See the Match Stream link in the top navigation bar to see live.
Man City: Given, Richards, Lescott, Toure, Bridge, Wright-Phillips, Barry, De Jong, Ireland, Bellamy, Tevez. Subs: Taylor, Zabaleta, Garrido, Petrov, Weiss, Ball, Sylvinho.
Man Utd: Foster, O'Shea, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Park, Anderson, Fletcher, Giggs, Berbatov, Rooney. Subs: Kuszczak, Neville, Owen, Carrick, Nani, Jonathan Evans, Valencia.
Sunday, September 20, 2009 | 2 Comments
The portrait of the Manchester United manager is currently on show at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. UK art lover's will be able to see the painting this month when it travels to the National Gallery in London after a brief stop at The Louvre in Paris.
The above picture of Alex Ferguson is a collage of dog turds, creating an image that is truly full of shit. Over 500 pieces of dog shit were pain stakingly copied and pasted to make the portrait. To obtain a full sensory appreciation of the picture it is recommended that you take a sip of lumpy sour milk before viewing.
Full of Crap: Alex Ferguson on show in New York
Ed Chapman and his coin creations of managers
Saturday, September 19, 2009 | 0 Comments
Poor old bacon face is showing his advancing years as he attempts some kind of poor mind games ahead of the Manchester Derby. The aging red faced scot has claimed that the Manchester City match is nothing compared with the games against Liverpool:
"To me Liverpool will always be the derby game. It is just because of the history. When I came down here they were the king-pins of England. They had won four European Cups and quite a few league titles.”
Ferguson has still not managed to get the Carlos Tevez “Welcome to Manchester” poster from under his skin. He said in an interview prior to this weekend’s clash:
"That stupid poster upset us. It showed an arrogance. It was naughty. It showed a cockiness that wasn't required at the time because they hadn't done anything. The season hadn't even started."
Ferguson does not seemed concerned at all at losing Tevez who was an integral part of United winning two championships and getting to two Champions League finals. Even though he publically stated he wanted to keep the player – United had even released a statement claiming they had reached the player’s valuation to make him a permanent player.
"It doesn't bother me one bit whether Tevez is playing or not," said Ferguson.
"I know their best player won't be. Emmanuel Adebayor has been their star player. There is no question about that. He has scored in every game. That is their loss."
"People talk about trying to get into the top four. That is not the question. The question is who is number one.”
Mark Hughes has responded to Ferguson’s comments, laughing at his former manager and claiming that United have been below par so far this season:
"It does seem to have really upset Sir Alex for some reason," Hughes smiled at his press conference in Manchester today.
"But I don't know, we'll just take it as a little bit of flattery, because obviously in recent years, and for a number of years, City haven't really affected the thinking of Manchester United to any great extent. Possibly that's changed now.
"I've watched a number of their games. I don't think they're playing as well as they did last year. They played well against Tottenham [Hotspur] – I think that's their stand-out performance. Prior to that, I think they've been below par."
You can see the previous posts on the Carlos Tevez poster campaign here, who photo’s of the poster and the mock posters created by both sets of fans in retaliation:
You can also see the Manchester United Cadbury Advert too that was released during the billboard wars:
United will obviously be without Ronaldo who left for Real Madrid in the summer. Ronaldo was key in all of the games where Manchester United managed success against City in the past.
City will not be worried by Fergusons comments in the slightest. If anything I really hope that Ferguson believes what he says and that filter’s down to his squad – then they will be likely to give yet another lacklustre team display in a Manchester Derby.
Let’s just have a look back at the 2002 Derby – the last at Maine Road. I still can’t help p*ssing myself when Garry Neville feeds the Goat for City’s second goal in the 3-1 victory. You have to feel sorry for Neville though who is clearly quite embarrassed, there’s nothing worse than being embarrassed and then doing something more embarrassing like spitting on yourself and then wiping it on your ear – 2 minutes 10 seconds:
With Adebayor now serving a three match suspension together with the injuries to Robinho and Santa Cruz, City will have limited choice of attacking front men. However Craig Bellamy will be sure to start after his fantastic display against Arsenal last week. Carlos Tevez remains a major doubt, however the Argentina striker has begun training again after a knee injury and could feature in the game if he passes a late fitness test.
