Tuesday, 29 April 2008

PFA Premier League Team of the Year 07/08:

Goalkeeper: David James (Portsmouth)
Right back: Bacary Sagna (Arsenal),
Left back: Gael Clichy (Arsenal)
Centre half: Rio Ferdinand (Man Utd)
Centre half: Nemanja Vidic (Man Utd)
Right midfield: Cristiano Ronaldo (Man Utd)
Left midfild: Ashley Young (Aston Villa)
Central midfielf: Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
Central midfield: Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal)
Striker: Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal)
Striker: Fernando Torres (Liverpool)

Cristiano Ronaldo was named PFA Player of the year - no surprise there and I can't imagine there would be too many complaints about that.

Cesc Fabregas was the PFA Young Player of the year - Possibly slightly more contentious, especially seeing as though Ronaldo was also nominated in this category, but I'm happy with that and would say he deserves it for the season he's had.

The real shock for me however, was the exclusion of Patrice Evra from the team of the year?! Surely he deserves to be there ahead of Gael Clichy?

On the basis of this post it may appear that I support Man Utd. I don't. I'm a Newcastle fan.

Who do you think has been overlooked for the team of the year.....?

Monday, 28 April 2008

A Senna Stunner!

Villarreal keep the title race alive with a 1-0 win away to Real Betis. A stunning goal from midfielder Marcos Senna ensured the win, keeping Barcelona at bay with 4 points clear.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Federer versus Woods

Who is better? Discuss.....

Saturday, 26 April 2008

The Cesc Fabregas Show

A new TV programme aims to deliver unseen insight into one of the players of this season and one of Europe’s brightest football talents - Cesc Fabregas. The programme has been commissioned and created by Fabregas’s sponsor, Nike.

The programme will be broadcast on Monday 19 May on Sky Sports 1 and forsakes the normal straight interviews or chat show format to deliver a completely alternative view of the player, bringing together the worlds of football, comedy, and entertainment and creating a genuine platform for fans to gain insight into the public athlete and the private person.

The programme - entitled The Cesc Fabregas Show: Nike Live - will be a high energy, one-hour ‘shot as live’ showpiece in front of a studio audience, using mixed media consisting of live interviews, football stunts and pre-shot VT sequences, where the pace will be set by the player himself as he takes his audience on the journey of the life of Cesc Fabregas. More details can be found at:


Cesc the player and Cesc the person are a potent mix of raw talent, courage and a self belief combined with rigorous self criticism and intense hard work. Through the programme we’ll find out what it means to have been the youngest ever scorer for Arsenal, the youngest scorer for Spain in World Cup history, what it takes to be the driving force behind one of Europe’s best club sides, what it was like coming to London from Barcelona aged 14 and who the key people are in his life that have helped him become the person and player he is today.

With a host of cameo appearances from other athletes and stars of the game, we’ll meet team mates, his coach Arsene Wenger and the scout who first spotted Cesc will be in the studio to talk about the talent they saw then, the player he’s become and the future for Arsenal’s midfield maestro.

The approach will mix comedy and a lighthearted, entertaining approach, with pre-shot VT sequences from the likes of Matt Lucas & a series of entertaining sketches designed to bring to life the things that are unique about Cesc.

Fabregas comments: "I'm honoured to have this opportunity. It's not something that you expect so we're going to make it a night to remember."

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

3 points to snatch it right at the end...and what a 3 pointer it was!

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Hot Stuff

A feast is being planned for Wednesday evening. As with all good cooking, ingredients are the essence.

To start, visualise the names of the individuals playing for Barcelona and Manchester United football clubs. Now add both sets together. Place them all on a football pitch under spring weather. Expose the group to 97,100 screaming fans - approximately. Add British running and Catalan volatility.

To ignite and add pressure to this European Champions League semi-final, please place into context and heat the mixture. Timing is everything, so we must position one team in this semi-final at its apogee and one at its nadir. This will mean either one will fall from grace or the other will rise gloriously from the abyss.

Remove former World Player of the Year and include two opposing pretenders to the throne.

Please do not forget to add the unpredictable but essential referee element.

