Fifa World Player of the Year shortlist announced !

Fifa announced their shortlist for World Player of the Year today, included on it are Cristiano Ronaldo (Man Utd), Kaka (AC Milan) and Lionel Messi (Barcelona).

Who do you think should get the award ??? I think Lionel Messi.


FA set to offer England job ???

The FA are supposedly set to offer the vacant England manager post to former Chelsea boss, Jose Mourinho according to reports in the Daily Express today.

The Sun have said that Sir Geoff Hurst and Sven-Goran Eriksson have supported The Special One in his pursuit of the job, both men claiming the Portuguese man would be a great success.

Do you think that Jose would be a good man for the job ?


Utd set to sign Bolton ace !

Sheffield United are set to make an approach for out of favour Bolton winger Stelios Giannakopoulos according to reports in several of today's newspapers.

Despite standing out as one of Bolton's best players over the past few years, the Greek international has struggled to get his place in the starting eleven this season even with Bolton's poor performances in the league.

It is thought that The Blades will have to pay Bolton a fee of around £3 million pounds, money which they hope to get from the possible sale of James Beattie to Premier League admirers Middlesbrough.

I think that this would be a good move for all parties involved, first team football for Stelios, £3 million for Bolton at the loss of an unused player and a great winger for Sheffield.


City set to swoop for £15 million Utd & Chelsea target !

Man City are set to make an approach for Bolton striker Nicolas Anelka in the January transfer window according to reports in The Mirror today. Anelka has been linked with a move to either Old Trafford or Stamford Bridge but it now appears that Sven Goran Eriksson may be able to lure the player back to the club his former.

City have been faced with a slight striker problem this year, the evidence is there in having to play the likes of Samaras and Vassell in several games. So it does seem as though City could do with the Frenchman's services.

If Anelka is to leave it is thought that his destination club will have to splash out up to £15 million on the French international.
Do you think Anelka would be a good signing for any of the above clubs?


Magpies striker linked with £16 million exit

According to the journal, new Wigan manager Steve Bruce is lining up a £16 million move for Newcastle United striker Michael Owen. The player who was linked with a move to the JJB before joining Newcastle two years ago and they are apparently lining up a fresh bid for the injury plagued striker in January.

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has apparently received a January transfer list from Bruce and Owen is rumoured to be on it. Owen has been linked with a move away from St James' since joining them really, with Manchester City and Liverpool apparently keen on the 27-year old.

It would be one of the transfers of the year to sign Owen and it probably won't happen but I wouldn't rule out a move to someone else. It is clear that Man City need a striker and I have a feeling they may bid for the player, although they may be concerned at the growing number of injuries he has been sustaining.


United close on £30 million midfield pair

It is no secret that Manchester United have been watching either Miguel Veloso or Joao Moutino or both of them and Sporting Lisbon coach Paulo Bento has said today that he expects either of the pair to join United in the New Year in a "dream move".

Both players have been linked with a move to Old Trafford for some time now and both players performed well last night when Sporting travelled to Manchester in the Champions League, with Moutinho, in my view, impressing more.

United won't be without competition for the pair with Spanish giants Real Madrid said to be very keen on Veloso and a host of Premier League clubs interested in Moutinho.

I have to say it would be very interesting to see the pair join United because with Ronaldo and Nani already their, they would sure strike up a mouth watering midfield partnership.

It is likely that United will have to cough up as much as £30 million for the Portuguese pair but I'm sure Sir Alex knows what he's doing, what do you think?


Redknapp finds himself behind bars

Harry Redknapp has today been arrested in connection with alleged corruption in football. He along with several other high profile figures in football and will be questioned relation with conspiracy to defraud and false accounting.


Ronaldo peach against Sporting (watch)

Cristiano Ronaldo vs Sporting super goal champions league
Video sent by -Rush

If you haven't seen it already, here it is. Cristiano Ronaldo's superb match winner for Man United last night in their 2-1 victory over Ronaldo's former club Sporting Lisbon. Enjoy !


Chelsea line up swap deal for Portuguese sensation !

Chelsea are lining up a deal which would see Valencia defender, Miguel come to Stamford Bridge and Paulo Ferreira leave for The Mestalla according to a report in the Daily Mirror today.

Miguel, 27, joined Valencia in 2005 from Benfica and has been an key part of the Spanish side ever since. Despite only signing a contract in September of this year which should keep him at the club for a further five years, it is thought that the Portuguese international could be making a January exit.

Paulo Ferreira has in my opinion struggled since coming to the Premier League in 2004 from Porto, and I feel that this could be a positive move for his career as the 28 year old is more likely to be able to cope with the physicality of La Liga than the Premier League.

It is thought that as well as Paulo Ferreira that Chelsea are going to have to pay a further £10 million for the right back.


Rams and City unveil new Gaffas ! Davies for Scotland

Both Derby County and Birmingham City have appointed new managers this afternoon with Paul Jewell and Alex McLeish taking over at the respective clubs.

In a news conference today, Jewell's position was confirmed in what will be a three and a half year deal. The Liverpool born manager has been out of work since quiting Wigan at the end of last season, but he is determined to get his new club out of their horrendous league position similarly as he did with his former club last season. It's a pretty much win win situation for Jewell as the only way is up for The Rams.

