Tag: chelsea

Van Gaal is Spicy After Chelsea Result

Soccer is a brutal game. You can play your best, have a dominating performance and come out the wrong side of a 1-0 result. This was the fate of Manchester United this past weekend and Van Gaal did not hold back his frustration in the post-game interview below.

Proud and frustrated is a tough way to win the league but United look poised to secure a Champions League spot, something we would not have been talking about around Christmas time.

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Friday Links- Official FIFA 15 Trailer, Problems With Chelsea’s Loan Policy, Don Garber Signs 5 Year Extension + More

Brasil vs. Argentina Futsal Match Hosted At World Cup 2014 Stadium

Soccer’s Faulty New Money Rule Hurts The Clubs It Was Meant To Protect

http://screamer.deadspin.com/soccers-faulty-new-money-rule-hurts-the-clubs-it-was-me-1632679575/+billyhaisley

End Of Summer Sale At US Soccer Store

http://www.ussoccerstore.com/categories-end-of-summer-sale.html

FIFA 15 – Official TV Commercial

With Chelsea Having 26 players Out On Loan, Is It Time To Change The Rules?

http://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2014/sep/09/chelsea-loan-players-change-rules-wild-west-football

MLS Commissioner Don Garber Signs Five-Year Extension Through 2018

http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2014/09/11/mls-commissioner-don-garber-signs-five-year-extension-through-2018

Fernando Torres Misses Easy Shot On Net

This shot is such an easy goal to make that it actually seems more surprising that Fernando Torres missed it. He is so skillful at being bad that he has reached new heights of awfulness. After having such a successful career at Liverpool it is saddening to see how far he fallen after his big transfer to Chelsea. Injuries are partially to blame for this regression but there also has to be a psychological element to it as well. He used to be automatic with when he was inside the 18 yard box. Now it’s a big deal if he even scores.

English Premier League Predictions for 2013/2014 – Part 2

6 weeks ago, I posted predictions for the upcoming Premier League season.  If you happened to miss it you can read the article here.  With the transfer window half over, here are my updated predictions based on rosters and rumors as of today.  Over at premierleague.com, you can view the latest up-to-date official transfers for all the Premier League clubs.

Tier 1

1) Manchester United (+0) – Eerily quiet in the transfer window for the Red Devils.  However, you know the old motto: “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it”.  If they start the season with their current squad, they should remain favorites to repeat.  However, losing Rooney would put a big chink in their armor, especially if it is to another Premier League club.

2) Manchester City (+1) – What a difference 6 weeks makes.  I had Chelsea at the #2 spot last prediction, but Manchester City has made two more key signings.  To go along with Jesus Navas and Fernadinho, they also added Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic to their attacking side.  These are two great signings and much needed with the departure of Balotelli last season and Tevez most recently.  Aguero, Negredo, Jovetic give City top class options at the attacking positions.  We’ll see how Jovetic fairs in his first Premier League season.

3) Chelsea (-1) – Chelsea has been quiet since the transfer window opened.  Only adding Andre Schurrle, who was an early summer signing.  They missed out on Cavani, who ended up at PSG.  Can they steal Rooney from United as the reports suggest they are trying to do?  If Rooney does make a move to the Blues, it would certainly close the gap among the top 3.  However, I was expecting another high profile signing or two by now which is why they dropped below the ambitious Manchester City.

Tier 2

4) Tottenham (+1) – For now, Bale is still a Hotspur.  However, if the latest reports are true regarding Real Madrid’s bid, maybe not for long.  As of today though, they have added Paulinho, who is a good signing to bolster the midfield.  They are also in advanced talks to sign Soldado which would be a great signing as they are in need of a quality striking option.  With that said, if Bale leaves, you can kiss 4th place goodbye.  I see 4th as their highest possible finish, but could drop to as low as 6th or even 7th should Bale depart.

5) Arsenal (-1) – Arsenal’s transfer rumors have been discussed at length on this site and there is seemingly a different development daily.  With that said, their ONLY signing thus far is Yaya Sanogo, a French U-20 International with a checkered injury record.  They missed out on likely transfers Higuain and Jovetic, and have put all their focus on signing the controversial Luis Suarez.  They have done very well in clearing out some of the dead weight that has plagued them for a few seasons, they just need to fill those spots with some quality signings now to challenge the top 3.  Suarez would obviously bump them up to the top tier while simultaneously dropping Liverpool into the Tier 3 range.  We’ll see how Arsenal’s summer plays out but this could be the make or break year as they always seem to be a few players away.  I don’t see them dropping any lower than 5th, so they can only go up from here depending on who they happen to acquire.

Tier 3

6) Liverpool (+0) – Not too much has changed with Liverpool since the last post.  Suarez is still on the squad, for now.  They did ship the struggling Pepe Reina off to Napoli and brought in Simon Mignolet as a replacement and potential upgrade.  Otherwise, they have been fairly quiet this offseason which doesn’t bode well for an above average squad.  Should they lose Suarez, they would need to replace him with two quality signings to remain in tier 2.

