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shadowen On May 20, 2019

Bunyip Bend, Australia
#1876New Post! Nov 28, 2018 @ 13:55:21
Would like to see some one other than TNS get the chocolates in Cymru.
shadowen On May 20, 2019

Bunyip Bend, Australia
#1877New Post! Dec 02, 2018 @ 13:36:31
England would have backed themselves to qualify for the next Euros no matter how the draw went, but they must be pleased nonetheless to have ended up in such an easy group.
Jennifer1984 On May 24, 2019
Remoaner and proud

Penzance, United Kingdom
#1878New Post! Dec 03, 2018 @ 15:05:08
Never underestimate the English ability to make an easy task difficult. England should qualify with ease from such a soft group, but experience says differently.
shadowen On May 20, 2019

Bunyip Bend, Australia
#1879New Post! Dec 03, 2018 @ 15:26:01
No surprise to hear that Mark Hughes has been sacked. The EPL is a pretty cut-throat business, and with so much money at stake managers are given little time to turn things around.
shadowen On May 20, 2019

Bunyip Bend, Australia
#1880New Post! Dec 03, 2018 @ 15:31:18
Pleased to hear that UEFA will use VAR in the knock out stages of both the ECL and the EL.
Jennifer1984 On May 24, 2019
Remoaner and proud

Penzance, United Kingdom
#1881New Post! Dec 03, 2018 @ 15:56:20
Jurgen Klopp could be in trouble for his dance of delight on the pitch after Liverpool narrowly avoided dropping two points at home to Everton, and thus letting Manchester City draw four points clear at the top of the Prem.

Jordan Pickford's brainfart at the Kop allowed Liverpool to squeak a 95th minute 1-0 win in the Friendly Derby yesterday prompting Klopp to run across the pitch to hug the goalscorer. Liverpool had given that game up and Pep Guardiola must have been watching it on the TV in his carpet slippers and enjoying life.

I don't think he'll be that bothered by Liverpool winning... not too much at any rate. A four point lead would have been handy but after the weekend, City are still top and Spurs have lost again.

United are evem more of an irrelevance in this season's Premier League than they were before, falling to a 2-2 draw at Sparky's Southampton. United performed their, by now, ritual gifting of a lead to the opposition before doing just enough to get level and then seeing out the rest of the match as a snoozefest.

Boring, boring United.

Match of the weekend went to Arsenal vs Spurs. This is by far now the best derby fixture in the English calendar. A sparky contest littered with superb goals among the penalties and touchline push and shove after goal celebrations that went a little too far. Spurs played the better football, but Arsenal wanted it more.

Chelsea vs Fulham. Yawn. Least said, soonest forgotten.

City strolled to a 3-1 win at home to Bournemouth, although the Cherries did level the score just before half time. Eddie Howe's team really are a quality Premier League team now. They are where they are on merit. But you only get one chance against City and when Raheem Stirling and Leroy Sane decided to stop sodding about and take the game seriously in the second half, you could only feel sympathy for Bournemouth. Lesser teams have been frapped by five or six goals to City this season. 1-3 is actually a creditable outcome for Bournemouth and says much for their character. It could have been worse.

Crystal Palace finally scored a goal in open play at home this season... a dribbler that everybody watched trickle across the goal area before dinking in off the far post. Joe Hart could have thrown his cap on the ball and it would have stopped rolling. Still, Palace don't care. They'll take any goal they can get and heck, Andros Townsend's second was a belter. Get in, my son.

For my money, Townsend is twice the player than the Show-Pony that Zaha is. Townsend rolls his sleeves up and scraps. Zaha would do well to stop thinking of himself as a superstar and play up instead of constantly whining to referees when opponents have the bare-faced cheek to tackle him. Don't they know who he is..?

Cardiff scrapped out a win on Friday night, Jamie Vardy fell over his own shadow.... again... to get the penalty that put Leicester ahead at Floral Tribute Park (previously the King Power Stadium) and Brighton picked up three excellent away points at Huddersfield. Newcastle sunk without trace against rapidly improving West Ham. Manuel Pellegrini is getting everybody onside and Pablo Zabaletta is enjoying a new lease of life under his old boss at City.

In the Championship, the TV deal dispute rumbles on with the clubs threatening to reject Sky's offer of £590 million.... a 36% improvement on the existing deal. Oh dear, we wouldn't want the poor old second tier clubs to be impoverished, now would we..?

The major source of the rebellion is Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani, who owns the rights to La Liga and is an advocate of live streaming. The other rebels have not been able to provide any viable alternative to Sky though and seem utterly clueless as to what will happen if Sky walk away. Neither BT Sport, Eurosport, BBC or ITV are interested.

