Tottenham ready to make smart move for United defender

With Newcastle United now a Championship side, there is bound to be some big name players leaving St James' Park in the coming months and one of those could be Steven Taylor.

The England under-21 international has today been linked with a move to Harry Redknapp's Tottenham.

Taylor has come out in recent days and stated his desire to stay at Newcastle and help them bounce straight back up to the Premier League, however with the Magpies struggling financially, they may be forced to cash in on some of their most prized assets and Taylor is certainly one of them.

The 23-year old has made 150 appearances for the North East club over the past seven years, scoring just 9 goals in the process. Spurs are keen to add to their defensive options once the transfer window opens and I firmly believe a move for Taylor would be very smart.

With Ledley King's constant injury problems, Taylor would provide terrific cover and at only £5 million or so, I think he would prove great value for money for the White Hart Lane club. Having said that, I would be surprised if Spurs were the only side chasing Taylor's signature come July 1st.

What do you think? Comments below please.


Man United line up Klaas replacement for Tevez

With Carlos Tevez looking destined to leave Old Trafford, Manchester United will no doubt be in the market to sign a new striker once the transfer window opens on July 1st.

Many names have already been linked with a move to the Premier League Champions, including the likes of Karim Benzema and Franck Ribery, however with ridiculous prices been talked about for those two, it is thought United will have to look elsewhere.

One man that is a realistic possibilty for Sir Alex Ferguson to go after is Real Madrid striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar. Despite only joining the La Liga giants back in January, the Dutch international is already believed to be frustrated after he was omitted from Real's Champions League squad back in February.

With a £15 million price-tag been mentioned, there is no doubt United could afford to buy the 25-year old but would Real be willing to sell one of their players to a club they clearly don't get on with too well?

Picture this, if Real were to make a bid of £65 million and Klaas Jan Huntelaar in exchange for Cristiano Ronaldo, would United accept it? Comments below please.


Was Florent Malouda's shot over the line?

Well this guy certainly thinks so.

Even though Chelsea ran out 2-1 winners in this afternoon's FA Cup final over David Moyes' Everton, the big talking point coming out of the game is why Florent Malouda's 8oth minute strike was not given as a goal.

Out of the 89,391 people in attendance at Wembley today, I'd say 89,390 thought it was a goal, but crucially, the linesman didn't think the whole ball had crossed the line.

So, what do you think? Was the whole ball over the line? In my view, yes, but maybe you have a different opinion. Comments below please.


Carlos Tevez looks certain to leave Old Trafford after missing the bus home

It looks certain that Carlos Tevez will not be a Manchester United player next season after the Argentine striker did not board the bus home from Rome.

The 25-year old came on as a second-half substitute in United's 2-0 defeat to Barcelona in last night's Champions League final, however he failed to make any impact and many people believe that was Tevez' last game in a United jersey.

Despite the fact Sir Alex Ferguson has insisted in recent weeks that United are doing everything they can to sign Tevez on a permanent deal, many people, including myself, believe Tevez' future lies away from Old Trafford.

Manchester City are currently the bookmakers favourite to sign Tevez, however Liverpool are also understood to be interested in signing the former West Ham man. As we all know by now, United fans adore Tevez, but I'm sure even they are already resigned to losing their number 32. Whoever does eventually sign him will have a hell of a player on their hands.

What do you think? Comments below please.

For another take on this, visit an educated right foot.


Phil Brown talks rubbish and looks like a famous actor

First of all, does anyone agree with me that Hull City manager Phil Brown looks a bit like English actor Hugh Lawrie?

Now onto more pressing matters. Phil Brown has today claimed Hull will be playing in Europe in the near future. I know, I laughed too.

"A European place would be the ultimate aim, either through winning a trophy or by way of standing in the Premier League ... How long that would take, I've got my personal ambitions. All I can say is that it will be in the near future." said the former Blackpool right-back.

Not meaning to be too disrespectful to Brown (cause I quite like the guy), but he's talking shite. This is the same Hull side who escaped relegation by just a single point only last Sunday and now he thinks they can challenge for Europe in the near future. Come on. Let's be realistic Phil, Hull will be very lucky to escape relegation next season, let alone qualify for bloody Europe.

What do you think? Do Hull have what it takes to qualify for Europe in the near future or do you agree that Brown is just talking rubbish? Comments below please.


Has Cristiano Ronaldo played his last game for Man United?

In my opinion, yes.

In Cristiano Ronaldo's opinion, "I don't know."

Yes, after weeks and months and maybe even years at this stage, of will he, won't he, it would appear we have got out biggest indication yet that Cristiano Ronaldo may well be about to become a Real Madrid player after all.

Speaking before tonight's Champions League final defeat at the hands of Barcelona, the Portuguese winger seemed pretty confident he would remain at Old Trafford next season, stating he was happy at the club and he wanted to remain a Manchester United player.

A frustrating 90 minutes in Rome tonight has appeared to change Ronaldo's mind.