All in all, Wednesday's fish and chips and paella concoction could be the most savoury sporting night of the year.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Surrey County Cricket Club Announces Record Profits

15 April 2008 The Brit Oval Surrey County Cricket Club announced record financial results for 2007. Annual turnover was £23,407,000 with pre-tax profits exceeding £721,000, the highest in the Club's 163-year history. This represents a growth in turnover of 29.7% and a significant increase in pre-tax profits of 108.4% from 2006.

A major factor behind this significant growth has been the success of the Club's off-field business activities. Oval Events - the organization that runs the hospitality, conferencing and events at the Brit Oval - has performed particularly well recording a turnover of £2,965,000, just for conferencing and events in 2007, an increase of 50.5% from the £1,969,000 achieved in the previous year.

Since the completion of the OCS Stand in 2005, with its substantial conferencing and events facilities, Oval Events has been able to develop a healthy year-round revenue stream. Oval Events Limited was founded in 2004 as a joint venture with Compass Group PLC.

2007 saw international gate receipts generate over £5,815,000 courtesy of the four international matches staged at the Brit Oval, a 66.8% increase from 2006.This can be attributed to the two West Indies International Twenty20 matches that were hosted in addition to the regular Test and One-day International Match schedule.

The future is looking positive as well, given the solid commercial strategy that Surrey County Cricket Club has in place. The redevelopment of the Pavilion End, for example, includes a 170-room hotel that is due for completion in 2010 and will contribute to improved facilities at the ground. In addition, the Brit Oval has been selected as one of three venues to host several matches of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup in 2009, which is another major opportunity for the Club to increase revenues.

Chief Executive Paul Sheldon said "We're very pleased that 2007 has been a record year for us off-the-field. All areas of the Club are performing well and we're really building on our potential. Our prospects for growth over the next few years are equally strong. Aside from other International matches, we will host an Ashes Test Match next summer and the ICC Twenty20 World Cup will be an important income generator for us. Further to this, the planned redevelopment of the Pavilion End will provide considerable benefits without any investment from the Club directly thanks to our partnership with Arora Hotels"

Since taking over as Chief Executive in 1996, Paul Sheldon has overseen the development of the business from a £4million annual turnover.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Short and Sweet

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Tim Henman Joins BBC Wimbledon Team

BBC Sport has signed an exclusive agreement with Tim Henman, Britain's most successful open era player, to join their team of experts at this year's Wimbledon Championships (23 June–6 July, BBC One and BBC Two).

Tim Henman said: "I'm delighted to be joining the BBC team at Wimbledon this year. It's exciting for me to return to Wimbledon in a non-playing capacity and I'm very much looking forward to working alongside other members of the BBC team."

In terms of broadcasting to UK audiences, this is an exclusive agreement with the BBC for the duration of Wimbledon 2008. Tim will be working with the television team as a commentator and studio analyst.

Paul Davies, BBC TV Executive Producer Wimbledon, said: "Tim was an incredibly popular player and the success, drama and passion he experienced at Wimbledon has created a unique connection with both the Championship and British tennis fans.

"Returning to SW19 with the BBC team seems the perfect fit and his on-court experience will add a fascinating dimension to our coverage. We hope this will be the start of a successful partnership between Tim and the BBC."

A minute's silence or a minute's applause...?

I would like to know your views on the "minute's silence".

Last night Old Trafford held a minute's silence before the second leg of Manchester United's Champions League quarter final clash with Roma, in memory of Mathieu Sprengers, a member of the Uefa executive committee who died on Sunday. However, the referee clearly blew his whistle well before the minute was up, as a section of the crowd (believed to be mainly Roma supporters) were not respecting the silence.

More and more these days I see a minute's applause held instead of a silence. Personally I'm much more in favour of this, as at least it prevents the idiots who don't want to show their respects from being heard. What do you think...?

Jose and his amazing technicolour overcoat

I miss Jose Mourinho.....

“Please don’t call me arrogant, but I’m European champion and I think I’m a special one.”

“Pressure? There is no pressure. Bird Flu is pressure. No, you laugh, but I am being serious. I am more worried about the swan than I am about football.”

