Monthly Archives: July 2013

  1. Will the newly promoted teams struggle in their Premier League jersey?

    The brand new Premier League season is nearly upon us, after Wigan Athletic, Reading and Queens Park Rangers were relegated at the end of last season the new one starts with three new Premier League jersey all hoping to pave a successful future in the most popular football league in the world. These three teams are Cardiff City, Hull City and Crystal Palace, statistics of the likelihood of these teams not being relegated at the end of the season do not make promising reading. Since the renaming of the 'Championship' in 2004 only three of the winning teams that gained promotion to the top flight were not immediately relegated for the next season, can Cardiff City make that four? The second place team, this year Hull City, have been relegated 4 out of the last seven times, and unfortunately for Crystal Palace only two of the playoff teams have managed to last longer than one season against the might of the top teams including Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea.

    Looking at each team individually is perhaps a fairer way to surmise their chances, Cardiff City finished top of the Championship table with 87 points, winning 25 of their 46 games.  This will be their first ever appearance in a Premier League Jersey, as recently as 2000/01 season they were playing in the fourth tier of English football and have spectacularly made it into the top flight.  One big factor in Cardiff City's favour is their big business Malaysian owners, to make a success against the big teams there is a real need for player talent and this does not come cheaply, they have committed to spending around £25m during the summer transfer window to enhance their team.  So far they have added three new faces to the team Andreas Cornelius formerly of FC Copenhagen, John Brayford from Derby County and Simon Moore from Brentford FC reportedly spending around £10m of t

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  2. When Will We See The Liverpool Qualify For The Champions League Again?

    Liverpool have been fairly unlucky over the past few seasons, in the past they have always been known as one of the bigger clubs, up there with Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool, however it almost feels as if the club have fizzled out recently with not much mention of the club apart from the controversy over star striker Luis Suarez. Will we ever seem the Liverpool home shirt conquer Europe again?

    The club have always been in the top ten of the league, mainly finishing 7th and above, the last time they qualified for a Champions League spot in the top four was in the 2008-09 season where they finished in second place in the Premier League behind Manchester United. That season it was Raliverpool-long-sleeve-home-shirt-2013-14fael Benitez who helped the club achieve top four status, it did not all run smoothly at the club though, with altercations between the Spaniard and some of the new backroom staff. They had apparently had a disagreement with Benitez over the signing of Gareth Barry from Aston Villa in the summer of 2008, which then fell through, after that it always seemed as if there was quite an atmosphere behind the scenes. He had many struggles facing him as manager, trying to keep Steven Gerrard from moving to Chelsea, but he did bring in Spanish ace Luis Garcia and Xabi Alonso who turned out to be big hits. Even though there were some disagreements between the former manager, staff and fans there is no denying that he helped get Liverpool far and reach the Champions League.

    When Benitez finally left Liverpool during the 09-10 seasons, it was Roy Hodgson to take on the role of manager. Hodgson however did not do too well and the club only managed 6th place. After Hodgson it was the turn of Scotsman Kenny Dalglish to take over, for a second time. In 1985 he took over as

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  3. Launch of the new Manchester United Away Kit

    During their summer tour in Japan the current Premier League Champions Manchester United have launched their brand new away kit.  Striker Danny Welbeck was chosen as the face of the advertising campaign, he is seen wearing the full strip whilst celebrating scoring a goal, set against a background of red coloured smoke, the image looks dramatic and exciting just like the navy and black colour scheme chosen for this seasons second choice strip.  The round neck design features large gingham checks reminiscent of last seasons home shirt, the gingham is representative of the clubs fascinating industrial heritage.  In Manchester in the 18th century there were many cotton mills, the industry was booming and the main output was gingham check fabric.  The Nike logo, club crest and AON sponsor are all simply designed in white, ensuring the strip looks elegant and stylish, another great addition alongside the already released home strip.  It is reported that the kit will first be exhibited in the Premier League during the clubs away match at Anfield against Liverpool on 1st September.

