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FOREWORD

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On Your Mark What an incredible finish we had last season! The championship race went down to the wire with Chelsea eventually pipping Man United; the crucial fourth place was a scramble involving no less than four teams! This coming season looks even more promising. For the last few seasons, the influx of talented foreign players to ‘second tier’ teams have been eroding the disparity between the ‘big four’ and the rest of the pack. It finally told last season as big spending Spurs finished fourth at the expense of Man City, Villa, and of course Liverpool. All of the above teams, including Arsenal, have some fantastic players on their roster and are capable of beating any other team in the league. Squad depth and luck with injuries will once again be what separates the challengers from the pretenders. Chelsea and Man United again, look to be up there come May

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2011. Arsenal’s band of gifted youngsters have had another season

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build on their success and move even further up the table. City have

of experience and should continue to improve. Spurs will want to their own version of ‘Galacticos’ and depth in spades. Canny Martin O’Neill will bring out the best from his Villa squad again. Liverpool can

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never be discounted, especially if they

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table though. The fates of two of

keep Gerrard and Torres fit. It is not just about the top of the the newcomers will be particularly interesting to watch unfold. Newcastle are back in the top flight with ambitious dreams and the players to

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realise it. Unfashionable Blackpool were last seen in the top division

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almost 40 years ago and will need something close to a miracle if they stave off relegation. This expectation also means they have nothing to lose and might garner support of the neutrals. Whichever team you support, I’m sure the anticipation is killing you as it is me. Three months of waiting are over. Let’s get it on!

Tom Lim

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11


Contents 8

10 14 18 20 22 24 26 28 32 34 36 36 40 42 46 50 52 56 60 64 66 68 70 74 76 78 80 82 84 86 88 90 92 96

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

The Goal That Won The League Recap BPL 2009/10 Boateng Braced For EPL Debut City In Transfer Merry Go Round Right Man, Right Time Berba Battling For Club Future 2010/11 BPL Fixtures Arsenal Aston Villa Birmingham Blackburn Blackpool Bolton Chelsea Everton Fulham Liverpool Manchester City Manchester United Newcastle Stoke City Sunderland Tottenham Hotspur West Bromwich Albion West Ham United Wigan Athletic Wolverhampton Wanderers Top Eight Watch Managers Top Eight Goalkeepers Top Eight Defenders Top Eight Midfielders Top Eight Strikers BPL Predications and Analysis A-Z of BPL


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The Goal That Won The League April 3, 2010. Drogba, in an offside position, receives a through ball and smashes it past Edwin van der Sar in the United goal. The controversial goal stood and Chelsea won the match 2-1. Chelsea would finish the league ahead of United by a single point.

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Football Weekly BPL 2010/11


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Football Weekly BPL 2010/11


Recap BPL 2009/10

Football Weekly rewinds the months in the 2009/10 Barclays Premier League season and take a look at some of the football action in pictures.

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ABOVE: Chelsea stormed to an 8-0 win over Wigan Athletic in their final game and were crowned the 2009/2010 Barclays Premier League Champions! RIGHT: The biggest highlight for Aston Villa was midfielder James Milner who stood out amongst the other stars in the team.

Pictures By Action imAges

LEFT: Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelottiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first season in England ends with the Premier League trophy in his hands. Wonder what is next for him?

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11


It all started with the famous “beach ball” goal that Darren Bent of Sunderland scored against Liverpool. It was said that sales of beach balls went up soon after this goal.

Owen Coyle virtually handed Bolton Wanderers a lifeline after he joined the side from relegationthreatened Burnley. Needless to say, Burnley were relegated.

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ABOVE: Lampard and Terry sharing the glory as Chelsea were crowned champions LEFT: Thomas ‘Verminator’ Vermaelen won himself a spot in the PFA Team of the Year with a brilliant season capped by his seven goals. Not bad for a defender! RIGHT: When red meets blue – Wayne Rooney’s Manchester United got the better of Carlos Tevez’s Manchester City in the Manchester derby. Twice.

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11


Burnley failed to stay up in the Premier League despite a good start to their season and they must be wondering what went wrong.

Louis Saha of Everton rediscovered his form and scored 13 goals for the Merseysiders. Still, Everton could only finish eighth and out of a European spot.

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The longest second half injury time ever to be played last season lasted 10 minutes and 25 seconds in the match between Hull City and Aston Villa after a clash of heads involving Richard Dunne and Ibrahima Sonko.

A horrible tackle by Ryan Shawcross that left Arsenalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Aaron Ramsey with a broken leg and left the poor defender in tears.

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11


United they stand and together, the players of Tottenham finally got what they were looking for â&#x20AC;&#x201C; qualification to the Champions League. LEFT: Portsmouth became the first club in the Premier League to enter administration in February 2010. They were deducted nine points and were the first team of the season to be relegated just two months later. RIGHT: Bobby Zamora helped Fulham to a fantastic season, his goals in Europe good enough for the southwest London club to reach the Europa League final which they eventually lost to Atletico Madrid.

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

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Boateng

Jerome Boateng is ready for life in the Barclays English Premier League. By Press Association Sport

Braced For EPL Debut

little over £1million. Hamburg reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup twice during his three years at the club and were involved in the Bundesliga title race before his competent performances attracted the interest of City. Boateng was also part of the Germany team that won the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship and he went on to make his senior debut later that year.

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Hunting For Silverware

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aving shackled the likes of Carlos Tevez, Lionel Messi and Wayne Rooney at the World Cup with Germany, 21-year-old defender Jerome Boateng is relishing the prospect of turning out for new club Manchester City next season following his £10million move from Hamburg. Judging by his performances in South Africa, Boateng should settle quickly in the EPL. He has started four games at left-back, including the hammering of Argentina, and not looked out of place despite being more accustomed to a central defensive role.

Up For The Challenge “I have no fear about playing against anybody in the Premier League,” he Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

said. “I want to come to the Premier League because it is the best in the world and I want to learn even more. I am lucky I can make the step. I am playing against some of the best players in the World Cup and that is good preparation for the Premier League. Messi is the best player in the world and to do such a good job against him is a really good feeling.It is good to know that people in England and Manchester City fans are watching me and know about me.” Boateng is certainly heading in the right direction after coming through the ranks at Hertha Berlin. He became a regular in the German Bundesliga at the age of just 18 and joined Hamburg in August 2007 for a fee thought to be

Boateng rubbing shoulders with Messi at The FIFA World Cup 2010

Boateng penned a five-year deal at City and is excited at how the club is progressing after Roberto Mancini’s men narrowly missed out on a top-four finish last season. “I spoke at length with Roberto Mancini and he impressed me with his plans for the team in the coming seasons,” he said. “It was a very good conversation. I know about City from when Hamburg played here in the UEFA Cup last year. I played in the second leg, which we lost, but we won the tie on aggregate on the way to the semi-finals.” It seems a matter of when - not if - Boateng will get his hands on a first piece of major silverware at club level.


Jerome Boateng Profile Full Name: Birth Date: Birth Place: Height: Weight: Age: Position: Squad No:

Jerome Boateng September 3, 1988 West Berlin, West Germany 1.92m 79 kg 21 Defender 17

This lanky central defender or full-back was handed his first cap in the vital World Cup qualifying win in Russia last autumn. His red card that night underlined his impetuosity, but national coach Joachim Low stood by him, placing the emphasis on his fields of excellence: speed off the mark, his imposing physique and naked determination. Boateng only made one appearance in the 2010 World Cup qualifying push, but this obsessive fan of American basketball was a key member of the squad that travelled to South Africa. He was born in Berlin to a German mother and Ghanaian father and is the brother of Portsmouth midfielder KevinPrince Boateng.

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Football Weekly BPL 2010/11


City In Transfer Merry Go Round

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T

here have been a few bursts of activity but the preseason transfer market has yet to fully kick into action. Much of what happens between now and the closure of the transfer window will depend on big spending Manchester City, particularly in the Premiership. With the exception of Valencia, who need the cash from the David Silva sale to balance their books, most of the clubs Man City purchase from will look to reinvest in new players. Also as more new signings arrive at Man City an increasing number of established players will be deemed a surplus to requirements. Given Roberto Mancini’s choice of signings so far it seems likely his side Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

will line up in a 4-3-3 formation next season. Mancini would presumably play Emmanual Adebayor as the central striker with Carlos Tevez and David Silva in the wide attacking roles. This would leave Roque Santa Cruz as the only alternative to Adebayor as the central striker and Craig Bellamy, Shaun Wright Phillips and Adam Johnson as potential replacements for either Tevez or Silva. In this situation either Wright Phillips or Bellamy will presumably find themselves as surplus to requirements. Wright Phillips might be more attractive to the club as he will qualify as a homegrown player under the impending rule change but Bellamy was definitely the better performer last season.

David Silva is one of the key additions to a squad that Mancini hopes will be good enough to lift them into the top four.

By James Goyder Man City now have three outstanding central midfielders in Nigel De Jong, Gareth Barry and Yaya Toure. These three would probably all line up together in a three-man midfield, meaning there would be no place in the starting 11 for either Vincent Kompany, Patrick Vieira, Stephen Ireland or Michael Johnson. Vieira was only signed in January and is unlikely to be sold, while Kompany is equally adept as a central defender and may be retained purely due to his versatility. Michael Johnson and Stephen Ireland are both homegrown players but neither is likely to get much of a look in next season. Johnson missed most of the previous campaign due to injury and clubs will be reluctant to sign him on a permanent basis but he might be a candidate for a loan move. It is difficult to see where Ireland will fit into Mancini’s side and, like Wright Phillips, he is growing increasingly frustrated by the lack of first team opportunities. He might agitate for a move. Defensively Mancini has probably assembled three quarters of his first choice back four. Joleon Lescott had a good first season and him and Kolo Toure are likely to continue their partnership in the centre of defence. Mancini might well consider Kompany his third choice centre back while teenage centre back Dedryck Boyata will only be used as a last resort. New signing Jerome Boateng could fill either of the two full back slots, which leaves some uncertainty over the future of existing full backs Pabo Zalayeta, Wayne Bridge, Neduom Onuoha and Micah Richards. Zalayeta can play across the defence, as well as in midfield, which makes him a valuable squad member. If there are no more defensive arrivals Bridge and Boateng will probably start but Boateng’s versatility means the second full back slot is very much up for grabs. The futures


Jerome Boateng will be an excellent addition to the City family as his presence will certainly strengthen the team’s defence.

of Richards and Onuoha are far from certain but they have both emerged from the Man City academy and might be retained purely to help the club meet the homegrown criteria. Joe Hart’s emergence as an England international will make him reluctant to spend another season playing second fiddle to Shay Given but Given’s current injury means that Mancini will probably want to have Hart around for a little longer. Hart is yet another homegrown player which might affect Mancini’s thinking. Bellamy is wanted by Tottenham and will not be short

“Robinho is very much on the market, but a loan move is more likely than a permanent transfer because he was signed for £32.5 million less than two years ago.”

ABOVE: Robinho is another player who could be leaving.

BELOW: Emmanual Adebayor (left), Gareth Barry (centre) and Carlos Tevez are still very much wanted men at Manchester City.

of suitors if the club does decide to sanction his sale. Neither will Richards, Onuoha, Wright Phillips or Ireland who are all likely to attract varying levels of interest from Tottenham, Aston Villa and Everton. Mancini has stated his admiration for Inter Milan forward Mario Balotelli and Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko. The arrival of either man would almost certainly signal the end for Roque Santa Cruz. As a striker with a proven Premiership record, Santa Cruz will attract plenty of interest but Man City are unlikely to be able to recoup their original £17.5 million investment. Robinho is very much on the market, but a loan move is more likely than a permanent transfer because he was signed for £32.5 million less than two years ago. A number of Premiership clubs will be waiting in the wings to snap up any unwanted Man City players. I doubt they would allow any of their players to join Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool or Man Utd but the club might feel that they have improved to the extent that teams outside of the traditional “big four” are no longer a threat. Given that Tottenham and Aston Villa have a track record of signing British players, these clubs are likely to head the queue for any of City’s unwanted stars.

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Roque Santa Cruz – last wave goodbye to the Premier League?

Barcelona and Real Madrid are sure to flash some more cash, but Man City’s actions over the course of the coming months will go a long way towards determining who goes where and when. The transfer market is much like the proverbial pond in which even a small stone can create a ripple effect. Man City’s transfer budget is the equivalent of a large rock and when Roberto Mancini chooses to throw it, clubs all across Europe will feel the effects. Football Weekly BPL 2010/11


Right Man, Right ‘Roy can lead Reds to a top four finish’, reckons former Liverpool number two Phil Thompson. How does Phil actually rate Roy for the Anfield job? By Phil Thompson

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ABOVE: Hodgson and former Liverpool player Danny Murphy must have discussed about the prospects of managing the Reds.

R

oy Hodgson is definitely the right man for Liverpool. I think it’s a timing issue and the time is right for somebody like Roy, an Englishman, to come in and steady the ship. This fella has a very impressive CV. He’s got international experience with Switzerland and Finland, and also has experience managing at the top level of club football with no less than two spells at Inter Milan. You can argue he didn’t do well at Blackburn when he took over there back in 1997, and again maybe that was a timing issue, but he has certainly resurrected himself at Fulham in the last couple of seasons. He got them to the Europa League final last season and

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

that was an astonishing achievement really and he deserved to be named manager of the year by the League Managers Association. What he will definitely bring is good man management skills. We’ve seen how he’s got the best out of players at Fulham, players who had failed to deliver under previous managers. Bobby Zamora played like a dream for

him and Danny Murphy has performed wonders and he has a good manner in the way he talks to and deals with players. He’s also shown that he has a good eye for a signing having bought players like Brede Hangeland to the Premier League. Murphy, from what I’ve been led to believe, has painted a really good picture of him to Steven Gerrard

“What he (Roy Hodgson) will definitely bring is good man management skills. We’ve seen how he’s got the best out of players at Fulham, players who had failed to deliver under previous managers.”


Time and Jamie Carragher and they are a big influence when it comes to the other players. I think he would’ve probably sought the advice from his good friend and former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier about the club as well. OK, you could say a lot of things have changed since Gerard was at the club, but he still knows exactly what it is like as a football club. And I’m 100 per cent sure he would have sung the virtues of the fans and the club as a whole. But I don’t think it would have taken Roy too much time to decide because this has probably been the ultimate job for him. He realises that there are big problems at Liverpool and his first priority will be to keep hold of Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres, but it’s not just those two. There are other players too like Javier Mascherano, who has been linked with a move to Inter Milan, and I think it’s very important that he keeps all his top players. That said there are a few players that need to go. I think he has a kitty of about £15million to spend and if you sell a few you can probably take that up to about £30million to bring in two or three quality players.

He’s said his objective is to get Liverpool back into the Champions League places, but it’s going to be a tough task. We’ve gone from finishing second to seventh in the Premier League, which tells you that Manchester City are improving, Tottenham are improving and Aston Villa are improving. So it’s going to become more and more difficult, but I believe with a few good signings we will finish fourth and that’s the aim he has to set for the players.

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Roy Hodgson has the right management skills to do the toughest job at Anfield.

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11


Berba Battling For Club Future Dimitar Berbatov is fighting to save his Manchester United career. By Ken Gannt

A

return of 26 goals in 86 appearances since joining from Tottenham in September 2008 has raised huge question marks over whether Dimitar Berbatov will still be at Old Trafford when the new season gets under way next month. Spurs are reported to be one of the clubs thought to be monitoring his possible availability as Sir Alex Ferguson ponders whether to stick or twist with the £30million signing.

Consistency Issues

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Ferguson will be as baffled as anyone as to why Berbatov has struggled. There are times when the 29-year-old striker drifts out of games and becomes almost anonymous. When he is on form, though, he is up there with the best in the Barclays English Premier League. The problem for Ferguson, however, is that the former Bayer Leverkusen has failed to deliver on a consistent enough basis. The fact that Berbatov is still with the Red Devils is the clearest indication yet they he may still have a future at United - and he has been backed to play a crucial role in the attempt to reclaim their EPL crown from Chelsea should he stay on. The Bulgarian striker has been a slow burn as he heads into his third season at Old Trafford. Berbatov has failed to score on a consistent basis and his partnership with Wayne Rooney has yet to gel. With his languid style he attracted criticism as United failed to make it four titles on the spin.

Great Ability Darren Fletcher, however, insists Berbatov is a key figure in the squad and popular in the dressing room. “Dimitar is a great player,” said the Scotland midfielder. “He has fantastic ability. I cannot see him going anywhere. He is an important part of the team. It is a squad game at Manchester United and he is an Football Weekly BPL 2010/11


Fletcher (L) believes Berbatov is an important part of the team

No one has questioned his ability but critics point to his lack of consistency

important part of that squad. He is a really good guy. I get on well with him. He is a great lad to have around the squad.” United are not short on strikers even though Michael Owen is out injured with Mexico’s Javier Hernandez the latest to sign up. Hernandez is joining the likes of promising forwards Federico Macheda, Danny Welbeck and Mame Biram Diouf in vying for a first-team place. Fletcher believes they can all feed off Berbatov and added: “He has a lot of experience. For all our younger players and younger strikers, I am sure they can learn a lot from Dimitar.” United are currently on their summer tour in the United States before heading home and preparing for the Community Shield match with Chelsea. Fletcher said: “We have a lot of young players in the squad and they have a great opportunity on the tour. Arguably some of them could stake a claim for a place in the first team. For my part I am just going to concentrate

on trying to get myself fit.” Fletcher admits he is still hurting after the events of last season. He said: “We are looking forward to challenging Chelsea after finishing runners-up last season. Our goal every year is to win the Premier League and the Champions League. The club expects trophies.”

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Berbatov’s languid style works against him when he’s not producing the goods

Young Guns Apart from Hernandez, Ferguson has made just one other addition to his squad with the arrival of former Fulham defender Chris Smalling. Smalling is still in a daze at the way his career has progressed in the last 18 months from non-league Maidstone to the top end of the EPL. He said: “I cannot quite believe how things have changed for me in the last few years. Going out to Australia with Fulham last summer on tour was a big experience but to be out here now with the most famous club in the world is fantastic.” While Smalling prepares to embark on his United career, Berbatov will be hoping to prolong his for another 12 months at least. Football Weekly BPL 2010/11


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Blackburn Birmingham Sunderland Fulham Bolton West Brom Arsenal Liverpool Man united Blackpool

MARCH 2011

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Chelsea Liverpool Man City Stoke City Tottenham West Brom West Ham Wigan

Arsenal Birmingham Blackpool Bolton Fulham Liverpool Man City Newcastle West Ham Wolves

v v v v v v v v

Blackburn Everton Wolves Bolton Man united Blackpool Arsenal Fulham

Sunday, 16 January 2011 Birmingham Sunderland

v v

Aston Villa Newcastle

Saturday, 22 January 2011 Arsenal Aston Villa Blackburn Blackpool Bolton Everton Fulham Man united Newcastle Wolves

v v v v v v v v v v

Wigan Man City West Brom Sunderland Chelsea West Ham Stoke City Birmingham Tottenham Liverpool

Tuesday, 1 February 2011 Arsenal Biirmingham Sunderland Blackpool Bolton Man united West Brom

v v v v v v v

Everton Man City Chelsea West Ham Wolves Aston Villa Wigan

Wednesday, 2 February 2011 Blackburn Fulham Liverpool

v v v

Tottenham Newcastle Stoke City

Saturday, 5 February 2011 Aston Villa Chelsea Everton Man City Newcastle Stoke City Tottenham West Ham Wigan Wolves

v v v v v v v v v v

Fulham Liverpool Blackpool West Brom Arsenal Sunderland Bolton Birmingham Blackburn Man united

v v v v v v v v v v

Sunderland West Brom Chelsea Aston Villa Blackburn Man united Wigan Everton Stoke City Tottenham

Arsenal Birmingham Blackpool Everton Fulham Man City Newcastle Stoke City West Brom West Ham

v v v v v v v v v v

Liverpool Sunderland Wigan Blackburn Bolton Tottenham Man united Wolves Chelsea Aston Villa

Saturday, 23 April 2011 Aston Villa Blackburn Blackpool Bolton Chelsea Liverpool Man united Sunderland Tottenham Wolves

v v v v v v v v v v

Stoke City Man City Newcastle Arsenal West Ham Birmingham Everton Wigan West Brom Fulham

Saturday, 30 April 2011 Arsenal Blackburn Blackpool Chelsea Liverpool Man City Sunderland West Brom Wigan

v v v v v v v v v

Man united Bolton Stoke City Tottenham Newcastle West Ham Fulham Aston Villa Everton

MAy 2011

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Birmingham

v

Wolves

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Aston Villa Blackburn Chelsea Everton Man united Stoke City Sunderland Tottenham West Brom Wigan

Aston Villa Bolton Everton Fulham Man united Newcastle Stoke City Tottenham West Ham

v v v v v v v v v v

Wolves Blackpool Man City Fulham Bolton Newcastle Liverpool West Ham Arsenal Birmingham

APRIL 2011

Saturday, 2 April 2011 Arsenal Birmingham Everton Fulham Man City Newcastle Stoke City West Brom West Ham Wigan

v v v v v v v v v v

Blackburn Bolton Aston Villa Blackpool Sunderland Wolves Chelsea Liverpool Man united Tottenham

Saturday, 9 April 2011 Aston Villa Blackburn Blackpool Bolton Chelsea Man united Sunderland Tottenham Wolves

v v v v v v v v v

Newcastle Birmingham Arsenal West Ham Wigan Fulham West Brom Stoke City Everton

Sunday, 10 April 2011 Liverpool

v

Man City

v v v v v v v v v

Wigan Sunderland Man City Liverpool Chelsea Birmingham Arsenal Blackpool Blackburn

Sunday, 8 May 2011 Wolves

v

West Brom

Saturday, 14 May 2011 Arsenal Blackburn Blackpool Chelsea Man City Sunderland West Brom Wigan

v v v v v v v v

Aston Villa Man united Bolton Newcastle Stoke City Wolves Everton West Ham

Sunday, 15 May 2011 Birmingham Liverpool

v v

Fulham Tottenham

Sunday, 22 May 2011 Aston Villa Bolton Everton Fulham Man united Newcastle Stoke City Tottenham West Ham Wolves

v v v v v v v v v v

Liverpool Man City Chelsea Arsenal Blackpool West Brom Wigan Birmingham Sunderland Blackburn

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

27


arsenal 28

Gunners Sticks To Youth Policy

Ever since the arrival of ‘The Professor’ Arsene Wenger, Arsenal’s management has evolved to one of the world’s most youth-rich clubs. Besides producing young talents, Wenger has decided that the future of Arsenal must be stable and has stuck to a firm direction, spearheaded by the upcoming young stars of football. While the move to a mixture of youth and experience has produced some of the most exciting attacking football ever seen, Arsenal’s incapability to produce consistent results has caused the London club to be empty-handed in the league since 2004/05. As Wenger continues to hand pick young talents from around the world, the Arsenal supporters have put down inexperience as the key reason to the club’s recent barren years. But in 2009/10, the Gunners were at some stages neck to neck with Manchester United and Chelsea at the top but as injuries rose, Arsenal’s title challenge faltered. Five years without a trophy would seem like an eternity. Despite an average squad age of less than 24 years, Wenger believes the club has a wealth of experience on the pitch. True enough, all of the Arsenal players have featured for their country regardless of the age level and a few players have just gone to the World Cup with their senior teams. While Wenger continues to display a cautious approach to player transfers, it will not be long before he finds the right mixture once again, as he did so in 2003/04 when Arsenal won the league title undefeated in the entire season. The Gunners’ supporters can only pray ‘The Invincibles’ era will return soon.