With Real Madrid waiting in the wings, I personally think Sir Alex Ferguson should and quite possibly, will opt to cash in on Ronaldo this summer. There is no doubt Florentino Perez (the Real Madrid President to be) will be in contact with United in the summer about the possibility of signing the 24-year old and I feel if the La Liga giants were to offer anywhere near the £80 million being talked about, then the Premier League Champions should take the money and run.

It is clear for all to see that Ronaldo always has a move to Real on his mind. As much as United would miss the FIFA World Player of the Year, the money raised from his sale could be used to bring the likes of Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema to the club and I know I would prefer the French pair over Ronaldo.

What do you think? Should United fight to keep hold of Ronaldo or should they just let him go? Comments below please.


A few ways to make yourself some money on tonight's big game

With the big game only hours away, I thought I might as well have a little betting preview of tonight's Champions League final.

There is certainly no shortage of betting markets open to the punters. Our good friends at Paddy Power (who have a very generous free £20 bet for all Football Corner readers) have markets like : Player to be sent off, number of offsides, official UEFA Man of the Match winner and many more.

So, what bets will win you some money? Here's a few I like :

Both Cristiano Ronaldo & Lionel Messi to score in 90 mins @ 10/1.

Wayne Rooney to be booked and score in 90 mins @ 10/1.

A 2-2 draw @ 11/1.

Gerard Pique to score an own goal in 90 mins @ 40/1.

Well, there's just a few bets I think are good value, follow the Paddy Power link for more and if you want, leave a comment below to tell me what you're backing. Thanks.


Now this would be an £8 million very well spent by Arsenal

After a season which saw him earn considerable amounts of praise, Fulham defender Brede Hangeland has today been linked with a move to Arsenal.

Arsene Wenger is preparing to offer Fulham £8 million for Hangeland's services, however it is understood that offer will be rejected as Roy Hodgson looks to get as much as he can out of the Norwegian international.

Hangeland, 27, was strongly linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium back in January but for whatever reasons nothing ever materialised. With the opening of the summer transfer window fast approaching, Arsenal are likely to be quite busy after a season that yielded nothing in the way of silverware.

There is no doubt Hangeland has been Fulham's Player of the Year this season. Without him at the heart of the Cottagers defence this season, I think they would have struggled to secure that final Europa League spot. If and when (sorry Fulham fans) Brede does leave Craven Cottage, I feel Arsenal would be his preferred destination considering the fact he would get to play Champions League football next season.

Having said that, I would be really surprised if Arsenal are the only club after Hangeland this summer.

What do you think? Comments below please.


The door is wide open for Spurs to move for ex-Liverpool striker

Djibril Cisse will not be a Sunderland player next season leaving the door wide open for a potential move to Tottenham.

His time as a Sunderland player came to an end this evening after the North East club opted not to keep him for another season. A club statement read : "We wish Djibril well and thank him for his contribution to the club this season."

The French international has been heavily linked with a move to White Hart Lane in recent weeks after his agent claimed there was an agreement in place for him to sign a 12-month contract with the North London club, a claim that was quickly rebuffed by Spurs boss Harry Redknapp.

Cisse, 27, made an immediate impact at the Stadium of Light after leaving Marseille on a season long loan deal last August. The former Liverpool frontman scored 11 goals in total during his time with the Black Cats, however the majority of those goals were scored by the turn of the year, with only one in his last twelve games.

For me, Spurs should only look at Cisse as a last resort. There is no doubt Redknapp could use another striker but is Cisse any better than what Redknapp currently has at his disposal. The simple answer is no, ok, he may be better than Roman Pavlyuchenko, but that's not hard is it? I think it's inevitable that Cisse does eventually secure a move to a Premier League club but I for one don't think it will be Spurs.

What do you think? Comments below please.


Martin Jol the perfect man for Sunderland

The dust has barely settled on Ricky Sbragia's resignation and there's already talk of who will replace him in the hot seat at Sunderland.

Wigan boss Steve Bruce is the bookies early favourite at a price of 5/2, while Celtic's Gordon Strachan is also a name being mentioned, however, for me, there is only one man to replace Sbragia and that is Hamburg's Martin Jol.

The former Tottenham boss has done an exceptional job during his time with the German giants, guiding them to a semi-final in both the UEFA Cup and the German Cup in his first season.

I really think there is a strong possibility that Jol may return to the Premier League this summer. Speaking just over a month ago, the Dutchman had this to say : "I still have my house in England, so if there was a very good opportunity, maybe a club with ambitions of Europe, I would certainly think about it."

OK, Sunderland may not have ambitions of Europe but I think given the money, Jol could well turn them into a side capable of challenging for a top six finish. During his three years at White Hart Lane, Jol guided Spurs to two successive 5th place finishes, however he was harshly sacked by the North London club back in October 2007.

What do you think? Would Jol make a successful Sunderland manager? Comments below please.


Newcastle are Down


Newcastle are going down

If things stay as they are, that is.

