Dr. Joel Rookwood – Lille V Data HK Liverpool

 

 

With the club finishing a mere four points off the Premier League summit in 2009, succumbing to only two league defeats in the process, this campaign was supposed to be full of promise for Liverpool. In reality however, it is proving a nightmare season for Rafael Benitez and his team. In truth the Rafa Regime has always maintained ‘on the brink’ status. In his first seasons, Champions League and FA Cup finals were won on penalties in 2005 and 2006 respectively, with the following seasons culminating in a narrow defeat in the European Cup final, and then semi-final. With the Anfield title famine an ongoing source of suffering, 2009 was all about the obligation that is the Premier League title. The club were ultimately Data HK denied the coveted prize, although once again, in circumstances that could easily have been reversed. Love him or loathe him, Benitez is right about one thing, the difference between success and defeat is all about ‘the small details’. The devil it seems, is in the detail.

 

One thing that does seem certain is that this season will produce the least convincing champions in Premier league history. Whichever club lifts the crown in May will likely do so despite a sultry points tally and a string of defeats – a record that in other seasons would no doubt barely have warranted a top four finish and subsequent Champions League qualification. But the challenge of the second quadruple of teams – Man City, Spurs, Aston Villa and Everton – below the ‘big four’ is collectively stronger than it has previously been, and the performances and results of those above them have hardly been the stuff of champions. Liverpool serve as the most compelling case in this respect. In a campaign that is amounting to the definition of underachievement, virtually the same team as that which came so close to the title last year, is languishing in the melancholy of its own mediocrity this season. The defeat at Wigan on Monday night was Liverpool’s ninth in the league, and the tough fixtures are far from over. It was such form that Liverpool took to Lille in northern France for the Europa League last sixteen clash on Thursday night.

 

Having been present at 49 consecutive Liverpool European away fixtures heading into 2010, stretching back to a match against Galatasaray in 2002, I could be forgiven for considering my opinion on Liverpool’s European plight a qualified one. However, with work commitments being what they are, I was unable to attend the recent Europa League fixture against Unirea in Bucharest. (Ironically I was instead presenting a lecture at a sport politics conference in Leeds on fan participation and social movements at Liverpool Football Club). The second leg of the tie against the Romanian minnows followed a painfully uneventful 1-0 home victory at Anfield. In the return leg, Liverpool ended up strolling into the second knock-out round of the competition, despite conceding an early goal which briefly levelled the aggregate score. After surviving the brief scare against the Romanian champions, most Liverpool fans seemed content at the prospect of a tie against Lille. PSV, Barcelona, and Marseille have all been repeat visits in my almost-half-century of trips to the continent, and Lille was at least a break from the norm. In addition, despite our horrendous form, lowly Lille were surely not destined to offer much competition over two legs, particularly with the latter fixture set to be played at Anfield. The short journey across the Channel appeared ideal preparation for the quarter-final, and we were grateful to avoid the long trip to the over familiar Istanbul that would have been on the cards had Lille lost to Fenerbahce in the previous round.

 

Sixteen lads met at an exclusive Huyton alehouse the night before the match, ready and suitably intoxicated for the ridiculous departure time of 22:50. I can only imagine the driver of the minibus, the ageless Pops, was merely trying to get us accustomed to the farcical Europa League match kick-off times. The game was an 18:00 start (GMT) at Stadium Lille-Metropole, with the return leg set to commence at the still more absurd time of 20:05 next Thursday. Football is for the fans, apparently. Such pathetic organisation – not to mention the lowly status of the competition – contributed little to Liverpool’s sense of connection to a trophy that the club is apparently looking to secure for a record fourth time in Hamburg in May. Judging by the performance of the away team, and the atmosphere generated by the visiting support in the stands, no one in the Liverpool corner appeared committed to anything but a sharp European exit. The 1100 away fans that managed to secure a ticket, in a stadium with a capacity roughly twenty-times that number, appeared largely disinterested in the tie. The only action of note off the pitch was the lighting of a flare by an unnamed Kopite a quarter of an hour into the second half. It rose the collective spirit, but only temporarily.

