Secret footballer odds,the secret dvd play.com kindle,tinkerbell and the secret of the wings 3d dvd - Reviews


The saddest part of Carlos Tevez’s apparent refusal to play in Munich on that Champions League  night was that, physically, there was nothing to stop him.
It is hard enough to miss out on a place in the team through merit, but at least the chance of getting some match time remains a possibility when you are fit.
The monotony that accompanies months of rehabilitation is enough to send a player over the edge.
There are times when you can be made to feel guilty if you are injured, and more than one manager I played under made the conscious decision to move the gym as close as possible to the training pitches, so that those players undergoing rehab would do so staring at their team-mates running around without a care in the world. Even today, with so much medical knowledge at hand, there are a number of managers who are deeply sceptical when it comes to passing judgment on whether or not a player is genuinely injured. There are, of course, financial implications to being injured but missing out on bonuses and appearance fees are part and parcel of not playing anyway. Conversely, I know one or two players who have lost out on huge contracts – we’re talking tens of thousands of pounds a week – because they have suffered an injury in the middle of negotiations.
Our greatest fear is that we will go through the same sort of experience as the friend of mine who will probably be reading this column in a taxi. At least my friend knew when to stop playing, doing so before he did his body any real long-term damage.
The highs of football are more than matched by the lows, and they don’t get much lower than being seriously injured with all the time in the world to battle against the negative thoughts going round in your head. A number of their players will be appearing in the Premier League for the first time, which is a markedly different experience from playing there with the reputation of someone from whom great things are continually expected. Everything has a wonderful novelty value, from the fabulous stadiums, like the Emirates, where the facilities are better than the five-star hotel you stayed in the night before, to the seemingly insignificant things that put a smile on your face, like the lion with the crown on its head on the sleeve of your shirt and the balls that move all over the place – nobody particularly likes them but they’re new, so who cares?
One of the most important things, though, is to remember what got you in the Premier League in the first place. Victories in the Premier League come nothing like as easily as they did the year before but there is enormous satisfaction to be taken from getting results as the underdogs. I actually came to prepare for games with the mind-set that I had no respect for any player from the first whistle until the last, irrespective of their background.
Dave Kitson had been most people’s favourite for a long time having finally ousted Danny Murphy from the the top spot a few months back. I never heard the first part of the interview this morning but before the second part was played Ms.
Today danish television, Kanal 6, brought an interview with Dave Kitson where they, not directly asked to the book, but asked if he’s been in Denmark. I know it is in Danish, but for those who can’t translate it, the bottomline is that Sheffield United threatened with a lawsuit.
I believe I’ve read about an elbow TSF (or one of his teammates??)got from John Terry. Heurelho Gomes (Watford): Became something of a joke figure at Spurs but resurrecting his career at Watford.
Carl Jenkinson (West Ham United): Often overshadowed by team-mate Aaron Cresswell in opposite full back slot. Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal): Two goals in a breathless opening 19-minute spell as Arsenal surged 3-0 ahead of Man Utd. Ronald Koeman (Southampton): Sluggish start to the season but got his troops firing on all cylinders again. Jose Mourinho (Chelsea): His empire appears to be crumbling around him and, at the moment, he seems powerless to halt it. Adam Johnson, the England and Sunderland winger, was arrested on Monday on suspicion of sexual activity with a girl under 16. Regardless of whether or not the Johnson allegation turns out be true, the frequency of the nights out on Wearside from certain Sunderland players was always going to snag one of them. It happens most weekends, with a little hardcore group of players that are occasionally joined by other members of the squad. The defence of Johnson, 27, by the mother of his girlfriend, Stacey Flounders, has been robust. Over the years, I have seen a lot of this sort of thing squashed in the womb, if that’s the turn of phrase I’m after.
On Friday, my friend called again and, this time, he picked up the conversation with the air of a man who has seen everything in football and, as a result, would not be in the least bit surprised if this allegation turned out to be true.