Alan Shearer's men are currently losing 1-0 at Villa Park, whilst Hull are also losing 1-0 to Premier League Champions Manchester United.

As it stands, Newcastle will be playing the likes of Scunthorpe and Peterborough next season but there's still 45 minutes to play. Whatever happens, you'll find it here first.


The latest twist in the Ronaldo saga

With the opening of the summer transfer window looming, the Cristiano Ronaldo shananagance is already in full swing. Every second weeks it seems that a different story is coming out from the Spanish press.

Real Madrid have £70 million agreement in place to sign Ronaldo. Madrid line up world record bid for the FIFA World Player of the Year ... etc;

Today's comments from the Portuguese winger seem to kill any chances of any possible "dream" move happening this summer, but let' face it, I know it and you know it, there is still bound to be countless more rumours over the summer regarding the 24-year old's future despite his comments.

"I only care about what will happen next season at Manchester United." stated Ronaldo.

Obviously, as an avid fan of Premier League football, it is great news to hear that the league's best player will be plying his trade in England for at least another season. I personally felt that this was the summer Ronaldo would opt to join Real this summer, especially with the election of Florentino Perez as club president (it's going to happen).

What do you think? Comments below please.


Are Spurs about to make a cheeky move for Arsenal and Liverpool target?

If you are to believe what you read in the papers, Tottenham are preparing a summer move for this man.

After Gareth Barry's comments a few months back that he would leave Aston Villa if the club failed to secure a top four finish this season (which they won't) several clubs have been linked with his signature. Arsenal and Liverpool continued to be mentioned, however today a new name emerged.

Tottenham. Now first of all, why on earth would Barry want to move to White Hart Lane?

With Barry already stating his desire to play Champions League football next season and with Spurs looking destined to miss out on that final Europa League spot, I must say I think this one is a non-starter.

For me, Barry, 28, is without doubt one of the finest midfield players in the country and I feel he would be taking a massive step back in his career if he where to join Spurs. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Harry Redknapp make a cheeky bid for him come what July, however I would be fairly certain that either Liverpool or indeed Arsenal will be Barry's eventual destination.

What do you think? Comments below please.


What are Manchester City playing at?

Ask any Manchester City fan who has been the club's player of the season and they'll all say Stephen Ireland.

The (former) Republic of Ireland international has been in outstading form all season, earning recognition from the PFA who nominated him for the Young Player of the Year award back in April. Why he didn't actually win the award was beyond me, but it certainly hasn't upset his form in any way.

Ireland, 22, has been in the form of his life this campaign, scoring 13 goals in all competitions for Mark Hughes' men, however the City playmaker has today revealed the world's richest club have yet to make him an acceptable contract offer.

"We're nowhere with the contract ... I don't know if I'm going to sign or not. The club haven't really made an offer yet. If they make one great - if not, I have got two years left."

Being a City fan myself, I was shocked to see Ireland's comments today. There is no doubting his importance to the side and I feel it's vital we tie him down to a long-term deal if we are to progress and become one of the biggest club's in the world. I am sure the majority of you will agree that Ireland deserves to be rewarded for his sensational form of late.

Seriously Ciy, give the guy whatever he wants because he deserves it. What do you think? Comments below please.


Wenger move to Madrid looks a Real possibility

I'm sure many of you have seen or heard the rumours today that Arsene Wenger may well be on his way to Spanish giants Real Madrid after it was claimed the two parties have been in contact.

The Frenchman has, in recent weeks, come if for some criticism from a small minority of Gunners fans for the side's poor display on the domestic front this campaign which sees them sit a massive 18 points behind Champions Manchester United at the top of the Premier League table.

Pundits and fans alike have begun to question Wenger's youth policy, which has, in the past, served him so well, however no silverware in four years tells it's own story and many now believe it's time Wenger ditched that policy in order to win more silverware.

When asked his opinion on Florentino Pérez (the man who is widely tipped to be elected president at Real Madrid this summer), Wenger replied : "With Florentino Pérez in charge, the project he has put forward would be ­interesting for any coach but I would prefer not to comment on this."

Despite the fact Wenger says he would prefer not to comment on this, I think he just has. Never have we heard Wenger talk so openly about the possibility of joining another club and I really don't know what's going to happen. I could understand why he would want to leave Arsenal, after spending 13 years in North London, he may just feel he needs a fresh start and where better to start fresh than one of the biggest clubs in the world, Real Madrid.

What do you think? Who will Wenger be in charge of next season? Comments below please.

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Spurs ready to offload £18 million flop in the summer

Back on July 31st 2008, many believed Tottenham had made one of the signings of the summer when David Bentley arrived at White Hart Lane.

Just 10 months later, it looks as though his days as a Spurs player are numbered after Harry Redknapp failed to confirm or deny whether or not Bentley would still be at the club next season.

