MinBane

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Archive for the tag “Newcastle”

My Congratulation Message to Leicester City Football Club after the club became the marvellous Premier League champions of the 2015/2016 today!

Leicester City Fans

This will be written with emotions and not be accurate as the historic victory of Leicester City Football Club and their title of the Premier League for the season of 2015/2016. Today is two rounds before the end of season and with Chelsea – Tottenham 2-2 on Stamford Bridge. That gave Leicester City a 7 Point over Tottenham Hotspur on the Second Place in the Premier League.

This has been a season of amazement and wonder. Chelsea breaking down in the start of the season, Aston Villa going into shambles and Sunderland and Newcastle continue to fight yet another season to avoid relegation. So the season have had wonders and been different. With West Ham winning on away at bigger clubs. Liverpool have been either great or terrible; Southampton been under the radar, Everton not there yet again. Bournemouth and Watford securing the place in the league early after promotion last season!

Ranieri Goal Quote

But there been one crazy ride in Leicester City and their ways of winning the title. They started with a weird season where they we’re down in the dumps and had a great escape from relegation. They had a fantastic last part where they won and won. It set the stage for this season even with the sacking of Nigel Pearson. Nobody expected much of Claudio Ranieri as he had just been sacked himself from being the Greece National Head Coach after humiliation of losing 1-0 to Faroe Islands in Europe Championship Qualification match in Athens in 2014. Nobody expected after this that he might resurrect something big in Leicester when he arrived as Manager there.

The goals were set and the standard. He didn’t blink Claudio Ranieri had a plan and it wasn’t to reinvent or buy a new squad. First was set to come as quick as possible to the 40 Points so the level of safety and knowledge of knowing that the Premier League status for another season would be secured. In January he celebrated the 40 Points and the secured place in the league. With that he set a new focus on getting 80 points. Something that was set in the January after a extraordinary first months of the league.

Rainieri Quote

Jamie Vardy scored goals in 11 games in row. That is world-record and a Premier League Record. That was already achieved in November 2015. Many months before the title was in the talking. Riyad Mahrez who came from Le Havre and have been sparkling on the midfield has been voted as the Premier League Player of the Year. Nobody expected this two to sparkle and become vital parts of the Season and change the way we saw the results.

As the last few seasons and after Guardiola won titles and Champions League with Barcelona it’s positive with possession and the direct passing style to keep the ball in the team. Leicester City has been playing a counter-attacking running in the empty space between the midfield and defenders of the opposition. And they have one of that with sometimes as little of 20 % of possession. Where the long-balls and the counter-attacking when the teams have been unstructured because of the team have been in attack and therefore stretched. Not enough players on the right side of the Leicester City high-pulse running midfielders and the strikers like Vardy. The same of with the passes and the technic of Kante and Mahrez, not too talk about the speed of Albrighton.

Leicester Wes Morgan

The same with the soundness of the captain in Wes Morgan in the defense as he set the standard of calm even when they been under and had to turn the result in their favour. With him Huth, Fuchs and Simpson have also showed their strength in defense. As Fuchs, Huth and Morgan have stand strong even when the opposing team have pounded and been around the 16 meter box and knocked the ball away with pace and mastery. As they could have been red-carded and created more penalties with bad tackles or loose the line for offside. The Keeper in Kasper Schmeichel has been good the box and even taken brave steps when the defensive line has cracked.

Leicester Merch

All of the players together with the leadership of Ranieri have created this; he built on the foundation that Nigel Pearson left behind. Together with the rest of the staff that have recruited and created the group of players that makes the team we knows as Champions today. The staff together with their scout’s looks for players that can actually fits the already established group of players.

So the achievement have been totally mind blowing as the big teams who has spent fortunes on players and salaries are beaten by a club who builds a team and not on already famous players, even outcasts from Manchester United in Drinkwater. Together with Albrighton from Aston Villa, Danny Simpson from Newcastle and the list goes on to their former clubs and their sudden victories approach. Only Huth have won with Chelsea, but not as a fixed part of the 11 players that season, but more as a substitute.

The whole management and the club have achieved something that people like me only achieved on Football Manager or the older versions of Championship Manager. This is like we are managing to come to Champions League with Northampton on the CM 2000/01. It feels like this today. And the Leicester City and all the ones who made it happen can be proud. All the players and the fans can celebrate. I have looked and wondered. It’s been a streak and amazement of the results created by the club. 2015/2016 has made history.

Mourinho Ranieri Quote

The management, the owners and the players can all be celebrating and congratulation on your first and hopefully not your last Premier League Championship title. Leicester City has waited 132 years, and now has the title and the silverware in their club cabinet. It is well deserved. Also good to know that Jose Mourinho (Chelsea), Louis Van Gaal (Manchester United) or other serial-winners who uses all kind of tactics and ploys to win while being managers of wealthy clubs didn’t hitch the title away from Leicester this year.  

So congrats to all the Foxes, sorry you are Champions and also staying up! We are proud of you and all the football-fans world-wide are happy for you. Even the Tottenham Hotspurs Fans will celebrate with you, but with some shed tears as they we’re so close. Still, the story is all on you and you have made a story that will be remembered. The Team that have been made and kept in the calm hands of Claudio Ranieri proves that the little underdog can overcome the giants who spend £100m pounds in transfers. Something that Leicester City hasn’t done. So again congratulation and you deserve all the praise and glory as the championship is yours; something nobody, none can take away from you.

It took many years to find the remains of King Richard the Third in Leicester City and it have been reburied in a new grave. As much as the finding of the fallen royalty in Leicester was a surprise, the evident victory and winning Premier League! Congratulation and know that you have made the underdogs, the men and woman who enjoy football for its joy and fun. They enjoys victory as it wasn’t he funding and high transfers, but the initial view of building a team is the wonder that you have done. Peace.

PS – Another fun fact – Football related: 

Fun Fact Aston Villa Nottingham

The ironies of Socialism versus Neo-Liberalism; why I believe in a Keynesian approach instead of the Socialism or the Neo-Liberalism

Socialism churchill

Well, it is about that time, I make mockery of two statues of civilization and ideas that rules the world while not hoping the blindly followers of either comes to attack my person, my thoughts or my widely allegation on the parts. Both of the political views and framework have made a difference and is the reason why we have societies like we have today.

The main parts of socialism is that there is policies and regulations that fit for social and bigger government who cares for the citizens, like subsidized health-care, schools, university, transport and local government. Through taxes and higher fees on produce as the socialism need funding for the ability to make the government organizations and government programs. The Government need more taxes to able to serve the public with what they expect through the socialistic view, while the taxes are set-up in a way that the ones with more income is generating more revenue is supposed to pay more tax; than the ones that are paid less.