7) Everton (+0) – Also having a quiet transfer window thus far.  They did bring in Arouna Kone from Wigan, which could be a good risk/reward type of transfer should he stay healthy.  If they can hang onto Baines and Fellaini, and add another quality player or two, they could potentially fight for a Champions League spot, but as of now are a couple signings away from that level.

Tier 4

8) Swansea (+0) – Swansea has been relatively busy this transfer window.  They have added a few good players that should help them finish in the top half of the table yet again.  Wilfried Bony should prove to be a great signing to take some of the goal scoring pressure off of Michu.  Jonathan De Guzman could be a valuable loan signing that will solidify their midfield, while Jonjo Shelvey will look for a career resurgence after his move from Liverpool.  I look for Swansea to be a pesky team for the top clubs and certainly not an easy club to earn points from.

9) Newcastle United (+0) – Still no forward replacement for Ba.  However, they have retained all of their important players and look to rebound from a disappointing campaign last season.  They have the talent, let’s see if that leads to results this time around.  The chemistry should be there this season if they can maintain focus.

10) Southampton (Unranked) – Rounding out the top 10 I think will be Southampton.  They have only made two signings so far, but two signings that will greatly improve their squad.  By spending a combined 20m on Defender Dejan Lovren and Forward Victor Wanyama, they added quality to both ends of the pitch.  Wanyama could be one of the most underrated Premier League signings this season.

Dropped from top 10: Fulham

Tottenham and Manchester City have made the highest impact signings so far, which is represented by their bump up in the projected table.  I have a feeling this will be a very interesting final month of the transfer window.  I will post my final predictions following deadline day, once the clubs are finalized at least until January.

Have your own predictions?  Want to win a free jersey?  Check out the details on our Premier League Prediction contest and submit an entry before it’s too late!

Transfer Confirmations and Rumors Galore

Since my last transfer rumors post back in June, we’ve seen some players take the plunge and actually join new clubs and others have rumors swirling with different clubs:

  • Cavani is confirmed to be off to PSG instead of the rumored Chelsea
  • Fabio Contrao is now being linked with Tottenham
  • Gonzalo Higuain has been transferred to Arsenal then Napoli, yet nothing is confirmed to this point despite the latest reports saying a 37m bid from Napoli has been accepted
  • Fellaini remains at Everton and it seems talk of his “release clause” being activated was complete BS
  • Manchester United have made a 3rd bid for Cesc Fabregas after we reported they were interested in the beginning of June

So, with those 5 rumors, only one has officially come to fruition.

Recently, I posted about Arsenal possibly splashing some big cash this transfer window.  So far, none of those have happened for Arsene Wenger, much to the dismay of the Gunner’s fans.

  • Higuain (mentioned above)
  • Rooney now looks like Chelsea will be his most likely destination should he leave Old Trafford (IMO, I think he stays)
  • Felliani (mentioned above)
  • Lars Bender looks like he will be staying at Leverkusen, at least for this year
  • Stevan Jovetic is a confirmed Chelsea signing and a good potential Tevez replacement, who is confirmed to be off to Juventus
  • Micah Richards is still at Man City and his transfer rumors have cooled down some
  • Fernando Torres looks to be staying with Chelsea at least for the time being
  • Julio Cesar is still available
  • David Villa has been confirmed to stay in Spain and move to Atletico Madrid

The latest confirmed transfers and rumors involve some players not previously mentioned:

  • The 20 year old Brazilian Bernard has been the talk of the Brazilian media recently with a reported 21m move to Arsenal set to be confirmed after the copa libertores final on Thursday.  He has also been linked with Tottenham and Liverpool.  (Not many outside of Brazil know much about him but he does have some impressive highlights)
  • Soldado is being linked with a 25m move to Tottenham from his current club Valencia, although the latest reports suggest talks have broken down
  • Benfica winger Eduardo Salvio is linked with a 30m move to Chelsea
  • The puzzling rumors regarding Juan Mata continue as a potential Arsenal target (I would put this at about a -3% chance of actually happening)
  • Liverpool have reportedly made an 18m offer for Ajax midfielder Christian Eriksen
  • Aston Villa forward Chistian Benteke received a wage boost to remain at Villa next season
  • Tiago Alcantara is off to Bayern Munich as they add yet another midfielder that is already world class
  • Fellow American Jozy Altidore has officially signed with Sunderland
  • Isco turned down the chance to join Manchester City and went with Real Madrid instead
  • The latest reports on Gareth Bale see a 6 year deal reached with a move to Real Madrid
  • Luis Suarez’s suitors are still reported to be either Arsenal or Real Madrid should Liverpool decide to sell

Next week I will be posting Part 2 (of 3) of my Barclay’s Premier League Predictions.  They will be based on the above confirmed transfers and rumors.  As some squads have had some notable changes, expect the predictions to change from Part 1 posted 6 weeks ago.

