Terry Lane - Friday 30.01.15, 18:33pm
Chelsea are currently still the favourites to win the Premier League 2014/15 season title. But today they were dealt a massive blow when 26 year-old striker Diego Costa’s appeal to have his three match ban for stamping was rejected.
Costa came to the Premier League last summer in a £32 million transfer from La Liga champions, Atletico Madrid and his 17 goals in 19 Premier League appearances has proved, along with the signing of fellow Spanish international Cesc Fabregas, the difference between the Chelsea of last season and this. But after a stamping incident on Emre Can in the second leg of the Capital One (League) Cup against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night after just 12 minutes, Diego Costa’s three-match ban stands; and he will miss the next three Premier League matches. Chelsea will now be without their top scorer for the matches against Aston Villa, Everton, and most importantly tomorrow’s top of the table clash against current champions and title challenges, Manchester City.
Apparently Diego Costa had the full backing of his manager and club to appeal the ban. But for anyone who saw the incident, the appeal was nothing more than hopeful. Costa has a short fuse and a very aggressive manner. It’s part of his game. But on Tuesday he stepped over the line and the stamping incident was vicious and unnecessary. He also tangled several times with Liverpool hard man, Martin Skrtel.
Chelsea are currently five points clear of Man City; who in turn are five points clear of Southampton in third, and seven points ahead of Manchester United in fourth. Premier league odds at William Hill and other bookies still have Chelsea as odds on favourites to win the Premier League. But without Diego Costa, the game plan against Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City tomorrow at Stamford Bridge might turn from looking for the victory to go eight points clear at the start of February, to holding out for a draw and a six point lead.
Neither Didier Drogba nor Loic Remy would give Chelsea the sharpness, aggression or focal point of Diego Costa. So it wouldn’t surprise me if Jose Mourinho set out his formation with a faux no.9 and played five midfielders who could play a more pass and move rotating and free flowing forward movement that also allowed Chelsea to flood the midfield when they lose position.
In the return fixture Chelsea appeared to be in receipt of a victory and a massive three points until Frank Lampard, of all players, came off the bench to score an equaliser for Man City. Applauded off the pitch b both sets of supports, Lampard looked both emotional and shell-shocked; as did Jose Mourinho. Questions resurfaced how Chelsea had allegedly refused to offer Frank Lampard a deal in the summer and allowed him to leave on a free transfer.
Furthermore, I personally found it even more shocking that there was no place to keep a great player and servant like Lampard at the club when they resigned Didier Drogba from Galatasaray.
So with Chelsea missing their goal-grabbing, leg-stamping wild super striker, and Frank Lampard having a great season with Man City primarily being used by Pellegrini has a super-sub, tomorrow’s match and possible Premier League title clash between Manuel Pellegrini and Jose Mourinho and Chelsea versus Manchester City has just become more exciting.
Premier league odds at william hill
Terry Lane - Saturday 03.01.15, 13:52pm
Jose Mourinho & the pressure for success at Chelsea
So as it turned out, the festive period was an exciting one for the Premier League; and with Chelsea only managing four from a possible nine points and a remarkable drubbing from Tottenham Hotspur to boot. The “happy one” has lost his smile and resorted to blaming poor refereeing, ball boys and ridiculous conspiracy theories that the world and his dog is against Chelsea FC.
Premier League: once again, a two-horse race
The first half of the season was a domineering display of sheer brilliance as Chelsea appeared to be romping towards the Premier League title. No one doubted this, and was only discussing the margin of points between themselves and Manchester City; and whether Louis Van Gaal could get things right at Old Trafford in time for Manchester United to return to next season’s Champions League.
Frank Lampard to do the double over Chelsea
The Premier League season is very much a two-horse race; and with Chelsea entertaining Man City at the end of January, the stage is set for Frank Lampard to rub more salt into Chelsea wounds for not extending his contract in the summer.
Neil Warnock, Alan Irvine, Alan Pardew & Tony Pulis – Crystal Palace, Newcastle & West Brom
The Christmas season wasn’t particularly festive for two Premier League managers as Neil Warnock and Alan Irvine received the sack.
