Vodafone Big Match Stats – Dublin v Cork

19 08 2010

Vodafone provided big match stats ahead of the big All Ireland semi final on Sunday. Check out the video below to see the event and interviews with Dub legends Ciaran Duff and John O’Leary. The most interesting point was the strenght of Dublin defence, the Meath match aside of course!

Note: Vodafone are a client





Chelsea off to a flyer

19 08 2010

The premiership returned with a bang last weekend. There were goals aplenty, red cards and no shortage of drama. Champions Chelsea picked up where they left off last weekend with a crushing of new boys West Brom, who look to have learned few lessons from their last spell in the premier league.

Ancelloti’s side looked impressive but West Broms defending was shocking to say the least. Still, the Drogba, Malouda, Lampard axis looks in good nick and the return of Essien provides their midfield with power and drive. Even though Wigan were hammered by new boys Blackpool last weekend, I expect them to provide Chelsea with a decent test. There has to be some sort of response from Roberto Martinez’s men and surely they won’t roll over in the DW stadium. Chelsea will win but it will be tighter than people may think.

Liverpool will have been disappointed to have missed out on the three points against the Gunners but 1-1 with 10 men against Arsenal isn’t a bad result. It was ultimately a mistake from their most consistent player of the last three seasons, Pepe Reina, that cost them the win. It was a decent start for both teams and both will be relatively happy. Arsenal will look to press on against Blackpool on Saturday. Fabregas will be back for this one and they will want to make a statement of intent and stamp their authority on this premiership season. Liverpool have another massive game next Monday against Man City in Eastlands. The big games are coming thick and fast for these two. We should learn a decent amount about City in this encounter in terms of where they are currently at. James Milner could also make his City debut in this one. Milner is a good player but the reported 26 million paid by City for his services is ridiculous.

Compare this with the 12m paid by Real Madrid for one of the World Cup’s brightest young stars, Meseut Ozil. Manchester United fans will be disappointed not to have secured the services of the former Bremen star, particularly at that price. Scholes was class for United in the first game of the season for United but who does that job when he isn’t there?

On form, Michael Carrick can spray the ball around with the best of them but still doesn’t have the magic of the ginger one. Scholes is capable of finding passes and controlling the tempo of the game like no other United central midfielder. There are big things hoped of Tom Cleverly but he is not there yet.

Even more surprising was the 7m addition of an unproven striker from Portugal when United already have 6 strikers on their books. Surely this wasn’t the position that needed strengthening? Bebe must have talent though as he has been praised by Mourinho and Carlos Quieroz, who both have a decent eye for talent. The result of last weekend had to be Blackpool’s demolition of Wigan and it will be interesting to see how Ian Holloway’s men fair at the Emirates on Saturday.

Despite their excellent start, all logic suggests a comfortable Arsenal win. Another interesting tie this weekend sees Villa travel to St. James Park. Villa had a great start, albeit against a dismal West Ham side, and St. James should be rocking for Newcastle’s return to the top flight. I see a score draw. We are off and running in the 2010/11 premiership season. Chelsea and United have started well but sterner tests await. The game of the weekend takes place on Monday night where a new look City welcome a revitalised Liverpool.





Is That All You Have England?

12 06 2010

We are officially up and running and it has been a mixed bag of a weekend so far which has had the good, the bad and the downright ugly (see France v Uruguay).

If we thought the bell ringer at Portsmouth was annoying, our irritation has reached new bounds with the constant echo of horns (or vuvuzels) at the stadiums in South Africa. It is however a frustration we will have to bear for the duration of the tournament so there is little point in dwelling or letting the horns get the better of us!

Saturday saw two of the pre-tournament favourites begin their campaign in England and Argentina, with starkly contrasting performances. It is difficult to contemplate how England were so poor. Lets be honest here; USA are no great shakes and are a workmanlike side with precious little going forward. Their three best players are Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard and Londan Donavan; decent players but hardly people who would strike fear into the best teams in the world.