I pressed him a little and asked what had been said that made him so sure, pointing out that the family were being publicly supportive.
The amount of negative stories that I hear coming out of Sunderland always outweighs anything coming out of almost any other Premier League club. In the meantime, all we can do is wait for the outcome of the Johnson investigation and the inevitability of another negative headline to come out of Sunderland AFC concerning another of their players. Not that there is any sympathy from those involved in football when these stories come along. Welcome to the dark, dark humour of English football, where nothing, it seems, is off limits.
It is bewildering to me that Sunderland supporters would endlessly endure this type of player. Rob Elliot (Newcastle United): Not fully fit but turned in an heroic performance in smash-and-grab win at Bournemouth. Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur): Got so much right in an engrossing North London derby, going forward and defending.
John Stones (Everton): No Phil Jagielka alongside him yet still immense against West Ham at Upton Park. Erik Pieters (Stoke City): Sustained a nasty bloodied nose in clash with Pedro but bravely returned to action. Juan Mata (Manchester United): Caught the eye in yet another uninspiring yet still calm and composed United display.
Carlos Sanchez (Aston Villa): Chance to impress new boss Remi Garde and took it well in decent 0-0 v Man City. Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur): In the hothouse of a North London scrap, he could have wilted. Romelu Lukaku (Everton): Still not convinced by his conviction to the Everton cause but grabbed equaliser at West Ham. Heurelho Gomes (Watford): Has been the Hornets saviour so often this season but had a stinker at Leicester and at fault for both goals. While it’s no secret Chelsea were linked to Pedro in the nascent days of the transfer window, the interest of owner Roman Abramovich cooled considerably, resulting in Manchester United as a virtually certain destination for Pedro. To fully understand the move, perhaps it would be best to fully frame how it came to fruition by examining how offers from rival clubs fell through. Even excluding the mammoth sponsorship deals with adidas and Chevrolet, which could have comfortably paid for Pedro themselves, United had recouped enough by selling Angel Di Maria to cover Pedro’s buy-out … and then some. Remarkable considering how ?27.5 million was splashed out Marouane Fellaini not too long ago. Manchester City also ostensibly entered the race but this seemed like a tactic to drive up the price for their rather-less-noisy neighbours – and an obvious one at that.
City have been penalised for Financial Fair Play (FFP) infractions in the past and, with lavish sums being paid for Raheem Sterling (62.5 million euros) and Nicolas Otamendi (45 million euros), the move made little sense.
While Asmir Begovic and Baba Rahman are brilliant, cut-price arrivals who provide much-needed depth, you’d be reluctant to associate them with the kind of labels that would make Blues fans salivate. Similarly, the Brazilian starlets, Nathan and Kenedy, might well be future diamonds but they’re in need of a cut here and some polish there – a process that could take a few years at the very least. On a personal level, it’s believed that United manager Louis van Gaal’s (mis)treatment of Pedro’s long-time friend, Victor Valdes, was the salient factor behind the resuscitation of the long-dead Chelsea move. Living in the former and having visited the latter regularly, without wishing to sound inflammatory, I’d definitely agree with the Spaniard’s decision. Throw in Pedro’s workmanlike qualities and you now have the most tactically astute and fearsome pressing line in Willian, Juan Cuadrado, Oscar and Eden Hazard.
Of course, given the sheer volume of those direct competitors listed above, unless Mourinho has made him promises, there’s no certainty that Pedro will waltz into the Blues starting XI. That being said, if there’s anyone who knows a thing or two about fighting for his place, it’s Pedro. While I’m sure the connotations of that label could suffice, perhaps I should explain in greater detail.
