Competition Time

We all love free stuff right? Course we do! So here is a fantastic competition that is sure to excite you.

If like us you have spent many an hour in front of LMA Manager, Championship Manager or Football Manager you will know the feeling and emotional roller coaster that comes with playing those games. Well author Chris Darwen has taken that one step further and written a diary based around his fictional manager Johnny Cooper, all based on his experience of Championship Manager. In celebration of his forthcoming second book “Johnny Cooper, Championship Manager: The Second Season Syndrome (according to Champ Man)”, he is giving people the chance to win a signed paperback of his debut ” Johnny Cooper, Championship Manager: The Story of Mansfield Town FC 99/00 (according to Championship Manager)”.

All you have to do is email; johnnycooper@chrisdarwen.com with the answer to the following question:
Who ends the 99/00 season as Johnny Coopers top scorer?
The competition ends on Friday October 3rd and the winner will be announced afterwards.

You can purchase a copy of “Johnny Coper, Championship Manager: The Story of Mansfield Town 99/00 (according to Championship. Manager) from here.
Good Luck

Ry

5 Reasons Why……. This Transfer Window was the best for a while.

Continuing our look at 5 reasons why…..
Our 5 today comes from SiRZ owner Ryan and he explains why the last transfer window was the best one for the Premier League in a long while.

1/ We had top quality players coming in

The first reason this window was better than any other was the simple fact we had quality players join the ranks of the Premier League. Di Maria, Falcao, Diego Costa, Sanchez, Mangala, Cabella & returns for Balotelli & Fabregas all go to show that despite recent claims, the Premier League is where all the top players want to ply their trade. Infact of the top 3 World Players of the Year only one hasn’t graced the League and that’s Messi, who it would take a lot to persuade him away from his beloved Barcelona.

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Diego Costa has adapted well to the Premier League.

2/ The Premier League now has the 3 most natural strikers in the game today.

It already had one in Sergio Aguero. But now with Diego Costa and Falcao joining Chelsea and. Manchester United respectively, we have the three top goal scorers who will hopefully lead their forward lines and continue to build on their own personal reputations. Certainly with Diego Costa already looking settled in front of the Chelsea creative machine he looks like he could be the missing part of their puzzle. Also with Liverpool acquiring Balotelli and Welbeck moving to Arsenal, those two will be worth keeping eyes on as they have have a natural ability to find the back of the net when played down the middle.

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Aguero carries the weight of the City fans on his shoulders in what they hope will be a title winning year.

3/ Liverpool got rid of their albatross.

Come on I did well to get three without mentioning the obvious. Luis Suarez has finally got his gnashers out of Anfield and although now FIFA got bitch slapped down by CAS they could have got a bit more for him, I think every Liverpool fan will be happy that he and the circus his actions attract has finally departed. He had some excellent solo match winning performances for Liverpool but often his actions were overshadowed by his cannibal routine, now hopefully every football fan will sit and enjoy the smooth counter attacking football Liverpool play and if not there’s still Mario who can cause us some amusement.

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Its the guy banned from football playing for his new team that was banned from signing players!

4/ Some English players got some great moves.

Micah Richards must have been fucking annoyed being at Manchester City, A product of their youth academy and once thought to be the next big defender for club and country and rightly so. He found himself marginalised and under utilised by City and despite a few injury concerns never got the game time he deserved. Now with a loan move to Fiorentina he should hopefully get a lot more time on the pitch and show City where they fucked up. Another good move was for Danny Welbeck aka Dat Guy, his desire to play and his bulldog chasing the ball mentality often meant he was played out of position at Manchester United so never lived up to the hype surrounding him. Hopefully Arsene Wenger will play him down the middle and let Dat Guy score a him 10 or so goals this year, my only concern with that is Arsenal still don’t have a guaranteed 20 goal a season scorer which the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea all posses. Elsewhere Thomas Ince made a clever move to Hull who have altered their play in the last two seasons to utilise wide men. Ashley Cole finally fucked off although unfortunately it was only to Italy, but it means we don’t have to watch him on a weekly basis unless we choose to. Frank Lampard proved he still needed to improve his bank balance to single handily keep Greggs afloat with a move first to the MLS and then to Manchester City on loan. and Manchester United finally cut their losses on “The Next Paul Scholes” Tom Cleverley and allowed him to join Villa on loan until his contract expires in the summer.