The England international has failed to make any sort of impact at the North London giants since his £18 million move from Blackburn last summer. No doubt, the highlight of Bentley's career at the club was his 40-yard wonder strike against arch rivals Arsenal back in September, which was considered by many as one of the Premier League greatest goals.

Over the past few months, Bentley has been strongly linked with a move to Spain, however as of now nothing has materialised. Before the January transfer window opened earlier this year, it was rumoured that Bentley may link up with former Spurs boss Juande Ramos at Real Madrid but nothing ever happened there. So where will Bentley be next season? Comments below please.

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The reason why Jamie Carragher and Alvaro Arbeloa were fighting was .....

Because they wanted to keep a clean sheet.

Yes, sounds stupid doesn't it, but that's why the Liverpool defenders had to be restrained by fellow team-mates this afternoon as their side cruised to a 2-0 win away to West Brom.

Speaking after the game, Jamie Carragher revealed the only reason why himself and Alvaro Arbeloa were arguing was the fact they were desperate to keep a clean sheet and help Reds keeper Jose Pepe Reina catch Manchester United's Edwin Van Der Sar in the race for this season's Golden Glove award.

"We want to keep a clean sheet and we want Pepe to have a chance of the Golden Glove for the third season running ... Pepe is one behind Van der Sar now and there's a chance Van der Sar won't play next week, so we wanted to make sure he got a clean sheet today."

I know people can say, it's nice to see that players care about the club and all that rubbish, but you can't have two players on the same team fighting with each other. It's schoolboy stuff, It really is and I think both players should be mature enough to know you can't be doing that in front of the 1,000's in attendance at the Hawtorns today and the millions of people watching the game at home.

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Manchester United crowned Champions as Carlos Tevez waves goodbye to Old Trafford

It was far from pretty, but Manchester United have today got the crucial point they needed to ensure the Premier League title will stay at Old Trafford for at least another season.

Neither side ever really looked like winning the game and 0-0 probably was a fair result, however it will no doubt be Sir Alex Ferguson who is the happier of the two managers as his side become Champions of England for the 3rd year on the trot.

The biggest talking point of the game would have to be the substitution of Carlos Tevez with just over fifteen minutes remaining. As we all know, the little Argentine has been heavily linked with a move away from United in recent weeks, and his reaction as he was subbed seemed to say a lot.

Tevez, 24, waved to all corners of Old Trafford, as if the say his goodbyes to the United fans who, as he had said himself, have been so good to him over the past few years. His exit was followed by minutes of "Fergie sign him up, Fergie, Fergie sign him up." from the United faithful.

Congratulations must go to everyone at Man United but the Tevez issue still remains. Surely he's as good as gone now? Comments below please.


Chelsea look to Ad to Arsenal's worries

Could this guy really be a Chelsea player next season?

Yes, you may have noticed today that several English papers have linked Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor with a sensational summer move to Chelsea. It all depends on what happens to the man everyone loves to hate, Didier Drogba.

It has been rumoured in recent weeks that Chelsea will look to offload Drogba once the summer transfer window opens on July 1st, with Spanish giants Real Madrid apparently interested in the 30-year old.

So if Drogba was, in fact to leave Stamford Bridge, that would leave Chelsea short in the striking department and that's were Adebayor comes into it. The Togo international has struggled to reproduce the form of seasons gone by, which has seen him become one of Europe's most saught after strikers, scoring just 16 goals in all competitions for the Gunners this season.

There has been rumours all year that Adebayor was unhappy at the Emirates stadium, however following Arsenal's Champions League semi-final exit at the hands of Manchester United, the 25-year old had this to say : "Arsenal put me where I am today - they made me one of the biggest strikers in the world. I have to pay them back ... How am I going to pay them back? Make them win trophies. That is what I am here for and I have to fight for that."

"Next season, 100 per cent, I am an Arsenal footballer."

Those comments seem to make a summer move to Chelsea impossible, but football's a funny oul game. Let's say if Carlo Anceolotti (a long-term admirer of Adebayor's) takes over at Chelsea in the summer and they make a bid of £25 million plus, I personally think there's a chance it could happen. We'll just have to wait and see.

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Give us a vote, will ya?

I was delighted to find out today that Football Corner has been nominated for an award.

The kind people over at EPL Talk have kindly nominated us for the Best EPL Blog, which is a superb honour in itself, however I would just love to win it.

If you really like this blog, then can you please just give us a vote by following this link.

The voting closes on May 31st, so please vote a.s.a.p.



Five reasons why Manchester United have won yet another Premier League title

1. Home Form.

It's not a surprise to see that Man United have picked up more points at home than any other team in the league on home soil. Sixteen victories, one draw and just one defeat has seen them pick up an unbelievable 49 points at Old Trafford this campaign and anyone with a bit of sense in the Soccer Betting department, would be foolish to bet against them making it 52 points this Saturday when they face Arsenal.

2. The Tripod.

Edwin Van Der Sar, Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand. All three players were nominated for this season's PFA Player of the Year award which tells you all you need to know about their seasons.

