Tag Archive | "Manchester United"

Gunning For A Title



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Can Captain Cesc lead Arsenal to glory?

Can Captain Cesc lead Arsenal to glory?

After Stoke City’s Ricardo Fuller nodded in two goals last weekend to send the Britannia into euphoria, Arsenal are now in contention for only two major trophies this season and that could be a blessing for them. The distraction of the FA Cup would certainly be a pleasurable one to have, but I’m curious to see them go at the English title with everything they’ve got. If they can remain injury free and manage to stay clear of letdowns against underdog opposition, this fiery bunch of lads could challenge at least for second place and give the favorites something to think about.

The next two weeks will go a long way in determining the Gunner’s BPL fate. Starting with Manchester United this morning, Arsenal go on to face Chelsea and Liverpool in their next two league matches—a daunting task indeed. United present the challenge of stopping Wayne Rooney (he of the 13 goals in his last 13 matches), while Chelsea welcome back their African Nations Cup stars, and Liverpool is always a tough match—regardless of their league position.

Today’s match against United should be a humdinger and if Arsenal doesn’t want their title aspirations dashed, they need to continue the fine defensive form they have recently displayed against Sir Alex’s squad. William Gallas and his merry men have only conceded ONE natural goal in open play to United in their last THREE league meetings. That should prove to be a little more difficult with Gallas’ running mate Thomas Vermaelen out injured, leaving the ancient Sol Campbell to fill his boots. And those who saw Campbell’s performance against Stoke should not be filled with confidence.

And it isn’t just in defense that the Gunner’s have suffered injury. Robin Van Persie, Nicklas Bendtner, and Samir Nasri have all missed extensive time this season. But it doesn’t matter. Arsenal has one thing no other team in the league has—Cesc Fabregas. Believe me when I tell you that I’m about as partial to this kid as Michael Vick is to French poodles, but it’s near impossible not to admit his improvement since the summer break. Last season, I thought the Spaniard was just another overzealous youngster with nothing more than an occasional eye for the crossbar. But this season, he seems to have come out from underneath his big brother’s ball box to play Geppetto in the Arsenal midfield. His goals have been crucial and his pinpoint passes have provided his non-injured teammates excellent chances on goal.

There’s a lot of good to be said for this talented bunch of lads. In fact, I’d go as far as to wager a second place bet in favor of the Arsenal. I believe they’re going to continue to score goals and as long as the rocky back four that played against Stoke City in the FA Cup are never again assembled on a football pitch until the day an Avatar is President, they should be fine defensively. So going into this very difficult couple of weeks, every Gunner should be excited, but they should also be aware that a loss to United tomorrow could lead to another trophy-less year at the Emirates.

M. Junia Stainbank

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Did I Do That?



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FAMILY MATTERS

Do you remember the early 90s sitcom Family Matters? You probably remember it as the Steve Urkel show. And you may remember his catch phrase ‘Did I do that?’ Well, that’s what’s the news is like today, a bunch of people making some bad decisions.

French club Rennes has been charged with poaching teenager Tongo Hamed Doumbia from Châteauroux, a Ligue 2 side. It wouldn’t be so funny if they hadn’t accused Manchester City of doing the same thing to them. Maybe someone needs to translate the old adage about people in glass houses into French.

It looks like there’s been a little bust-up at Aston Villa between manager Martin O’Neill and disgruntled midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker. Some reports say that Reo-Coker got physical and pushed and choked O’Neill. The manager denies Reo-Coker went all Latrell Spreewell, but he did give the hot-headed midfielder the weekend off.

Liverpool may be sitting in fifth place and seven points behind BPL leaders Chelsea, but that doesn’t worry Steven Gerrard. Captain Liverpool feels the club is starting to heat up and that the African Cup of Nations will work in the Reds favor. There’s nothing like back-to-back victories over powerhouses Burnley and Debrecen to fill up one’s cup of confidence.

Arsene Wenger might want to move on from ‘Manu-Gate,’ but it’s still fresh in Cesc Fabregas’ mind. The Arsenal captain claims the out-of-control Adebayor made a reckless tackle that left him with stud marks and a three inch gash on his shin. I don’t think this story will ever die—unfortunately.

On the subject of hot-heads, the real reason for Wayne Rooney’s temper tantrum after being substituted during Manchester United’s 1-0 win at Besiktas mid-week has been revealed. Apparently he was spat on by some Besiktas fans. It’s a good thing we’ve nipped this potential ‘Gate’ in the bud.

Posted in Steve Martin, What's Going On?Comments Off

Drunk’s Champions League Picks: Day Two



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Who knew APOEL was good?

Who knew APOEL was good?

So what? I stand by yesterday’s picks. I went a respectable 4-4. It’s not like you lost money (not that we support gambling—Ed.) So I’m back today to give you a remarkable EIGHT winners. Read the full story

Posted in The Angry DrunkComments Off

The Drunk’s Back With Winners



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You can bet your balls that the Drunk's got picks.

You can bet your balls that the Drunk's got picks.

So you may be wondering where I’ve been, and the answer is a little place called none-of-your-g*d-damn-business. Actually after giving you so many winners last year, I decided to take a rest from being the best handicapper on the web Natural Hat Trick. So instead of giving you just three money picks, I’m going to give you the result of all eight of today’s matches. Bold I know, but then again I am The Drunk. Let’s hit it. Read the full story

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One Country For Old Men



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He should come looking for some of Italy's aging stars.