Watch this space.

Leeds won the Yorkshire bunfight against the Blades and move up into second place.

The Spanners have dropped into the bottom three and Bermondsey Police will breathe a huge sigh of relief if they are relegated in May, just as Portsmouth and possibly Charlton too get promoted. Bloodbaths next season will be averted.

Villa and Forest continued their scoring ways after their 5-5 draw in midweek. Villa won 3-0 at 'boro and Forest had a respectable 2-0 victory over Ipswich.

In the FA Cup second round, a paltry crowd at the Valley saw League One 6th placed 'add***s slump to a 0-2 reverse to 7th placed Doncaster. Charlton ran Donny's legs off earlier in the season in a league match and have won their last five league matches, but Lee Bowyer fielded 9 kids for the cup tie and word got out. Net result..? Nobody turned up to watch, the tumbleweeds blew around the Valley and Charlton can now "concentrate on the league".

The FA Cup is even becoming an encumbrance to lower league as well as the Premier League clubs whose first team players often can't be arsed to turn up until their reserves have gotten the team at least to the semi finals.

Nobody "wins" the FA Cup any more. All the other clubs just lose it.

Oh well... there's the round up for this week.

Let's see if the FA Cup third round draw tonight throws up any juicy ties.
Jennifer1984 On May 24, 2019
Remoaner and proud

Penzance, United Kingdom
#1882New Post! Dec 04, 2018 @ 16:01:52
Full FA Cup third round draw:

Bolton Wanderers v Walsall/Sunderland
Millwall v Hull City
Gillingham v Cardiff City
Brentford v Oxford United
Sheffield Wednesday v Luton Town
Manchester United v Reading
Everton v Lincoln City
Tranmere/Southport v Tottenham
Preston North End v Doncaster Rovers
Newcastle United v Blackburn Rovers
Chelsea v Nottingham Forest
Crystal Palace v Grimsby Town
Derby County v Southampton
Accrington Stanley v Ipswich Town
Bristol City v Huddersfield Town
Wrexham/Newport v Leicester City
Fulham v Oldham Athletic
Shrewsbury Town v Stoke City
Solihull Moors/Blackpool v Arsenal
Manchester City v Rotherham United
Bournemouth v Brighton
West Ham v Birmingham City
Woking v Watford
Burnley v Barnsley
QPR v Leeds United
Sheffield United v Barnet
Norwich City v Portsmouth
Guiseley/Fleetwood v AFC Wimbledon
West Brom v Wigan
Middlesbrough v Peterborough/Bradford
Wolves v Liverpool
Aston Villa v Swansea City

Nothing much to get excited about there. Only two all Premier League ties and of those, Bournemouth vs Brighton is probably the better of the two.

For my money, Norwich City vs Pompey looks like a good match. Top of the Championship plays top of League One.

Solihull Moors will host Arsenal if they get past Seasiders in a Rd 2 replay. A nice day for the Solihull gate, but it would have been better if the FA hadn't abolished clubs relinquishing home advantage in order to make more money out of a tie at a bigger stadium. Still, St Andrews will be vacant on the day so perhaps a move of venue might make them a few more quid...... if they beat Blackpool.

Homechester United have got lucky in the draw again. City will also host a home tie when The Millers trek across the Pennines to Eastlands. Somebody's going to have to play on Sunday. Greater Manchester Scuffers won't have both teams playing at home on the same day.

Rotherham will hope to embarrass City in the same way that Wigan did last season, but Wigan were the home team then and Pep Guardiola hadn't quite got the hang of December / January in England. It was after dead-on-their-feet City crashed out of the cup, and the team finally had seven days before their next match that Guardiola said "I'm taking the keys to the training ground, locking the gates and we're not going anywhere near a football for the next six days."

Seven fixtures in December for most EPL clubs. Then the FA Cup starts in January. Winter in England, Pep. You're not the first overseas manager to learn the hard way.
Jennifer1984 On May 24, 2019
Remoaner and proud

Penzance, United Kingdom
#1883New Post! Dec 09, 2018 @ 22:54:11
Weekly English football round up 8 Dec 18

Racism rears its ugly head at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea fans racially abuse Manchester City winger Raheem Stirling. As Stirling went to collect the ball that had gone out of play, fans are clearly seen on TV images shouting racist abuse at him. Chelsea FC and the Metropolitan Police are investigating the incident.

It has emerged that an investigation is being held into an incident in last week's Tottenham vs Arsenal match where a banana skin was thrown at a black Arsenal player.

