Englands woeful season continues. Forget the roar of the 3 Lions, it’s more like the snore as they whimper out of the Nations League finals. The campaign started with a really poor display against Iceland. A 1-0 win was enough to get the points, thanks to a penalty in the 89th minute from Raheem Sterling. With Kyle Walker red carded 20 minutes earlier it looked like England had managed to pick up the first win. Then a yellow card for Joe Gomez and a penalty was awarded to Iceland in the 93rd minute. A really poor spot kick by Birkir Bjarnason however, saved Englands blushes.
England came from behind to win 2-1 to overcome the world’s top-ranked team. This was only Belgium’s first loss since November 2018, a pretty solid record that has survived 2 years. England enjoyed this victory, thanks to a penalty in the 39th minute by Marcus Rashford which cancelled out an earlier penalty scored by Romelu Lukaku. A deflected shot by Mason Mount in the 64th minute was enough to secure a well deserved win.
Harry Maguire’s early red card set the tone for the match. Denmark beat England at Wembley thanks to a penalty score by Christian Eriksen after a dubiously awarded spot kick. This was his 34th goal for Denmark on his 100th appearance, was one to remember. England went on to prevent any further goals, but a second red came after the final whistle, this time for Reece James.
From their last 50 competitive internationals at home, this was only the third defeat. What it meant though was England sat in third in the table with only the group winners going to progress. This was a game England needed to win and the fans expected, especially after the 0-0 in September in the reverse fixture.
For those who watched on Sunday 15th November, the reality of how good ( or not ) England are, came home. A back 5 formation clearly didn’t work, as the scoreline showed after 24 minutes and the team were 2 goals down. Plenty of possession but didn’t do much with it. Yes it can be argued that injuries had meant changes, but the same seems to apply to all teams currently. Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish stood out in this fixture, having a good game and looking sharp with the ball. Sadly for him and the rest of the nation, Youri Tielemans and Dries Mertens scoring the 2 goals really knocked the wind out of the sails of the England team. Belgium’s 2-0 win over England was also Roberto Martínez’s 50th match as their coach and his 39th victory. Drawing 7 and losing just 4, this squad look like going places still and at 7/2 to lift the trophy could be one to consider. A handful of bookies have them joint favourite alongside France and you can get 5/2 on them both.
England host Iceland in their final yet unimportant Nations League match. Stuck in the third spot out of 4 teams is woeful. Iceland are rooted bottom and the match on Wednesday evening will give one of 2 outcomes. England go and thrash the minnows or Iceland play like they have never played before and draw or even win against England. Either way though, it really is a no win match for England. Playing for pride you’d stick with the strongest squad possible or do you give some of the fringe players a more central role and let them earn caps by starting this match. I’m sure that there will be a group of Premier League managers who’d rather have their players rested and no risk injury.Continue reading
You’ve heard of Black Friday, yeah? The name that was given to the shopping day after Thanksgiving in the USA. More recently they’ve added Cyber Monday where the electronics and electricals are sold cheap. Well, the good news is you can buy plenty of Christmas gifts and birthday presents earlier in the year.
One way to find out is to ask your friend; “Alexa, when is Prime Day?” Prime Day is the middle of July, so for 2019, these dates fall on 15th & 16th July. What most people don’t understand is there are also offers available beforehand. These Pre-prime deals are also available just for Prime Members. You can even use the search engines, just type in ‘ when is prime day and hopefully the correct answer comes back.
Prime Day starts with signing up for AmazonPrime, believe it or not. Yes, it really is that simple. Just sign up!
There are some great savings to be had, some good savings and there are also a few quite average discounts. Keep in mind though, these are being offered with the free delivery, so that is an extra bonus.
There are other advantages with Prime, we really enjoy the video and tv services. There’s great viewing with some Prime Original series, which are only available to watch as a Prime customer.
We covered the tv and film aspect here briefly, but there are plenty of great series, shows, and films. Literally, something for all the family to enjoy.