Which New Coach Will Have the Most Success in Premier League?

Jose Mourinho

The self-proclaimed “special one” and the brains behind multiple Champion’s League champions of the past. Is this another situation where Mourinho will find himself winning every trophy available? One could look at the talent in his squad and the talent he is bringing in and say yes, this team is good enough to win any tournament on the planet. But, I will call a spade a spade and say that when an owner is too involved in any team’s proceedings, business blocks footballing magistry and at the end of the day, that team suffers. Still, expect to see a few Mourinho full-sprint knee slides in his $4,000 suits. If Ba and Torres can find some kind of scoring form, Mata, Hazard, Oscar, Lampard and the like will have no problem providing chances. Defensively there certainly are questions for Chelsea, yet when your team scores 5 goals a game, who cares about defending anyway? I see Mourinho’s first year less impressive than everyone expects. A top four finish for sure, but more than likely out of the title race.

Can the second coming be better than the first?

Mark Hughes

After less than successful stints at Manchester City, Fulham and QPR, Mr. Hughes finds himself in an interesting situation. He takes over a team renowned for its directness and defensive organization and he takes over a team that can’t realistically put any kind of high expectations on the team. I feel that a top 13 finish would be a successful year for them. I want say they can go top 10 but after the way this year ended with their flirtation with relegation I don’t know how reasonable that is. Some signings are necessary and Hughes has to change the culture there. That is a multi-year job and a multi-year struggle. We will see how this all turns out.

Can he turn Stoke around? Or take them to the next level?

Roberto Martinez

For me, Roberto Martinez has earned the most favorable situation out of any of the new managers. He comes into a club that has enjoyed relative success given its resources and current players at the club. Moyes did a great job there and he was deservedly rewarded with his Manchester United move. Martinez was able to prove his worth by making incredible runs with a Wigan Athletic team that was undermanned but never outclassed. His tenure at Wigan was an impressive one and something that he will look back on fondly, only if he is successful at Everton. I think he will be. Better players, a bigger budget, better supporters and a nicer paycheck will put a smile on any manger’s face. Moyes has created expectations for the club but I feel Martinez will meet and exceed them. I see a top 8 finish this season with potential for a Europa League spot.

I would be smiles too if I landed that job!

David Moyes

Moyes jumped ship from Everton into a glorious opportunity with Manchester United. An incredible support staff, an incredible history and a global fan-base should be enough to carry Moyes into success. Maybe. Just maybe. He certainly will have top talent. I’m interested to see how he handles that and the pressure of ridiculously high expectations. You have the best players and the biggest egos. How will he manage all the change in his life? Moyes is a Fergie protegé and I am sure Sir Alex will be available for him at any time if need be. This season will not be all roses for Moyes. I see Manchester United struggling to get involved in the title race and struggling to find a way into the knockout stages of the Champion’s League. Is it Moyes fault? Absolutely not, but who knows what the fans will think.

Manuel Pellegrini

This is the best worst managerial job in football. Manchester City has all the riches and resources one could ever ask for. But, if you do not win the league and the Champion’s League every year, there is a great chance that you will be out of a job. Pellegrini has the credentials to manage the range of egos and talent that Manchester City has to offer. Chemistry is always an issue with teams of superstars so we shall see if he can do better than Mr. Mancini. I don’t rate Manchester City. I never have. They are easy to hate. But for all the hatred, there is incredible depth of talent. This will push them in the league and other competitions. They will be back towards the top of the league again and will make a run at the Champion’s League as well. Balotelli will be sad he left.

Is it possible to be successful in the eyes of Manchester City’s owners?

Owen Coyle

My good friend is a massive Bolton supporter. Any team that signs Tim Ream and Stuart Holden is fine by me. Bolton, for all its shortcomings, were fun to watch in the Premier League and made a push to get back to the top division this past season. A run a midseason poor performances doomed them. Still, Owen Coyle is a good signing for Wigan. He is used to the situation. A smaller club, with lofty ambitions and people willing to splash a bit of cash around for the right talent. Coyle will be able to find and cultivate that talent, similar to that of Roberto Martinez. Wigan will find its way back up this season and enjoy a longer tenure in the Premier League this time around.

Owen Coyle will bring Wigan back to the big time

Premier League Top Four Fixtures for 2013/2014

The Premier League season will be upon us soon enough and thanks to NBC Sports, all games will be available live in the United States. This is a massive joy for all soccer fans and even more so for the fixtures below. These teams have yet to prove that they belong in the top four for the coming season but if history is to prevail, the odds are pretty good that these will be the best teams in the league. Still, looking at this schedule peeves me a bit. There are no late season fixtures between any of these teams. As a fan, I want a final game of the season, flex-schedule style match-up between whoever the top two or three teams in the league are. This will be a tightly contested title so expectations are high for late-season drama. What fixtures between the top four are you most looking forward to?

Courtesy of premierleague.com