Playing at Old Trafford with one striker may not be all bad news. City have shown this season that there main strengths are based upon quick counter-attacks. The pace of Shaun Wright-Phillips, Martin Petrov and Craig Bellamy – together with the acute footballing brains of Gareth Barry and Stephen Ireland are sure to cause Manchester United problems during the game. Stephen Ireland is still a doubt for the game however and faces a race against time to be fit.
Man City will definitely be without Robinho (Ankle), Cruz (Knee), Kompany (foot) and Michael Johnson (hip). Benjani may be in contention if he can shake a thigh problem, but that seems unlikely.
Manchester United will be without Paul Scholes who is suspended after picking up a red card against Spurs last week. Rio Ferdinand who aggravated his groin injury against spurs also looks set to miss the game but will have a late fitness test. Long term absentees to miss the derby are Van der Sar (hand), Rafael (shoulder), Owen Hargreaves (knees), Gabriel Obertan (back) and Berbatov (shit).
United’s major threat has to be Wayne Rooney, Ferguson will have to decide if he’s got enough confidence in Michael Owen to play or Berbaflop. United have about as much choice upfront as City (who have extensive injury woes).
My match prediction – a 1-1 draw – which I’d be quite happy with, however I have a gut feeling and I’ll probably put a bet on City to win the game 3-1... William Hill are quoting City at 9/2 to win the game, not a bad bet really – it is a derby despite what the poor old chap says.
William Hill Odds:
United 8/13 Draw 11/4 City 9/2
United To Win:
1-0 5/1 ; 2-0 11/12 ; 2-1 13/2 ; 3-0 11/1
3-1 10/1 ; 3-2 25/1 ; 4-0 25/1 ; 4-1 25/1
0-0 17/2 ; 1-1 6/1 ; 2-2 14/1 ; 3-3 50/1
City to win:
1-0 10/1 ; 2-0 25/1 ; 2-1 14/1 ; 3-0 80/1
3-1 50/1 ; 3-2 40/1 ; 4-0 100/1 ; 4-1 100/1
Probable Starting Line-ups:
Man Utd: Foster, O'Shea, Evans, Vidic, Evra, Nani, Fletcher, Anderson, Valencia, Berbatov, Rooney.
Man City: Given, Richards, Bridge, Toure, Lescott, De Jong, Barry, Ireland, Wright-Phillips, Petrov, Bellamy.
Friday, September 18, 2009 | 0 Comments
Adebayor is currently serving a three match ban for the heinous way in which he attempted to avoid Van Persie’s innocuous two footed lunge during the Arsenal match last week.
In addition to Adebayor’s charge of violent conduct the FA also served up a charge of improper conduct following Ade’s goal celebration. Mark Hughes has stated that City will contest the charge:
“It’s important you do not take emotion out of the game. He laid on his knees. It was his normal celebration... ...The circumstances of the game and the amount of criticism and vitriol that Ade had to take wasn’t nice.”
Adebayor himself has spoken out about the incident in an interview published in the sun newspaper. It would probably have been best for City to have silenced the out spoken Adebayor – at least until things have settled and the media have moved on – he will just be giving people more ammunition to fire at him, even though what he say’s is quite true:
"I was running on pure emotion and when you take emotion out of football we are going to have a big problem. People say I had time to think because I ran the length of the pitch but that is not true. I was abused all match and scored a goal I knew would win the game for us. Ten seconds is nothing. Your emotion is going to last a lot longer than that."
"I know a steward got hurt and I really do want to say sorry for that because he didn't ask for any of this - he was just a man doing his job. Emotions were running high for me and it is obvious they were for Arsenal fans as well. They had just seen me score the goal that meant they had lost the game and that was very hard for them to take.
Pride of Arsenal : Arsenal fan who protests like he's from Middle East
"The steward was just doing his job but if things hadn't been thrown and people had stayed in their seats then that wouldn't have happened.
