Posts Tagged ‘ Tim Howard ’

World Cup 2014: Second Round Review

worldcup (easports)

This past week saw the 2014 World Cup enter the knockout phase, as the last sixteen teams battled it out for a place in the quarter-finals. The obvious lack of a truly exceptional team remains, and the parity among the remaining sides was very evident, as five of the eight games went to extra time, before penalties in some cases. Here is our full review of the action. Continue reading

Hibs unveil new signing Ben Williams

Hibs paraded their fourth summer signing today as former Manchester United and Colchester goalkeeper Ben Williams joined the club on a two year deal.

The 29 year old was introduced at a press conference ahead of tomorrow’s game against Rapid Bucharest, although he will not take part due to a lack of match fitness.

Williams said that he has heard good things about the club from former team-mates John Rankin and Darren Fletcher, and is delighted to join Pat Fenlon’s men. Although he was paraded with the number one jersey, he admits that he has not been guaranteed a place in the team, and manager Pat Fenlon confirmed that the offer to out of contract Mark Brown remains on the table.

Williams spent four years at Old Trafford which included several loan spells at Coventry City and Chesterfield and Crewe Alexander. At United, he was third choice behind Tim Howard and Roy Carroll although his time did overlap with Fabien Barthez and Mark Bosnich limiting his chances.

Although he never made a first team appearance for Manchester United, he was on the bench for two Champion’s League games and several Premier League matches, before deciding to leave to gain more experience.

He then spent four years with Crewe Alexander before moving to Carlisle on a Bosman free transfer. He spent a year with the Cumbria club before signing for Paul Lambert’s Colchester United for a reported £60,000, where he became a fan’s favourite winning three Player of the Season Awards at, including both the home and away player of the year awards as voted for by fans and also the Official Player of the Year Award.

The 6ft tall keeper revealed that he chose Hibs despite interest from Championship sides as he wants regular first team football. He told Hibs TV :”This is a new chapter in my career and I’m aiming to play my part in helping Hibernian to achieve success. I’m 29 now and I’m about to enter my peak years as a goalkeeper – I’m looking forward to experiencing that time in my career with Hibernian.

“This was probably the biggest decision of my career so far, but I believe it’s the right choice and I’m excited about the challenge ahead. From what I already know about Scottish football, Hibernian are a club with passionate supporters, a lot of history and an impressive stadium

Manager Pat Fenlon said the he was “delighted” with the signing.  He said “I’ve been working away at it for a while and it’s great to get another one over the line. It was vitally important that we got a goalkeeper in and an experienced one as well and he fits the bill for what we are looking for. He’s an experienced player and has played a lot of games and the type of character he is as well. He’s a decent goalkeeper who has played at a very good standard. I actually watched him when I was the manager at Bohs and a few times last season.”

Williams’ arrival does not mean the end for Mark Brown who ended the season as first choice goalkeeper, and Fenlon confirmed that he is still hopeful that he will remain at the club.

“We’ve spoken to Mark (Brown) over the last two or three weeks and that’s on-going and it’s now at the stage of the agent talking to the board so we will have to wait and see.”

The manager also revealed that the reason for the departure of last year’s assistant manager Bill Brown was entirely down to finance. He said “When I came in Billy was fantastic and was a tremendous help to me last season but it’s just something that we couldn’t do. You work with people day to day and build up a relationship so it (breaking the news) was a hard thing to do. There was nothing personal in it but you have to make the best decisions on behalf of the club.”

He also revealed that he has not watched the cup final and has no intention of doing so. For him it was a shame that the season didn’t end with the 4-0 victory in front of a packed Easter Road which ensured SPL survival, and would have left the fans with a feel good factor over the summer months, but the cup final defeat meant that did not happen.

He is aware that improvements are required and that another bottom six season is unacceptable.

“Everybody talks about Hibs being a big club but we have to go and prove that and that’s what I have been working on. We were in the bottom six last year and we’ve got to be in the top six and that’s it.”

He also confirmed that Mark Kerr and former Irish internationalist Alan Maybury have been training with the club for one week, but both have other options and he is not in a position to make them any offers at the moment although that may change.

Hibs are hoping to play Rapid Bucharest tomorrow at Grangemouth where the Romanian club have been training, but the game is in doubt due to a waterlogged pitch and an inspection will take place later today.

Photograph by Hibs TV

Four Draws On Derby Day as United Reclaim Top Spot

Ten Man Manchester United edged back to the top of the Premier League on goal difference after a pulsating goalless draw with Tottenham Hotspur.

Both sides had their chances to win the match but the main talking point at White Hart Lane came when United defender Rafael was sent off for a second bookable offence, although many will argue he should have walked after the first. United remain unbeaten in the Premier League this season, despite their failure to sparkle at times.

Elsewhere , Kenny Dalglish earned his first point as Liverpool manager as the Reds drew 2-2 with arch rivals Everton in the Merseyside Derby. The Anfield side took the lead when Raul Meireles powered home to give them a half time lead. Everton burst back into life at the beginning of the second half with two quickfire goals from Sylvain Distin and Jermaine Beckford giving David Moyes` men the lead.

Everton seemed on course to beat their rivals for the second time this season until Tim Howard felled Maxi Rodriguez in the box. Dirk Kuyt made no mistake from the penalty spot and the match finished with honours even, leaving both sides hovering four points above the relegation zone .

James Collins second half equaliser ensured the spoils were shared in the second city derby at St Andrews. Birmingham City had taken the lead shortly after half time after Roger Johnson found the net. The result was enough to move the Villans out of the drop zone for the moment.

In the final match of the day, a 94 th minute equaliser from Asamoah Gyan ensured Sunderland took a point from the Tyne-Wear derby. Kevin Nolan`s strike looked as if it would give Newcastle United a second taste of derby success this season but it was not to be as the Ghana international crept in to break Geordie hearts with the final kick of the game.