Posts Tagged ‘English Premier League’

Arsenal needs a new Gunner

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So far this season, Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal have managed to keep ahead of the pack and stay top of the English Premier League after 20 games, with 45 points – one more than Manchester City and two more than Chelsea.  However, Highbury’s faithful together with any sports betting fan that has staked cash on the North London winning the League title will certainly feel that Wenger needs to look for at least one more striker during the January transfer window. The growing consensus is that with the injuries to both Olivier Giroud and Nicklas Bendtner, it only leaves one recognised striker in the squad – and this then necessitates the purchase of at least more striker to help ensure the club press on for their first English Premier League title in almost ten long dreary years.

Wenger has already ruled former Manchester United and now Fulham striker, Dimitar Berbatov. It is rumoured that Wenger does not like the ‘relaxed’ style of play of the Bulgarian striker. This means means anyone betting on possible purchases can focus on other potential candidates. There is the Spanish international Michu who currently plays for Swansea City. Arsene has stated that the player reminds him of a Dennis Bergkamp, which is a huge compliment to any player!

There is of course the stories that Monaco’s hitman, Radamel Falcao is looking for a move away from French club. His scoring record is second to none, but there is a huge price tag of 60 million euro which Arsenal will have to weigh up. Someone that maybe more affordable and still bring in the goals, could be Jay Rodriguez playing at Southampton, and there is the possibility of even luring his team-mate Lallana to increase the probability of Jay settling in quickly.

Wenger can also consider Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata. Although it has been reported the Arsenal manager was not keen on the striker, it maybe time to revisit this option. If the reports and rumours are right, Wenger has already secured Morata’s services on a six month loan deal, however, this is yet to be confirmed by the club.

Whatever decision is made, one thing is for certain, the English Premier League title race has never been more exciting, with so many clubs in with a real chance of winning the title and all the glory that comes with it!

 

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West Ham shock Tottenham Hot Spurs

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West Ham did the unthinkable and beat Tottenham Hot Spurs at White Hart Lane to get out of the bottom of the English Premier League. It was a great win for the Hammers against one of the best defences in the League this year, and it also marked the first away goals scored by West Ham for the season. Online sports betting operators wold have enjoyed the result, as Spurs were favourites to see off the challenge from one of their London rivals.

It was also a day to remember for the young Ravel Morrison, the 20 year old former Manchester United player produced a strong performance and was rewarded with a great goal. Finally it looks as if the talented young man is getting his career in order and after a good show in the England Under-21 squad last week, it seems that the West Ham player is ready to move up to the next level and prove to everyone that he has what it takes to be one of the best.

Spurs had a frustrating time in front of goal, as usual. Villas-Boas’ team has only managed to score six times this season, and the point was underlined when looking at Defoe’s chances and near misses. Defoe is usually one of the best strikers in front of goal and for the first time this season he started a game, one would have thought it was just a matter of time when he was on the scoresheet. But, unfortunately, it was not to be.

West Ham manager, Sam Allardyce will hope the club can build on their first away win in nine league games which places them 13th in the table. There have been many examples where one epic win has inspired teams on winning runs that set them for the entire season, here’s hoping this is one of them!

 

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Real Madrid Mesut Ozil signs for Arsenal

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Arsene Wenger and Arsenal have agreed terms with Real Madrid for the German midfielder Mesut Ozil, a deal worth a club record breaking £42.4m! It is by far the biggest deal The Gunners have ever done, as the London club’s highest spend so far was a measly £15m in 2009 for Andrey Arshavin. It finally proves to supporters of the club that Wenger and the Board are serious in their quest of trophies and titles. Anyone betting online with bet365 will be pleased to see Arsenal 5/6 To Finish In The Top 4, and there is another market on how many goals Ozil will be scoring for his first season in the English Premier League.

The signing has got to be one of the best this summer, as Ozil was one of Real Madrid’s key players whose creativity and passing ability will be sorely missed, especially by the great Cristian Ronaldo. The Portuguese striker, along with several other Real Madrid players like Sergio Ramos made their feelings known on how shocked and disappointed they were to learn of the German midfielder being sold. Ronaldo has a genuine right to be upset, as Ozil set up in excess of 20 goals for him, and in fact the couple have worked together to produce more goals than any other strike duo since 2000 in La Liga.