Following the sacking of Neil Warnock after just four months in charge, Crystal Palace today officially unveiled Alan Pardew as their new manager. This leaves a vacancy at St James’ Park; and now with the January Transfer Window officially open, I would assume Newcastle will look to appoint a new manager as quickly as possible. I wonder if Tony Pulis would have been one of the targets target to replace Pardew before he took the job to replace Alan Irvine, after he he lost he job after just seven months in charge at West Brom.
Peter Beardsley & Newcastle United
The usual suspects are paraded by the bookies and the media alike whenever a Premier League club with a history looks to appoint a new manager. But the Newcastle fans are calling for a kindred spirit, no more than for Peter Beardsley who is currently the club’s development manager and apparently has a good relationship with owner Mike Ashley. Beardsley was briefly appointed as the caretaker manager of Newcastle United in 2010 and could possibly be elected by Ashley to fulfill that role on a temporary basis and gauge from the result as to whether to offer the former Newcastle legend the job on a full-time basis.
The Premier League 2014/15 Season appears to have sparked into life.To all footie fans…. Happy New Year!
Terry Lane - Friday 26.12.14, 11:59am
It doesn’t seem that many weeks ago that Chelsea was runaway leaders of the Premier League and the talk of repeating Arsenal’s ‘invincible’ season appeared a very realistic possibility. Last summer, Jose Mourinho added Courtois, Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa to John Terry, Gary Cahill and Nemanja Matic, and the Championship winning spine looked complete. But as we kick-off the busy festive season of games this lunchtime, Chelsea find themselves only three points clear of a resurgent Manchester City, and Manchester United who have picked up 19 points from a possible 21.
The Premier League title race is well and truly back on!
After this next week of games, it might look very different at the top. Chelsea play three current top 7 teams in West Ham today (home), Southampton and Spurs; while Man City play West Brom (away), Burnley and Sunderland at home. While Manuel Pellegrini should be expected to pick up nine points, Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea will have to be at their very best to still be ahead on points before the Premier League takes a break with the 3rd round of the FA Cup.
Furthermore, on Saturday 31st January Chelsea host Manchester City at Stamford Bridge in what could see Frank Lampard doing the double over Mourinho and his former club; and in doing so give Manchester City the edge.
With Louis van Gaal appearing to have ended Manchester United’s bad run of form since Air Alex Ferguson departed Old Trafford, I believe they are nailed on for third place and with it a return to the Champions League. But with a current deficit of ten points and some difficult games to play, I believe the Premier League title is only a two-horse race.
Wins today for Chelsea, Manchester City, Man United and Arsenal (home to QPR) will also see a return to the Top 4 of the Old Guard. That is unless Southampton can win at Crystal Palace.
Other games in the Premier League today include:
Burnley v Liverpool
Everton v Stoke
Leicester v Tottenham
Sunderland v Hull
Swansea v Aston Villa
Edwin Huxley - Friday 19.12.14, 13:40pm
Think brains and brawn are mutually exclusive? Think again. Scientific research is beginning to confirm something many athletes and fitness gurus have known for a long time: playing sport not only makes you stronger – it also makes you smarter.
From running, cycling and other cardiovascular activities to heavy weight training, engaging in intense exercise on a regular basis improves your ability to focus and concentrate, reduces “brain fog” and makes you more productive.
We spoke to the tennis experts at WimbledonDebentureHolders.com to learn more about how sports and exercise play a major role not just in your physical health, strength and performance, but in your mental and psychological health.
Sport releases growth factors that improve mental performance
According to research by the Boston University School of Medicine, engaging in regular exercise results in the production and release of growth factors that are used by your hippocampus – the part of your brain responsible for learning.
Increased levels of growth factors, which can be measured in your blood hormone profile, are thought to directly lead to an improved ability to learn new skills and memorise processes.
BNDF – brain-derived neurotrophic factor, one of the growth factors – is also linked to the creation of new neurons through neurogenesis, improving brain performance throughout your life.
Working out frequently reduces the risk of developing depression
Mental health, long thought to be something that our environment had little control over, is now closely linked to the places we spend our time and the activities we take part in.
Scientific research shows that exercise reduces your risk of developing depression and other serious mental disorders. That “runner’s high” you feel after a jog around the park isn’t an illusion – it’s endorphins influencing your brain chemistry.
