Posted on: October 18, 2011 6:54 am

Talk of wanting to scrap Relegation/Promotion

Really, quick, how can this be?? Foreign owners have brought up plans wishing to scrap the Relegation/Promotion system of the English Leagues and while that sounds far fetched, they would just need a majority of owners to vote the system in. So, how would one determine the 20 teams that would always be in the Top Flight?? This would seem to be a matter of chance, after all, last year, we saw West Ham, Blackpool and Birmingham go down. Also, what right would a "small club" like Wigan have to be in the Premier League?? I've always admired a "small club" being able to make the top flight, that is how the system works but likewise, it would not be fair for a small club to be up there at the cost of the bad luck of "big clubs" as Leeds certainly are and possibly the Sheffield Clubs, United and Wednesday and in fact, West Ham United. I just don't get this "scrap relegation" talk or see any benefits in it.

But while here, I really do see the 4 team playoff of the Championship League, League I and II as rather brutal. I believe the 3rd-6th place teams play a one-on-one 2 game series with each other and then have a deciding game at Wembley after that between the 2 winners.  That's really tough but in the end I suppose fair.

It seems to me that over the last 2 years, we've seen Cardiff City and Nottingham Forest in the playoffs and not succeed. I believe some years, the last playoff team has won the 4 club playoff and I'm not completely sure if that is fair. Blackpool may have done that.

As of now, the playoff teams in the Championship League are taken by 3. Middlesbrough 4. Derby County 5. Brighton, Hove and Albion and 6. Hull City.

Anyway, there are plenty of articles right now on the "scrap relegation" movement and SAF, Sir Alex Ferguson has come out against it. We don't quite have that system in our most lucrative sports league, the NFL and but one envision what if we had a relegation system in American Football. But it's comparing apples and oranges, the two sports are too different. Some have wanted to see the NFL have 2 different conferences and all the teams are just lined up without divisions, meaning San Francisco, Dallas, Detroit would all be vying for the top places. It works well in the EPL but the NFL has been that way for many decades. Some want the MLS to go to an all one conference format as well. The current system may need to be finetuned in the MLS but overall, works fine.
Posted on: October 18, 2011 6:13 am
Edited on: October 19, 2011 12:53 am

Today, Championship and Champions League Fixtures

Looks like a full day of games in the Champions League and Championship League:

As usual, check Soccerway.

For the Championship League:

Southampton West Ham United , this so soon after Saturday's games makes me think Southampton will win at home. Maybe I'm taking the Hammers lightly here, they just won big 4-0 while the Saints drew at Derby. If WHU wins, they will be on top of the League. (Edit on: No Robert Green, in goal was Almunia (??), is this the same goalkeeper Arsenal used sometimes?? There Spanish GK last year?? Maybe. You really hve to keep up so no matter what, this GK was good too, close game.) Southampton would probably do fair in the PL right now as well. Cardiff City did manage to defeat them earlier in the year.

Nottingham Forest Middlesbrough Forest is in free fall, I look for Middlesbrough to win, they must to stay at the top. (Edit On: Forest hired a new manager, Stephen Cotteril, if I'd known this, maybe I would have given them more of a chance. I'd better start firing up the BBC lower league pages so I'm more aware of new developments)

Leeds Coventry City , Leeds.

Barnsley Burnley

Millwall Brighton Hove and Albion. I go with a draw, Millwall has drawn 'Boro and the Hammers in the last several weeks.

Ipswich Pompey, Ipswich should win. 

Posh Cardiff Level game here.

Crystal Palace Bristol City Palace looks to make the playoff places with a victory over the cellar team here. It would not be a bad run of games.

Reading Derby County

Blackpool Doncaster , Blackpool needs to rebound from a bad loss.

Birmingham City is in the Europa League and will not be playing. Most of the other teams have played 3 more games than Brum. It would seem if the Blues could capitalize on those games they have in hand, they will be in the playoff spots. The league really is rather exciting versus the race in the Premier League.

It looks like Hull City is the other team not playing this week.

It will be interesting to see how the standings change after these games. The Southampton/West Ham game is actually crucial and I would suppose these two teams only meet 2 times a year which shows it's importance. Oh well, Saturday's games came after the International Break so it is not like these teams are playing a terribly busy schedule after a two week layoff. I go with the Saints in that they have been the best team out there consistently this year from the start.

For the record, tomorrow's single fixture is Leicester City/Watford.


Spanish Update: Athletic Club, that is Athletic Bilbao won Monday over Osasuna and look to be on the march upward in the table.