Alex McLeish is going to be announced as Birmingham manager later this afternoon after he took the decision to resign as Scotland boss earlier in the week. With McLeish going to Birmingham, Bruce going to Wigan, Jewell going to Derby and the possibility of Billy Davies becoming new Scotland it's all just one big managerial merry go round.

I do feel that these are good appointments for their respective clubs but I would have doubts about Billy Davies joining the Scotland set up.


United scrape past Sporting Whilst Rangers and Arsenal are defeated

Manchester United have tonight come from a goal behind to beat Sporting Lisbon 2-1 at Old Trafford tonight. They went behind mid-way through the first half when Abel had a some what lucky shot that went in at Kusczak's near post.

United were level after the break when Carlso Tevez was awarded with the goal when Ronaldo's shot deflected off the Argetine. United' former Lisbon star Ronaldo struck a peach of a free-kick to send United through as group winners.

Rangers were unfortunate to be defeated at the hands of Stuttgart after taking a first half lead. Charlie Adam gave them the lead but they were pegged back just on the half when Cacau scored. Pardo gave Stuttgart the lead with a 20-yard cracker. Rangers got back on level terms when Barry Ferguson struck home from close range.

Rangers were defeated late on when Ciprian Marica scored to give the Germans their first points of the campaign. Arsenal took an early lead away to Spanish side Sevilla when Croatian striker Eduardo finished well. Seydou Keita put the sides level soon after with a stunning left footed finish.

Sevilla were in the lead just ten minutes later when Brazilian striker Luis Fabiano headed home. Former Tottenham striker Fredi Kanoute finished the scoring after he stepped up to take a penalty he earned.


Gunners and Spurs chase Italian goal machine

According to several leading newspapers, both Tottenham and Arsenal are interested in taking unsettled Bayern Munich striker Luca Toni to the Premier League. The player has been in fine form for Bayern and is joint top scorer in the Bundesliga but off the pitch it isn't going as well.

The 30-year interested Spurs boss Juande Ramos whilst he was manager of Sevilla and it appears as though he is now interested in taking him to White Hart Lane. The Italian international joined the German giants during the summer from Fiorentina for a fee of around £8 million.

Toni was a vital part of Italy's World Cup winning squad back in 2006 although he only scored two goals in the competition. I must say it would be a very interesting prospect to see Toni in the Premier League because their is no doubt he is a quality goal scorer and I would love to see can he do the same in England.


United and Arsenal behind at break whilst Rangers tied with Stuttgart

At the half-time break during this evening's Champions League ties Manchester United and Arsenal find themselves behind against Sport Lisbon and Sevilla respectively, whilst Rangers are drawing 1-1 with German champions Stuttgart.

United went behind to a rather bizarre first goal when Sporting right-back Abel took a cross/shot that crept in at United keeper Tomasz Kuszczak's near post. Arsenal took an early lead in their game against Sevilla through Eduardo only to be pegged back by Seydou Keita and Luis Fabiano.

Rangers found themselves in front after Charlie Adam finished from close range. Cacau equalised for the home side just before the break. Remember Rangers can qualify tonight if they win and Barcelona beat Lyon away in France.

Make sure to stay tuned because there will be match reports at the final whistle to tonight's Champions League group games.


Spurs target Villa ace

According to today's Daily Star, Tottenham manager Juande Ramos is very keen on bringing Aston Villa defender Martin Laursen to White Hart Lane. The player is in his last year of his contract, has apparently said he would be willing to join Spurs if Villa don't offer him a new deal.

The player has been a key part in Villa's great start to the season but as yet he has to be offered a new deal at Villa Park and he is apparently getting frustrated at the club. It has personally baffled me that Villa haven't offered the 30-year old a new deal straight away.

Since signing for the Midlands club back in 2004, Laursen's time at the club has been plagued by injury. Laursen has also been linked with a move back to his native Denmark, with Copenhagen supposedly keen on the player.

I'm sure every Villa fan will want Laursen to stay at the club because he has been terrific this season. It would be a real shame if he were to leave but at least he wouldn't be leaving the Premier League all together.


Goal of the Week (watch)

Birmingham City - Portsmouth 0-2 KRANJCAR
Video sent by DEASW

This goal was scored by Portsmouth midfielder Nik Kranjcar during Portsmouth's 2-0 win away to Birmingham. As you can see it is an absoloute cracker but do you think it deserved goal of the week?


Verdict : Carlos Tevez

Name : Carlos Tevez

Age : 23

Club : Manchester United

Position : Striker

Cost : ?

Tevez signed for United after a summer of uncertainty about the Argentine's future. He was originally brought to England in one of the most bizarre transfer dealings of Premier League history, joining London club West Ham. Since joining the Reds, Tevez has struck up a superb partnership with Wayne Rooney in the United attack.

He scored his first United goal in the game against Chelsea earlier this season and has since bagged three goals in the Premier League against Wigan and Middlesbrough(2) respectively. Tevez has quickly established himself as a fan favourite at Old Trafford and there is no doubt that if he keeps up this form he will be a United legend.

Football Corner Verdict : 8 out of 10.