In addition to fighting off depression, regular exercise increases your ability to sleep deeply, giving you more energy and greater mental clarity during the day. It also has a positive effect on stress levels, lowering the level of cortisol in your bloodstream.
Sunlight exposure improves productivity and mental focus
The mental benefits of exercise aren’t purely due to the strain it puts on your body’s muscles – they’re also because of the environment it places you in. Regular sunlight exposure – whether on the golf course or tennis court – improves your productivity.
Just like dark work environments with poor air circulation lower our productivity at work, spending time in brightly lit, sun-filled environments make you more capable and focused during your workday.
The next time you’re late back to the office after a lunchtime workout, let your boss know that your midday run or weight training session will give you extra focus and productivity throughout the afternoon.
Frequent aerobic exercise improves your working memory
Studies of the effects of exercise on children reveal that your working memory – the part of your brain responsible for storing information in the short term – improves when you engage in regular aerobic exercise.
The cardiovascular health improvements offered by running, cycling, swimming and other aerobic activities improve blood flow throughout your body and increase your brain’s ability to block out disruptive impulses.
According to a recent article in Business Insider, aerobic exercise also improves your ability to multitask – studies show that people who exercise find it easier to do two things at once, such as cross a busy street while talking on a cell phone.
What’s your excuse for not exercising and playing sports?
It’s easy to write off exercise as something you “don’t have time for”, especially if your professional schedule is demanding. But spending an hour a day exercising could be just what you need to make your professional life more manageable.
From improving your workplace productivity to increasing your capacity to learn and memorise new details, playing sports not only makes you fitter and healthier – it also makes you a smarter, more focused and more successful person.
Edwin Huxley - Wednesday 13.08.14, 19:10pm
Shoot in the ‘70s
This week, 45 years ago, the first ever issue of the iconic football magazine, Shoot, hit the newsstands. Today, to coincide with that anniversary, online vintage football publisher, Soccerattic.com, launches a brand new digital magazine app, Shoot in the ‘70s. The football classic of the 1970s has been re-created electronically for tablet, smartphone or PC, exactly as it was first published enabling football supporters and historians to reawaken memories of following 1970s football by reading it all over again.
That first ever issue of Shoot Magazine from 16th August 1969 comes free with the app which is available to download for Apple, Android, Kindle and PC. Currently, every single issue of Shoot from August 1969 to December 1971 is available to read via this unique app. All issues from subsequent years from 1972 to 1980 will be added on a regular basis. No need to rummage through dusty old boxes tucked away in attics. The archive is available to download from the cloud and read electronically – wherever and whenever required.
Anyone who remembers their 1970s footballer as having a penchant for steak and chips, driving a Ford Capri and relaxing to the sound of Shirley Bassey will doubtless remember reading Shoot from that era and will relish the chance to re-visit a piece of their football supporting history.
On a more serious note, reading it now recalls memories of a very different era in the game. Attendances were falling, hooliganism was prevalent in grounds, England failed to qualify for two World Cups and foreign players rarely played in the English or Scottish leagues.
Shoot is still published as an online magazine today and current deputy editor, Dan Tyler, said,
“These fantastic digital versions of the 1970s editions reflect the same values and innovations that the modern day fan experiences through our excellent current Shoot online monthly magazine.”
Andy Zienkiewicz, director and co-founder of Soccerattic.com, says,
“The classic colour pictures of teams and players, Bobby Moore’s column, You Are The Ref!, Focus On and Readers’ Letters etc. are all there just as they were written, and how you remember them, from the 1970s. But, additionally, Shoot in the ‘70s is a snapshot of football history from an era that gave rise to much of what we see in the modern game but from a time when, at least, you might have seen your team’s players in the same pub as you.”
Simon Hollingworth, co-director, of Soccerattic.com says,
“We were extremely pleased with the app of Charles Buchan’s Football Monthly from the 1960s that we released earlier this year. Shoot in the ‘70s is an impressive addition to our repertoire of historical football magazine content. And there’s more to come.”
To download the free Shoot in the ‘70s app, which includes the free issue, follow the relevant link below: