Posts Tagged ‘Ramos’

World Cup Bet Of The Day – The Final


Running Total: +0.23 units

The news that Klose was out injured for yesterday’s 3rd/4th playoff meant another bet had to be found. The simple option of over 2.5 goals was taken meaning this column is back in profit just in time for the end of the finals.

I do feel a bit sorry for Klose not getting at least the chance to equal Ronaldo’s record. Say what you want about him being not as good but at the end of the day he’s produced in three World Cups.

Anyway, on to today’s game which should hopefully be a classic between Holland and Spain.

Spain are heavy favourites to win this and you can get 14/5 on a Holland victory in 90 minutes which seems very high. While the Dutch haven’t been as impressive I get the feeling it’s partly because people still associate them with the more attacking styles of days gone by and think that because they’re not scoring three or four a game they’re not playing well.

This Dutch team is unbeaten in 24 and is more than capable of causing a so called upset. However, despite this you can’t deny Spain should be favourites and the 11/10 on them to win in 90 minutes is not terrible value given how in control they’ve been in all their matches.

In terms of the scorers I have a hunch van Persie might finally get another goal to go with his good performances and he’s 5/2 to score anytime which seems generous. Change it to first goalscorer and you can get as high 8/1. Lastly, him to score and Holland to win is 6/1.

David Villa is 6/5 to score anytime while Dutch form man (and top scorer rival) Wesley Sneijder is 10/3 – again very generous.

There’s been some talk that Spain may have to come from behind to win this and that wouldn’t surprise me, though the one time they went behind in this tournament they lost. You can get as high as 28/1 on a Holland HT/Spain FT result but perhaps the more likely scenario is Draw HT/Spain FT which is 7/2 in most places but as high as 4/1 in Ladbrokes and Paddy Power.

Finally Howard Webb is in charge which means there’ll be a few yellow cards. Mark van Bommel is 8/1 to be first booked while fellow hatchet man Nigel de Jong is 9/1. Take your pick and fill your boots. It might be prudent to bet on some of the full-backs getting booked too. I could see Robben getting either Capdevilla and/or Ramos booked while the Dutch full backs will also be at risk when facing the likes of Pedro and Iniesta.


Bets of the day:

Robin van Persie to score anytime @ 5/2

Holland to win in 90 minutes @ 14/5

Basically you can go with the aforementioned combined bet at 6/1 but I’d rather split it and increase my chances. I’m going with heart over head with these selections but I just have a hunch that Holland are going to do it. Alternatively just bet on Spain to win in 90 and double your money.



World Cup Bet Of The Day – Day 6


Running Total: -1.8 units

Robinho did everything but score yesterday so the running total moves further down.

Today Spain should hopefully put on a performance against Switzerland, if not necessarily score lots of goals. Torres and Iniesta may both be kept on the bench meaning players like Pedro may get a chance to put their name on the scoresheet.

That said, we have to go with the main man up front David Villa. When you have players like Xavi, Silva and Mata all trying to set something up for you, odds are you score regularly. Let’s go for him as first goalscorer.

Bet of the day:

David Villa to score first vs Switzerland @ 3/1


Stop Press: Important Gareth Bale News

Look at him, so eager!

Look at him, so eager!

I totally forgot to mention this in yesterday’s Six-Pointer but I think it deserves its own post anyway. Yes, two years after signing, Gareth Bale has won his first ever league game in a Tottenham shirt! Well done Gareth! He played a huge role in the 5-0 win over Burnley, coming on after 85 minutes when Spurs were 4-0 up and attaining a 100% successful pass rate with his one pass to Niko Kranjcar.

Like I said, a vital cog...

Like I said, a vital cog...

To be fair to Gareth he only played 25 league games since joining Spurs but even if you were a new Derby signing in 2007/08 you would not have to had to wait that long for a league win (Giles Barnes waited 21 games). Anyway I think he deserves some recognition:



Weekly Photoshop – Harry Redknapp


SUCCESS! Another second place for The Sportboys this week as we continue our good recent form. I think the prize is a Cricket book. Better than nothing I guess. 