Arsenal and Wenger have tried to bring other high profile players to the club, most notably Luis Suarez and Higuain, but were unsuccessful. But Wenger would have gone a long way in proving that he is not content with fourth place in the Premier League and is ready to take on the big teams like Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea. Ozil is proven class and quality, the German player should be a perfect fit to a squad that is all about passing and creative football.

The Premier League is even more competitive that it ever was, with the stakes ever increasing. I hope that Ozil is just the start of the type of proven and talented players that Wenger will employ to bring the North London back to it’s glory days!

 

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Crystal Palace get their first Premier League win

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Crystal Palace got their first English Premier League win of the season against Sunderland who is now second from bottom with only one point from three games. Ian Holloway’s Palace were at home, in a ‘must win’ game after losing their first two Premier League games and they most certainly looked like a team determined to please their home supporters and instil hope that they can survive in the English Premier League. Online sports betting operator Bet365 have Palace odds on favourites to be relegated, priced at 4/11, but fans will be hoping that the bookmaker has got it wrong.

Crystal Palace went into an early lead in the ninth minute with a goal from Danny Gabbidon. But the visitors came back to the level the game after the half time break in the 64th minute  with a header from Steven Fletcher. Palace went back into the lead with a penalty by Dwight Gayle, after he was fouled by John O’Shea  in the area. Finally, Stuart O’Keefe made sure of the three points with a another goal from the edge of the penalty box.

It was definitely a much improved performance by the newcomers to the Premier League, as they played as a team and displayed some awesome counter attacking moves, that will surely bring goals this season. The early goal settled the home team and even when Sunderland equalised, Palace came back quickly and settled their nerves once again. Ian Holloway would have been very satisfied with his team’s performance and will be looking for more of the same when they go to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in their next Premier League fixture.

The win sees the team shoot up to 14th in the table and will give Ian Holloway and his team some ‘breathing space’ especially with Manchester United coming up. CrystalPalace will have to show that same work rate, excellent passing and counter attacking that we saw today, and build on that to ensure they put up a good show at Old Trafford. Bet365 have Manchester United 1/6 to win at home, with Crystal Palace 12/1 to provide an upset!

 

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Jose Mourinho at home in the English Premier League

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Out of all the new managerial appointments in the English Premier League this season, one of the most popular and influential has got to be Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho. The Premier League, and for that matter, Chelsea, have never really been the same when he decided to part ways with the club in September 2007. The ‘chosen one’ then went off to Italy  and got his second Champions League trophy at Inter Milan in 2010, and then joined Spain’s Real Madrid where he won the La Liga in 2012, nine points ahead of rivals Barcelona. Online betting operator bet365 have already made Chelsea joint favourites with Manchester City to win the EPL priced at 9/4, which reflects the ‘Mourinho Factor’ and pushes Manchester United into third spot at 11/4 to retain the title.

Jose has already admitted that his first game at Stamford Bridge against Hull City on Sunday will be an emotional return. The manager has already been quoted as saying he is back where he belongs and with him having ‘experiences in three other countries’, he has come to the conclusion that England is his ‘favourite country to work in’. Mourinho seems to have rediscovered his passion for the game, that was really coming apart in the last months in Spain. He is now talking about giving ‘everything for his club and the Premier League’.

Personally, like so many others in the football world, I believe Jose Mourinho is one of the best things to happen to the English Premier League. There are very few managers that have the charm, charisma and the ability to influence a game as much as he can, and this is the reason why Chelsea are joint favourites to win the title this season. Wayne Rooney would have probably made them all out favourites to take the title, but it seems as if this move is unlikely to happen.

The opening weekend of the Premier League is one of the most interesting for quite some time, with all the top teams in action, and everyone looking to see how they all perform when the dust settles. David Moyes is already moaning about the fixtures, so whoever manages to shine in the first week, should be able to build pressure on others and emphasize the ever increasing competitiveness of this league.