He should come looking for some of Italy's aging stars.

It should come as no surprise to anyone who’s seen a Serie A match recently that Italy’s domestic league is home to the world’s oldest players and the least amount of club-trained players of any of the top five leagues in Europe. The Annual Review of the European Football Players Labour Movement, published by The Professional Football Players’ Observatory, found that players for the top Italian clubs were almost two years older than their counterparts in the other leagues (27.5:25.9). The study also shows that Italy has the least amount of club-trained players (12.5) and the highest number of players who move around the most (4.24 transfers every ten years). These should be alarming stats for any fan of Italian football as the study concludes that a starting eleven full of club-trained players who have been with the club for a number of years is the key to success—aging journeymen, not so much. Here are some clubs that have have high percentages of veteran club-trained players—Barcelona, Manchester United and Arsenal. Hmm, sounds like the names of some successful Champions League performers. Are you paying attention Italian football executives?

Posted in Jason ParkerComments Off

This Girl Is Poison



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Never trust a nice butt and a smile.

Never trust a nice butt and a smile.

Back in June we warned everyone not to mess with Bulgarian bombshell Nikoleta Lozanova, and her mob boss boyfriend, Georgi ‘The Head’ Stoilov. ‘The Head’ was thought to be behind the destruction of Liverpool reserve team keeper Nikolay Mihailov’s Ferrari after Mihailov made some less than flattering comments about the former Bulgarian ‘Playmate of the Year.’ According to the always reliable The Sun, economical Manchester United star Dimitar Berbatov didn’t take our advice. It seems he’s been sending Lozanova some steamy text messages and ‘The Head’ isn’t happy about it. This hasn’t been the best of weeks for Berba—first teammate Rio Ferdinand makes fun of his fashion sense and now he has to worry about dodging gangsters during the international break.

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End Of Summer



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endofsummer

We hoped you missed us and we apologize for the delayed summer vacation. But quite frankly the transfer season bores the hell out of us. My daily dose of where will David Bentley end up lobotomized me into a drooling stupor. I admit that Real Madrid’s Galacticos Part Deux and Manchester City’s attempt to buy their way into the big boys club in the BPL definitely piqued my interest. But since those were the two biggest stories of the summer, we figured you had heard enough about them. Plus there will be plenty of time to talk about them, and besides, we’re really lazy bastards during the summer. But now that the season’s back, so are we. So please continue to compulsively check us out and you can now even follow us on Twitter. So thanks for your patience and let’s get to the juicy business of football.

Nothing says the start of the football season like controversy. And I’m not talking about a certain French manager who coaches a team in England and who has an issue with UEFA and a team from England bossed by a certain Scottish fellow (although we will get to that in a minute). No, we’re actually going to start in the Bundesliga, where perhaps the only big name player Real Madrid didn’t buy, Franck Ribery, isn’t getting along with new Bayern manager Louis van Gaal. But then it seems as if the Dutch manager isn’t even that chummy with his own family.

Meanwhile the Croatian FA has gone all conspiracy theory on us. After Lee Bowyer broke Luka Modric’s leg this past weekend, FA president Vlatko Markovic wonders if it was really an accident. After losing Arsenal youngster Eduardo to a broken leg last season against Birmingham, Vlatko wonders if the Blues are out to get them. Of course Birmingham is aghast at the allegation. Of course with England set to play Croatia in a World Cup Qualifying match next week, it does make you wonder (cue X-Files theme song).

Speaking of Eduardo, the ‘light of constitution’ striker has been handed a two game ban for his theatrics against Celtic in last week’s Champions League match.

Manchester United’s economical striker is in ‘awe’ of the talent surrounding him at the club. He says he sees his teammates do things in training that he wouldn’t even attempt. That should certainly come as a shock to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who isn’t a big fan of United’s playing style.

In case you care…David Bentley has been loaned to Burnley.

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Ronaldo Takes Oasis Over The Beatles



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'Champagne Supernova' makes him weak in the knees.

'Champagne Supernova' makes him weak in the knees.

He may have done all he could to move from Manchester United to Real Madrid, but Cristiano Ronaldo is still at ‘Manc’ at heart. Taking a swipe at former rivals Liverpool, the Portuguese pretty boy claims that Manchester’s Oasis are a better band than that little group from Liverpool known as The Beatles. While most of us know that’s as off-base as some of his fashion choices, you have to respect his loyalty. Maybe he will return to Old Trafford one day.

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A Near-Fatal Attraction To Football



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michaelowen1

Would you risk a stabbing to see this man? Didn't think so.

A Malaysian Manchester United fan was stabbed by his ‘very angry’ wife after coming home six hours late from United’s 2-0 victory over a Malaysian XI side. Maybe he was out celebrating Michael Owen’s latest goal. The most shocking thing, other than Owen not getting injured yet, is that the police have yet to charge the wife with a crime. And United thought they were having a bad time in Asia.

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Owen Enters The Dragon’s Den



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Michael Owen was fortunate to secure a move to Manchester United, but it appears he wouldn’t fare as well on the reality show Dragon’s Den.

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