It’s a bumper double edition for you as our theme is the pot of gold that is Harry Redknapp. From his wheeler dealer time at West Ham to his blame game way at Spurs, via an FA Cup win with Portsmouth – there’s never a dull moment with Sir ‘Arry of Redknapp. 


We’ll start with an facial analysis:

Those lines will only get deeper the longer he stays as Spurs boss.

Those lines will only get deeper the longer he stays as Spurs boss.


and we’ll follow with a psychological study of  his attempts to blame poor form on his predecessors whilst taking any credit when they win:

I'm sure there's a joke about in here somewhere about slipping the bellboy some money.

I'm sure there's a joke in here somewhere about Redknapp slipping the bellboy some money.


The latter was sent too late to make it in but the first image and rest of the gallery can be found here.




Previous entries: Megson, Anelka, Bendtner and the rest.

Champions League Second Round Second Leg Preview – Liverpool vs Real Madrid


Benayoun scores the winner in front of two players bumming in mid-air

First Leg Summary

In the first leg Liverpool did what they do best in cup competitions- stifled the opposition and stole a late goal. Real Madrid really didn’t show much quality apart from a couple of good one-two combinations and tricky runs from Arjen Robben. The Reds didn’t create too much either but Torres had a couple of decent opportunities, while Xabi Alonso could have scored another audacious halfway line lob. In the end it was an unlikely header from Youssi Benayoun in the 82nd minute that gave Liverpool the crucial away goal and 1-0 lead going into the second leg.

Liverpool and Real Madrid Play League Swapsies

In the build-up to the first leg, Liverpool were still in the Premier League title race while their counterpart’s own La Liga hopes were still hopeful at best. How much can happen in the space of a week  and a half!

Defeat at Middlesbrough over the weekend combined with Manchester United’s unstoppable run leaves Liverpool in third place (on goal difference behind Chelsea) and 7 points off the pace with a United game in hand. Meanwhile, Real Madrid find themselves only 4 points behind Barcelona after their 11th consecutive win and the Catalunyans’ second successive defeat at the hands of the Blaugranas’ city rivals, Atletico.

What bearing does this have on the Champions League Second Leg? Well, Liverpool will certainly focus their silverware-attaining hopes on Europe. Having been knocked out of the FA Cup by Everton, Liverpool have no match this weekend and this an 8 day rest until next Wednesday’s match against Real. On the other hand, Madridstas will be excited both at the prospect of being back in the title race and facing their city rivals, Atletico Madrid, on Saturday night. Perhaps the Champions League will not seem so crucial to the success of their season after all.

Tactical Analysis

Rafa Benitez will feel extremely confident going into the second leg at Anfield and will undoubtedly field a workmanlike team, while pinning his hopes on Torres’ threat on the break. Mascherano and Alonso were superior over Diarra and Gago in the first leg and with captain Stevie G returning, the steel in midfield will be ready.

Juande Ramos will have concerns despite knowing that one goal will completely change the tie. Raul was virtually non-existent in the Bernabeu fixture, certainly not playing the targetman role well against the ugly centre-half of Skrtel and Carragher. Deliveries into the box are unlikely to bring much joy against Liverpool so Ramos will be largely pinning his hopes on intricate ball play between the likes of Robben and Higuain opening up the opposition defence. Alternatively, Liverpool may just make a mistake.


Real Madrid will score the opening goal but the Anfield crowd will blow Fernando Torres on his  way to an equaliser, taking Liverpool through.

Extra Note – Benayoun the unsung hero

I have always been a fan of the Israeli poster boy from his days at West Ham. Despite not getting a consistent run for Liverpool until very recently, he has always played well, offering a bit more intelligence and trickery than most of the oaves at Anfield. I hope he gets to play the second leg, having scored a famous winner for them in Madrid.

One was a Usual Suspect, the other wants to be



The Trouble With… Tottenham’s Transfer Policy


So, the transfer window closed a few days ago and the two big spenders were Manchester City and Tottenham. Spurs ended up spending around £47million on five players –

Robbie Keane from Liverpool – £15million or so

Wilson Palacios from Wigan – £14million

Carlo Cudicini from Chelsea – free

Pascal Chimbonda from Wigan – £3m

Jermaine Defoe from Portsmouth – £15million

All good players in their own right and all will probably help Spurs avoid relegation and climb up to mid table. But what strikes me once again is the short sightedness of their transfer dealings. 

