Tag Archives: Birmingham

Arsenal let another trophy slip, but EPL still in sight

By Jonathan Gold

About the only thing Arsenal fans can take away from the awful joke that has been the last 72 hours of English soccer, the Gunners are still just four points behind Manchester United – and with a game in hand, no less.

Without trying to excuse in any way the horror that was this year’s League Cup final, let me point out that it was, in fairness, the League Cup final. It’s cold comfort, of course. There’s no getting around the fact that it’s far and away the least prestigious silverware that top-flight clubs regularly contest.

Manchester United, however, might not have lost in such a hands-over-faces horrifying way, but their loss to Chelsea could very well be a lot more important.

Continue reading

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , ,

Notes from a spaced-out soccer fan, January edition

By Jonathan Gold

SPAIN

It doesn’t speak particularly highly of Emanuel Adebayor’s progress as a player since joining City a couple seasons ago that they could only even hope to get 15 million pounds out of Real Madrid, a club not known for its fiduciary restraint. And they probably won’t even get that, of course, given that the extent of The Special One’s ambitions in his boardroom battle with Jorge Valdano are just to get an extra striker for the rest of the season.

Why on earth would Madrid want to exercise that option, anyway? Who wants a fifteen-million-pound overgrown baby and noted malcontent in a locker room that already includes Cristiano Ronaldo?

Elsewhere, Valencia won a truly wacky contest against Malaga 4-3, and Real Madrid and Barca are close to a completely unexpected meeting in the finals of the Copa del Rey after both teams won the first legs of their semi-final matches.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

O'Neill leaving Villa behind

Courtesy Dagur Brynjólfsson

By Kevin Koczwara

Randy Lerner has not had the best reputation as an owner in America. His Cleveland Browns bumble and fumble annually in the National Football League and the team looks to be on the bottom half of the NFL’s power rankings yet again this season. Lerner’s dealings in England get overshadowed in the states by his minimal presence in the owner’s box in Cleveland, but that is soon too change as Aston Villa fans and close to the whole of the population in Birmingham should soon be up-in-arms.

Martin O’Neill announced his resignation from the managerial post at Aston Villa yesterday reportedly because of disputes with management, specifically Lerner and the board, about the future of the club and the direction it was heading in. O’Neill managed and moved players on a limited budget while pushing the Birmingham club into contention for a top-four spot, European competition, and league cups. Now Villa will need to find a suitable replacement for one of the best managers in England who found himself in need of a change.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Battle for North London

Manuel Almunia returns to Arsenals goal just in time for the North London derby against Tottenham. (Courtesy Tim Snell Flickr)

Manuel Almunia returns to Arsenals goal just in time for the North London derby against Tottenham. (Courtesy Tim Snell Flickr)

By Kevin Koczwara

Arsenal and Tottenham will face-off Saturday at the Emirates Stadium to lay claim to as who is the best club in North London right now. It is a match-up that looks to be a barn burner because the two teams have high octane attacks and sub-par defenses. The game also has implications to set apart the two teams and give themselves room in the top four (Champions League qualification) on the Premier League table.

Both Arsenal and Tootenham have 19 points coming into this weekends match-up and are only set apart by goal differential — Arsenal at a +16, Tottenham at a +9– and Arsenal’s one game in hand. And both need this win to keep pace with table setters Chelsea (who play a Bolton side  they beat 4-0 in a mid-week Carling Cup match), and to avoid being bumped down by a confident Liverpool side who beat Manchester United last week and is playing a stingy Fulham side that looks tired from all the extra competition that the UEFA Cup has brought. And Manchester City and Aston Villa should surely wrap-up at least 1 point this weekend in their competitions keeping them in the hunt for a top four finish and jumping over the loser in North London.

This game is more than just a derby this weekend, it is a match that will make one of these teams a serious contender for Premier League silverware come May.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Advertisements