Here is a list of other Football Corner Verdicts:


Premier League clubs battle for Royals striker

Several Premier League clubs including Middlesbrough, Portsmouth and Wigan are preparing offers for Reading striker Leroy Lita in the January transfer window. According to reports in today's Sun newspaper the England U 21 international is supposedly unhappy with his lack of game time at the club.

Lita, 22,has struggled to get his place in the Reading first team with Irish strikers Kevin Doyle and Shane Long along with fellow Englishman Dave Kitson becoming the main contenders to start up front for The Royals.

Boro have had a slight goal drought this season with their top goal scorer coming in the form of Stewart Downing with 3.... Good for a midfielder but doesn't say much for their strikers. The goal drought hasn't been the case for Pompey, however it is thought that Harry Redknapp is trying to recruit a new front man. Steve Bruce's Wigan may also consider a move for Lita in January.

It is thought that Lita's destination club will have to splash out up to £5 million for the Reading number 8.


Mcleish leaves Scotland for Birmingham

Scotland manager Alex McLeish has left his post as Scotland manager to become Birmingham City's new manager. McLeish has been heavily linked with the vacant Birmingham post in recent days and he had admitted that a move to the Premier League would attract him.

McLeish was ever so close to leading Scotland into Euro 2008 but came up just short when losing to Italy earlier this month. Billy Davies is now one of the hot favourites to replace McCleish as Scotland manager, but will the SFA give him the chance to lead them to World Cup 2010?

So do you think McLeish will be a success in the Premier League and do you think Billy Davies is the right man to take Scotland forward?


Should Big Sam be given more time at Newcastle ?

Many people have speculated in recent days that Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce may be sacked after just 5 months in the job. He has had a very average start to the season with the Magpies lying in eleventh place in the table, not where owner Mike Ashley would of liked them to be after 13 games.

Allardyce received dogs abuse from several Newcastle fans during the 3-0 home defeat to Liverpool on Saturday but would it be to soon to sack him. My opinion is that you shouldn't sack a manager after just a couple of months in the job. Let them have at the very least half a season and if things aren't going to plan, well then get rid of them.

Sam joined Newcastle from Bolton in the summer after a very successful stint at the Wanderers, getting them into the UEFA Cup in his time their. Sam spent a lot during the summer but so far the players he has bought just haven't really impressed. So do you think he deserves more time at St James' or should he be sacked now?


Chelsea eye Real star

It has been rumoured today that Chelsea are keeping tabs on Real Madrid wing back Royston Drenthe after claims by El Mundo Deportivo says the Madrid club directors are ready to cut their losses in January and offload the Holland U21 star.

Drenthe was signed by Real in the summer after impressing whilst playing in the under-21 European championships. Chelsea were also interested at the time but Drenthe chose Real but since joining the Spanish giants it hasn't worked out as well as everyone thought it would.

Drenthe has struggled to nail down a first team place at Madrid since joining from Dutch side Feyernood for £10 million. It is obvious that Drenthe is a good player and I'm not surprised Chelsea are interested because with the sudden emergence of Marcelo at Real, they may yet get rid of the 20-year old.


Gunners, Chelsea and Spurs chase £25 million midfielder

Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs will battle it out for the signature of young Croatian hotshot Luka Modric in the January transfer window according to reports in The Daily Mail today.

The 22 year old has an impressive goalscoring record for a midfielder, netting 20 times in his 69 appearances for his club side of Dinamo Zagreb. On an international level he has also looked promising, scoring 3 times and putting in consistantly, solid performances ever since starting for his national side in March 2006.
Initally, it was Arsenal or Chelsea who were favourites to snatch up the midfielder but now however it seems that new Spurs boss, Juande Ramos also looks interested. It is thought that his destination club will have to pay up to £25 million for the youngster.

It is clear that this is a promising young talent but is £25 million too much for someone who the Premier League fans haven't seen that much of ???


Benitez calls for truce at Anfield

According to BBC Sport Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez wants to patch things up with the clubs owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks. The two parties had a falling out after the Spanish coach criticised the American pair of holding up his transfer plans for January.

However as Timbaland says it may be too late to apologize, as Rafa's comments over the past week have really supposedly the American pair and they only got to be billionaires by being ruthless.

It is positive signs for the club and the fans as the first step has been taken in the right direction. Rafa is willing to forgive and forget with the clubs owners, but now it's their turn to take a step in the right direction and join Rafa in their reconciliation process


Liverpool and Spurs strikers to trade places ?

It has been rumoured in several papers today that Liverpool and Tottenham may be set to trade strikers come the opening of the January transfer window. England strikers Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe are both likely to leave their respective clubs in January and the two clubs are supposedly looking at the possibility of a straight swap deal.

Defoe has been relegated to fourth in the Spurs pecking order behind Robbie Keane, Dimitar Berbatov and Darren Bent and has been linked with a move away from White Hart Lane for a while now. It has been reported that Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has put a £10 million price tag on Crouch and Tottenham boss Junade Ramos is said to be keen on the striker.

Although this is pure speculation from the papers, I have to say it would be very interesting to see how both players would do if they were to move. I feel both really need to move and I think both players would be open to the move. I also feel that both would still struggle to nail down a first team place if they are to swap.