So with the big-government and grander government policies comes the address of the public will and citizens loses power, but that for the price of cheaper health-care, schooling and other government institutions. That stops the higher prices and free-market pricing of health care that lets major parts of the society might even be able to pay for the needed operations. So the reasoning and hateful measurement against big-government is wrong in some parts as the people are stronger when we work together and divide the expenditure on the whole society; instead of billing the whole ordeals on the single individual.

free market

Neo-Liberalism is not as straight forward as this is supposed to be measurement to weaken the state, make it liberal and little. Give more power to person instead of the government and give more choices to the citizens of the given country. The issue is that Neo-Liberalism has come with certain ideas and prospects. For instance the New Public Management (NPM) is a Neo-Liberalistic idea. NPM have given the societies and the government who added these policies more watchmen and ombudsmen then before. They have given the power away from the departments and created institutions under the departments with specialist and experts that sets the standard and gives advice to the department. While the departments still need manpower, so need also the lower-expert-institutions. So you have two fronts with specialist working the same field and advising each other. So before NPM most of the experts and brains where at the Department and Local Government that worked with a given subject or the project that needed a specialist; thanks to NPM they have become self-serving and not cut down the amount of bureaucracies have become fluent. As much as the wish for the NPM as parts of the Neo-Liberalism idea, it hasn’t created less government, but more and longer away from the decision making.

The Neo-Liberalism of free-market and starch corporate control have not given added freedom to the consumer. As the markets are controlled by less and less owners and stakeholders; the corporate power have become stronger, but more centralized in conglomerates that issues the policies and secure the profits. The riches of the corporations and the borderlines agreements are built for the corporations not for the welfare for the citizens. The original businesses we’re built for single projects or for fixed procurement that the state and citizens needed like building roads and bridges. Not gaining profits that sky-rocket and then moves away the tax-money into tax-havens. That is the Neo-liberalism ways of economies. In a way the movement of money should happen without government interference or taxation.

The Neo-Liberalism brought also an idea that was worse than the NPM. That was the Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) under the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). SAP was made in the 1980s to liberate the subsidized agriculture, health-care and other public institutions as government got great loans through the funding of IMF and WB. So they released the governments and free-market ideas that killed the Co-Op’s in the countries that was already lots of them. They had commissions and centralized crop sales through Co-Ops that served the farmers, either they produces cocoa, coffee or tea. This was a standard of fixing training, production and prices to influx together a stronger unity. The ironies of this is that the IMF and WB gave this order through SAP to Low-Developed Countries while the countries that funded this had Co-Ops in agriculture themselves and still have to this day. So with the SAP they made the inside trading before the export more intricate and gave “supposed” more power to the farmer. Instead they became more reluctant and needed more to be careful to whom they offered their crops to. As the traders from capital who went up-country could fix prices and lie about the values to earn more on the trade to export. So the farmer would not get a given price on the world-market because there we’re less voices giving the farmer a hand in the trade of their cash-crops and their goods that they we’re not consuming themselves. So the SAP agreement stalled the government institutions and weakens them together with the trading experience on the ground. The structures we’re given big loans for building up trade-networks and export facilities while dismantling the structures that secured and fueled the industry and agriculture. As the Agriculture and Industry should not get subsidized, but get funding through free-market ideal and that killed the initial funding as the cheaper production came from abroad instead of making it locally. Therefore it is more normal to Chinese, Egypt and Brazilian products than own local products in the supermarkets of Uganda, for instance. Even meat, juice and toilet-paper are imported than produced in the country. That is because of the SAP and the Neo-Liberalism ideas.

zero-hour-contracts

Another important factor of the Neo-Liberalism idea is the abolishing ideas of Workers Unions and trying to ban them. As the Free-Market should fix the pay for the worker and the business it should fix it. That is why there been less strikes and less new Unions in our day. The reason why Unions in our time is important and the socialist idea of them is that the riches of the corporations; does not seem to trickle down to the citizens; it only left back to the stakeholders and owner, not to society or the workers that works for the rich corporations. Settling this is not easy. During the Reagan and Thatcher era tried to kill of the unions for their meddling and dissolve them so to actually centralize power. Instead this killing of mining-unions and other unions in the United Kingdom have weaken the industry and the ability of workers to fix pay while the corporations come with contracts that are good for business, but not good for steady income for proper work. The recent years of cover-ups in Sports Direct that is owned by Newcastle United Mike Ashley that offers their workforce lots of “Zero-Hour Contract”. Zero Hours Contracts work in the way that the employer has more people under their wings without paying extra for them. The Contract gives not benefits or sick-leave. As the Employee is paid by the hours and amount of time they work for the employer and nothing else. So all the benefits is added to the business and none for the worker, who has to fight and bend-over to add hours as the pool of willing workers are there. Even if the Zero-Contracts are bad, the non-Union and not-allowed to unionize work-force cannot go together and fight for their benefits and rights. As the Employer can continue to use and get new workers without having to stand-by them. Sports Direct is just an example of it, there are more business who uses this model and creates massive profits as they don’t have to offer needed benefits or health-care programs to the employees. As Wall-Mart have had low-hourly pay and no health-care benefit while letting their employees sign-up to government funded programs for health-care so that the Wall-Mart employees get little paid and at the same time uses food-stamps and Medicaid instead of Wall-Mart having health-Care benefits. So the business saves the money for salaries and also save the benefits of their employees; this is something you can thank the beautiful neo-liberal ideas.

The difference with the neo-liberalistic ideal of work is that the employee would give sufficient pay and have a contract that benefits the company and the workers. As they would have social responsibility for their workers as they have health benefits through the standard with standard payments of salaries together with state fueled community health care. The Neo-Liberal is that personal pay of the health-care instead of tax-payers money. So the health-care will be opened to the once who can have insurance or ability to pay for it. Instead of funded through the tax-payers pockets as solidarity between all citizens as in the socialist idea. That cannot be seen as a problem for a liberal person, to bring solidarity and also a structured health-care that everybody pays their fees into and when needed pay a small personal fee to get access, instead of footing the whole bill on their own.

Text ZHC SportDirect

Let me finish this up with the ideals that are ironic on the matter.

  • Smaller Government under NPM has actually made more Ombudsmen and Expert Organizations. Meaning that the Government didn’t become smaller, just longer away from the Department to the Experts and the Ombudsmen that the Government want to control
  • The SAP in Neo-Liberalistic method didn’t bring wealth to the countries it was applied to. The Farmers, the government institutions got weaken, while the loans got higher and less development as the Free-Market got the resources, but without control of the Co-Ops or other ways of maintaining support of citizens. The economies became more fragile as a result of the Neo-Liberal SAP then under the Co-Ops with the control of selling cash-crops and so on.
  • The Free-Market idea of Neo-Liberalism while destroying Labor-Unions to secure more government control of the market. While deteriorating the labors ability and therefore opening for the “Zero-Hour” Contracts that gives all the advantages to the corporations and none to the employee who only get security for the hourly work and nothing else for the employee. That would not happen with stronger unions and government who could enforce the rules for corporations.