"Players should feel like they can celebrate a goal without the fear of being hit by things.
"I think, in terms of class on the pitch, we have overtaken Arsenal and that was a reason for some of the hostility."
In respect to the Van Persie incident Adebayor added:
"Anybody who knows me knows I would not set out to hurt anybody and I would especially not mean to hurt an old team-mate.
"I really am glad Robin was OK because I know my stud was close to his eye but there was really nothing I could have done - there was no way I could have got out of the way in time."
Adebayor also explained that behind the scenes was some deep rooted animosity towards him from some of his old team mates before and during the game:
"There were players from Arsenal who refused to shake my hand before the match. I don't want to give you their names - that is not my style - but there's more than one of them.
"My friends, like Eboue, were fine with me. They are decent people. But I could not understand some of the Arsenal players being disrespectful towards me. These are people I have spent a lot of time with and people I thought were my friends.
"I can just about understand the fans' reaction because they don't know the full story.
"However the way some of the players behaved is just crazy. When a man offers you his hand, you shake it. For them to act like that was a disgrace."
Adebayor also wanted to clear the air regarding his summer transfer move to Manchester City claiming that the Arsenal fans do not have the full and correct facts:
"I'm not sure if the fans understand what happened during the end of my time at Arsenal but I have done nothing wrong.
"An offer came in for me and, as I understand it, Arsene and the club accepted the offer the same day. It was not my fault I left; it was Arsene who wanted to accept the offer for me.
"I wasn't making any comments in the Press about wanting to leave or being unhappy, it was the club who wanted to sell me yet I am being abused by the fans who once cheered me.
"It makes no sense. Arsenal fans just don't have the full picture. I have said many times I enjoyed my time at the club and I scored a lot of goals.
"If they were unhappy with me leaving they need to take it up with their manager and their board because I had nothing to do with the sale.
"Arsene has said many things in the Press but I only take notice of those who matter to me. I read his comments but, as the tattoo on my arm says, 'Only God can judge me' not Arsene Wenger."
Friday, September 18, 2009 | 0 Comments
Arsenal started the game brightly and should have gone ahead when Gallas missed a header from a corner. City took the lead after 20 minutes when Richards headed a Gareth Barry free kick towards goal, the ball struck the upright and bounced into the net off the head of Almunia.
In the second half Arsenal stepped up to the plate and pressured City’s goal. The end result was a goal from Van Persie on 62 minutes. Lescott making his home debut made his only mistake of the match when he slid in to win the ball but missed, leaving Van Persie to turn and shoot low to Given’s right. Van Persie then ran over to the City fans shouting “F*** Off”.
City regained the lead moments later when Richards did well to cut inside the box and slide the ball into Bellamy with pace. Bellamy struck first time with power to beat Almunia.
Shaun Wright-Phillips rode a heavy challenge to cross the ball into Adebayor who headed in City’s third goal on 80 minutes. I was really pleased for Adebayor to score against his former club, especially considering all of the abuse he has received from the Arsenal fans – which was on a par to a Spur’s welcome to a former player. Unfortunately my heart sunk when I watched him cross the half way to run the full length of the pitch to celebrate infront of the Arsenal fans. I was now witnessing a three match ban for inciting the crowd, not a goal celebration.
However Gary Neville did the same when celebrating a goal for Manchester United against Liverpool and he recieved a £500k fine and no match ban - see the video here on my previous post.
City scored a forth goal when the very impressive Craig Bellamy won the ball deep in his own half and then headed a counter attack with Petrov, Adebayor and Wright-Phillips all running at pace towards the Arsenal goal. Bellamy released Wright-Phillips who deftly chipped the ball over the advancing Almunia. Wright-Phillips will have been pleased to score after missing a sitter from six yards minutes earlier. Adebayor had dribbled past four Arsenal players before cutting the ball back to Wright-Phillips who miss hit the ball wide.
Rosicky scored late in the game after a fine Arsenal move, however it was too late to influence the final result.