Last Season

Arsenal began their season in style by defeating Everton 6-1 at Goodison Park. Back-to-back losses to the two Manchester clubs did not slow down the Gunners but they were never good enough to challenge at the top. Subsequent injuries to players like Robin van Persie, Theo Walcott, Andrei Arshavin and Cesc Fabregas eventually ruled them out of the title challenge. A certain Thomas Vermaelen became Arsenal’s secret weapon when the defender popped up at the other end to score seven goals in the season. The Belgian scored a crucial equalizer against Standard Liege in the Champions League and also hit two against Wigan to end the season as Arsenal’s fourth top goal scorer, just two goals behind thirdplace Robin Van Persie. Despite Arsenal’s failure to beat Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham, they still managed third in the league. It was a respectable result, considering that they spent most of the season ravaged by injuries to their players and lack of form. Football Weekly BPL 2010


arsenal 2009/2010 Stats P

W

D

L

F

A

GD

Pts

Home Record

19

15

2

2

48 15

33

47

Away Record

19

8

4

7

35 26

9

28

Overall Record

38

23

6

9

83 41

42

75

29

Performance Average Attendance

59927

Biggest Home Win

6-2 Blackburn Rovers, 4-0 Wigan, Fulham

Biggest Away Win

Everton 1-6

Heaviest Home Defeat

0-3 Chelsea

Heaviest Away Defeat

Manchester City 4-2, Chelsea 2-0

Highest Aggregate

6-2 Blackburn Rovers

Scoring & Conceding

No.

Goals For

83

3

Average Goals For

2.18

3

Goals Against

41

5

Average Goals Against

1.08

5

Did You Know?

The Latin motto found on Arsenal’s club crest is ‘Victoria Concordia Crescit’, which means, ‘Victory Through Teamwork’.

Rank

Manager Profile Name: Arsene Wenger OBE DOB: 22 October 1949 Place of Birth: Strasbourg, France Honours: Monaco – Ligue 1 1987/88; Coupe de France 1990/91 Nagoya Grampus Eight – Emperor’s Cup 1995; J-League Super Cup 1996 Arsenal – Premier League 1997/98, 2001/02, 2003/04; FA Cup 1997/98, 2001/02, 2002/03, 2004/05; FA Community Shield 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004

Football Weekly BPL 2010


Star PLaYErS

robin Van Persie Squad Number: 11 Position: Forward Height: 1.83m Weight: 76 kg DOB: 6 August 1983 Place of Birth: Rotterdam, Netherlands Nationality: Dutch

30

Cesc Fabregas Squad Number: 4 Position: Midfielder Height: 1.75m Weight: 70 kg DOB: 4 May 1987 Place of Birth: Vilessoc de Mar, Spain Nationality: Spanish

Profile: At the age of 21, Cesc Fabregas inherited the captain’s armband and could have made a difference last season only to be ruled out of action for four months with a knee injury. He suffered a further leg fracture towards the end of the season but his influence on the game when playing is massive. Having joined Arsenal from Barcelona as a 16-year-old, Fabregas found it difficult to adapt to life in England but injuries to senior players like Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva gave the Spanish player opportunities to make his name. Fabregas eventually moulded into the first team and became an important player in midfield. Barcelona have been knocking on his doors in the past one-and-a-half years and Fabregas made no secret of his desire to rejoin the club he left as a young boy. However, Fabregas has stated his intentions to remain with Arsenal although he left the door open, stating that he would one day return to Barcelona.

Football Weekly BPL 2010

Profile: Blessed with quick feet and a good strike rate, Robin Van Persie was originally signed to replace Robert Pires on the left wing but was soon pushed to the forward role. The young man began his Arsenal career with a reputation of losing his head when frustrated but he soon overcame his “weakness”. In the 2006/07 season, Robin Van Persie smashed in a brilliant volley from outside the penalty box against Charlton Athletic and it marked the start of a change in the maturing man from an overly eager player to a smart and intelligent one. Van Persie signed a new long-term contract with Arsenal in 2009 and continued to score on a regular basis but an ankle injury put Van Persie out for five months, spelling the start of a downturn in Arsenal’s fortunes. Van Persie return to full fitness and scored twice before the end of the season but he will have to wait another season to prove his worth again.


sQUAD LIsT

Andrei Arshavin

Thomas Vermaelen

Theo Walcott

Squad Number: 23 Position: Midfielder Height: 1.72m Weight: 70 kg DOB: 29 May 1981 Place of Birth: Saint Petersburg, Russia Nationality: Russian

Squad Number: 5 Position: Defender Height: 1.78m Weight: 77 kg DOB: 14 November 1985 Place of Birth: Kapellen, Belgium Nationality: Belgian

Squad Number: 14 Position: Forward Height: 1.70m Weight: 69 kg DOB: 16 March 1989 Place of Birth: Newbury, England Nationality: English

WHO Is HE? Marouane Chamakh D.O.B: 10 January 1984 Place of Birth: Tonneins, France Height: 1.88m Position: Forward Previous Club: Bordeaux

Manuel Almunia Abou Diaby Bacary Sagna Cesc Fàbregas Thomas Vermaelen Tomáš Rosický Samir Nasri Robin van Persie Carlos Vela Theo Walcott Denílson Aaron Ramsey Alex Song Jack Wilshere Johan Djourou Lukasz Fabianski Gaël Clichy Andrei Arshavin Vito Mannone Emmanuel Eboué Kieran Gibbs Marouane Chamakh Armand Traoré Sol Campbell Nicklas Bendtner Wojciech Szczsny Laurent Koscielny

Profile: Described as the talisman for Bordeaux, Marouane Chamakh is one of the most gifted players uncovered by the French club. Starting out with the youth academy at the age of 16, Chamakh only rose to fame in the past few years after helping Bordeaux to the French Ligue title in 2008/09 with 13 goals. By mid season 2009/10, Arsenal swooped in to sign Chamakh on a free transfer during summer. Chamakh is technically sound on the ball and has a keen eye for goal. Despite his height, Chamakh prefers his football on the ground and could be an immediate replacement for the underperforming Nicklas Bendtner to partner Robin van Persie up front. Football Weekly BPL 2010

31


Aston villA

32

Top Four Finish A Priority

Top Four and it is something O’Neill desperately wants to change. Despite making a top four finish his top priority this season, O’Neill has carefully instructed his players to ‘realise their dreams’ in a bid to motivate them to qualify for the Champions League. Many are keen to find out if O’Neill can conjure up his managerial masterpieces during his time at Celtic and finally break his Villa duck this season.

Four seasons on and Martin O’Neill remains baffled by Aston Villa’s failure to qualify for Champions League football. It is coming 30 years since Villa won the biggest prize in club football and despite all those early promises, O’Neill has been unable to break the ‘Top Four’ barrier and push the club to Champions League qualification. Villa have always failed to find the breakthrough when required and this failure has often been blamed on his players rather than his management. Two seasons ago, Villa were third in the table with less than 15 games to go and O’Neill decided to make Champions League qualification a priority. Villa were unable to win any of their next 10 league games, and they eventually finished sixth. In similar fashion last season, Villa were left deflated after they failed to beat the teams in the ‘Top Four’ and for the third season running, they finished sixth in the league although Villa did improve on their points tally. Yet, it would seem as if Villa are jinxed to finish outside of the

Last Season

For the majority of people related to Aston Villa, 2009/10 has not exactly been the best of seasons. Despite a huge promise that Villa will finish in the top four positions, they were immediately on the back foot when they lost their opening day game to Wigan and were knocked out of the Europa League in its first qualifying game against Rapid Vienna. Despite that, Aston Villa reached two English cup finals – the FA Cup final and the League Cup final – both which ended in losses for O’Neill and his players. Trophyless and morale badly hampered, Villa could not wait to end the season and did so with two further losses to Manchester City and Blackburn. But perhaps the most disappointing moment was Chelsea’s huge 7-1 win against Villa at Stamford Bridge. Many had expected this game to be a prelude to the FA Cup Final, which coincidentally sees Villa playing Chelsea again, but few expected the jaw-dropping scoreline. Villa eventually dropped out of the fourth spot contention and only finish sixth overall.

Aston villa 2009/2010 stats P

W

D

L

F

A

GD

Pts

Home Record

19

8

8

3

29 16

13

32

Away Record

19

9

5

5

23 23

0

32

Overall Record

38

17

13

8

52 39

13

64

Performance

MAnAger Profile Name: Martin O’Neill DOB: 1 March 1952 Place of Birth: Kilrea, Northern Ireland Honours: Leicester City – League Cup 1997, 2000; Celtic – SPL Championship 2000/01, 2001/02, 2003/04; Scottish Cup 2001, 2004, 2005; Scottish League Cup 2000/01; Aston Villa - Peace Cup 2009

Football Weekly BPL 2010

Average Attendance

38573

Biggest Home Win

5-1 Bolton Wanderers

Biggest Away Win

Liverpool 1-3

Heaviest Home Defeat

0-2 Wigan Athletic

Heaviest Away Defeat

Chelsea 7-1

Highest Aggregate

Chelsea 7-1

Scoring & Conceding

No.

Rank

Goals For

52

X

Average Goals For

1.37

X

Goals Against

39

X

Average Goals Against

1.03

X


stAr PLAYErs Did You Know?

Aston Villa created a club record by scoring 128 goals in the league in 1930/31 and still finished seven points behind Arsenal who were crowned champions.

Ashley Young

Gabriel Agbonlahor

Squad Number: 7 Position: Midfielder Height: 1.75m Weight: 61 kg DOB: 9 July 1985 Place of Birth: Stevenage, England Nationality: English

Squad Number: 11 Position: Forward Height: 1.8m Weight: 77 kg DOB: 13 October 1986 Place of Birth: Birmingham, England Nationality: English

Profile: Hailing from Watford, Ashley Young is one of the best

Profile: Like Ashley Young, Gabriel Agbonlahor can play

attacking players in the Premier League. Despite admiration from other clubs, Young has decided to stay under the guidance of manager Martin O’Neill, whom has developed the player into one of the finest wingers in the England game. Although his inconsistency is something of a question, Young is packed with full of surprises in his game. Fast, good dribbling ability and a good crosser of the ball, Young has everything he needs to be a great winger. However, he loses out in the strength and heading department although they are not critical to his overall performances. Ashley Young can also be described as a club player as he continues to be excluded from Fabio Capello’s England squad. Despite the disappointment of not making the England squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Young is an important fixture in the Villa ranks and provides O’Neill with more options upfront.

on the wings as well as a forward. Agbonlahor is an excellent dribber of the ball and packs a good shot with his right foot. He is also good in the air and considerably strong under challenges. However, Agbonlahor can suffer from performance dips during an entire season, which is his main weakness. Agbonlahor has found partnership with Emile Heskey and John Carew easy to work with. The striker has often been used as a supporting striker but he will be best remembered for his runs down the right wing for Villa, where he started out his career playing. However, Agbonlahor prefers the centre forward role, which is his natural role. Agbonlahor has provided Aston Villa with more firepower due to his energy levels and hardworking attitude. His contributions will be tested again this season as O’Neill hopes Villa will be third time lucky this season, and finally break into one of the top four spots in the Premier League.

WHO Is HE? Nathan Delfouneso D.O.B: 2 February 1991 Place of Birth: Tyseley, Birmingham, England Height: 1.85m Position: Forward Previous Club: Profile: Nathan Delfouneso is a product of the Aston Villa Academy and has been described as ‘the new hope for Villa’. Delfouneso’s first team chances has been limited so far but he has been a regular for Academy, scoring 22 goals in 41 appearances. Delfouneso is also Aston Villa’s youngest representative in European competition, scoring a couple of goals against MSK Zilina and Hamburg SV back in 2008. Delfouneso is quick and skilful but he does not have good physical strength in his game and can look wanting on most occasions. However, the striker has a habit of getting into the right position at the right time to score. While his chances could still be limited depending on the form of the others, he could provide Villa with fresh attacking reinforcements when needed.

sQUAD LIst Brad Friedel Luke Young Steve Sidwell Richard Dunne Stewart Downing Ashley Young James Milner John Carew Gabriel Agbonlahor Marc Albrighton Nathan Delfouneso Curtis Davies Fabian Delph Moustapha Salifou Emile Heskey Stiliyan Petrov Nigel Reo-Coker Nicky Shorey Brad Guzan Habib Beye Carlos Cuéllar Stephen Warnock Isaiah Osbourne James Collins Andreas Weimann Elliot Parish Eric Lichaj Shane Lowry Barry Bannan Ciaran Clark Nathan Baker Chris Herd Jonathan Hogg

Football Weekly BPL 2010

33


Birmingham City

34

Blues Aim For Consistency

From the time that Steve Bruce was brought in as manager of Birmingham City, the club has improved by leaps and bounds but have never managed to shake off the tag of “underachievers”. Birmingham spent a good 16 years in the lower divisions of English football but found enough reasons to rejoice when they beat Norwich City in the play-off final on penalties to return to top-flight football for the 2002/03 season. The Blues were constantly flirting in mid-table but have struggled on occasions and were relegated in 2005/06 when injuries, lack of form and a lack of investment confined their Championship status the following season. When Hong Kong businessman Carson Yeung got a share of the club in July 2007, Birmingham began to experience a change in fortune under new manager Alex McLeish, who achieved promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt. Under the new management, a backbone for the team’s stability was built with the likes of Barry Ferguson, James McFadden and Stephen Carr and the Blues began to look a more formidable team. With Carson Yeung taking over club presidency in 2009, Birmingham hardly looked like the team they were back in the early 2000s. Club policies were strictly adhered, meaning that Birmingham will never be forced into a financial rut in the near future and with that, it was all about the quality of football. Players like Joe Hart and Cameron Jerome were also the highlights of a splendid 2009/10 season in which Birmingham finished ninth in the Premier League, their highest position in top-flight football.

Last Season

Birmingham started the 2009/10 season with mixed results that hinted at a possible relegation battle as the season ran on. But a run of good results starting from late October to late January where the Blues were unbeaten in twelve matches, including credible draws against the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United gave manager Alex McLeish plenty to cheer about regarding the club’s Premiership status. Top goal scorer Cameron Jerome contributed ten goals all season and his performances were crucial as his goals earned the wins and draws that gave Birmingham its highest finish in Premier League football. Armed with a strong home record (Birmingham have only lost two games at home), the Blues endured a difficult final ten games where they only won once to finish the season on a losing end at Bolton. Many supporters felt that Birmingham could have challenged for a European spot if not for the final ten games. But there was plenty of optimism as Birmingham looked to be heading in the right direction for the future and it is certain the club will be challenging for a place in Europe this season.

Birmingham 2009/2010 Stats P

W

D

L

F

Home Record

19

8

Away Record

19

5

Overall Record

38

A

GD

Pts

9

2

19 13

2

12

19 34 -15

6

33 17

13 11

14

38 47

50

-9

Performance Average Attendance

25246

Biggest Home Win

2-1 Sunderland, Blackburn,

Biggest Away Win

2-3 Wigan

Heaviest Home Defeat

1-2 Bolton

Heaviest Away Defeat

Man City 5-1

Highest Aggregate

5-1 Man City

Scoring & Conceding

No.

Rank

Goals For

38

15

Average Goals For

1

15

Goals Against

47

9

Average Goals Against

1.23

9

Wolves, Burnley

manager Profile Name: Alexander McLeish DOB: 21 January 1959 Place of Birth: Barrhead, Scotland Honours: Rangers – Scottish Premier 2002/03, 2004/05; Scottish Cup 2002, 2003; Scottish League Cup 2002, 2003, 2005

Football Weekly BPL 2010


Star PLaYErS Did You Know?

Birmingham City FC once had the likes of French international Christophe Dugarry in its ranks. Dugarry played for the Blues in the 2003/04 season where a run of five goals in five games cemented Birmingham’s position in 10th and another season of Premier League football.

Cameron Jerome

James McFadden

Squad Number: 10 Position: Forward Height: 1.85m Weight: 86 kg DOB: 14 October 1986 Place of Birth: Huddersfield, England Nationality: English

Squad Number: 16 Position: Forward Height: 1.78m Weight: 72 kg DOB: 14 April 1983 Place of Birth: Glasgow, Scotland Nationality: Scottish

Profile: Cameron Jerome made his Birmingham debut on a sour note after the forward was sent off within five minutes of entering play. Jerome had an unimpressive start, netting in single figures in his first two seasons with the Blues. But Jerome managed 11 goals last season, which largely contributed to Birmingham’s successful return to the Premiership. He also showed glimpses of his scoring ability when he scored a spectacular long range effort against Liverpool, described as “the kind of goal that only the likes of Gerrard usually scores at Anfield”. Birmingham will need Jerome to continue his good form this season if they are to challenge for a European spot for next season.

Profile: James McFadden is a Scottish footballer who largely plays as a forward but has also deputised in midfield on occasions. While injuries plighted most of McFadden’s time with Birmingham, he did return last season to help the side to its best finish in Premier League football. McFadden is often used as a holding player with his aggression and determination key attributes to his success. In September 2007, McFadden scored one of Scotland’s most famous goals in a Euro 2008 qualification match against France when he controlled a long punt from his own half before unleashing an unstoppable drive past the French goalkeeper.

WHO IS HE? Nikola Zigic D.O.B: 25 September 1980 Place of Birth: Backa Topola, Yugoslavia Height: 2.02m Position: Forward Previous Club: Valencia Profile: While Nikola Zigic was known as ‘the giant’ at Valencia CF, he hardly made a name for himself at the Mestella. Used sparingly on occasions, Zigic found himself on the bench more often than not and was loaned out to Racing Santander, where he impressed the Birmingham scouts with 13 goals in 19 appearances. Zigic did have a good scoring record back in his younger years with hometown clubs before his eventual move to Spain with Racing. Equipped with a good height, Zigic found goals flowing in the form of headers although the Serb is capable of getting the goals with his feet as well. Zigic made the switch to Premiership side Birmingham in the summer, after having rejected a move to Portsmouth two years earlier.

SQUaD LISt Maik Taylor Stephen Carr David Murphy Lee Bowyer Liam Ridgewell Sebastian Larsson Garry O’Connor Kevin Phillips Cameron Jerome Barry Ferguson Colin Doyle Roger Johnson Scott Dann James McFadden Míchel Keith Fahey Stuart Parnaby Marcus Bent Jay O’Shea Ashley Sammons Dan Preston Jordon Mutch Jake Jervis Craig Gardner Nathan Redmond Ben Foster Enric Vallès Nikola Žigic

Football Weekly BPL 2010

35


blackburn rovers

36

Leverkusen. Since then, Rovers have taken a step back into the abyss. The arrival of Sam Allardyce spells renewed hope that Blackburn will soon prosper again but two seasons in and Allardyce is still rebuilding the squad. It might take years before Blackburn finally secure their European dream again but considering that they have been there before, anything is a possibility. The time has come for Blackburn to prove their worth.

Rovers Push For European Glory

Ever since the days of Kenny Daglish and his title winning season with Blackburn, the supporters at Ewood Park have been hoping for the club to make headlines for all the right reasons. Yet, four years after winning the Premier League, Blackburn found themselves in the second tier of English football as manager after manager failed to bring back the glory days. A host of stars have graced the Blues and Whites, most prominently the ‘SAS’ – Shearer and Sutton. Blackburn Rovers prospered under the strike force and indeed, the good years of the SAS proved to be the last taste of success Blackburn will ever have. Owner Jack Walker tried to save the club from burrowing deeper down the divisions and upon his death, the club dedicated its promotion challenge in memory of their benefactor. Nine years on and Rovers are back in the Premier League but they are unable to get within touching distance of the top four. In 2006/07, Rovers managed to participate in the UEFA Cup but were dumped out in the first knockout stage of the tournament, losing narrowly to Bayer

Last Season

It has been a pretty encouraging previous season for Blackburn when they finished 10th, a significant improvement from their 2008/09 season. It has been a lot of work trying to rebuild a side that looked beaten but Sam Allardyce did a great job holding his players together although there is still room for improvement. Without the monetary power, Sam Allardyce made do with players whom he felt could do the job, at extremely low costs. Players like Michel Salgado, Gael Givet and Steven Nzonzi were recruited, while “old-timers” David Dunn, Gamst Pedersen and the rest became the building blocks of a new-look Blackburn team. But even though Blackburn completed the double against their fierce East Lancashire rivals Burnley, they were not achieving results against the other teams that finished ahead of them. The results were appalling. Rovers were left clawing at the fact that they were still not good enough but they still managed respectable results before the season ended, achieving draws against Chelsea and Manchester United and defeating Arsenal 2-1.

blackburn 2009/2010 stats P

W

D

L

F

A

GD

Pts

Home Record

19

10

Away Record

19

3

6

3

28 18

10

36

5

11

13 37 -24

Overall Record

38

14

13 11

14

41 55 -14

50

Performance Average Attendance

25428

Biggest Home Win

3-0 Bolton Wanderers

Biggest Away Win

Bolton Wanderers 0-2

Heaviest Home Defeat

0-2 Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur

Manager Profile Name: Samuel Allardyce DOB: 19 October 1954 Place of Birth: Dudley, England Honours: Limerick FC – League of Ireland First Division 1991/92

Football Weekly BPL 2010

Heaviest Away Defeat

Chelsea 5-0

Highest Aggregate

Arsenal 6-2

Scoring & Conceding

No.

Goals For

41

X

Average Goals For

1.08

X

Goals Against

55

X

Average Goals Against

1.45

X

Rank


sTar PLaYErs Did You Know?

Blackburn Rovers scored the 1000th goal in the history of the Premier League.

Morten Gamst Pedersen

Paul robinson

Squad Number: 12 Position: Midfielder Height: 1.80m Weight: 76 kg DOB: 8 September 1981 Place of Birth: Vadso, Norway Nationality: Norwegian

Squad Number: 1 Position: Goalkeeper Height: 1.91m Weight: 92 kg DOB: 15 October 1979 Place of Birth: Beverley, England Nationality: English Profile: After suffering a loss of form for Tottenham and

Profile: Touted as a rising starlet when he was playing with Tromso in Norway, Morten Gamst Pedersen was brought to Blackburn by former manager Graeme Souness just in time for the 2004/05 season. Yet, Pedersen has struggled throughout his time in England, with many suggesting Rovers may not be the club for him to make the breakthrough. Pedersen is naturally left-footed and has good skills and balance on the ball. There have been moments of brilliance from the Norwegian but Pedersen was often lacking form when the team could have put his talents to good use. Pedersen did have a good 2005/06 season, when he scored two goals for Blackburn to beat Manchester United 2-1 at Old Trafford. Under Sam Allardyce, Pedersen started to find more opportunities in the first team and has since been regarded as a key member of the Rovers squad. Although Pedersen is known to suffer drops in form regularly, his versatility in midfield has allowed him to venture further up the field on many occasions, which is a welcome addition to Blackburn’s armoury in attack.

WHO Is HE? Nikola Kalinic D.O.B: 5 January 1988 Place of Birth: Solin, SR Croatia, SFR Yugoslavia Height: 1.87m Position: Forward Previous Club: Hadjuk Split Profile: Described by Croatia mangaer Slaven Bilic as the “future of Croatian football”, Nikola Kalinic arrived at Blackburn Rovers last season to fill the void left by departing Roque Santa Cruz. He is a good header of the ball and although not the quickest of strikers, he can shoot well with his right foot and is a clinical finisher. Kalinic has an impressive record at Hadjuk, winning the coveted Swan d’Or Award in only his second season at the club. The Croat almost joined Portsmouth after a one-week trial but financial problems meant the deal could not go through. The offer was given to Blackburn and Kalinic was snapped up. Rovers will be largely dependant on Kalinic and his goals this season if they want to have an outside shot at a European spot next year.

England, Paul Robinson found himself signing for Blackburn in July 2008 after Gomes was roped in to replace him. Once considered a future hopeful for England, his embarrassing blunder against Croatia put Robinson in what might be his darkest days in football. But Robinson has had his good days. He made his name at Leeds, putting himself to a bagful of wonderful saves and propelled his name to stardom. He also scored a goal in a League Cup tie against Swindon Town, forcing the game into extra time with his equalizing header. Robinson was also on the scoresheet for Tottenham when his freekick from just outside his penalty box sailed over Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster and into goal. Despite all those heroics, Robinson was unable to save his career as his form dipped and was offloaded to Blackburn. But under manager Sam Allardyce, Robinson has earned back the right as having one of the safest pair of hands in England once again.

sQUaD LIsT Paul Robinson Lars Jacobsen Christopher Samba Gaël Givet Ryan Nelsen Brett Emerton David Dunn Jason Roberts Vince Grella Morten Gamst Pedersen Zurab Khizanishvili Amine Linganzi Steven N’Zonzi Keith Andrews El Hadji Diouf Aaron Doran Martin Olsson Nikola Kalinic David Hoilett Alan Judge Míchel Salgado Phil Jones Gavin Gunning Grant Hanley Jason Brown Frank Fielding Mark Bunn Pascal Chimbonda

Football Weekly BPL 2010

37


blackPOOl

38

Premier League clubs, nobody at the club is worried about getting stuck at the wrong end. The Tangerines’ camp is high in morale but surely, the pressure is there on the manager and players to deliver the goods to match the high expectations of their supporters. Whatever the outcome, Blackpool will enjoy this amazing experience of Premier League football and will be eager not to have any regrets at the end of the season by staying in the top flight.