All of these is ideals against each other I myself is not a clear socialist, even if I am raised on socialist country in a social-economic balance system. I myself is a clear Keyenist in the way that I believe in free-market and free-society to an extent. That extent is that the governments automatically bails out the necessary institutions and have a hand into the banks and other needed businesses of a society. That the workers are secured and fixed through strong barriers so that the market is made sure that the governments, and also facilitate the marker for the corporations. So that the market will have input from the government as the eruptions is inevitable and needs a structure to control it.

keynes

This three main components are basic:

  • Aggregate demand is influenced by many economic decisions—public and private.
  • Prices, and especially wages, respond slowly to changes in supply and demand, resulting in periodic shortages and surpluses, especially of labor.
  • Changes in aggregate demand, whether anticipated or unanticipated, have their greatest short-run effect on real output and employment, not on prices. Keynesians believe that, because prices are somewhat rigid, fluctuations in any component of spending—consumption, investment, or government expenditures—cause output to change. If government spending increases, for example, and all other spending components remain constant, then output will increase.

So with that in mind you understand why I am in between of the socialist and the free-market neo-liberalism as the Keynesian ideas that are more subtle and securing society as the mixed of government control and free-market gives sustainable societies. Not only full freedom without security for other than the corporations which is the main mantra of the Neo-Liberalism as the individual freedom usually get used by the legal person the corporations and not coined will by the persons themselves as the belief is under the ideology of liberal ideas. Instead of having total control of the state in the Communism, and strong big-government with socialism; but the Keynesian sees it in middle of that and have a free-market with control of the wages and workers by the government. That gives a steady economy and also a greater stability in the values of inflation and stronger value of the person instead of being a commodity as resources in the free-market thinking of the neo-liberalism that have deteriorated the markets and only winner is the corporations; not the fellow human beings. Peace.

Premier League 2015/2016 – My thoughts after ten rounds

PL 2015-16

There is now a new campaign and new matches. New stars and new clubs and promoted teams adding spice to the Premiership. The Premier League has now had ten rounds of the 38 rounds. It is an indication though still early, I will say that it shows how this might unfold. Though at a certain level shows how this campaign might be. There will be changes on the table and far from sure that those under the relegation mark. Three teams will go down to Championship. Who that might be is hard to see now, especially with how it has unfolded in recent seasons. Who wins the title isn’t easy choice either? Manchester clubs are on the top four together with West Ham. Tottenham and Crystal Palace, off the top three either Manchester club for the moment, though the strongest team right now is Manchester City.

Bournemouth is having its first ever season in the Premiership. It’s a small club with the smallest stadium in the league. But the stagnation of tactics is straining the team together with the collective damage of injuries in the team. Eddie Howe is a young and modern manager. What he already has done with club is amazing.

Watford is also a promoted team, but not new to the league, they have been here before. But the expensive and buying 13 players from coming up from the Championship has acutally worked together with getting a tactical manager in Quique Sanchez Flores. Igahlo and Deeney have showed the quality and that they are fit for the league!

Norwich went straight back after their last turn down into Championship. They have mostly the same team that went down in the last go-around. Alex Neil the Scot has done well in the club, though the recent results is frightening and looking as bad as under the last months under Chris Hughton.

Now I will take the clubs that is actually under the line at this time!

Aston Villa, one of the royalties that has been in a down-falling-spiral since the last two years of Paul Lambert’s tenure. The freshness Tim Sherwood brought saved the club for the third season in a row. Now they gone with only one victory all season, but before starting the season they lost Benteke, Delph and Weimann. Buying young talent, but not finish products. Then after 10 rounds firing Tim Sherwood! There is surely not being built squads anymore in the club, but quick fixing to save the place in the league! Will they make it this year? They might, but want be easy!

Newcastle has a new manager that has turned down the club three times, twice as Derby manager before fired there. Steve McClaren has surely a big boat to turn. Newcastle hasn’t been sparking in a long time. This is for the first season in a while there been bought players with great potential from the low-countries. One victory and 19th Place and losing in the tenth match to Sunderland. Is surely not looking like an easy way out for the Tyne-side team!

The 18th place team is Sunderland yet another team that has struggled in recent campaigns. They fire a manager in the beginning of the season, then saving the place, then running it into the ground in the second campaign of his reign! Paulo Di Canio, Gus Poyet and Dick Advocaat had all the same faith, though Advocaat resigned; it ended before Christmas in second campaign like with the two former managers. Sunderland needs a boast and gotten Sam Allardyce who has history of securing teams and playing safe. Yet another experienced manager, but the team lacks continuity and defensive structure that can builds into using the striking force of Defoe. Time will tell if they will save themselves yet another time.

The Surprise of the season and the giant fall of the league is CHELSEA. Losing five times already and the CHELSEA team need something new. Jose Mourinho has been on a strike and been more paranoid then certain dictators are against everybody else then himself. First the doctor Eva Carneiro was banished. Everybody has target Diego Costa! Every referee has been against CHELSEA!  Like this quotes after losing on Ethiad Stadium to Manchester City:

“A Ramires goal incorrectly ruled out for offside with Man City a goal ahead changed the complexion of this early-season Premier League fixture” (…)”We dominated after the interval and after Ramires’s goal was disallowed, Hazard drew a fine stop from Joe Hart. Two late City goals, from Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho, added some gloss to a final scoreline which did not accurately reflect the bigger picture.” (…)”The Chelsea pressure was mounting and the royal-blue momentum nearly paid off with 20 minutes to go. Hazard lead a rapid break and picked out Diego Costa approaching the left-hand side of the box. He carried the ball, cut inside before squaring for last year’s Player of the Year. Hazard dropped a shoulder and fired for goal, but met his match in Hart” (Chelsea, 2015).

I saw that match; the whole report was like hogwash from certain dictatorships and not a proper match-report. Then the last match kind of confirmed the troubles inside the club. With the cards which has unfolded this season with weak defense of Matic, Ivanovic and Terry. Hazard has been a shadow and only Willian has delivered in the midfield. Falaco came in as a third option, but is still not striking and Loic Remy doesn’t get the time to hit and Costa is just making a lot of fuzz, but not really hitting the goals in the box. Chelsea has issues with Jose Mourinho and his strives to be what he is – a winner and now constantly losing. And his last reaction to losing at a better playing West Ham. Has proven that the Drama of CHELSEA is far from over this campaign!