 

As Belgian teenager Eden Hazard shot Lille into an unlikely but ultimately decisive one-goal lead in the concluding stages of the second half, I looked down at the succession of ‘Europa League’ advertisement boards and noticed that each was interspersed with others containing the word ‘respect’ – representing UEFA’s latest blood-sucking political campaign, I mean, value-laden mission ‘for the good of the game’. But given the calibre of opposition, unsociable kick-off times, and multiple redundant tracksuited officials, together with the dominance of the continent’s premier tournament, it is becoming increasingly difficult to ‘Respect Europa League’.

 

In reflection, the pressure that Benitez is under is partly a consequence of results and performances this year – including fifteen defeats thus far in all competitions – and of the six years of failure to win the league title. However, the regime that functions on the brink has also unquestionably produced some notable achievements, and it is also the difficulty of living up to and reproducing these considerable highs that Benitez is currently struggling with. Burdened by the weight of Anfield expectation, he has simultaneously become the victim of his own success, and the reputation he has forged. However, in addition to Liverpool’s results this year, his recent public statements – pledging a fourth place finish, refusing to state where he will be employed next season, and drawing on his past achievements – are also worrying signs. Yet as concerning as the first two are, the latter development is particularly alarming. Benitez has argued in no uncertain terms that he has restored Liverpool pride, which is undeniably the case. It was only nine years ago that victory in the UEFA Cup (admittedly as part of a quintet of trophies secured that season) under Gerard Houllier saw a frenzied response from Liverpool supporters. Now, mere involvement in the newly branded version comes closer to representing a source of shame. However, publicly reminding the footballing world of one’s own achievements is not an act undertaken by a self-assured man who confidently expects to achieve more of the same. The image of Jose Mourinho’s six-fingered salute as Chelsea secured the 2007 FA Cup serves as a notable contemporary example. His record of a half dozen trophies in three years was impressive, yet his fingers were not seen clasping another trophy in West London blue, and within the year he was managing in Italy. For Benitez, a similar threat has now entered the frame of possibility. There are cracks in this regime, and the only mechanism of repair begins with satisfying those three concerns: Secure a top four finish, win the Europa League and remain in charge next season to rectify the errors in judgement. To that end, dispatching Lille next Thursday night has simply become an obligation.

 …

Man Togel Utd v Chelsea

 

 

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has backed Sunday’s opponents Chelsea to once again be one of his team’s closest challengers for the Premier League title. United are 6/1 with Bet 365 to win 1-0 at Old Trafford and customers can get a free In-Play bet for the game this weekend. Andre Villas-Boas’ side have failed to impress in the league so far this season, although they have taken ten points from their first four matches, and are 11/1 to beat the league leaders 1-0 on Sunday. Ferguson said: “They will be there at the end of the season, there is no doubt about that. At the moment, of course, the two Manchester teams are enjoying the publicity but in the background lurks Chelsea. They don’t need the publicity. They will be enjoying being out of the profile at the moment.”

 

Danish keeper Anders Lindegaard is Togel determined to continue to keep the pressure on Manchester United’s currently recognised No.1, David de Gea. Despite the Dane’s impressive display against Benfica in the Champions League on Wednesday evening, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson insists De Gea will be back for Sunday’s all-important Premier League clash against Chelsea. United are 6/1 with Bet 365 to win 1-0 at Old Trafford and customers can get a free In-Play bet for the game this weekend. However, the Spaniard’s shaky start to his United career, coupled with Lindegaard’s emergence, could provide Ferguson with an interesting dilemma. Lindegaard says: “I learned a lot from Edwin van der Sar and I have confidence in my own ability. I came to Manchester United for the challenge to be the first-choice goalkeeper.”

 

George’s Premiership Predictions September 17

 

George got five correct results and no perfect scores.

 

Place a pre-match bet on the Man Utd v Chelsea game with bet365 and they will give you a free In-Play bet to the same stake on the big match.