Just take a look at United's goals against column this season and you'll see why the trio were nominated for the award.

They have conceded just 24 goals in 36 games, four of those goals coming in the 4-1 defeat to Liverpool back in March.

3. Kiko Macheda.

Before the 2008/2009 Premier League season had begun, not many had heard of the man they call "Kiko". It was early April when Federico Macheda first came to the attentions of the millions of United fans around the world. The 18-year old proved to be the match winner twice for United this season.

His goal against Aston Villa completed an unbelievable comeback which saw Sir Alex Ferguson's men come from behind to claim a valuable 3-2 win.

Macheda was at it again when United travelled to the Stadium of Light to face Sunderland just a week later. The Italian scored a late late goal, again to complete a comeback, to maintain United's lead over Liverpool at the top of the table.

Only two goals, but without Macheda this season who knows where the title may have ended up.

4. Refereeing Decisions.

Howard Webb anyone?

The Yorkshire man's decision to award United a penalty at home to Tottenham was, to put it bluntly, a disgrace. Harry Redknapp's Spurs were certainly on the front foot, 2-0 up, when Webb decided to award United a penalty after Heurleho Gomes was adjudged to have fouled Michael Carrick.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored from the spot to start United's comeback.

The decision no doubt changed the game and United went on the win convincingly. 5-2 the final score.

5. Form Against The Bottom 12 Teams.

You may not believe this but United have beaten every single team in the bottom 12 both home and away except for Newcastle this season (and of course Hull City, who they are still to play). That draw came in the opening game of the season when Kevin Keegan was in charge of the Magpies.

They may have been level after the first game of the season but just look at the difference now :

Man United : 86 points .........................Newcastle : 34 points

So that's now United's eleventh Premier League title in the bag and I'm sure quite a few people in Sports Betting will be backing them to make it twelve next season.


La Liga striker heading For Anfield?

There is still a month and a half to go before the summer transfer window opens, however Premier League clubs are already beginning to be linked with big money moves.

Today sees Atletico Madrid striker Diego Forlan being strongly linked with a move back to England, with Liverpool apparently after him. The 29-year old had an unsuccessful spell at Liverpool's fierce rivals Manchester United several years ago, however since then he has proved to be a massive hit in La Liga.

Since his move to Villarreal back in 2004, Forlan has scored a phenomenal 111 goals in all competitions, which has caught the eye of several managers across Europe including Rafa Benitez.

Forlan's agent, Daniel Bolotnikoff had this to say about Forlan's future earlier this year : 'I have received calls from big European clubs requesting information about the situation, but I am not authorised to give their names."

I think given the chance Forlan would jump at the chance to return to the Premier League. There is no denying that he was utter crap during his first spell here, however over the past four or five years he has matured to become one of the best strikers in Europe. I would be extremley surprised if Liverpool were the only club chasing him when the window opens on July 1st.

What do you think? Comments below please.


Carrick scores the winner but it's Tevez who deserves all the credit

An inspired Carlos Tevez performance has this evening put Manchester United within touching distance of re-claiming their Premier League title. Sir Alex Ferguson's men came from behind to claim a 2-1 win over Steve Bruce's Wigan at the JJB Stadium to leave United needing just a single point out of their final two games to ensure the title stays at Old Trafford for another season.

Tevez, who is unlikely to be a Manchester United player next season, came off the bench to cancel out Hugo Rodallega's first-half strike with just under half-an-hour remaining. After Tevez' goal, United were a totally different side and Michael Carrick grabbed the winner with just minutes remaining, a devastating left footed strike from the edge of the Wigan box.

There is no doubt United showed what Champions are all about tonight. Even when they're not really playing at their very best they always manage to grind out a result and that was certainly the case tonight. The performance of Tevez tonight was exceptional. With all the talk that has gone on over the past few days regarding his future, to still come out and play like he did was outstanding.

What do you think? Comments below please.


Bad news for Spurs fans ......

.... This guy wants to stay at White Hart Lane.

Yes, Roman Pavlyuchenko has today stated his desire to remain a Tottenham player after reports linked him with a possible summer exit from the club.

The Russian international has done little to impress during his first season in the Premier League, scoring just 5 goals (not including cup competitions) in the process. In recent weeks, Pavlyuchenko has spent some time in the reserves at the North London club.

The 27-year old had this to say : "I am a Tottenham player and want to remain one ... All these talks about a sale or loan don't bother me ... Of course it is not pleasant to be in the reserves. When I did not play for several matches I started to think everything over and to tell the truth I had some disturbing thoughts."

I am sure the majority of Spurs fans will agree with me when I say, Pavlyuchenko is not wanted at the club. I really think Harry Redknapp would be better off cashing in on the former Spartak Moscow man and then going out and signing someone like Roque Santa Cruz in the summer.

What do you think? Comments below please.


Liverpool prepare to waste their money on England international?

With Middlesbrough all but down now, it was only a matter of time before players from the North East club were linked with summer exits, wasn't it?