Stoke has been magnificent under Mark Hughes though this campaign haven’t been either fish or bird. They have not delivered back to back victories yet. They got Shaqiri to the team as they got Bojan last go around. They play more technical and less of Pulis 1-0 counter-strike football. But the results this campaign hasn’t been anything to talk about.

Swansea is in the middle of the league. Third campaign with Gary Monk! The team has evolved and gotten a new favorite in the team. He is Andrew Ayew they got as a bosman player before the campaign, he and Gomis has hit it off. They beat Manchester United in the third match in a row! If they play like that they can still end up over 10th position! Swansea is steady building and proving that yet another campaign.

Everton with Roberto Martinez had a weak campaign after striving in his first as Everton manager. This season is supposed to pick it up. Still the matches I have seen, it’s too unstable. At this stage the defense that was the strong point of David Moyes is totally gone. The team is filled with young talent, but Gareth Barry is showing that he is starting to be to slow and makes more cards, then doing well. Joss Stones and Ross Barkley has skills and proves viability and not forget Lukaku is a force in him. Coleman and Naismith deserve more credit. Leighton Baines is the hero of the team, though too much injured for the moment. The team can be magical and play fantastic, but it’s not consistent which this club deserves!

West Bromwich has Tony Pulis. That means the dream result is 1-0 or 2-1. They won over Aston Villa and Rondon is scoring. Where did Saido Berahino go? Not Tottenham, but he is around in Birmingham right? Wonder when the fans of West Bromwich are going to be bored with the destructive defensive counterstriking teams of Pulis?

Liverpool has been strictly average after using a fortune in the summer and giving Brendan Rodgers another chance to succeed. FSG the owner’s lost their patience the result and getting a draw with Everton before a week of internationals. The players that the Transfer Committee got and structures of the club has given Rodgers a hard time with losing the best players two campaigns in a row. FSG has later gotten Jurgen Klopp as the savior of the club. Benteke, Clyne, Firmino and Origi haven’t done magic either this campaign. Sturridge has been injured. Coutinho and Allen hasn’t been stabile so it’s not all Rodgers, though he was a working scapegoat and now we can see if the German can get this Merseyside club firing!

Southampton is still up high even after losing Schneiderlin who was important in the last seasons also my favorite player in the team last year Clyne. Ronald Koeman is in the second campaign. With the losing of essential players they still have the capacity to get new ones to fills the slot, also show the quality of Fonte, Mane and Pelle one of them will surely be bought by Liverpool if they follow the procedure of their summer shoppings.. Southampton is still over mid-table and stay there. It wants be a team in one of the Champions League spots, but surely be close to get into the Euro League this year as well! If the 10 first matches is telling the truth of the quality of the team.

Crystal Palace first starting campaign with Alan Pardew he was a shadow of himself in the end of his tenure in Newcastle. He got back into the collaboration as a manager with Cabaye. Bolasie, Puncheon, Sako, Zaha, Chamakh, Jedinak, Wickham, Souare, Campell, Mutch, McArthur, Ledley and Bamford! Is all the mid-fielder and attackers that the EAGLES have this campaign and their attacking forces are amazing. Bolasie is truly a player I would have on any of my dream team! Hopefully Crystal Place will continue to play as amazing as they have done!

Tottenham has actually kept their manager Pochettino and Denis Levy must surely be drinking since he usually fires managers quickly. They have Adebayor, but only official striker is Harry Kane and he has scored in the last of the tenth match in this campaign. Eriksen has been not so visible this campaign. Lamela and Dele Ali can bring fire to the mid-field. Still feels the team is to unstable and still young. And wonder how long Levy can see the team as Euro-League team and with the team they have for now, they don’t have the last spark to get into the Champions League. Harry Redknapp will be somewhere smiling at the movement since he was fired…

Another Surprise then CHELSEA and their fall is the team of Leicester City. Pearson was fired in the summer and Tinkerman was hired. Claudio Ranieri. Who has on his CV the ability to lose as Greece manager to Faroe Islands that must be a special for any modern manager? But that doesn’t mean he isn’t a good coach and manager. He has had the ability to continue the striving team of Pearson and the striker Vardy is the top scorer for the moment with 10 in 10! Mahrez also has been sparkling together with Vardy. Leicester continues to be a shiny light in the Premiership!

Manchester United has not under Van Gaal been playing wonderful attacking football. They have used a tiny fortune on players. Angel Di Maria is still gone even if he was record buying. Is Luke Shaw still there? Martial has been great gamble and maybe saved a lot of points. De Gea staying has been a great thing for the club and a loss for Real Madrid. Because with Romero you could see he was weaker. Still not feeling that the club has an edge in the game or should I say trying to prove a stable attacking or defensive play. Wonder when they find their way and will be the Champions League team who wins more with a force, not “rare luck”.

Slaven Billic has taken over for Sam Allerdyce in West Ham before the start of the campaign. West Ham expects attacking fun play and Allerdyce isn’t that type, though Allerdyce is not like Pulis, still more stable defense play! Billic has proven to be fresh air and giving the players free speed. Kouyate, Obiang, Lanzini, Payet, Sakho, Moses, Valencia and Zarate is proving that this team can play wonderful football. Payet and Kouyate can play around with great defenses. West Ham has already won over Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal this campaign. They are in the top four and if they stay here it will be a giant surprise and guilt trip for many of the smaller clubs compared to the usual suspects. If they survive the hard December program will tell!

Arsene Wenger and Arsenal can be often in a great state and play Playstation football. They have been amazing and been played with more caution, even gotten a stable goalkeeper in Peter Cech. That even Mourinho wouldn’t want to sell before the campaign. The weakness is still in the defense, though Monreal, Bellerin and Coquelin has grown in their defensive rolls. I have faith that Arsenal can be a title chaser until the end, but hope that it doesn’t fall apart as it has done around Christmas and then picking up just in time to reach Champions League spot. Arsenal has a magnificent mid-field with Ozil, Sanchez, Ramsey. Carzola, Flamini, Wilshere, Rosicky and Arteta! So they should have enough good choices in the mid-field, at strikers it’s usually either Giroud or Walcott, and the Costa Rican Campell. Arsenal can bring it in, just not lose it.

Manchester City is leading the league for the moment after having a draw with their arch rival United in the last league match. The team has played well with the new mid-fielders like De Bruyne, Sterling and Delph. Delph has though not been pivotal at all, Sterling and De Bruyne has giving the team pace. Together with Silva and Navas has giving the edge to strikers of Bony and Aguero. It seems like a good thing by the club to keep Pellegini as the manager. Keeping the staff and adding to already solid team with Kompany, Zabaleta and Yaya Toure. City has enough if they are all firing to become the title winners this campaign. Though the stability and winning over “lesser-teams” away like losing to Stoke is not good enough if they want to achieve the title again, depending on how they keep it steady, if they are steady even without Aguero who might be the best striker in the league, then they have the ability to win it!