 

To qualify for your free In-Play bet, simply place a bet before kick-off at bet365, then once the game starts place another bet on any In-Play market. If your FIRST In-Play bet loses bet365 will refund this stake, up to the same value as your largest pre-match bet

 

Saturday 17th September 2011

 

Blackburn 1 v Arsenal 1

Aston Villa 2 v Newcastle 1

Bolton 1 v Norwich City 1

Everton 2 v Wigan Athletic 1

Swansea City 0 v WBA 0

Wolves 3 v QPR 2

 

Sunday 18th September 2011

 

Tottenham 0 v Liverpool 2

Fulham 1 v Manchester City 3

Sunderland 1 v Stoke City 1

Man Utd 2 v Chelsea 1

 

Parma will hope Graziano Pelle (bought from AZ Alkmaar for a million) will help Crespo and Giovinco score more goals than the team lets in at the other end.

 

Roma have spent big this summer, and new coach Luis Enrique has managed to lure the sought after Dutch keeper Maarten Stekelenburg to the Italian capital. Bojan Krkic (Barca) and Lamela (River) could be the wide men at the front of a 4-3-3. As yet we don’t know whether this will be a true 4-3-3 or a 4-5-1 (or even a 4-6). Where will Argentinian Pablo Osvaldo (Espanol) fit in? Roma will be interesting to watch.

 

Siena are expected to employ a traditional 4-4-2 with Zeljko Brkic in goal, D’Agostino in midfield, and Destro brought in from Genoa. Siena have been (on occasion) exciting to watch when at home. Can they survive this time?

 

Udinese’s strengths and weaknesses were plain for all to see in their recent matches against Arsenal. Prior to the match in London the team looked relaxed as they were spotted strolling the gardens of Regents Park and were unlucky to lose to Walcott’s solitary goal. In Udine, though, their over-reliance on the brilliant Di Natale was evidenced, despite Pinzi’s great range of passing. Coach Francesco Guidolin is going to have to quickly stifle the psychological blow of losing Sanchez to Barcelona if Udinese are to emulate last term’s excellent showing.

 

 …

World Club Cup Part IV – Daftar Judi Online24Jam Terpercaya 2021

 

 

I mentioned earlier that I would try and find my way to any local games taking place, my quest started the moment I arrived at my hotel where I asked for their help in checking the fixtures. I believed there were two games taking place in Dubai, and that the following morning there would be camel racing at 7a.m.

 

Dubai

 

They confirmed the first game as I thought but told me the second game was actually due to take place here in Abu Dhabi at the Zayed Sports stadium, one of the venues for this competition. As for the camel racing they knew nothing about it. I was clearly up against it as I was sure that FIFA would not allow a stadium being used by them to host Daftar Judi Online24Jam Terpercaya 2021 a local game. So now I knew I could not rely on the hotel for information.

 

Whilst collecting my tickets I spotted someone in an Al Ahli shirt, knowing that he must be from Dubai, I asked him about the fixtures the next day. Immediately he phoned a friend and confirmed that Al Nasr would play at 16.45 and Al Wasl would play at 20.00, in Dubai, at grounds just 10 minutes apart. Unfortunately the camel racing wasn’t on in Dubai but it was in Abu Dhabi.

 

So my second day in the Emirates and I was off to Dubai, the Al Nasr website is one of only three that I had found with English content and kindly provided a location map for the ground. I spent the afternoon in Bastikaya before heading in the direction of the stadium. Meeting yet more roadworks on major roads meant navigation had become impossible. Jumping in a taxi I was soon at the ground.

 

I phoned my friend, who had said he might accompany me to the games, but he was still at work. Judging by the crowd, so was everyone else. It was hard to imagine that this was a stadium where recently crowd trouble had seen supporters banned. This was only a cup game and I was assured that there is more of a crowd, firstly for evening games and for the actual league games.

 

Without my friend I wasn’t sure how I would get to Al Wasl later so I asked around and worked out that the ground was 10 minutes away, by car.

 

Al Nasr was the club that Don Revie managed after laying the foundations as U.A.E. national manager, where he had an unsuccessful reign but correctly predicted that they would appear in a World Cup finals in the next 15 years. They made their debut at Italia 1990, losing to Colombia, West Germany and Yugoslavia.