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Thomas Ince should settle right in under Steve Bruces watchful eye.

5/ Transfer Deadline Day was brilliant as always.

Jim White, Purple Dildos, Fuck Her Right In the Pussy chants, Jason Bent doing an Odemwingie, Fans turning up at other teams grounds and ‘Arry blanking an interview in the car I love he randomness of Deadline Day, roll on January!

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Evertons new signing is a massive one.

Agree or Disagree? Get in touch the normal ways on social media or commenting on the article we read them all.

Ry

Our Premier League Predictions

Adamdellboy

Top 4

1. Chelsea
2. Arsenal
3. Man United
4. Man City

Bottom 3

18. WBA
19. Leicester City
20. Burnley

Player to watch: Alexis Sanchez, Eden Hazard will be top stars this season. Keep an eye on Remy Cabella at Newcastle as a surprise hit.

Young player: A trio of Raheem Sterling, Jordon Ibe and Lazar Markovic would terrify teams. Looking forward to see if Suso can make an impact too. Elsewhere, can Danny Ings score at the top level?

Top scorer: Diego Costa

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Ryan Howe

Top 4

1. Chelsea
2. Manchester United
3. Arsenal
4. Manchester City

Bottom 3

18. Hull
19. Burnley
20. Leicester

Player to watch: Juan Mata. He is going to be at the hub of everything creative and will have a big bearing on Uniteds season. Or Bojan

Young Player: Ryan Bertrand. Just think this May be the season he kicks on.

Top Scorer: Romelu Lukaku

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Ross Jones

Top 4

1. Chelsea
2. Man City
3. Arsenal
4. Man United

Bottom 3

18. Burnley
19. Aston Villa
20. Leicester

Player To Watch – Eden Hazard – will be decided whether he becomes world class this season.

Young Player – Jordan Ibe – If he gets a chance could be a sprightly show like Sterling for Liverpool.

Top Scorer – Mame Diouf / Bojan Krcic – 35 goals each.

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Jade Li

Top 4

1. Chelsea
2. Man city
3. Liverpool
4. Arsenal

Bottom 3

18. Hull
19. Leicester
20. Burnley

Player to watch: Coutinho

Top scorer: Aguero

Young player: Coutinho

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Pete Walton

Top 4

1. Man City
2. Chelsea
3.  Man United
4. Liverpool

Bottom 3

18. Hull
19. Southampton
20. Leicester

Player to watch: Going to go with Mata especially under Van Gaal going to be interesting to see him develop this season.

Top Scorer: Sergio Aguero

Young player: Mangala

Mangala

 

So what do you think? Agree with us on anything? Or are we barking up the wrong tree? Let us know via our usual lines.

 

How to change football for the better.

We all often sit around and offer opinions on how to make football better and here is one we would like to see happen. Lets stop transfers for players under 21. Now we can understand any of you scoffing at the prospect but consider this, how many players under 21 can you say are worth the transfer fees you see banded about for them?

Take for example Luke Shaw of Southampton, now if you were to believe the rumors he is valued at around £30m. £30m for a player who is only just past 50 games for his club and one full England cap is far too much, we can understand Southampton placing that value on his head to try and ward off potential suitors but it shouldn’t be an issue. Southampton are no longer in the position they were with Walcott, Bale or Oxlaide-Chamberlian where they have to sell as they aren’t in the Premiership or in financial difficulty they should simply say he is not for sale full stop.

