Thursday, 26 July 2012

Portsmouth Till They Die

Trevor Birch has set Portsmouth football club a deadline of August the 10th to have their finances in order. It is believed that unless numerous senior players agree to transfers or wage cuts the South West club will be forced to close.

Portsmouth are due to start their League One campaign on the 18th of August and currently only have 7 senior players, who all now are looking for new clubs to raise money to save the club. Pompey took none of the senior players on their pre-season tour, instead taking a team of 'youngsters and trailists' to Spain.

Leeds United have taken advantage of Portsmouth’s unfortunate state by signing Luke Varney as their 3rd Portsmouth player of the close season. Leaving only Tal Ben Haim, Greg Halford, Erik Huseklepp, Dave Kitson, Liam Lawrence, David Norris and Kanu on the club's books.

With Portsmouth’s senior squads wages are crippling the club in its delicate financial situation, Portsmouth defender Greg Halford took to twitter to explain why he and his teammates are simply not tearing up their contacts, tweeting:

'People asking me to tear up my contract need to know. I'm more than willing to do that!!!! But if I do it leaves the club in a worse situation. The best thing for me to do for the club is to try and get a fee from another club for my services ad pay of outstanding debts instead of making even more debts for the club. Its been the hardest thing I've ever gone through and it kills me to see the club like this but that's How it stands at the moment. I love this club and I want to see it survive!!!!'

Although Halford is willing to do anything to save Portsmouth, players owed larger amounts of money such as Kanu and Tal Ben Haim may not be so willing. Former manager Harry Redknapp has vowed to try and help Portsmouth, by contacting one of his signings Kanu over his claim for £3million in pay.

Redknapp told ESPN: 'I will be ringing Kanu today to see if there is anything I can do. I signed him for Portsmouth on a one-year contract and Tony Adams told me: 'You must be mad, he is finished.' Six years later, he is still there. Portsmouth has got to be saved. It's a great club with great traditions. It would be a disaster if this club went out of business.

Undoubtedly the people who would be hit the hardest by the closure of Portsmouth are the dedicated fans who have seen their club plummet since reaching the Europa League and winning the FA cup in 2008 to been deducted points and relegated to league one last season.

I feel especially sorry for Mr John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood, Portsmouth most famous fan. John can be seen at Fratton Park road with his 63 Portsmouth tattoos, blue and white chequered stovepipe hat, blue and white wig, bugle and handbell. John has the words 'Portsmouth till I die' tattooed across his chest, sadly though it looks like Portsmouth may be dying on him.

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Thursday, 19 July 2012

Van der Vaart: AVB is Proper Bo

Rafael Van der Vaart has put an end to speculation linking him with a move away from Spurs this summer, stating that he is looking forward to trying to mount a serious bid for the Premier League title under the guidance of new manager Andre Villas-Boas.

It was thought that Van der Vaart could be looking to make a move away from White Hart Lane following the sacking of  Harry Redknapp at the end of last season and the Dutchman has been linked with with his former club Hamburg.

The 29-year-old confirmed his commitment to the club stating: 'My place is at Spurs, I want to win the title with this club. Each summer my name appears in the transfer market. The race for the top four will be a total war from the very first day.'

VDV's comments come days after Villas-Boas stated that: 'With Van der Vaart, at the moment I am absolutely counting on him,' emphasising his importance in his new regime.

Van der Vaart returned the compliment by backing Villas-Boas to be a success at the club as well as stating the importance of preserving Tottenaham's attacking style of football.

'The new coach has good plans for me and this is important. I have heard excellent reports about AVB. We have very good attacking and if AVB imposes an offensive system the team could be a real spectacle.'

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Monday, 16 July 2012

Snoddy to Sign for Norwich? [picture]

Sky Sports today reported Norwich city have renewed their interest in Leeds United's highly rated captain Robert Snodgrass. Norwich have a habit of hand picking Leeds United best players, with former captain Jonny Howson and Bradley Johnson joining the Canaries in the last couple of years. 

Robert Snodrass has currently not signed  his new contract offered by Warnock and criticised the clubs lack of ambition under Ken Bates. Snoddy would be rubbing salt into Leeds wounds by replicating Howsons move, especially after being made captain himself by Warnock. Snoddy stated  'We missed Howson, weird that we never replaced him. How can you say you’re aiming for promotion and then sell your captain?'

Snodgrass has stated he is happy at Leeds and happy where he is living, it seems the only stumbling block to his contract is his Premier League ambitions. Many Leeds fans hope Snodgrass will hold out till the rumored takeover of Leeds United is completed. The new owners investment will hopefully result in decent signings  to  match Snodgrass's  ambitions .and persuade him to sign a new deal. 

Ex-Norwich manager Paul Lambert is also rumored to be interested in signing Snodgrass at his new club Aston Villa. Snodgrass has just one year left on his contract at Elland Road and it is believed a bid of around £5million would be hard for Warnock to turn down.

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Andy Carroll: Back Toon the Future [picture]

Liverpool manager Brendan Rogers has made it known that bids to buy Andy Carroll will be considered by the club, opening up the possibility that the striker could be making a return to the Toon just 18 months after his £35 million record breaking transfer away from the club.

A season-long loan bid from Newcastle was rejected yesterday by Liverpool, but it has been suggested that the 23-year-old would be keen on a move back to his hometown club following the revelation that he is unlikely to feature heavily in Rogers plans as he looks to bring his intricate passing style of football to Anfield.