 

Al Nasr had lost their previous game 5-1 and their website announced that they were standing by their German manager, Frank Pagelsdorf, but their assistant coach and fitness coach would be leaving.

 

Al Nasr strolled into a 3-0 half time lead, as a lethargic Emirates defence watched. The second half saw the Emirates wake up, but a quick two goal burst from Al Nasr saw them run out 5-2 winners to restore some much needed pride.

 

Whilst watching the game I met Michael Rodosthenous, the Deputy Executive Director of Al Nasr. A former W.B.A. player who found his way here via Cambridge United and Adelaide Raiders. He explained the circumstances surrounding the crowd trouble. Al Nasr were hosting city rivals Al Ahli. Al Ahli were having a torrid time and were told they must not lose this game. Their was a lot of hype surrounding the game and Al Ahli were outplayed but winning 2-1 with five minutes to go. Al Nasr equalised, but the a dubious offside flag was raised. Spectators vented their anger and a sandal hit the linesman.

 

Michael showed me behind the scenes before driving me to the game at Al Wasl. We decided to take the scenic route as he showed me Dubai by night, passing the Emirates Towers and the tallest building in the world the Burj Dubai. Dropping me off I could hear there was a little more atmosphere, as expected for the evening kick off.

 

The game itself was a close affair with away side Al Jazirah winning 1-0. After the game a taxi back to Dubai saw me catch the bus back to Abu Dhabi. Now the camel racing was apparently due to take place 45km away from Abu Dhabi at 7a.m. As it was now 1a.m and I couldn’t confirm where the track was or how to get there I decided to give it a miss.

 

 

 …

Interview: Nagoya Grampus Eight Boss Sef Bandar Poker Online Vergoosen

 

 

59 year-old Dutchman Sef Vergoosen is enjoying his second season with J-League club Nagoya Grampus Eight.

 

How did you end up in Japan?

 

It was very strange. In 2005, I was in the United Arab Emirates coaching Abui Dhabi team Al-Jazeera. Two years ago in the Netherlands there was the Under-20 World Championship and somebody called me from Japan to ask me if I was going to watch the game between Japan and the Netherlands. I said ‘yes’ and he asked to meet me.

 

I met him and at that time he was the club manager of Nagoya Grampus Eight but we didn’t really speak about the club. Some months later, I was back in Abu Dhabi and he called me to say that he was in Dubai and he came to see one of our games. After the game we spoke and he asked me if I was interested in going to Grampus Eight because the club was looking for a new coach.

 

This was in 2005?

 

Yes. I was very interested. Ten years ago I was here for four weeks lecturing and a friend of mine Jan Versleijen was the coach of JEF United. From that period, I was impressed with Japanese football, the culture, the people, the organization and so when they asked me if I was interested I said ‘Yes’.

 

There was only one problem and that was the fact that my contract with Al-Jazeera finished in June 2006. I talked to the club – this was September, October 2005 and they let me finish in December and in January 2006 I started here at Nagoya.

 

Why did they choose you?

 

I asked later. Years ago I lectured 15 Japanese coaches in Maastricht and he was one of them. I didn’t remember him but he followed my career. He said the most important reason was that everywhere I had gone as a coach, I had built up the club and had built up the team and that was important for Nagoya.

 

Now it’s your second season with the club. Are expectations higher this season?

 

The club is very realistic and has made a plan for three years. Some people do say that Nagoya should finish in the top five but in 2004 and 2005 the club struggled to stay in the J1 league.

 

Last season we made some big steps in the second half of the season and moved from 15th to seventh.

 

We have been a little unlucky this season. Our best defender Marek Spilar is injured for ten months. He was the best defender last season in Japan. Our goalkeepers is one of the best here in Japan and he missed five games.

 

We were also a little unlucky in the transfer period. We were hopeful that we would take a Bandar Poker Online player from JEF United. He would have been very important to our team but he went to Urawa Reds and I can understand that.

 

Our squad is not stronger than last year but it is more stable. Without our defender and our goalkeeper for five games we are now sixth and I think that is the best possible position for us.

 

You said that the club has realistic expectations but what are they?