The other clear talking point during the game was the Adebayor “stamp” on Van Persie. Slow motion replays show Adebayor making contact with Van Persie’s head after a rash challenge. Van Persie has released a statement about the incident on the Arsenal website and the FA have already started to review the match footage.
With City’s injury list increasing Adebayor will be sorely missed when he is undoubtedly handed a ban from the FA. The ban may even be in place by the time City face Manchester United in the derby at Old Trafford next week.
For the Van Persie Statement in full and video of the stamp incident then please see the previous post: click here.
Manchester City 4 (Almunia o.g. Bellamy, Adebayor, Wright-Phillips)
Arsenal 2 (Van Persie, Rosicky)
Saturday 12 September 2009, 3:00PM
Manchester City: Given; Richards, Toure, Lescott, Bridge; Wright-Phillips, De Jong, Ireland Petrov, 72), Barry; Adebayor, Bellamy. Unused subs: Onuoha, Zabaleta, Taylor, Sylvinho, Vidal, Weiss.
Bookings: Lescott (14) Adebayor (81) De Jong (90)
Arsenal: Almunia; Sagna (Eboue, 76), Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy; Diaby, Song Eduardo, 76), Denilson (Rosicky 52), Fabregas, Diaby; Bendtner, Van Persie. Unused subs: Ramsey, Silvestre, Mannone, Gibbs.
Bookings: Sagna (18) Song (72)
Match Goals and Incident
Mark Hughes Interview
Sunday, September 13, 2009 | 0 Comments
"I am sad and disappointed by my former team-mate Emmanuel Adebayor's mindless and malicious stamp on me during today's match.
"We are both professional footballers and I know that the game is physical, I too have made hard and sometimes mis-timed challenges but never with the intention of hurting an opponent. He set out to hurt me today.
"I knew he was aiming for a collision because he changed the angle of his body to allow contact to be made. He moved backwards when his natural momentum would have taken him forward. I find that deeply disrespectful. He has shown a real lack of class today, to me and the fans.
"I do feel lucky that I have not suffered a greater injury. The contact was only centimetres from my eye. I have not received an apology from him, there were no words exchanged afterwards. He had his own agenda today and that is bad for football. It's bad for the game we all love.
"I want to make it clear that this has nothing to do with the result of today's match. We do not hide from that disappointment but I need to speak out about his behaviour."
The statement released on the Arsenal website, and sanctioned by Arsenal football club is unprecedented in itself. Arsenal do not normally speak of their own players actions nor other clubs players. This just goes to show how deep the feelings are between Arsenal (club, players and fans) and Adebayor.
After Van Persie scored his goal he ran across to the City fans shouting “f**k off”, which has clearly been over shadowed. The challenge before the “stamp” was a terrible challenge that could have been worthy of a red card. Van Persie as we all know is no saint, and to claim that Adebayor set out to hurt him before the game is ridiculous. Takes one to know one eh?
The FA have released a statement that they will be looking at the “stamp” incident and will also investigate Adebayor’s celebration in which he ran the full length of the pitch to celebrate in front of the Arsenal fans. The FA are moving quickly on this – unfortunately Adebayor will most certainly get a ban. With the amount of injuries City have at the moment, coupled with Adebayors fine footballing start to the season, this will be a great loss. He may even be banned from the Manchester derby next week.
What is unclear is will Adebayor receive a ban for the “stamp” because only he knows if it was purely deliberate or not, no matter how incriminating the slow motion replay. The likely outcome could be a one match ban. No matter how much Van Persie and Arsenal cry about it on their website.
Unfortunately there’s no way to brush this one under the carpet, the unimaginative DJ’s at talk sport will make sure this doesn’t go away until next Christmas. Sky have got to fill up a 24 hour news channel too.
The real shame is that Adebayor was clearly man of the match. He was fantastic. Tracking back, making telling runs, scoring. When he scored the third goal I was really pleased for him after the stick he had got from Arsenal and their fans which was over the top – even possibly matching Tottenham’s inability to just let players leave the club without a massive life long hate campaign. However, once Adebayor crossed that half way line my heart sunk – I felt I may be witnessing a three match ban, not a celebration.
