Terry Lane - Wednesday 01.01.14, 11:49am
Jose Mourinho has suggested his team needs two stellar signings. One would surely be a world class striker after attempts to lure Wayne Rooney to Stamford Bridge failed in August, resulting in Chelsea and Mourinho turning to Russia and veteran striker, Samuel Eto. Eto & Fernando Torres have shown sporadic displays of their previous peak performances. But Chelsea lack and desperately need a proven, inform world class ‘20 goals a season ‘ striker – the likes of Luis Suarez, Sergio Aguero, Wayne Rooney, Gonzalo Higuain, Robert Lewandowski or Radamel Falcao. Can the ‘happy one’ and the temptation of Russian millions be enough to help Chelsea sign a big star name in the January Transfer Window?
Chelsea isn’t the only team that are a striker light if they are going to challenge for this seasons’ Premier League title. While Manchester City and Manchester United squads boast four strikers each that could walk into the starting eleven of most Premier League teams, Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool will also be considering any top strikers that may help their push for a Premier League title this season.
Furthermore, squad players not getting as many first team chances as they would like may well be tempted to hand-in a transfer request if they believe circulating rumours. The likes of Javier Hernandez (Manchester United), Demba Ba (Chelsea) & Jermain Defoe (Spurs) may well consider a move to be their best option, especially as this is a World Cup year!
In July Christian Benteke handed-in a transfer request amidst media speculation that the young Belgian striker was wanted by several top clubs. He later signed a new contract and Villa allegedly turned down an offer from Spurs that fell short of their £25 million price tag. Personally, I could see Benteke moving to Arsenal, Spurs, Liverpool or Chelsea. Though considering Mourinho has publicly declared Romelu Lukakua to not be ready to play for Chelsea, I wonder if he believes Benteke could be a more perfect replacement for Didier Drogba.
Another young Belgium striker that will be on the Premier League radar is Standard Liege’s Michy Batshuayi. The 20-year-old £8 million-rated striker has already scored 13 goals this season & is being touted as the ‘new Romelu Lukaku’. Other strikers that may be tempted to the English Premier League in the next few weeks include Diego Costa (Atlético Madrid) and Fernando Llorente (Juventus).
If recent January Transfer Windows are anything to go by, expect at least one big name signing and a last minute flurry of activity; and if Chelsea doesn’t sign a striker, I’ll eat my hat!
Terry Lane - Saturday 21.12.13, 16:44pm
Tubesology: The world according to Soccer AM’s leading pundit
Back in the day when Helen Chamberlain was joined on the sofa by co-presenter Tim Lovejoy, a young 16-year-old called Peter Dale joined Soccer AM – an anarchic football-related Saturday morning programme on Sky Sports. According to Lovejoy, Dale was only kept on because of his tea-making skills. But over the coming weeks, Peter ‘Tubes‘ Dale received an instant cult following when he would be ushered on to ask guests ‘one question and one question only.
Soccer AM’s very own, Tubes (AKA Peter Dale) releases his first book – Tubesology: The world according to Soccer AM’s leading pundit. The book includes Tubes own story along with many of his best bits, including some of his best questions, rubbish raps, and most embarrassing moments.
The brilliantly banal and funny line of questioning all began when he asked football legend Frank Worthington ‘whether he had scored more on or off the pitch’. From that moment on, he became a regular fixture. His well-loved ‘One Question and One Question Only’ segment has ever since, been a highlight of Soccer AM.
Armed with a unique and original style, and sometimes controversial and bizarre line of questioning, Tubes has been known to provoke unpredictable and often hilarious reactions from the celebrities he interviews. He was apparently put in a headlock by Denzel Washington after rapping: ‘You’re a top man, you are Den, I’ve been rapping since I was ten, rapping’s for life not just for Christmas’. So rubbish its brilliant!
Tubesology is a light-hearted book that will make a great Christmas gift for any fan of Soccer AM.
Tubesology – The world according to Soccer AM’s leading pundit is published by John Blake Publishing (hardback, £9.99).
Win a copy of Tubesology – The world according to Soccer AM’s leading pundit
Terry Lane - Monday 25.11.13, 19:25pm
Tonight’s midlands derby between Aston Villa & West Bromich Albion will probably be an open, exciting close affair and round off another great weekend of Premier League action with all teams completing 12 matches and almost a third of the season played.
Back in August, before a Premier League ball had been kicked, I wrote “Chelsea & Manchester City will lock horns as they do battle for the Premier League title.” I still believe that will be the case, come May. Furthermore, I also stated “I believe David Moyes and Manchester United will struggle with a post-Fergie hangover this season.” But I went on to say, Tottenham would become the top dogs in north London and Arsenal would need to look over their shoulders at an on-coming Liverpool in a race for fourth place and a back-door entry into next season’s Champions League. In my defence, these predictions were written ahead of Arsenal’s shock signing of Mesut Ozil.
As it happens, Arsenal and Liverpool lead the way as we head into December with Manchester City & Chelsea on their tails. Manchester United appear to be gelling but are still not the force they have been over the past 20 years; and though Tottenham had only leaked 6 goals before yesterday, they appear to be suffering from buying too many first-team players in the summer.