 

The task this season is to finish in the same position, maybe a little bit higher, perhaps between eighth and fourth and to continue to improve the football we play.

 

Is there money available for you to do this?

 

I think so as there was money available for a very important player that became available in the winter. We only spend money if we are sure we can buy a player with the specific qualities that we need, who can bring this team to a higher level.

There is nobody like that available at the moment in Japan. There are always foreign players but we can do nothing at the moment, we have to wait until the summer maybe.

 

Was the important player Yuki Abe?

 

We made the same offer for him as Urawa but Urawa Reds are the champions and the top club. I can understand that. I come from Holland. If a player can go to Utrecht or he can go to Ajax then his choice is very simple.

 

Is it possible for Nagoya to compete with teams like Gamba Osaka and Urawa Reds?

No. This season Urawa, Gamba, Kawasaki and Shimizu are the best teams and are a level above. If we can finish just below them then in my opinion, it will have been a good season.

 

You play in two stadiums. Is that a disadvantage?

 

Yes. Normally we play in Mizuno stadium in Nagota but sometimes we play in a very beautiful stadium in Toyota City. It is one of the best stadiums here in Japan. However we can only play there if Mizuno stadium is not available, if there are other events or if we are expecting more than the 26,000 people that Mizuno can hold. For example, in the last game against Urawa Reds we played in the Toyota Stadium in front of 38,000.

 

Everybody prefers to play at Toyota, it is an excellent stadium.

 

Is South Korean midfielder Kim Jung-woo one of your important players?

 

Absolutely. He is physically strong. He knows where to go in defence and he knows when and where to go deep. He is very strong mentally and has some excellent qualities.

 

His endurance and stamina is unbelievably high, sometimes he runs too much. His is so professional off the pitch and is very quiet off the pitch. He is an absolute winner. I am so happy with him. He has so many qualities that he gives to our team.

 

What can he improve?

 

His heading and finishing are not his strongest point. With his qualities he is often arriving in the penalty box and if he was better at finishing he would have around 10-15 goals a season. However, he has scored three times already this season.

 

What are the differences between Korean and Japanese players?

 

The biggest difference is that Korean players are stronger mentally. Sometimes when games aren’t going so well, the Korean players start to fight – they give a little more. Sometimes Japanese players wonder what to do but the Koreans always step forward and are ready to fight.

 

Kim is not an automatic choice for the national team. Do you think he should go to the Asian Cup?

 

Absolutely. If you see what he is doing and what he has done from the start of the season until now then I think he will join the group.

 

Do you talk to the South Korean national team coach Pim Verbeek?

 

Yes. Sometimes he comes to Japan to watch our games. He calls me also and asks me about Kim’s situation. I am always very honest. However, my answers are almost always positive. He is doing very well.

 

What are your thoughts on Cho Jae-jin at Shimizu?

 

He is a high quality player. He is a very good striker.

 

Would you be interested in buying him if it was possible?

 

If it was possible I would love to (laughs) but now we have Frode Johnsen from Norway and is a similar type of player. When he leaves and if Cho could come to Nagoya then I would be very happy.

 

Johnsen is not an out-and-out goalscorer but he is important for the team. He is the kind of striker that can maybe make between 12-15 goals a season. He is not Brazilian but he is always in a good position but is physically strong and has a good mentality.

 

There is another Dutchman in the J-League, Robert Verbeek who is coaching Omiya Ardija. Have you had a chance to talk to him?

 

I called him some weeks ago and we have played against each other this season and in a pre-season friendly.

 

It has been a tough start for him.

 

Yes but Omiya have been playing well. They need a striker; if they have one player capable of scoring goals then they would be much stronger.

 

Why are there so many Dutch coaches around the world?

 

I don’t know (laughs). I didn’t ask to come here, they asked me. Maybe people like the Dutch way of football, I don’t know.

 

There is a strong Dutch connection with Korean football. Would you be interested in coaching in Korea in the future?

 

I am 59 years old now. If I was a few years younger then maybe. I am very happy here at the moment and I don’t think about the future too much, just year-to-year.

 

In terms of organization, the J-League is perhaps the best in Asia. Is there any way to improve it?