Well, what will really happen? Will Pardew get Crystal Palace into the top six this year? Will Mark Hughes get his mid-field firing? Swansea will continue to thriving as last season? Slaven Billic will he manage to keep West Ham winning over the Christmas season, because Allerdyce did not manage that! Allerdyce will he be able like his predecessors to save Sunderland yet another campaign? Has Steve McClaren the quality of the team and the mentality to save Newcastle? Aston Villa has been falling of grace long before Tim Sherwood entering the club; will the new man of the club have the capacity to save it?

Will Watford, Bournemouth and Norwich keep it up, even if Norwich is starting to look like they did in the last season in the Premier League when they had 7-8 matches without victories, remember last time they  they went down? What will happen to Southampton, mid table or actually able to crack into Europe again?

Has Klopp the aura to get the Liverpool club back into Europe or will that be a longer run? Will Pochettino get fired for not getting the club high enough this campaign? How long can Mourinho keep his calm and how long will Abramovich tolerate the negative campaign and results before firing him for the second time?

I could go and on. But there been an interesting start of the season and hope it will continue. The best of luck and hope you also will enjoy the Premier League as much as I do. Peace.

Reference:

Chelsea FC – ‘Match report: Manchester City 3 Chelsea 0’ (16.08.2015) link: http://www.chelseafc.com/news/latest-news/2015/08/match-report–manchester-city-v-chelsea-.html

 

Leadership and Premier League: The examples of Sunderland and Liverpool

liverpool-sunderland-premier-league-soccer-clubs

Leaders, managers or coaches deals with issues every day and follows the goals of the clubs that employ them. The different structures depend on the owners and how they perceive the handling of the club. Structures are either set for more power for the owner or more of a coach that has little authority in a club. That goes from Transfers Committee that together with owner picks their targets and aims to build the clubs. Secondly you have the managers who decide the targets on his own.

There is also the difference that shows how much the actual manager will do. Not only picking the tactics and fresh players on match day. They have issues with the contracts and the basic running and progression of the club in general. Because the Manager has a genuine role as the person who is known figure for the club as a president is the leader of a country. Though the powers have a reach for a Manager, but has more pivotal role in a club then a coach or trainer. Like Carver was in Newcastle in the end of the season last year he had less of a reach, then say Mourinho in Chelsea who has put his stamp on the team. I know Carver was a temporary fix before hiring the new manager who has gotten certain freedoms though for many it doesn’t look like it has done the trick for the Northern Club.

I will not talk about Newcastle today, though their spirals of negatives are running high. It’s been like that ever since they sold Cabaye to PSG. The owner Ashley hasn’t run the club well for other things then earning money for the coffers of him the owner and not building a powerful squad. Therefore they are in the role of Aston Villa and are yet another year of fighting relegation and will be amazing if they ever in this campaign get-a-back-to-back VICTORY! We all know that. But I will talk about the club who has showed loosen and digging deeper and deeper on the bottom of the Premier League, that is Sunderland and the ‘Stadium of Lights’.

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Sunderland and the sad tale of Dick Advocaat:

Yesterday the experienced and well-founded manager Dick Advocaat resigned his position in Sunderland after short stint at the club, like so many other of his peers. He was the third savoir in three seasons for the club. First it was Paolo Di Canio who took over and was sacked in second campaign. Then came Gus Poyet in and did an amazing save of the club with big scalps, before continuing another campaign which all the power and flow of the team was in shambles and then they hired Dick Advocaat. Advocaat saved them by a thread last campaign and took on another campaign with promise of getting fresh players to strengthen the squad, because it was needed. There been over time picked cheap options and certain quick fixes instead of building a strong team at ‘Stadium of Lights’.

Ellis Short the owner can defend himself with saying that he hasn’t earned a penny from the club because of the wage paradigm that is in the club. The way the big signing this season was in some way Borini who was one of the first players brought into Liverpool by Brendan Rogders and never fitted the bill. Had one good campaign in Sunderland even if has a loose shot and misses on golden opportunities often. Kaboul went from Tottenham who was to unstable in the defense for them and the same with Coates also from Liverpool. Because the older Brown and O’Shea has not the standard and speed for the league anymore, even if they back in the day was futures under Ferguson in Manchester United. They have gotten this season on loan the striker Lens who showed a magnificent goal that made 2-0 and got Advocaat in tears of joy. This shows for me maybe the best moment of the 8th Round for the simple reason to show how great of a heart as a leader Advocaat has!

Even if Sunderland has Lens, Defoe the misfiring Borini and Fletcher can’t cut it in the long-run. The management from Short and transfers prove that there hasn’t been getting the quality and fitting players to a certain style of play. It has been more patching up and quick-fixes the same as leadership. Under Di Canio the club signed 14 players before he got sacked. Under Poyet he got certain players that had been under his leadership as Buckley and others, but did the significant signing in Jermaine Defoe. Even this stars return from Toronto didn’t spark his team and save his position. Therefore Advocaat had to save them as he did. The signings and ways of progression after Poyet and Di Canio haven’t led to anywhere good. Recent matches has been looking as sad at it has done. The loyalty and continuity doesn’t exist right now. Only thing that is static in the teams play is Lee Cattermole who gets a card both now and then.

The resigning proves the dire situation in the club of Sunderland. And the manager that comes to Sunderland will be in rat-hole even if it’s a club with massive potential. It has 40-50.000 on the stadium on match day. Have high potential pay and possibility to pay for players wages to reach for bigger players. But the leadership and the structure is insufficient. The reigns of such amount of managers at the same time as quick decline after grace periods tells of systematic decline in the team-building and also in man-management. The strength that has been defense has lost it. Because it’s been a while since the attack and mid-field has been exciting, even when Jack Colback was running like crazy for the team, and Rodwell haven’t taken over his presence in the squad. That is very visible!

The way that the managers has gone in and out: First saviors and then sacked in the start or into the next campaign. It doesn’t give the club any stability and quality. The club starts to lack vision and tactical plan to prove what they want. That is also visible in the squad that is fragmented by the buys of different managers who went on the faith of the former ones and their plans. Together with the direct patch-ups and quick-fixes that has become the norm. The manager that comes in has a mountain to climb and has to rebuild the trust with the fans that cover the ‘Stadium of Lights’. Not only with steady results, but get the players to play with their hearts out of their Jersey. Give their blood and sweet and tears into any match. As a neutral it’s been a sad sight to see the steady decline and weakness of Sunderland. Do they want to play in the Championship or still be a proud club in the North who has a place in the Premier League? There is time that Ellis Short tries to build continuity on the leadership side of the club and the strategy they have. Not quick fixes in the end that will hurt the club and the players who try to follow every new idea the new manager has. Something that will be hard to implement and make sufficient to sustain a honorable place in the league.