I bet you weren’t aware of this? Well, you can watch 20 Premier League games live & exclusive on Prime Video this December. No better way to recover from the Christmas Day festivities, than spend a day watching all the Boxing Day Premiership games. Now might be the time to grab the new TV you’ve been promising yourself and get sat down to enjoy great viewing.
Never experienced this service? Get your Free Trial of Prime Video Here and you can enjoy the following;
Enjoy unlimited streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows
Watch anywhere, anytime with unlimited access throughout the UK
Download movies and TV to their mobile or tablet to watch offline
Watch Amazon Originals in HDR on living room devices
Watch exclusive hit TV shows before they air on British TV
Get unlimited, FREE One-Day Delivery on millions of items
Borrow books from a choice of over 500,000 titles from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library
Secure unlimited photo storage with anywhere access
Listen to over 2 million songs on Prime Music
It’s enough to make The Fat Lad as happy as a pig in muck.Continue reading
The combined salaries of the 1,693 women playing in the top seven football leagues add up to $41.6m, slightly less than the $41.7m salary paid to Neymar. This is according to the Economist. The American females who play soccer are the top of their game, so to speak. The Stars and Stripes who are the national team, representing… Yes, you’ve guessed it, the USA. Now they are more successful than their male counterparts in the game of soccer. In fact, they’re the most successful side in the history of women’s football. As we are here in June 2019, they’ve already won the World Cup three times. Not forgetting the Olympic games, where they’ve also claimed Olympic gold four times. Compare that with the men’s team, whose best result has been third place in the 1930 World Cup. More recent years have seen them struggle in group stages and even to qualify.
An interesting article in the WSJ confirmed that the female sport in the States is more popular than the males. Between 2016 and 2018 women’s games generated about $50.8m in revenue. These numbers are based on ticket sales, keep in mind. The men took in about $49.9m, so slightly less. Despite the female sport being more popular, the players are paid considerably less. A research study showed that; If each team were to play 20 friendlies over the course of a year and win them all, the women would receive $99,000 whereas the men would net $263,320 which is a huge difference.
There’s nothing more disheartening than having a passion and a natural skill, but not being able to make it pay to be a living wage. Do I think a woman should be earning $50million a year to kick a football around? Not a hope. Do I think a guy should be paid that? Again, not a chance. So was it any real surprise that United States women’s team marked International Women’s Day on March 8th by filing a class-action suit against their employer, the United States Soccer Federation (ussf)? In a word – NO. The fact the females have been much more successful highlighted how unfair this was. The suit alleged that differences in pay and employment conditions between the women’s and men’s team violate the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t have any interest in women’s soccer. It’s not for any sexist reason, it’s just of zero interest to me. I’m not even going to go down the avenue of who should/ should not play sport. It doesn’t matter which team, which country or anything like that. IT IS NOT OF INTEREST TO ME.
Neither is men playing cricket. In fact, I have no interest in tennis, cricket, snooker, athletics or the vast majority of sports / so-called sports. The only possible time these would raise an eyebrow is if I was betting on these events.
Women Soccer players should be paid more, especially those in the USA. Looking at the success they have had in the past and no doubt can continue with in the future. The fact that the men’s game is nowhere near as successful as the women soccer teams, nor even as popular, says a lot. me watching these sport on TV, it’ll never happen. The sexist side of me can reveal I don’t even watch womens beach volleyball, nor did I used to watch topless darts or womens wrestling. There’s enough crap on tv as it is, so my viewing time doesn’t need to be cluttered with these less appealing events.
So it looks like USA play England on July 2nd, Holland play Sweden the day after that. Both semi-finals are played at the Stade de Lyon. The 6th of June is the playoff for the third place and the final will be played on 7th July at the Stade de Lyon. Who will win the competition and lift the trophy? Who cares? As an Englishman, I’d prefer it to be England, but trust me I’m not going to be shedding any tears if England win or lose.