Posted on: October 17, 2011 10:28 am
Edited on: October 17, 2011 11:03 am

Luis Enrique manages Roma

Luis Enrique manages Roma, how interesting and at times, ironic things go. This is the same Luis Enrique whose nose was broken at the 1994 World Cup while playing for Spain, it was broken playing the Italian team and it was a dirty shot as the youtube video show:  You have a lot of things happen in sport and in football/soccer, Ryan Shawcross and Aaron Ramsey's collision in the Premier League in the last few seasons.  Oddly, looking at that '94 clip, one can think of how Italy's Rossi goured our player Brian McBride.

I do not mean any disrespect to any of these teams but actually, I think Brazil too (talk about the beautiful game, research Leonardo and Tab Ramos), Italy and Germany have all done questionable things though for some of these teams, it may be well into the past. Germany under Juergen Klinsmann was one of the most sporting teams I have ever seen but past German World Cup teams may have done some unsporting things in the past such as the alleged collusion of Germany and Austria at the 1982 World Cup for a draw. I'm not going to dwell on these matters but sure, the World Cup has plenty of these. Even at the 2008 Euro, Ballack playing for Germany got bloodied by the Spanish player and I've heard some allege that that was probably purposefully done.

Just a few notes here, I may write about this more in the future, there is a book called 'A scandalous history of the World Cup" I will try to read some day.

I do think you have enough incidences in the World Cup where to me, it is not always that the best team won and it goes around, you may have some teams that are 'more cleaner', but for the most part, they all do things like this, it's just some who do it much more than other teams. When you take into account cheap shots, poor officiating, etc. at least in the World Cup, I'm not sure if we always do know who the best team is.
Here are some amazon reviews for one book on the World Cup. This is why I like the Premier League even more than the Champions League, the PL currently seems to be fair, oh, some teams undoubtedly may be given a favor from time to time but that's a lot different than bribery. The Champions League has been bought before, at least in my view, maybe decades ago but allegations of corruption have still been relatively recent.

Category: Soccer
Posted on: October 16, 2011 8:01 pm

Serie A, what a surprising table.

Quick note, Juventus, the Grand Old Lady is doing well but as for Roma and the Milan teams, quite a suprise.
  . I don't know what this signifies. Cagliari is the team on the Island of Sardinia? Well, good to see them up there, Zola, the manager and player hailed from Sardinia. I always like the pink jerseys of Palermo I believe on Sicily look.  Rosa in Italian, that color may have a different type of connotation over there. The Gazzetta is on pink paper and the Giro winner wears a pink jersey vs. the Tour de France's yellow jersey. Needless to say, Atalanta was deducted 6 points, so administration or corruption or what have you, they had some sort of trouble. I believe they were newly promoted as well and have actually been playing well for much of the year.
Category: Soccer
Tags: Serie A
Posted on: October 16, 2011 7:32 pm
Edited on: October 16, 2011 7:45 pm

Marcus Hahnemann and Everton

Marcus Hahnemann is an American Goalkeeper who has spent a lot of time in England, I believe he was pulling down a lot of duty and doing well for Wolverhampton over the past few years. An interesting career, even playing for Fulham though he did not have many appearances. He is currently with Everton.

What is up with the Toffees? They received a questionable red card vs. Liverpool, that much is true. Still, I look at their current roster vs. that of a past squad and it seems they are lacking some potency. Some of those players have been there for quite a stint.

One thing I remember is that after Leeds' play vs. Man Utd. in the FA Cup, Everton got Jermaine Beckford, hero of one of the Leeds' matches but it looks like he is at Liecester City now and he has only 2 appearances with them this season. 8 goals in 34 appearances for Everton, sounds like Everton should not have let him go, now we know what might be part of their problem. Sounds like they need him!

Beckford's first game after the request was in the FA Cup 3rd Round, away to Leeds' great rivals Manchester United who were two divisions above the Yorkshire club. Leeds caused an upset by winning 1–0, with Beckford scoring the only goal.<sup id="cite_ref-19" class="reference">[20]</sup> This was the first time that Manchester United had been knocked out of a cup competition at the third round stage under the management of Alex Ferguson.[

Category: Soccer
Tags: Everton, PL
Posted on: October 16, 2011 7:11 pm

I always thought Big Sam should manage England.