Another thing that may make this deal actually happen is the fact that Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez will struggle to get funds for new players out of the new owners so he will need to sell or trade players to bring more in.


Footy mag spills secret of European Footballer of the Year !

Kaka has apparently been named European Footballer of the Year. The ceremony hasn't taken place nor has it been officially announced, but France Football who choose the winner of the prestigious award have organised the customary photo shoot with the Brazilian international.


Another United legend set for Premier League?

With former Manchester United legends Steve Bruce, Mark Hughes and Roy Keane already managing in the Premier League, Sir Alex Ferguson can be proud of what he has produced as a manager. But is their another one on his way?

Well if you believe the bookies then their is because today after Derby County sacked manager Billy Davies both Ladbrokes and Coral closed the betting on who will become the Premier League strugglers new manager. They gave the excuse that too much money was been put on one man.

And that man is none other than Paul Ince. The MK Dons manager had seven years at the Premier League champions back in the late eighties/early nineties and he has widely been tipped to become the next Derby County boss.

He was also linked with a move to fellow Premier League stragglers Wigan a couple of weeks back when they sacked then manager Chris Hutchings. Since then Steve Bruce has been appointed but it looks a certainty now that Ince will be coming to the Premier League as a manager.

Coral said it felt the "wheels may have already been put in motion" after odds on Ince collapsed to 4-9 within hours.
Ladbrokes suspended betting after taking "£50 on Ince for every £1 we were taking on Paul Jewell".

MK Dons said: "We will not allow it to compromise the excellent start Paul and the team have made to the season." A statement explained: "Paul Ince is the hottest young manager in English football and it comes as no surprise that his name continues to be linked to managerial posts in higher divisions.


Super Gerrard !

This week's player of the week has to go to Liverpool's Steven Gerrard for his magnificent performance against Newcastle on Saturday. Gerrard was booed from start to finish by the home support for his part in England's failed Euro 2008 qualifying campaign but he didn't let that get to him.

Liverpool ran out 3-0 winners at St James' Park with Gerrard scoring and setting up one. Not everyone may agree with my decision and if you didn't please tell me who you think deserved to be player of the week.


Bayern star allowed to join United if he wants

Bayern Munich defender Willy Sagnol has been told he can leave the German club if he wants. It comes after Sagnol admitted he was frustrated at the club after failing to become a permanent fixture in Ottmar Hitzfeld's starting line up.

United were strongly linked with the player a couple of weeks ago, many papers claiming they are lining Sagnol up as a replacement to club club captain Gary Neville.

"If he comes to us with a club that wants to buy him, we would not stand in his way," Hoeness said. "In any case we have too many players on our books and everything would not fall apart if one or two players leave us this winter.

"But I know Willy well. He's the emotional type. Yesterday he wanted to leave, today he wants to stay and tomorrow he wants a contract extension."We should not take all this too seriously." Bayern Munich general manager Uli Hoesness.

Sagnol is a quality player and I am hoping he comes to the Premier League. He has been a terrific servant to Bayern since joining them back in 2000 from French side AS Monaco. It has been rumoured that whoever wants to sign him will have to cough up £4 million and I think that sounds reasonable for such an experienced player.


Premier League's top goal scorer to reject Juventus

According to today's Daily Mirror, Portsmouth striker Benjani Mwaruwari is set to sign a new deal at the club in favour of joining Italian side Juventus. Juventus are believed to be willing to offer as much as £7 million for the Premier League top scorer but Benjani has said : " I want to stay here (Pompey)."

The striker who struggled throughout last season to find goal scoring form Benjani has already scored eight goals this season playing no small part in Pompey's fantastic start to the season. It is no surprise to me that Juve are interested because Benjani is a quality player.

He works extremely hard and has proven this season he is a prolific goal scorer. This is obviously great news for all Pompey fans and I'm sure that with Benjani at the club they can finish in a European place.


Premier League's worst ever manager gets his marching orders

Billy Davies has today split from Premier League stragglers Derby County. The club who were promoted last season from the Championship are looking like they are going straight back down this season and Davies has been the one to pay the penalty.

His final game in charge was the match against Chelsea in which they lost 2-0. Davies has pleaded with the Derby board to give him more time but they have finally had enough. I have never really liked Davies and I think if Derby were to have any chance of staying in the top flight they have to get rid of him.

I knew it from the start that Davies was never cut out to be a Premier League manager and so that has proved to be the case. I think he will now join a side in the Championship but I can never ever see him managing again in the Premier League.



Liverpool supporters are supposedly planning a protest against the club's American owners during the match aginst Porto in midweek to attempt to save Rafa Benitez future at the club, according to reports in The Guardian.

So if you're going to the match or even if you live nearby, bring your banners etc. to save Rafa !!!
But Remember it's only a peaceful protest !


Benitez is "a dead man walking"

It has been reported today that Liverpool owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks are set to sack club manager Rafa Benitez after a falling out between the two parties during the week over transfer funds. Some papers have referred to Rafa as "a dead man walking".