First and foremost, Pedro’s greatest strength is his passing ability – not in terms of ranges as such but in being one of the greatest exponents of the one-two. In Pep’s halcyon days, I would have absolutely no qualms in arguing that, behind Barcelona’s then holy trinity of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi, no one could play a return pass quite like Pedro. With time and space, a cool, calm and collected finish into either pocket used to be Pedro’s bread and butter. Physically, as I previously stated, Pedro is at the peak of his powers, blessed with great pace and stamina – facets of his game that are especially well suited to the breakneck pace of the Premier League. The deadliest forwards, historically, have been those who display flashes of selfishness, whose belief in their own abilities convinces them not to find their open team-mate but to, instead, go it alone. You can be the judge as to whether this is overeagerness to please or an abdication of his own responsibilities but, either way, the fact remains the same. In recent years, Pedro has been reticent to express himself and stamp his authority on the pitch – the perfect wingman but far from the ideal maverick.
Consult your nearest Gooner to find out the pitfalls of that quality – hello, Alexis Sanchez! But catch him on an off-day, bereft of self-belief, and he makes for a disheartening sight. Having fleshed out his characteristics pretty extensively, it’s a pretty simple task to see whether they tick Mourinho’s key boxes. Just don’t expect him to be a straightforward replica of Eden Hazard, taking on defenders one-on-one with verve and panache.
Pedro’s qualities also scream versatility, which could allow Mourinho to tinker with his set-up in a number of ways.
Having been a fixture out on the left wing in seasons gone by, it’s easy to forget that the Belgian first made the continent sit up and take note of his qualities in this central position during his time at Lille. In the first half of last season, at times, Chelsea seemed to be Diego Costa, Fabregas and nine others – a recipe for disaster should either of the two get burnt out (they did) and a precarious game to play after January with regards to Cesc.
Pedro’s two-footedness also means he can play on the left or the right, making him the ideal wild card.
Lastly, it’s been mooted that Ivanovic’s early season shambles could see Pedro start at right back while the out-of-sorts Serb attempts to stave off a decline.
Interestingly, this was exactly the situation many Barcelona fans were crying out for last season given Dani Alves’ then deteriorating qualities. On paper, you could see it working, though Pedro has had exactly zero match practise in that position, making it a considerable risk.
The young Catalan midfielder made a smooth transition into the right back role in Barca’s pre-season without possessing half of Pedro’s better-suited characteristics. This is always tricky as I can’t profess to speak for one of the largest fan-bases in world football. Luckily, what I can do is briefly outline the various theories that have emerged among cules. The first, which I readily confess to belong to, are those who believed Pedro to be ideal back-up – the perfect substitute, as it were – and wanted the forward to stay at Camp Nou. Despite signing Arda Turan, whose graft and industry will presumably see him in midfield rather than the wing, Barca’s squad is rather threadbare. Neymar’s recent bout of mumps has transformed this from an alarmist hypothetical into a dangerous reality. Take away Pedro and you’re left with the raw talents of Sandro Ramirez and Munir El Haddadi.


The second theory believed that Pedro’s presence was exactly what’s hindering La Masia’s production line. If a squad player is what you’re looking for, then Sandro and Munir are surely capable of completing Pedro’s duties. While I can certainly see the merits of the argument, it would be interesting to see whether it’s tenable should either of the youngsters fail a baptism of fire or two in the Camp Nou cauldron on a European night. Lastly, the final theory believed that Pedro’s time had run its course and that there was nothing he could offer coach Luis Enrique. To keep him, they argued, would have been nothing more than nostalgic fondness, baseless sentimentality that clouds the Barca higher-ups and damages the side in their pursuit of trophies. Of course, this is painting a picture through broad strokes but, with a figure as straightforward as Pedro ironically being the subject of complex debate, this is about as detailed as it can get without devoting a whole article to it. Given the MSN’s potency and star power, giving Pedro the minutes that he craved was a tactical, logistical and administrative impossibility. During the start of the summer, the Asturian repeatedly went on record to state that he would like to see the Canary Islander extend his future at the Camp Nou.
Nevertheless, two months of endless speculation and far-ranging daily reports have whittled away at Enrique and taken their toll.