“Young players are a little bit like melons. Only when you open and taste the melon are you 100 per cent sure that the melon is good."

To quote but a few. What are some of your favourite Jose moments...?

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

New Look Tennis Calendar For 2009

The LTA today announced a new look international calendar for 2009 including the first ATP/Sony Ericsson WTA Tour combined event to be held in Great Britain. The changes to the grass court tournaments leading up to The Championships, Wimbledon will be introduced from next year.

Key changes to the major events held in Great Britain throughout June include, from 2009, moving the international men’s event currently staged in Nottingham to produce a combined men’s and women’s event to be held at Devonshire Park, Eastbourne. In 2010 the venue for the women’s (Sony Ericsson WTA Tour) tournament currently held in Birmingham will be determined by a bidding process with any venue meeting the criteria able to bid to host the event.

2009 (Provisional dates)
Week Commencing:

Monday 1st June $50,000 ATP Challenger & $50,000 & ITF women’s event, venue to be confirmed

Monday 8th June ATP event at The Queen’s Club, London Sony Ericsson WTA Tour event at Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham

Monday 15th June ATP/WTA combined event at Devonshire Park, Eastbourne

2010 (Provisional dates)

Week Commencing:

Monday 31st May $50,000 ATP Challenger & $50,000 ITF women’s event, venue to be confirmed

Monday 7th June ATP event at The Queen’s Club, London Sony Ericsson WTA Tour event open for bidding

Monday 14th June ATP/WTA combined event at Devonshire Park, Eastbourne

Roger Draper, Chief Executive of the LTA, said: “The new, co-ordinated calendar will help raise the profile of the sport nationally and enhance the experience for fans, players and spectators. We are confident that the changes will help to re-energise the calendar and open up the sport to a new audience as well as offering a better experience for existing fans. The bidding process in 2010 further opens up the calendar and means that new venues have the option of bidding to host world class tennis.

“This is at the heart of the LTA’s new commercial strategy where we hope to position a Lead Partner as the umbrella sponsor of British tennis. The commercial strategy is bringing together all elements of the sport from schools to elite players and provides a real opportunity for us to build a strong partnership with a brand.”

Whippet Walcott

Last night I witnessed one of the best games of football I've seen in a while, and it featured one of the best goals. Emanuel Adebayor's 84th minute equaliser for Arsenal in the second leg of their Champions League quarter final match against Liverpool, looked for a short while to be the goal that would take them into the semi finals of the competition. The goal was set up by Theo Walcott's inspiring box to box run, reminiscent of Michael Owen's goal against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup at a similar age. It was an incredible bit of skill, and highlighted the importance of pace in the modern game.

The script was written for the young Englishman (the only one on the Arsenal team sheet) to help his side secure a semi final spot and ruin Liverpool's dreams of a third Champions League semi final in 4 years. However Walcott's thunder was quickly stolen, and it was the more senior England player on the other team, Steven Gerrard, who took all the plaudits by firing home a contentious penalty to put Liverpool back in control. The victory was then put beyond any doubt with a break away goal by Ryan Babel right at the death.

I've chosen Walcott's run as the video of the week, as it was just too good not to feature. I think we'll be seeing a lot more of young Theo next season...

Monday, 7 April 2008

Lookalike: Cesc Fabregas & Tommy Davis (Church of Scientology)

Friday, 4 April 2008

Michael "Thespian" Owen

If once he's hung up his football boots and his career in horses doesn't work out (unlikely), then perhaps Michael Owen could have a future as an actor.

Having seen him appear in several TV ads over the past few years it must be said that he's not all bad, and unlike most footballers who do these kind of things he does at least demonstrate some acting ability.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Max vs the Grand Prix

The big question in the world of F1 this week is whether the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday is going to be as sensational as the photos of old man Max Mosley being caught with his pants down!?

I see the Prince of Bahrain has turned Max away from attending - probably a good decision there.

More sporting blunders...

Look out for the poor injured player who gets his head stuck in the crotch of the person carrying the stretcher. Talk about adding insult to injury!

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Lookalike: Nani & Michael Jackson