Friday, December 31, 2010

Chris Baird’s First Two in Ten/ Man Utd. Vs Birmingham: Blaming the Refs/ 2010 Closer

I want to address a few things in this post. First of all, a man who has never scored for Fulham, got himself two in the first ten minutes against Stoke City. Yes, I am talking about Chris Baird. The game ended 2-0, leaving Baird the hero who brought home the win. Baird has never been such a key player, but he really proved himself this time. The first goal was a blast from right outside the box after defense failed to clear the ball. Baird ran up and smashed it towards goal. He had hit the inside of the near post to ricochet into the back of the net. After more shots were taken, Fulham won a free kick just outside the box. Baird stepped up to take it, and after curving it past the wall, he could celebrate his second goal of the game and his career at Fulham. These two goals occurred in the first ten minutes of the games and gave Fulham the win.

(December 28, 2010 - Photo By: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Sport)

The second thing I want to talk about is the goal that gave Birmingham the equalizer against Manchester United on December 28. I’m not going to go into too much detail with this one. Berbatov had the first goal of the game. In the 89th minute the “pass” from Zigic which allowed Bowyer to snatch a late goal was unquestionably a hand ball. Manchester United still jumped to the top of the table with two less games played then their second place rivals Manchester City, but the same amount of points. United is also still undefeated this season, but Ferguson is still not happy with Referee L. Mason for not disallowing the goal. He also said Zigic committed a foul on Rio Ferdinand to get to the ball. Either way, Manchester United is still first and undefeated this season.

(December 27, 2010 - Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe)

The last this I want to talk about in this post is the football world in 2010 as a whole. There has been a bunch of stories that will be remembered for a long time from 2010. Inter Milan won their first Champions League title in over 40 years, Spain won the World Cup for the first time, Two unlikely contestants, Russia and Qatar won the bids for hosting the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, Barcelona beating Real Madrid 5-0, Portugal beating Spain 4-0 after Spain won the WC, Torres ending his goal drought and Liverpool’s victory drought against Chelsea and many more.
Even though there were many great things in 2010, some could argue that there were many embarrassing events throughout the year, the referees. Throughout the EPL and World Cup, there were many mistakes that the refs made and many accused of cheating. Either way, we will remember the greatness of 2010 as we await the New Year in football and hope for the best.

(July 10, 2010 - Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images Europe)

Comment your thoughts of any of the topics in this post and tell me your favorite event from the world of football during 2010.
Happy New Year! - JoeyB

Monday, December 27, 2010

THE London derby

Info courtesy: the guardian

Hello everyone and happy holidays. I've been away from the internet for awhile but am back just in time to break down one of my favorite games in the EPL, the London derby that pits the west londoners, Chelsea against the north Londoners, Arsenal. Now, I know there is a whole slew of London clubs. Who doesn't love a matchup between crystal palace and QPR? But this is really THE matchup to watch within the English capital. The Blues have beaten the gunners 5 times in a row, a trend they hope to be able keep up tonight in the north side of town. For Arsenal's part, Arsene Wenger has all but guaranteed that his side need this game if they want to overcome the mental hurdles that it takes to win an English football title. Wenger said,"We need a big win...and Chelsea could be that opportunity."

One important piece to this game will be the presence of the Spaniard, Cesc Fabregas. Fabregas has not started for Arsenal since a November 23 champions league game. On the opposite side, however will be the Blue phenom, the heart and soul of Stamford Bridge, Frank Lampard. From watching the various struggles of my team over the last couple of months, many excuses have presented themselves. "Well Essien's not in the lineup...drogba has Malaria..." But the one
excuse that may actually be viable is the absence of Lampard. At his best, he offers a midfield presence perhaps only bested by the likes of Xavi and Iniesta. He can find holes for passes that others are too distracted to see. Not to mention his ability to shoot on goal from long-range. I am biased toward Chelsea but one cannot deny that there should be a considerable difference in the Blues' play with Lampard out on the pitch for ninety minutes.No matter what, there will be no excuses. The winner will hold the pride of London, if only for one night.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

First Poll Results

Our first poll has just ended and the results are in. The question was, Who will win the game against Manchester United vs. Chelsea once it's postponed. There was a total of 16 voters, 11 of which voted for Manchester United taking a whopping 68% of the votes. 3 of you (18%) voted for Chelsea and 2 (12%) didn't know. No one thinks there will be a tie, even though their last Premier League encounter, not counting the Community Sheild, was a tie.

Keep a look out for our next post, located at the bottom of the page.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

David Beckham: Possible Arsenal Transfer

I recently had a post about a possible transfer for the L.A. galaxy Superstar to Tottenham Hotspurs. The transfer seems unlikely, but many transfers are doubted before anything happens, much like when Cristiano Ronaldo said he will stay with Manchester United, or when Beckham himself said he probably won’t go to Italy for a second time. Now there are rumors that Beckham has been in contact with Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, setting up a loan for the iconic player.

“It is a great league and one of the most competitive in the world. Maybe one day I will come back here but I have always said that it will only be for Manchester United. I am not holding my breath on that one, but we will have to wait and see.”