Getting onto the football, Chelsea inflicted the first Premier League defeat of the season on Manchester City. City controlled the game for long periods, but Chelsea hit them with a smash-and-grab goal just before half time by Kante, and then a second from Luiz from a corner mistakenly awarded by the referee when it should have been a goal kick.

Liverpool had beaten Bournemouth at Dean Court earlier by 4-0 with Mo Salah bagging his second hat trick for 'pool. Liverpool look in ominous form and as a result of these two matches, Liverpool now top the Premier League by one point. Manchester City host Liverpool on 3 January. Game on.

Spurs won 2-0 at Leicester with a belter by Son and a diving header by Alli. Spurs played a weakened team for the match, resting Kane, Erikson and others before the upcoming Champions League match at Barcelona in the week. Spurs have to win in the Nou Camp to progress to the knockout stage.

West Ham beat Crystal Palace 3-2 at the Olympic Stadium.... a score that flatters Palace, who were woeful. West Ham fans seem much happier with playing at the Olympic Stadium, and having to endure a 15 minute tube journey to Stratford, now that they're winning. This time last season, when they were losing, the move to the Olympic Stadium was being blamed for everything from loss of players form to the grass not being lush enough to perform sliding tackles.

Funny isn't it, how objections to moving stadiums seem to evaporate once the team in question starts winning.

Jose Maurinho celebrated Manchester United actually winning a league match at Old Trafford.... against the worst team in Premier League. United's 4-1 win was hailed as a "breakthrough". Great. They play Liverpool in a week's time.

In the Sunday match, Newcastle lost 1-2 at home to Wolves, the winner coming in the 94th minute against a Newcastle team reduced to ten players when DeAndre Yedlin was red carded for Serious Foul Play midway through the second half. Yedlin hauled down Diogo Jota, who was clean through on goal.

Rafael Benitez has called for VAR to be introduced to help avoid perfectly correct decisions such as his players being properly red carded when they commit offences that merit it. Newsflash, Rafa.... VAR is coming to the Premier League next season. It was announced months ago. And even if it had been in force, Yedlin would still have been sent off.

In the Championship, Sheffield United beat managerless Reading and move up to 3rd. Brentford boss Thomas Frank described his team's first half performance as a "Horror Show" as they trailed 0-3 before a recovery reduced the embarrassment to a 2-3 defeat to Swansea.

Norwich stay top of the table with a late, late winner against Bolton and Leeds benefited from a very iffy penalty to overcome QPR. Cue predictable grumbles from Steve "Brolly Wally" McLaren... surely the most overrated manager in the history of English football.

At the other end of the table, Millwall scrapped out a 2-2 draw with Hull City to move out of the bottom three. Reading, Bolton and Ipswich all lost.... "all is lost" might be an appropriate way to describe the plight of Ipswich who are already 8 points adrift of safety at the bottom and show no sign of being able to do anything about it.

In League One, Pompey go marching on, beating Southend 2-0 at Fratton Park to go six points clear at the top. Doncaster continue their rise up the table, winning 4-0 at Bristol Rovers and replace Charlton in the play off places. Charlton travel to Fratton Park on Tuesday and I don't think Pompey will be trembling in their boots.

During the week, Bristol Rovers boss Lee Mansell appeared on a radio phone in talking about mental health. He said that more people need to open up about their feelings. After the Pirates 4-0 humping by Doncaster on Saturday he was unavailable for comment.

No surprises in League Two this week. The top three all won, nobody scored a lot of goals and Macclesfield, now managed by former Spurs, Arsenal and England centre back Sol Campbell, lost their first match under his regime and cemented their place as the 92nd ranked team out of 92 club in English League football.

Welcome to the big time, Sol.
shadowen On May 20, 2019

Bunyip Bend, Australia
#1884New Post! Dec 10, 2018 @ 11:24:37
In the unusual setting of Madrid bitter rivals River Plate and Boca Juniors met in the Copa Libertadores final. In the end River got the chocolates 3-1 in extra time.
shadowen On May 20, 2019

Bunyip Bend, Australia
#1885New Post! Dec 10, 2018 @ 11:25:51
Will be interesting to see if Isco moves during the January transfer window.
shadowen On May 20, 2019

Bunyip Bend, Australia
#1886New Post! Dec 10, 2018 @ 11:35:50
The zombie hun were held to a 1-1 draw by struggling Dundee.
shadowen On May 20, 2019

Bunyip Bend, Australia
#1887New Post! Dec 10, 2018 @ 11:36:19
In La Liga only 10 pts separates first from tenth.
shadowen On May 20, 2019

Bunyip Bend, Australia
#1888New Post! Dec 10, 2018 @ 11:38:26
In Cymru Connah's Quay are currently on top. They are one point clear of Barry Town and three clear of powerhouse TNS.
Jennifer1984 On May 24, 2019
Remoaner and proud

Penzance, United Kingdom
#1889New Post! Dec 10, 2018 @ 16:21:34
@shadowen Said

In Cymru Connah's Quay are currently on top. They are one point clear of Barry Town and three clear of powerhouse TNS.