Well today sees, arguably Boro's best player (which isn't anything to be proud of), Stewart Downing being linked with a move to title chasing Liverpool. The 24-year old will apparently be the subject of a £12 million bid from the Merseyside club once the summer transfer window opens on July 1st.

Despite the fact Rafa Benitez' men have done particularly well this season to finish 2nd in the Premier League this season (well probably finish 2nd), many people still believe Liverpool need a top quality left-sided midfield player if they are to challenge Manchester United for the title in the years to come, which begs the question, why on earth are they going after Downing?

I'll be the first to admit, I really don't rate the England international. I never have. People say he is the best left-sided midfielder in the country. That's bollocks. At Boro he has achieved nothing and with the national side he has only had one or two decent performances but that's it. So although it may seem like an easy option for Liverpool to sign Downing, I think it just would be a massive waste of money.

What do you think? Comments below please.


Bye Bye Boro

Even Gareth Southgate would have to admit that Middlesbrough won't be playing in the Premier League next season.

Despite taken an early lead at St James' Park this evening, Boro still managed to come away with nothing in their six-pointer with Alan Shearer's Newcastle. The result now leaves them three points away from safety and with only two games to go, you would have to say it would take a miracle for them to avoid the drop now.

The simple fact of the matter is, Boro just didn't score enough goals this season. Just 26 goals in 36 games is quite frankly pathetic for a side who were challenging for honours on the European stage only three years ago. Players like Afonso Alves and Stewart Downing just haven't performed this season and I am sure it is players like those who will be first to leave the Riverside when the transfer window opens on July 1st.

Boro fans, have your say on your side's performance tonight and indeed over the course of the season by leaving a comment below.


Liverpool beware, Manchester City are after your player

It seems as though every day, there is someone new being linked with a move to Manchester City.

This time it's Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso.

With the summer transfer window set to open in less than two months, Mark Hughes is apparently preparing a £18 million bid to try and lure Spanish international to Eastlands.

Having recently stated his desire to keep Alonso at Anfield, Rafa Benitez is unlikely to let go of the 27-year old without a fight. It is widely expected that Aston Villa midfielder Gareth Barry will arrive on Meryseyside in the summer, which would free up the possibility of Alonso leaving the club, however I am sure if you ask any Liverpool fan who they would prefer between Barry and Alonso, the large majority would tell you Alonso.

I must admit I am a massive fan of Alonso's. Personally, I think he is one of the best midfielders in Europe and I feel Benitez would be mad to let him go. Having said that, as a City fan myself, I would be more than happy to see him arrive at the City of Manchester Stadium this summer. If we really are serious about becoming one of the biggest clubs in the world, players like Alonso are just what we need.

What do you think? Is Benitez mad enough to let one of his most prized assets go? Comments below please.


Tevez puts himself firmly in the shop window

"Fergie, sign him up."

That was the cry from the Manchester United faithful this afternoon after Carlos Tevez turned in a magnificent display to help Sir Alex Ferguson's men return to the top of the Premier League table.

The Argentine international showed why the United fans love him so much just before the half-time whistle was blown. Tevez' all but put the game to bed even before the half-way stage when his 20-yard strike cannoned off the inside of the post and fortunately (if you are a United fan) into the back of the net.

Following the goal, Tevez sprinted towards the United dug-out and cuffed both ears, as if to say "Where's my offer?".

Before a ball was even kicked at Old Trafford this afternoon, Tevez had this to say in many of Sunday's papers : "To be honest, I don't think I will be a Manchester United player next season. It makes me sad because I don't feel I deserve to be in the position that United have not made me an offer. My time is over and I have to concentrate on my future, my family's future and so I think at the end of this season I will move to another club."

As a football fan, I'm glad to hear Tevez wants to leave United because, as we have seen today, he is too good to be sitting on the bench every weekend. There has been talk in recent days that Tevez will end up at either Anfield or Eastlands, however I'm not convinced that will be the case. No matter where he does end up though, I'm sure he will prove to be a massive success and I for one, hope he stays in England.

How good was Tevez today? Where do you think Tevez will be next season? Comments below please.


Dunne tells it like it is. Ronaldo is a diver

Let's face it, Richard Dunne is right. Cristiano Ronaldo is a diver.

Yes, the Manchester City captain has today added even more spice to Sunday's eagerly anticipated Manchester Derby by claiming the FIFA World Player of the Year is, in fact, a diver.

Speaking about the Portuguese winger, Dunne had this to say : "Ronaldo is the best player in the world, but he plays the game to his advantage. At times, he can be running so fast that any nick could send him tumbling. He makes the most of the situation, I suppose."

"Some referees give free-kicks and some don’t, but whether he’s diving or not diving, he’s impossible to mark when he’s on form."

I'm glad someone has finally come out and has admitted what the majority of other players in the Premier League feel. There is no doubt that Ronaldo is, on his day, head and shoulders above anyone in the league but when he starts with his stupid antics, he really does lose a lot of respect amongst his fellow pro's and indeed opposing sets of fans. It's no wonder he is booed every other week when United travel away from Old Trafford.