 

For the future of Japan, youth football is very important. The situation is very different in Holland where players come form amateur clubs, in Japan they come from university teams.

The most important thing is whether the players receive high-level coaching at university. In the clubs we get players here in Japan who are 21 or 22, when these players arrive at a professional club, they still have a lot of things to learn. But it is already too late.

 

I told Nagoya that in Holland it is too late for players at 19 to be making the step to a professional club. If we have them at 14 and 15 then it is possible but most of the time they start at eight. We spend four or five years with these guys and by the time they are 19, they must be ready for professional football.

 

In Japan it is too late. I know it is a different culture. In Holland parents will take a chance with their kids but in Japan, parents tell their kids that they have to study first. If they are going to study, they need high-level coaches at university. That is the most important thing for Japanese football.

 …

A Tutu Dominoqq Thriller

 

 

 

I’m no stranger to pain; I once watched all of Soccer AM. The feeling of hopelessness I experienced that day is similar to the distress that Manchester United supporters now feel, as they face a future without Roy Keane.

 

Sir Alex believes that Alan Smith may be a long term replacement for the influential head-case, but Smithy is not a midfielder; he’s like the wife on our first date, a little forward.

 

Even with Smithy and Fletcher in the team, United are good things at home to Portsmouth. Unfortunately, the 1/5 on offer won’t make you rich, unless you’re Roman Abramovic or Rio Ferdinand.

 

Rio has admitted taking ballet lessons when he was Dominoqq younger; my wife was shocked by the irony of it all, as she used to be a quality centre back. Rio can be backed at 10/1 to break his goal scoring duck against Pompey, but beware; as an experienced ballet dancer, his celebration may involve two pirouettes and a leap. Not that I know what a pirouette is.

 

Paul Scholes is also overdue a goal, he hasn’t found the net in 19 games this season, a somewhat disappointing return for a goal scoring midfielder. The ginger lad is far more likely to find the back of the net, 9/4 is on the table.

 

Nobby Solano was Aston Villa’s most impressive player last season, but quickly left the Midlands to rejoin the Toon Army. The advert may say ‘Nobby’s nuts’, but leaving Villa looks to be a sensible decision. Nobby wisely re-signed, something O’Leary is probably considering.

 

The last time Villa travelled to St James’ Park, Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer had their hand-bags out and both received a red card as a result. The way Villa are playing on the road, they’ll need at least three Geordies to be sent off to have a chance of a draw. Newcastle are the nap of the week, let’s play at 4/5.

 

Everton were 1-0 winners on nine occasions last season, and have chalked up another four this term. James Beattie will probably start the match against Blackburn, so two or more Everton goals can be safely ruled out. Another 1-0 win is on the cards for the blue half of Liverpool; take a piece of the 8’s.

 

It wasn’t so long ago that David Moyes was courting Robbie Savage, that blonde hair can be confusing after a few beers. Robbie was a naughty boy last week; when the little finger of Jose Reyes flicked his nose, his reaction was to hold his face in his hands as if he’d just been outbid for a new caravan on EBay. Savage somehow avoided a booking for his shameful play-acting, he’s a 5/4 shot to see yellow against Everton.

 …

Saitama Toto Hk showdown as Japan face nemesis Bahrain

 

 

Bahrain – the small Arabic state in the middle of the Persian Gulf, is hardly a hotbed of world football.

 

With a population of around 1.2 million – almost half of whom are expatriate foreign workers – it’s a state that tends to fly under the radar for much of the western world.

 

However, Japan coach Takeshi Okada must be sick of the sight of the Bahraini national team, with the two teams set to face off for the umpteenth time in Japan’s quest to reach a fourth successive World Cup finals.

 

Okada came in for heavy criticism when Bahrain beat Japan 1-0 in an Asian Cup qualifier in Manama in January, and coupled with defeat at the same venue in an earlier round of World Cup qualifying, Japan’s recent record against Milan Macala’s team makes uncomfortable reading for Japanese fans.

