Posts Tagged ‘Hodgson’

Weekly Photoshop – Stuart Attwell


SUCCESS! Everyone’s favourite referee is this week’s theme. Stuart Attwell has been involved in more controversies than Nigel De Jong has made dirty tackles.

The most recent was getting a free kick being taken confused with a player passing back to a keeper allowing him to take it in the Sunderland Liverpool game a week or so ago.

Having seen him first hand make loads of poor decisions when watching Arsenal v Bolton earlier this season, I definitely think the guy is well out of his depth. Anyway, the entry below won 2nd place this week. Huzzah, it’s been a while!


Though originally classified as a comedy, Attwell is now considered by some critics to be one of Shakespeare's problem referees...


More here.





Weekly Photoshop – Joe Cole


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.


joe cole liverpool

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


More here.





Weekly Photoshop – Roy Hodgson


Everyone’s second favourite manager is this week’s Photoshop theme – yes it’s Fulham’s Roy Hodgson. Two efforts for you.


roy hodgson fulham

The wise owl knows best.


hodgson fulham

After previous lean crops, Hodgson was particularly pleased with this year's prize-winning bloom of Zamora cabbage.


The rest is here – I knew I should have done something about the volcanic ash.





End of Season Reviews – Chelsea, Everton, Fulham, Hull




Where they finished: 3rd + FA Cup winners

Season in five words: Big Phil flops, saviour Guus.

Successful season? In the end yes. Scolari started well but things soon turned sour with home defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal and a string of poor results at the turn of the year. Hiddink came in on a part time basis from his Russia job and reinvigorated the squad; got them fit and hungry; was within a couple of minutes of a second consecutive Champions League final and topped it off with the FA Cup in his final game.

Defining moment: The 93rd minute of the second leg in the Champions League semi final against Barcelona. Essien fails to clear in the box, Messi lays it off to Iniesta, he scores to take Barcelona to the final.

Player of the year: You realise this isn’t going to be anyone but Frank Lampard. Another year, another 20 goal season including the winner in the FA Cup final. Credit to Cashley Cole who had his best season yet for the Blues and Malouda and Anelka who began to justify their transfer fees.

Goal of the season: This long range, left foot volley by Michael Essien. This was lovely by Lampard too. 

Flop of the season: For someone who started so well, Deco did nothing from about October onwards. Just because he’s not playing, doesn’t mean Phil Scolari can’t be one either.

Highlight: Spanking Arsenal 4-1 at the Emirates was fun, but a 3-1 win at Anfield in Europe was particularly impressive. 

Summer homework: Hope Ancelotti learns English quickly, invest in a superstar (current not past), make sure there’s adequate cover for Essien, Drogba and Mikel come the African Cup of Nations.





Where they finished: 5th + FA Cup finalists

Season in five words: Best of the rest, again.

Successful season? Very much so. David Moyes led his Everton side to fifth in the league for the second year running while also reaching the FA Cup final for the first time in fourteen years. This was done without a proper striker for much if the season as well overcoming serious injuries to Arteta and Jagielka.

Defining moment: Louis Saha scoring after 25 seconds in the FA Cup final. The perfect start but at the same time the worst time for Everton to score. It meant they would naturally sit back and invite Chelsea to attack. They did and Everton lost.

Player of the year: Tim Cahill was vital again while Fellaini adapted quickly to the rigours of the Premier League with several goals and several more bookings. Phil Jagielka was the star of the show however, marshalling the Toffees’ back line whilst earning England recognition in the process.

Goal of the season: The fans’ choice and mine too. Dan Gosling vs Liverpool in the cup. Just a shame ITV viewers saw a Tictac advert.

Flop of the season: Yakubu and Saha spent much of the time injured, Tony Hibbert is a mess at right back and  just how Andy van der Meyde is still there is a bit baffling. We’ll give it to the Yak however, as he needs to stay fit if Everton are to push on.

Highlight: An extra time win over Liverpool in the cup and later on a day out at Wembley.

Summer homework: Keep the strikers fit, replace Hibbert, make sure none of the stars leave.





Where they finished: 7th

Season in five words: Teamwork means best ever finish.

Successful season? Absolutely. This was a team that survived on the last day in 07/08. This season Hodgson got them playing neat, attractive football founded on a rock solid defence led by Hangeland and free signing Schwarzer. A string of excellent results led to a highest ever league placing of seventh. Europa League here they come. They could even afford to get rid of Jimmy Bullard and his dodgy knees.

Defining moment: The free signing of Schwarzer in the summer. The results could be seen as soon as the second game against Arsenal where he produced plenty of saves to help his team win 1-0.

Player of the year: Mark Schwarzer and Hangeland are the obvious targets but Clint Dempsey and Danny Murphy were outstanding in midfield. This was a side very much greater than the sum of its parts.

Goal of the season: There weren’t many to choose from (just 39 in the league) but Paul Konchesky‘s strike against West Ham was pretty special.

Flop of the season: Bobby Zamora should be scoring more often. 