It is possible that he just said that so that Sir Alex really thinks about, but he has, and said he doesn’t think it would be the right move, but as I said, big transfers are normally doubted instantly.

Beckham visited England in 2008 during the mls’ off season and trained with Arsenal to stay fit, and Wenger did admit to enjoying his presence. Arsenal is a fairly young team and could possibly use the legend as a leader for the young gunners. There are a few other teams that have considered getting Beckham for the loan. Leicester tried to sign Becks, but failed, which was expected. Any team would love to have Beckham join, but the problem is he needs to find the right team, mainly because there is a lot of young talent in the game today and Beckham’s age doesn’t work to his advantage even though he is only 35.

Beckham mainly wants to return to a European team, preferably English, to get his spot back on the English National squad, after getting injured right before the World Cup and being rudely excused from the squad by Capello. Either way, I hope to see Becks join a major club in January, because if he doesn’t, his skill is only being wasted.

Leave a comment on which team you want to see Beckham join this coming January.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Manchester United: Ownership Under Review

There has been a lot of hype during the Manchester United games lately. You might have noticed the crowd of green and gold. These are the colors of anti-glazer united supporters. The Glazer family owns United, as well as the American Football Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Well it seems that these fans might get what they want because the Glazer family has been in contact with the royal family of Qatar.

Now what does this mean for United? Either they will become an even higher skilled team or, a team filled with superstars but no coordination, much like their rivals Manchester City or even Real Madrid. The only difference with Madrid is that they have been a team with unlimited amounts of money for a while now. This could either make or break United right now. Chelsea hasn't been at the top of their game lately, Arsenal’s young gunners are forming into a high skilled team, Manchester City is on and off, Liverpool have been struggling this season, Tottenham and New Castle are developing and Manchester United are undefeated in the premier league, but can't afford to break down now.

In my opinion, if the sale of the club does end up happening, the one way the club will stay as a contender for the title for the next few years is if Sir Alex Ferguson continues his role as manager and doesn’t forget about the basics of the club. If they look to get a new manager, it could be deadly for the club. Most likely, the new manager would shop the market for every expensive player but the team would lack composure. If Sir Alex remains the manager, he could buy new players of a high skill level but he will also know how to make an unbeatable formation. Basically, United could become a team like Barcelona, where there is a high skill level, but the team works together, or a team like Real Madrid where each player is looking for individual stats.

What are your opinions? Should the Glazer family sell, or keep ownership?
Leave some comments below

Monday, December 20, 2010

David Beckham: Back for More?

David Beckham is definitely one of those players who is given a lot of publicity, but with a history like his, it is expected. Lately he has been in the news for being loaned to the Italian Giants AC Milan for the second time. Also, Becks had an injury right around the starting of the World Cup earlier this year. Since he was not able to play, there was a lot of controversy on whether 2006 was his last world cup final stages or not. England coach Fabio Capello rudely told Beckham he was too old. But according to Tottenham manager, he wasn’t. The Hotspur boss: “I don't think David will give up. I would never write him off. I think he will come back.” He also went on to compliment David on what a world class player he is and that he hasn’t lost any skill.

In recent news, Redknapp has linked up with the L.A. Galaxy superstar. He wants Beckham not only for his skill but also because he thinks that Beckham is a huge role model and it would be great for team as well.

"He would still be a terrific player," Redknapp stated. "His delivery of the ball remains exceptional, he is a great trainer and he is a local boy from up the road."He continued to add that the two have met before and he thinks that David is a nice guy, and that probably no club would turn down the opportunity to get Becks on the team.

Seeing that the Galaxy had no problem letting Beckham go to the Serie A, not once but twice, I’m sure they would let him leave once again, because at this point we’ve only heard the word on a loan. If it’s up to the man himself, I don’t think he would turn down the opportunity to play in the EPL again. I mean does anyone remember when AC Milan played Manchester United in the Champions League last year? He practically broke down in tears after the kind of celebration the fans gave him at Old Trafford.

Lastly, if the loan goes through smoothly, how do you think he will perform with the rest of the team? If you ask me, I think it will be an interesting twist to the way Tottenham are currently playing. Becks would play in the same position as Lennon another great right winger, but the crossing ability of DB7 is unmatchable. I’ve noticed when watching Tottenham, they are really all about attacking. They have a top class offense with players like Gareth Bale, Peter Crouch, Rafael Van Der Vaart, and Roman Pavlyuchenko. Add Beckham into the mix and the goals will only add up. The rest of the players will also see him as a role model and have more motivation with a legend like Beckham.

In my opinion, I think Beckham should definitely take this opportunity to play in the Premier League once again, not only for the memories but to prove he is worthy of a spot on the English national squad. I would personally be happy to see Beckham play on the highest level of football, and I am sure many of his fans will too.

