Monday, 30 November 2009

Can Avram Save Portsmouth?

Less than 4 weeks ago, former Israeli and Chelsea coach Avram Grant was appointed Director of Football of Portsmouth FC, at the troubled south coast club. Earlier this week, he was announced as the new manager of the club, replacing Paul Hart, who had been dismissed earlier this week under cloudy circumstances. Coincidence? I think not. Despite Pompey, and equally as much Hart, being very unlucky in recent matches, he was still relived of his duties’ to the disappointment of many of the Pompey players and Football pundits alike. The players at the club, wanted to fight for Paul Hart, and prove their worth to the man who brought them in amongst turmoil with a dragged out takeover and crippling financial difficulties, that saw the likes of Peter Crouch, Jermaine Defoe, Niko Kranjcar, Sylvain Distin and Glen Johnson being sold in order to cut costs.


A phrase being used amongst many people this week, including Football pundits relating to Liverpool’s champions league exit, and even stars such as Floyd Mayweather with regards to the prospect of the fight of the decade with Manny Pacquiao, is "men lie, woman lie, but the numbers don't". This is the case especially with Portsmouth under Hart this season. Pompey have played 13, won 2, Drawn 1 and lost 10 matches, leaving them with only 7 points and at the bottom of the league. This probably justifies why the Ali Al-Faraj, via the board, relieved Hart of his duties and decided that the best “unemployed” man for the job, would be Champions League, Premiership and League Cup runner-up Aram Grant.

The Israeli is probably an excellent choice due to his track record with Chelsea, in the Premier League. The appointment of Grant will undoubtedly bring in a wealth of experience, tactical knowledge and more knowledge of foreign players then Football Manager! Grant has already expressed his desire to add to his squad within the January transfer window. If he can bring in a decent striker who could have taken the chances that Aruna Dinadane missed against Manchester United. Avram Grants need to get his work permit altered in order to be officially confirmed as manager, ignore the 4-1 defeat to the excellent Man United and focus on the positives. Pompey have a Carling Cup quarter final to look forward to against Aston Villa and need to get focused for the next 5 league games. However Avram Grant seems the consummate professional who has what is required to transform the club.



Next 5 Fixtures:

Carling Cup Quarter Final, Tues 1st December 09
Portsmouth vs Aston Villa - 7:45

Premier League, Sat 5th December 09
Portsmouth vs Burnley – 12:45

Premier League, Sat 12th December 09
Sunderland vs Portsmouth – 15:00

Premier League, Weds 15th December 09
Chelsea vs Portsmouth – 19:45

Premier League, Sat 19th December 09
Portsmouth vs Liverpool – 12:45

Saturday, 28 November 2009

FRANCESCO TOTTI

The Roman is truely one of the Italy's greatest players
Here's all you need to know:
Name: Francesco Totti
Date of Birth: 27/09/1976
Age: 33
Height: 5ft 11in
Nationality: Italian
Position: Striker/Attacking Midfielder
Previous Club: Lodigiani
Club: AS Roma
Apps: 427 Goals: 187
Shirt Number: 10

Roma Captain

Serie A Winner - 2001
Supercoppa Italiana - 2001, 2007
Coppa Italia 2007, 2008




Hat-trick last week against Bari



Argueably the greatest goal scored by the Roma captain

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

The Potential


Mario Balotelli Wonderstrike...



Pato The Difference?


As a preview for tonight, check out the excellent form of AC Milan's young star, Alexandre Pato, in AC Milan's 7 goal thriller against Cagliari.

Click Here!

Champions League Goal of The Night

Check out Denilson's wonderstrike against Sub-Standard Liege

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Mixed News for the Gunners

Arsenal midfieder Alex Song has signed a new contract with the North London Club. The Cameroonian has signed till 2014. Wenger said: "We extended his contract yesterday. That will be confirmed very shortly. He is an important player."
While on the downside, full back and Englan under 21 internation Kieran Gibbs has suffered at broken foot in the Champions League match against Standard Liege
More details soon.

Paul Hart's Time Up At Fratton Park


Portsmouth manager Paul Hart has left the south coast club with immediate effect. The 56 year old lost his job, with the club explaining the decision being "made reluctantly based on results that leave Pompey at the bottom of the league".

Avram Grant is expected to take over within the the next couple of weeks.


More details on
Sky Sports. Meanwhile the players at Portsmouth Football Club, are said to be "Furious" with the decision. Click for more info: Mirror.co.uk and Sky Sports

Monday, 23 November 2009

Wigan Destroyed By Spurs

Words can't really describe how bad the defending is from Wigan, but give credit where credit's due, Tottenham took all 9 goals well.

Watch:

Mario Balotelli A Future Star?? Here's all you need to know


Name: Mario Barwuah Balotelli
Date of Birth: 12/08/1990
Age: 19
Height: 6ft 2in
Nationality: Italian Ghanaian
Position: Striker
Previous Club: Lumazzene
Club: FC Inter Milan
Apps: 44 Goals: 15
Shirt Number: 45

Mario Balotelli was born in Palermo in Italy, in 1990. His story is a complicated one as he is born of Ghanaian parents, but see's himself as a full blooded Italian, and pride's himself on one day playing for the Azzurri (Italian national team). Balotelli is already fully capped at Italian under 21 level, with 15 Appearances and 6 Goals.

