Tag Archives: Everton

The Premier League’s Best of 2011

By Kevin Koczwara

It’s sad to see Blackpool’s “Tangerine Dream” come to a close this weekend. Ian Holloway’s side was one of the most entertaining and crowd pleasing teams in the English Premier League this year. Blackpool’s unknown players made a stamp on the Premier League this year, and hopefully the Seasiders find their way back up with Holloway captaining the ship again — it would only be right, and he is far more entertaining than Roy Hodgson, Roberto Mancini and Avram Grant added together and then multiplied by 1,000.

Birmingham did it’s best to stay up for a second time, but Alex McCleish’s no offense approach just couldn’t work for a second year in a row. It’s no surprise the Blues went down if one looks at the horrible goalscoring record the team had this year, 37 goals scored. That’s not a joke. In 38 matches, Birmingham scored a measly 37 goals, less than one a game. Hapless West Ham and Wigan scored more than McCleish’s team.

Speaking of West Ham, well, we all knew they were going down once they hired Avram Grant. Last year Grant lead a woesome Portsmouth team straight out of the Premier League, and he wouldn’t have needed the point deduction of the club going into administration to do it. He would have managed to lose those points anyways. He did get Portsmouth into the FA Cup final, but he lost that just he like he seems to lose every other cup final. If Grant is hired by another Premier League team next year, that one will surely go down as well, just as the Hammers did. It’s fate. I should be hired before he gets another job in the Premier League.

But enough with relegation. Let’s look at some of the best from a year that went by in the EPL.

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Top Transfers of the Summer, So Far

By Kevin Koczwara

David Villa — Before the World Cup Barcelona made one of the biggest splashes in the transfer market of the summer. Villa’s move to Barcelona could be the best deal of the summer for both player and club. Villa’s asking price would have sky-rocketed after he helped Spain win the World Cup with his team leading and competition-tying five goals, but the Catalans got him for a fair price from Valencia. Villa will fit into the Barcelona squad with ease — I mean it consists mostly of Spain’s World Cup and Euro 2008 winning side that he helped lead.

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Donovan Saga Illustrates Issues in U.S. Soccer

MLS Commissioner Don Garber has made sure Landon Donovan has not been allowed to move to one of Europe's top leagues because of Donovan's importance to MLS and its success. Courtesy Jose Argueta - MLS Soccer

By Joe Meloni

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber made it clear this week that Los Angeles Galaxy captain Landon Donovan will play for the MLS side this season. Given the current popularity of Donovan and the Beautiful Game in the United States, Garber’s refusal is the right decision for the league and the game.

When European clubs came calling about Donovan in the past, Garber’s outright refusal to let the league’s talisman walk, bordered on selfish. His latest decision, while still selfish, just isn’t as important as the first few. Donovan’s performance in the World Cup was inspired, and, paired with successful loan spell with Premiership side Everton this year, silenced most of his primary critics around the world. Still, at 28, Donovan is quickly approaching his final few years of relevance. And by the time the next World Cup rolls around, he’ll likely be a shadow of his current self.

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Arsenal Title Hopes Still Alive?

By Kevin Koczwara

Arsenal has been in contention for the English Premier League title, then out of contention, back in contention, out again, and now back in contention after beating Liverpool yesterday.

The Gunners have been climbing the mountain road to the title the long way, but they can finally lock down a large number of points for the rest of the season with the bulk of their toughest matches out of the way.

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A Mercilous Mersey Derby

By Kevin Koczwara
It wasn’t a game for the faintest of heart or the admirers of the “beautiful game,” but one thing the Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield did have was drama.

The game lacked a good amount of skill–especially in the first half–but it didn’t lack passion. The game was not only a local rivalry, but also had important table implications for both squads.

And it wasn’t the only important game this weekend in the English Premier League. Let’s look around the league at some other important results.

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A Big Weekend in the Merseyside

By Kevin Koczwara

It’s that time of year again, crosstown rivals Everton and Liverpool will face off at Anfield in another Merseyside derby. This derby will be another hard fought battle with goals being scarce and defense being tight. Both teams are coming in to the match in good form: Liverpool not tasting defeat in 6 matches, and Everton has not lost since October in the league (a 2-0 loss to Liverpool at Goodison Park was their last defeat).

Anfield should be hostile tomorrow, and Everton’s young squad will have to compose themselves if they hope to come out with the club’s first win at Liverpool’s fortress since 1999.

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Landon in the Merseyside

By Kevin Koczwara

The Landon Donovan Premier League experiment has started off well for both Everton and Donovan. The United States “premier soccer player” and MLS all-star has been tearing up small-time soccer in the U.S. Now he  is trying his hand with the big boys in England and so far so good. Continue reading

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A Weekend of Rivalries

By Kevin Koczwara

This weekend was another weekend of big games with top-four implications, fights for first place, and possible relegation for a perennial mid-table team.

There was the Merseyside derby in Liverpool, Everton verse Liverpool, and the ‘El Clasico’ in Spain between La Liga’s giants, Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Both matches are always important to fans of the clubs and the players, and like most years, these derby’s were important for the clubs themselves as they try and wrangle good position in their respected leagues.

Let’s Start in Spain

This isn’t just a game, it is a rivalry steeped in history, politics and features two of the most popular and powerful clubs in the world.

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Fantasy League Horrors

By Kevin Koczwara

Week 7 looks to be the first promising one in a while after I had to make some major changes and wait out some difficult stretches. It would help if I could get past what teams players play for and how the approach the game. I would have a lot more points if I chose a Drogba or a Wayne Rooney, but I refuse.

Week 7 looks to be the first promising one in a while after I had to make some major changes and wait out some difficult stretches. It would help if I could get past what teams players play for and how the approach the game. I would have a lot more points if I chose a Drogba or a Wayne Rooney, but I refuse.

Is anyone else being hurt in their fantasy league because their major players are being injured? I am being destroyed by injuries. I started with Theo Walcott and Robinho on my starting 11, and both got hurt. Robinho at least made it onto the pitch for a game or two, but I was sure he was a shoe in this year for major points in fantasy and high flying scoring numbers. Manchester City have so many weapons around him — Roque Santa Cruz is hurt, but when he returns he will be there 4 or 5 striker, he can start on any team in the Premier League right now.  But it was only a matter of time before Robinho got hurt before he could make a huge impact on my fantasy team.

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