Category: Everton

I am Back!So is the Premier League!

Good evening all! After a brief hiatus chasing the ever elusive perfect GMAT score, I am officially BACK! AAAAAAAND so is the premier league! (Try not to contain yourselves too much, I know you missed me more). So many important events have occurred while I was on “holiday”, so I would like to begin my comeback by giving to you basically a tweet preview (120 characters….ish) of each Top Flight english squad to help kick off the 2015/2016 campaign! Should be easy…right?

Lets start with the easiest team to dissect:

ARSENAL

WIll Petr Cech be the high-caliber keeper that turns the gunners from choke-artists to proper contenders?Will Wenger sign another striker…Benzema?

AFC BOURNEMOUTH 

1899: Inaugural season; 1997:Club almost folds due to more than 7 million pounds of debt and unable to pay its players, supporters raise 1.4 million pounds; 2015: 1st EVER BPL season. #Moneyball

ASTON VILLA

No Benteke, delph, or Cissokho. Lets see what Rudy Gestede and Jordan Ayew can do. Brad Guzan… better be ready for action. Adama Traore?????

CHELSEA

Will the deadly Fabregras, Matic, , Oscaar, Hazard combo troll the BPL again and win the League? Is Douglas Costa more injury-prone than the glass-kneed RVP? Is John Stones the Batman to John Terry’s Bane?

MANCHESTER CITY 

Bye-Bye Dzeko. Is Sterling Liverpool’s or ManCity’s reckoning? Is he a selfish, underdeveloped youngin that will crack under pressure faster than batman’s back smashing on Bane’s Knee. Pellegrini out? Pep in? (Lots of Batman analogies today, huh?) 

MANCHESTER UNITED

No RVP. No Di Maria. LVG vs De Gea. LVG vs. the Glazers. LVG vs. Wayne Rooney. LVG vs. BPL. Rooney, Schweini and Schneiderlin to lead the way.

LIVERPOOL

RODGERS’ LAST CHANCE. No more Stevie G., Onto the Henderson Captaincy era. Will Benteke or Ings become the Luigi or Bowser to Super Mario. Millner earned this contract and will become a fast leader of the team. 

SWANSEA CITY

The Succesful Monk philosophy for 3 more years. Couple new faces…ahem Eder. Season opener vs. returning champs Chelsea is a tough draw.

SUNDERLAND

Coates, Kaboul, M’Vila in. Veringi, Wickford out. Giacherini stay.  Adam Henderson’s off-field woes postponed to next year. Will they be in the vyng for relegation. 

SOUTHHAMPTON

Big shoes to fill from Schneiderlin loss. Will the Stingiest defence in the BPL last season returrn to its surprising form. No Osvaldo and possibly no Fonte. Can Graziano Pelle score at the same rate this season. Lots of questions.

TOTTENHAM

Mo Po has his hands full. Spurs need a return to consistency. Lloris is looking for UCL football, will he convince the talented shot-stopper to stay. Is Harry Kane truly the next Bale? Sell Lamela?

LEICESTER CITY

Bad Choice in hiring Ranieri (Roma fan here). Already lost your best player in Esteban Cambiasso, who’s next? Son of Schmeichel?

NEWCASTLE UNITED

Steve McClaren has arrived. He now works for the worlds Stingiest Owner. Good Luck. Atleast you resigned Coloccini… lets hope for less reds this year.

CRYSTAL PALACE

My dark horse of this years BPL. Yohan Cabaye? What a steal! An influx of talent will only help solidiy a young and scary XI. Cabaye, Bolasie connection will be nice.

Norwich City

Fighting to not be relegated right back down to the Championship. 

WEST HAM UNITED

Farewell big Sam. Farewell Upton park? The era of Bilic is already in shambles by “sacrificing”Europa League. Andy Carroll may be healthy for once. Valencia injured. Downing was sold to his hometown club. Will Payet actually make the hammers better?

WATFORD

The signings of decent players like Behrami, Berghuis, Nyom and Britos will help this team produce some surprising results. Let’s hope they can remain afloat and stay in the top flight.


WEST BROMWICH ALBION

Ricky Lambert + Saido Behrani connection may be a match made in heaven. The 22 year-old is loooking to build on last year’s successful campaign that was filled with 20 solid goals.

EVERTON

Tim Howard looks like he enjoyed his off season, possibly too much. Let’s hope he wwill come into the season strong and in top form.  Romelu Lukaku will look to net many more with the help of new-boy Tom Cleverly.  May be a contender. 

STOKE CITY

May be a surprising contender as well to finish close to the top of the table.  What they lost in Asmir Begovic, Stoke gained with Shay Given. Look to Marco Van Ginkle to shine and push this young team throughout this season. Xherdan Shaqiri could definitely help!

Do you agree? disagree? please lets us know what you think! Thats all for now folks. 