 

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New £30m Manchester United bid for Fabregas

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Manchester United have increased their offer to £30 million in an effort to acquire Barcelona’s midfielder Cesc Fabregas. The Red Devils had an initial offer of £25 million turned down by Barcelona, with both club and player stating they were both happy to remain in each other’s company for the foreseeable future. However, Manchester United are hoping the Catalan club will be tempted to take the cash and release the Spanish international. Old Trafford’s Executive Vice Chairman Ed Woodward is now focusing on this deal and any sports betting fan will know United usually get their player once the news go public.

Cesc Fabregas is a product of Barcelona’s La Masia academy and at the age of 16 was signed by North London club Arsenal. He went on to become The Gunners youngest ever player at the age of 16 years and 177 days when he played against Rotherham United in the League Cup in October 2003. The player also became a key part in Wenger’s team, and even became Arsenal captain in November 2008. The Spaniard enjoyed 8 good years at Arsenal and was always a crowd favourite, with 303 game under his belt and 57 goals.

The player returned to Barcelona, as expected, because everyone knew his first love and desire was to the Catalan club where he grew up and developed his skills as a boy. In 2011 he agreed a five year deal estimated to be around £25.4 million, and since then has played 96 games and been involved in winning the Copa del Rey in 2011/12 and La Liga in 2012/13. Although he has not featured as much as he would like, it was probably expected that Iniesta and Xavi would naturally be first choice in the mid-field, but Cesc would expect to be more involved as time goes on.

Manchester United are hoping that they can acquire the mid fielder to plug a gap that has been there for quite some time and is know getting desperate with Paul Scholes recent retirement. It maybe that Cesc can be tempted back to the English Premier League, as he has already stated he will be ahppy with whatever decision is taken by his current employer and it will give him a chance to be reunited with his ex Arsenal chum, Robin van Persie!

 

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Manchester United all wrong about Rooney

Wayne Rooney

The saga continues between Wayne Rooney and Manchester United, with the striker now ‘angry and confused’ with Moyes latest comments and Chelsea coming in with a bid for the player which has been rejected. It all started last season as Sir Alex Ferguson started to favour Welbeck and Robin van Persie as his strikers of choice. Understandably, the English International was not happy and verbally requested a transfer at the end of 2012/13 season. Things seemed to be calming down during the summer, as David Moyes insisted Wayne was part of his plans going forward and reports of the striker looking fitter than ever.

This is all changed with recent comments by Moyes where he confirmed Robin van Persie as his main striker, and Wayne would be kept on as a replacement for the Dutchman, if he got injured. This was not the best thing to say, as I am betting anyone would infer that Wayne would never be able to fight for his place, as the decision had already been made on the choice of striker, and that the English striker would be on the bench waiting for van Persie to be injured to get a run. I have to admit that if I was Rooney, I would be re-thinking my future at a club who just wanted me as a substitute, after nine years of playing regular Premier League and International football, and still in the prime of my career.

Is it no wonder that there is interest from Jose Mourinho, with him stating that Rooney is a player that he admires and obviously it would not be good for one of the best English strikers to be sitting on a bench for the best part of a season. I can understand Manchester United’s view, that they would like to continue with van Persie and keep Rooney as a back up, especially with Robin’s past experiences with injuries that kept him out of the game for long spells at Arsenal.

However, it just does not seem right that a player with the potential, experience, goal scoring record, work rate and calibre of Wayne Rooney to be ‘warming the bench’. It is not good for the player, the England team, Manchester United fans and the English Premier League, that one of the best and most exciting players in the world is sat on a bench in the hope of someone getting injured. Can I blame the striker for wanting out, not really.

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Liverpool Brendan Rodgers wants Luis Suarez to stay

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Luis Suarez has expressed his desire to leave Liverpool and be involved in Champions League football, according to his agent Pere Guardiola. Pere met with Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers and managing director Ian Ayre, where it was made clear that the 26 year old Uruguayan striker wanted to leave the club to play Champions League football. There has been clubs interested in the striker, and although online betting will be seeing a lot of money for Luis not to be at Liverpool at the start of the English Premier League season, the saving grace is that there has been no formal transfer request submitted by the player.