I am just praying now that Dunne and Ronaldo are involved in a few questionable decisions during tomorrow's game. Is Dunne right? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.


City looking to bring La Liga goal machine to Eastlands?

Considered by many as one of the greatest footballers of his time, Raul has today been linked with a move to the richest club in the world Manchester City.

The Real Madrid striker is currently in the form of his life, averaging well over a goal in every other game. The 31-year old has 102 caps for Spain, however that has been the case for quite some time now, after he was dropped by former international boss Luis Aragones.

With Man City set for a summer of massive spending, it comes as no surprise to see a player of Raul's calibre being linked with a move to Eastlands. It was claimed that Mark Hughes, backed by the club's wealthy foreign owners, may make a bid of £35 million for Raul, however Hughes has since denied the claims by saying : "We keep on getting linked with players and that's going to happen every week. I think maybe if you work back from where that story originated, I would suggest it's come from Spain, it's not come from England."

You know what they say, they're is never any smoke without fire and I think that's certainly the case here. Listening to Hughes' comments on the issue, he seems to shy away from answering the actual question being asked. OK, City are being linked with endless amounts of names and you could say this latest rumour is just another made up one, however I really do believe this move could happen, maybe not for the figures being suggested though.

What do you think? Have City got any chance of signing one of the greatest strikers of all-time? Comments below please.


Rafa keen to hold onto midfield duo

That was the message from Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez after the pair were linked with possible summer exits.

Both Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano have been in tremendous form all season and have contributed in no small part to Liverpool's decent campaign to date.

Alonso, 27, was strongly linked with a move to Italian side Juventus last summer but for whatever reason that move never materialised and he remained at Anfield, however there have been fresh reports in recent weeks that a move to Juve could be on the cards.

Mascherano, 24, has spent just over two years on Merseyside since his controversial move from West Ham back in 2007. The Argentine international recently admitted he didn't know whether or not he would still be a Liverpool player next season. Following Mascherano's somewhat shock revelation, Benitez has had this to say : "I talked to him and he is happy here. But you can't stop clubs talking with his agent because he is a good player ... There aren't too many holding midfielders of his calibre."

I am sure the large majority of Liverpool fans will delighted to hear both Alonso and Mascherano will be staying, for the foreseeable future at least. There is no doubt that with the pair playing in the side, Liverpool are a far stronger side then when they're not playing. Both players are still quite young and arguably only approaching the prime of their career's so I feel the longer Liverpool hold onto them, the better.

Share your thoughts on the matter, by leaving a comment below.


It's the final everyone wanted to see, including UEFA

Hands up if you wanted to see a Barcelona v. Manchester United final.

Sorry Chelsea fans but it really is the final everyone wanted to see.

As the final whistle blew at Stamford Bridge last night I couldn't help but feel a sense of injustice for Chelsea, however that feeling of injustice was quickly replaced by a feeling of anticipation. Anticipation that, in just under three weeks time, we will get to see, arguably, the two best club's in the world battle it out for one of the biggest prize in football. The Champions League.

The Premier League Champions versus the La Liga Champions.

The experienced campaigner, Sir Alex Ferguson versus the young pretender, Pep Guardiola.

The FIFA World Player of the Year, Cristiano Ronaldo versus the player who many people feel, on current form, is the best player in the world, Lionel Messi.

As I mentioned in the title, I really do feel this is the final everyone wanted to see, including UEFA. Graeme Souness said it perfectly after the match last night : "Let's put it this way, UEFA won't be disappointed that it's not and all English final."

It's a bit harsh to say that the game was in anyway fixed, although judging by some of the decisions last night you may argue it was fixed (joking). I am keen to hear your thoughts on the matter. Leave your comments below.


Drogba : "It's a disgrace, a f*ckin disgrace"

That was Didier Drogba's reaction to Chelsea's shock exit from the Champions League tonight.

The Ivorian international simply went mental as the full-time whistle was blown at Stamford Bridge as Barcelona controversially progressed to the final in Rome.

In total, Guus Hiddink's men had about six penalty appeals waved away by the referee on the night Tom Henning Ovrebo and Drogba, who had been substituted earlier in proceedings felt it was only right he should run on the pitch and have a go at the officials.

Looking at the game as a neutral, you would have to admit that Chelsea can feel hard done by on a least two of the claims. The foul on Florent Malouda in the first-half was a stone-waller and the hand ball by Gerard Pique in the second-half was so clear cut.

Although I do feel sorry for Chelsea, you just cannot condone the behaviour of some of their players, especially Drogba. The fact that the Barca goal came so late probably made it even worse for the Chelsea players, but seeing players like Michael Ballack nearly hitting the referee is, as Drogba would put it, a disgrace, a f*ckin disgrace.

Share your thoughts on tonight's game and the behaviour of the Chelsea players by leaving a comment below.