Blackpool Keen To Sign Loan Stars

When Blackpool gained promotion to the Premier League back in May, boss Ian Holloway began making pointers about how he has to enter the transfer market during the summer. It is almost certain that Blackpool will need to spend but Holloway is determined to make only the right signings for the club. Despite laughing comments of having over thousands of players recommended to Holloway, the former Leicester City manager is working on trying to sign four players who helped achieve promotion to the Premier League last season. Everton full-back Seamus Coleman, strikers Stephen Dobbie from Swansea and DJ Campbell from Leicester, and Aston Villa midfielder Barry Bannan all impressed in loan spells at Bloomfield Road last term. With plenty of work still to do, Holloway admitted that Blackpool are still not really ready for the Premier League but sets his sight on a fantastic challenge ahead. While it is uncertain how Blackpool will fare against the other

Last Season

Blackpool were in dreamland when they finally defeated Cardiff City in the League Championship play-offs final. Having pip Swansea City for the elusive sixth spot, Blackpool then rounded off victory with an exciting 3-2 win at Wembley after defeating Nottingham Forest in the play-offs semi-final. The Tangerines build their squad mostly based on loaned players and youth players, all of them playing a part in Blackpool’s huge success. Dudley “DJ” Campbell, on loan from Leicester City was one of the stars of the team but it boiled down to a blend of teamwork and dedication from all the players for them to reach the Premier League. Blackpool have a poor away record last season but were strong at home. Nevertheless, the Tangerines managed to defy all odds to gain promotion to the Premier League but they are facing a dilemma with their small squad and clearly have plenty of work to do in the transfer market during the summer.

blackpool 2009/2010 Stats P

W

D

L

F

A

GD

Pts

Home Record

23

13

Away Record

23

6

6

4

46 22

24

45

7

10

28 36

-8

Overall Record

46

25

19 13

14

74

16

70

58

Performance

Manager PrOfile Name: Ian Holloway DOB: 12 March 1963 Place of Birth: Kingswood, England Honours: -

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

Average Attendance

8611

Biggest Home Win

5-1 Swansea City

Biggest Away Win

Middlesbrough 0-3

Heaviest Home Defeat

2-3 West Bromwich Albion

Heaviest Away Defeat

Crystal Palace, Newcastle United 4-1

Highest Aggregate

Doncaster Rovers 3-3,

5-1 Swansea City, Scunthorpe United 2-4 Scoring & Conceding

No.

Goals For

74

Rank X

Average Goals For

1.61

X

Goals Against

58

X

Average Goals Against

1.26

X


STar PLaYErS Did You Know?

If Brett Ormerod makes an appearance for Blackpool this season, he will be the first player to have played for the club in all four divisions.

Brett Ormerod

Gary Taylor-Fletcher

Squad Number: 10 Position: Forward Height: 1.80m Weight: 77 kg DOB: 18 October 1976 Place of Birth: Blackburn, England Nationality: English

Squad Number: 12 Position: Midfielder Height: 1.83m Weight: 75 kg DOB: 4 June 1981 Place of Birth: Liverpool, England Nationality: English Profile: Gary Taylor-Fletcher is a household name for

Profile: Flirting with life at Blackpool for a second time, Brett Ormerod scored a crucial goal in the League Championship play-off final against Cardiff City which took the club to the Premier League While he enjoyed his first stint at Blackpool back in 1997, Ormerod broke his leg and the club was later relegated to the Third Division. Despite moving to Southampton and Blackpool arch-rivals Preston North End, Ormerod was not impressive even though he did score some important goals for both clubs. Ormerod broke his leg again at Preston and after a couple of loan spells, he decided to move back to Blackpool. Ormerod has a knack of getting into the right position at the right time to score goals. Due to his past injuries, Ormerod is often used as a substitute but he still remains a prolific scorer. His experience could prove vital if Blackpool wants to stay in the Premier League.

WHO IS HE? Charlie adam

Blackpool having been at the club for three seasons. While Taylor-Fletcher spent most of his career on loan, the versatile midfielder made two stints with Lincoln City and Huddersfield Town where he further prove his striking prowess with a good scoring record. Taylor-Fletcher can play as a forward and is highly productive whenever he moves up to attack. He also has a habit of scoring goals at play-offs; his most recent being a 39th minute goal against Cardiff City in the League Championship play-off final. Taylor-Fletcher is the only player to have climbed from non-League football to the Premier League since the turn of the Millennium. He will be one of the midfielders to look out for this season and with his contributions and consistent performances, Taylor-Fletcher’s role in the Blackpool squad is immense.

SQUaD LIST Charlie Adam Louis Almond Alex Baptiste Billy Clarke Danny Coid Stephen Crainey Ishmel Demontagnac Neal Eardley Ashley Eastham Rob Edwards Jason Euell Ian Evatt Matthew Gilks Mark Halstead Stephen Husband Brett Ormerod Paul Rachubka Keith Southern Gary TaylorFletcher David Vaughan

D.O.B: 10 December 1985 Place of Birth: Dundee, Scotland Height: 1.85m Position: Midfielder Previous Club: Rangers Profile: Having graduated from the Rangers youth system, Charlie Adam spent much of his early years on loan to other clubs. When he returned to Rangers, he was pushed into a regular spot and was part of the squad that made the 2008 UEFA Cup Final. However, Adam fell out of favour and went to Blackpool on loan where he finally settled down. Always keen to make piercing runs through his opponents’ defence, Adam is a big threat when supplied with quality final passes. Adam is also dangerous with his freekicks and he has scored some amazing goals with his trusty left foot. He is no doubt Blackpool’s most dangerous player and will be a player to watch out for.

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

39


bolton wanderers

40

Trotters To Erase Allardyce Memories

But as the years went on, Megson ran out of ideas and Coyle’s arrival signalled a new chapter for Bolton. The supporters will never quite have the days of Allardyce again, but with Coyle, Bolton have been transformed into a side that plays smooth, flowing football without the unsightly (yet effective) style of Allardyce’s management. A new era under Coyle has begun.

Nobody would have made a bigger impact than former manager Sam Allardyce did at Bolton. Having spent a good nine years at the club, he managed Bolton back to the Premier League where they stayed since and even qualified for the UEFA Cup for the first time in their history. Allardyce managed to convince a host of stars to ply their trade at the Reebok Stadium, with Fredi Bobic, Youri Djorkaeff, Kevin Nolan, Jay-Jay Okocha, Ivan Campo, Stelios Giannakopoulos and Nicolas Anelka all once members of the Trotters. Allardyce relied heavily on quick counter-attacks and a very robust tactic, which other managers found difficulty in breaking them down. Allardyce had a huge part to play when it comes to Bolton’s successes. His departure from the club ultimately left the biggest hole in the Bolton’s game, with successors Sammy Lee and Gary Megson unable to replicate what Big Sam has managed to achieve. Perhaps, it was harsh on Megson, for he brought in good players following the sale of Nicolas Anelka to Chelsea and guided Bolton to survival and also the last sixteen of the UEFA Cup.

Last Season

It was a season to forget for Bolton Wanderers as the Eastlands club started with only three wins from their opening 18 fixtures. Bolton languished heavily at the bottom of the table for most of the season and the dismal results were blamed on manager Gary Megson’s poor tactics and negative football. Bolton sacked Megson in December and appointed Owen Coyle as manager in early January. With no new players signed during the January transfer window, Coyle transformed the club around, using Megson’s summer signings to good effect. Coyle instructed a good flow of passing and a more attacking style to Bolton’s game. While Bolton did give Wigan a good 4-0 thumping, they suffered five embarrassing 4-0 losses in the whole season. Many supporters feel that Bolton’s problems lie in the defence. The likes of Ivan Klasnic and Lee Chung-Yong were impressive when they played but Bolton leaked in too many goals due to lack of concentration and plenty of mistakes. Even then, Coyle managed to steer Bolton to survival, finishing 14th on the table with 39 points and it is certain that Bolton will be a better team this season than the last.

bolton 2009/2010 stats P

W

D

L

F

Home Record

19

6

Away Record

19

4

Overall Record

38

10

A

GD

Pts

6

7

26 31

3

12

-5

24

16 36 -20

9

19

42 67 -25

15 39

Performance

Manager Profile Name: Owen Coyle DOB: 14 July 1966 Place of Birth: Paisley, Scotland Honours: Burnley – Championship Playoff Winner 2008/09

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

Average Attendance

21880

Biggest Home Win

4-0 Wigan Athletic

Biggest Away Win

Portsmouth 2-3

Heaviest Home Defeat

0-4 Chelsea, Manchester United

Heaviest Away Defeat

Aston Villa 5-1

Highest Aggregate

Aston Villa 5-1, 3-3 Manchester City, Arsenal 4-2

Scoring & Conceding

No.

Rank

Goals For

42

11

Average Goals For

1.1

X

Goals Against

67

16

Average Goals Against

1.76

X


star PLaYErs Did You Know?

Bolton Wanderers are called ‘The Trotters’ because a former ground was near a pig farm, and stray balls would keep ending up in the pig pens!

Lee Chung-Yong

Gretar rafn steinsson

Squad Number: 27 Position: Midfielder Height: 1.80m Weight: 75 kg DOB: 2 July 1988 Place of Birth: Seoul, South Korea Nationality: South Korean

Squad Number: 15 Position: Defender Height: 1.89m Weight: 83 kg DOB: 9 January 1982 Place of Birth: Siglufjörður, Iceland Nationality: Icelandic

Profile: Lee Chung-Yong burst into the scene when he made a surprise switch from FC Seoul to Bolton last summer. Besides his hardworking attitude, the right winger has excellent ball sense and good skills, earning the praises of professional colleagues and especially from Manchester United’s Park Ji-Sung. Lee scored a famous winner for Bolton in a derby match against Burnley, a match which also saw manager Owen Coyle face his former side. Lee quickly became a crucial player on the wings although he has not been able to help Bolton win most of their games. Nevertheless, Lee managed four goals and three assists in 34 appearances for Bolton and is one of the regulars in the team. His performances have been consistently high in every match and it is certain that Coyle would be keen to keep hold of the South Korean midfielder as he prepares his charges for the season.

Profile: Gretar Rafn Steinsson is one of Premier League’s toughest defenders. Despite playing as a right-back in Iceland, Steinsson has deputised in central defence for Bolton where his presence has been immensed. The tall and hard defender is packed with an aggressive attitude and never shies away from a crunching challenge. Steinsson is also capable of popping up at the other end to score for his team. While he Icelandic national team captain is a rock in defence has not able to help Bolton much during the last two seasons. Even so, his contributions as an individual gives Bolton much needed strength and aerial power during set pieces at both ends and Steinsson is regarded as one of Coyle’s most important players in the coming season.

WHO Is HE? Martin Petrov D.O.B: 15 January 1979 Place of Birth: Vratsa, Bulgaria Height: 1.80m Position: Winger Previous Club: Manchester City Profile: Having made a name at Servette and Wolfsburg, Martin Petrov struggled at Atletico Madrid and left to join Manchester City in 2007. The left-footer winger has good speed and has a trusty left foot capable of shooting from distance. Despite his talents, Petrov’s outspoken character and aggressive style has often landed him into disciplinary problems. With new owners installed at Manchester City, Petrov found himself dropping down the pecking order for regular football. Disgusted by his situation at the club, Petrov launched a verbal war against former manager Mark Hughes when Roberto Mancini took over. Despite featuring regularly under the new boss, Petrov saw no future at the Manchester club and joined Bolton as soon as his contract expired in the summer.

sQUaD LIst Ádám Bogdán Nicky Hunt Jlloyd Samuel Paul Robinson Gary Cahill Fabrice Muamba Matthew Taylor Joey O’Brien Johan Elmander Mustapha Riga Ricardo Gardner Zat Knight Kevin Davies Grétar Steinsson Mark Davies Sam Ricketts Gavin McCann Tamir Cohen Jussi Jääskeläinen Sean Davis Danny Shittu Stuart Holden Lee Chung-Yong Mark Connolly Chris Basham Andy O’Brien Danny Ward Tope Obadeyi Martin Petrov Robbie Blake

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

41


chelsea 42

What Next For Chelsea?

Carlo Ancelotti marks his first season in charge of Chelsea with three trophies to his name, prompting supporters to question “What next?” Ancelotti managed to unleash the hidden powers of the team, transforming the club into a ruthless scoring machine that clearly sets the difference at the end of the season. But many feel that Chelsea have more to win and this season will invoke greater expectations on Ancelotti and his players. The Champions League continues to elude the Premier League champions although they came close in 2007/08. This must be the next biggest prize that Ancelotti is targeting, besides retaining the Premier League title this season. It is no secret therefore, that with victory in the Champions League final, mean two more Cups to be won – the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA World Club Cup. Apart from that, Chelsea can still add the Carling Cup to their collection although the bulk of this competition rests on the shoulders of Chelsea’s youngsters. The Carling Cup offers Chelsea’s second string (and youth players) muchneeded match experience as well as making sure every player is ready to step in to the first team when needed. Chelsea could also add the FA Community Shield to start their season with a bang. While it makes for good storytelling if Chelsea win all these trophies this year, the players might feel the strain of too many matches and their future could be in peril if their legs give way. As such, prioritisation of success is important to keep everyone related to Chelsea FC happy.

Last Season

Chelsea won the Premier League title in style although it seemed that the trophy was ‘handed’ to them by the generosity of Liverpool. But the Blues from London blew away all competition in the field, scoring a record-breaking 103 goals in the process. Chelsea were sweeping teams aside with huge victories. They smashed five goals past Blackburn, four past Bolton and Wolves, and secured a 1-0 victory over Manchester United and Arsenal. It was clear that Chelsea were above the competition last year. The players themselves were in fine form; Didier Drogba had 29 goals in the league and midfielder Frank Lampard went into double figures again with 22 goals. In the end, Chelsea travelled to a troubled Liverpool side where victory surely meant the title was won. People in the red half of Manchester felt Liverpool intentionally lost the game to Chelsea as it meant that the Merseyside club would protect their 18-league title English record. But Chelsea smashed eight goals in their final game which showed their complete domination at the end of the day. Football Weekly BPL 2010/11


CHelSea 2009/2010 Stats P

W

D

L

F

A

GD

Pts

Home Record

19

17

1

1

68 14

54

52

Away Record

19

10

4

5

35 18

17

34

Overall Record

38

27

5

6

103 32

71

86

43

Performance Average Attendance

41422

Biggest Home Win

8-0 Wigan Athletic

Biggest Away Win

Portsmouth 0-5

Heaviest Home Defeat

2-4 Manchester City

Heaviest Away Defeat

Wigan Athletic 3-1

Highest Aggregate

7-2 Sunderland

Scoring & Conceding

No.

Goals For

103

X

Average Goals For

2.71

X

Rank

Goals Against

32

X

Average Goals Against

0.84

X

Did You Know?

Chelsea has only ever had one stadium being Stamford Bridge where they have played since foundation. The stadium however, was not used for football until 1904.

Manager Profile Name: Carlo Ancelotti DOB: 10 June 1959 Place of Birth: Reggiolo, Italy Honours: Juventus – Intertoto Cup 1999 AC Milan – Serie A 2004; Coppa Italia 2003; Supercoppa Italiana 2004; UEFA Champions League 2003, 2007; UEFA Super Cup 2003, 2007; FIFA Club World Cup 2007 Chelsea – Premier League 2009/10; FA Cup 2010; Community Shield 2009 Football Weekly BPL 2010/11


STAR PLAYERS

Florent Malouda Squad Number: 15 Position: Midfielder Height: 1.76m Weight: 71 kg DOB: 13 June 1980 Place of Birth: Cayenne, French Guiana Nationality: French

44

Didier Drogba Squad Number: 11 Position: Forward Height: 1.89m Weight: 79 kg DOB: 11 March 1978 Place of Birth: Abidijan, Ivory Coast Nationality: Ivorian

Profile: Signing his first professional contract at the age of 21, Didier Drogba blossomed with signs of a predator in front of goal with Guingamp in Ligue 1. He moved to Marseille the following year with similar success, finishing as the third highest scorer in 2004. Drogba then moved to Chelsea for a record breaking fee and quickly excelled into one of the best strikers of the game. Drogba attained several records with the London club, including a series of top scorer awards and being the only player to score in six English Cup finals. Strong, powerful, talented and skilful, Drogba is a perfect striker. His control and balance are exquisite and armed with an eye for goal, Drogba is possibility the hardest striker to mark in the Premier League. Chelsea will rely heavily on Drogbaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s involvement this season if they are to win the Premier League two years in a row.

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

Profile: Tearing down the left wing for Chelsea, Florent Malouda silenced his critics following two good seasons where he performed exceptionally well. Skilful on the ball, Malouda teamed up with team mate Drogba at Guingamp where he caught the attention of French giants Lyon. Malouda established himself quickly on the left wing for Lyon and was also called up to the French national team. After four successful seasons with Lyon, Malouda finally moved to Chelsea but his adaptability to the English game took quite some time. It was not until his second and third year that Malouda showed why he was one of the best French wingers. Malouda relies on his good dribbling ability to trick his opponents. His ability to deliver killer crosses also makes him a dangerous player and he showed it with a total of 15 assists last season. Despite these, many still feel Malouda has yet to reach his full potential and more will be expected of the winger this season.


sQUAD LIsT

Michael Essien

John Terry

Franco Di santo

Squad Number: 5 Position: Midfielder Height: 1.78m Weight: 72 kg DOB: 3 December 1982 Place of Birth: Accra, Ghana Nationality: Ghanaian

Squad Number: 26 Position: Defender Height: 1.87m Weight: 76 kg DOB: 7 December 1980 Place of Birth: London, England Nationality: English

Squad Number: 9 Position: Forward Height: 1.93m Weight: 77 kg DOB: 7 April 1989 Place of Birth: Mendoza, Argentina Nationality: Argentine

WHO Is HE? Yossi Benayoun D.O.B: 5 May 1980 Place of Birth: Dimona, Israel Height: 1.78m Position: Midfielder Previous Club: Liverpool

Petr Cech Branislav Ivanovic Ashley Cole Michael Essien Ricardo Carvalho Frank Lampard Didier Drogba John Obi Mikel Florent Malouda José Bosingwa Yuri Zhirkov Paulo Ferreira Deco Salomon Kalou Ross Turnbull Daniel Sturridge Nemanja Matic John Terry Alex Nicolas Anelka Henrique Hilário Sam Hutchinson Jeffrey Bruma Gaël Kakuta Fabio Borini Jacopo Sala Jan Šebek Yossi Benayoun Franco Di Santo

Profile: A player who needs no introduction, Yossi Benayoun left Liverpool for Chelsea, whom many see Joe Cole most likely to leave as the reason for Benayoun’s arrival. Benayoun is a tricky player that many defenders hate to mark. Good control and footwork make Benayoun exceptional during his time at Liverpool and his ability to work his way into space could unlatch defences in an instant. Benayoun’s arrival to the English game was in 2005 when Benayoun signed for West Ham. Controversially, Benayoun joined Liverpool after agreeing a contract extension with The Hammers. But Benayoun spent most of his time as a supersub, making full appearances only when players are injured. This prompted Benayoun to make yet another move, this time to rivals Chelsea. Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

45


everton 46

Moyes Reckons Everton At Their Strongest

Everton boss David Moyes reckons he has now his strongest-ever squad at Goodison Park - but he will not make any bold pre-season predictions. The 47-year-old, who joined from Preston in March 2002, guided Everton to eighth place last season and has taken them to as high as fourth during his spell in charge. After Everton comfortably beat A-League newcomers Melbourne Heart 2-0 in a pre-season friendly at Etihad Stadium, Moyes expressed delight with the squad that will launch its season against Blackburn at Ewood Park on August 14. With a strong squad available at Moyesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; disposal, the manager has indicated that he is looking forward to having a season with the players and seeing how far they can progress. But Moyes refuse to have any firm ambitions for the upcoming season. Moyes is known to be not the sort who sets high goals and he prefers to take each game as it comes and see where the team will end up in the end. However, Moyesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; players do not share the same sentiments. They are ambitious and with the season about to begin, each and every one has got a great desire to do better than what Everton has done in the past. Indeed, it is looking good for the Merseyside Blues. Former Leeds striker Jermaine Beckford has performed brightly during pre-season, and Moyes believes the new recruit could do well with Everton by adding that little bit more firepower up front. And perhaps, Everton will finally find gold at the end of the rainbow this season and finish in the top four.

Last Season

It was a huge disappointment for Everton as they just failed to sneak into a European spot by two points. It was even less comforting to know that they finished below fierce rivals Liverpool. But Evertonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s season has not been convincing and they kicked off the campaign to a worst possible scenario, losing 6-1 to Arsenal at home. Despite losing to Liverpool in November, Everton fought out two respectable draws against Tottenham and Chelsea in December. They also drew 2-2 with Arsenal and beat Manchester City 2-0 in January. It looked as if the team was on a rebound as they continued to beat Chelsea and Manchester United in February. There were more mixed results for Everton and they hardly looked like eighth place in the end. With the form that Everton has during the second half of the season, this team could be invincible with the right additions to the squad this summer.

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11


eVerTon 2009/2010 Stats Home Record

P

W

D

L

F

A

GD

Pts

19

11

6

2

35 21

14

39

5

7

7

25 28

-3

22

16 13

9

60 49

11

61

Away Record

19

Overall Record

38

47

Performance Average Attendance

36725

Biggest Home Win

5-1 Hull City

Biggest Away Win

Manchester City 0-2

Heaviest Home Defeat

1-6 Arsenal

Heaviest Away Defeat

Manchester United 3-0

Highest Aggregate

1-6 Arsenal

Scoring & Conceding

No.

Goals For

60

X

Average Goals For

1.58

X

Goals Against

49

X

Average Goals Against

1.29

X

Did You Know?

Everton were once tenants at Anfield before neighbours Liverpool, from 1884 to 1891, before moving into Goodison Park.

Rank

Manager Profile Name: David Moyes DOB: 25 April 1963 Place of Birth: Bearsden, Scotland Honours: Preston North End â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Football League Second Division 1999/00

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11


STAR PLAYERS

Jermaine Beckford Squad Number: Position: Forward Height: 1.88m Weight: 76 kg DOB: 9 December 1983 Place of Birth: Ealing, London, England Nationality: English

48

Marouane Fellaini Squad Number: 25 Position: Midfielder Height: 1.94m Weight: 78 kg DOB: 22 November 1987 Place of Birth: Etterbeek, Belgium Nationality: Belgian

Profile: Famous for his afro hairstyle, Marouane Fellaini hails from Standard Liege where he started his professional career. A lanky player, Fellaini’s calm approach makes him an important passer of the ball. Fellaini signed for Everton in 2008, ending his first season winning Everton’s Young Player of the Season. Fellaini initially played a more attacking role at Everton but a drop of form saw him reverted to his favoured defensive midfielder role. There, he impressed heavily with match-winning performances and Moyes labelled him “as good as anyone in the league”. However, Fellaini got injured late in the season and was ruled out of action for six months. Fellaini is also good in the air with his head and has endless stamina which makes him a valuable asset in Everton. But Fellaini is prone to lack of concentration although he makes up with his awareness in midfield. Everton will have more midfield stability once Fellaini returns from his injury this season.