Brendan and the Liverpool board are hoping that the striker will remain at the club and see out his remaining three years on his contract. The club has been busy in the transfer market during the summer with four signings, Luis Alberto, Iago Aspas, Simon Mignolet and Kolo Toure. One would suspect these signings would help assure Suarez that Liverpool are serious about finishing in the top four next season, but it may not just be about his burning ambition to win medals and play Champions League football.

We have all witnessed Suarez in action with regards to his behaviour on the pitch. First it was his tenancy to dive, then racial slurs between him and Manchester United’s Patrice Evra which left the Luis witha hefty ban, finally to add to his record he then bit into Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic which resulted in yet another lengthy ban for the Uruguayan. Surprisingly, Luis has suffered from a lot of criticism from the press and football world and so I believe this would weigh heavily in his decision to leave the club and start afresh somewhere else, preferably outside of English football.

Personally, Liverpool and their fans may feel the need to keep this player, as there is no doubt of his talent and goal scoring prowess. But it maybe that leaving the club is the best thing for the striker, in light of everything that has gone on during his stay at Liverpool. Currently, Bet365 have Liverpool at joint fifth priced 2/1 to Finish in the Top 4, but I would fancy Tottenham chances more than Brendan Rodgers squad.

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David Moyes to meet with Wayne Rooney

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Manchester United fans and the football world will be keenly waiting for the outcome of the meeting between David Moyes and Wayne Rooney over the striker’s future with the Red Devils. Manchester United and ex manager Sir Alex Ferguson have been adamant that the English striker is not going anywhere. But ever since Rooney’s fall from grace with Sir Alex which saw the young man being left out of the Champions League game against Real Madrid, there has been a growing dissatisfaction from the 27 year old which led to him verbally submitting a transfer request in the few days left of the last season. During the summer, online betting operators have not been able to get a solid feeling on how this episode is going to end, but hopefully by end of play tomorrow we should all have a clearer picture.

For me there is no certainty that one of Manchester United’s best players and strikers will stay at Old Trafford. There are a couple hurdles which need to overcome at the very start, one is the relationship between the two men. Although all seems good at the surface, it is only normal for Wayne not to fancy being under Moyes, especially after the player left Everton and mentioned Moyes in his book which the manger then sued and won a undisclosed sum of cash. In addition, the player would need to trust that his manager will always try his best to keep him in the first eleven, something that David Moyes may not want to ‘guarantee’.

Also, in spite of the fact that Manchester United have always stated that the player will not be sold, now is the right time if the striker wants to leave in order to get value on his exit. There was some doubt as to whether top clubs in Europe or the English Premier League would want to pay a huge fee plus take on the player’s heavy wage bill, but this has been laid to rest with interest from Paris St-Germain, Chelsea and Arsenal. And there is no doubt these clubs will guarantee the English striker first team football.

It will be such a shame for the striker to leave Old Trafford, but it also such a shame that Alex Ferguson did not show faith in his ability to make the difference in key games especially in the Champions League.

 

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Joe Kinnear is Director of Football at Newcastle

Joe Kinnear

It has just been confirmed that Joe Kinnear has been appointed as Director of Football at Newcastle United, and will be taking on the responsibility of recruiting players for the club. The former Newcastle United manager has signed a three year deal as Director of Football, and will be looking to bring Newcastle into the top ten of the English Premier League. He has not yet met up with current manager, Alan Pardew, but Joe expects no drama or problems working with Alan, as the Director of Football has already stated his role does not include ‘picking the team’. Sports betting fans at Newcastle will be all hoping that it will be a positive factor next season.

Joe Kinnear did have a brief term at Newcastle, but was forced to resign due to a triple heart bypass. His record as manager is not the best, in fact, the only worse manager for Newcastle has been Alan Shearer’s time as manager. However, it is no secret that Newcastle owner, Mike Ashley admires and respects him. Mike Ashley probably sees Joe as the man that can  take away the hard decisions of getting rid of players from Alan Pardew, which will leave the manager to get with focusing on winning games and moving up the English Premier League table.

The real question going forward is how Alan Pardew will react to the news and whether or not, the manager had any input in the decision to bring back the 66 year old. It maybe that it underlines Mike Ashley’s resolve in ensuring Newcastle finish in the top ten next season, and although all seems good in theory, it will interesting to see how the two men work on a practical level to make next season in top flight football a success.

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