 

Nevertheless the Blue Samurai will go into their Toto Hk crucial World Cup qualifier with Bahrain at Saitama Stadium on March 28 as hot favourites – not the least because Japan possess one of the most impressive home records of any team within the Asian Football Confederation.

 

Having recorded two wins and two draws in Group A qualifying so far, Japan can temporarily go top ahead of the midweek clash between group leaders Australia and Uzbekistan in Sydney on April 1.

 

Okada has made no major changes to his squad following Japan’s most recent scoreless draw with Australia in Yokohama, although veteran goalkeeper Seigo Narazaki returns from injury, while dynamic Oita Trinita midfielder Mu Kanazaki and experienced Albirex Niigata striker Kisho Yano have also earned call-ups.

 

Japan’s European contingent is lead by Shunsuke Nakamura of Celtic, while the likes of VfL Wolfsburg duo Makoto Hasebe and Yoshito Okubo and St. Etienne midfielder Daisuke Matsui have also been called up – although an injury to in-form Catania striker Takayuki Morimoto means the former Tokyo Verdy youngster was not considered.

 

With Japan lying four points ahead of third-placed Bahrain going into this clash, Takeshi Okada’s men are expected to cruise through as one of the top-two finishers to earn a place in South Africa in 2010.

 

But with Okada having claimed that Japan are strong enough to reach the semi-finals in South Africa, there is plenty of pressure on the Blue Samurai to excel during qualifying – something critics suggest they have so far failed to do.

 

Tickets for this clash have been sold-out for months, and roared on by a capacity crowd at Saitama Stadium, the hosts are expected to take all three points against a tenacious, albeit technically limited Bahrain side.

 

Whether they do so with style is the burning question on everyone’s lips.

 

 

 …

Premier Bet and Data Sgp

 

 

 

This could be the weekend Arsenal break their Emirates Stadium duck while it’s also a good opportunity for both Liverpool and Manchester United to get back to winning ways. Expect Manchester City’s dismal run of form to continue and there could also be a shock on at Crave Cottage writes David Walker.

 

Saturday 23 September

 

Liverpool vs Tottenham Hotspur

Liverpool have a great opportunity to follow up on the midweek win against Newcastle United at lunch time on Saturday. Opponents Tottenham Hotspur have had a poor start to the season, winning just once in their five Premiership matches so far and Liverpool’s record in this fixture speaks for itself. The last time Tottenham won at Anfield in the league was during the 1993/94 season and since then it has been eight wins and four Data Sgp draws for the Reds, including eight wins in the last 10 meetings.

Walker’s Word: Tottenham’s misery to continue at 8/11 (UK Betting)

 

Arsenal vs Sheffield United

Arsenal won their first match of the season last weekend against Manchester United and are set to continue in that vain against rock-bottom Sheffield United. The Gunners will not get a better opportunity to win their first match at the new Emirates Stadium against a goal-shy Blades side who have scored just two goals in five matches so far this season.

Walker’s Word: Arsenal to break their Emirates duck @ 1/5 (Coral)

 

Aston Villa vs Charlton Athletic

Unbeaten Aston Villa tackle a struggling Charlton side languishing in the bottom three. This fixture is usually a close affair but the Villains have enjoyed the best of the results, winning five out of the last six meetings, the other being a goalless draw. Under Martin O’Neill, Villa have won both games at Villa Park so far this season and there is real confidence at the club. Juan Pablo Angel also scored two morale boosting goals in the midweek Carling Cup victory at Scunthorpe United.

Walker’s Word: Villa’s 100% home record to continue @ 4/5 (Bet365)

 

Fulham vs Chelsea

Chelsea are the overwhelming favourites for this match, but you should take into account Fulham’s record against the Blues in recent years before ploughing your money in favour of Jose Mourinho’s side. Last season Fulham won this match 1-0 and indeed Chelsea have only won two of their last five encounters at Craven Cottage. After a solid win over Liverpool last weekend, a slip up against Chris Coleman’s side could happen.