Manchester United’s Paul Pogba, 26, will receive a £3.78m loyalty bonus from the club on 1 July. Hey, that’s a nice bonus for doing not a lot. What makes it even funnier is the French midfielder being on record as saying it “could be a good time to move elsewhere”
Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes players (who already earn obscene amounts) earn bonuses for winning things. Now, I’m not sure where this bonus for Pogba arises from, but as he’s won sod all this season with his club…. The mind boggles.
Ever touch, kick or run he gets booed and shouted at when he returns to Anfield.
His departure from Anfield was bad-tempered, with the Sterling ( under the guidance of his agent Aidy Ward ) opting to reject the Reds’ offer of a new contract, saying he wanted to join Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City side instead. With Liverpool missing the Premiership by a whisker, then Louis Suarez moving to Barcelona, thus splitting up the SAS partnership of Sturridge and Suarez, the pressure was on Sterling to step up to the mark. He failed, he didn’t produce what it was thought he could do/ would do.
Aidy Ward, gave an infamous radio interview which was another part in his loathing by Liverpool fans. Here he stated that his client wouldn’t accept a deal, even one that was worth £900,000 a week.
Sterling then told Liverpool manager at the time, Brendan Rogers; he had no desire at all to travel to the Far East and Australia for the pre-season tour. Now forgive me if I am wrong, but did his contract state he could pick and choose which matches he played in? I doubt it.
So in early July, Raheem Sicknote failed to report to training supposedly due to illness.
Selling him in the £49m move to City, which at the time actually made him the most expensive English player in history was a profitable move.
He arrived as the replacement for Fernando Torres, who had been sold to Chelsea for a then club record £50m. Torres made it public knowledge he wanted the move to Stamford Bridge. Another player who decided to make it public he wanted to move to Spain, to Barca. This then came about after rumours of him refusing to play for the Reds.
The same Reds, who defended him when he was accused of racially abusing Manchester Utd player Patrice Evra. Luis Suarez was found guilty of misconduct charges for racially abusing Evra in a game played 15 October 2011. The club and felow players stood by him, even training in matching t-shirts, to show solidarity.
Luis Suarez, when not suspended for biting opponents, had fired in 82 goals and recorded 47 assists in 133 games for Liverpool. Norwich City feared him, as it was hattrick after hat-trick against the Canaries. Yes, he’s gone on to do well at Barcelona but his antics in the recent Champions League semi-finals against Liverpool have put him on the list of loathed former players.
His overreactions in the first leg after his first goal then the over the top celebrations for the other 2 goals, kinda showed the guy for what he is.
I guess his promise not to celebrate at Anfield in front of the home fans, was one he well and truly kept. Thanks to the 4-0 thrashing of Barcelona in the second leg, it was Champions League Final, the next stop. We all know the outcome there, don’t we?Continue reading
After what can only be described as one of the all-time comebacks in the semi-final against the mighty Barcelona, Liverpool were in their second Champions League final on the bounce. After they were outplayed and outclassed last season by the impressive Real Madrid, it was fate that this final would be played in Madrid, but between 2 English clubs.
Spurs had managed their own magical semi-final night against Ajax, just 24 hours after the heroics of Liverpool at Anfield. Along with Arsenal and Chelsea fighting out the Europa League final the week before, history was made as all 4 finalists in these two competitions, came from the same country.
Liverpool were looking to make up for the disappointment of going unbeaten except for the one defeat in the Premiership, but still only coming second. This was the opportunity to get some silverware back to Anfield. The kings of Europe for a sixth time would appease fans, who had thought the premier title as theirs this time around.
Interesting Fact; Trent Alexander-Arnold (20 years 237 days), the Liverpool right back, is the first ever player aged under 21 to start in consecutive Champions League finals.
Without doubt, the bookies favourites were Liverpool who finished the Premiership on 97 points ( Spurs who were 4th, managed 71 ) and an impressive goal difference of 67 goals. This was second only to Manchester City.