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

Profile: Jermaine Beckford shot to fame with his match-winning goal against Manchester United in the FA Cup third round last season. But Beckford was already a sensation at Leeds United, scoring over 70 times in 126 appearances for the club. He was also a top scorer prior to his Leeds United days, scoring 35 goals in 40 games for semi-pro club Wealdstone FC. Beckford handed a transfer request before the Manchester United game which was accepted by Leeds. Ultimately, Beckford chose to join Everton where he will spearhead the attack alongside Tim Cahill, possibly at the expense of Louis Saha. Beckford is tall, fast and while he is not the most skilful player, he makes up with his ability to score goals. He is quite possibly the most prolific scorer outside the Premier League and his first task will be to carry his goal scoring form to help Everton as they aim to make the top four spots this season.


SQUAD LIST

Tim Cahill Squad Number: 17 Position: Midfielder Height: 1.78m Weight: 70 kg DOB: 6 December 1979 Place of Birth: Sydney, Australia Nationality: Australian

Dimitar Bilyaletdinov Squad Number: 7 Position: Midfielder Height: 1.85m Weight: 74 kg DOB: 27 February 1985 Place of Birth: Moscow, Russia Nationality: Russian

WHO IS HE? Magaye Gueye D.O.B: 6 July 1990 Place of Birth: Nogent-sur-Marne, France Height: 1.79m Position: Forward Previous Club: RC Strasbourg

John Heitinga Squad Number: 5 Position: Defender Height: 1.80m Weight: 74 kg DOB: 15 November 1983 Place of Birth: Alphen aan den Rijn, Netherlands Nationality: Dutch

Jรกn Mucha Tony Hibbert Leighton Baines Joseph Yobo John Heitinga Phil Jagielka Diniyar Bilyaletdinov Louis Saha Mikel Arteta Iain Turner James Vaughan Sylvain Distin Jermaine Beckford Tim Cahill Phil Neville Magaye Gueye Steven Pienaar Leon Osman Yakubu Aiyegbeni Seamus Coleman Tim Howard Marouane Fellaini Jack Rodwell Victor Anichebe Joรฃo Silva Shane Duffy Kieran Agard Jose Baxter James Wallace Shkodran Mustafi Hope Akpan

Profile: A player for the future, Magaye Gueye began his professional career at RC Strasbourg in France. With his pace, he was easily one of the better players and quickly rose the ranks to join the senior team. Despite a severe injury, Gueye returned to score for Strasbourg but was immediately put out of the game due to another injury. Gueye signed for Everton in the summer, the main reason being to act as cover as a forward. Gueye will still need to work hard to prove himself in the Everton squad although he did impress during the pre-season friendlies. Gueye will be an excellent reinforcement for a team that seems bent on winning a trophy this season.

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

49


fulham 50

Fulham Ready For A New Start

A whole new season to look forward to, a new boss, no European football, lack of fresh and solid players –sounds like Al-Fayed has a tough job on his hands. The players are right behind the club’s objectives and they will be keen to erase their previous season and embark on a new adventure this term. Fulham will be ready for a new beginning.

Last Season

After an exciting season for Fulham, there have been fears that the Cottagers would enter a decline following their Europa League near-miss. While Fulham are still considered outsiders for the league, their first task would be to secure a new manager who can create the same impact as Roy Hodgson did. It was largely due to Hodgson that Fulham found success on the field. His seemingly passive mentality and an attitude that is always accompanied by a smile created little enemies. And from there on, it’s always just about the football. The players look up to him as a father, and hardly their gaffer. But now, they have to make a brand new start. Fulham’s chairman Mohamed Al-Fayed set out a new agenda almost immediately, which is not entirely new - to qualify for European football. The success of last season gave the players and supporters a taste of what Fulham can achieve and it is not a secret to say that such success fuels both players and supporters on and off the field. However, to do so requires a huge effort to find a capable boss and to bring in the right players for the job.

Fairytale or not, Fulham created most of the headlines last season to save the pride of England. The Cottagers became the only English club in a major European final (Europa League) and lost unfortunately to an extra-time goal by Diego Forlan of Atletico Madrid. But while Fulham stormed to famous victories over Juventus, Wolfsburg and Hamburg in Europe, they were making all the wrong headlines in England. With an increase in the number of fixtures due to their Europa League commitments, the players were unable to keep up the momentum in the league. Too many draws and losses prevented Fulham from moving up the table. Yet, there were memorable wins for Fulham in the Premier League, including a 3-1 victory over Liverpool and a 3-0 home win against Manchester United. 2009/10 also saw the return of form to forward Bobby Zamora. The England striker rediscovered his touch to become the club’s top scorer with 14 goals overall. His goals against Liverpool, Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk and Juventus helped Fulham to victories over their more famous counterparts and created a piece of history for the club.

fulham 2009/2010 Stats P

W

D

L

Home Record

19

11

3

Away Record

19

1

7

Overall Record

38

12 10

16

F

A

GD

Pts

5

27 15

12

36

11

12 31 -19

10

39 46

46

-7

Performance Average Attendance

23909

Biggest Home Win

3-0 Blackburn Rovers, Manchester United, Burnley

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

Biggest Away Win

Portsmouth 0-1

Heaviest Home Defeat

0-2 Chelsea, Aston Villa

Heaviest Away Defeat

Arsenal 4-0

Highest Aggregate

Stoke City 3-2, 3-2 West Ham

Scoring & Conceding

No.

Goals For

39

X

Average Goals For

1.03

X

Goals Against

46

X

Average Goals Against

1.21

X

Rank


STar PLaYErS Did You Know?

Fulham’s mascot Billy the Badger was sent off during a home game against Aston Villa on Sunday 3 February 2008, for breakdancing in the corner of the pitch.

Clint Dempsey

Brede Hangeland

Squad Number: 23 Position: Midfielder Height: 1.85m Weight: 76 kg DOB: 9 March 1983 Place of Birth: Texas, USA Nationality: American

Squad Number: 5 Position: Defender Height: 1.94m Weight: 84 kg DOB: 20 June 1981 Place of Birth: Houston, United States Nationality: Norwegian

Profile: As a regular goal scorer, Clint Dempsey is a gem at

Profile: Brede Hangeland is your no-nonsense type of

Fulham. His skills are top notch and he possesses excellent awareness and vision, making him a natural predator in midfield. What strikes him out against other midfielders is his technical ability, making him a naturally gifted player. Dempsey shone for USA in the Confederation’s Cup and the recent World Cup as he links the plays between midfield and attack. Dempsey joined Fulham in 2007 and did not create much impact initially. However, he soon won the supporters over with his skills and brilliant goals as he began to find his foot in English football. Dempsey is perhaps the next better footballer in America behind Landon Donovan and has even created a few records by becoming the first American to appear in a major European final and only the second American to score in more than one World Cup with his equalizer goal against England at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

WHO IS HE? Jonathan Greening D.O.B: 2 January 1979 Place of Birth: Scarborough, England Height: 1.80m Position: Midfielder Previous Club: West Bromwich Albion Profile: Hardly anyone will remember Jonathan Greening as a young man in Manchester United’s colours but those four years made him the battler he is today. Starting his career at York City, Greening spent most of his time on the bench at United and moved to Middlesborough to rejoin former Manchester United assistant manager Steve McLaren. He eventually moved to West Brom and quickly established himself in the Baggies’ midfield. After a successful loan spell with Fulham after he handed in a transfer request at West Brom, Greening found the Cottagers’ style of football suited him. The hardworking midfielder makes life tough for his opponents in midfield while his team mates sweep up the loose balls. As such, Greening is often overlooked for the other players with more technical ability and flair, as he seems content to live as the unsung hero at Fulham.

SQUaD LIST

defender who displays plenty of courage and strength. His height gave him an advantage in the air but Hangeland possesses ground techniques many defenders would love to have. The captain of the Norwegian national team was born in the United States but began his senior career with Viking in Norway before joining Denmark’s Copenhagen. Hangeland has a huge impact at central defence because of his strength and height. His dominance in the air made him a tough man to beat and also allowed him to score a few goals in his career. Despite being linked with a move to Arsenal, Hangeland indicated he was happy at Fulham and his outstanding performances in 2008/09 rewarded him with a long term contract to remain at Craven Cottage until the summer of 2013. The rock will once again be called upon this season as Fulham aims to get back into European football next season.

Mark Schwarzer David Stockdale Pascal Zuberbühler Stephen Kelly Paul Konchesky John Pantsil Brede Hangeland Chris Baird Philippe Senderos Aaron Hughes Toni Kallio Fredrik Stoor Zoltán Gera Danny Murphy Dickson Etuhu Damien Duff Bjørn Helge Riise Jonathan Greening Simon Davies Kagisho Dikgacoi Clint Dempsey Andy Johnson Eddie Johnson Diomansy Kamara Bobby Zamora David Elm

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

51


LIVERPOOL

52

Reds Must Write Their Future

As one of the biggest clubs in English football, Liverpool FC is rich in history and tradition. Despite their dominance in the domestic league back in their hay days, Liverpool have not won a single Premier League title since the 1989/90 season. Liverpool FC’s failure to capture a 19th league title has been attributed to a poor managed team when Graeme Souness was in charge. In fact, for the three years that Souness managed, Liverpool have only a FA Cup trophy to account for. Poor tactics, ill-judged transfer dealings and poor man management meant that Liverpool finished sixth on two occasions. Subsequent managers like Roy Evans, Gerard Houllier and Rafa Benitez have all stepped in to turn the club’s fortunes around but all of them failed to bring the Premier League trophy back to Liverpool. Houllier did deliver the cup treble when Liverpool won the League Cup, the FA Cup and the UEFA Cup. When Benitez took over in 2004, he quickly set about making changes to the team and in his first season in charge, Liverpool won the UEFA Champions League after a dramatic final against AC Milan. But Benitez could not win the Premier League although Liverpool came close in 2008/09 season when the team finished second place, behind Manchester United. Liverpool were also in financial trouble when their American owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, acquired the club and incurred debts along the way. The lack of transfer funds meant that Liverpool were not competitive in the transfer market although Benitez managed to sign Fernando Torres from Atletico Madrid in 2007.

Last Season

Despite the optimism after a good 2008/09 season, Liverpool started their new campaign with a loss at White Hart Lane where they lost 2-1 to Tottenham. By the end of October, Liverpool had already lost five games and all hopes of a 19th title perished when Torres spent most of the season on the treatment table. Liverpool conceded one of the strangest goals in the history of the club when Sunderland’s Darren Bent fired a low shot that deflected off a beach ball and went into the back of the net. The goal was allowed to stand and Liverpool lost 1-0 in that game. In the end, Liverpool could only managed a seventh place finish where they will compete in the UEFA Europa League next season. There were huge rumours about Torres and Steven Gerrard leaving Liverpool after a disappointing season coupled with huge financial debts meant that the club will have to sell players.

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11


Liverpool 2009/2010 Stats P

W

D

L

F

A

GD

Pts

Home Record

19

13

3

3

43 15

28

42

Away Record

19

5

6

8

18 20

-2

21

Overall Record

38

18

9

11

61 35

26

63

53

Performance Average Attendance

42863

Biggest Home Win

6-1 Hull City

Biggest Away Win

Burnley 0-4

Heaviest Home Defeat

0-2 Chelsea

Heaviest Away Defeat

Fulham 3-1

Highest Aggregate

6-1 Hull City

Scoring & Conceding

No.

Rank

Goals For

61

6

Average Goals For

1.6

6

Goals Against

35

3

Average Goals Against

0.92

3

Did You Know?

Liverpool’s anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone” is also adopted by six other clubs – Celtic FC, Feyenoord, FC Twente, Club Brugge, Borussia Dortmund and FC Tokyo.

ManagER PROfILE

Name: Roy Hodgson DOB: 9 August 1947 Place of Birth: Croydon, England Honours: Halmstads - Allsvenskan 1976, 1979 Malmo FF - Allsvenskan 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989; Svenska Cupen 1985/86, 1988/89 Copenhagen - Danish Superliga 2000/01; Danish Super Cup 2001

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11


STAR PLAYERS

Fernando Torres Squad Number: 9 Position: Forward Height: 1.85m Weight: 78 kg DOB: 20 March 1984 Place of Birth: Madrid, Spain Nationality: Spanish

54

Steven Gerrard Squad Number: 8 Position: Midfield Height: 1.83m Weight: 83 kg DOB: 30 May 1980 Place of Birth: Whiston, England Nationality: English

Profile: Liverpool’s captain Steven Gerrard will be eager to erase memories of the previous season as he continues to guide the club to Premiership success. The midfielder has carried Liverpool on his shoulders with some spectacular long range goals but his patience appeared to be wearing thin after a disappointing 2009/10 season. Having spent his entire career at Anfield, Gerrard has won a host of medals including two FA Cup wins, two League Cup wins, a UEFA Cup win and a UEFA Champions League win in 2005 with Liverpool. However, the Premier League medal continues to elude the midfielder. Despite rumours suggesting Gerrard will throw in the towel and call it quits after the World Cup, the player himself seems determined to stay and achieve Premiership success with Liverpool. If Liverpool are to win their 19th title this season, it will all come down to the form of Gerrard and his partnership with team mate Fernando Torres.

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

Profile: The man simply known as ‘El Nino’ is one Liverpool’s best signings since Sami Hyypia arrived at Anfield. Fernando Torres is easily one of the world’s best strikers, and his amazing goals record at Liverpool is astonishing. Having played 79 games for Liverpool, Torres has smashed in 56 goals and in doing so, has broken several records along the way. Although a series of injuries have kept Torres out for much of last season, the Spanish forward is still Liverpool’s top goalscorer with 18 goals in 22 league appearances. Like Gerrard, Fernando Torres has been speculated to leave Liverpool after a disappointing previous season which saw the club finish seventh and out of the UEFA Champions League this season. While Torres seems certain to have at least one more try with Liverpool, he has refused to commit his long term future at Anfield.


SQUAD LIST

Jamie Carragher

Dirk Kuyt

Javier Mascherano

Squad Number: 23 Position: Central Defender Height: 1.85m Weight: 83 kg DOB: 28 January 1978 Place of Birth: Bootle, Liverpool, England Nationality: English

Squad Number: 18 Position: Forward Height: 1.84m Weight: 83 kg DOB: 22 July 1980 Place of Birth: Katwijk, Netherlands Nationality: Dutch

Squad Number: 20 Position: Midfield Height: 1.74m Weight: 84 kg DOB: 8 June 1984 Place of Birth: San Lorenzo, Argentina Nationality: Argentinean

WHO IS HE? Milan Jovanovic D.O.B: 18 April 1981 Place of Birth: Cacak, SFR Yugoslavia Height: 1.83m Position: Forward Previous Club: Standard Liege Profile: Milan Jovanovic spent most of his early career with Shakhtar Donetsk and Lokomotiv Moscow before making the move to Belgium’s Standard Liege. Over there, Jovanovic quickly established himself with 52 goals in 112 appearances over four seasons. In February 2010, Jovanovic announced a pre-contract agreement with Liverpool and joined the Reds at the start of July on a free transfer. Jovanovic is quick and agile on the ball, earning him the nickname of “The Serbian Snake”. His arrival at the Liverpool could be the key to freeing Gerrard to a more central midfielder role and also ease the goalscoring burden on Torres.

Diego Cavalieri Glen Johnson Alberto Aquilani Daniel Agger Steven Gerrard Fernando Torres Albert Riera Sotirios Kyrgiakos Maxi Rodríguez Dirk Kuyt Ryan Babel Javier Mascherano Lucas Emiliano Insúa Jamie Carragher David N’Gog Pepe Reina Jay Spearing Philipp Degen Damien Plessis Krisztián Németh Charles Itandje Nabil El Zhar Stephen Darby Martin Kelly Steve Irwin Martin Škrtel Nathan Eccleston Daniel Ayala Martin Hansen Péter Gulácsi Dean Bouzanis Alex Kacaniklic David Amoo Daniel Pacheco Gerardo Bruna Jack Robinson Jonjo Shelvey Milan Jovanovic Joe Cole Danny Wilson

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

55


manchester city

56

Mancini Supports Summer Spending

Possibly the world’s richest club, Manchester City has been linked to a host of names as Roberto Mancini goes on a shopping spree with his blank cheque book, courtesy of the Abu Dhabi United Group. With players like David Silva, Aleksandar Kolarov and Yaya Toure making their way to the City of Manchester, tongues are beginning to wag at the prospect of Premier League champions, an honour City’s rivals United are so proud of. But many people in the field are starting to question Manchester City’s transfer policy and they seem upset that it make hinder the path for the Academy players. But Mancini is quick to defend his summer spree, claiming that investment is imperative if silverare is to be secured, and claims the best youngsters still have a route into his first-team plans. But for now, everyone at the club sees these changes as much-needed improvements as Mancini continues to tinker his side for the new season. It has been proven that with good spending on good players, success will be attained and likewise for Mancini, quality signings like Silva and Toure will only push the team’s standards higher. While it may seem unfair for the players still working their way up the ranks, it has come to the point where immediate success is the only result acceptable. For Mancini, the job is tough but he is on the right track to turning Manchester City into the next ‘Manchester United’. Whether the Sky Blues will dominate the football scene for the next decade remains to be seen.

Last Season

Manchester City fell short of expectations last season although they looked much stronger than ever. City were only just ousted out of the fourth spot by Tottenham but all eyes were on the boys in sky blue ever since they became one of the richest clubs in the world. Despite this, Manchester City struggled to beat their fiercest neighbours United. While it looks like the rebuilding is still not complete, many supporters start to question the stability of the team. City looked shaky against teams they should have comfortably beat but were outstanding against the stronger teams. City beat Arsenal 4-2 and also completed the double against Chelsea. Carlos Tevez chalked up 24 league goals with one of his biggest hauls since joining the Premier League. It remains to be seen if he will still be top scorer this season with all the new additions to the squad. It would be a good consolation if Manchester City can qualify for the Champions League next season, nevermind the Premier League title this season.

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11


Manchester City 2009/2010 Stats P

W

D

L

F

A

GD

Pts

Home Record

19

12

4

3

41 20

21

40

Away Record

19

6

9

4

32 25

7

27

Overall Record

38

18 13

7

73 45

28

67

57

Performance Average Attendance

45512

Biggest Home Win

5-1 Birmingham

Biggest Away Win

Burnley 1-6

Heaviest Home Defeat

0-2 Everton

Heaviest Away Defeat

Tottenham Hotspur 3-0

Highest Aggregate

Manchester United 4-3, 4-3

Sunderland, Burnley 1-6 Scoring & Conceding

No.

Goals For

73

Rank X

Average Goals For

1.92

X

Goals Against

45

X

Average Goals Against

1.18

X

Manager Profile Did You Know?

Manchester City were once relegated whilst defending their title. They did so whilst scoring more goals than any other club.

Name: Roberto Mancini DOB: 27 November 1964 Place of Birth: Jesi, Italy Honours: Fiorentina – Coppa Italia 2000/01; Lazio – Coppa Italia 2003/04; Inter Milan – Serie A 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08; Coppa Italia 2004/05, 2005/06; Supercoppa Italiana 2005, 2006

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11


manchester city PLayers

yaya toure Squad Number: Position: Midfielder Height: 1.91m Weight: 78 kg DOB: 13 May 1983 Place of Birth: Sekoura Bouake, Ivory Coast Nationality: Ivorian

58

Profile: Likened to former Real Madrid player Claude Makelele, Yaya Toure is a holding defensive midfielder signed from Barcelona. Toure will team up with his either brother Kolo Toure at Manchester City.

David silva Squad Number: 21 Position: Midfielder Height: 1.71m Weight: 62 kg DOB: 8 January 1986 Place of Birth: Arguineguin, Spain Nationality: Spanish

Profile: The midfielder that needs no introduction, David Silva spent six seasons with Valencia and was part of the Spanish team that recently won the World Cup in South Africa. Capable of playing on the wings as well as a supporting striker, Silva is a fantastic dribbler of the ball, which makes him a difficult player to handle. Silva is not known to be a goal scorer, his career best being eight goals last season as he helped Valencia to a third place and also a spot in this season’s Champions League. Silva is also physically weaker than most players and this may help gain an advantage in getting free kicks. Silva can also be quite selfish at times but he linked up well with David Villa last season, showing signs of being a great assist-maker. Manchester City will use Silva heavily on both wings as Mancini continues to strengthen his attack from last season.

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

Possessing good strength with exquisite touches on top of his excellent technique, Toure will be the perfect addition to the City’s midfield, allowing for more attacking options. Toure spent minimal time with clubs during his career with his three years at Barcelona being his longest “job”. But it was at Barcelona that Toure is hailed as one of the finest holding midfielders of the game. Hardly known to venture up the field, Yaya Toure has scored for all his previous clubs and it will be exciting to see how he can play in England. Toure also played for Ivory Coast during the World Cup but he did not excel in the tournament. The best of Toure has yet to be seen but we may just do this coming season.


sQUAD LIsT

Carlos Tevez

Adam Johnson

Nigel De Jong

Squad Number: 32 Position: Forward Height: 1.73m Weight: 65 kg DOB: 5 February 1984 Place of Birth: Buenos Aires, Argentina Nationality: Argentine

Squad Number: 11 Position: Midfielder Height: 1.80m Weight: 72 kg DOB: 14 July 1987 Place of Birth: Sunderland, England Nationality: English

Squad Number: 34 Position: Midfielder Height: 1.74m Weight: 68 kg DOB: 30 November 1984 Place of Birth: Amsterdam, Netherlands Nationality: Dutch

WHO Is HE? Aleksandar Kolarov D.O.B: 10 November 1985 Place of Birth: Belgrade, SFR Yugoslavia Height: 1.87m Position: Defender Previous Club: Lazio Profile: With a huge money transfer to Manchester City, Aleksandar Kolarov makes the move to the Premier League from Lazio. Always making surging runs down the left wing, the solid left back can quickly join the attack effectively. He also has a wonderful shot from distance, making him an exceptionally dangerous player if left unattended. Kolarov began his football in Serbia with Cukaricki Stankom before moving to OFK Beogard. It was his move to Lazio that propelled his career upwards. He quickly established himself in left back and dons the number 11 jersey, a number usually worn by attackers. Kolarov will add to City’s firepower upfront as well as providing support in defence on the left.

Shay Given Micah Richards Wayne Bridge Nedum Onuoha Pablo Zabaleta Michael Johnson Stephen Ireland Shaun WrightPhillips Adam Johnson Stuart Taylor Roque Santa Cruz Javier Garrido Jô Jérôme Boateng Gareth Barry Joleon Lescott Felipe Caicedo David Silva Patrick Vieira Emmanuel Adebayor David González Joe Hart Kolo Touré Kelvin Etuhu Shaleum Logan Carlos Tévez Vincent Kompany Nigel de Jong Javan Vidal Craig Bellamy Vladimír Weiss Yaya Touré Dedryck Boyata Greg Cunningham Abdisalam Ibrahim Alex Nimely

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

59


manchester United

60

Red Devils Need Reinforcements

Manchester United is England’s most well decorated club in the past two decades and quite rightly so, expectations are high every season. Despite the team playing well last season, they did not win the English Premier League, which according to United’s standards, is unacceptable. It is important therefore, that Sir Alex Ferguson steers his team back to winning ways quickly, before the consequences of failure becomes a ‘bad habit’. But with the World Cup just concluded, some of United’s players are still wearing the effects of a prolonged season and especially for golden boy Wayne Rooney, who could have felt the effects strongest as he did not finish the season due to an injury. And with new players in the fray, United could be given a lifeline in terms of replacements this season. Apart from Chris Smalling and Javier Hernandez, no other players have joined the club to date, which some supporters find worrying. But for veterans like Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, the situation does not worry them. In fact, the situation on hand shows that competition amongst players is stiff and promote a healthy attitude within the team. However, it is likely that if United are to impress the way Chelsea did last season, they will need more than just reinforcements. Wayne Rooney has been carrying the team for most of the past two seasons and will be expected to continue doing so this season. Fears of burn-out have been raised and while things have not gotten worrying at United, the backlash of such a situation could come to haunt them.

