Posts Tagged ‘ Fulham ’

King’s U21s Ready For Norwegian Challenge

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REPUBLIC of Ireland U21 head coach Noel King is looking for his young side to build on their recent impressive performances when they meet Norway in a friendly in Drammen tomorrow (6.00pm Irish).

King’s side drew with Qatar’s Olympic side in May then produced a disciplined display against Germany last month.

With a view towards next year’s qualifying campaign, the Irish boss is getting to know this new crop of U21 players and believes this fixture will be very beneficial in that process.

“We had a long day travelling to Norway and naturally everybody was tired after that but we trained last night to loosen ourselves out and now everybody is fresher and ready for the game,” said King. Continue reading

Melbourne City Sign Damien Duff

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Melbourne City FC have signed former Republic of Ireland international Damien Duff on a one-year deal for the Hyundai A-League 2014-15 season.

An icon of modern Irish football, Duff made 100 appearances for his country and captained the national team during the UEFA Euro 2012 competition.

At club level, Duff lifted the League Cup with Blackburn Rovers, won two Premier League titles and another League Cup with Chelsea before transferring to Newcastle United and later to Fulham, where he played in the 2010 UEFA Europa League Final. Continue reading

World Cup 2014: Predictions For Every Team

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With the kick-off of World Cup 2014 now less than a week away, the excitement is starting to build. Coverage of the event is starting to really pick up, as the footballing world gets ready for the beginning of it’s biggest event of any calendar year. With that in mind, I would like to put forward my predictions for every team and how they will fare, including all the teams who will fall at the group stage hurdle, all the way on to who I predict will be the eventual winners.

Group stage eliminations

Cameroon

The most likely victim of what is a very tough draw, Cameroon seem like long shots to emerge from Group A. Hosts Brazil, potential dark horses Croatia and Mexico make up the rest of the group, and it may well prove too much for Cameroon to claim enough points to sneak in to the knockout stages. An experienced squad led by captain Samuel Eto’o as well as veterans Alex Song and Jean Makoun, Cameroon also boast young defensive talent in Nicolas N’Koulou and Joel Matip. Unfortunately for them, it seems unlikely that they will prove good enough to edge out two of the other teams, and so it looks like three games and out for Cameroon.

Mexico

It looks quite likely that Brazil and Croatia will emerge from this group, especially if the Croatians can get a point in the tournament’s inaugural match. Mexico had a very ugly qualifying campaign to even reach Brazil, finishing fourth in their group, behind the United States, Costa Rica and Honduras. They eventually beat New Zealand comfortably in a play-off, but it does not augur well for them in such a tough group. Still, Mexico boast a very experienced squad, with the likes of Rafael Marquez still around to organise them. If the likes of Javier Hernandez (who has a scoring rate of better than one every two games for his country) catches fire, then maybe they have a shot. But all signs point to an early exit for Mexico.

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A Look At The Premier League Title Race

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This past weekend was relatively quiet on the Irish football front, with the only significant headline being that Linfield were eliminated from Irish Cup contention by Ballymena in a 2-1 match (you can read the match report at the Belfast Newsletter). But looking across the water it was a very busy and very significant weekend for the English Premier League. A few unexpected results have potentially shaken up the race at the top, so here’s a quick review of the impact matches from Week 25. Continue reading

The Theatre Of Dreams Wasn’t Built In A Day

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At what point does the blame go on the players at a football club rather than the man picking the starting XI? Is the media purely trying to change public perception of David Moyes? Is Moyes the easiest and most obvious target for United’s gloomy season?

Granted, this article may sound like a rant at the players at Manchester United but it’s not. I’m not a United fan, either.

The current situation at Manchester United is their manager, David Moyes, is being roasted alive for problems out of his current control. Is it his fault players aren’t up to the standard? Sir Alex Ferguson had a type of ‘fear factor’ above each and every player that walked through the doors at Old Trafford. David Moyes doesn’t.

He was never going to have this factor over the players in his first season, and being honest, some players are just there for the handy pay cheque at the end of the week. Players that wouldn’t get into other big sides throughout the world of football such as Barcelona,  Bayern Munich or Real Madrid. Continue reading

Ireland To Deal Erik’s Swedes A Hamr’ Blow

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Richard Dunne is back at the heart of the Irish defence for tonight’s crucial FIFA World Cup qualifier against Sweden at the Aviva Stadium (7.45pm) .

The Queens Park Rangers defender will win his 78th cap after recovering from the injury which forced him to miss almost all of last season for club and country. Continue reading

Wenger : Dawn Of A New Era Or Beginning Of The End?

wengerAfter an opening day defeat to Aston Villa and the home crowd turning on manager Arsene Wenger and his team, Arsenal’s season looked bleak and all hope was lost after only 90 minutes into the new season.

However, with Arsenal clinching a much-needed Champions League qualifier victory in a relatively easy fashion against Fenerbahce last Wednesday night, and following it up with an equally impressive 3-1 league win away at Fulham, the perspective on the Gunners’ season has already changed  for concerned fans. Continue reading

Premier League Preview: Jose’s Blues Are The Boys To Beat

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With the new Premier League season fast approaching, it’s hard to look beyond an old foe of many managers and fans alike from stealing the limelight once the season gets underway.

This summer’s transfer window and indeed all of the summer’s talk has been shaped around three men, Liverpool’s Luis Suarez and Arsenal’s pursuit of the Uruguayan, Wayne Rooney and his transfer request and Spur’s Gareth Bale who is being courted by Real Madrid.

One team, with the exception of a handful of Rooney rumours, has slipped under the radar as they plan to wrestle back a title that they won back to back in 2005 and 2006, and they have Jose Mourinho back to steer them there. Continue reading

Premier League Fixtures Released

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From Wikicommons, user: russavia.

With just 59 days to go until first kick-off, the fixture list for the 2013/14 season of the Barclays Premier League has been released, and whatever computer the League uses to draw the fixtures clearly hasn’t lost its mischievous side. Manchester United’s new manager David Moyes looks to have his work cut out for him; his side will face Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City in their first five games. The clash with Chelsea will be the Scotsman’s first game in charge at Old Trafford and is a mouth-watering prospect considering it will be José Mourinho’s first return to Manchester as a Premier League manager, and Moyes’ first real test at United’s helm.

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Clark V Carroll The Key Battle In Our Accumulator

ccInternational matches took centre stage on Wednesday night and some notable results were recorded. Both Ireland and England may have registered wins but the two teams will draw very different conclusions from the results. Whereas the two goal win against Poland left Giovanni Trapattoni with a deepening conundrum about his starting eleven for the remainder of the World Cup Qualifiers, the English media would have you believe that Roy Hodgson has little on his managerial agenda other than to sit back, relax and bide his time away until his team are crowned champions in Brazil in 18 months time. These matches could also have implications for our pockets, and regarding our 14/1 accumulator, it is important to be wary of players who could be affected by fatigue or minor niggles picked up during the course of these matches. Continue reading