Ronaldo was outstanding, Fletcher was unlucky and Arsenal were poor

That basically sums up last night's game.

As we all know by now, Manchester United will be going to Rome in three weeks time after they saw off Arsenal in last night's all English Champions League semi-final.

In truth, United's progression never looked in any real doubt after they went a goal ahead after just eight minutes of proceedings at the Emirates last night. Ji-Sung Park put the ball beyond Manuel Almunia after he capitalised on Kieran Gibbs' eary slip-up to leave the home side with a mountain to climb.

Arsene Wenger's men were left with an even bigger mountain to climb just moments later when FIFA World Player of the Year, Cristiano Ronaldo fired home from all of 35-yards to leave the home fans wondering why they bothered turning up.

The second-half did little to change proceedings in any way. United were in complete control and deservedly bagged a third goal just after the hour mark when Ronaldo finished off a sumptuous move by the current Champions of Europe.

Everything seemed to be going almost too well for United and unfortunately for them a poor refereeing decision has cost Darren Fletcher a place in the final. The Scottish international was shown a straight red card for his challenge on Gunners skipper Cesc Fabregas in the box, however replays clearly show Fletcher getting a massive touch on the ball.

Robin Van Persie converted from the spot, however it was far too little too late for the North London club and the result now means they will have gone four years without any silverware.

What do you think? What must Arsenal do now? Why on earth was Fletcher sent off and just how good was Ronaldo? Comments below please.


Ribery to arrive at Old Trafford for £60 million? You must be joking

£60 million for Ribery? Come on. It's never going to happen.

One English newspaper has today reported that Manchester United have today made a massive £60 million bid for Bayern Munich midfielder Franck Ribery.

The French playmaker is widely regarded as one of the finest talents in world football and the 26-year old has been strongly linked with a move to Spanish giants Barcelona in recent weeks and months.

No disrespect to Ribery because I think he is an outstanding player, but do you really think Sir Alex Ferguson would spend £60 million on him? The simple answer to that is no.

Ferguson is not stupid with his money. If it is to be that Cristiano Ronaldo leaves Old Trafford in the summer to join Real Madrid for, lets say, £68 million, United won't just go out and spend the same amount of money on someone else. They will buy two or three very good players and then work from there.

Even Ribery's biggest fan would have to admit he is only worth £40 million max. There is no denying he is a world class player and I am sure a lot of United fans would love to see him arrive during the summer, however I find it impossible to believe that Ferguson would spend such a large amount on a single player.

What do you think? Agree or disagree? Comments below please.


Oh no Joe

His first game back after several months out with a foot injury and what does Joey Barton do? Yes, the Newcastle midfielder receives a straight red card for a challenge on Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso, however that's not all.

The 26-year old has now been banned by the North East club until further notice for the tackle which Alan Shearer described as "stupid" at the time. The club who look destined for the Championship had this to say : "Joey Barton has been suspended from the club until further notice. The club will be making no further comment at this time."

You may remember me saying a few weeks ago that I thought Joey Barton could be the man to help save the Magpies from the drop. Well how wrong was I?

So what now for the former England international?

Well, I can't see him remaining a Newcastle player for too much longer. Despite all the bad press he gets, I still think he is quite a decent player. He had one or two outstanding years at Manchester City and if he can reproduce that kind of form, as well as keeping his mouth shut, I feel he would be a cracking signing for anyone of the promoted sides, i.e Birmingham or Wolves.

What do you think? Was the tackle really that bad? Are Newcastle right to ban Barton? Comments below please.


Wolves & Birmingham are up, but who will be joining them in the Premier League?

Today saw the Championship season come to a close, with Birmingham City booking their place alongside Wolves in the Premier League next season.

With both those sides now up, that leaves just one more team to join them out of four. The four clubs to book their place in this season's play-off's are Sheffield United, Reading, Burnley and Preston, however only one can go up, so who will it be.

Looking at the table, you would have to fancy Kevin Blackwell's Sheffield United to go up, being the side who finished just outside the top two, however it is often the case that the side who finishes 3rd don't go up.

Steve Coppel's Reading will look to make their stay in the Championship quite brief, having only been relegated from the top flight last year. They will now face 5th place Burnley, who, as we all know, have done tremendously well in the cup competitions this season. Owen Coyle's men saw off the likes of Tottenham and Arsenal on route to the semi-finals of the Carling Cup earlier this season, so a repeat of those kind of performances may see them to play-off glory.

Alan Irvine's Preston complete the line-up for this season's Championship play-off's. To say Preston squeaked into the final play-off spot would be a massive understatement. They made it in on goals scored, not even goal difference. Overall, Preston scored just one more goal than Cardiff City and ultimately it is they who go forward to face Sheffield United later this month.

So who do you think will join Wolves and Birmingham in the line-up for the 2009/2010 Premier League season. If I had to pick someone, I would probably say Burnley. The play-off's always provide some memorable matches and I'm sure this season will be no different. Comments below please.