Last Season

It was a heartbreaking season for Manchester United supporters as they were so close to winning the Premier League only for Chelsea to snatch it away in the end. But in terms of results, the Red Devils fared pretty good but their two losses to Chelsea proved crucial in the end as it was the London club that lifted the title. United began their season on a losing note, suffering a 1-0 defeat away at Burnley. They stormed back with five victories on the trot, including a 2-1 win against Arsenal and a final gasp 4-3 victory against their City neighbours. They have hardly looked back then, but Chelsea stole a 2-1 win in April and they were subsequently knocked out of the Champions League. It was there that the title went to Chelsea’s advantage and a dull 0-0 draw with Blackburn gave them little chance of winning the title. Yet, United can take heart from some good performances from players who have taken quite a bit of stick in recent years. Even Scholes and Giggs were brilliant throughout the season, which Sir Alex would be proud of. United’s continual strive for success with be an aggressive approach this year.

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11


Manchester United 2009/2010 Stats P

W

D

L

Home Record

19

16

1

Away Record

19

11

3

Overall Record

38

27

4

F

A

GD

Pts

2

52 12

40

49

5

34 16

18

36

7

86 28

58

85

61

Performance Average Attendance

74864

Biggest Home Win

5-0 Wigan Athletic, Portsmouth

Biggest Away Win

Wigan Athletic 0-5

Heaviest Home Defeat

1-2 Chelsea

Heaviest Away Defeat

Fulham 3-0

Highest Aggregate

4-3 Manchester City

Scoring & Conceding

No.

Goals For

86

X

Average Goals For

2.26

X

Goals Against

28

X

Average Goals Against

0.74

X

Did You Know?

While their neighbours have never been relegated, Manchester United have spent several seasons in the lower divisions before Sir Matt Busby turned the club’s fortunes around.

Rank

Manager Profile Name: Sir Alex Ferguson DOB: 31 December 1941 Place of Birth: Glasgow, Scotland Honours: Aberdeen – Scottish Premier Division 1979/80, 1983/84, 1984/85; Scottish Cup 1981/82, 1982/83, 1983/84, 1985/86; Scottish League Cup 1985/86, UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup 1982/83, UEFA Super Cup 1983; Manchester United – Premier League 1992/93, 1993/94, 1995/96, 1996/97, 1998/99, 1999/00, 2000/01, 2002/03, 2006/07, 2008/08, 2008/09; FA Cup 1989/90, 1993/94, 1995/96, 1998/99, 2003/04; League Cup 1991/92, 2005/06, 2008/09, 2009/10; FA Charity/Community Shield 1990, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2007, 2008; UEFA Champions League 1998/99, 2007/08; UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup 1990/91; UEFA Super Cup 1991; Intercontinental Cup 1999; FIFA Club World Cup 2008 Football Weekly BPL 2010/11


manchester United PLaYers

Park Ji-sung Squad Number: 13 Position: Midfielder Height: 1.75m Weight: 64 kg DOB: 25 February 1981 Place of Birth: Seoul, South Korea Nationality: South Korean

62

Wayne rooney Squad Number: 10 Position: Forward Height: 1.78m Weight: 68 kg DOB: 24 October 1985 Place of Birth: Croxteth, Liverpool, England Nationality: English

Profile: The heartbeat of the team last season, Wayne Rooney virtually carried the hopes of Manchester United all by himself. The Liverpoolborn player who began his professional career at Everton is the most hardworking player in the squad. His workrate is unquestionable and gives 110 percent in every match. Since arriving at Manchester United in 2004, Rooney’s career has been on an upward climb. He marked his debut with a hat-trick and it was his ability to carve out chances on his own that makes him special. Rooney is a fast and strong forward, but superbly skilled and always eager to try his luck on goal with great success. Despite suffering a serious ankle injury, Rooney strong character makes him impossible to be put down and he continued to play. With all expectations resting on the shoulders of this young man, Rooney will definitely be heavily involved if United are to become Premier League champions.

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

Profile: Park Ji-Sung is perhaps Manchester United’s unsung hero in the past few seasons. The quiet-bynature South Korean does not have the technique or speed of his team mates but puts his strength to good use to fend off bigger opponents. Park is outstanding when it comes to stamina although he usually does not finish all 90 minutes. Park played for Purple Sanga in the J-League before moving to PSV Eindhoven. Despite struggling due to injuries, Park quickly became a regular player and caught the eye of United with his hardworking attitude and passing ability. Park left to join United in 2005 and through his experience in PSV, soon adapted quickly to the English game. Park’s consistency in his performances makes him a better player than most players and he was rewarded with a contract extension in September 2009. Usually operating on the flanks, Park will definitely be one of United’s danger men this season.


sQUAD LIsT

Antonio Valencia

Nemanja Vidic

Luis Nani

Squad Number: 25 Position: Midfielder Height: 1.81m Weight: 72 kg DOB: 4 August 1985 Place of Birth: Lago Agrio, Ecuador Nationality: Ecuadorian

Squad Number: 15 Position: Defender Height: 1.88m Weight: 75 kg DOB: 21 October 1981 Place of Birth: Titovo Uzice, SFR Yugoslavia Nationality: Serbian

Squad Number: 17 Position: Midfielder Height: 1.75m Weight: 63 kg DOB: 17 November 1986 Place of Birth: Praia, Cape Verde Nationality: Portugese

WHO Is HE? Javier Hernandez D.O.B: 1 June 1988 Place of Birth: Guadalajara, Mexico Height: 1.75m Position: Forward Previous Club: Guadalajara Profile: Considered one of the most exciting young footballers in recent years, Javier Hernandez was scouted by Manchester United two years ago, but the bid was held back due to his age. But Hernandez was soon made a United player after continued positive feedback on his progress in Mexico rushed contractual procedures. Fast and skilful, Hernandez likes to tease the defence with his trickery and dribbles. He has a knack of timing his runs well and often beats the offside traps to score goals. Hernandez is also a goal poacher and loves to take a shot from anywhere, with effective results. Manchester United will find Hernandez a different class from Rooney and Berbatov who can only improve their attacking options.

Edwin van der Sar Gary Neville Patrice Evra Owen Hargreaves Rio Ferdinand Wes Brown Michael Owen Anderson Dimitar Berbatov Wayne Rooney Ryan Giggs Park Ji-Sung Nemanja Vidić Michael Carrick Nani Paul Scholes Danny Welbeck Fábio Rafael John O’Shea Jonny Evans Darren Fletcher Antonio Valencia Gabriel Obertan Federico Macheda Darron Gibson Tomasz Kuszczak Ritchie De Laet Corry Evans Mame Biram Diouf Tom Cleverley Craig Cathcart Ben Amos Joshua King Magnus Wolff Eikrem Joe Dudgeon Oliver Gill Cameron Stewart Oliver Norwood Javier Hernández Chris Smalling

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

63


newcastle

64

their status in the top flight with no guarantee that it would be a success. It may seem like a different objective for Newcastle but everyone is certain of the task at hand; stay up with what we have got. The Magpies remain confident that if they can retain their top-flight status next season, they can rebuild slowly but sure. The days when the likes of Alan Shearer, David Ginola and Michael Owen were brought in are all but gone.

Magpies Rebuild On Low Budget

It was a scene of heartbreak and tears when the 2008/09 Premier League season ended. Newcastle supporters called it the hardest pill to swallow since 1992. Newcastle were relegated to the League Championship after 16 years at the top flight and it came as a huge surprise to the team who were only playing UEFA Cup football two years earlier. One year on and Newcastle have found their way back into the Premier League. Supporters fear that like all newly promoted clubs, Newcastle will struggle and fight relegation but there have been no such fears within the club. Indeed, the Magpies can bank on their years of experience in the Premier League to resist the trap of falling quickly into the relegation battle. Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has also refused to blow the bank and buy players. Funds for player transfers are to be generated by offloading players or rely on loan signings and Bosman free transfers. Besides announcing an operating loss over the last two years, the last thing Ashley needs is to fund a major operation to maintain

Last Season

2009/10 has been a year of recovery for Newcastle United. Having suffered relegation the previous season, Newcastle began the long and tedious challenge of winning promotion back into the Premier League. But it has been an easier task than expected for Newcastle as they went unbeaten at home and finished first with over 100 points. Newcastle had a slow start to the season but by the end of September, they were pretty much assured of finishing in the top three. They managed a 17-match unbeaten streak starting from mid-February and also managed a seven-game winning run that ultimately saw Newcastle clinch the Championship title. Newcastle also managed to retain the majority of their players and the stability within the team assured that Newcastle can concentrate solely on football. Newcastle also scored a total of 90 goals, with Kevin Nolan and Andrew Carroll contributing largely to those numbers as they finally moved back to the top flight.

newcastle 2009/2010 stats P

W

D

L

F

A

GD

Pts

Home Record

23

18

Away Record

23

12

5

0

56 13

43

59

7

4

34 22

12

Overall Record

46

30 12

43

4

90 35

55

102

Performance

Manager Profile Name: Chris Hughton DOB: 11 December 1958 Place of Birth: Stratford, England Honours: Newcastle United â&#x20AC;&#x201C; League Championship 2009/10

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

Average Attendance

43387

Biggest Home Win

6-1 Barnsley

Biggest Away Win

Ipswich Town 0-4

Heaviest Home Defeat

-

Heaviest Away Defeat

Derby County 3-0

Highest Aggregate

6-1 Barnsley

Scoring & Conceding

No.

Rank

Goals For

90

X

Average Goals For

1.96

X

Goals Against

35

X

Average Goals Against

0.76

X


star PLaYErs Did You Know?

Former Newcastle United defender Phillipe Albert wore the number 27 jersey because he signed for Newcastle on his 27th birthday.

Wayne routledge

Danny Guthrie

Squad Number: 10 Position: Midfielder Height: 1.70m Weight: 64 kg DOB: 7 January 1985 Place of Birth: Sidcup, London, England Nationality: English

Squad Number: 5 Position: Midfielder Height: 1.75m Weight: 68 kg DOB: 18 April 1987 Place of Birth: Shrewsbury, England Nationality: English

Profile: At just 25 years of age, Wayne Routledge has already

Profile: Danny Guthrie began his senior career at Liverpool

played for over eight clubs in the past 10 years. The young winger spent most of his time at Crystal Palace and Tottenham but he was more renown at Selhurst Park than he was at White Hart Lane. Failing to break into the Spurs senior team, Routledge was loaned out on a couple of occasions and eventually signed for Aston Villa. He could not succeed again at Villa, prompting Palace chairman Simon Jordan to criticise Routledge for not learning the trade before making the step up. Routledge eventually signed for Newcastle after flirting with a few more clubs. While he is quick and an excellent dribbler of the ball, Routledge tends to “disappear” from action during matches although he has been brilliant so far for Newcastle. It will be interesting to see how he lines up with his team mates in his first full season at Tyneside.

WHO Is HE? James Perch D.O.B: 28 September 1985 Place of Birth: Mansfield, England Height: 1.80m Position: Defender, Midfielder Previous Club: Nottingham Forest Profile: Clearly a utility man because of his ability to play across a number of positions, James Perch is a graduate from the Nottingham Forest youth academy. Perch started out as a striker before he was moved to right back as a cover. Perch was then moved to a central defender and has also gone on to play in a more defensive midfield role and also on both wings. Despite a good start at Nottingham Forest, he found himself on the bench following a number of key arrivals. Perch did help The Reds gain promotion to the Championship in 2008 but a heel injury ruled him out for most of last season. Perch will be the key man to cover a number of positions for Newcastle this term, notably in defence and midfield.

sQUaD LIst

but could hardly make the breakthrough in the first eleven. Guthrie was subsequently loaned out to Southampton and Bolton but only found his chance when Newcastle signed him in July 2008. Known to be a tough-tackling midfielder, Guthrie is also hardworking and creative in midfield. He is not the most flamboyant player but his good reading of the game makes him one of the better midfielders in Newcastle. Guthrie can get a little reckless in his challenges and has courted some disciplinary problems. It was not until two seasons ago that Guthrie began making regular appearances in midfield and besides impressing many with his work-rate, he also started to get in amongst the goals. Newcastle will again rely on Guthrie in central midfield which has proven successful last season in the Championship.

Steve Harper Fabricio Coloccini José Enrique Kevin Nolan Mike Williamson Joey Barton Danny Guthrie Wayne Routledge Peter Løvenkrands Danny Simpson James Perch Ryan Taylor Alan Smith Jonás Gutiérrez Xisco Leon Best Shola Ameobi Andy Carroll Kazenga LuaLua Tim Krul Steven Taylor Tamás Kádár Fabio Zamblera Nile Ranger Ole Söderberg Fraser Forster Ben Tozer Shane Ferguson Ryan Donaldson James Tavernier Haris Vuckic Bradden Inman Stephen Folan

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

65


stoke city

66

be made to make sure Stoke do not become a mid-table dweller in years to come. As the dressing room awaits news of players who might be offloaded, it is certain that Pulis means business. Players like Dave Kitson can be expected to leave and to align the players with new club objectives, Pulis will be working hard to bring in the right players for the job.

Pulis To Iron Out Potters

There have been reports of unrest within the Potters’ dressing room and manager Tony Pulis has assured that there will be changes made to offload “selfish” players during the summer. Unwanted reports of a bust-up with striker James Beattie and heavy criticism by forward Dave Kitson gave Pulis no choice but to iron out his side. While Pulis blames a few individuals in the squad for these incidents, no names have been given and Pulis is already targeting Premiership status for the long term. In only just their second season in the Premier League, they have survived with seemingly impressive results but it is now time for the club to step up and fight for glory. Still regarded as the underdogs in the Premier League, Pulis is keen to erase all traces of unrest within the team and also bring in a few fresh faces for the new season. While Pulis confirms that the highs of reaching the Premier League is all but over, it is imminent that changes must

Last Season

The inconsistency in Stoke City’s results proved costly as the Potters failed to break into the top 10. Too many draws were littered throughout the season although draws against Aston Villa, Manchester City and Liverpool seemed respectable results. The supporters feel that the the club has the talents to fight for a top six finish instead of just Premier League survival. Stoke’s season was also marred by a horrific incident involving Ryan Shawcross and Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey. A reckless challenge from the Potters’ youngster broke the leg of the Arsenal player and although Shawcross was sent off, he was clearly distraughted and left the field in tears. But Stoke boss Tony Pulis can take heart from the spirited displays from his players. Stoke’s defeat of Arsenal and Manchester City in the FA Cup gave a glimpse of what the club can achieve but they will need to be more consistent this season if they want to break into the top half of the table.

stoke city 2009/2010 stats P

W

D

L

F

A

GD

Pts

Home Record

19

7

6

6

24 31

Away Record

19

4

8

7

10 27 -17

3

27 20

Overall Record

38

11 14

13

34 48 -14

47

Performance Average Attendance

27162

Biggest Home Win

3-0 Blackburn Rovers

Biggest Away Win

Portsmouth 1-2

Heaviest Home Defeat

1-3 Arsenal

Heaviest Away Defeat

Chelsea 7-0

Highest Aggregate

Chelsea 7-0

Manager Profile

Scoring & Conceding

No.

Goals For

34

X

Name: Anthony Pulis DOB: 16 January 1958 Place of Birth: Newport, Wales Honours: -

Average Goals For

0.89

X

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

Rank

Goals Against

48

X

Average Goals Against

1.26

X


star PLaYErs Did You Know?

Every ball boy at the Britannia Stadium carries an additional towel for Rory Delap to clean the ball for his long throw-ins.

rory Delap

Matthew Etherington

Squad Number: 24 Position: Midfielder Height: 1.83m Weight: 76 kg DOB: 6 July 1976 Place of Birth: Sutton Coldfield, England Nationality: Irish

Squad Number: 26 Position: Midfielder Height: 1.78m Weight: 76 kg DOB: 14 August 1981 Place of Birth: Truro, Cornwall, England Nationality: English

Profile: One of the most prominent figures in Stoke City, Rory

Profile: Naturally skilled and fast, Etherington plies his trade

Delap is known for his long throw-ins more than anything else. Known as the “Delap Special”, Delap has assisted a number of goals with his throw-ins straight into the penalty box. However, it was not his choice of weapon until he joined Stoke City. Having played for Derby, Southampton and Sunderland, Delap works harder than most midfielders to obtain regular first team football. Delap has also been involved in certain controversial incidents, including being a hero and a villain in Derby’s match against Bradford, breaking his nose against Fulham and suffering a 10-month shutout from football due to an injury. A battler by nature, Delap makes up for his lack of skills with 110 percent effort in every game he plays. Delap is not a regular goal scorer but he has scored some spectacular goals in his career, including an overhead kick that won the game for Southampton against Tottenham.

down the left wing for the Potters. Having spent the early years of his career with Peterborough and Tottenham, Etherington only managed to settle down at West Ham. Starting regularly in midfield, Etherington played over 190 games for the Hammers and scored 18 goals in all competition before being sold to Stoke City following an influx of younger players. Last season, Stoke City prospered under the assists from Etherington and was named Stoke’s Player of the Year Award. Known to prefer having the ball at his feet, Etherington likes to create spaces with his dribbles before laying the final ball to his team mates. With his energetic displays, Etherington has since made the left wing entirely his own.

WHO Is HE? ricardo Fuller D.O.B: 31 October 1979 Place of Birth: Jamaica Height: 1.91m Position: Forward Previous Club: Southampton Profile: The 30-year old Ricardo Fuller is Stoke City’s main source of goals. Regularly in the double figures for goals, Fuller fell short of that last season as he was be used sparingly in the league but he did come on as a substitute to great effect on most occasions. Fuller helped Stoke City to victory over Arsenal in the FA Cup in 2010 when he scored twice. Fuller is a tall and strong player who often gets in the thick of action. While he may be good with his head, he has been described as woeful with his shooting. Yet, Fuller relies on excellent reading and positioning to tap on for his goals. Fuller does have disciplinary issues on and off the field as he has been arrested before on suspicion of driving offences and assault as well as violent conduct during matches.

sQUaD LIst Danny Higginbotham Robert Huth Glenn Whelan Liam Lawrence Tom Soares James Beattie Ricardo Fuller Mamady Sidibe Dave Kitson Danny Pugh Salif Diao Ibrahima Sonko Ryan Shawcross Dean Whitehead Tuncay Þanlý Andrew Davies Danny Collins Michael Tonge Rory Delap Abdoulaye Faye Matthew Etherington Asmir Begovic Andy Wilkinson Thomas Sørensen Ryan Shotton Carl Dickinson Ben Marshall Matthew Lund Danzelle St Louis-Hamilton Louis Moult Dave Parton Carlo Nash Florent Curelier

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

67


sunderland

68

Bruce Targets Top Eight Finish

won two away games during the whole of last season. While the first thing Bruce has got to do is eradicate the horrible inconsistency where Sunderland can be superb at home and very, very poor away, everybody at the Stadium of Light will be striving for overall improvements towards the end of the season, and hopefully result in a better away record for Sunderland.

Last Season

Steve Bruce has his sights set on taking Sunderland into the top eight of the Premier League next season. The Black Cats are preparing for their fourth consecutive season back in the top flight, with Bruce guiding the Black Cats to 13th position after taking over at the Stadium of Light in June 2009. The former Manchester United defender sees his target as a ‘challenge’ for the club and is under no illusions about the task ahead. As a club, Sunderland are still playing catch up compared to where they have been in the leagues and where they want to be. But Bruce hopes that Sunderland have cleared one of the biggest hurdles now in that people see them as a genuine Premier League club. Hopefully by the end of next season, that will be a question that will not even be put anymore. If Sunderland stay up next season, it will be their fifth consecutive season and there will be no question Sunderland will be a Premier League club at that stage. However, the 49-year-old former Birmingham boss is hoping that Sunderland will make a noticeable improvement on their travels after the club only

Woeful away but great at home, Sunderland fell below their own expectations in terms of where they finished. The Black Cats recorded some favourable victories at the Stadium of Light, beating the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham on home turf but were humiliated on their travels with scorelines of 7-2 to Chelsea and 2-1 to Wolves. Yet, despite their inconsistent results, one player was in good form whole season for Sunderland. Darren Bent managed a total of 24 goals for the club, a figure that is more than double the goals scored by second place Kenwyne Jones who had nine goals. The fact that Bent was doing the scoring alone, coupled with a leaky defence, contributed to their final position in the league – a mere 13th. A poor season nonetheless, but a fruitful one for Darren Bent. However, it was not enough for a top ten finish and manager Steve Bruce would have noticed the gaps in his squad during the season and he will be keen to make amends this summer with some new players for the challenge.

sunderland 2009/2010 stats P

W

D

L

F

A

GD

Pts

Home Record

19

9

Away Record

19

2

7

3

32 19

13

34

4

13

16 37 -21

Overall Record

38

10

11 11

16

48 56

44

-8

Performance Average Attendance

40355

Biggest Home Win

4-0 Bolton Wanderers

Biggest Away Win

Bolton Wanderers, Hull City 0-1

Heaviest Home Defeat

1-3 Chelsea

Heaviest Away Defeat

Chelsea 7-2

Highest Aggregate

Chelsea 7-2

Manager Profile

Scoring & Conceding

No.

Goals For

48

X

Name: Stephen Bruce DOB: 31 December 1960 Place of Birth: Corbridge, Northumberland, England Honours: -

Average Goals For

1.26

X

Goals Against

56

X

Average Goals Against

1.47

X

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

Rank


sTar PLaYErs Did You Know?

In a match against Bradford City in 1998/99, former Sunderland striker Niall Quinn scored a goal, then put on his gloves and went in goal after goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen got injured.

Darren Bent

Kieran richardson

Squad Number: 11 Position: Forward Height: 1.80m Weight: 75 kg DOB: 6 February 1984 Place of Birth: Cambridge, England Nationality: English

Squad Number: 10 Position: Midfielder Height: 1.73m Weight: 72 kg DOB: 21 October 1984 Place of Birth: Greenwich, England Nationality: English

Profile: A controversial person by nature, Darren Bent had a

Profile: Kieran Richardson had a hard time breaking through

splendid time at Charlton Athletic. He achieved many personal accolades at Charlton but after the club was relegated, Bent was sold to Tottenham, where he struggled to find form. Bent was often criticised for failing to find the net on numerous occasions and subsequently tried to leave the club. When his transfer move to Sunderland was delayed, Bent went on social networking application Twitter to accuse chairman Daniel Levy of disrupting the move. The deal eventually went through and Bent became a revelation at the Stadium of Light, scoring 24 goals in his first season. Darren Bent is a strong player with an eye for goal. However, Bent has often been blamed for being too selfish and trying to score when it seems easier to pass. Nevertheless, Bent clinical shooting makes him one of the strikers with a better goals-to-shots ratio.

WHO Is HE? Cristian riveros D.O.B: 16 October 1982 Place of Birth: Saldivar, Paraguay Height: 1.79m Position: Midfielder Previous Club: Cruz Azul Profile: One of the gifted stars of Paraguay, Cristian Riveros is an all-rounder in midfield and often used to man-mark oppositions. Steve Bruce is a big fan of Riveros and the Paraguayan impressed during the World Cup with his dedication and energy to his game. Despite being a hard player, Riveros has good balance on the ball and can play well as a team. Riveros is well-known for his time at Libertad and Cruz Azul where he shone as a player. Having won the Paraguayan Primera Division with Libertad, Riveros now takes a huge step in his career with a move to Sunderland, paying exceptional thanks to defender Paulo da Silva who also plays at Sunderland. Riveros will add much needed bite in midfield as Bruce continues to bolster the defensive side of his team.

sQUaD LIsT

the ranks of Manchester United during his younger days despite being hailed by Sir Alex Ferguson as the ‘new Ryan Giggs’. Ultimately, Richardson failed to live up to expectations and Steve Bruce stepped in to sign the midfielder. At Sunderland, Richardson found it easier to adjust and started regularly in games. Although Richardson suffered a few injuries that hampered his Sunderland start, he soon featured on the left wing and central midfield. The versatile Richardson has also started as a left-back for Sunderland. Fast and aggressive, Richardson does not back down from a challenge. Although he is quick, he has often lost out on size when taking on larger opponents. Still, Richardson likes to use his pace to outwit his opponents and leave them in the dust.