Hey big spender

Hey big spender

There is the bizarre scenario of Keane and Chimbonda rejoining a club they only left six months ago, while Defoe was only gone for a year. Redknapp seems determined to rebuild much of the squad that were a dodgy lasagna away from Champions League qualification under Martin Jol in 2005/06 and not too far off in 06/07. The problem with this idea is that he has no chance of getting Michael Carrick or Dimitar Berbatov from Man Utd and they were the respective heartbeats of those sides. There’s a reason Fergie signed those two and not say, Jenas and Keane.

As close as he'll get to the United team

As close as he'll get to the United team

We talked recently about how signing Keane is a very odd move after signing Defoe. Defoe left Spurs the first time round as he wasn’t getting games due to Keane and Berbatov being first choice. As a partnership him and Keane never worked and as captain Keane would always play. I can understand that in light of Defoe’s ten week injury it made sense to sign someone but given that they were linked with the likes of Kenwyn Jones and Fred, it seems odd they plumped for Keane. What happens when Defoe is fit? Does Keane, who has been made captain again, get dropped? Does Defoe? If ‘Arry does try and play them together where does that leave £16.5million Modric? You can’t play all three of them at once (well you can, but you’d have a very small, unbalanced side). Bent, Bentley and Pavlyuchenko weren’t exactly cheap either. Redknapp insists they can play together but I’ll believe that when I see it.

I think this is probably Photoshopped...

I think this is probably Photoshopped...

Of course right now, the key for Spurs is to avoid relegation so to that extent the more options the better. Any players out of form, unhappy and eager to leave can be dealt with in the summer. But why have this problem at all? If they thought things through a bit more, they wouldn’t be in this position in the first place – squad wise and table wise. In recent history there are umpteen examples of Tottenham signings which have made you go “Huh? I thought they already a good option there”.  For example – 

  • Why was David Bentley signed last summer when Aaron Lennon was on the books? There’s only one spot on the right and neither are good on the left where there is an actual need.
  • Why was Darren Bent signed in 2007, at a time when Spurs still had Keane, Berbatov and Defoe? How did they think that all four could be kept happy?
  • Why was a good defensive midfielder never signed in the last few years?


There is a lack of cohesion over how transfers should be approached. On the one hand, Spurs have adopted Arsenal’s policy of buying up lots of young players to sell later.  They have spent a lot of money on the likes of Bale, Hutton, Dos Santos, Boateng and many, many more. No one has really been a success yet and it just shows how well Wenger did in plucking Vieira, Fabregas, Clichy etc from the rest. They also tried and failed with the continental approach, ex director of football Damien Comolli being responsible for many of the strange deals we have mentioned. 

Would you trust this man?

Would you trust this man?

Part of the problem has been the regular change of manager. Jol brought two consecutive fifth place finishes (their best since 3rd in 1989/90) but was sacked in October 2007 after a poor start. This saw Juande Ramos come which in theory was a good idea (he was quality at Sevilla) but for whatever reason he failed. This was not before dismantling much of the squad that came fifth. I’ve always said that Daniel Levy & ENIC are in a rush to sell Spurs, just as soon as they can market them as a side in the Champions League. The problems with this is that he panics and doesn’t give his managers time to put things right whenever a poor start is made. Thus a vicious cycle is created where, old manager is sacked, new guy comes in with his own ideas and players he wants, new manager then also fails and is sacked, newer guy comes in. And so on and so forth. 


We’ll never know if Jol would have turned it round in 2007/08 but I sincerely doubt they’d be in the mess they are now had they stuck with him. Sometimes it takes time but if you back someone they often come good. Martin O’Neill only came 11th in his first season at Villa but now they look like they’ll qualify for the Champions League. David Moyes has had two bottom half finishes in his time at Everton (including a 17th) but has now finally made them a regular top six side. Both have overtaken Spurs as clubs more likely to break into the top four. There’s a lot to be said for stability off the pitch and hard work off it. For too long Spurs have had neither hence their current struggles in the lower echelons of the Premier League.



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