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Brendan Rodgers slowly falling apart at Merseyside:

Now let me go on another manager who didn’t resign, but got sacked. I have mentioned him in a by-the-way earlier today. Brendan Rodgers the man who has made himself a giant name over the past years. A prospect for managerial roles and future trophy hunter; Brendan Rodgers made a name by getting Swansea up from Championship and then playing high intensity football while delivering results there. From there without any big caps or trophies got hired after FSG sacked club-legend Kenny Daglish.

He started and has been in the way of looking after Character and progress in his teams. For those who has followed him. It’s been his mantra. Looking for the characters and building up players from prospects to finish products or stars to be specific. During the spell of Rodgers they has sold and lost their biggest stars like Gerrard, Sterling and Suarez. The last one to go now is Sturridge and then you would soon see flies come from the pockets.

There was the year that Rodgers leading them to the second position in the league. The campaign that always will be remembered because of the dynamic play and fascinating attacking played of the trio of Sturridge, Sterling and Suarez. They were magnificent even if they got dozen goals the other way as well. Some of us even called it Playstation football by the way it going back and forth with the intensity and flair. Something that Rodgers always wished to see in his players to have a certain quality, character and flair. If you find a after-match interview under the Rodgers in Liverpool where he isn’t using those words and describing the match outcome usually boils down to that.

Brendan Rodgers has now had three campaigns. First was what people call mediocre, but showed some progress. Second season was a magnificent run and was close. Because of that he couldn’t continue to build. Fenway Sports Group (FSG) let the gold go away after that and the trades done after weren’t of the same quality. When the spiral went lower and lowers, so low that after the third campaign in charge on Merseyside, FSG changed leadership and under-coaches under Rodgers! That was in general to disfranchise his power at the club. Brendan Rodgers must have felt that already before his fourth campaign for the club. With departing his own coaches and being alone from the original crew that he with from Swansea.

FSG has also put into the system a Transfer Committee so the Manager is not sole-responsible for the trades done by the club. Even though the manager will be responsible for the results delivered by the squad all season. Even with a seat on the committee he has still not the powers that the ones who can pick and choose over set budget. There will always be a Sports Director or Owner who might shut down wishes for certain players, and even likes of Roman Abramovich who just wanted Shevchenko and then Chelsea bought him, even when they didn’t even need his services.

FSG has then in recent choices partly crossed the powers of Rodgers with the Transfer Committee and also with clipping out his colleagues and his team apart hiring new coaches under him. So then still giving him the “second” chance of success with the club by buying Benteke, Ings, Milner and so on during the summer.

Rodgers wasn’t taken early out of his job and had time to do what he needed. But after the first taste the FSG choices made his tenure worse by the minute. The selling of the starts and losing of pivotal players also hurt him. The choices of buying certain kind of players like Aspas and Balotelli didn’t help his impression, though he wanted to prove that he could turn any player into stars again or bring it out of them.

So after the “second” chance after the success would be hard. Sterling left for Manchester City. The former Southampton players should kick off this season in Liverpool. They are Clyne, Lovren and Lallana. But none of them has played as they did in Southampton. Emre Can hasn’t been up to speed. Courthino has been a spark, but alone in it. Firmino who was bought this summer has talent and skills, but hasn’t bloomed yet. Henderson has taken over for Gerrard, but hasn’t had the same flair or capacity. Ibe has showed progress, but is not a finished “product” yet. What happen to Kolo Toure? What happen to the presence of Skrtel in the defense? Even if he is local boy who deserves credit for catching up with quality of the league, why haven’t we seen Joe Flanagan this campaign?

With all of that and others we can see that there are many issues with the Liverpool squad and the reactions to the team. The progress stopped and the shopping of additions this summer didn’t change the results or drive for the team. Rodgers are right! There need rebuilding in Liverpool. With or without him, and certainly with the decision of sacking him it’s with somebody else.

And for me personally the man, who comes in Liverpool, will have a hard task. The locals and fans expect the team to be a top four team and be in the Champions League (CL). Even though it’s been while since last time the club was there. You have to go back to 2008/09 campaign. So that was a three year hiatus between being a part of the European Competition. The Euro League is the sad stepchild that is a misfit for most teams if they’re not Sevilla or Napoli. Tottenham has struggled with juggling Euro League matches and Premier League in the weekends. The same has been seen by Liverpool. And I am sure whichever team who comes from Premier League to the Euro League will struggle as it seems in league.

The leadership that FSG has proven with Brendan Rodgers isn’t a strong token and longevity in the club. It’s easy to give a new long-time contract after some piece of success. That they did because they wanted to show faith. Just like Newcastle did with Alan Pardew back in the day.  Carver was put into temp when Pardew went to Crystal Palace. The same even Aston Villa did with Paul Lambert after back-to-back victories in start of last campaign. That led to hiring of Tim Sherwood to save the club in the Premier League. That is different from the leadership that puts trust into their managers like Bournemouth with Eddie Howe, Burnley with Sean Dyche, and Hull City with Steve Bruce and so on. There are leaderships that prove loyalty and longevity can bring certainty to teams and squads. Not that all leaders should stay for-ever that is not my point.

My point with Todays topic is clear: the way Sunderland and Liverpool has dealt with the managers has not been well. It has been charades and weak. Liverpool done short-cuts and sold their giants; While expecting dead-wood to turn gold before starting to dig after it, and the cost of it all gets the head of Rodgers instead of those who has done their homework. Suarez, Sterling and Gerrard don’t pop-up like Daisies. It is strange seeing that FSG had the same faith that Lallana and Milner be the same as Suarez and Sterling. And also changing the backroom staff and giving strong signals that it wasn’t that well with Rodgers leadership.

We can all understand Advocaat’s situation in Sunderland. He must have been torn especially seeing the trials of doom returning and not much joy insight. Also with the issues of how weak the strategy of the club has been its easy to see why he decided now to leave. The next man will be in tussle like all three former managers we’re with men coming in that was there in stints for others or because the club needed a fix. Not for a strategic long plan and vision of one leader and his tactical ways. So that the next man has to use what is there and prove his capabilities in the club. Sunderland and Liverpool got massive work in front of them. Sunderland got to fight for their place in the league and build stability in the leadership structure. Not only patch it up and quick fixes. Get a man to actually build a team and also build something with the fans that keeps the club alive. Liverpool has a squad and a backroom staff, that has been built by Rodgers who is now gone. The talent and faith in these players will be left to the next manager. Even the transfer committee has decided on certain players, it’s been three season with Rodgers and that leaves certainly some of his vision and characters there. And the staff that FSG has now put in place, since Rodgers lost his team before this campaign. Peace.