    As with the rest of United's clothing range of football shirts, shorts, socks and training wear this kit has been manufactured by Nike.  Over recent years the American sportswear giant Nike, as an environmentally responsible company have been working tirelessly, to create an environmentally friendly fabric. For the last couple of seasons we have seen the introduction of their football strips made entirely from recycled plastic bottles, each set of shirts, shorts and socks is made using no more than thirteen bottles. According to Nike this years design is even more technologically evolved, they say each one 'weighs no more than 150 grams', this is '23% lighter than previous years', they also state that the knit structure is 20% stronger producing a more moveable fabri

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  4. Germany Win Euro 2013!

    Many people would have predicted Germany to win the women's Euro 2013, rightly so after they had already won 5 in a row, but the team certainly showed what they could do and on the 28th July and won the competition celebrating in style  after some fantastic football against a strong and very unlucky Norway side.

    Germany played well from the off with plenty of chances to break the deadlock, they had 21 shots on target compared to Norway's seven. These statistics just show how well Norway's goalkeeper Ingrid Hjelmseth did against the German side. She made some fantastic stops and if it was not for her Germany could have been five or more goals better off.  The game was half and half in the first twenty minutes of the game, with Germany maybe edging it slightly up until the 28th minute until Norway's Cathrine Dekkahus was bought down to the floor and the referee awarded a penalty. Many fans have stated that they thought this was a very soft decision from the referee. The German side continued to put pressure on Norway after the penalty incident but with no goals being scored.

    After a goalless first half it was not until the 48th minute that the deadlock was broken, Anja Mittag netted in the 48th minute after coming on in the second half. Even after Mittag's goal Norway stayed positive and would not back down and the squad did try and push the Germans back in to their own half. The scored stayed at 1-0 to Germany for a good while with both teams having various chances, this was the case until the 61st minute when Caroline Hansen went down and the referee looked to have had a good view of the foul. German keeper Nadine Angerer saved the penalty for a second time keeping Germany on the right path to victory. Norway were very unlucky and then in the 64th minute they had a goal disallowed by the referee as Ada Hegerberg was caught offside, the team and the coach could not believe it. 1-0 was how the score stayed allowing

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  5. After England's under 21's disaster this summer do the FA need to overhaul grassroots football?

    This year's UEFA European Under 21's Championship was hosted in Israel between 5-18th June.  Qualification for the tournament started in 2011 with 52 teams, the English team was placed in group 8 alongside Norway, Belgium, Azerbaijan and Iceland, to their credit they came top of their group winning seven out of eight games, their two-leg playoff match was against Serbia they won both ties 1-0 giving them a 2-0 lead on aggregate and securing them a pace in the final tournament with host team Israel as well as Germany, Italy, Holland, Norway, Russia and Spain.  There were high hopes for under 21's in their England football kits however, the results on the pitch didn't materialise, they were drawn in group A along with Italy, Norway and Israel, they played and lost three matches only managing to score once from the penalty spot against Norway. Following this disastrous showing manager Stuart Pearce, whose contract was subsequently not renewed, blamed the lack of commitment from the players who appeared to lack the motivation to get out there, play well, score goals and ultimately win.  He also blamed the lack of support from clubs that are reluctant to release young players from their first team squads for national call-ups.

    Grassroots football is the young amateur players and teams across the country playing in Saturday or Sunday leagues using mainly local authority maintained pitches and facilities.  Over recent years there has been much debate about the lack of funding available for such facilities that are often substandard and inadequate. The Football Foundation is the UK's largest sports charity and feeds around £30m each year into grassroots football, money also comes from the Football Association (FA), and the Premier League however, many people argue there is not enough money to provide the high qual

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  6. Bayern Munich beat Barcelona again!

