Champions League Final

Biggest. Game. Ever Having had to journey to the outer-reaches of Europe for their 2008 triumph in Moscow, Manchester United supporters now have the opportunity to lift ol’ big ears right on their London doorstep. Suffice to say, it won’t be easy. As if the sheer challenge of facing the greatest football team of all time isn’t enough, English clubs record in European Cup finals post-Heysel, is as convincing as a Ryan Giggs injunction The miraculous flukes comebacks of United themselves in 1999, and Liverpool in 2005 against Bayern Munich and Milan respectively, are the only times English clubs have won the trophy against foreign opposition since 1984. Britain’s best have comfortably come up short on the last three occasions... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Friday, May 27th, 2011
(Posted in: Articles, Football, Oggsblog)

5 Things to Look Out For

Blackpool and Birmingham heading down like a child on a slide… 1)      The terraces will cause confusion: “Apparently Kalinic has scored – Blackburn one up.” “Really? Sam – Steve says Blackburn up at Wolves.” “Oh wait mate – might have got that wrong. I think it was bad traffic on the M1. Sorry – awful reception here.” Sometimes it isn’t just the crowd who get the wrong information. Who could ever forget Manchester City’s hilarious attempts at keep-ball back on the final day of 1996, a fine spell of possession unprecedented in the nine months previous, but one which ultimately sent them down – they needed a win, not just the point. 2)      An amply-upholstered, shaven-headed man will weep: And... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Friday, May 20th, 2011
(Posted in: Articles, Football, Oggsblog)

UEFA Cup Final

Having clocked up a 6-0 punching at Arsenal early in their European campaign, not many would have bet on Braga competing in a major European final come May. Yet here there are in Dublin, just 90 minutes away from Europa League glory. Standing in their way are FC Porto, who secured the domestic title with games to spare. With the Portuguese Cup Final still to come on Sunday, their 33 year old manager André Villas-Boas could yet lead them to an impressive treble, one previously completed by a certain Jose Mourinho in 2003. Whatever happened to him? Given Porto finished 38 points clear of Braga in the league, it’s no surprise to see Betfair have the domestic champions as 1/4... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Monday, May 16th, 2011
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Football, Oggsblog)

Time for Big Brother to become a referee?

This week saw my first trip to the Emirates Stadium to watch Arsenal vs Everton. Although Arsenal went 1-0 down in the first half thanks to a controversial refereeing decision, they managed to pull it back in the second half to win 2-1 in the end. It does beg the question again about introducing technology into the refereeing of football, literally one of the only major sports not to do so, particularly since it wouldn’t be all that difficult to implement – the replay of the offside was shown in the stadium literally 20-30 seconds later – indeed the person that I went to see the game with suggested we get Andy Gray back in to explain the offside rule... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Friday, February 4th, 2011
(Posted in: Articles, Football)

A Tale of Two Cities – Manchester United and Liverpool

Most Manchester United fans had never seen a more inept performance at Old Trafford than the one they were treated to against Glasgow Rangers, in the first group game of this seasons Champions League. United looked listless and completely devoid of any creativity. It would be unfair however, to take anything away from Rangers’ performance. They worked extremely hard, held their shape and completely frustrated United from the outset. They thoroughly deserved their point, and the game finished 0-0. Nevertheless, bookmakers have United as fourth favourites at around 9/1, with Barcelona leading the field at 11/4 followed by Chelsea and Real Madrid who are both currently 5/1. Liverpool however, had a much better time in Europe last week with a... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Monday, September 20th, 2010
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Football)

High Hopes

The Premier League season has had a wonderful start, and although it is early days there seems to be three teams that everybody is talking about. Up until their game with Stoke, Chelsea had only played two games and had already scored 12 goals. The Stoke game saw a slowdown in the number of goals scored, although Chelsea still managed a respectable 2 – 0 win. Chelsea look very impressive and are definitely the team to beat this season, the bookmakers agree and Chelsea are 6/5 favourites, ahead of Manchester United who are currently 2/1. Nevertheless, it is worth bearing in mind that the opposition Chelsea has faced thus far aren’t exactly world beaters. Perhaps the team generating the most... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Football)

American Business and the Premier League

American business interests have had a very forceful (but only subtly apparent) hand in the day-to-day of English football for the past couple decades. Every season, it appeared to be only more and more common for Premiership clubs to build connections with American business, financial institutions, and private investors. American business has focused its sights on a few clubs specifically. Over the last five years, Sunderland, Liverpool, and Manchester United each witnessed the introduction of an American majority shareholder. However, only a few of Arsenal’s minor stakeholders are from the United States (for now). Today, some of the Premier League’s chief sponsors are American companies. The ball provider, of course, is Nike, whilst other everyday operations are funded by Wrigley’s,... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 10th, 2010
(Posted in: Articles, Football)

South Americans shake up their coaching staff

South American Football Associations put changes in place for 2014 Even though the next men’s World Cup is nearly a full four years away, many leagues, teams, players and coaching staff are already strategizing about how their nation can be the 2014 champions. Brazil, who are the hosts of the next tournament, seem especially anxious to take back the crown that has not been theirs since 2002. Another South American team, Argentina, is also making fast changes to its coaching line-up at least, in preparation for the 2014 games. Both of these teams, especially Argentina, are known for tumultuous turns of events in regards to their team’s leadership. As of July 24, Mano Menezes—who previously held head-coaching positions with Brazilian... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Monday, August 9th, 2010
(Posted in: Articles, Football)

FIFA Women’s U-20 World Cup final comes down to Nigeria and Germany

African nation first to show in this tournament’s final match Just as this year’s World Cup in South Africa did not treat the men’s USA team very kindly, so too did the females suffer in the U-20 World Cup, which is currently being held in Germany. The women’s youth team lost to Nigeria on July 25 during penalty kicks after an exciting match that concluded 1-1 at the end of regulation time. Nigeria is now continuing on to the final match against Germany after barely defeating Colombia 1-0. Nigeria claimed the lead over Colombia after a quick two minutes of play on Thursday, July 29, but the Africans were then forced to defend vicious offense by Colombia for the rest... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 5th, 2010
(Posted in: Football, WP)

IFBA to trial additional match officials

In response to the plethora of erroneous goal line rulings during this year’s World Cup, those who decide the rules of the football have witnessed harsh scrutiny from fans, member associations, and confederations. On July 21st, 2010, proposals from Coupe de la Ligue, the UEFA Champions League, and seven other member associations and confederations were accommodated when the International Football Association Board (IFBA) voted in favor of the expansion of the experimental use of two additional field officials, positioned at each goal. This is not a novel experiment. Every match of 2009-2010 UEFA League tournament (previously the UEFA Cup) was officiated by one main ref, two sideline refs, and two goal refs.  At a special meeting in Zurich earlier in... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 27th, 2010
(Posted in: Articles, Football, WP)
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