Daniel Sturridge is another example of youngsters moving about when they are too young, although he himself must take some blame for this one. Sturridge started his career at Manchester City but had his head turned by the money that was on offer from the up and coming billionaire plaything that was Chelsea and allowed his contract to expire. Once at Chelsea his career floundered, he was rarely used as an out and out striker, instead coming on as a wide player where his speed was a great attribute. We are glad he is now showing his true skill and attacking quality now at Liverpool where he has to be in line for featuring in Teams of the Year.

There is also the argument that a player should show a degree of loyalty, after all a young player has been a product of teams youth development system and should show thanks by helping the team to the best of his ability. After all if the player is truly good enough he will still be able to command a big enough fee when he turns 21, thereby giving something back to the club on two levels. We look at some of the situations and tribunals you see (no doubt there will be one this year with Thomas Ince) and clubs rarely get much above £3m and you feel sorry for them as they are losing someone who is probably a star turn for their team. Sometimes as well the players don’t get the benefit either, like we mentioned Sturridge is and example of this, as is Nick Powell, Willfried Zaha and Glenn Johnson (who was Roman Abramovich’s first signing when he came to Chelsea) his progress was majorly held back by that move at 18 and didn’t flourish until he went to Portsmouth and then to Liverpool. We just hope the likes of Shaw & Will Hughes see sense and give something back to the clubs who have shown faith in them.

 

Ryan

Why Manchester City’s engine is starting to purr

Many an eyebrow was raised in the summer when Manchester City parted with the best part of £30m to sign the relatively unknown Brazilian Fernandinho from Shaktar Donetsk. A man who at the age of 28 had only earned 5 caps for his country and hadn’t been tested at the very highest level. It’s fair to say in the early stages of the season, we were none the wiser as to how talented he really was.

Fast forward to January 2014 and Man City sit comfortably in 2nd place in the league, with a place in the Champions League knockout stage confirmed for the 1st time in the club’s history. Their early season problems away from home under Manuel Pellegrini seem to be a thing of the past and the City juggernaut looks like running over any team that gets in their way. Suddenly Man City look like the team to beat, but why?

Some will point to Sergio Aguero, but he has been missing from City’s impressive run of results over Christmas. There’s no doubt the return to form of Joe Hart has been a factor, as has the presence of an injury free Vincent Kompany and the quick adoption of English football by Alvaro Negredo. However, it has been the engine room of Fernandinho alongside Yaya Toure that has really stood out.

We all know Yaya Toure is a beast of a player. He literally can do it all and while some players are likened to a finely tuned Rolls Royce, Toure is a tank with all the bells and whistles you need. He has hit double figures from midfield and continues to add to his own personal highlight reel of stunning freekicks, something no one knew he was capable of. Despite all of this, it has been his partnership with Fernandinho which has impressed me the most, with both continuing to grow in stature.

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Most teams these days play with three men in the middle of the park, with one being a conventional defensive midfielder. With these two, City have been able to play with just two, such is their ability and dominance. They seem to be capable of doing the job of three men with relative ease, combining powerful attacking play and goals with destructive defensive work and protection. Their talents allow the likes of Jesus Navas to play wide, Samir Nasri to play anywhere and perhaps most importantly allows City the rare luxury of two strikers on the pitch.

This attacking mentality has reaped it’s rewards as City continue to smash goal scoring records without a care in the world. I’m sure there won’t be many teams in modern times to be able to boast putting 6 goals past both Arsenal AND Tottenham. The bonus for Pellegrini is that if they have to play more defensive to protect a result, they have hardworking players like James Milner, Javi Garcia and Jack Rodwell waiting for their chance.

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So it turns out that the often derided Jamie Redknapp was right when he picked out Fernandinho as ‘one to watch.’ His partnership with Yaya Toure has grown to be a formidable one and it’s hard to see anyone stopping Man City’s drive to the Premier League title whilst those two are firing on all cylinders.

@adamdellboy