My Dream-Team until now at the 18th round of the 2014/2015 season in the Premier League:

This isn’t easy; it’s hard because its 20 teams and they use 11 players on the pitch. Many could choose other players. I will make one team and 5 substitutes. I know that other people would pick different than me. I respect that, so please have patience with me. This is just how I see it and what I think has been the best from the start of this season until now in the 18th round of the league.

Keeper:

David De Gea (Manchester United)

Defense:

Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton)

Curtis Davis (Hull)

Ashley Williams (Swansea)

Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)

Midfielders:

Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea)

David Silva (Manchester City)

Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)

Attackers:

Wilfried Bony (Swansea)

Papiss Cisse (Newcastle)

Substitutes:

Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea – Keeper)

Vincent Kompany (Man City – Defense)

Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa – Defense)

Yannick Bolasie (Crystal Palace – Midfielder)

Christian Eriksen (Tottenham – Midfielder)

Diafra Sakho (West Ham – Attacker)

My 2 Cents: 

This is my handpicked 11 team and substitutes. I know I could pick a lot of other players that would fit the mold and some would even be seen as bigger stars. Like some would wonder why no Angel Di Maria from United, no Sergio Agüero from Manchester City, no Yaya Toure from Manchester City and the list could continue. For me is these players have played magnificent all season. The other that isn’t picked can be called world-class players of any kind. But you got to make a choice and have  If my list will be the same would be the same in a few months I doubt it.

Premier League 2013/2014: My review!

There many out there, but this is mine. How I have seen this season and my thoughts on the madness called Barclay’s Premier League with all its magic and thunder! I will do every team with max 5 sentences which entails the thoughts I have about it and after how it ended first to last.

 

Premier

 

Number one: Manchester City

With Pellegrini in charge, the one manager who hasn’t won a title in Europe wasn’t supposed to surpass the former manager Mancini. The team won the League Cup over Sunderland in 2nd of March. They were having fewer matches and never really on the top, Pellegrini also had a tough spell on the away matches in the start of the season. Nevertheless, with a world-class squad which got better with the players as Negredo, Fernandinho, Jovetic and Demichelis. With a 102 scored goals, controlled play where they achieved victory even with a mismatch’s in the start of the season, then also the important loss at 13. April 2014 this ended 3-2 to Liverpool.

Number two: Liverpool

Brendan Rodgers team which seemed weak compared to other title runner in the Premiership. Getting Sterling, Sturridge and Suarez playing world-class attacking football and at the same time having Henderson to be engine together with the general Gerrard in the midfield of the team. The weakness of the defense with the players who wasn’t up to par with the rest of the Premiership: Kolo Toure, Skretel and Cissokho they got a second place, but also let in 50 goals and scored the magnificent 101! On the 8th February 20 minutes of top class destruction of Arsenal 4-0 and the match ended 5-1, also with the highest class of attacking football of the league this campaign.

Number three: Chelsea

Jose Mourinho in charge of the greatness and succession, Jose became the happy one this time around. A team who is so great that they has no need for the player of the year for two seasons Juan Mata and got Hazard/Willian/Shurrle to play awesome. Mourinho called Wenger a manager of failure, karma hit him and he got not a cup title, league nor further then semi-final in the Champions League. Wonder if Eto’o, Ba and Torres is sure not happy about the happy one, not even Lukaku will return to Stamford Bridge, sure some of the other will leave as well in the next transfer window. I am sure Chelsea will go after Diego Costa and others to secure a title next year.

Number four: Arsenal

Wenger has gotten the team to Champions League yet again. Today they secured the FA Cup with a 3-2 victory over Hull City. The thing missing was a new striker to be a favored guy besides Giroud – Bendtner is the cloth for the Premiership. ὂzil came from Spanish football and his vision made a difference together with fast moving mid-field and the rise of Ramsey made matches like 19th October 2013 Arsenal – Norwich showed class an won 4-1. Looking like contenders before the injuries of Walcott and Ramsey hurt the campaign. Congrats Wenger!

Number five: Everton

Roberto Martinez took over the team after a David Moyes who run the club for 10 years. The team loaned Garth Barry (Manchester City) and Roman Lukaku (Chelsea) they both played important roles for the successful campaign, also Stones and Barkley made great progress an did well considering it all. Everton played better then under Moyes and he made his promise making Everton end over Manchester United, though the well-structured defense with Baines, Jagielka and Distin is maybe the best in the league. Martinez did a fantastic job, enough said!!! The losses in the end of season were the reason why the team didn’t beat Arsenal for the last spot to Champions League.

Number sixth: Tottenham

Andre Villas-Boas (AVB) started as manager after the sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid during the summer bought a new squad for 100 million £. The team played so insane at times, the defense was so unorganized that it could have been a team who deserved to be in the drop zone. The chairman cut the cord and hired Tim Sherwood, the lead to Adebayor to settle again in grace and leaving the new guy Soldado to the bricks. The match losses to Liverpool (0-6, 0-5), Manchester City (1-5, 0-6) and Chelsea (0-4), the surprise in this campaign was win over Manchester United at Old Traffod 2-1. Daniel Levy is now shopping his tenth manager for the mighty Spurs, the question is who is next to be axed by Levy?

Number seven: Manchester United

Old Trafford wasn’t the same, the team wasn’t the same, the transfer windows wasn’t the same, nothing was the same Alex Ferguson retired, but David Moyes was the chosen one! Fellaini and Mata was the signings, one magnificent the other one tragic! Old Trafford became a place not to fear anymore; even Swansea beat them there in the FA Cup! Manchester United played with possession for no reason no tiki-taka Barcelona, but the play from 16th meter yard back to the goalie is a total waste of time and talent! The sacking of Moyes had to come, the one who takes over has to buy a new defense and get them to play attacking football again!

Number eight: Southampton

Pochettino the Argentinian who took the team to new heights with using youth players regularly like Shaw, Clyne, Ward-Prowse, Cork, Chambers and Gallagher! The rise of Lallana and Rodriguez is also astonishing, so well playing is the team that players is now in the zone being sold for a tiny fortune. Pochettino is also on the way to Spurs if he doesn’t get assurance of the mission of a building an amazing squad. Southampton has had an amazing season and can be proud!

Number nine: Stoke

Mark Hughes has taken over after Tony Pulis, because the club wanted to play in more attractive way then long-passes to Kenwyne Jones which got exchange for Odiemwingie and also Assidi (On loan from Liverpool). Adam a former Liverpool player either tackled the opponents, If not he played diligently and proved his place in the team. Stoke did not score a lot of goals, but they did get points and play more possession based as wished by both the fans and board. Stoke made a top ten position something Tony Pulis never achieved, big props to Hughes and his ways with nearly the same players change it and made a great difference.