    In recent years Barcelona football club have been unstoppable, they have been the best team in Europe, over the last ten seasons they have won six Spanish La Liga titles including the most recent season. They have also had the honour of winning two Copa Del Reys, three Champions Leagues, two UEFA Super Cups and two FIFA World Cups, this is an impressive list of achievements for one club. Despite beating Real Madrid to the Spanish League title, in the European competition the Champions League the Barcelona shirts struggled. Following the group stage the team clawed their way into the semi-final round after drawing home and away with PSG, winning on aggregate goals, but were spectacularly defeated by German side Bayern Munich losing 4-0 at Bayern, and 0-3 at the Nou Camp, making the final score an excruciating 7-0 on aggregate. Bayern Munich went on to beat Borussia Dortmund to be crowned champions of Europe. The two teams recently played again in a friendly (view pictures of the Bayern Munich v Barcelona match).

    Since the early 1970s Bayern Munich have monopolized the German Bundesliga, finishing in the top spot on an impressive 21 occasions. However their record in Europe has been more indecisive, they had a run of three successive wins in 1974, 75 and 76, they won again in 2001, and finally succeeded in lifting the trophy again during this years campaign. It seems there may be a rival to Barcelona's dominance, and Bayern's new manager Pep Guardiola should ignite more fear into the rest of Europe. Guardiola played and managed at Barcelona, during his time managing the Catalan giants he bought home 14 out of a possible 19 trophies, he resigned after losing to Chelsea in the 2012 Champions League semi-final, and is sure to be looking to rack up more trophies in his new role as manager in the Bundesliga.


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  7. Nike launches the new Manchester City Away Football Shirt

    Following the release of the home kit in May this year Nike have officially released the brand new Manchester City away kit, this season is the first time city have ever been seen wearing a Nike kit.   The club have a long affinity with their old supplier Umbro, the Umbro logo emblazoned the teams kits from 1975-97, they then had brief spells with Reebok, Kappa and Le Coq Sportif before returning to Umbro in 2009, Man City actually wore a kit designed by Umbro in the 1934 FA Cup Final. Umbro are a British sportswear company, it was founded in 1924 with the specific interest of entering the market to supply football kits, and it rivalled the then market leader Bukta.  In 2007 Umbro was bought by American sportswear giants Nike, this deal lasted until 2012 when Nike announced it was selling Umbro to concentrate on its other sportswear brands.  Since then Nike has acquired the rights to make football shirts for former Umbro kit wearing teams, Manchester City and England.  For Manchester City the deal that is reportedly worth £72m over six years will help them meet UEFA's new Financial Fair Play regulations that requires clubs not to spend more than they earn, last year the club recorded a £97.9m loss that is unacceptable under the new rules.

    The new Nike away kit is a masterpiece, drawing from the clubs heritage it reflects the original foundations of the club.  The club was first founded in 1880 and was originally named St Mark's, in 1884 it became Gorton AFC, in 1887 they underwent another name change to Ardwick AFC, before finally settling on Manchester City in 1894. The new away shirt features a two tone black, and dark charcoal grey colour scheme, the black colour represents the teams time as Gorton AFC whose kit was black, the two tone design is reminiscent of a kit worn during the 1890-91 season when they were known as Ardwick AFC.  The collar of the new Manchester City away football shirt is a subtle grandfather design,

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  8. Is Gareth Bale set for Real Madrid?

    Gareth Bale is currently one of the most sought after players during this summers transfer window, and the speculation about a possible move from his current squad at Tottenham Hotspur has been rife.  Bale who is a 24 year old Welsh footballer started his playing career at Southampton, he joined them at age 16 and was immediately recognised as a talented footballer, he was described as a creative player and was named Football League Young Player of the Year 2007.  Just over a year later in May 2007 Bale joined the London based Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur, signing a four year deal.  Bale has certainly made a name for himself as a top player in the Premier League; during his time at Spurs he has made 146 appearances, scoring 42 goals from his left-wing position.  He has also been awarded numerous accolades and awards including last season alone being named PFA Young Player of the Year, PFA Players' Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year.  Spurs initially signed Bale for £5m potentially rising to £10m after five years dependant upon performance, the clubs agreed an early settlement of an additional £2m to help Southampton's cash flow.  Just six years on Spurs have reportedly been offered a record breaking £85m by Real Madrid to sign this star player.

