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Sunday, 19 October 2014

How many?!

As you probably saw, Southampton beat Sunderland 8-0 on Saturday, making it one of the highest winning margins in the premier league. Of course the biggest winning margin remains Manchester United's 9-0 win over Ipswich in 1995, in which Andy Cole scored 5 of the 9! So with all this talk of goals, we are going to take a look at some of the biggest winning margins...ever!




As Adema 149 - 0 SO l'Emyrne

Yes you read that right, 149-0! the highest scoreline on record in association football to date, even cementing a place in the Guinness World Records book. However as you can imagine, there was a lot more to this game than a few goalkeeping mistakes...the game was actually a protest, in which SOE scored 149 own goals. You can read more about that game, and the subsequent action taken here.


Arbroath 36 - 0 Bon Accord

No protest here! The first round of the scottish cup in 1985, and Arbroath thrashed Bon Accord 36-0 with John Petrie scoring 13 goals! (unlucky for some, some being a certain Scottish football team!) Some may not have been happy with this victory though, as 5 more Arbroath goals were disallowed and the referee believes that it could have been 43-0! 


Austrailia 31 - 0 American Samoa 

The socceroos managed to put 31 past American Samoa in a 2002 World Cup qualifier, with Archie Thompson scoring 13 goals - the most goals scored in an international match. This was a game of record breakers as David Zdrillic scored 8 goals - the second most goals scored in an international game!




Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Wenger V Mourinho: A History

On Sunday we saw Chelsea host Arsenal at Stamford Bridge, in a game which the home side won 2-0 and went 5 points clear at the top of this table.This fixture has brought the two managers together 12 times, with Arsene yet to secure a win against Jose. Mourinho has been a thorn in the side of Wenger since his arrival to the premier league in 2004, and on Sunday their fiery relationship provided this gifable moment for fans...







 However the stats aren't the only problem between the two, with Jose infamously labelling Wenger a voyeur... 

"I think he is one of these people who is a voyeur," he said. "He likes to watch other people. There are some guys who, when they are at home, they have a big telescope to see what happens in other families. He speaks and speaks and speaks about Chelsea."

Wenger hit back, calling the comment 'disrespectful'. Although, after a 12th game without a win against him, I think Arsene will be pointing that telescope through Mourinho's window.


The game on Sunday also saw former Arsenal man Cesc Fabregas playing against his former team in the Chelsea colours. After his £30m move from Barcelona in the summer, Jose saw further opportunity to ruffle Arsenes infamous coat feathers by saying that Cesc 'really wanted to join Chelsea' and  due to this a return to the Emirates was out of the question. Wenger offered up another response in their war of words, stating that he didn't know what the truth was.


The pair next meet in the premier league on the 25th April 2015, where Arsene will continue searching for a win. 13th time lucky?



Thursday, 10 July 2014

Goals Galore!

After everything that's happened between the last post & this one, in what's being labelled the best World Cup ever, we'd need to write a novel if we were to recap it all. So instead we'll leave you with 3 goals of the tournament to watch as you wait in anticipation for Sunday's final between Germany and Argentina (We correctly predicted 50% of the final!).



Van Persie in Hollands 5-1 opener against Spain. 






Tim Cahill's goal against the Dutch in their Group B game.







Finally, my personal favourite, James Rodriguez's technically sublime goal in Colombia's last 16 game against Uruguay.










Monday, 16 June 2014

Results Round-up: 13th-15th

If 3 more games (including Germany v Portugal) aren't enough to brighten up your Monday, here's a blog post will all the biggest World Cup stories so far...but don't get too excited, we wouldn't want you to dislocate an ankle*...Now I could just list all the results from the weekend's games, but I'm pretty sure you've seen/heard them. So instead here is a link to the BBC World Cup website, where all results are listed along with current tables and upcoming fixtures...click here to see that. In this post I'm going to concentrate on the highlights and surprises of the weekend's plethora of football.






They say Friday the 13th is unlucky for some, and on this date, it was for Spain. Current champions Spain suffered a 5-1 defeat at the hands of the Dutch. After a 27th minute penalty by Xabi Alonso put them in the lead, nobody expected holland to go on and put the game to bed in the manner they did. Van Persie brought them level just before half time with a stunning header (no really, you need to see it if you haven't already). In the second half VP scored another goal, along with Robben scoring 2, and de Vrij. However Spain fans shouldn't feel too disheartened as they lost to Switzerland in the opening game of the last World Cup and we all know what happened.

The second shocker of the weekend has to be underdogs Costa Rica's 3-1 win over Uruguay. Cavani put Uruguay ahead with a penalty in the first half before Costa Rica fought back in style in the second, making the final score 3-1. To put their truly unbelievable comeback into perspective, here's a refresh of the odds going in to the competition: Uruguay 28/1 to win & Costa Rica 2500/1 to win. As always football proves to be unpredictable. This result also leaves Group D wide open and keeps England's chances alive, following their defeat to Italy.

Which brings us to the Italy v England game which took place on Saturday night in Manaus. A later kick off and the dulcet tones of Phil Neville may have been enough to send even the most lively spectator to sleep, but luckily the game was exciting enough to keep everyone awake until the final whistle. As expected Pirlo was a joy to watch, and it's pretty clear that regardless of who you support, you've got to love the man. His dummy to set up the first goal was particularly fantastic, he knew the goal was scored before it had even touched Marchisio's boot. In addition to this, youngster Raheem Sterling started the match and was fantastic from start to finish. Now whilst most 19 year olds are playing Call of Duty and eating Coco Pops with spoons found under their beds, this lad is opening Englands World Cup campaign in front of 40,000 fans and millions around the world and you would never have known. Raheem also featured on our 'Top 5 youngsters to watch out for' list 2 years ago! England were a threat going forward for huge parts of the game, and Daniel Sturridge (24) scored a fantastic equalizer with an assist from Wayne Rooney. However the refreshing performance wasnt enough to stop the Italians, with Mario Balotelli grabbing the winner and securing them 3 points. There are many positives for England to take from the game, in their quest to qualify from the group...one of the main ones being don't let Wayne take corners!







