Friday, 30 September 2011

McClaren Gets the Sack [picture]

Steve McClaren declared that his Nottingham Forest side had given a ‘rubbish performance’ in their crushing 5-1 defeat against Championship rivals Burnley last Tuesday and claimed that ‘drastic changes’ we needed to turn their fortunes around.

The Yorkshireman has endured a disappointing start in his return to English management which currently sees Forest fifth from bottom in the Championship and only one point outside the relegation zone.

A 1-0 victory over Watford last Saturday had seemed to suggest that the clouds were starting to lift over the former England manager, but Tuesday’s game at Turf Moor saw Forest concede four goals before half time.

Speaking after the defeat against Burnley, McClaren  said: 'We were rubbish on and off the ball. We couldn't play football tonight.'

'We have let the whole club down and all the supporters who travelled to watch us. I feel for the supporters - it is unacceptable.'

'There is a problem somewhere. The inquest will continue over the next few days, in preparation for Sunday [against Birmingham].'

'You question everything in this situation. Everything will be looked at - there are no excuses. Whatever drastic measures are needed, I think some need to be taken over the next few days.'

Expectation for this season were high for Forest with them having qualified for the play-offs in the previous two seasons under Billy Davies and there are now serious doubts over McClaren's future at the club.

'Whether I stay is for others to decide,' McClaren conceded, "but this performance was rubbish. It was unacceptable.'

Monday, 26 September 2011

Stoke Work Ethic Gets the Best from Crouch

Peter Crouch has expressed his admiration for the excellent work ethic instilled by Tony Pulis in his Stoke squad, to which he credits their admirable start to the season.

The beanpole striker scored his first goal for the Potters in their 1-1 draw with league leaders Manchester United this Saturday, which brought an end to the Champions 100% winning start to the season.

The goal means that Crouch joins a small group of players who have scored for six different Premier League sides and  the 30-year-old insists that he has never experienced playeing for a team that works harder than Stoke.

Speaking to The Sentinel, Crouch said: 'Since I have been here, I have never known a character and willingness to work like Stoke City's.'

'The manager has installed it and, when I first signed, he said I have to be part of that.'

'He said I have to work hard and that, first and foremost, is what he expects.'

'I think that is why we get results and why we got this result against Manchester United.'

'We created chances and, so long as we play like that, we will do well this season.'

Monday, 19 September 2011

Blue-per is the Colour: Will Torres Bounceback from Howler?

Struggling Chelsea star Fernando Torres managed to overshadow scoring his second goal for the Blues yesterday with a horrific open goal howler seven minutes from the end of game.

Glimpses of his former self were evident throughout the match, but his jaw dropping miss stole the headlines and is certain to feature in football blooper DVD’s for years to come.

Torres looked distraught as he trudged of the pitch after the final whistle with the jeers of United fans ringing in his ears, but Chelsea keeper Petr Cech has insisted the striker will continue to improve despite his latest setback.

Speaking after the game Cech said: 'This is one thing in football that happens and what he can remember is he played really well and scored a great goal. I can see every time the guy is improving.'

'At Stoke, he had a brilliant match and was unlucky not to score.'

'The last match, he created both goals against Bayer Leverkusen and against United he created a huge chance for Ramires in the first half, which if he'd left for Daniel Sturridge, it would have been a simple tap-in.'

'He also scored a great goal and then got himself another opportunity and, unfortunately, I don't know what happened. But I am not worried about it, he will score goals.'

'Everybody is counting goals with strikers and it is always like that.'

'But if you see Dimitar Berbatov, for example, he got into United not only because he can score goals but because he also created 30 for Tottenham every season.'

'That's why they brought him to United and Torres is doing the same. He scores goals and can create them.'

'Ideally, you want your striker to score but if Torres creates two goals every game then who cares?'

Will we see Torres back at his best in a Chelsea shirt this season?

Sunday, 18 September 2011

FHD Twitter Round Up: Saha Twitter Rant Doesn’t Bother Moyes


Louis Saha took to his twitter account yesterday to vent his frustration at not being selected to be part of the Everton squad.

The 33-year-old Frenchman left Goodison Park immediately after hearing he wouldn’t feature in the game against Wigan.

'I am not good enough. Absolutely destroyed,' he tweeted.

'It's coz I'm confident in my ability that I'm gutted.'

Toffees boss David Moyes responded to the tweets shortly after his sides 3-1 win over the Lactics, stating that he is unconcerned by Saha's comments.

'It's good that, great. I want them upset when they are not involved,' explained Moyes.

'Everybody reports for the game and we tell them the subs, because they knew the team.'

'I'm not really that bothered. I was interested in the 11 players I was concentrating on and that is what everyone should have been concentrating on.'

Saha has only played 41 minutes this season and has not featured in the Everton side since their Carling Cup victory against Sheffield United on 24th August.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Torres to Benefit from Time Spent Warming the Bench

Chelsea manager Andres Villas Boas is hoping that his decision to drop Fernando Torres from his starting eleven will inspire the misfiring striker to rediscover the goal scoring form that commanded his £50 million transfer fee.

The Spaniard has failed to live up to expectations since his move from Liverpool in January and on Saturday he was relegated to the bench by Villas Boas in favour of Daniel Sturridge, who justified his selection by scoring in the 2-1 win over Sunderland.

With just one goal from twenty-two appearances parralels can be drawn between Torres and former big money flop Andriy Shevchenko, which presents the young Chelsea manager with a selection headache over whether to persist playing the out of form striker.

Villas Boas has refused to confirm if Torres will be reinstated to the starting line-up for Chelsea's Champions League game against Bayer Leverkusen at Stamford Bridge tonight, but insisted that the striker would benefit from his time on the bench.

'Any player that is not part of the squad, or not part of the selected players is not happy,' Villas-Boas said. 'I am glad that they are not happy because it means that maybe you can stimulate them to go one step further.'

'Or maybe you can motivate them a little bit more and when they come back to being selected or to starting in the first XI they can still perform.'