Number ten: Newcastle

The team under Pardew before Christmas was a team looking like a stellar top six. After Christmas without Cabaye they lost nearly everything except the Cardiff match on 3rd of May where they won 3-0 and even when Pardew Glasgow-kissed Hull City player Meyler they won 4-1 at KC Stadium and got a 7 games ban. The also fallout of Ben Arfa who would have been the best player since the sale of Cabaye, but didn’t play squat in the end of the season! NeuCastle didn’t become the stellar candidate and gotten all the way Europe, they got the top ten, but not in a way that made the fans see with pride. So even if they get some new singings and end the loans of Loic Remy (QPR) and Luuk De Jong (Boruissa Møchengladback), need a new striker and a creative midfielder. The defense needs also new energy since Taylor and Coluccini is rumored to be out and has also been out of form.

Number eleven: Crystal Palace

Getting up from Championship and started badly in the premiership with Ian Holloway in charge. They lost 7 matches and won 1 in mid-October was at 19th place. The board didn’t see any structure in the play and hired Tony Pulis, he cleared the squad which was added with 16 new players before the campaign. Pulis in his window got Ledley (Celtic), Dann (Blackburn) and loaned Tom Ince (Blackpool), they all played to part except for Ince. The Palace team got to be a well-structured defense and a team who not only won matches, but surprised Chelsea (1-0) and Liverpool (3-3) which made a difference for the title race, congrats Pulis!

Number twelve: Swansea

A team which played in Euro-League with a limited squad wasn’t up to part in the league at the same time. Michu injured much of the time, but the signing of Wilfried Bony was a great striker who had class both with speed and cold finisher in the box. Michael Laudrup got fired for having too lenient with the squad and except for beating Manchester United at Old Trafford in the League Cup, he didn’t play up to level of last year. Therefore Swansea hired the player Gary Monk to be the intermit manager for the rest of the season and salvage it. The swans picked up the pace and played more than just possession based tiki-taka play, but also win matches.

Number thirteen: West Ham

Sam Allardyce has secured the London team without any issues kept them out the relegation zone. The team didn’t play a fantastic way, Rat was a mistake, Ravel Morrison never got into the team and headed back to QPR. The need for Andy Carroll, Kevin Nolan, Mark Nobel and Downing was showed this year! Hammers didn’t have a real hammer time, but made it well enough and beat Tottenham 3 times this year! The fans are just worried for the slow pace and play of the team when they need more speed and technic to fill the new Olympic stadium in a few year.

Number fourth-teen: Sunderland

A team that was seen as a dead fish in the water with Di Canio in charge and all the new singnings who didn’t show up at any level in the start of the campaign. It got so bad that they hired Gus Poyet to achieve a miracle ending and he did deliver, he got the team to League Cup final where they lost and saved the team from relegation. They had amazing results over 2-1 over Chelsea in April, victory at Old Trafford 1-0 over Manchester United and 2-0 over WBA. Victories that saved the team and the Black Cats, also the run of Wickham in the end of the season was figure that scored the important goals. Poyet made a miracle happen!

Number fifth-teen: Aston Villa

Ricky Lambert former Norwich manager was supposed to make a difference in the team with the new low budgets. Last year the team got saved by Benteke, this year Delp and whatshisname. Back home they played like it was dangerous and havoc place where they would be lost sheep. Whatshisname is Agboniahor and Westwood made sometimes the games interesting, rest of the time played very badly and a reason why they lost 20 matches. If Lambert keeps the job, he has to create magic next year!

Number sixth-teen: Hull City

The team that got promoted last year with Steve Bruce was doomed from the get go. Defense and attacking was made in a way to fit his opponents, either 5 in defense or 3 depending on how it would affect his play. Also the play with two strikers Sagbo and Boyd, the midfielders of Livermore (on-loan from Tottenham) and buying of Huddlestone (Tottenham) made the difference, in the January transfer-window getting Jelavic (Everton) and Long (WBA). Even with the late defeat in the FA Cup against Arsenal, Steve Bruce has achieved something great with this campaign! Salute to Brucey!

Number seventh-teen: West Bromwich Albion

The Birmingham club has delivered reasonable results during recent years, this year it fall a bit apart with the losing strikers like Odiemwingie, Lukuku and Long. Steven Clark got new players but none of them could match the former strikers this was Berahino and Anichebe couldn’t deliver the same kind of force. So Clark had to go and they hired Pepe Mel! The Spaniard didn’t change much and they just made enough ruckus and points to secure the positions and some strange pre-match interviews… Under Clark they one on Old Trafford though 2-1.

Number eight-teen: Norwich

The big buying hoopla with getting Ricky Van Wolfesvinkel and Gary Hooper, Hooper got injured and didn’t fit for the season; Van Wolfesvinkel was the greatest flop of this season. The amazing and great Chris Hughton got fired right before the end of the season when there was no return, and the team didn’t change anything. They had a terrifying end of it all with high end stakes matches and also losing with those close on the table. Neil Adams didn’t make a difference. Alexander Tettey had the goal of the year for this team, but it didn’t save them from the awful relegation and championship to come!

Number nine-teen: Fulham

This year Mohamed Al Fayed got sold to Shahid Khan, first manager of the year was Martin Jol who didn’t make a cut this start of the season, second manager Rene Meulensteen got 75 days, then then the unlucky funny looking German manager Felix Magath got hired to save the team from relegation. Lewis Holtby (on loan from Tottenham), the defender Johnny Heitinga(who wasn’t a worth the free transfer), Kvist, Dempsey(on loan from Seattle Sounders) and the striker Kostantinos Mitroglou (Olympiacos Piraeus) who didn’t even play and he was supposed to be the one take the spot after Berbatov(went to Monaco). Losing 6-0 at KC Stadium with Hull City in 28th December 2013, then also losing 5-0 against Manchester City at Ethiad Stadium in 22th March 2014 and was March the only points winning over Newcastle 1-0. So there was no question if they we’re going down, there was never plan in the play and without Hangeland in the middle of defense and also weakness in the midfield play were horrible even with some greatness of Sidwell and Dejagah. So bye bye and good luck in the championship!

Number twenty: Cardiff City

The welsh team that went up from the championship with Matt Malkay who tried to defensive and secure the tenure in the premiership they we’re on safe ground the owner Tan couldn’t handle his ways! So he fired Malkay who got Caulker, Bellemy, Mutch, Noone and sure got Marshall there! Ole Gunnar Solskjær got hired and didn’t make a change. First playing aggressive and possession based while just being over the relegation zone. The players bought in January weren’t making much except for Dæhli the talent who nobody expected. The loaned players like Zaha and so on didn’t make a change and Kenwyn Jones(Stoke) didn’t do anything, so Cardiff deserved to go down, good luck in the championship in the red color whose supposed blue!

Peace!

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