However this has happened before – Gary Neville in a game against Liverpool in 2006 ran half the length of the pitch to celebrate a Manchester United goal infront of Liverpool supporters – see video below. Was he banned? No. So if Garry Neville can get away with a £5k fine for this then I really can’t see Adebayor getting a ban.
Sunday, September 13, 2009 | 0 Comments
Kolo Toure will face his old club as captain of City today after the sale of Richard Dunne to Aston Villa. Adebayor also looks certain to start against his former club and will look to build upon his three goals and fine early form. City will be without Carlos Tevez today and Robinho faces a late fitness test after both players picked up injuries in the midweek international match between Brazil and Argentina. City welcome back Vincent Kompany to the squad for the game after his return from injury this week.
Arsenal are not without their injury worries with Arshavin out and Johan Djourou will miss the next six months after undergoing knee surgery. Arsene Wenger will be sat in the stands today after being sent off late in the game against United. Arsenal will get a boost from the return of influential midfielder Cesc Fabregas. Tomas Rosicky is also expected to feature for Arsenal. Theo Walcott is continuing his recovery from a back problem but has resumed full training.
Mark Hughes is expecting a tough game today and rates Arsenal highly, especially after their good start to the season despite losing to United last time out: "They are a very good side, I went to game at Old Trafford and was very impressed with them. I thought they were the best team on the day, and they should have won. I'm sure a lot of Arsenal people must have been scratching their heads after the game, wondering how they lost it, but that can happen in the Premier League."
Manager Mark Hughes is confident that City can continue their own excellent form in the league this season against Arsenal so long as City can manage to hit top form, which he admits they have not done so far: “They have great individual talents within a way of playing that lets them create chances, and if they get it right on the day, they can do a lot of damage. We feel we have that capability as well, but we have not yet showed it this season.”
Manchester City vs Arsenal
City of Manchester Stadium
15:00 kick off
Probable Line Ups:
Manchester City: Given, Richards, Toure, Lescott, Bridge, Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Barry, Bellamy, Adebayor, Robinho.
Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy, Denilson, Song, Bendtner, Diaby, Eboue, Van Persie.
Saturday, September 12, 2009 | 0 Comments
Ireland is Superman Cartoon Script:
Abramowitch: That’s it my child, go to sleep... ...and tomorrow you will be Chelsea!
Ireland: Kiss my Blarney Bone
Abramowitch: You will never defeat me!
Ireland: Ya Idiot!
Abramowitch: I’m Melting! Who would have thought a girl like you would destroy my beautiful wickedness
Blatter: Damn You! I will turn all your Premier Manager’s into witches! The Premier League will fall! Next time Ireland... Next Time!
In the wake of Chelsea’s ban from any activity during transfer windows until 2011, Sepp Blatter – the FIFA president has vowed that clubs other than Chelsea will be punished if found guilty of poaching young players from abroad. A move designed to protect the rights of very young players who may find themselves in limbo if their potential or enthusiasm for the game changes. Blatter said: "They are taken at 14 or 15 years old with clubs saying that their parents are going too. But they get put into another family, and what happens to them? One out of say 20 has a chance to go on in their career. The others are left, and they need to be protected."
Regarding the case with Chelsea - the ban and fine is well over due. Chelsea have gone lower and lower in their transfer dealings despite lesser fines and warnings. Their poaching of Gael Kakuta is an example littered with evidence. Francois Callado, the former president of Lens summed up the arrogance of Chelsea – as they continued to behave as if they were above the law: "The contract [signed between Lens and Kakuta when he was 14] was rubber-stamped by the French league and French football federation. But Chelsea took him and played in a tournament with all their reserves, even without international clearance. When I met with Kenyon and Arnesen at Chelsea I took the contract. I told Kenyon, 'You're risking a fine and a transfer ban'. I explained the Fifa rules to him. Kenyon spoke with Arnesen and he said they were sure of their intentions. We said this is what we want and they said no way. They proposed a ridiculous fee. I said I'll leave you and if you're sure then I'll go to Fifa and we'll see if you're not sanctioned. They said there would be no need for another meeting."
