Wednesday, 6 September 2017

It's all gone a bit Messi...

It's that time of year again, where Messi and co need to pull their socks up and start getting them points on the board for the Argies! 

This pattern seems to repeat itself every time qualification comes around, After an impressive 2014 world cup, you could be forgiven to think they were gonna walk their qualification group, especially considering how poor Brazil had been! 

The little man has been none existent in the last few matches, starved of the service he is so used to! Could we really have world cup without Messi??? That would be up there with the biggest crimes of modern times! 

It's not just Team Messi thats struggling either, when you consider how great The Red Hot Chilli Peppers have been! 2 x Copa America titles on the spin, yet they find themselves down in sixth place... Lets hope Sanchez find's his shooting boots in time to save a rather poor qualification campaign! Its been rumoured that Sanchez is struggling due to playing for a rather average club side, that winning mentality has dried up! 

As for Neymar, it looks like he is heading to Russia in a strong position, Anyone for Brazil and England in the same group???  

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Oi, Ref!

So England won again last night, once again it was a bore to watch, with Wembley hosting the lowest attendance for an England international since 2014! Over 30 thousand empty seats... Come on Gareth give the fans something to enjoy!

One of the highlights of the match was brought to us once again by young Dele Alli, but for a change it wasn't the flick of the foot that caused people to take note.... A cheeky flick of the finger in the direction of the match official! As the ITV cameras caught it, the commentators didn't know what to say, silence filled the airwaves!

We all know it was directed to the ref, yet like a naughty school boy he wouldn't own up, and decided to lie about who he directed it at!

Dele grow some balls!!!

Monday, 4 September 2017

Modern Day Football..... What's all the fuss about?

The world wide web has changed the way we view and interact with the greatest game on earth, from blogs to tweets, every man and his dog as an opinion. One great game for a player now makes him a superstar, from ex pros to pundits they all jump on that bandwagon. We're being told just how good players are compared to the old days, how the likes of Best and Pele wouldn't be able to keep up with todays pace, but is the quality of the football really as good as it was 40/50 years ago?  

Over the next few months we're gonna be dusting off the archives and plough through the statistics that will hopefully answer this long running debate, the only spillage here, will be that of the Midweeker spilling his pint down his bright orange shirt! 

We want goals!

First up in this series, we will be looking at the great art of goalscoring, We've all seen Harry Kane shin it from 5 yards out, Ryan Giggs missing an open goal and that classic Arsenal penalty routine that would be better suited on strictly ballroom! But over a full season how does the modern game measure up to its past? Are we getting more goals on average over a full season? or should we be getting a refund on the ever increasing ticket prices? 

Lets go back to 1958/59 season, A random choice i know!  - Just a few things to point out - The old first division had 22 teams in it, meaning that each team would end up playing 42 league games per season, and to even make it harder, teams couldn't even make substitutions!  The only thing players needed to get through a match back then was that half time cuppa! 

So Wolves had just won back to back titles, banging in over 200 goals in the process (110 during 58/59), whilst second place, Man United also managed to get into the 100's in terms of scoring goals, not a bad effort when you consider most teams ended up playing 10 a side! 

Now back to present times - The top two teams last season (Chelsea & Spurs) only managed to hit the 80's in terms of goals, yet players now days have better nutrition and each team can make unto three subs! 

This pattern continues into the 1960's, During the 60,61 season three teams in the top flight managed to hit the 100's, The champions Spurs, third place Wolves (once again) and fourth place Burnley. Even relegated Newcastle managed to score 86 goals throughout that season. If we head back to 2015/16 when The Foxes managed the impossible, they only managed to hit the 60's in terms of their goalscoring abilities... Now is that entertainment... really? 

When you consider Jimmy Greaves still holds the record of being the outright leading goalscorer in top flight matches in England, (lets not forget he fell out of love with the game at the tender age of 31) it hammers home even more that we are being blinded by fancy advertising and over the top pundits! 

Now don't get me wrong, Big Alan Shearer was top notch but he was still over 70 goals shy of Jimmy's record, and you have to remember he was at The Toon into his late 30's! 

So in terms of putting the ball in the net over a course of a season, it seems the greats of the past found it easier than todays modern not so greats. 


Sunday, 19 February 2017

The FA Cup... Is the magic back?

Its Sunday so its time to grab that cup of tea, get them biscuits out, and lets take a look into how the FA Cup has got its sparkle back! 

 Cast your mind back a few seasons... Everything in terms of the Footballing bible was ringing true - 'Money brought success.' Man City proved testament to this. Teams that had to sell to survive ended up falling further and further behind. 'Instant success' was what the fans and the media alike wanted. Managers chopping and changing teams, Arsenal & Chelsea signing individual players costing more than most Championship teams are valued at as a business! It looked like the gap between the divisions was never going to be breached, a similar pattern and fait to what WBA faced in the early 00's 'Boing boing, Baggies Baggies...' Flittering between the two divisions for almost a decade! You could guaranty at least one club coming up from The Championship would end up going straight back down the next season. 

The priority for clubs up and down the country was to make sure they stay in their respective leagues! In theory The FA Cup was a distraction that managers could do with out. *Wigan proved this theory right in 2012/13 When they managed to beat City in the final, only to be relegated a few weeks later! Wigan have not been close to returning to the top tier since. In fact teams of a 'lower' profile that have made it to the final in recent seasons, have ended up being relegated either that season or the following..... Things don't look to good for Big Sam and Palace at the moment! 

After the third round of fixtures it looked nailed on that it was going to be the same old 'Billionaire clubs' making it to the latter stages... But then things started to get interesting, Sutton United and Lincoln City started to cause the odd tremor amongst the lower tier teams. This effect managed to spread across the footballing network and then BOOM! The term 'shock' became less of a shock, Liverpool were fed to the Wolves in their own inclosure, and The Lions who came up against massive off the field distractions made short work of The Cherries and The Hornets (You can also add The Foxes to that list too) and as if by magic The FA Cup started to trend once again... 

Now we're half way through the weekends fixtures concerning the Fifth round, and my gosh its been fun! The early kick off between a solid Burnley at Turf Moor against the non league 'have a go heroes' of Lincoln City. Now no disrespect to the Imps but the biggest test they had faced so far in the cup this season was High flying Brighton in the Championship. (A distraction Brighton could do with out) No one not even the BTSport pundits had given them a chance, The Imps management team of the Cowley brothers, looked calm and collective as they approached the dugout, Danny representing a modern day version of the Legend that is Brian Clough, jogging bottoms and a distinctively coloured top, applauding the traveling fans as he took his seat. 

Before long it was a full on old fashion fight to the death! The script was written for the pantomime villain otherwise known as Joey Barton... Lets just say he got his lines right and hopefully he will end up getting retrospective punishment for being a total tool! Rhead was outstanding for Lincoln and although it must of been tempting to put a cheeky number on Barton the old fashion centre forward restrained himself, allowing for his team to continue with 11 v 11...Something the Burnley lads hadn't expected! 

With time almost up and a replay looking likely, The Imps found themselves with a corner, prior to this set piece it would be fair to say that the others hadn't really gone to plan... The TV cameras focused on the crowd, fans praying for the final whistle so they could walk away with a replay... 

The rest they say is history, and the name Raggett will be talked of for years and years to come!