That was the underlying factor that led to Pearce, the head coach, hammering his England Under-21 players post-match and refusing to defend them after their woeful 1-0 defeat to Israel in the European championship finals.
And, as everyone knows by now, comments like that are the desperate convulsions of a manager who is in his last moments in a job. Then there are the players, even the average ones, like me, who can earn big money and a tournament at the end of the season just isn’t appealing for so many reasons. Then there is the FA, an organisation with a proven track record of completely fucking up almost everything that it touches. It was illustrated quite beautifully by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s 39 minutes of football in the 2-2 friendly draw for the senior team in Rio de Janeiro … instead of the three games he could have played in Israel. I’ve cut a lot of the points out that I was going to raise because it’s almost impossible to link them all together in a concise way but I’m leaving one in and I don’t care how much it sticks out because it needs saying. It has been ten years since Brooking took up the position of director of football development within the FA. The player who everybody is talking about in Spain is a 23-year-old midfielder called Asier Illarramendi. Of England’s midfield in Israel, Jordan Henderson has five first-team caps for England, Wilfried Zaha has one and Jonjo Shelvey has one.
The flip side of course, if you can get the long term philosophy right and really achieve nationally, is that I would suppose there is currently very little risk of a promising Spanish under 21′s, were he able, switching allegiance hence they can be correctly nurtured through proper youth development, currently they clearly have aspiration to play for a great national team with very realistic opportunities of winning major international honours. Maybe his development would be better if he was brought up through the u21s until he is ready to play full internationals. Rushing the development of the future players because of the poor standard of the first team means that we will never develop as a footballing nation. He was not having a dig at henderson for not being good enough so stop being so defensive over one of your teams players. So I disagree with you when you say he should be nowhere near the england team seeing as his competition for a place in that squad aren’t exactly top class players!
Not really a fan of yours if I am honest (nothing personal) however this is excellent, I am involved in football coaching and am a 30 year old level 2 coach, I would love to go further and develop myself as a coach however have been hindered by needing to work for a pro club to get on the UEFA B course. Setting an imaginary barrier that you need to be working with a certain calibre of player to develop yourself as a coach. My final comment is that I know at least one thing Brooking does, he writes the introductions for the FA’s overly expensive coaching Journals.
The Secret Footballer columnists go head to head in attempting to predict how the Premier League fixtures will end up.
Tottenham welcome Liverpool to White Hart Lane having lost their previous five Premier League clashes against them. The last time they lost to the same side six times in a row was against Newcastle United from 2006 to 2008.
They drew 2-2 last time out against Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium, where Christian Eriksen twice scored fantastic free kicks. His first came after Andre Ayew had given Swansea the lead; the second came after Harry Kane had diverted a Jonjo Shelvey corner into his own net. After a strong pair of displays by Kane for England during the international break, Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino will be keen for him to regain his scoring thread for his club. A lot has changed at Anfield since Liverpool last played, with Brendan Rodgers sacked as manager and German Jurgen Klopp brought in as his replacement.
After Rodgers oversaw a 1-1 draw at Everton in the Merseyside derby, he was given his marching orders due to an indifferent start to the season.
Klopp proved to be the overwhelmingly popular choice to take the job and it will be interesting to see what impact he will have on Liverpool’s fortunes. Liverpool have managed to score more than one goal in a game just once this season, when they won 3-2 against Aston Villa at the end of last month.
Chelsea have conceded 21 goals in all competitions and lost twice at Stamford Bridge in the league this season. So it no surprise that they sit in 16th place in the table, with just eight points from eight games. After his latest episode, when he criticised referee Robert Madley after the 3-1 home defeat by Southampton, he was fined ?50,000 and given a suspended one-match stadium ban. Chelsea took the lead against Saints through a free kick from Willian after ten minutes but Steven Davis equalised just before half time. John Terry returned to the heart of Chelsea’s defence yet both he and partner Gary Cahill were torn apart by Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle throughout the contest, with both scoring in the second half. While you could perhaps understand if it was or was not given, it certainly wasn’t as nailed on as Mourinho claimed.