Benitez is much adored by most Liverpool fans and I can safely say that nobody wants to see the Spaniard leave. I am sure that depending on whether he is sacked or not will determine the love or hate relationship which the fans will have with the new owners and the last thing the Americans want is 40,000 scousers chanting abuse at you during matches.

Liverpool currently stand in fifth place with a game in hand, which if it is won will see them lie in second. So it is not to be said that Liverpool aren't doing well this season, as they are virtually level with their Manchester rivals.

I'm sorry Tom and George but if Benitez is sacked there's two less Christmas cards for me to buy.


Inter set to sign £20 million Chelsea star !

Inter Milan are considering a move for Chelsea centre half Ricardo Carvalho in the upcoming January transfer window according to reports in The News of The World.

The 29 year old is supposedly still unhappy at the London club after the departure of fellow Portuguese man Jose Mourinho earlier in the season. Carvalho has been a great servant to Chelsea since joining in 2004 from Mourinho's former club FC Porto.

Inter Milan are favourites to snatch up the unhappy defender in January but it is thought that the Italian side may have to offer up to £20 million to obtain the Stamford Bridge number 6.

Although it seems Carvalho is unhappy, this could well be just a rumour. However if the Portuguese international is to leave the London club and with the probable departure of Tal Ben Haim in January it seems as though Chelsea may have to purchase in that department with only Alex and Terry available there.


Arsenal target to snub move to Gunners

Arsenal target Gabby Agbonlahor is set to snub a move to London in favour of signing a new deal at Aston Villa. The Villa striker has been a key part of Villa's great start to the new Premier League season and he has been linked with a possible move to the Gunners.

But Agbonlahor has been quoted as saying that he is enjoying his football at Villa and would have no problems signing a new deal at the club. Their is no doubt that is years to come that Agbonlahor may join the Gunners but for the immediate future it looks as though his future lies at Villa Park.

The Villa boss said: "We will revisit every contract situation we think merits that. "I want to develop talent like Gabby and Ashley Young. Gabby has made tremendous strides again this season and he has shown he wants to improve. "The way he works at his game is excellent. That is why he keeps on improving."

I think it is vital Gabby signs the new deal because I feel he should develop his game over the next three or four years at Villa and then maybe start thinking of a move to a top side like Arsenal. I'm sure all you Villa fans will be delighted by Agbonlahor saying he wants to stay put.


United target Spurs striker

According to today's The People, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is lining up a January transfer window bid for Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe. Defoe has long been linked with a move away from the London club and Spurs boss Juande Ramos has refused to rule out the possible sale of the England striker.

Ferguson is supposedly very keen to sign a new front man in January and he apparently sees Defoe as the perfect man. United currently have Wayne Rooney and Carlso Tevez playing brilliant stuff in the United strike force but they only have the out of sorts Louis Saha as back up.

I feel United may use Saha as a possible exchange for Defoe and I think that would be good for both clubs. For Tottenham, they have nothing to lose because Defoe is fourth in their pecking order and for United, they will be receiving a decent player in Defoe who would provide cover for Tevez and Rooney.


2010 World Cup qualifying draw made... England get Croatia !!!

The draw for the qualifiying groups for the World Cup in 2010 was held today in the host nation South Africa. The draw is as follows;

Group 1 Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Hungary, Albania, Malta
Group 2 Greece, Israel, Switzerland, Moldova, Latvia, Luxembourg
Group 3 Czech Republic, Poland, NORTHERN IRELAND, Slovakia, Slovenia, San Marino
Group 4 Germany, Russia, Finland, WALES, Azerbaijan, Liechtenstein
Group 5 Spain, Turkey, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Armenia, Estonia
Group 6 Croatia, ENGLAND, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Andorra
Group 7 France, Romania, Serbia, Lithuania, Austria, Faroe Islands
Group 8 Italy, Bulgaria, Republic of Ireland, Cyprus, Georgia, Montenegro
Group 9 Holland, SCOTLAND, Norway, FYR Macedonia, Iceland

Who do you think has the hardest group?


Madrid eye Liverpool star

According to today's News of the World, Spanish side Atletico Madrid are interested in signing Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso. The 26-year old signed a new deal with the Reds back in June that will keep him at the club until 2012 but Atletico are very keen to bring him back to Spain.

Alonso was signed by Liverpool back in 2004 for a fee of £10.5 million and has quickly become a fan favourite but Liverpool have an abundance of centre midfielders and Atletico want to offer guaranteed football week in week out.

It would be a real shame to see Alonso leave the Premier League and I'm keeping my fingers crossed he doesn't. He has been a terrific player for Liverpool but with Gerrard, Leiva, Mascherano and Sissoko all playing for two places it has been tough. He is expected to return from an injury in the coming days and hopefully he can get back in the Reds starting eleven.


Reading star Hunt committs awful tackle

Reading striker/midfielder Stephen Hunt committed one of the worst tackles of the season on Man City midfielder Gelson Fernandes during Saturday's encounter between the two sides. Hunt slid in on Gelson with his foot way over the level of the ball and his studs connected with the knee of the City player.

Hunt was booked at the time and in my view was saved by the reaction of Gelson who simply got up and got on with his game. I really think Hunt is a good player but he has to get his tackling sorted out!