    To play in a Real Madrid shirt a football player needs to be exceptionally talented, they are one of the most successfully teams in Spain as well as the World.  They have won 32 La Liga titles, 18 Copa del Reys and 9 European Cup/UEFA Champions League titles.  The team consists of some of the best players in the world including Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Mesut Ozil and Luka Modric as well as Cristiano Ronaldo who currently claims the most expensive transfer record at £80m for his move to Madrid from Manchester U

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  9. How practical is it for the 2022 Qatar World Cup to be held in winter?

    The World Cup is a popular international football tournament with countries from all over the world competing, it is traditionally held in the summer months every four years. The tournament is hosted by different nations, FIFA try to fairly distribute where the competition is played throughout the different FIFA Continental Zones, these zones are Africa, Asia, Oceania, Europe, South America and North & Central America & Caribbean. FIFA's executive committees, following a bidding process decide which country should host each World Cup, the decision is usually made six or seven years in advance of the event to give the host nation time to prepare. Next years tournament will be held in Brazil and we already know that in 2018 it will hosted by Russia and in 2022 Qatar. Since the announcement of the Qatari World Cup there has been controversy and upset due to the temperate climate of the country in the summer months.

    Qatar is in Western Asia and is very similar to a desert in landscape, it is very close to the equator and rarely sees temperatures below 20c, in July the day time highs often exceed 40c. These hot and muggy atmospheric conditions are obviously not good for the players in their football shirts or the supporters that may travel to Qatar to watch. The Qatari government and sports committee have planned to construct fully enclosed air conditioned stadiums for the matches to be played in, however some have questioned this as football is traditionally an outdoor sport, and an air conditioned environment does not replicate natural air conditions. Â Sepp Blatter the FIFA president has addressed these concerns by suggesting that the 2022 Qatar tournament could be played in winter when the air temperature in Qatar is more bearable.

    Medical evidence highlighting the very serious potential health risks of playing sport in such hot temperatures has initiated FIFA's executive committee to discuss proposals to change to a winter tournament,

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  10. World Cup jerseys set to stay on free to air TV

    The World Cup is a football tournament organised by FIFA, it is contested by nations from each of the FIFA continental zones. The tournament is held every four years and is hosted by different countries from around the globe. The next tournament is due to be held next year, 2014, in the South American country of Brazil. Â The first ever World Cup was held in 1930 and was hosted by Uruguay, the first television coverage was in 1954. The 1958 World Cup that was held in Sweden was the first tournament to be aired internationally, and in 1970 for the first time in the UK the tournament was broadcast in colour. Over recent years with the invention of satellite and paid for television the sale of television rights for sporting events has become big business. The Premier League has sold domestic TV rights to Sky and BT for over £3bn; add to this the BBC's Match of the Day contract and international broadcasting deals the Premier League is set to receive a staggering £5bn in television broadcasting rights alone for the 2013/14 season. This situation means that many supporters struggle to watch their favourite teams play each week, satellite television including the sports channels often costs in excess of £60 per month, this is unaffordable to many lower income families in today's unstable economy.

    FIFA and UEFA have recently been embroiled in a court case that has reached the highest European Courts. They wanted to be able to sell the broadcasting rights for World Cup matches to paid for TV companies, this would severely impact the viewing ability of many people who cannot afford or choose not to have paid for television services. Â The teams and players who wear their football jerseys on the pitch in these prestigious matches are the best in the world, and the UK has argued that it is a major sporting event that should be available and free to view for all citizens. Â FIFA wanted the opening match, all matches involving England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Irela

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