second last time round it’s worth placing a pound or two on him.

Your top goalscorer. Maybe...

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World Cup!

08/06/2010

World Cup! World Cup! World Cup! World Cup! World Cup! World Cup! World Cup! Are you excited? I am!

Shake it.

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Watch him.

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Definitely not on cocaine...

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The Divine Ponytail no longer.

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Listen to the mental Dutch commentary!
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Remind me where the ball hit him...

Oh yeah, here
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That haircut!
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I love how indignant the panel are.
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Your sister is a...

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To think that’s just the last 20 years.
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