What proved to be an eventful start saw a penalty awarded to Liverpool for hand ball in the box. Mo Salah scored from the spot, his goal times at 1 minute 48 seconds. The only faster goal was when Paolo Maldini scored in under a minute (00:50) for AC Milan versus Liverpool in 2005.
From here on the game was rather drab, Liverpool uncharacteristically looking nervous and out of sorts. Both teams were guilty of conceding possession. Shaky clearances and bad passes were aplenty by both teams.
The game rolled on, Spurs with 65% of the possession were unable to make use of this. They managed 16 shots all game with just half on target. Liverpool mustered 14 shots, but a poor return of 3 being on target said plenty about this fixture. Neither team looked dominant enough to make this a one way event. Liverpool were unsettled and the single goal margin left them open to the counter-attack possibility.
What was reassuring though was the investment in the best goalkeeper and also the best centreback in the Premiership in the shapes of Alisson in goal and Virgil van Dijk in the defence, gave Liverpool fans that bit of extra confidence in the outcome. Alisson was called into action several times later on in the second half. With Spurs bringing on semi-final hero Lucas Moura the pressure against the Reds stepped up. Finally in the 87th minute though, Divock Origi scored from a corner to put the game to bed and ease the nerves around the ground.
Interesting Fact; This was the first ever Champions League final without a single card shown.
It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t sexy but it was an important win for Jurgen Klopp and the team
With the 2020 final being held 30 May at the Atatürk Olimpiyat Stadı, Istanbul could we see Liverpool making their 3rd consecutive appearance? Who can forget the last time they played in a Champions League Final in Instanbul? Before that though, the reality is a Liverpool vs Chelsea Super Cup also played in IstanbulContinue reading
Not many teams go on and score 97 points and don’t win the title.
Not many teams will ever lose just a single league game in a season, but still not win the title.
As a Reds fan though, it gutted me that that is exactly what happened to us. At Christmas we were top and clear and the general feeling was that this was Liverpools season, title number 19 ( first Premiership ) and long overdue. The disappointment of 4th place in the previous season, then losing to Real Madrid in the Champions League final meant a bare season for the Liverpool faithful. This season there was that feeling of things had turned the corner.
While the top 2 teams were miles ahead of the chasing pack, it was Man City who on the final day of the season took top spot to add to their League and FA Cup haul.
Last season saw Mohamed Salah pip Harry Kane to the Golden Boot with an impressive 32 goals. This season Salah was slow off the mark again, but never found his stride as he did the season before. This season though Liverpool duo Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah (who were joined on 22 goals by Arsenal player Pierre-Emerick Aubameyan) shared the Golden Boot in a 3way tie.
Alisson claimed the 2018/19 Golden Glove award after keeping his 21st clean sheet of the season. This highlighted his value and the price tag which raised eyebrows at the time, is justified.
The PFA Player of the year was another Liverpool success. Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah was the winner for 2017-18 with Virgil van Dijk winning this season.
The Liverpool goalkeeper shut out Wolverhampton Wanderers in his side’s 2-0 win on the final day to win the Golden Gloves award and rounded off his incredible season with a clean sheet in the Champions League. Conceding just 22 goals, the £66.8 million (€72.5 million) fee was worth every penny.
With Sturridge and Moreno leaving over the summer, fresh blood will need to be signed. With a series of upcoming fixtures including playing Napoli in a friendly at Murrayfield on 28 July, then facing Chelsea in the first all-English Uefa Super Cup on 14 August in Istanbul.
Liverpool vs Chelsea Super Cup will be one of the first fixtures to see both teams new signings in a competitive fixture. Chelsea winning the Europa and Liverpool finishing as Champions League winners will prove to be an interesting fixture.
The Reds also play in the Community Shield ( sometime early August ) against Premier League champions Manchester City – at Wembley and also travel to Qatar in December to compete at Fifa’s Club World Cup. This means Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool will be in seven competitions next season, hence the need for fresh players to be signed.