Utd star set to join Boro !

Middlesbrough are set to make an approach for Sheffield United star James Beattie in the upcoming January transfer window according to a report in The Sun earlier this week.

The former Toffees player only joined The Blades in August of this year for £4 million, in his 16 appearances for the club the 29 year old has netted an impressive 11 times and has clearly rediscovered his eye for goal which he first displayed at Southampton.

Boro are in serious trouble this season, sitting just one place above the relegation zone and only on goal difference. The Summer signing of Turkish international Tuncay has failed to properly materialise and the likes of Jeremie Aliadiere have been injury stricken. It is clear that The Riverside club need the assisstance of an experienced Premier League player and Beattie may just be the man for the job.

It is thought that Boro will make an offer similar to that of which Utd signed him for of around £4 million.


Premier League Review

Today there were 8 games to be played in the Premier League. The early kick off saw Liverpool travel to Sam Allardyce's under pressure Newcastle side who were in bad need of a home win. For a full match report click here

Gary Megson although he probably wasn't expecting it picked up his first win as Bolton manager today after causing an upset at Th Reebok stadium in beating last season league winners, Man Utd 1-0. Nicolas Anelka put the home side in front just 11 minutes into the game after a misjudgement from stand in centre half, Pique. Despite a lot of pressure especially in the second period The Trotters managed to hold out for the win on what was a great day for Bolton.

A last placed Derby side played Avram Grant's Chelsea at Pride Park in this evenings late starter. But there were no such surprises here however as Chelsea came out as 2-0 winners. Kalou opened the scoring after 17 minutes with neat build up play from The Londoners. Wright Phillips doubled the lead after 73 minutes and that's how it finished at Pride Park...As good as Billy Davies could have hoped for I suppose.

Arsenal entertained Wigan at The Emirates Stadium, but it wasn't as easy as the home side first thought it would be as it took all of 83 minutes for The Gunner's to break down the Addicks back line. That goal came through William Gallas and just two minutes later Tomas Rosicky doubled their lead. 2-0 it finished at The Emirates.

Everton hosted Roy Keane's Sunderland at Goodison Park this afternoon. But it was clear that the Irishman's side lacked the pride and courage which there boss showed in his playing days as The Black Cats were steam rolled by the Toffees.7-1 it finished up on Merseyside with goals from Yakubu(2), Cahill(2), Pienaar, Johnson and Osman. Dwight Yorke salvaged a mere consolation for Sunderland .

Elsewhere it finished; Man City 2-1 Reading, Birmingham 0-2 Portsmouth and Middlesbrough 0-3 Aston Villa


Liverpool and brilliant Gerrard ease past Toon Army !

Liverpool eased past Newcastle in today's early kick off. The Reds' put three past the home side with goals from Steven Gerrard, Dirk Kuyt and Ryan Babel.

Liverpool started with a somewhat unexpected line up, Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia and Arbeloa were at the back. Lucas, Kewell, Sissoko and Gerrard started in midfield with Torres and Kuyt up front and no place for England's only positive from mid week, Peter Crouch.

The away side dominated early on, with the home crowd booing England's stand in skipper Steven Gerrard every time he got the ball. He proved his few doubters wrong however as he put in a stunning performance for The Reds'. The number 8 thundered home a 30 yard pile driver of a free kick midway through the first period silencing the majority of St. James Park.

There was controversy before the break as Torres felt Newcastle keeper Shay Given handled the ball outside his area, but the referee thought otherwise. The Spaniard also missed the rebound off Given which saw him hit the post of an open goal from 20 yards.

Straight after the break Liverpool made it 2-0 when Dirk Kuyt scrambled home Steven Gerrard's corner. Ryan Babel replaced the recovering Harry Kewell just before the hour mark and the Dutch man scored a couple of minutes after his introduction. Beautiful linkup play between himself and the Liverpool skipper left him inside the box to rifle into the bottom corner.

Liverpool missed a whole host of chances especially Torres, but besides his finishing it was a world class display from the Spaniard. The win takes some of the heat off Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez and as for Sam Allardyce his side were extremely poor and lucky that it didn't finish six or seven nil.


Arsenal star set for Juve move !

Arsenal's Gilberto Silva who is currently struggling to obtain a place in the Gunner's lineup, says he would "gladly" move to Juventus according to reports in both The Daily Star and The Daily Mail. The Brazilian international has been heavily linked with a move away from The Emirates and the rumours may just come through this January.

The 31 year old has captained the London side many times in his 159 appearances since joining in 2002 Atletico Mineiro and has been a fan favourite since securing his place in the line up a few years ago. However with Arsenal's youngsters and their success so far this season the number 19 has struggled to get a look in to the set up.

Juventus have been strongly linked with Gilberto and it is thought that the Italian club will make a bid of around £6 million for the versatile midfielder in the January transfer window.


Capello, Houllier and McLeish set for England, Ireland and Birmingham respectively

The Football Association of Ireland are set to go into talks with former Liverpool manager, Gerard Houllier after the draw is made for the world cup in South Africa this week, according to a report in the Irish Daily Star today.