Newcastle's loan offer is understood to have been minimal and is expected to be a precursor to a more serious bid later in the transfer window. Some have speculated that the loan offer agreed by Mike Ashley was a ploy to tug on the heart strings of Andy Carroll and encourage the striker to play his part in making the transfer a reality.

The release clause in Demba Ba's contract combined with the departures of Peter Lovenkrands and Leon best could mean that Alan Pardew will need to bring in attacking reinforcements this summer. The Magpies have been left frustrated in their pursuit of FC Twente striker Luuk de Joing, which might make the idea of bringing former terrace hero Carroll back to Tyneside more appealing.

The highest offer Newcastle would be expected to make for Carroll is around £15 million, which would be an exceptional bit of business for Mike Ashley. Whether Liverpool would be willing to accept such an offer remains to be seen, given the humiliation they have suffered after paying what turned out to be a massively over inflated figure for the striker in back in January 2011.

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Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The Ox - A Natural for England

England’s latest young starlet, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was only 18 when he made his debut against Norway. He followed this with a surprise call-up to the England squad for Euro 2012, making him the second youngest England player of all time in the European Championships. In all time, only ten players have been called up to the England team at a younger age. We are sure he will continue to put on the England football kit for many years to come.

The Ox, as fans like to call him, has followed in the footsteps of Theo Walcott – both started out playing for Southampton before good performances earned them a big money transfer to Arsenal and a surprise call-up to the England squad for a major championship. Development continued under Arsene Wenger’s astute management before Alex made his first team debut for Arsenal as a substitute against Manchester United in August 2011.

His debut was the only bright spot in that game, which ended with a heavy defeat for Arsenal (8-2), but that did not harm his development and soon afterwards he scored his first goal for Arsenal in a League Cup game (against Shrewsbury), which was swiftly followed by goals in the Champions League (against Olympiacos) and the Premier League (against Blackburn). By the end of his first season with Arsenal he had made 26 appearances with four goals and three assists for the London club and was already a firm favourite with the fans.

Not only has Oxlade-Chamberlain taken to domestic football, but he has also had a rapid rise through the international ranks. His first call-up was for the England Under-18 squad in November 2010, where he played the first 45 minutes against Poland. Shortly afterwards he progressed through the Under-19 team and onto the Under-21s.

Even though he is still young, he is a physically strong player. In fact, his school mainly played cricket and rugby and rugby union team London Irish offered him a trial, but he was in the academy at Southampton and they would not let him go at the time. With his strength and natural talent he would probably have been a success at that sport also.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has quickly become a fans favourite as well as receiving glowing plaudits from senior professionals and pundits. It seems that it is not a matter of if he becomes a permanent, and important, member of the England team but when that will happen. All England fans will hope that he continues his meteoric development and soon be one of the first names on the national team sheet.

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Thursday, 5 July 2012

No DB in Team GB [picture]

Stuart Pearce has explained his reasons for leaving David Beckham out of the Team GB squad for London 2012, citing that he made the decision based upon football grounds.

Many believed that Beckham might get the call as thanks for the talismanic role he played in promoting the Olympics, however Pearce stated he has chosen the players he regards are the best and had no room for sentimental inclusions.

'Form plays a big part and I don't think there is a manager around who picks on sentiment,' he said. 'I have to be comfortable when I have made decisions based solely on football grounds alone, nothing else.'

Pearce has chosen Craig Bellamy, Ryan Giggs and Micah Richards ahead of Beckham as his three over age players and also ruled out the possibility of the LA Galaxy midfielder being used in a coaching role during the Games.

Speaking about his decision Pearce said: 'I'm more than happy with the three over-age selections I've picked in regard to that and I think they stand up to any scrutiny because of the seasons they've had in the Premier League.'

'You have to make big calls and whilst I would say David not being in the squad is a big-ish call, from the offset I was only ever going to pick on what I see with my own eyes in regard to footballing reasons.'

Speaking to BBC Sport in May Beckham stated his belief that he had a good chance of being picked in the squad based on merit and has spoken of his disappointment in missing out on representing Team GB.

'Naturally I am very disappointed, but there will be no bigger supporter of the team than me,' said Beckham. I would have been honoured to have been part of this unique Team GB squad. Like everyone, I will be hoping they can win the gold.'

Monday, 2 July 2012

Takeover Tuesday - The end of Ken?


The takeover saga is finally close to being resolved at Elland Road and tomorrow looks like the day Leeds fans have been dreaming of for the last 7 years.

With Ken Bates' departure reaching its final stages and the prospect of an influx of money to the club, the mood among Leeds fans has been as positive as I can ever remember in recent history.

Leeds released an official statement on the takeover last Tuesday confirming the club had 'granted an exclusivity period to enable a potential investor to carry out the appropriate due diligence' one of the last steps before a takeover. A process Leeds anticipate will be fairly straightforward.

Adam Pope (@apopey on twitter) told BBC Look North this evening, the due diligence of the takeover may have already been completed and all that needs to be done is the final money transfer into the bank.

After weeks of Leeds fans constantly refreshing their twitter feeds and checking the clubs website, many believe tomorrow is the big day.

Niel Warnock is sure to be happy with the increased transfer kitty and is already planning on reuniting himself with one of his most trusted former players, Paddy Kenny.

Kenny has been linked with a move to Leeds all summer and a bid of £500,000 should capture him from Queens Park Rangers.