It was astonishing how flat and average England were throughout and they made USA look better than they actually are. It almost seemed that scoring that goal early on was the worst thing that could have happened to them as they more or less immediately began playing cagey football and looked to be playing completely within themselves. This England side, like so many others in recent times, looked to be plagued by fear. It was almost as if they were trying to protect a one goal lead against an average side when scoring after just 15 minutes. Realistically, they should have pressed on and finished the game.

Some people suggest this negativity is Capello’s influence but it could be more a cultural deficiency which is borne from the tabloid media in England. The Sunday tabloid papers will unmercifully rip Green to shreds and he will not be allowed forget about the mistake in the terraces come August. The English side seemed more frightened of losing than confident of winning. Whether this is simply first game jitters remains to be seen.

It was a howler from Green of catastrophic proportions but it shouldn’t mask the other obvious problems scattered across the English general play. Yesterday confirmed that Lampard and Gerrard don’t operate well together as a midfield duo. That’s not to say they couldn’t be effective in the same team but not as a central pairing. They didn’t control the tempo of the game, break up the USA’s play well and provided no real service of note to their best player in Rooney. The United striker looked good when he got the ball but he wasn’t provided with one real chance against a team they should be dominating. England need to alter their system and get Gareth Barry into their team to provide a solid base and free up Gerrard and Lampard to have more roaming roles as it seems hugely unlikely either players won’t be picked. A 4-3-3 seems a better option with Heskey losing out and Joe Cole coming in to support Rooney along with Aaron Lennon.

The inevitable loss of Ledley King to injury has propelled Jamie Carragher into the centre-half role and this spells danger for England. After seeing him outpaced by Altidore, you shudder to think what Villa and Torres would do to him.

This is not a complete disaster for England and they could very feasibly still go on to win the group. However they certainly didn’t stamp their authority on the World Cup and the Spains and Brazils of this world will not be quaking in their boots on the back of this performance.

Argentina on the other hand looked more impressive and consistently dangerous and inventive. The one-nil victory didn’t reflect their dominance and the Nigerian goal keeper Enyeama produced some outstanding saves to keep Nigeria in it. Argentina didn’t exactly steamroll the Nigerians but showed enough glimpses to put themselves in contention as potential winners. Messi looks in good form and dangerous and this will worry anybody who comes in their path. He has the potential to steer Argentina the whole way.

South Korea also produced a great win over the Greeks but in truth Greece looked very poor and will do well to record a point.

We’re off and running and we’ve only seen a glimpse of what is to come. One thing is for certain: England will need to play an awful lot better if they are to make an impact at this World Cup.







First Quote – Which Footballer Would you Insure?

10 06 2010

With the World Cup coming up, FirstQuote took to the streets of Dublin to see which footballers would be the most expensive to insure..

Who would you insure?

http://www.firstquote.ie





Rooney Interview – Repressed Irishman

26 05 2010

Rooney’s first World Cup memory? Ray Houghton. USA ’94. Giants Stadium. Get in!!





Nike Write The Future [Full Version]

25 05 2010

World Cup fever is building. Check out full version of Nike World Cup Ad. Did they forget Ronaldinho didn’t even make the Brazilian squad?!





Footby?

19 05 2010

You often hear people watching a football match saying: ‘He would never make it as rugby player- too soft.’ But what premiership football players actually would make up a good rugby 15? Herein lies the first (and probably last) amalgamation of the sports.

Here is my Footby 15, who would you have in it?

  1. Claus Jensen
  2. Micah Richards
  3. Richard Dunne
  4. Peter Crouch
  5. Emmanuel Adebayor
  6. John Terry
  7. Michael Essien
  8. Rio Ferdinand
  9. Aaron Lennon
  10. Frank Lampard
  11. Nicolas Anelka
  12. Wayne Rooney
  13. Carlos Tevez
  14. Craig Bellamy
  15. Steven Gerrard

Subs:

  1. Brad Friedel
  2. Andy Reid
  3. Pter Cech
  4. Nemanja Vidic
  5. Cesc Fabregas
  6. James Milner
  7. Didier Drogba