(adopts Scottish Borders accent)

"If they win the league they'll be dancing in the streets of Total Network Solutions"

(with apologies to the late, great Bill McLaren).
Jennifer1984 On May 24, 2019
Remoaner and proud

Penzance, United Kingdom
#1890New Post! Dec 17, 2018 @ 14:48:12
English football roundup 16 December 2018

Liverpool outplayed Manyoo at Anfield yesterday with Shaquiri coming on as a sub and scoring twice. 3-1 was about the right score for the balance of play. Liverpool have had the worser end of results between the two clubs for a long time now, but hapless United were always barely hanging in there. Jessie Lingard's opportunist goal after the Liverpool goalie fumbled a routine cross shot was the one moment of cheer for United. Sixth place in the table flatters them. The more telling statistic is the 19 points they now trail Liverpool by

City had beaten Everton by the same scoreline on Saturday with two excellent goals by a revitalised Gabriel Jesus who now has his family living in England, and a thumping header by Raheem Stirling only two minutes after he'd come on as a sub for Leroy Sane.

Kevin de Bruyne came on for the last twenty minutes. It'll take him a few games to come to match fitness and get his radar calibrated again. Three passes which this time last season would have been executed with laser precision were just slightly off beam, or Everton could have found themselves embarrassed by the scoreline. Methinks City are getting him back in tune for the visit of Liverpool on 3 Jan. If David Silva and Aguero are fit by that time Liverpool will be in for a very stern test.

Spurs and Chelsea both also won at the weekend, but Arsenal faltered at Southampton. Unai Emery's apparently rejuvenated Arsenal sometimes flatter to deceive. Last week they mullah'd Spurs but they never really looked like beating Saints.

Eden Hazard is clearly Chelsea's match winner this season. They'll be a force to be reckoned with when he's in the team, but if he gets an injury.......

West Ham continue their upwardly mobile run winning 2-0 at Fulham which on the face of it might not be especially noteworthy - Fulham really are relegation fodder - but it was the manner of the win. They strolled it. Palace had an impressive win over Leicester and Watford just about got over the finishing line against Cardiff, racing to a 3-0 lead then just about hanging on to win 3-2 after a spirited Bluebirds comeback.

In the Championship, Leeds went top with a 1-0 win at Bolton. Their players now have a week off to put their feet up or go Crimbo shopping with the wife or go fishing or whatever. They'll feature in Sky's live Sunday offering at Aston Villa.

Norwich stumbled at Bristol City and only a late equaliser by Aarons saved their blushes to secure a 2-2 draw.

Millwall continue to slump at the bottom of the table. It couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of people. Ipswich got a rare win, 1-0 against Wigan but that doesn't materially alter much... they're that far behind.

The annual Midlands bunfight between Derby and Nottingham Forest takes place tonight. There was a time when that was a major top flight fixture, especially when Peter Taylor was in the Derby dugout with Cloughie in charge of the Trees. This fixture doesn't have that spark to it any more, but it still matters to the two sets of fans.

In League One, Pompey huffed and puffed in an attempt to get back into winning ways after their midweek hiccup at home to Charlton but had to be content with a point at Barnsley. Luton won at Coventry and closed the gap at the top to four points. Look out Pompey... the Hatters are coming.

Plymouth won at Rochdale and with Sc***horpe losing at Doncaster, the Pilgrims are now only one point from a "safe" 20th place.

In League Two, Sol Campbell's Macclesfield striker Harry Smith sealed victory over Crawley Town with the second goal in a 2-0 win. Sol will be glad to be off the mark as a manager.

The win would have cheered everybody up, but as Notts County also won it did them no good at the bottom of the table. Both clubs remain stuck in the relegation places.

Third placed Colchester were unable to take advantage of MK Dons game at Newport being rained off. The crashed and burned 0-4 at mid table Carlisle. Perhaps the long drive from Essex to Cumbria was too much for them. MK Dons remain 5 points above the U's in second place, and now with a game in hand.

The Cambridge United groundsman cut the grass in a Christmas tree pattern for Saturday's match. That was about the only thing of any interest for a small crowd who must have wished they'd gone Christmas shopping rather than endure the turgid 0-0 draw with Yeovil. No festivities on the pitch at the Abbey, then.
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