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Reporter Accidentally Interviews Former Liverpool Keeper On The Street

From Vice:

This, as BBC reporter Stuart Flinders says, is an amazing stroke of luck. Flinders, it seems, was doing some man on the street interviews recalling the 1967 FA cup match between Liverpool and Everton in the lead up to the Merseyside Derby just underway at Goodison Park and somehow found himself interviewing the Liverpool keeper, Tommy Lawrence, from the very game he was asking about.

You cannot get much luckier than this. In fact, Start is so astonished by his good fortune that he is left speechless for a brief period of time. Also, it is so awesome that this happened without much fanfare. He just seems like a regular elderly gentleman and then you find out he used to play professionally for Liverpool. If I ever visit Liverpool I’m going to be nice to every old man that I see because you never know if he played for Liverpool/Everton.

The Glory of the FA Cup: Everton vs West Ham

And you all thought domestic tournaments could not bring the same passion and excitement of continental ones.

Going down to ten men is kind of like forgetting your tie and left shoe on your wedding day. You look awkward, you’re unsure how to continue the current task, and by the time you’re done dancing your unshoed foot is so tired you will need a week’s rest before you think of walking off the couch to the refrigerator and back. Everton got a red card in the 56th minute yesterday. Typically, this would lead to 34 minutes of agonizing work for the ten men that are left on the pitch. Yesterday was different in that the ten men found a way back in the game an exceptional dribble from Kevin Mirallas who found a streaking Lukaku whom clumsily tapped the ball home to knot the game at one and send it to extra time. Extra time was more of the same. Everton held on and defended well and found themselves with chances on the counter. Again, Kevin Mirallas was involved in the go-ahead Toffee goal. Check out his free kick below:
We thought it was written in the stars that Everton would come away victorious but Carlton Cole, after just two minutes on the field, scored the equalizer in the 112th minute.

This locked the game and sent it to penalties.

Penalties are like flipping a coin. My sister could score on Gianluigi Buffon if he guessed the wrong way. They are a difficult end to a hard fought game. What surprised me about these pens was that Leighton Baines shot so late in Everton’s lineup. But that doesn’t matter.

Continue reading “The Glory of the FA Cup: Everton vs West Ham”

Suit Up For Sunday With Tim Howard & Darren McFadden

Premier League star Tim Howard and the NFL’s Darren McFadden prove that no matter what sport you play, training right is the foundation of success.

I like the juxtaposition of two different “football” players training for their games. A lot of American sports fans do not respect soccer so they tend to assume soccer players don’t work that hard in the gym. However, lifting is an essential part of soccer training and even though it is a different type of lifting compared to American football players gym training, it is still just as strenuous.

P.S. The picture below proves how well Tim Howard’s training has paid off…

Manchester United Wanted David Moyes To Fail

If you had not already heard David Moyes has been fired then you probably already assumed it was inevitable. This Manchester United season has been historic, historically bad. In fact it was so bad that Manchester United put up these clubs records:

  • United are guaranteed to finish the season with their lowest ever Premier League points tally
  • United fail to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 1995
  • United’s worst home league form for over a decade
  • Suffered three defeats in a row for the first time since 2001 this season
  • Eliminated in the FA Cup third round – something which happened just once under Ferguson
  • First ever home defeat to Swansea this term
  • First home defeat to Newcastle since 1972
  • First home defeat to West Brom since 1978
  • First league defeat to Stoke since 1984
  • First time Man City & Liverpool have beaten United home & away since Premier League’s inception
  • First time United have conceded a first minute goal at home in the Premier League
  • First time Everton have beaten United home and away since 1969-70
  • First time Everton & Liverpool have ever done a league double over United in the same season

After perusing those stats it is no wonder that there have been calls for his head (and not just figurative calls for his head as many hot-headed Manchester United fans probably think he deserves the same fate as Robespierre). This Manchester United team has looked nothing like the teams Sir Alex Ferguson coached. They played boring soccer, they looked unprepared for many of their games, and they lacked the cutting edge they had last year that had allowed them win all their close games. To many casual observers of Manchester United and the Premier League it comes as a huge surprise that the reigning champions could have fallen from grace so quickly. However, their fall from grace isn’t as unexpected as some may have expected. The core of the team has gotten older and sluggish and management has been to slow to replace their aging core with new signings this past summer. Also, a large part of their run last year was owed in part to Robin Van Persie who has had a career plagued by injury problems and has never finished a complete season, which he failed to do yet again this season. Lastly, there is always a “hangover” when switching coaches, especially when switching from a a club coaching legend to a newer coach from outside the organization.

This is not to say David Moyes was the right man for the job. He has some success at Everton but success at Everton is measured differently than it is at Manchester United. At Everton, David Moyes showed he was was capable of keeping Everton competitive while being hamstrung by small funds for player transfers. A Champions League place was seen as a lofty goal and not an essential requirement necessary for Moyes continuing his tenure at Goodison Park. Because of this David Moyes enjoyed a comfortable career at Everton. Although David Moyes’ Everton did not play the type of soccer that soccer fans prefer to watch, they did win games and gave fans hope that they were capable of winning trophies.  The coaching job at Manchester United came with a lot of high expectations, none of which David Moyes had experience reaching. He can be appreciated for trying to challenge himself and grow as a coach but the Manchester United job was a trap.