Villa have suffered six defeats in seven league games and haven’t picked up three points since their 1-0 opening-day victory at AFC Bournemouth. They sit in the relegation zone, four points from safety and one point from bottom of the table. Leading up to Christmas, they play a host of teams challenging for places in Europe next season. Villa lost 1-0 at home to Stoke City at Villa Park last time out, where a second-half Marko Arnautovic strike was enough to separate the sides.
That will certainly be needed if they are to pick up points against the league’s bigger sides.
A Yannick Bolasie header and a late Yohan Cabaye penalty saw Palace pick up a routine 2-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion to continue their fine start to the season. Fourth-placed Palace have been a joy to watch. Alan Pardew’s side have been full of attacking poise, with their inter-changeable quintet of Wilfried Zaha, Dwight Gayle, Jason Puncheon, Bakary Sako and Bolasie. They had 21 shots on the West Brom goal at Selhurst Park and, while it may be considered unlikely that they will maintain fourth place, they certainly won’t drop down the table without a fight.
The last time that Palace had 15 points after their first eight games - in the 1990-91 campaign - they finished third.
Carl Jenkinson pulled a goal back during first-half stoppage time before West Ham were handed additional help after the break when the scorer of Sunderland’s second goal, Jeremain Lens, was sent off for a second booking. Three minutes later, Dimitri Payet’s magnificent start to his West Ham career continued when he capitalised on a Costel Pantilimon error to rescue a point for his side. Everton drew 1-1 with Liverpool in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park before the international break, where an equaliser from Romelu Lukaku on the stroke of half time cancelled out Danny Ings’ opener. After three wins at Goodison Park against United in 20 games, Everton have now won their last three against them in the Premier League, keeping clean sheets in all three. Should they follow their draw with Liverpool with victory tomorrow, they could well find themselves in a top-four position.
And should Gareth Barry play, he will join David James as only the second player to make 550 Premier League starts. Manager Louis van Gaal will be keen for his United side to bounce back from a humbling 3-0 defeat to Arsenal. United still sit third in the table, two points away from leaders Manchester City, but haven’t set the league alight and are yet to show consistent signs of real quality.
They will be keen for captain Wayne Rooney to start firing, on his return to Everton, as he hasn’t scored a Premier League away goal since November. Rooney didn’t play for England in the international break, after suffering an ankle problem, but he is expected to shake it off and take his place back in van Gaal’s starting XI.
The international break could end up being a significant point in City’s season, with Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Aleksandar Kolarov all suffering injuries while away with their countries. Aguero is expected to be out for a month with a hamstring injury that could see him miss four Premier League games and both Champions League ties with Sevilla. This was shown clearly in their last fixture against Newcastle United, where he turned the game on its head single-handedly.
After City went 1-0 down with 18 minutes gone, Aguero took the game by the scruff of the neck and scored five times in a 6-1 victory. With only three points separating first and fifth places at the moment, points that City drop in the trio’s absence could end up proving costly. The last time that these sides met, in February 1999, Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe played for the Cherries. Given the growing number of injuries at Bournemouth, it might not be too long before Howe will have to start naming himself in his matchday squad.
He has been ruled out until the New Year following surgery on an ankle problem that he picked up in August but had been playing with since. Glenn Murray had his first-half header cancelled out by Watford’s Odion Ighalo before Murray had his late penalty saved by Heurelho Gomes. Better news for the Cherries is that midfielder Harry Arter is nearing a return to first-team football.
Ronald Koeman’s side produced a fantastic display at Stamford Bridge before the international break, when they handed Chelsea a rare home defeat with a 3-1 victory. Southampton fell behind in the first half to a free kick from Chelsea’s Willian yet equalised through Steven Davis on the stroke of half time. Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle were dominant in tearing apart Chelsea’s usually solid defence and both scored in the second half to ensure that they left West London with all three points. Southampton impressed in finishing seventh in the league last season but are destined for a higher finish this time should they repeat displays of such quality. Another surprise package has been Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester, who sit in fifth after picking up their fourth league win last time out at Norwich City.
The clash at Carrow Road saw Leicester take the lead through Jamie Vardy from the penalty spot, to continue his fine goalscoring form, before Jeffrey Schlupp made it 2-0 shortly after half time. Dieumerci Mbokani pulled one back for Norwich in the second half to set up a tense finish but the Foxes held on for a deserved three points. Leicester’s disciplined counter-attacking play has been difficult to play against for many sides.
But it hasn’t bothered Ranieri to see his side without the ball, with their possession as low as 34 per cent against Norwich.
Seventeenth play 19th at The Hawthorns tomorrow as Tony Pulis’ West Brom welcome a Sunderland side managed by Sam Allardyce for the first time. West Brom were second best in their 2-0 defeat at Crystal Palace before the international break as second-half goals saw the Baggies leave South London empty-handed.
They had entered the contest as the only side in the Premier League to have not conceded a goal away from home. It will be important for them to be as resilient as they have been away if they are to rise up the table.
Their poor performance at Selhurst Park was far removed from the dominant display that they showed in the 1-0 victory at Midlands rivals Aston Villa last month.


While Dick Advocaat did a great job in keeping Sunderland in the top flight last season, it was always going to be a near-impossible task for the head coach to get them firing this term. Advocaat resigned after only eight matches in order to give time to a new manager, now Allardyce, to turn things around.
And he has a great opportunity to get off to a bright start at fellow strugglers West Brom. Sunderland picked up just their third point of the season in their previous game at the Stadium of Light, with a 2-2 draw with West Ham United. However, after taking a 2-0 lead, the Black Cats will have been extremely disappointed to have seen their first win of the season slip from their grasp. Watford picked up their seventh point in four games with a 1-1 draw at AFC Bournemouth last time out.
However, it could have been worse for the Hornets as goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes had to be the saviour late on when he saved a penalty from Murray. Several Watford players surrounded referee Michael Oliver after the penalty had been awarded.
Watford head coach Quique Sanchez Flores had previously commented how he loved the “high quality” of the Premier League referees. Arsenal sit second in the table after an outstanding 3-0 victory over title rivals Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium before the international break.
The Gunners took the lead after just six minutes through a smart finish from Alexis Sanchez and he was joined on the scoresheet by Mesut Ozil just 74 seconds later. Sanchez rounded off the scoring after only 19 minutes, with an unstoppable thunderbolt into David De Gea’s top-left corner, to secure a richly deserved three points. After Sanchez’s hat trick in the 5-2 win at Leicester City, he now has five league goals in two games.
His partnership with Theo Walcott, who now has 12 goals and three assists in 14 league starts, will be crucial to Arsenal’s quest for the title.
The best physios I have worked with are the ones that treat you on a one-to-one basis, engaging in your recovery and talking you through every step.
It may have been paranoia on my part brought about by not playing, but I’m sure the coaching sessions looked twice as much fun as they were when I was involved.
It is, though, true to say that some players appear to have a lower pain threshold than others, for even the slightest of knocks. Fortunately, I have only encountered it a small number of times and on each occasion the player in question was never treated with the same respect again.
And while Premier League players won’t necessarily have to fend off their bank managers, there are many lower down the leagues for whom injury can severely compromise their financial position. Although it is often possible to return to peak fitness, they are not always able to get back to the boardroom table with quite the same bargaining power.
A serious knee injury just as he was about to sign his first big-money contract ultimately put paid to his football career and forced him to find gainful employment with the local cab firm.