*Seriously though, all jokes aside, we send best wishes to England physio Gary Lewin (who fractured & dislocated his ankle celebrating the Daniel Sturridge equalizer on Saturday night.


Thursday, 12 June 2014

Joga Bonito: Let the games begin!


Those of who you managed to survive 2 hours of Adrian Chiles (if you have no idea who he is, count yourself lucky) will have witnessed  the 2014 World Cup kick off, in an action packed opening game with hosts Brazil against Croatia. Doves were released at the start of the match, representing world peace. After the final whistle, and a few questionable decisions, we might need a few more doves.




 As always with football, things didn't begin as expected with Marcelo scoring an own goal inside 11 minutes. However Brazil managed to pull it back and win 3-1 with 2 Neymar goals (I predicted him as top goalscorer, so far so good) and an Oscar strike to put the game to bed. Despite the defeat, I still think Croatia will finish 2nd in their group after the Brazilians. First game of the tournament ends, predictably, with a Brazil win. 



World Cup Predictions: Odds, Opinions and Outsiders


64 years ago all eyes were focused on Brazil for the 1950 World Cup, those eyes watched Brazil suffer a 2-1 defeat to Uruguay in the final. Tomorrow the World Cup returns to Brazil, but will they let it slip again on home turf? In this post we take a look at who's favoured to win in 2014, with predictions from the bookies, the professionals and the fans.

If I were a gambler (which of course I am) it would make sense to throw a few quid on Brazil, who are favourites across the board with Sky Bet giving odds of 11/4 for them to be outright winners. However I also think Argentina at 4/1 is also a decent shout. In fact as someone who always backs the underdog I'd probably have my money on Argentina if the two met in the final. Could history repeat itself in Brazil this year? Odds of Uruguay as outside winners are 28/1. England are 25/1 as are Italy. USA have odds of 250/1. At the other end of the betting spectrum are Iran, Costa Rica and Australia at 2500/1, roughly the same odds given by Ladbrokes last season for my Grandad to become next Everton manager. It was a close call between him and Martínez but, the odds weren't in his favour. 

Now onto the professionals predictions, which are pretty much split between Brazil & Argentina. Here's a list of who they picked as their outright winner.

Gary Lineker - Argentina 
Alan Shearer - Brazil
Phil Neville - Argentina
Pat Nevin - Brazil 
Robbie Savage - Argentina


Finally lets take a look at what the fans think, as expected most people are going for Brazil with a few saying Argentina. There are also a few who are favouring current champions Spain, and there's a vote for Germany in there. 



Personally I'm going to say Argentina, but Uruguay will have an impressive tournament. Obviously Brazil will be..well Brazil, with the added fire of not wanting to let the cup leave Rio de Janeiro after the final. We may not know who will win, but one things for sure: the next month is going to be a fantastic month of football. 

Who do you think will be crowned winners on the 13th July? It it Brazil's to lose? Comment!




Monday, 9 June 2014

World Cup Series: Stadium lowdown



Okay, so in this post we are going to take a look at 5 of the 12 host stadiums in Brazil for this summer's World Cup!







1. Arena de São Paolo - São Paolo
Capacity - 61,606


This stadium is currently home to the Brazilian club Corinthians and has a capacity of 48,234 but for the 2014 World Cup 20,000 temporary seats have been added. This stadium plays host to the opening match of the tournament between Brazil and Croatia and 5 games following this including a Semi-Final. Construction of this stadium began in May 2011 and it was completed this year, the opening game will be the first played using its full capacity with temporary seats.




2. Estadio Mineirao - Belo Horizonte
Capacity - 58,259

This stadium was opened in 1965 to accommodate the evolution of football in the surrounding state of Minas Gerais, and is currently the largest stadium in the state. The stadium was recently renovated, and was host to 3 fixtures in the Confederations Cup last year. It will play host to a number of games in the World Cup including England v Costa Rica & a Semi-Final.






3. Estadio Do Maracana - Rio de Janeiro 
Capacity - 76,804

Estadio Do Maracana was originally opened in 1950 to host the World Cup and was the scene for Brazil's 2-1 defeat to Uruguay in the final of the competition. It is currently the largest stadium in Brazil and South America and will host this years final on 13th July as well as several other games. It was partially rebuilt for the Confederations Cup and World Cup.






4. Estadio Nacional - Brasilia 
Capacity - 68,009

This stadium, in the capital city of Brazil, was built in 1974 and is mainly used to host football matches. However it is multi purpose and has been the venue for artists such as Beyonce and Aerosmith. A renovation of the stadium has recently taken place in preparation for the World Cup. It was also recently renamed to pay homage to Mané Garrincha, a Brazilian legend who won the World Cup in 1958 and 1962.




5. Arena da Amazônia - Manaus 
Capacity - 42,374

Construction of this stadium began in 2011, and was still being completed in February of this year resulting in doubts as to whether it would be completed in time for the tournament. However it hosted an opening match on 9th March between 2 northern Brazilian teams. This stadium is the location for England's opening game against Italy, along with 3 other fixtures. There has been criticism regarding playing conditions due to the extreme climate of Manaus in which humidity can reach 80%. Due to this, 3 minute water breaks have been introduced.