Sam Allardyce has shown he's a problem solver, WHU went into a slight dip of form, drawing their rivals Millwall, Sept. 17th and then a victory over Peterborough, 1-0, a loss to Ipswich 0-1, then a draw to Crystal Palace 2-2 and I had to wonder, maybe they would experience a decline as Brighton and Hove Albion did but then to defeat Ian Holloway's Blackpool 4-0 at Upton Park seems quite a feat,  Allardyce must have a few cards up his sleeve. He's been criticized for playing the long ball, kick and rush style but that might work for England. I doubt if that was the style though for the victory over the Tangerines Saturday. Harry Redknapp may indeed be the more popular choice and Allardyce ran into problems managing Newcastle a few years ago. We will see, but the Hammers may well be coming back up. West Ham is a big club, Newcastle is a big club, both teams have been relegated in the past few seasons. A smaller club like Wigan I wonder if they would come back in any kind of quick manner if they went down but for West Ham and Newcastle, Championship football has probably helped the clubs out. I know Fox Soccer + broadcasts some Championship games but I think we should be able to see more of these games.
Category: Soccer
Posted on: October 16, 2011 6:44 pm

EPL Games, Week 9

Don't read if it might influence your opinion, I think I got a slight handle on next weekend's matches, subject to change of course.



Wolves 1 Swansea 0 Swansea seems to drop the road games though they lost at the Emirates by this


Aston Villa 1 West Brom 1 A lot of these games this week look like draws, the Baggies have turned

the corner it seems.

Bolton 1 Sunderland 1 I think Sunderland still have some fight in them as opposed to some of the

bottom 6 or 7.

Newcastle 2 Wigan 0  Actually impressed by Newcastle's players, good chemistry, they certainly

won't lose at home to a Wigan.

Liverpool 2 Norwich 0 MUFC won at home against a good Norwich team by this margin, why not the

same scoreline here?


Arsenal 2 Stoke 2 Some history with these teams, I believe Aaron Ramsey got his broken leg in the

fall of one of these past 2 seasons in this game but not sure if Arsenal can exact revenge. Still, that incident makes these games "grudge" matches but Arsenal has not acted on it yet and now that is a bit in the past.

Fulham 1 Everton 1 Fulham have one win this year, they should have more in the tank here but I

don't think they will play better than that though it seems Fulham is playing acceptable ball in Europe, drew FC Twente.

MUFC 1 Man City 3  I've picked Man Utd and City in most all of their games...I'll chance the once in a blue moon upset. I wanted to pick Liverpool but on paper, they just did not look like they could pull off an upset in week 8. Perhaps City can.

Blackburn Rovers 1 Tottenham 3 Might consider upping Spurs by a goal. Wigan and Blackburn are falling quick but still not far behind the pack.

QPR 1 Chelsea 4 I've heard things from these two being big rivals to being "comrades-in-arms" but

that won't have an effect too much here.

We should see at least 2 draws this weekend.

Category: Soccer
Tags: EPL
Posted on: October 16, 2011 6:29 pm
Edited on: October 16, 2011 6:50 pm

Suarez & El Chicharito

Of course, this story is being widely covered....I had more to say on this last night....but we will see how it plays out, I don't know quite what to say... I wonder if he meaning Suarez even speaks English well, I hope for the sake of the game he would not do something so stupid and wreckless. The Daily Mail article sums it up fairly well. He's a bit of a villain but using racial terms is below the belt. I don't know when the last time you might have had that happen in the PL.

2ndly, I see Man Utd. often and I think usually start Javier Hernandez, El Chicharito. I'll tell you, he came into yesterday's game vs. Liverpool in about the 79th minute, by the 86th minute, MUFC pulled back to tie the game. I think Chicharito must be MUFC's best aquisition since C. Ronaldo left. They love him in Mexico. Mexico is a troubled nation now, they've always had some problems but these seem pretty bad. Still, we must remember it is a large nation of about 100 million. El Chicharito means from what I am hearing "little pea", I thought the word in Spanish for pea was Elote. Well, we will see, I won't dig out the diccionario, I'll just take their word. The lad is bloody talented and the Soccerway profile indicates he has started 4 of United's 7 matches and has played in 6 of the 7 games. Of course, I watched him last Tuesday night in the Mexico hosting Brazil game with Ronaldinho, Marcelo and others. Pretty good game. Speaking of Brazil, Ronaldinho must be playing in their leagues now. Ronaldinho seemed to have a ball in that game and did make a great "trademark" free kick for a goal. It was possibly not a good game for Mexico fans, Mexico lost 1-2, Mexico's goal was from an own goal by Brazil, Mexico missed a penalty kick as well. Brazil did not tie it up until the 79th minute.

Category: Soccer
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