Craig Gordon Phil Bardsley George McCartney Michael Turner Anton Ferdinand Boudewijn Zenden Steed Malbranque Fraizer Campbell Kieran Richardson Darren Bent Daryl Murphy Liam Noble Jordan Henderson Kenwyne Jones David Meyler Andy Reid Paulo da Silva David Healy Trevor Carson Adam Reed Matthew Kilgallon Jack Colback Ryan Noble Márton Fülöp Michael Liddle Lee Cattermole Ahmed AlMuhammadi Simon Mignolet Jean-Yves M’voto Cristian Riveros Teemu Tainio Martyn Waghorn

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

69


tottenham hotspur

70

Harry Is Tottenhamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hope

While Tottenham completes one of its finest seasons in recent years, Harry Redknapp has gone straight to the drawing board and highlighted the need to keep going forward if Spurs are to stay at the top. Under Redknappâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s management, the players have learnt the importance of discipline and teamwork. And the players are raring to go for another season with him. Despite sending Robbie Keane out on loan to Celtic which seemed like a harsh punishment for being involved in late-night partying under strict orders, Redknapp is never one to bear grudges although he expects players to observe club rules all the time. Such is the benevolence of the gaffer that his players are willing to put in 100 percent every time they step on the field. As Redknapp ponders over additions to his team, it is likely that he will prefer to use his on-loan players who have gained massive amounts of playing time away from Spurs. Robbie Keane would have spent half the season on the bench while Jamie Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Hara would have been used sparingly, and it was thoughtful of Redknapp to consider how these players would feel had they stayed at White Hart Lane. No doubt, Tottenham are still in the mood and they should continue their fine form once the campaign gets underway. But it is still hard to tell how Spurs would fare against the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal this season. Only time will tell if Spurs can maintain their brilliance and come end of the season, the biggest cheer should be left for Redknapp.

Last Season

Tottenham were in superb form last season and they showed that with their wonderful fourth place finish. While Tottenham made light work of other teams, there was a stark contrast between them and the bigger clubs. They lost to Chelsea and Arsenal with a similar scoreline of 3-0, but reversed the victories on the return leg. Tottenham scored heavily against Burnley and Wigan to register scores of 5-0 and 9-1 respectively and many felt that Tottenham would be the team to claim fourth from Manchester City, Aston Villa and Liverpool. Indeed, Tottenham kept the momentum going and would have gone on to a memorable finish only to lose 4-2 to Burnley in the final game. But it was a season of hope as some players showed outstanding form, leading many to believe that Tottenham will be able to defend their position in the Top Four this season. With Redknapp still trying to tie down some transfers for the new season, it would be a dream if Spurs can finish as champions this time.

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11


Tottenham Hotspur 2009/2010 Stats P

W

D

L

F

A

GD

Pts

Home Record

19

14

2

3

40 12

28

44

Away Record

19

7

5

7

27 29

-2

26

Overall Record

38

21

7

10

67 41

26

70

71

Performance Average Attendance

35794

Biggest Home Win

9-1 Wigan Athletic

Biggest Away Win

-

Heaviest Home Defeat

1-3 Manchester United

Heaviest Away Defeat

Chelsea, Arsenal 3-0

Highest Aggregate

9-1 Wigan Athletic

Scoring & Conceding

No.

Rank

Goals For

67

X

Average Goals For

1.76

X

Goals Against

41

X

Average Goals Against

1.08

X

Did You Know?

Gareth Bale played a record 24 Premier League games for Tottenham without being on the winning side!

Manager Profile Name: Harry Redknapp DOB: 2 March 1947 Place of Birth: Poplar, London, England Honours: Bournemouth – Football League Division Three 196/87; Football League Trophy 1983/84; West Ham – UEFA Intertoto Cup 1999; Portsmouth – FA Cup 2007/08; Football League Division One 2002/03

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11


tottenham hotspur

70

Harry Is Tottenhamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hope

While Tottenham completes one of its finest seasons in recent years, Harry Redknapp has gone straight to the drawing board and highlighted the need to keep going forward if Spurs are to stay at the top. Under Redknappâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s management, the players have learnt the importance of discipline and teamwork. And the players are raring to go for another season with him. Despite sending Robbie Keane out on loan to Celtic which seemed like a harsh punishment for being involved in late-night partying under strict orders, Redknapp is never one to bear grudges although he expects players to observe club rules all the time. Such is the benevolence of the gaffer that his players are willing to put in 100 percent every time they step on the field. As Redknapp ponders over additions to his team, it is likely that he will prefer to use his on-loan players who have gained massive amounts of playing time away from Spurs. Robbie Keane would have spent half the season on the bench while Jamie Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Hara would have been used sparingly, and it was thoughtful of Redknapp to consider how these players would feel had they stayed at White Hart Lane. No doubt, Tottenham are still in the mood and they should continue their fine form once the campaign gets underway. But it is still hard to tell how Spurs would fare against the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal this season. Only time will tell if Spurs can maintain their brilliance and come end of the season, the biggest cheer should be left for Redknapp.

Last Season

Tottenham were in superb form last season and they showed that with their wonderful fourth place finish. While Tottenham made light work of other teams, there was a stark contrast between them and the bigger clubs. They lost to Chelsea and Arsenal with a similar scoreline of 3-0, but reversed the victories on the return leg. Tottenham scored heavily against Burnley and Wigan to register scores of 5-0 and 9-1 respectively and many felt that Tottenham would be the team to claim fourth from Manchester City, Aston Villa and Liverpool. Indeed, Tottenham kept the momentum going and would have gone on to a memorable finish only to lose 4-2 to Burnley in the final game. But it was a season of hope as some players showed outstanding form, leading many to believe that Tottenham will be able to defend their position in the Top Four this season. With Redknapp still trying to tie down some transfers for the new season, it would be a dream if Spurs can finish as champions this time.

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11


Tottenham Hotspur 2009/2010 Stats P

W

D

L

F

A

GD

Pts

Home Record

19

14

2

3

40 12

28

44

Away Record

19

7

5

7

27 29

-2

26

Overall Record

38

21

7

10

67 41

26

70

71

Performance Average Attendance

35794

Biggest Home Win

9-1 Wigan Athletic

Biggest Away Win

-

Heaviest Home Defeat

1-3 Manchester United

Heaviest Away Defeat

Chelsea, Arsenal 3-0

Highest Aggregate

9-1 Wigan Athletic

Scoring & Conceding

No.

Rank

Goals For

67

X

Average Goals For

1.76

X

Goals Against

41

X

Average Goals Against

1.08

X

Did You Know?

Gareth Bale played a record 24 Premier League games for Tottenham without being on the winning side!

Manager Profile Name: Harry Redknapp DOB: 2 March 1947 Place of Birth: Poplar, London, England Honours: Bournemouth – Football League Division Three 196/87; Football League Trophy 1983/84; West Ham – UEFA Intertoto Cup 1999; Portsmouth – FA Cup 2007/08; Football League Division One 2002/03

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11


tottenham hotspur pLaYers

Gareth Bale Squad Number: 3 Position: Defender Height: 1.83m Weight: 75 kg DOB: 16 July 1989 Place of Birth: Cardiff, Wales Nationality: Welsh

72

Luka modric Squad Number: 14 Position: Midfielder Height: 1.74m Weight: 61 kg DOB: 9 September 1985 Place of Birth: Zadir, SFR Yugoslavia Nationality: Croatian

Profile: Luka Modric is currently the spark of Tottenham after an amazing 2009/10 season where he helped the club to fourth place and a place in this season’s Champions League. Modric has good control and balance and is capable of mazing his way through a tight defence singlehandedly. The Croatian midfielder grew up playing with Dinamo Zagreb and became an important playmaker on the left of midfield. He is able to take on defenders easily with his quick change of pace and was one of the stars of the team then. Modric signed for Tottenham under it was still under Juande Ramos’ charge but was played out of position. With Redknapp installed as the manager, Modric found himself back on his favoured attacking left wing and became a revelation last season. It is obvious that Modric will be one of the key players for Tottenham this campaign as they defend their ‘Top Four’ status.

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

Profile: The young Gareth Bale was in blistering form last season as his wonderful performance every week gave Tottenham something to cheer about. Bale was the second youngest player to ever play for Southampton at the age of 16 years and 275 days, and he impressed the Tottenham scouts so much that he was signed after just one season. Bale missed most of the remainder of his first season for Spurs through injury and had to undergo knee surgery last summer, which only saw him back in action proper in September. He was brought in for Assou-Ekotto and impressed Redknapp so much that Bale was often in the first team during the later part of the season. Bale is fast and often ventures up to support the attack. Besides his ability to whip in dangerous crosses with his left foot, Bale is also a good free kick taker comparable to the likes of Ryan Giggs. Bale is definitely a future star of the game.


sQUAD LIsT

Ledley King

Jermain Defoe

Tom Huddlestone

Squad Number: 26 Position: Defender Height: 1.88m Weight: 88 kg DOB: 10 December 1980 Place of Birth: Bow, London, England Nationality: English

Squad Number: 18 Position: Forward Height: 1.70m Weight: 62 kg DOB: 7 October 1982 Place of Birth: Beckton, London, England Nationality: English

Squad Number: 6 Position: Midfielder Height: 1.90m Weight: 80 kg DOB: 28 December 1986 Place of Birth: Nottingham, England Nationality: English

WHO Is HE? Jamie O’Hara D.O.B: 25 September 1986 Place of Birth: Dartford, England Height: 1.80m Position: Midfielder Previous Club: Profile: A product of the Tottenham Hotspur academy, Jamie O’Hara has matured into one of the hottest prospects to grace the field. O’Hara is an attacking midfielder, which often sees him taking long shots at goal. He is also hardworking and full of energy, which makes him a valuable asset for Redknapp. Despite being on loan to Portsmouth last season, O’Hara found even better form, which prompted O’Hara to consider moving clubs if Portsmouth fought off relegation. But Redknapp reminded O’Hara of his loyalty and this season, he will be playing football wearing the white of Tottenham. O’Hara has a habit of scoring spectacular goals and perhaps we will see a contender for Goal of the Season from O’Hara this season.

Heurelho Gomes Alan Hutton Gareth Bale Younes Kaboul David Bentley Tom Huddlestone Aaron Lennon Jermaine Jenas Roman Pavlyuchenko Robbie Keane Wilson Palacios Luka Modrić Peter Crouch Kyle Naughton Giovani dos Santos Jermain Defoe Sebastien Bassong Michael Dawson Niko Kranjcar Vedran Corluka Carlo Cudicini Jamie O’Hara Danny Rose Ledley King Ben Alnwick Kyle Walker Jake Livermore Dorian Dervite Benoit AssouEkotto Jonathan Woodgate

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

73


west bromwich albion

74

Baggies fans will be relishing the prospect of seeing their team take on some of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best players. Di Matteo will be desperate to hold on to his best players and has already had to fend off interest in Scottish midfielder Graham Dorrans, who he feels will be vital for the Baggies if they are to stay up. It is exciting to see what Di Matteo can dish out as West Brom begins preparation for the new season ahead.

West Brom Here To Stay

The recent exploits of local rivals Birmingham and Wolves will help Roberto Di Matteoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s side believe they can stay in the Barclays Premier League. Albion won promotion to the top flight for the fourth time in nine seasons last term, but have only managed to avoid immediate relegation the following year on one of the three previous occasions. Fellow Midland sides Birmingham and Wolves both managed to beat the drop in 2009-10 after coming up from the second tier and their achievement could inspire the Baggies in their quest for survival. It is a challenge not just for Di Matteo, but for the chairman and the players to keep Albion in the Premier League. There will need to be a bit of tinkering with the side, bringing in a few new players to spruce things up. With a few more quality players in, The Baggies could look their strongest since 2000. Albion kick off their campaign against champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge which could hardly make for a tougher return to the big-time, but

Last Season

Touted as one of the few teams in the Championship to gain promotion immediately, West Brom hardly looked back since the opening day draw with Newcastle. Despite a blip in late September, West Brom recovered on the trot to jump back to the top three and never looked in danger of dropping out. The season also saw Chris Brunt and Graham Dorrans bagging a handful of goals as the team scored 89 goals in total, just one less than Championship winners Newcastle. It was an achievement for West Brom and their players and could easily be their best in many years in the second tier. It also saw Roberto Di Matteo achieve a personal record for guiding The Baggies to promotion in his first season at the club. Hardly anyone would have expected him to make such an impact in only his first try. West Brom supporters are now full of faith that the team will continue to stay in the top flight after this season.

west bromwich 2009/2010 stats P

W

D

L

F

A

GD

Pts

Home Record

23

16

3

4

48 21

27

51

Away Record

23

10 10

3

41 27

14

40

Overall Record

46

26 13

7

89 48

41

91

Performance

manager Profile Name: Roberto Di Matteo DOB: 29 May 1970 Place of Birth: Schaffhausen, Switzerland Honours: -

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

Average Attendance

22199

Biggest Home Win

5-0 Watford

Biggest Away Win

Middlesbrough 0-5

Heaviest Home Defeat

1-3 Nottingham Forest

Heaviest Away Defeat

Barnsley, Queens Park Rangers 3-1

Highest Aggregate

Peterborough United, Blackpool,

Doncaster Rovers 2-3, Middlesbrough 0-5, 5-0 Watford, 4-1 Bristol City, 3-2 Blackpool, Preston North End Scoring & Conceding

No.

Goals For

89

Rank X

Average Goals For

1.93

X

Goals Against

48

X

Average Goals Against

1.04

X


star PLaYErs Did You Know?

West Brom are also known as “The Throstles”, which is a dialect word for the song thrush, as used by Shakespeare, no less. However, you will never hear anyone shout “Come on you Throstles!” at an Albion match!

roman Bednar

Chris Brunt

Squad Number: 9 Position: Forward Height: 1.90m Weight: 80 kg DOB: 26 March 1983 Place of Birth: Prague, Czechoslovakia Nationality: Czech

Squad Number: 11 Position: Midfielder Height: 1.85m Weight: 76 kg DOB: 14 December 1984 Place of Birth: Belfast, Northern Ireland Nationality: Northern Irish

Profile: Fast and strong by nature, Roman Bednar was coaxed

Profile: While Chris Brunt did not manage to impress

to sign for Hearts after impressing scouts while playing for Mlada Boleslav. His Scottish career took off immediately with an influx of goals but was soon sent out on a season-long loan deal with West Brom which ultimately turned into a permanent move. Bednar quickly set about scoring goals but was suspended by the club after he was found in possession of drugs. The FA granted Bednar permission to resume playing and Bednar was immediately installed as the Baggies’ main striker. A further injury put Bednar off football but he resumed playing in just a week. Strong, powerful and possessing great awareness, Roman Bednar is a poacher of goals. His ability to create chances for his team mates make him a deadly opponent, especially since he is capable of scoring goals himself. Bednar’s presence in the squad will definitely help West Brom against a different class of opponents in the Premier League this season.

WHO Is HE? Pablo Ibanez D.O.B: 3 August 1981 Place of Birth: Madrigueras, Spain Height: 1.92m Position: Centre Back Previous Club: Atletico Madrid Profile: Hardly anybody heard much of Pablo Ibanez as the Spanish defender spent most of the later part of his Atletico Madrid career without registering games. Ibanez rose through the ranks at Albacete Balompe and was quickly pushed into a regular starting position. He signed with Atletico Madrid in 2004 and was quickly hauled into action. But the appearance of Juanito and Tomas Ujfalusi, coupled with a few poor performances, pushed him down the pecking order. As Quique Sanchez Flores stepped in as manager, Ibanez gradually lost his place and was often left out of the squad. The tall centre-back eventually signed for West Brom on a free transfer and an immediate revival of his career is imminent as Ibanez will be a key defender for The Baggies.

sQUaD LIst

at Middlesbrough, a short-term loan deal with Sheffield Wednesday soon turned permanent and it was there that Brunt learnt the trade. Brunt became Wednesday’s top goalscorer in only his second season at the club and following some impressive displays, had West Brom knocking on the door for his signature. Brunt continued his goal scoring form and scored the second goal which saw West Brom secure their Premier League status this season. Regarded as a very intelligent player, Brunt relies on his left foot heavily. He has good vision and passes well but he is highly regarded for his freekicks as well as long shots. A key midfielder for West Brom, Brunt will be looking to finish the season as top scorer for the club yet again.

Dean Kiely Joe Mattock Jonas Olsson Marek Cech Leon Barnett Roman Bednác Ishmael Miller Chris Brunt Giles Barnes Luke Daniels Jerome Thomas Chris Wood Luke Moore Graham Dorrans Reuben Reid Scott Carson Youssuf Mulumbu Gianni Zuiverloon Abdoulaye Méïté Gabriel Tamac James Morrison Paul Downing Simon Cox Romaine Sawyers Gonzalo Jara George Thorne Ryan Allsop Marcus Haber Steven Reid Pablo Ibáñez

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

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west ham united

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be keen on bringing former Pompey striker Frederic Piquionne to Upton Park, while West Brom have an “unwelcome” third bid for Scotland midfielder Graham Dorrans and reports suggest veteran Sol Campbell could be offered a short-term deal. However, with the Irons some £90million in debt, there is still a high probability players could yet be sold off - with Sullivan admitting even captain Scott Parker would be available at the right price, albeit an excessive fee. While Grant is not welcoming that fact, it could be that the Hammers will have to work excessively hard with limited

Grant Calls For Passion

Avram Grant wants his West Ham players to follow the example set by Portsmouth last season and show the Upton Park faithful just how much it means to pull on the shirt. The Israeli has been handed the task of resurrecting the fortunes of the east London club, who last season flirted with relegation and financial meltdown before the successful takeover by David Sullivan and David Gold. Grant - dismissed by Chelsea after leading them to within a penalty kick of winning the Champions League - saw his stock rise when guiding Pompey to the FA Cup final despite all the off-field problems of administration, a nine-point penalty and relegation from the Barclays Premier League. The Irons owners have given Grant their full backing, having not seen eye to eye with predecessor Gianfranco Zola. Now, the new Hammers boss wants his players to show the same determination Pompey produced when they took to the pitch. Grant, 55, has brought in former Aston Villa midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger on a free transfer, with a £10million deal for Nice striker Loic Remy reported to be close to completion. The Hammers boss is also said to

resources this term.

Last Season

It was hardly a season to remember as West Ham struggled right from the start. The Hammers struggled from their second game onwards and Zola looked increasingly worried as each week passed. Just when things could not get any worse, Zola had a slight dispute with West Ham owners David Sullivan and David Gold over his players. It was reported that Zola had not been consulted about the announcement by Sullivan that the entire squad was for sale except for midfielder Scott Parker, a bad omen that Zola has lost the owners’ respect. As the season ended, West Ham terminated Zola’s contract with immediate effect. Despite all the negativity within the team, West Ham managed enough points in their last few games to avoid the drop. West Ham survived but only just. As the season ended, everyone is eager to put it away for good and look ahead to a new start with Avram Grant at the helm.

west ham united 2009/2010 stats P

W

D

L

F

Home Record

19

7

Away Record

19

1

Overall Record

38

8

A

GD

Pts

5

7

30 29

6

12

17

1

26

11

19

47 66 -19

37 -20

9 35

Performance Average Attendance

33683

Biggest Home Win

3-0 Hull City

Biggest Away Win

Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-2

Heaviest Home Defeat

0-4 Manchester United

Heaviest Away Defeat

Chelsea 4-1

Highest Aggregate

5-3 Burnley

manager Profile

Scoring & Conceding

No.

Goals For

47

X

Name: Avram Grant DOB: 6 May 1955 Place of Birth: Petah Tikva, Israel Honours: Maccabi Haifa – Israeli Premier League – 2000-01, 2001/02

Average Goals For

1.24

X

Goals Against

66

X

Average Goals Against

1.74

X

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

Rank


star PLaYErs Did You Know?

In West Ham’s hay days, they won the European Cup Winners Cup against TSV 1860 Munich 2-0 in a match described by UEFA as “one of the best” finals back in 1965.

scott Parker Squad Number: 8 Position: Midfielder Height: 1.70m Weight: 71 kg DOB: 13 October 1980 Place of Birth: Lambeth, England Nationality: English Profile: After impressing for Charlton, Scott Parker moved to Chelsea but soon fell victim to a host of injuries and struggled to make an impact with the London club. Parker left for Newcastle soon after but as the club began to struggle, the England midfielder fell under heavy criticism and he eventually left for West Ham. Parker was once again caught by a series on injuries that left him out for months but he soon recovered and began playing regularly for the first team. The last two seasons saw Parker in his best form as he helped the Hammers avoid relegation with his performances and goals. Parker is a battler in midfield and hard with his challenges. Despite getting into a few scuffles with his opponents, Parker never let things get into his head. The strong-willed player often puts in energetic displays and is capable of scoring some spectacular goals. Parker is clearly an asset with whom West Ham would benefit from.

WHO Is HE? Pablo Barrera D.O.B: 21 June 1987 Place of Birth: Tlalnepantla, Mexico Height: 1.75m Position: Midfielder Previous Club: Pumas de la UNAM Profile: At just the age of 23 years old, Pablo Barrera has already made himself a name in Mexican football. Known for his excellent pace and crosses, Barrera plays down the left wing for Pumas and the Mexican national team. Despite suffering a bad knee injury in 2008, Barrera rose from his injury to score on his return. Barrera signed for West Ham in the summer as the club starts its rebuilding process. Barrera will be a fine addition for the Hammers, where he will be able to deliver more crosses for his team mates. The young man with a wealth of experience will be a player to look out for when the new season kicks off.

alessandro Diamanti Squad Number: 32 Position: Forward Height: 1.77m Weight: 72 kg DOB: 2 May 1983 Place of Birth: Prato, Italy Nationality: Italian

sQUaD LIst

Profile: Alessandro Diamanti started out his career at hometown club, Prato but was often loaned out to gain match experience. Despite moving to AlbinoLeffe in a joint ownership deal, Diamanti eventually joined Livorno where he helped the club gain promotion to Serie A. Despite his performances, Diamanti signed a five-year deal with West Ham a year later and became the club’s 800th player in history. He soon became a prolific striker for the Hammers and started to attract interest from other clubs but Diamanti insisted his long term future is at Upton Park. The flamboyant striker can play down the wings and also as an attacking midfielder. Despite possessing the skills, Diamanti is rather a more individual player and his lack of teamwork often results in him losing the ball. Diamanti is also a good shooter of the ball and clinical in front of goal, making him a very effective striker for the Hammers.

Robert Green Danny Gabbidon Kieron Dyer Scott Parker Carlton Cole Luís Boa Morte Radoslav Kováč Matthew Upson Mark Noble Benni McCarthy Jonathan Spector Freddie Sears Julien Faubert Valon Behrami Manuel da Costa Hérita Ilunga Frank Nouble Péter Kurucz Marek Stech James Tomkins Jack Collison Alessandro Diamanti Fabio Daprelà Oliver Lee Anthony Edgar Zavon Hines Jordan Spence Junior Stanislas Thomas Hitzlsperger Pablo Barrera Frederic Pignionne

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

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Wigan athletic

78

attracting attention from other clubs, it is because they are doing something right. Players like Momo Diame, James McCarthy, Victor Moses, Hugo Rodallega and Charles N’Zogbia are still young and they can develop together by staying together. It would be a huge boost for Wigan especially if the players want to move forward with the club. Martinez is keen to retain all their stars to challenge for honours this season and if that happens, Wigan could still be the surprise team of the season.

Martinez Wants Stars To Stay

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez is not surprised that the star members of his squad are attracting transfer interest but he is hoping that there will be no sales. While Birmingham have dropped their interest regarding Charles N’Zogbia, Sunderland are understood to have contacted DW Stadium officials regarding the player, while Italian giants Juventus have also been linked with the wide-man. Hugo Rodallega has admitted in the past that he would relish the chance to play for Arsenal, while Mohamed Diame’s impressive 2009/10 campaign has led to speculation linking the midfielder with the Premier League’s top clubs. But Martinez wants to keep the core element of his squad and is hopeful that chairman Dave Whelan will not want to accept what would be a large transfer income from any sales. Wigan have got a very good group to date and the players are at an age where none of them have fulfilled anything near their potential yet. It would be too early for anyone to leave the club. Martinez feels that every player at Wigan has another level to reach and if the players keep

Last Season

Wigan were probably at their worst last season where they only fought off relegation after a fantastic victory against Arsenal late in the season. Despite opening their campaign with an away win at Aston Villa, Wigan were quickly on the backfoot and were knocked out of the League Cup in their first match. Wigan shipped 79 goals in total, only three fewer than relegated side Burnley. They were also at the end of a few embarrassing defeats, losing a record 9-1 to Tottenham, getting knocked out of the FA Cup by Notts County and finishing their season with a 8-0 loss to eventual champions Chelsea. Wigan were also unimpressive in attack although they did shock Chelsea with a 3-1 home win. Manager Martinez tried to instil a pass-and-move style to Wigan’s game but it has backfired on many occasions. A definite change of tactics is required to motivate the players, which could be the key to a successful season.