Fabio Capello feels his chances of becoming Steve McClaren's successor have been boosted by Jose Mourinho virtually ruling himself out of the position. The Italian added: "It would be a very interesting challenge and difficult challenges have always fascinated me."

Birmingham City will seek permission from The Scottish FA to speak to Scotland manager Alex McLeish next week, according to BBC Sport. In my opinion these three appointments would all be very positive ones for their respective teams, what do you think ???


Milan and Juve battle for Villa star

According to today's Daily Mirror, Aston Villa defender is being chased by Italian giants AC Milan and Juventus. Mellberg has long been linked with a move away from Villa Park and with his contract due to expire in the summer both Juve and AC are very keen to snap him up.

The Sweden international has apparently held talks with Villa boss Martin O'Neill but they couldn't come to any agreement and O'Neill said : "I've spoken to Olof but we've decided to leave things for a while." Mellberg has been a terrific servant to Villa and it would be a shame to see him leave the Premier League.

It is no surprise to me that sides like AC and Juve are showing an interest because he's a quality player. What would be even worse for Villa would be that they got no money out of Mellberg because I feel he's worth a few bob.


Spurs target Madrid pair

According to several leading British newspapers, Tottenham are set to make January transfer window bids for Real Madrid pair Julio Baptista and Guti. Former Arsenal striker Baptista has been linked with a move back to the Premier League for some time now with Spurs and Man City very keen on him.

Baptista struggled whilst at the Gunners but showed glimmers of his best form in the away Carling Cup tie against Liverpool in which he scored four. It is rumoured that Spurs are to make a £5 million bid for the player but will Real let him go. The other Real player Spurs are after is Guti.

Guti said in a recent interview in Spain that he would one day love to play in England and Spurs have been alerted by this. The Daily Mail today said that Spurs are stepping up their interest in the 31-year old and getting ready to make a bid for the player in January.


Liverpool eye future England star

It has been widely speculated today that Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is interested in bringing Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart to Anfield. The player has broken into the City first team this season and has inpressed thus far.

Hart joined City from Shrewsbery from back in 2006 for an initial fee of £600,000 that could rise to as much as £1.5 million. He has also impressed whilst playing for the England under-21's and Benitez is apparently interested in bringing in Hart to replace the Villa bound Scott Carson.

Hart has proved himself to be one of England's brightest up and coming keepers and there is no doubt that in years to come he will represent the full national side. It would be a real shame for City to lose Hart because he has been a big part in City's fantastic start to the season, but hopefully for City fans they can hold on to him.


Benitez is issued warning and also in the hunt for England job

Liverpool owner Tom Hicks has today issued an informal warning to club manager Rafael Benitez to stop "talking about new players" and to start getting the best use out of those which he already has.

Yesterday in a news conference the Liverpool manager implied that The Reds' owners including both Hicks and Gillett were stalling the Spaniard's transfer plans.
In an interview with the Liverpool Echo, Hicks said "We told him to concentrate on the games coming up. I guess he didn't like it... We will come over in December. That is the time to talk about other issues."

Benitez is also yet to rule himself out of the hunt for next England manager,"Maybe I could be Steve McClaren's replacement if I improve my English... I was being serious. You never know what can happen in the future." said the 47-year-old in his press conference on Thursday.

Do you think Benitez would leave Anfield for the England job ???
Would you like to see Benitez take over as England manager ???


As one man rules himself out of running for England job, another throws his hat in the ring

Martin O'Neill is the latest manager to rule himself out of the running after Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce, Man City manager Sven Goran Eriksson and former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho all declared themselves out of the running to take over from Steve McClaren.

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill said today that if England were to approach him about the vacant post he wouldn't be interested. This news comes after Martin O'Neill was installed as bookies favourite to become McClaren's successor when the former Middlesbrough manager got the sack on Thursday.

O'Neill told BBC Radio 5 Live: "My name might not even be put forward and I am uncomfortable talking about it.
"But I have got a commitment to this club and I want to see it through." It appears as though many managers just don't want the job but two men that do want it are Fabio Capello and Jurgen Klinsman.

Former Real Madrid manager Fabio Capello said :
"The challenge of coaching a national side like England would be something different. The job is not about coaching every day. "It would be a very difficult challenge but a very exciting one."

Germany legend Franz Beckenbaur has today said that Jurgen Klinsman would be perfect for the job.
"The job would be ideal for him and England as well," Beckenbauer said. "Jurgen has very clear ideas who can enforce them. He knows what he wants, he speaks very good English and would revel in the England job."

It will be very interesting to see in the coming weeks who actually does get appointed the new England manager, but my money would be going on Capello at this early stage.


Premier League Weekend Predictions

This Saturday's Lunch-time kick-off sees Liverpool travel to Newcastle. Both sides are in need of a victory, with Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce looking to shrug of some of the pressure been put on him by the Newcastle faithful. Reds boss Rafa Benitez will look to the Liverpool owners what he is capable of after some recent argument.

Arsenal entertain Wigan at the Emirates on Saturday with the Latics without new manager Steve Bruce. The deal did not go through on time to confirm the appointment of Bruce and Wigan travel to London with most people writing them off even before a ball has been kicked.

Chelsea travel to woefully out form Derby looking to continue their recent run of form. Derby go into the game with only five points and with only one win this season this looks like a fore gong conclusion. I just hope for Derby's sake they don't crumble like they did last time out against West Ham.


Newcastle -V- Liverpool : Cathal - 1-1. Niall - 1-2.

Arsenal -V- Wigan : Cathal - 4-0. Niall - 3-0.

Birmingham -V- Portsmouth : Cathal - 1-2. Niall - 2-2.

Bolton -V- Man United : Cathal - 1-3. Niall - 0-3.

Everton -V- Sunderland : Cathal - 2-0. Niall - 3-1.

Man City -V- Reading : Cathal - 3-1. Niall - 2-0.

Middlesbrough -V- Aston Villa : Cathal - 0-2. Niall - 1-2.

Derby -V- Chelsea : Cathal - 1-6. Niall - 0-4.

West Ham -V- Tottenham : Cathal - 2-2. Niall - 1-3.

Fulham -V- Blackburn : Cathal - 1-3. Niall - 1-2.


What's your favourite stadium ?

What is your favourite stadium? There are many magnificent stadiums in the world but which one do you most prefer. There's the Camp Nou in Barcelona, Wembley in London or even Celtic Park in Glasgow.

It could even be your local teams stadium like Edgley Park home of Stockport County. It can simply be any stadium.

My personal favourite is Arsenal's Emirates Stadium in London. It is a massive stadium with a superb pitch that was opened in 2006. So whats your favourite stadium?


Villarreal striker linked with Premier League

Villarreal striker Jon Dahl Tomasson has today been linked with a move to Premier League side Bolton. The Mirror reports that Bolton boss Gary Megson is lining up Tomasson as a replacement for want away Wanderers striker Nicolas Anelka.

Megson has been to see Tomasson play for Denmark against Iceland, a game in which the Danish veteran scored in. Anelka is almost certain to leave the Reebok come the opening of the January transfer window, with Chelsea or Man City his most likely destinations.

Jon has scored seven times in 24 games for the Spanish giants but is not a regular starter. Megson won't have to fork out to much money to secure the services of the player but it's just a case of wheter or not Villarreal will sell. I t would be really interesting to see how Tomasson would do in the Premier League because he has done alright everywhere else.


Chelsea linked with African and French strikers

It is no secret that Chelsea are interested in a striker come the opening of the January transfer window. They have been linked with several different front men in recent weeks and Bolton striker Nicolas Anelka and Rosenborg forward Yssouf Kone are the latest two to be linked with a move to London.

Bolton manager Gary Megson has admitted that the club are preparing for life without Anelka after their poor start to the season.

Anelka has admitted himself that if a big club were to come in for him he would seriously consider it and Chelsea are apparently very keen on securing his services.

They are likely to face competition from fellow Premier League side Manchester City, whom Anelka used to play for. The other striker they have been linked with today is Rosenborg striker Yssouf Kone. The player's agent claims that Chelsea have informed Rosenborg of their interest, but will they make a bid for him come January.

The Burkino Faso international has been linked with a move to the Premier League for some time now with Blackburn also keen to secure the players services. "We have not received a concrete offer from Chelsea, but there is interest," Obou (Kone's agent) said in The Independent.


Celtic midfield set for possible change

It has been reported in several papers in recent days that former Celtic midfielder Shaun Maloney is set for a return to the Scottish champions. Maloney has failed to settle at Aston Villa and a return to the Hoops is the most likely outcome.

Maloney left Celtic for a fee of around £1 million during last January's transfer window. Since then though he has only made 14 appearances for the Midlanders scoring just 2 goals in those games. Villa boss Martin O'Neill still wants Maloney to stay but it looks as though that won't be happening.

So with the possible arrival of Maloney at Celtic in January, Celtic may be set to lose one of their prized assets. Japanese international Shunsuke Nakamura has apparently expressed a desire to return to Japan. Nakamura has been a terrific success at the club and it would be a real shame to see him leave.


Staines are through !

Non League side Staines Town have tonight beaten League 2 side Stockport County in the FA Cup first round. They went through on a penalty shoot out after drawing 1-1, but with no goals in extra-time the game went to peno's.

They went on to win 4-3 in the penalty shoot out to send the home support into raptures. This is the first time Staines have ventured into the FA Cup second round. All I have to say is good on you Staines and lets hope they keep progressing in the competition and you never know... Wembley!


Derby record signing linked with exit

According to today's Daily Mirror, Cardiff City are interested in signing Derby County striker Rob Earnshaw on a loan deal.

The Welsh striker joined Derby during the summer from Norwich for a fee of £3.5 million but he has failed to impress and failed to score in this seasons Premier League.

Earnshaw was a true fan favourite whilst being at Ninian Park scoring 105 goals in 205 games before joining West Brom in 2004. Earnshaw remains the only man to of scored a hat-trick in all four leagues in England and Cardiff are very keen to bring him back.

It has been a real pity for Earnshaw at Derby but I personally feel he hasn't been given a fair enough chance to prove himself. I would like to see Earnshaw go back to Cardiff and rediscover his goal scoring form. If this move were to happen it will almost certainly trigger Derby boss Billy Davies making a move for Portsmouth striker David Nugent.