Not wishing to sound like a broken record, this season is living up to the speculation of being the most open and exciting Premier League season to date. Surprise results have kept things interesting, Manchester City losing at Cardiff & Sunderland; Chelsea losing at Newcastle & Everton; Southampton winning at Anfield & holding Man United at Old Trafford; Manchester United losing at home to West Brom. And there’s been a fair share of goals to add to the excitement.
Man City have scored no less than 13 in their last two home matches, hitting lowly Norwich for 7 and humiliating Spurs yesterday with a 6-0 drubbing. This followed a great weekend of Premier League football that started with the Saturday lunch-time Merseyside derby, a thrilling, end-to-end match that ended in a 3-3 draw. Other results saw Chelsea cruise past West Ham scoring three in the process and newly promoted Cardiff grabbing a last minute equaliser against Manchester United in a 2-2 draw where Wayne Rooney should have been shown a straight red for violent behaviour in the 8th minute.
The surprise of the season so far, is Southampton. Since his appointment in January, Mauricio Pochettino has had Southampton playing exciting football going forward, while managing to become one of the best defences in the Premier League. Pochettino has Southampton playing as a solid unit, and is bringing out the best of an average squad.
But as we get closer to the Christmas period I still believe ultimate success will be down to the size of each team’s squads. One or two untimely injuries to important players will have a say in how the Premier League plays out. To this end, I will stick with Chelsea & Man City, but only because of the quality of their second eleven.
On current performances and summer transfer failures, I would also suggest that the January Transfer Window will be interesting for Tottenham, Arsenal & possibly Chelsea to sign a top quality striker, and Man United to spend big on attracting a seasoned world class midfield general who could hit the ground running – the likes of a Cesc Fabregas or Wesley Sneijder.
It seems unthinkable for Manchester United not to be in the Champions League next season. But Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal & Liverpool are going to take some beating.
Edwin Huxley - Monday 18.11.13, 20:12pm
With so many channels these days, have you ever wondered how important any single, individual option is? This is something football fans know more than others – if you want to follow your favourite team, you’ll often find yourself going to the same channel over and over again, and to get the best football viewing you may need a package a little more premium than the standard Freeview that comes with digital TVs.
You can use this information to better improve both your own football knowledge and experience and the general family lifestyle over all. Since you know how much difference the right channels can make, searching for the best TV packages for your family can improve the experience for everyone.
Big changes in 2015
As a perfect example of this, let’s take a look at the latest news regarding the Champions League – an area many readers are undoubtedly interested in.
This has traditionally been shown by Sky but, from 2015 onwards, it will move to BT. If you want to watch these matches then you need the right channels. Sky will no longer be able to show it so it might be time to ask whether a change in TV package is available. Now would certainly be a good time to look into it.
BT also hosts the English Premier League and will soon have the rights for the UEFA Europa League. In short, with so much football moving to BT, is this a sign to make the change yourself? Nonetheless, it highlights the individual power of a singular channel in an area dominated by exclusive rights, matches and content.
The importance of variety
Of course, family life is about many things, not just football, so how can these findings be applied for the greater good? In short, you should aim for variety. It’s not always about having a plethora of channels in the same genre since you need a package that caters to everyone’s different needs.
In other words, aim for a mixture of channels. If you have a few covering certain areas, than you’re usually prepared. This way, if someone wants to watch a movie, documentary or anything else, you will have a channel that caters to that. When it comes to family life and pleasing others, this is much better than focusing on hundreds of channels offering the same sort of thing – believe it or not, not everyone wants to watch endless repeats and football highlights!
In short, it’s a quick change with lots of long-term benefits. Whether it’s supporting your favourite team or keeping the family happy, the right channel makes all the difference.
Terry Lane - Tuesday 17.09.13, 18:42pm
Standing on the Shoulders of Giants - A Cultural Analysis of Manchester United by Søren Frank published by Bloomsbury
Following Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, a new book by Søren Frank provides an insight into Sir Alex Ferguson’s legacy in his new book Standing on the Shoulder of Giants – a Cultural Analysis of Manchester United.
Standing on the Shoulders of Giants is a unique thematic history of Manchester United from the club’s creation as humble Newton Heath in 1878 to its status as the world’s greatest football brand. Gain an insight into the essence and soul of the club as you learn about its ability to rise from the ashes, its commitment to youth and propensity for an adventurous style of football, along with the club’s glamour, and the growth of commercialisation and aggressive marketing.
Free Football Book Competition
Buzzin Football has 4 copies of Standing on the Shoulders of Giants – A Cultural Analysis of Manchester United to giveaway.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED
To enter the competition all you need to do is correctly answer the following question:
In which year did Manchester United first win the European Cup?
Send your entries to email@example.com with ’shoulders of giants’ in the subject line (any other subject title will be not be entered) with your answer and your full address and contact telephone number.
This Buzzin Football ‘Standing on the Shoulders of Giants – a Cultural Analysis of Manchester United‘ Book Competition ends on 17th October, 2013. The editor will randomly choose 4 winners.
The editor’s choice is final.
Standing on the Shoulders of Giants – A Cultural Analysis of Manchester United by Søren Frank is published by Bloomsbury.