Wigan athletic 2009/2010 Stats P

W

D

L

F

Home Record

19

6

Away Record

19

3

Overall Record

38

9

A

GD

Pts

7

6

19 24

2

14

-5

25

18 55 -37

9

20

37

11 36

79 -42

Performance Average Attendance

18006

Biggest Home Win

3-1 Chelsea

Biggest Away Win

Burnley 1-3

Heaviest Home Defeat

0-5 Manchester United

Heaviest Away Defeat

Tottenham Hotspur 9-1, Chelsea 8-0

Manager Profile Name: Roberto Martinez DOB: 29 July 1973 Place of Birth: 29 July 1973 Honours: Swansea City – League One – Champions 2007/08

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

Highest Aggregate

Tottenham Hotspur 9-1

Scoring & Conceding

No.

Rank

Goals For

37

X

Average Goals For

0.97

X

Goals Against

79

X

Average Goals Against

2.08

X


Star PLaYErS Did You Know?

Wigan Athletic conceded 26 goals in their five Premier League matches in London this season

Charles N’Zogbia

Jason Koumas

Squad Number: 14 Position: Midfielder Height: 1.70m Weight: 68 kg DOB: 28 May 1986 Place of Birth: Harfleur, France Nationality: French

Squad Number: 10 Position: Midfielder Height: 1.78m Weight: 70 kg DOB: 25 September 1979 Place of Birth: Wrexham, Wales Nationality: Welsh

Profile: Possibly one of the trickiest players in the Wigan

Profile: Considered as a veteran now, Jason Koumas once

squad, Charles N’Zogbia plays on the left side as a winger but has deputised as an attacking midfielder or a left back. A product of the Le Havre academy, N’Zogbia was spotted by Newcastle scouts who wasted no time in bringing him over to the Premier League. Having spent most of his timewith Newcastle, N’Zogbia has impressed largely with his dribbling skills and pace. His key duties have been to deliver crosses to the forwards although N’Zogbia has popped up with a few delightful goals in his career. Citing a higher ambition than the club can ever give him, N’Zogbia left to join Wigan in January 2009. Wigan were often at the wrong end of the table and it took a winning goal from N’Zogbia against Arsenal to keep the club in the Premier League this season. Once again, N’Zogbia voiced his intentions to leave the club but could still turn out for the Latics this season.

played youth football with the Liverpool Academy although he opted to join Tranmere Rovers. Koumas attracted West Brom’s attention, which brought him over where he showed his capability. Wigan decided to bring him over in a bid to strengthen the squad where he has stayed ever since. His’ burning desire to perform in every game makes him one of the toughest and strongest players in the Wigan team. This hardly makes him a first team starter which is quite a pity for Wigan as Koumas could have made the difference in their previous season. A tough player with an attacking flair, he will be the lynchpin in Wigan’s midfield where he will string defence to attack with his dribbles and passes. While it remains to be seen if Koumas will feature regularly this season, his passion to succeed could be Wigan’s talisman if they are to avoid relegation this season.

WHO IS HE? Mauro Boselli D.O.B: 22 May 1985 Place of Birth: Bueno Aires, Argentina Height: 1.81m Position: Forward Previous Club: Estudiantes Profile: Mauro Boselli would best be remembered for his stint with Estudiantes of Argentina. The hot shot has been on target 50 times, scoring 32 goals in the Primera Divison Argentina. Boselli hardly needs any introduction as he has been one of the most prolific scorers since Martin Palermo and also spent a year with Malaga B in Spain. Armed with a dangerous right foot, Boselli fired Estudiantes to Copa Libertadores success in 2009. Boselli also scored the first goal in the 73rd minute of the 2009 FIFA World Club Cup against Barcelona, but his team eventually lost in extra-time. Boselli can also hit goals with his left foot and he will be Wigan’s most dangerous striker this coming season.

SQUaD LISt Chris Kirkland Steve Gohouri Antonio Amaya Gary Caldwell Hendry Thomas Ben Watson Jason Scotland Jason Koumas Victor Moses Mike Pollitt Charles N’Zogbia Jordi Gómez Emmerson Boyce Daniël de Ridder Titus Bramble Hugo Rodallega Olivier Kapo James McCarthy Rachid Bouaouzan Mohamed Diamé Maynor Figueroa Jon Routledge Jordan Mostoe Joe Holt Callum McManaman Lee Nicholls Antolín Alcaraz Mauro Boselli Ali Al Habsi Roman Golobart Abian Serrano

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wolverhampton

80

last season and look safe to avoid the drop. Yet, the Wolves camp is quiet on staying up and it looks like every player is certain of a tough season ahead. It has not been a wonderful previous season for Mick McCarthy and even though the gaffer is keen for his players to find the morale and spirit of the side that gained promotion to the Premier League in 2008/09, he acknowledges that the difference in standard could ultimately be the key to decide whether Wolves will stay up next season.

Wolves Expect Tough Season

Wolves should get ready for an even tougher campaign in the Premier League next season. The Midlands club spent last term in the top flight after enjoying promotion from the Championship in 2009 and went on to finish 15th in the standings. It is therefore important that the players do not to take anything for granted. While the players recognise that they will have to work just as hard as they did last season, they are expected to work even harder this season, to stay in it. Manager Mick McCarthy agrees that no one wants to be scrapping down the bottom and being in and about the relegation zone. However, he stated that there is every chance Wolves could be embroiled into another relegation battle if the players resign to their fate early in the season. Competition for first-team places is fierce, and McCarthy believes this is healthy to promote selfimprovement amongst the players. But following a flurry of transfer rumours and a couple of purchases, Wolves look better than they did

Last Season

Widely touted as one of the three teams to drop back into the Championship, Wolves embarked on a season-long journey to silence their critics. It was an encouraging start for Wolves but by October, they were staring at a tough relegation battle ahead. Wolves capitalised on the little wins that they have littered throughout the season but they eventually survived the drop after a number of draws and a couple of wins against Burnley and West Ham gave them sufficient points to stay ahead of the bottom dwellers. Despite the ‘poor season’, Mick McCarthy is proud of his players to have survived relegation and it is crucial how McCarthy prepares his side for the upcoming season. The inconsistency last season iss definitely a problem for Wolves and everyone knows that a good start is vital to the club staying up this season.

wolverhampton 2009/2010 Stats P

W

D

L

F

Home Record

19

5

Away Record

19

4

Overall Record

38

9

A

GD

Pts

6

8

13 22

5

10

-9

21

19 34 -15

11

18

32 56 -24

17 38

Performance

manager profile Name: Mick McCarthy DOB: 7 February 1959 Place of Birth: Barnsley, England Honours: Sunderland – League Championship Winners – 2004/05; Wolves – League Championship Winners – 2008/09

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

Average Attendance

28365

Biggest Home Win

2-0 Burnley

Biggest Away Win

2-0 Burnley

Heaviest Home Defeat

1-4 Arsenal, 0-3 Manchester City

Heaviest Away Defeat

Chelsea 4-0

Highest Aggregate

Sunderland 5-2

Scoring & Conceding

No.

Rank

Goals For

32

X

Average Goals For

0.84

X

Goals Against

56

X

Average Goals Against

1.47

X


Star PLaYErS Did You Know?

Wolves were relegated from the old Division One into Division Four in consecutive seasons. In season 1983-84, Wolves were relegated from Division One, but by the time season 1986-87 came around, they were playing Division Four football.

Kevin Doyle

Nenad Milijas

Squad Number: 29 Position: Forward Height: 1.82m Weight: 74 kg DOB: 18 September 1983 Place of Birth: Adamstown, Ireland Nationality: Irish

Squad Number: 20 Position: Midfielder Height: 1.88m Weight: 76 kg DOB: 30 April 1983 Place of Birth: Belgrade, SFR Yugoslavia Nationality: Serbian

Profile: Born a holding player, Kevin Doyle displays

Profile: Wolves’ World Cup representative Nenad Milijas is

exceptional strength and control as a striker and is capable of holding up play while waiting for reinforcements. Doyle is also a clinical finisher and is Wolves’ most consistent player last season. Doyle’s game is likened to that of Didier Drogba and while he is not the fastest striker, he gets himself in the right position most of the time to score. Like a terrier, Doyle’s work rate is high but he is often let down by his midfield, which fails to deliver the ball to his feet. A key member of the Reading squad, Doyle moved to Wolves to seek Premier League football and despite an injury, he recovered to feature in almost every Wolves game last season. Used as a lone striker in Mick McCarthy’s 4-5-1 formation, Doyle will definitely be Wolves’ main goal scorer this season.

WHO IS HE? Stephen Hunt D.O.B: 1 August 1981 Place of Birth: Portlaoise, Ireland Height: 1.75m Position: Winger Previous Club: Hull City Profile: One of the more colourful players on the field, Stephen Hunt moved to Wolves after Hull City were relegated from the Premier League. Hunt plays on the left of midfield and his delightful skills and creativity makes him one of the highlights of the Hull team last season. Hunt found himself with Hull City last season but a foot injury saw him out of the game for a while and the club began to suffer. Hunt was also involved in the incident that saw Cech suffer a head injury, the head gear being the mark of Hunt’s doing. Despite this, Hunt will be influential in the Wolves’ midfield once he returns from injury.

SQUaD LISt

a natural midfielder with an eye for goal. Milijas has collected a number of awards during his time at Red Star Belgrade before moving to England. Milijas won the man-of-the-match award in Wolves’ opening game against West Ham and also scored in a 2-1 victory over Bolton in December 2009. Milijas is not a holding midfielder and relies on his strength and power to beat his opponents. He is often involved with the build-up of play in central midfield but has been known to shoot from distances regardless of the situation. One of the stars in the squad, Milijas will be vital to freeing up the strikers and could even bag himself a handful of goals as Wolves look to improve on their previous showing.

Marcus Hahnemann Wayne Hennessey Carl Ikeme Matt Murray Danny Batth Christophe Berra Jody Craddock John Dunleavy George Elokobi Kevin Foley Matt Hill Scott Malone Steven Mouyokolo Jamie Reckord Richard Stearman Jelle Van Damme Stephen Ward Ronald Zubar David Davis David Edwards Adlène Guedioura Greg Halford Karl Henry Stephen Hunt Matthew Jarvis David Jones Michael Kightly Nenad Milijaš Geoffrey Mujangi Bia Nathan Rooney Kevin Doyle Sylvan EbanksBlake Steven Fletcher Andy Keogh Stefan Maierhofer James Spray Sam Vokes Sam Winnall Ashley Hemmings

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

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Football Weekly’s

TOP EIGHT

A season preview would not be complete without our very own compilation of who to watch out for this season. Shaun Loh fancies a look at eight of the very best in all departments of football, starting with the men at the top – the managers! Harry Redknapp (Tottenham Hotspur)

Roy Hodgson (Liverpool)

82

Every journalist, Scouser, Reds fan, rival fan, rival manager, betting man and neutral will have their eyes on Roy Hodgson. He has been brought in to steady the ship that has been supposedly rocked by ex-Reds manager, Rafa Benitez who has often been accused of being too political and supposedly spent too much time in unnecessary off the field battles. Some of the burning questions of Reds fans include: Can he convince Torres, Gerrard, Mascherano etc that

their future should be at Anfield despite of Liverpool’s debt situation? Will Roy be able to re-invest the money he received from player sales? If Liverpool lose their 1st two EPL matches against Arsenal and Man City, will the English media heaped pressure and call for his head the way they did against Rafa Benitez? And when the club is finally sold, would he be replaced? There are more questions than answers, and Roy Hodgson’s reputation may well be on the line. Intriguing.

Old spasming ‘arry has done well last season, leading Spurs to their first ever Champions League appearance. I have to mention here that Redknapp Senior did not achieve this on the cheap, in fact for the 2008/2009 season; Spurs had the 3rd most expensive squad. Redknapp first task will be to negotiate past the Champions League qualifier, so that Spurs can enjoy the fruits of last season’s labour. The impending new season will also see a new challenge, and it will be interesting to note if media darling Harry Houdini will be chastised by the English media if he dares to (cue gasps) rotate. The Champions League is a demanding competition, and it will be a new experience for Redknapp.

Chris Houghton (Newcastle United) After being the caretaker manager when Keegan quit, Joe Kinnear was sacked and Alan Shearer returned to being a pundit, he was finally given the poison chalice, I mean the Newcastle job. In some ways the Newcastle job is similar to the Liverpool one. Unreasonable expectations from fans who expect a title challenge year in year out only because of history, and an owner that bites off more than they can chew. This season, I hope that Houghton is allowed to get on with the job by the English media, Newcastle fans and Mike Ashley, as that would mean there is still some human decency in English football, but I doubt it. Football Weekly BPL 2010/11


Roberto Mancini (Manchester City) Mancini is the envy of football fans and rival managers. Backed by the billions of the Sky Blues owners, Mancini is playing Football Manager (computer game) in the real world. Having secured the services of Yahya Toure, Jerome Boateng and David Silva as well, Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti added jealously that “Roberto Mancini is building a great squad...you’ll see: they will also get Kolarov and Dzeko.” Last season, Man City was a bit ‘top heavy’, they had a lot of attacking firepower, but lacked quality at the back. But it seems that Mancini has addressed the issue with his signing of Yahya Toure, Boateng and targeting of Kolarov and Luiz (from Benfica). Seeing that Mancini likes to play a 4-2-3-1 formation, his favoured starting lineup next season may well be: Shay Given, Zabaleta, Kolarov, Kolo Toure, Lescott, De Jong, Yahya Toure, David Silva, Tevez, Adam Johnson, Adebayor. I believe this team is good enough for a Champions League spot.

Carlo Ancelotti (Chelsea) The most loyal Mourinho fans would have been won over by Ancelotti with his league and cup double winning performance. However, the trophy most coveted by Blues owner Abramovich continues to elude them, and it will be no surprise that this summer transfer activity will be geared towards bringing in top level continental players. Ancelotti will be working hard behind the scenes to bring in new talent to replace the void left by Ballack, Belletti and Joe Cole to ensure that the Blues continue to dominate in English competitions. Thus far, Abramovich has shown that he will not engage in a bidding war against Man City, for fear of overpaying, and it will be interesting to see if this continues.

Arsene Wenger (Arsenal) Last season, Arsene’s Arsenal surprised everybody with their title challenge and if not for Van Persie’s injury, goalkeeping and defensive errors, Arsenal could well have celebrated their 14th league title. Arsene has always been astute in the transfer market and the purchase of Laurent Koscielny (defender) and Marouane Chamakh (target man) should mitigate last year problems. But the most crucial bit of business could be persuading club captain Fabregas to stay, as Ramsey, Diaby and Wilshere, though talented are nowhere near Fabregas’ class just yet. Also top of Arsene’s agenda is having a top class goalkeeper and if Hugo Lloris is lured to the North London club, it will do wonders to Arsenal’s title aspirations.

Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United) With Manchester United having to pay out about £50m pounds a year as interest payments, it will be interesting to note which segment of the transfer market will Ferguson operate in. Ferguson is used to paying top dollar to bring in the best talent to Old Trafford (£29m for Ferdinand, £32m for Berbatov, £27m for Rooney etc...), but he has been forced to shop around the bargain basement this season, and so far has only brought in unproven youngsters Javier Hernandez and Chris Smalling. Ferguson might be a wily old fox, skilled in press manipulation and have several cronies managing other EPL teams, but with his hands tied in the transfer market, it might be a bridge too far for old Fergie to bring a record breaking 19th league title back to Old Trafford.

Roberto Martinez (Wigan Athletic) Although Wigan’s league position worsened under Martinez’s tenure, Wigan last season won over several neutrals with their slick passing style. It is no surprise that Martinez hails from current European and World champions Spain, home of attractive tiki-taka passing football. Although, it will be a stretch to compare Wigan’s playing style to the Spanish National team, it is clear that Wigan is a much more entertaining side since Martinez replaced Steve Bruce. This season, Martinez will be looking to build on last season by bringing players that is consistent with his football philosophy. At the time of writing, his capture of Paraguayan defensive lynchpin Antolin Alcaraz looks particularly impressive. Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

83


8

TOP

To Watch

Goalkeepers Petr Cech (Chelsea)

84

Cech was widely considered one of the world’s best goalkeeper and deservedly so, before the horrifying incident involving the barbaric Stephen Hunt in October 2006, which left Cech with a depressed skull fracture that almost cost him his life. Now Cech has become so synonymous with the black Canterbury rugby style headguard, that he even wears it in Winning Eleven and FIFA series (computer games). Although prone to more lapses in concentration when he first came back into the game in Jan 2007, he has been improving slowly and is now almost back to the form of his pre-headguard days. Winning the Barclays Golden Gloves last season marks a full recovery from the incident involving the one who shall not be named. If Cech can win this season’s Barclays Golden Gloves again, it would surely mean that Chelsea has successfully defended their title of English champions.

Heurelho Gomes (Spurs) Despite what the English media will have you believe, Gomes didn’t suddenly improve over the last 18 months, and it is definitely not because of Redknapp player management skills. All foreign players from foreign leagues need to get used to the extra pressure from the sensationalist press as well as the more direct game. Think Stoke. Thus, Gomes didn’t improve dramatically; he just acclimatised to the English game which takes time. Gomes’ experience on the continent will be especially crucial this season with Spurs debut participation in the Champions League. At 29 years old, and already a full Brazil International, Spurs have a dependable custodian to rely on for years to come.

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

Robert Green (West Ham) Green’s gaffe at the World Cup would be funny if it was not so tragic. The fact that England had to rely on Green and the 39 year old James in the World Cup is testament to England’s lack of quality between the sticks. To be fair to Green, he is an above average shot stopper, but his tendency to flap at crosses and suspect kicking abilities means he can never be one of the top keepers in World football. And West Ham needs Green to get over his World Cup howler and punch above his weight to stave off relegation.


Edwin van der Sar (Manchester United) Manchester United goalkeepers have always been a bit of a laughing stock after the peerless Peter Schmeichel left. Fabien Barthez, Mark Bosnich and Taibi anyone? But when Edwin van der Sar became a Red Devil in June 2005, the jokes dried up. Being 1.97m, van der Sar has good command of his area, and for such a big man he is relatively good with his feet. As van der Sar is no spring chicken (he is 39), his fitness will be crucial to Man Utd’s bid to wrest back the EPL crown from Chelsea.

Ben Foster (Birmingham) Foster had an impressive season with Watford in 2005 where he spent a season long loan, which prompted manager Boothroyd to claim that “he’s better than Edwin van der Sar”. Even Fergie suggested that Foster should eventually replace Paul Robinson as “England’s next goalkeeper”. The fact that he is now permanently with Birmingham and not selected for the World Cup shows that managers will say anything to suit their own self serving agenda. At 27, Foster needs to establish himself with Birmingham, but he has to improve on his kicking/distribution ability to have any chance to be “better than van der Sar” and “England’s next goalkeeper.”

Joe Hart (Man City)

Pepe Reina (Liverpool) A sign of a top class keeper is one that always remains focused and ready, despite not being involved for most of the match, but when called upon, still makes great saves. And Reina certainly ticks all the right boxes. He has been dubbed by Benitez as a “modern goalkeeper who can play outside of the box” and “more of a sweeper than a keeper” Winning four Premier League Golden Glove awards out of his five seasons with Liverpool, the stats certainly back Rafa’s assertions. Incredibly, despite Reina’s record, he has still never got into the PFA Team of the Year, suggesting that despite his continued consistent brilliance, he remains under appreciated by the English media. With talks of midfield destroyer Mascherano leaving Anfield, Liverpool’s defence will be more exposed and Hodgson needs Reina to be in top form now more than ever.

Hart had a good season as Birmingham’s number one culminating in a place in the PFA Team of the year last season. Being just 23, and already a full England International that was part of Capello’s World Cup squad. Hart has a bright future ahead of him, but the decision to return back to Man City might backfire on him. Blessed with goalkeeper’s physique, Hart has impressed neutrals with his bravery, quick reflexes, good positional sense and ability with the ball at his feet. Hart has all the attributes necessary to be a top modern goalkeeper, now he just needs regular games.

Manuel Almunia (Arsenal) The fact that he has never been selected for any Spanish squads, and not even the English one despite being eligible and making the right noises suggest that only Arsene Wenger rates him. But after several high profile gaffes last season that cost Arsenal several points, Arsene seems to have finally lost patience with him This will be a crucial season for Almunia, if it pans out as widely expected and Almunia is replaced as Arsenal’s number one, Almunia could well slip into obscurity. Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

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To Watch

Defenders John Terry (Chelsea)

Read any player profile on John Terry and you will see words like commanding, brave and captain fantastic being used to describe him. Indeed these are trademarks of his play, which is also typical of an old fashioned safety-first defender. He might not have the ball skills of Lucio or the passing ability of a Pique or even the technical skills of Agger, but he does the basic things as well as anybody. Terry has always been suspect

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when faced against pacy strikers, but then again most defenders are slower than their offensive counterparts, and this is where defenders rely on their positioning skills. However, the way the Germans cruelly targeted Terry when Joachim Low “set Terry up with Klose to force him to come out of the defence” which left a gaping hole in England’s defence, will leave question marks on his confidence, and opposition managers will be taking notes.

Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal) Koscielny is a (reported) £9.7m replacement for his French compatriot Gallas at the heart of defence. However, Koscielny who is 1.86m is largely unproven at the highest level, with just one season of top league football under his belt with French Ligue One team Lorient. Arsenal fans will hope that he turns out to be more like Vermaelen rather than Senderos. With only the inexperienced Djourou and the aging legs of Campbell, Koscielny could find himself being thrown in the deep end at Arsenal, and he must quickly get used to the physical nature and quick tempo of the English game. How fast he adapts might have a big impact of Arsenal’s title hopes.

Jerome Boateng (Man City) His brother Kevin-Prince plays for Portsmouth and Ghana while Jerome chose Germany, it has been speculated that they have not spoken since Kevin-Prince’s x-rated tackle on German captain Michael Ballack. The young and strapping Boateng could potentially be the signing that propels Man City to the Top Four. The impressive 1.92m tall Boateng established himself at left back in Germany’s successful World Cup campaign, but in truth Boateng is versatile enough to play anywhere across the back four, which all managers find particularly useful. Boateng provides cover for the injury-prone Wayne Bridge, and he can be called in to play in the centre of defence as well when Lescott is off form. Football Weekly BPL 2010/11


Daniel Agger (Liverpool) One of the most naturally gifted defenders in the English game. His ability to stride out of defence commandingly, good use of the ball and reading of the game is reminiscent of former Liverpool legend Alan Hansen. His defensive work is often underappreciated and although not the most physically dominating of defenders in the mould of John Terry or Vidic, he does get stuck in for challenges. If Agger can stay relatively injury free, he could be one of the best defenders in the world. With Liverpool’s lack of transfer funds, Agger’s health status could have a bearing on Liverpool’s final league position.

Ledley King (Spurs) Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United) Can anybody explain Vidic’s balletic handball against the Germans? There was no immediate threat from the German strikers. Fergie must be hoping that Vidic only does this in a Serbian jersey. Blessed with a great physical presence, and an aerial dominant force in both defensive and offensive set pieces, Vidic can be a defensive rock when he is not trying to impress judges from ‘Dancing with the Stars’. Beside the aforementioned moment of madness, Vidic only other chink in the armour is being exposed by the ball over the top. Luckily for him and Red Devil fans, there is only one Fernando Torres. Fergie will do well to convince Vidic to put his World Cup performance behind him , and cajole Vidic back to his defensive best for the Red Devils.

One of the more graceful English defenders, imagine how good he could be if he was not restricted by his lousy knees. King possess that rare ability of bringing the ball out of defence and distributing it well, which was probably why Capello insisted on playing him as his first 11 even with his injury problems. King is a good reader of the game and has good organisational skills, together with late bloomer Michael Dawson, they can combine to form a formidable barrier to opposing attacks. With Champions League football added to Spurs already congested fixture list, Harry Redknapp will be wrapping King’s knees in cotton wool.

Brede Hangeland (Fulham)

Antolin Alcaraz (Wigan) Any defence with Titus Bramble needs all the help that it can get, and there is no better help than Alcaraz who was an absolute rock for Paraguay, conceding just 2 goals in 5 World Cup matches. A central defender by trade, Alcaraz possesses a good leap and times his headers to perfection which is encapsulated by his goal against Italy in the recently concluded World Cup. If Figueroa does leave as speculated, Alcaraz can do a job at left back as well. An astute purchase by Wigan manager, Roberto Martinez.

The Scandinavian man mountain is a wanted man, and he has been linked with Aston Villa, Arsenal, Man City and of course Liverpool. Although Hodgson has publicly stated that he “don’t want to go in and raid them (Fulham)”, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Liverpool bidding for Hangeland, if there were any high profile departures in defence. Whoever the new Fulham manager may be, they will do well to convince Hangeland that his future remains at Craven Cottage. Without Hangeland’s outstanding aerial domination in defence as well as Hodgson’s organisational skills, Fulham may find themselves in a relegation dogfight instead of the European journey they enjoyed last season. Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

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Midfielders To Watch Yossi Benayoun (Chelsea) Curious choice by Ancelotti to replace a 28 year old (Joe Cole) with a 30 year old (Benayoun). But Ancelotti is no idiot, and he must have seen something in the Isreali captain to pay Liverpool £6m to secure his signature. Benayoun has 5 seasons of top level English football under his belt, and although not the fastest on the ball, he still manages to beat his marker consistently with his superb dribbling skills. Benayoun can play anywhere across the midfield in advanced positions, and he could play at the tip of the diamond in Ancelotti’s favoured Diamond formation, or as one of the wingers in a 4-3-3 formation. This canny operator can unpick teams that “park the bus”, and should provide his fair share of assists.

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Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal)

David Silva (Man City) Tiki-taka is in fashion now after Spain’s historic World Cup win, and together with Tevez and Yahya Toure, they could certainly replicate it to a certain extent, should Mancini agree that that is one way to success. To the uninitiated, tiki-taka is a style of play based on short passing and movement, working the ball through various channels and maintaining possession. The best exponents of this playing style are Barcelona and the Spanish national team. Silva is comfortable playing as a traditional number 10 or the Trequartista. Famous Trequartistas includes Zidane, Totti and Rui Costa. Silva could also play on the wings. Blessed with sublime ball skills, combined with darting runs behind the defence, Silva who is the assist king in La Liga will add variety and creativity to Man City’s attack. Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

Fabregas, who hails from La Masia (Barca’s youth academy), is a skillful exponent of the tiki taka passing style. The cultured midfielder has excellent vision and the ability to dictate the pace and tempo of a game. Since Alonso’s departure to Real Madrid, Fabregas is currently the best passer of the ball in EPL. Last season, Fabregas has added a direct running style to his game that has made him a bigger goal threat, this resulted in his best goal haul ever of 19 goals in all competitions. Arsenal captain and talisman Fabregas will be sorely missed if he indeed leaves the club for his childhood club Barcelona.


Luka Modric (Spurs) One player that did not make it to the World Cup, but would not have looked out of place in the Spanish squad is the gifted Luka Modric. Modric has an exquisite first touch, and is one of the few players that have the rare ability to control a tempo of the game. Initially he was considered too lightweight for the Premier League, but Modric has come alive last season where he looks comfortable playing either in an advanced midfield role on the left or in the centre. Modric’s speed on the ball, superior technical abilities and quick thinking often leave defenders floundering, and he will gain valuable experience if Spurs can make it to the group stages of the Champions League. Modric would want to build on last season’s good work, and if used appropriately, he could be one of the best playmakers the Premier League has ever seen.

Owen Hargreaves (Man United) The £19m replacement for Roy Keane has had wretched luck with injuries which has blighted his Red Devils career. In fact, the ex-Bayern Munich star has started only 26 games in his 3 seasons with the Mancunian club. Last season, he looked to have overcome all his injury problems when he made a substitute appearance in United’s penultimate game of the season against Sunderland. Hargreaves plays in front of the defence and is one of the best in the game in what he does before he got injured. The Canadian born midfielder is a free kick expert, and in his absence Fergie is forced to play the inept Carrick and the inferior Darren Fletcher.

Lucas Leiva (Liverpool) No other EPL player divides opinions as much, the media and fans ridicule him, while managers (specifically Dunga and Benitez) adore him. Last season’s Opta statistics showed that Lucas had the 2nd highest passing accuracy and the 4th highest tackling success rate in the EPL. These don’t mean much to the tactically illiterate, but Lucas is definitely essential to the modern game. Lucas is a hard worker with a good tactical discipline, which ensures that the team keeps their shape, and doesn’t surrender possession easily. He might not have Alonso’s Hollywood passing skills but he is one of the best short passers of the ball in EPL. Capello would have killed to have Lucas in his England team.

Joe Cole (Liverpool) At the time of writing, Cole, who is available on the free has not yet signed a permanent contract with any clubs. Off the top of my head, if you were to ask me which English players are capable of Brazilian’s ‘Joga Bonito’, I would say Rooney and Joe Cole. Blessed with wonderful technique, Cole is the man with the tricks and flicks that can unlock the most stubborn defence. Cole is known for his dribbling abilities and ball control, but if there is one weakness in his game, it would be that he often favours style over substance, thus he would probably not be many manager’s cup of tea.

Tom Huddlestone (Spurs) I was surprised that Huddlestone wasn’t called up by Capello for the World Cup, after having such a good season with Spurs. Although not the quickest on the field, the aptly named Huddlestone has an imposing physique and an impressive range of passing. With proper coaching to train on his positioning (to overcome his lack of pace), he can definitely play in a deep playmaking role that is the bread and butter of stars like Xabi Alonso and Andrea Pirlo. Detractors criticise his mobility and tacking abilities, but like the Alonso-Mascherano pairing, if he can be paired with a tiger-ish tackler like Wilson Palacios, Spurs can dominate any midfield. Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

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8Strikers

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Milan Jovanovic (Liverpool)

The last signing of ex-boss Rafa Benitez before he was unceremoniously dumped out of the club. The Serbian stalwart may well turn out to be the signing that brings Liverpool back to Champions League football. Last season, due to Rieira’s petulance and Torres’ absence, the Merseyside club was short of quality on the left wing as well as in the centre, and Jovanovic can play in both positions. Dubbed ‘The Serpent’ by the media for his ability to dribble his way through defences, Jovanovic will provide much needed penetration on the left flank. Should first choice striker Fernando Torres be unavailable, Hodgson will be able to rely on Jovanovic’s cunning and experience.

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Nikola Zigic (Birmingham City)

Javier Hernandez (Manchester United) The reported £10m summer signing is the 8th forward on Manchester United’s book and this includes: Berbatov, Rooney, Owen, Marcheda, Mame Diouf, Joshua King and Welbeck. Described by Fergie as “two footed, very quick, in possession of a good spring and a natural goal scorer.” Hernandez will hope that he will get his chance in an overcrowded dressing room, and avoid the fate of Tosic who is incidentally also another £10m signing who only played 30 odd minutes and Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

has already been shipped out to CSKA Moscow permanently. But if the World Cup is any indication, Hernandez doesn’t need to worry as his pace should suit Man Utd’s counter-attacking style. In fact, FIFA’s statistical analysis showed that Hernandez is the fastest player in World Cup 2010, hitting a top speed of 32.15km/h. Hernandez would most likely start on the bench, and Fergie should be using the Mexican starlet more as an impact player this season.

Birmingham looks like they have won the skyscraper arms race, when they finally signed the 2.02m Zigic, who is one of the tallest players in the world. With incumbent striker Cameron Jerome who is no midget himself as strike partner, away teams can expect an air assault at St Andrew’s Ground. Watching Zigic playing with Valencia, I have always wondered if he is playing in the wrong league, with all the tiki taka passing by relative dwarfs around him, and he just looks on haplessly. The Frankenstein lookalike has finally found home in the English league.


Carlos Tevez (Manchester City) Fans of the arcade game Street Fighters must be wondering what is Blanka doing in the sky blue of the Man City and Argentina shirt. Tevez might not be the prettiest or the most elegant of players but he makes it up with 100 percent commitment and goals, loads of it. In fact, Tevez outscored his striking teammates with 23 goals last season. If Tevez was still wearing the red of Manchester instead of the blue one, the Red Devils could very well have been champions last season. The Citizen’s gaffer Mancini will hope that Tevez’s all action style and goals will finally see them breaking into the top four this season.

Didier Drogba (Chelsea) Maroune Chamakh (Arsenal) Long time admirer Arsene Wenger finally got his man on a free transfer. Chamakh’s game doesn’t just revolve around goals, his ability to bring players into the game, will fit Arsenal’s game plan to a tee. Chamakh’s 1.88m imposing frame and heading ability will add much needed height to a squad that is lacking in that department. Wenger also gushed that his new signing is “not only a good footballer, but a fighter as well”, which will be useful

Jermaine Beckford (Everton) Everybody’s favourite rags to riches story, Beckford was playing for non-league (the 7th tier of English football) side Wealdstone as recently as 2006. Beckford’s biggest claim to fame was when he left Fergie red faced by scoring the solitary winner in the shock 0-1 upset against the Red Devils at Old Trafford. David Moyes must be hoping for more of the same from Beckford in the coming season. Beckford is a typical out and out goal poacher who is direct and has pace to burn. However, he is not the most natural of finishers, often needing a few chances to get the goal, it will be interesting to see if he has what it takes to make it at the highest level.

against the likes of physical teams like Blackburn, Everton and Stoke. Last season, one of the main reasons why Arsenal faltered was their over-reliance on Van Persie, and when he was injured, their attack had no focal point. Wenger often forced the diminutive Arshavin to play in an unfamiliar Centre Forward role, because of a lack of quality alternatives. The Moroccan marksman could be the final jigsaw of the offensive puzzle.

The powerfully built striker is powerful and can be unplayable when he hits top form. However, Chelsea fans still squirm at the image of a clearly incensed Drogba acting childishly when designated penalty taker Lampard insisted on taking the penalty in Chelsea’s win over Wigan and Ancelotti will try to use all his experience and management skills to curb Drogba’s drama queen side from appearing too often. The Ivorian captain was last season’s Golden Boot winner with 29 goals, and a repeat performance should see the Blues retaining this season EPL crown.

Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) Rooney had a good season with the Red Devils, scoring 34 goals in all competitions after re-inventing himself in a lone striker role. Unfortunately, he couldn’t replicate his form for country and couldn’t score a single goal in England’s hugely disappointing World Cup campaign. To complete the humiliation, the former Evertonian had the dubious honour of being named the World’s ugliest footballer. Ugly or not, Rooney’s high work rate, ability to pick out a pass and goal scoring prowess ensures that he will remain as Manchester United go to guy, whenever the Red Devils needs a spark of inspiration. Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

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Football Weekly’s

BPL Expert Picks As the new season dawns upon us, Football Weekly’s Shaun Loh decides to do one better than ‘Paul the Octopus’ and gives us his insights into all 20 BPL teams for the 2010/11 season. The prophet has spoken so let’s find out what he says!

Arsenal

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The North London club surprised pundits by challenging for the title last season, and Wenger’s young stars are a year older and wiser. So far, Wenger has addressed the lack of a targetman by bringing in Chamakh, who will bring variety into their play. But for Arsenal’s title challenge to be taken seriously, Wenger needs to buy a top class goalkeeper, replace William Gallas with an experienced defender and convince club captain Fabregas to stay. Verdict: Title Challengers

Aston Villa For the 2nd season running, Martin O’Neill’s side ran out of gas at the business end of the season. Whether this is due to O’Neill’s refusal to rotate the players which results in players playing in too many games or there is a lack of depth and quality in the squad is up for debate. And with money tighter this season, the squad looks like it will more or less stay the same. Verdict: Europa League place.

Birmingham Alex McLeish will want to avoid the second season syndrome that has befallen many newly promoted sides. It still remains to be seen if new owner Carson Yeung has deep pockets, as although Birmingham has been active in the transfer markets, the signings so far: Ben Foster and Zigic is slightly underwhelming. Verdict: Mid table obscurity

Blackburn Sam Allardyce’s team has always been characterised by physical players and pumping the ball towards these physical players and Blackburn is no different. But with Samba and Nelson marshalling the defence, Rovers will be a hard team to break down. Verdict: Bottom Half

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11


Chelsea

Blackpool Up and coming manager Ian Holloway led Blackpool to a historical debut appearance in the Premier League. But with a tiny squad and no money, the talents of Holloway might not be enough to prevent the Tangerines from being the new whipping boy of the Premier League. Verdict: Relegation

Bolton Wanderers New boss Owen Coyle took over from Gary Megson midway last season at the end of Dec 2009 and has changed the long ball tactics of Bolton to an attractive passing style. The astute free signing of experienced left winger Martin Petrov, together with the impressive Lee Chung Yong on the right, should provide Davies with ample ammunition. Verdict: Mid table

The Pensioners have one of the best squads in the Premier League, but many of them are at the wrong side of 30, but if there is one person that can get the best out of oldies, it is Ancelotti, who did well at the old folksâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; home at AC Milan. Having released Ballack, Belletti and Cole, it would be interesting to see who Ancelotti brings in to join Benayoun. Essien returning fit would be like a new signing, and Essien could propel the West London club to another title. Verdict: Title Winners

Everton David Moyes has done well on a limited budget for Everton for several years, and the fiery Scot has build a solid squad revolving around the talents of Arteta, Pienaar, Fellaini and Saha. If they can be kept fit, it will go a long way into their challenge for a Europa League place. Verdict: Europa League place

Fulham The English media fell over themselves to heap accolades at Hodgson for leading a solid but unspectacular squad to a Europa League final. However, Hodgson has since left the Cottagers for Liverpool, and the London club needs a new manager fast. Verdict: Bottom half

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

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Liverpool 94

Disturbing rumours have been making the rounds at Merseyside that Liverpool gaffer Roy Hodgson is the board’s puppet, and he will not have a say if the board decides to offload players in order to pay off interest payments. So far only Jovanovic and Shelvey have been brought in by Benitez. Aurelio and Benayoun have been released and sold respectively and they will need replacing. If transfer speculation is true, Mascherano and Insua have been linked to moves, and if Hodgson can’t convince the likes of Torres, Gerrard and Lucas to stay, Liverpool can forget about European football next season. Verdict: Europa League to mid table

Man City

The Citizens just missed out on Champions League football last season, and the ambitious owner, Sheikh Mansour has bankrolled manager Mancini to bring in the best talents that money can buy. Thus far, Man City has confirmed the signings of Jerome Boateng, Yaya Toure and David Silva. And from the grapevine, Mancini is still targeting players like Fernando Torres, James Milner, Edin Dzeko, Ibrahimovic, Balotelli, Joe Cole, David Luiz and Aleksandar Kolarov. If Man City can address their defensive frailties with some top class signings, Man City could mount a surprise title challenge. Verdict: Champions League spot

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

Man Utd

The wily Ferguson has been quiet in the summer transfer market so far, happily allowing nemesis and neighbours Man City to dominate the back pages. With two of his signings Mexican starlet Javier Hernandez and promising youngster Chris Smalling being tied up before the World Cup, it would be interesting to observe if Man Utd is handicapped in their transfer targets in any way by the crippling debts saddled by their American owners. But Fergie does have an expensively assembled, talented and experienced squad at his disposal, and if the squad can stay relatively injury free, the Red Devils should be more than worthy challengers to Chelsea’s crown. Verdict: Title Challengers


Newcastle The Magpies achieved promotion in style by winning the Championships without losing at home and accumulating a club record 102 points. The worst thing that can happen to the Newcastle is if the Toon Army gets unrealistic and calls for head of Chris Houghton after a few bad results. Stability is of the utmost importance for the club at the moment. Verdict: Relegation Dogfight

Stoke City Stoke is probably the most unfashionable side in the entire Premier League. The Potters (even their nickname is boring) have no history to speak of, and adopt a Wimbledon style of football, which is more suitable on the rugby field than the football field. Verdict: Relegation Dogfight

Sunderland Sunderland started strongly last season before enduring a horrible 14 game winless run. Gaffer Steve Bruce will be hoping that Black Cats hitman Darren Bent can bring over his hot goal scoring form to next season. If not, they can always depend on a beach ball. Verdict: Bottom Half

Spurs

The perceived opinion that Spurs have the ‘best bench’ is due to brain dead commentators and pundits repeating it ad nauseum. Indeed Spurs do have an impressive squad which is the fourth most expensively assembled, only behind Chelsea, Man City and Man Utd. Adding the talented Brazilian midfielder Sandro into their already crowded gaggle of midfielders, they now have Huddlestone, Jenas, Modric, O’Hara and Palacios vying for two central midfield places. Maybe this is Redknapp’s way of preparing Spurs for the demands of Champions League football. Verdict: Champions League spot challengers

West Brom Young manager Roberto Di Matteo (yes that ex Chelsea player) amazingly led West Brom back to the Premier League in his first attempt. But without a budget, it is hard for Di Matteo to implement his passing style on limited players. Verdict: Relegation

West Ham West Ham owners David Sullivan and David Gold finally got their own man to lead the club, and they chose (drum roll), Avram Grant. So far, the Hammers have signed Thomas Hitzlsperger on a free transfer, and according to Sullivan “he is the first of many signings this summer. We are going to sign a mixture of exciting young talent as well as the very best senior pros who can add real strength to the squad like Thomas.” Colour me sceptic. Verdict: Relegation Dogfight

Wigan I have to admit that I am a fan of Roberto Martinez’s work at Wigan. Although they are not the most efficient in collecting points, they play good counter-attacking football with a South American flair. The Latics should improve on last season’s work. Verdict: Mid Table

Wolves Will manager Mick McCarthy play a weakened side against Man Utd again? It is hard to defend a defeatist attitude, but to sign a disgrace of a player like Stephen Hunt is unforgiveable. Verdict: Relegation Dogfight

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

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Premier League’s

A Z Football Weekly brings you the Ato-Z list of some of the hottest (not necessarily the best!) players to look out for in the Barclays Premier League in the 2010/11 season.

Mikel Arteta

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E

B

F

A certain Spanish player by the name of Mikel Arteta is our top man for the first letter of the alphabet. Arteta plays for Everton and he seems to have fully recovered from the knee injury that kept him out for a long time.

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Can the bad boy behave this time? Joey Barton returns from the dead with Newcastle and something tells us he is still not happy about being relegated. Watch out for the fury of this man!

C

Liverpool’s new recruit Joe Cole will feel like a fish released back into the water after his departure from Chelsea where he spent a horrendous amount of time on the bench. Will we see the best of Cole in a red shirt this time round?

D

Lap it up with Rory Delap! The master of long throw-ins, Delap will definitely be hauling those balls into the penalty box again this season. Now wait a minute? Did I hear you mention that’s not fair? Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

Hardly a stranger to the Premier League, we welcome Jason Euell back to the top flight, this time with Blackpool. The Lancashire club is still in dreamland and this will most likely be Euell’s final flirt with in the top flight. Catch him in action if you can!

Barcelona is still desperate to catch his signature but looks like we will all get to see Cesc Fabregas in the red of Arsenal again! Bet most of you Gunners’ fans must be clenching your fists in jubilation when Fabregas announced he’s staying. Don’t deny it! Rory Delap


G

Ryan Giggs

One wonders how long more can Ryan Giggs last on the field. The Manchester United midfielder in well in his prime age, but still looks skilful, fast and did we mention he still looks like he has not aged a single bit?

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We know Zavon Hines will get more action on the field with West Ham this season and we can only pray he makes his return from a bad knee injury quickly enough to show us why he is rated as one of the most exciting young stars in football.

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Chelsea struggled with Juliano Belletti but in comes Branislav Ivanovic to save the day. The defender is your typical boring, stereotype defender who just goes about barging everyone away and winning the ball. Oh, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what makes Ivanovic so good a defender! Nigel de Jong

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Now here is a Dutch bulldozer you just cannot miss. Nigel de Jong is the tank in midfield for Manchester City and he will probably be one player who should not be messed with. Careful, he has been known to break legs.

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Will Salomon Kalou finally move up in Chelsea as a first team player at Stamford Bridge? The Ivorian is determined to stay and prove his worth and we reckoned Kalou is in the driving seat following the departure of Joe Cole.

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The dreaded L-word that every Liverpool fan will shudder when they hear it, belongs to Lucas Leiva. A stubborn player who keeps thinking he deserves to make the cut at Anfield, Lucas will certainly prove his point if Mascherano leaves. Oh no!

M

Can any of you still remember his important goals against Liverpool and Aston Villa? Federico Macheda should get a start or two for Mancheser United this season, provided Sir Alex Ferguson is in a good mood.

N

While Samir Nasri was Marseilleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rising star, he did not seem to shine brightly for Arsenal. Many expected him to leave the club this season but the former French Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year is desperate to prove he is cut out for Premier League football.

Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

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Matthew Upson

Mikel John Obi was a cry baby after being given his first red card

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O

I

On the absence of Michael Essien, Mikel John Obi has come into the side and lifted Chelsea up in a defensive midfielder role. Until now, those images of John Obi crying after receiving his first red card are still fresh in our memory. What a crybaby!

P

The blonde-haired Morten Gamst Pedersen gets our vote here. He is often underrated at Blackburn but he really does possess a good set of skills and being one of Blackburn’s better looking stars, Pedersen is also part of a Norwegian boyband called The Players.

Q

Alas for this unfortunate letter, Football Weekly could hardly find a player to go in this category. Franck Queudrue would have been our pick for Birmingham. Well, the last we heard of him was he has been released by the club. Bummer! Football Weekly BPL 2010/11

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We travel to Everton next to look at Jack Rodwell. Still at a ripe age of 19, Rodwell has appeared regularly last season to earn himself a spot in our A-to-Z list. Rodwell has the making of being a future star for England so look out for him.

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U

W

V

X

The captain of West Ham is finding the peak of his career at this time having played for England at the World Cup. The 31 year old Matthew Upson will most likely end his career with The Hammers but we reckon he is still working his socks off before retiring.

The old-timer is making a comeback with Manchester City but it looks like Patrick Vieira will have to compete with several other stars to stand on that field. He seems to have toned down on his temper a lot. Did you all know he was sent off 10 times in his nine years at Arsenal?

West Ham get a man in our list through Junior Stanislas. You would have thought he is Greek or something, but Stanislas is really an English footballer! Under Avram Grant, expect to see more of this youngster in the colors of the claret.

Another big zero on our cards for the letter ‘X’ but we digged up our history books and found Abel Xavier, who once played for giants Liverpool. But everyone must have forgotten to tell him about his facial hair as it was a highlight of the player rather than his skills.

Y

Everton has Joseph Yobo in defence for the longest time and he must be relishing the challenge this season. Unfortunately for Yobo, he has to face the trauma of knowing that his brother was kidnapped back in Nigeria. Scary enough!

T

No A-to-Z list will be complete without Fernando Torres of Liverpool. Actually, we are fortunate this hot shot is in the Premier League because we have seen the brilliance of this Spanish player when he is fully fit. Will we see more of Torres this season?

We turn our attention to Vladimir Weiss of Manchester City. This rising star made such a huge impact for Slovakia at the World Cup that we believe City would be daft enough to let Weiss leave now! Will we see more of Weiss this season?

Z Torres of Liverpool in his best smile

You probably would not know him even if you have been watching the Premier League last season but Yuri Zhirkov does play for Chelsea in midfield or defence. 26 times to be exact. Hopefully he gets more action this season!


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