Mario is a technically gifted player with great pace and is an excellent set piece taking. He has excellent awareness in and around the box, and rose to recognition by scoring two goals against Juventus in the Coppa Italia quarter-final. This talent has been recognized by Inter manager Jose Mourinho, who has already handed him 33 appearances, scoring 12 goals, in just a season and a half. He has already played up front with players such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Luis Figo and Julio Cruz, while currently partnering the likes of Samuel Eto'o, Diego Milito and David Suazo.

The downside to the 19 year is his temperament, which has consistently got himself into disciplinary problems, for club and country as well as referees and Jose Mourinho himself.

The youngsters temperament may have been induced by a degree of Racism he has suffered while playing in Italy, from supposed football fans. In any case these hollow "fans" are just idiots, and will struggle to curb the processes of the wonderkid. Sports giants Nike having already taken a shine to the youngster,
become an official sponsor.



Despite the racism Mario Bolatelli continues to prides himself on being Italian with respect to being born by Ghanaian parents, and despite many calls from Ghanaian fans for him to play for the Black Stars, he has expressed his desire to play for the Azzurri on numerous occasions’. All I can say is once he graces the International stage, for either nation, with an improvement in his behaviour and attitude, he will be a world star, watch this space.


Sunday, 22 November 2009

African Cup of Nations, Angola 2010



African Cup of Nations Draw


The draw for the African Cup of Nations was made this week.




Group A

Group B

Angola

Ivory Coast

Mali

Ghana

Algeria

Togo

Malawi

Burkina Faso

Group C

Group D

Egypt

Cameroon

Nigeria

Tunisia

Benin

Zambia

Mozambique

Gabon


The tournament takes place in Angola, and takes place from the 10th, till the 31st of January. Previous winners Egypt will look to win the title for the 3rd time in a row, in order to take their tally to a total 7 African Cup of Nations.



Who do you think will be champions of Africa ?


Barclays Premier League Table, Week 13, 22nd November 2009


Here is the Premiership table, after the weekends matches


1 Chelsea - 33 Points
2 Man Utd - 28 Points
3 Arsenal - 25 Points
4 Tottenham - 25 Points
5 Aston Villa - 22 Points
6 Man City - 21 Points
7 Liverpool - 20 Points
8 Sunderland - 20 Points
9 Burnley - 17 Points
10 Stoke - 16 Points
11 Blackburn - 16 Points
12 Fulham - 15 Points
13 Birmingham - 15 Points
14 Everton - 15 Points
15 Wigan - 14 Points
16 Hull - 12 Points
17 West Ham - 11 Points
18 Bolton - 11 Points
19 Wolverhampton - 10 Points
20 Portsmouth - 7 Points

Courtesy of BBC Sport

The Weekend's Premiership Results





Here are this weekends results.

Saturday

Birmingham
1
Bowyer 16’

Fulham 0


--------------------------

Burnley -
1
Caldwell 9’


Aston Villa - 1
Heskey 86’

--------------------------

Chelsea - 4
Malouda 5’
Essien 12’, 22’
J Cole 56’

Wolverhampton - 0

--------------------------

Hull
- 3
Cole OG 27’
Zayatte 44’
Bullard (Pen) 45+1

Sent off
Mendy 54’

West Ham - 3
Franco 5’
Collison 11’
Da Costa 69’

--------------------------

Liverpool - 2
Skrtel 50’

Benayoun 77’

Manchester City - 2
Adebayor 69’
Ireland 76’

--------------------------

Manchester United - 3
Fletcher 35’

Carrick 67’
Valencia 75’

Everton - 0

--------------------------

Sunderland - 1

Bent 71’

Arsenal - 0

--------------------------

Sunday

--------------------------
Bolton - 0


Blackburn - 2
Dunn 32’
Ricketts OG 73’

--------------------------
Tottenham 9
Crouch 9’
Defoe 51’, 54’, 58’

69’, 87’
Lennon 64’
Kirkland OG 88’
Kranjcar 90+4’

Wigan - 1
Scharner 57’

--------------------------

Stoke
- 1
Fuller 74’

Portsmouth - 0

--------------------------


Chelsea kept up their title challenge while Manchester United kept within touching distance, with Arsenal slipping up against Sunderland. The two teams seemingly vying for 4th spot, Man City and Liverpool played out a 2-2 draw, with Gerrard returning to action for the reds.

The big performance of the weekend is obviously Tottenham's 9-1 annihilation of Roberto Martinez's Wigan. Jermain Defore scored 5 goals, as he staked his claim for a spot in the Fabio Capello's England squad.




Saturday, 21 November 2009

Balotelli Strikes Again...

Hours after we named Inter striker Mario Balotelli Real Talk Football's "Young Player To Watch For November", He put Inter 2-1 up against Bologna, on route to a 3-1 win. Full match report available on Goal.com


Diego Milito celebrating with Balotelli

The Youngster Named "Super Mario"




One of the most exciting young prospects in the world right now, is Inter Milan's Ghanaian/Italian striker Mario Balottelli. He is the first recepient of "Real Talk Football's Young Player to Watch. Every month we will update you with details about the young player, the latest news, transfer rumors and of course; performance for thier club team. So check out this video on the Inter star nicknamed "Super Mario"

Friday, 20 November 2009

Jack Rodwell



BBC had a good blog about the future of Jack Rodwell, who has been linked with a move to Chelsea and Manchester United. He is another product of the Everton youth programmes and an England Under 21 International, so check this out

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Hand of Henry Breaks Irish Hearts

Hand of Henry Breaks Irish Hearts

Last night I and many other football fans around the world viewed another footballing controversy. In a match of the upmost importance billed as the last ticket to the world cup, pitted football underdogs, Republic of Ireland, against the footballing giants of the last 13 years, France.

In the first match
France dominated possession, despite not creating the any clear cut attempts; they were somewhat fortunate in taking the lead via a deflected shot from France's best player over the two legs, Nicholas Anelka. France has 62.2% possession overall, with 11 attempts on goal with 4 on target, compared to Ireland’s 9 attempts, with 3 on target. Some would then say, due to France having the greater share of the statistics, they deserved to win the game.


In the second leg, Coach Raymond Domenech baffled me, with his selection, naming a 4-2-3-1 formation. He selected the brilliant Hugo Lloris is goal, Sagna, Escude, Gallas and Evra making up the back four. A midfield consisting of Alou and Lassana Diarra, two holding defensive minded players, along with Yoann Gourcuff; a creative player plying his trade for Bordeaux in France, and the recipient of the 2008 Ligue 1 player of the year. The French attacking frontline consisted of Anelka, Gignac and Henry. This is probably the best team available, with players such as Toulalon, Diaby, and the best and the most influential player, Frank Ribery unavailable through injury and Arsenal’s Samir Nasri missing through a lack of games and match fitness.

Through out the game, Ireland played well having the better clear cut chances through Duff, O’Shea and Robbie Keane. Their away goal came from brilliant work down the left wing, with a ball excellently being cut back for Keane, who placed the ball into the corner past Lloris. Ireland still had chances to make it 2-0 and win the game, with the France faithful being thankful to the man of the match Hugo Lloris for keeping Les Bleus in the game.


After 180 minutes of tense action, there was still nothing to separate the two sides, with France lacking the cutting edge up front due to a distinct lack of creativity in midfield, Malouda coming on during the second half to no real affect. Anelka’s role consisted of dropping deep, having plenty of possession, as he does with Chelsea, with the only difference being he couldn’t find an end product. André-Pierre Gignac of Toulouse was joint top goal scorer in qualification with 4 goals, and scored 24 league goals last season, was forced out wide into the right channel rather than being the main focal point of attack. Therefore the Toulouse attacker was replaced after just 57 minutes by Sidney Govou. The French rarely trouble the Irish goal from then on, and the game ended up finishing 1-0 to the Republic of Ireland, leading to another 30 minutes of play.


In extra time, the French hardly covered themselves in glory with Nicholas Anelka's resulting to simulation (diving) in an attempt to win a penalty or in an attempt to con the referee into giving a penalty? U decide.


The main moment came with 2 minutes left in the 1st half of extra time, came the controversy. A diagonal free kick, floated over the whole of the Irish defence and bounced once and falling to Barcelona striker Thierry Henry who controlled the ball twice with his hand and squared the ball instinctively with the outside of his right boot, with William Gallas in the right place, at the right time, as he seemingly always is for both club and country, to finish and put one foot on the plane to South Africa. As soon as the ball hit the net,
Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given sprinted over to the referee pleading for a handball decision, which seemingly both the linesman and referee both missed.



Irish hopes all but faded after that, as the team were clearly demoralised. France saw out the last 15 minutes without any real trouble, with the referee blowing the final whistle, scenes of jubilation erupted from the bench and amongst the fans. While the Irish players lay on the Stade de France pitch in tears, as they had worked so hard and probably deserved to be on the way to their first World Cup since 2002.


After the game their was the usual blame game, but without going into too much detail (as I’m sure you’ve all read it!), begs the question, if there were the extra officials as there are in the UEFA Europa League competition, surely they would have spotted Thierry Henry’s hand ball? Or Spotted Anelka’s dive? Would it be more appropriate to introduce the use of video technology in order to answer these questions in the future? FIFA feel strongly against any form of video technology and will not consider it until 2011. I’m not too sure how FIFA now feel about the situation after this match and the referees performance, but one thing is for certain, the Irish’s calls for a replay may fall on deaf ears.



Real Talk Football Is Here!

Welcome to Real Talk Football!

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