While I feel a great deal of admiration for the attitude and determination of players such as Owen Hargreaves to ultimately prevail, the lasting effects on a body that takes such a battering from the demands of top-level football makes me anxious, from a health point of view, for their future quality of life.
Football can often become routine and sometimes you really don’t appreciate what you have until somebody takes it away. My anonymity let’s me tell you how it is, from inside the game without the shackles of pre-conception or fan bias.
Since then things have changed, materialistically at least, and yet such is my affection for the sentiment behind that line that I constantly find myself applying it to new situations, like the fortunes of Norwich, QPR and Swansea this season.
To the players already plying their trade you are an unknown quantity and this, coupled with the team spirit that newly promoted teams almost always have, provides the Premier League newcomers with their most dangerous weapon. Not long after the season started one of our players missed what at first glance looked like an easy chance but on closer inspection revealed the assistant referee had flagged for offside. Promoted players will often get a 100% wage increase while around the club everything is done on and off the field to encourage you to retain top-flight status.
He is riding high on the back of last season’s success along with his players and, if promotion has been on the cards for a while, he may already have targets earmarked to improve the squad. That is not to be confused with kicking people to bits; it is simply a way of thinking that allows me to play with no fear of reputations or bank balances.
I’m sure Bob knows the feeling and, come the end of the season, perhaps Norwich, QPR and Swansea will too.
Stunning saves to keep out a Steve Cook overhead kick and Glenn Murray penalty at Dean Court. Nothing better than a winger in full flight, with trickery and pace, but can Saints hang on to him in January window? Got all the T-shirts - TV, radio, PR, papers weekly and daily, glossy mags and now the worldwide web. To this day, I still get weekly pictures of the Sunderland players out and about on the piss. There have been accusations against players at every club that I’ve played; sometimes they’re true but very often they’re complete and utter bullshit. I hope this is a girl who has made up a story up for attention; I hope that a claim reported by the media that Johnson had posed in pictures with the girl, if true, served as the starting point for her to fabricate a relationship.
Unless, of course, this most unsavoury of incidents can serve as a wake-up call to the squad.
Set-piece execution was excellent throughout and provided leveller for Gibbs with nice cross to far post. By reducing Hazard’s defensive responsibilities in favour of further freedom to express himself, Fabregas’ creative burden is lifted. The pair, with all due respect, possess a higher ceiling than the former San Isidro youth ever did. I’d always shake his hand and have a chat with him whenever he’d turn up at our training ground. Usually, a manager will accept that the reason his players have tossed it off is because they’ve had enough of him and he leaves the job admitting that he can no longer get the best from the team.
He blamed the players rather than himself as if oblivious to the fact that if the players have had enough of him, then, by definition, he has failed as a manager. Unfortunately, when we go deeper, the full horror of the England set-up is revealed and this is where the column turns into a rant and loses all its shape and identity. Let’s not trot out that tired line about being proud to wear the shirt and it being an honour because clearly, where some of our under-21s are concerned, it isn’t, is it? We now know that there is a fundamental flaw in the philosophy of how the England team should play throughout the age levels. The icing on the cake came when Roy Hodgson, the England manager, and Pearce gave conflicting opinions about what was best for Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Of all the people in all the world – and there are some hugely talented young coaches who are really on the ball in this field, especially in Germany, Spain and Holland – are we honestly saying that Brooking is the best man to direct football development in this country? In my view, these players shouldn’t be anywhere near the England senior team and yet they are because the first-team isn’t anywhere near strong enough.
He is attempting to lay down a football philosophy that ensures that every age group in the England set-up plays the same style – as is the case elsewhere in Europe such as Italy, Holland, Spain and Germany. They now have a real chance to stop trying to place Pearce somewhere within its ranks just because he used to be a decent left back who showed a lot of passion for his country.