Highlight: Fulham 2-0 Manchester United.

Summer homework: Keep Hangeland if possible, sign another striker and perhaps someone to improve on Dickson Etuhu.





Where they finished: 17th

Season in five words: Big shocks then big freefall.

Successful season? If at the start of the season success was defined as staying up then yes, it was a good season. However Hull lied 6th as late as early December before going a dreadful run of one win in about 22 games. They stayed up by a point in the end based solely on their early form which saw away scalps at Arsenal and Spurs.

Defining moment: Half time against Man City on Boxing Day. 4-0 down, Phil Brown conducts his team talk on the pitch. Hull were never the same again.

Player of the year: Geovanni scored some great goals but Michael Turner was probably the best player.

Goal of the season: Of all Geovanni’s goals, this against Arsenal was the best.

Flop of the season: Jimmy Bullard. Five million pounds, 38 minutes on the pitch. Hull knew he had knee problems but signed him anyway.

Highlight: Beating Arsenal at the Emirates 2-1.

Summer homework: Hope Phil Brown gains some humility over the summer. The fake tan, the Fabregas spitting row, the pitchside team talk, the end of season karaoke – it’s not all about you Phil. Secondly, sign some new players, the ones you have won’t keep you up second time around.



The Six Pointer – Is Roy Keane Any Good, RVP’s Right & more…


All eyes were on Sunday after one of the least appealing set of Saturday games this season. Only Sunderland v Bolton served up anything interesting and that was in part to all the comedy defending. As Mark Lawrenson would say (he would and you know it), Christmas is the season of giving. 


1. Is Roy Keane any good? We’ve touched before on how Sunderland’s strikeforce of Kenwyn Jones and Djibril Cisse has more than enough quality to keep them up. However, judging by the state of their defence (Saturday’s comedy here), it may not be enough. They’re down to 19th with just one win in seven. Keane has spent more than £60 million since taking over in the summer of 2006. There are some decent players there (Malbranque, Ferdinand, the two main strikers, a few others) but also a lot of tosh. His reliance on Man Utd rejects and Irish players who aren’t Robbie Keane has led to the biggest squad in the Premiership but arguably very little genuine quality. Squads are important but your first choice eleven take priority given that they’ll play the majority of games when fit. I think part of the problem has been the lack of a first choice defence – he has used six different back fours thus far. Looking at their squad I guess you would choose Chimbonda – Ferdinand – Nosworthy – McCartney. Hmm. As always, he’s being very frank in his assessment of his team and his own future but I reckon that as long as he keeps Sunderland up he’ll get a new contract. Great beard by the way but has he been taking styling tips from Abel Xavier?

Maybe I'll copy the hair too...

Maybe I'll copy the haircut too...


2. Is Gary Megson any good? Quietly, Bolton have won four out of their last five games and climbed to the dizzy heights of ninth in the table. Universally derided upon his appointment a year ago, Megson led Bolton to safety with a similar run at the end of the season where eleven points were taken from the final five games. Until then they were in dire trouble and looked set to be relegated. This year, they were in most people’s bottom three in the pre season predictions but have been steadily gaining points. So is he any good? I’m not convinced. His main summer signings were gambles to say the least (Muamba and Elmander for a combined £15 million) but to be fair the latter has started to score regularly now. He needs more than a 17th place to be judged a success, they should be looking towards mid table. I will reserve judgment until their next four games have passed – Chelsea(H), Villa(A), Pompey(H) and Liverpool(A). If they get anything from those then perhaps I’ll start to believe Gary Megson is a decent manager.

Oh noes, it's all going to go wrong!

Oh noes, it's all going to go wrong!


3. Somehow, Fulham’s defence is very good. Only 11 goals conceded all season. Only Chelsea, Liverpool and Man Utd have conceded less. This despite playing without a traditional defensive midfielder – more four guys who are quite good at attacking and not bad at defending, especially Bullard and Murphy. I’ve always had a soft spot for Fulham, they play decent football and Roy Hodgson is one of the good guys. This was dented slightly after they beat Arsenal but I will be quite happy to see them stay up.


4. Van Persie’s left foot is very, very good. His right one wasn’t bad at the weekend either. His first was offside but then this goal three years ago wasn’t and yet was disallowed. It all evens itself out, eventually. The win for Arsenal was one of those where the performance wasn’t all that good but the result was fantastic. To score two goals at Stamford Bridge after being behind means maybe, just maybe they can be legitimate title challengers. However we were here a month ago after the United game saying the same thing. Let’s see if they can beat Wigan at home next week (play the kids perhaps?) before saying so for sure. 


5. If John Terry wasn’t England captain and Sagna didn’t just get on with things and Sky weren’t so biased in what they choose to replay he’d be looking a three match ban right now (here 8 mins in) … 


6. Can Liverpool sustain a title challenge without a fully fit Fernando Torres? I’m not sure they can…
Haven't seen too much of this yet...

Haven't seen too much of this yet...



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