No one could replace Sir Alex Ferguson. He is one of the greatest soccer coaches in the world and is a huge reason why Manchester United has grown into the global soccer powerhouse it is today. The vacuum of power he left could not be filled immediately after his retirement. It was destined to take time. Therefore, the coach who replaced him was destined to fail. The new coach was always going to be constantly compared to Sir Alex Ferguson and that is an unfavorable comparison to make as there are so few coaches of his caliber.  No coach could have done what Ferguson did with this squad last year and thus the team was bound to fail to meet expectations no matter who the coach was. David Moyes was not brought in as the Manchester United coach for the future. He was brought in as a scapegoat. His job was to fail and when he failed he was supposed to be sacked and take the blames for the squad. Once this happened room could be made for a high-value coaching target. When this coach is hired he will have the ideal position of being a savior for the club rather than a replacement for a club legend, which is what David Moyes was when he was hired. Next season the new coach will be able to exceed expectations by doing better than David Moyes whereas David Moyes spent all of the 2013/2014 season trying to stay afloat in the raging flood waters that are Manchester United’s expectations as set by Sir Alex Ferguson.

In essence, David Moyes was brought into to fill the big shoes left by Sir Alex Ferguson while the organization knew that no one could fit in the shoes he vacated. Therefore, it should have been no surprise that David Moyes stumbled his way through the 2013/2014 season while walking in shoes that were too big for his feet. Whichever new coach comes in to replace David won’t be forced to fill those shoes thus they are immediately at a more favorable position than Moyes was when he was hired. David Moyes was a necessary cog in the transition from Sir Alex Ferguson to the new Manchester United coach. He was only going to last a year and in that respect he was the right man for the job but he was never United’s coach of the future. They brought him so that they could fire him. If they had wanted him as their coach of the future they would have at least given him one more year.

Source: http://www.beinsports.tv/news/article/wg3p1wjp5tku1774xq5dm1kyu/title/records-in-futility-david-moyes-term-in-charge-of-manchester-united

Cardiff City Makes Massive Statement

Two weeks down, two big upsets so far.  Last week saw Arsenal lose to lowly Aston Villa as the Gunners were odds on favorites to at least get points from the match.  This week provided a thrilling 3-2 upset victory for Cardiff City over Manchester City.  In case you missed the highlights, check them out here:

 

 

Last seasons Championship winners made a massive statement to the rest of the Premier League with this win.  Down 1-0 after Dzeko’s masterful strike, Cardiff showed great resiliency as they kept attacking the Man City defense.  Aron Gunnarsson cleaned up a rebound off Joe Hart to level the scoring at 1-1.  Two corner kicks subsequently found the head of Frazier Campbell as the Man City defenders looked rather unconvincing to say the least.  Clearly Man City misses their rock at center back with Vincent Kompany sidelined for at least a month.  Lescott and  Javi Garcia looked rather lost out there at times, especially on the two set piece goals by Campbell.  With Kompany out for a somewhat lengthy spell, Man City may be in the market for a center half to sure up the defense in Kompany’s absence.

Manchester City will try to right the ship next weekend against another Championship promoted club, Hull City who downed Norwich this past weekend.  Losses to two newly promoted clubs in a row would be a disastrous start for the Premier League runner-ups from last season.  Meanwhile, Cardiff will try to continue their momentum from their unlikely victory next weekend when they face Everton.  Should their confidence continue to grow, Cardiff could be a team to reckon with this season and will hardly be an easy 3 points for the top clubs – just ask Man City.

Liverpool and Tottenham continued their winning ways with each earning consecutive 1-0 victories in the first two matches.  Liverpool have looked comfortable in their wins over Stoke and Villa, but will be tested next weekend as they welcome Manchester United to Anfield, which will provide a good barometer for where the club stands against the top of the table clubs.

On the other side, Tottenham are set up for an early season Derby with rivals Arsenal next weekend.  The two clubs may be distracted for different reasons.  Arsenal look to bring in quality players before deadline day to provide some relief for their oft-injured squad.  Tottenham will be focusing on either the sale or retaining of their highly-coveted winger, Gareth Bale.  At the moment, Tottenham look like the better squad even without Bale, but Arsenal have 5 days to do some business before Saturdays match if they would like to bring in some players before deadline day.  A victory or draw tomorrow will provide a chance for Arsenal to recruit some players wanting Champion’s League action this season.  However, Arsene Wenger’s transfer ambitions seem to be lacking, so the Arsenal faithful shouldn’t be holding their breath.

Why Manchester United is Manchester United

You think your standards are high? Check out this video of Gary Neville describing the accountability of each player in the United dressing room. Vidic scares me when he smiles so I can only imagine what kind of fire his death stare brings. This video makes me wonder if David Moyes will be able to continue to cultivate the incredibly high standards that a club like Manchester United has grown to live by. We will know soon enough.