They couldn’t say they weren’t warned... Chelsea were alleged to have poached Arnesen from Tottenham, fueled by photographs taken of him on Abramovich’s yacht when he was still employed by Spurs. Chelsea however issued a statement to refute the allegations claiming that: "Mr Abramovich and Mr Arnesen know each other, were holidaying in the same location and Roman and his wife invited Frank and his wife to join them for lunch. It was purely a social occasion."
In a similar case to Kakuta - Sergio Aguero retired from Athletico Madrid instead of seeing out his contract – however he signed for Chelsea a month later as he was a “free agent”. There was also the well publicised “tapping up” of Ashley Cole from Arsenal for which Cole and then manager Mourinho suffered fines.
It is right that children are protected, however that’s not to say that all transfers should be banned and that all young players should be tied to a single “home” football club. A lot can change during the early years of a player’s career. Blatter insisted: "Our aim is to protect both young players and older ones The only people who are against this are the rich clubs. Even the English FA supports it. But if you talk to the representatives of the Premier League, they'll tell you it's a stupid idea. They are making lots of money."
Some clubs have claimed that their young players are not contractually bound to them and therefore they should not be punished, however Blatter stated that this was not good enough: "There are clubs now who are looking at their books, some have even announced that a certain player has no contract with them and he is an amateur. They have done this to try to make sure that the player does not come under the jurisdiction of congress,"
There have now been a number of clubs that have been put under the spot light since the Chelsea ban. Manchester United’s transfer of Michael Fornasier who moved from Italian club Fiorentina is under FIFA investigation. Manchester City have also been reported by Rennes over youngster Jeremy Helan; however City are confident that they have now case to answer. City went through a third party for Helan and did not go to the Clairefontaine academy directly.
Sepp Blatter however, in his usual controversial way, has set about targeting the Premier League. Together with Platini’s continued attacks on Premier League clubs (which are far stronger than those levied at foreign giants such as Real Madrid) Premier Chiefs have a right to be aggrieved at the perceived witch hunt.
It could be said however that the increased attention has been brought about by the Premier Leagues arrogant and ridiculous suggestions to play Premier League matches on foreign soil.
Saturday, September 12, 2009 | 0 Comments
Friday, September 04, 2009 | 1 Comments
Adebayor scored his third goal in as many games from a Gareth Barry corner after he lost his marker, the new Portsmouth captain Aaron Mokoena. City should have been 2-0 up minutes later when Bellamy crossed for Richards to slide in at the far post. However the goal was ruled offside due to Barry arriving in the six yard box, despite Barry not interfering with play.
Portsmouth put up a fight after the goal with David Nugent missing a glorious chance after scuffing his shot into the ground and Given stood tall and strong to chest the ball clear.
City could well have had a penalty in the closing moments when Belhadj brought down the impressive Wright-Phillips in the box, but replays show that Belhadj won the ball before making contact with Wright-Phillips.
Robinho was left on the bench for the game, with Bellamy taking his place on the left wing. Robinho was carrying a knock on his ankle and was not risked, especially as he will be featuring for Brazil in the important World Cup qualifier against Argentina in the next few days.
Sunday 30 August 2009, 1:30PM
Fratton Park Att: 17826 Barclays Premier League
Portsmouth: Begovic,Kaboul,Vanden Borre,Belhadj,Mokoena,Mullins,Brown,Kranjcar,Hughes (Nugent 86),Smith (Utaka 68),Piquionne (Kanu 73) Unused subs: Ashdown, Hreidarsson,Ward, Basinas, Bookings: Hughes and Mokoena
Manchester City: Given,Richards (Zabaleta 60),Toure,Lescott,Bridge,Wright-Phillips,Ireland (De Jong 76),Barry,Bellamy,Adebayor,Tevez Unused subs: Taylor, Onuoha, Petrov, Weiss, Robinho Bookings: Zabaleta
Adebayor Goal Against Portsmouth 30/08/09
Mark Hughes Interview
Paul Heart Interview
Friday, September 04, 2009 | 0 Comments