This should be the blueprint for all players of his age rather than just handing first team caps to youngsters because of the lack of talent we have in the first team. To say he should be nowhere near the england team is quite unbelievable when the likes of Barry, Parker, Rodwell, Milner, Cleverley, Osman and Huddlestone have been given england caps or are regulars in the squad. Yet I don’t really have the desire to do that if I am honest, not through any lack of ambition but because I want to work in the grass roots setting as I care about it.
The rules are simple: three points for the correct scoreline, one point for the correct result. I like opinionated people who tell it like it is and hope you enjoy reading my honest views on the main talking points of the weekend here every Monday.
How those that were recovering from serious injuries, such as Jack Wilshere, Stuart Holden and Tom Huddlestone, must have wanted to hurl a crutch through their TV sets. There is, however, no consolation when you are sidelined with an injury, especially when it is a serious one. The worst physio I ever had used to hand me the same sheet of paper every day with an upper-body weights circuit written on it before wandering off around the training pitch all morning watching five-a-sides.
Had I not had something to focus on every day, I think I could well have lost my mind under an avalanche of core balls and treadmills. In fact, if one were to look at a few of them through the eyes of an experienced manager then it might be argued that some players are suffering from nothing more than a metaphorically weak heart.
Anyone wondering how an injury can be disproved would do well to bend the ear of a disgruntled physio whose professionalism and loyalty are being severely compromised by a player trying to pull a fast one. Most players know someone with a similar story, yet it doesn’t always stop them from taking a risk by cutting corners with their private medical insurance. If the prospect of playing against Bayern Munich in the Champions League no longer does it for Tevez, then I’d hate to see him staring at the same four walls in the treatment room. Yet these are early days and their biggest strength could turn out to be the one thing that nobody else in the Premier League has: they have nothing to lose.
Suddenly numbered car parking spaces appear at the training ground, flights are used for away games when a coach used to do the job perfectly fine and the staff numbers are swelled by the addition of the best chefs, player liaison officers to call if you need a restaurant booked or the media off your back and, bizarrely, at one of my clubs, a resident priest. His players were eating their lunch from tin-foil packages delivered in the boot of a car to their training ground (otherwise known as a hut with smashed windows with some playing fields) and washing their own kit. The trick is to strengthen without upsetting the harmony in the changing room, which isn’t always easy if a new signing has joined on higher wages than those who slogged their guts out to win promotion. After a while you begin to notice a change: the handshakes come, they might even start calling you by your nickname. The WAGs always stand by their man, whether he’s a drunk, a racist, a serial cheater, an alleged rapist… They enjoy the comfortable lifestyle their man’s wages provide too much.
The best bit could be as you state putting Hazard back inside where he is far more deadly, now all we need is John Stones and the title retention should be likely.
Some of my team-mates felt that he changed when he became a coach under Fabio Capello, that he became less approachable and gave the air of somebody who felt he was quite important.
Those of us who follow these things have been aware of him for a while but you may be seeing him for the first time only recently because he has lit up the under-21 tournament thus far and is widely tipped as the next Andres Iniesta.
He will, of course, but, by the time he does, he will have been prepared in the right way so that he is ready to play at that level. By the way, Germany’s exit from the under-21 finals was put down to the fact that five of their first-team under-21 players recently played in the Champions League final and needed a rest. What is needed is somebody who knows what they’re doing, a young coach who can work on a blueprint and help revolutionise the game in this country.
People moan about the amount of level 3 coaches in this country compared to those you mentioned, and that we don’t produce enough good homegrown players.
From the loneliness of the treatment room to the reaction of your peers (who on the rare occasions that you bump into them talk to you as if you have some kind of incurable disease), being injured is a thoroughly miserable experience.
I may not be a medical expert but I know that bench pressing your own bodyweight every day for a month is no cure for a torn hamstring. As a Liverpool supporter I would say that, for the most part, Henderson was our most consistent midfielder last season, after initially not being in Rodgers plans he worked hard and earnt his place.
We can’t all be Lionel Messi but it is amazing how far determination to succeed can carry a player.



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