Let me know what you think or want Beckham to do by commenting below.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Clash of The Titans: Postponed

Hey Bloggers,
This is my first post for, The Flag is Up, and I’d like to quickly introduce myself. The name’s JoeyB and I am a stick-in-the-mud Manchester United fan. I mainly like United because I am a huge fan of the players that did and do play there such as, Cantona, Beckham, Giggs, Howard, Ronaldo, Scholes, Evra, Van Der Sar and Rooney. Of course there are many more, but those are just some of the greats. I will post a lot about United, and most likely be bias, but that doesn’t mean I won’t keep you all updated on the rest of the soccer world. Anyways, let’s get started with the real reason I’m writing this post.

Waking up to a text from my fellow blogger, T Will which stated the rescheduling of the clash of the season, Manchester United taking on Chelsea F.C. was the worst feeling this morning. Last season, Chelsea took the premier league title along with the F.A. Cup. The Red Devils were runners up finishing one point away from the blues. Kicking off the start of the 2010/2011 season, Manchester beat Chelsea in the Community Shield 3-1 with goals from Valencia, Chicharito and Berbatov for United and Kalou for Chelsea. At the time it seemed United were going to turn things around this season, and so far they have, along with the downfall of Chelsea. This being said, Manchester recently defeated second place Arsenal and taking the 3 points from Chelsea would really prove themselves to being able to take on the rest of the league as well. On the other hand, on win for Chelsea will boost the confidence of the team to potentially bring themselves back for the title race.

Chelsea’s most recent game was against Totenham in which Drogba brought the team back from a goal down, but then couldn’t secure the lead when they were awarded a stoppage time penalty. Totenham goalie, Heurelho Gomes tackled Ramires. Drogba stepped up to take it, but Gomes blocked the tackle and the game ended a tie shortly after that. In a similar case, Wayne Rooney missed a penalty for United against Arsenal in their last game. The only difference was Manchester’s triumph wasn’t affected by the miss. Both players have recently come back to the squad, Rooney from physical rehab and Drogba because of malaria. Even though, these are two of the best players in the world right now, and they should have been able to score without any excuses. These two incidents make it hard to predict who has the better chance in the clash of the Reds and Blues, but on paper, Manchester definitely has a better chance.

Let it snow!

Always fun to wake up ready to watch some football and find out the majority of the matches have been postponed! Okay, so is it the worst thing in the world to have a game between Wigan and Villa postponed? Perhaps not. But once I found out the dream clash between Man U and Chelsea had been postponed, I about lost it. Chelsea's website has listed the following: "Sunday's game at Stamford Bridge has been postponed following consultation with the police and the local authority..." This is due to some three inches falling in the London area. Maybe, it's just me, but I would drive through a hurricane to see chelsea and Man U.

Premier League Preview

Hey folks, and welcome to the innaugural post here on "the flag is up" As we anxiously count down to Sunday's mouthwatering clash between the reds and the blues, time to preview Saturday's fixtures in the Premier League:

Sunderland vs. Bolton Wanderers 12:45 stadium of light
 I can't help but cheer for both of these squads. Sunderland have one of my favorite players in Asamoah Gyan and a great manager in Steven Bruce while the Boltoners have a man that could well be the best manager in England, right now, that being Owen Coyle. Coyle was instrumental bringing my second love (Burnley) to the Premier League last season for the first time in a decade. After his departure from the club, they found themselves mired in 19th place and out of the Premier League. Now, he has Bolton in the thick of the title hunt (that's right, I just said that!) and playing some of the most sound football from end to end in all the land. Hip, Hip, Hooray for the boys from Bolton, even if they may be rivals with my Clarets. Two great goalscorers for Bolton will show up more than two great scorers from Sundy.
Bolton 2:1 Sunderland

Arsenal vs. Stoke (15:00, emirates stadium)

The gunners are coming off a dissapointing defeat in primetime, further proving that they cannot come through in the clutch against top teams in the Premier League. Now, it's up to them to further prove that they can consistently win, perhaps more than anyone else against teams in the second half of the table. I'm sure Stoke manager Tony Pulis will have something to say about that though...
Arsenal 2:1 Stoke

Birmingham City vs. Newcastle United (15:00, St. Andrew's Ground)

Birmingham love to draw and Newcastle don't. Andy Caroll continues to prove that he may be a legitimate frontrunner in the race for the golden boot with ten in the league up to this point. Another important game for new manager Alan Pardew makes me think that the black and whites can take this one, but BCFC tend to be hard to beat at home.
Birmingham 1:1 Newcastle

Wigan vs. Aston Villa (15:00, DW Stadium)
I love Roberto Martinez as a manager but the Wiganites don't have what it takes against a team that has not impressed thus far but have the defense to grab three points at the DW.
Wigan 1:2 Villa

Blackburn Rovers vs. West Ham United (15:00, Ewood Park)

Blackburn are going through some rough times, having just sacked their manager. It will be up to new coach Steve Kean to take charge and get a home win against the struggling Hammers. West ham on the road? No thank you.
BR 1:0 West Ham

Liverpool vs. Fulham (17:30, Anfield)

This would have proven to be a fascinating affair if the game were held at Craven Cottage in west London. But the fact that it is at a rejuvinated Anfield has me believe that Liverpool will get another win, one that could help them feel they could be on the road to relevancy in the Premier League.
Liverpool 2:0 Fulham