Walker’s Word: Fulham to nick a point @ 10/3 (Paddy Power)

 

Manchester City vs West Ham United

Both teams have struggled in recent weeks but City more than most. The midweek Carling Cup exit to Chesterfield saw Stuart Pearce’s side lose their thirteenth match in 16 played – relegation form by anybody’s standards. City have the better record in this fixture, winning four out of six in the Premiership but that just makes the odds on an away win even more appealing.

Walker’s Word: A Hammers win @ 9/4 (UK Betting)

 

Middlesbrough vs Blackburn Rovers

Middlesbrough suffered the humiliation of being dumped out of the Carling Cup at the Riverside Stadium by League Two outfit Notts County in the week. That result saw four matches without a win for Gareth Southgate’s side following their magnificent victory over Chelsea in August. They may fall deeper into trouble against an improving Blackburn side which has won on three of their last five visits to the North East.

Walker’s Word: An away win at good odds @ 13/5 (Totalbet)

 

Wigan Athletic vs Watford

Wigan have had a mixed start to this season with their only win so far a 1-0 victory over Reading. Win number two should come against another promoted side in Watford who are struggling for goals and have managed just two draws since making the step up to the top flight.

Walker’s Word: A win for Wigan @ 5/6 (Totalbet)

 

Reading vs Manchester United

The evening offering pits newcomers Reading against former champions Manchester United. Alex Ferguson’s side were poor against Arsenal last weekend but should have too much for Reading, especially if Wayne Rooney decides he wants to play.

Walker’s Word: United to get back on track @ 4/7 (UK Betting)

 

Sunday 24 September

 

Newcastle United vs Everton

Everton are flying high in fourth place at the moment and are capable of staging a smash and grab raid in the North East. The loss of goalkeeper Shay Given is a major blow, especially as stand-in Steve Harper was beaten from 60 yards by Xabi Alonso in midweek. Everton have not won at St James’ Park for six seasons bar a League Cup victory on penalties in 2002 but may be able to take all three points on Sunday afternoon.

Walker’s Word: Everton to shock @ 21/10 (Totalbet)

 

Monday 25 September

 

Portsmouth vs Bolton Wanderers

Typical Monday Night Football fare if ever there was. Portsmouth sit proudly at the top of the Premiership but could run out of steam against a stubborn Bolton outfit which could be galvanised further by the bad publicity surrounding manager Sam Allardyce this week. The last two meetings at Fratton Park have ended as 1-1 draws and more of the same is expected here.

Walker’s Word: A third low scoring draw in a row.

 

English Premiership Betting

 

 

David Walker is the resident tipster at a popular free bets website. Feature Walker’s Word on your own website, blog or forum for free each week.

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Yorkshire’s lost son finds Togel Online Copa Libertadores glory

 

 

 

Estudiantes’ Copa Libertadores winning coach Alejandro Sabella has come a long way since he was deemed surplus to requirements at Leeds United in the early 80s.

 

Just four months into his first management post the Argentine steered the club he finished his playing career at to a dramatic win in Brazil.

 

After drawing their home leg 0-0 Estudiantes came from a goal behind to topple Cruzeiro 2-1 giving El Pincha their fourth Copa Libertadores title and their first for four decades.

 

The victory was the culmination of a run which saw Estudiantes unbeaten in the ten Copa Libertadores games Sabella oversaw since his arrival in March. In the seven wins and three draws El Pincha netted 14 times while they leaked just two at the other end.

 

During this time the new coach also turned around their domestic standing as he propelled them from second bottom to a respectable sixth place finish in the Apertura.

 

“It’s all down to the players. Someone should put up a monument to them,” Sabella said after the win in Brazil. “All I did was help them reach the final and tell them to go out and do what I never could as a player.” For more info, check out – https://senatordarwinbooher.com/ 

 

Sabella was ably assisted on the pitch during this time by among others his captain Juan Sebastián Verón who took to the field in Copa Libertadores’ games like a man possessed as he sought to emulate his father in lifting the famous trophy for his hometown club.

 

Verón has further parallels to his current gaffer as he joined up with Estudiantes after having a less than spectacular impact on the English top flight.

 

‘Alex’ Sabella first arrived in England when Sheffield United came to Argentina sniffing around for talent in the wake of the country’s 1978 World Cup win.

 

First off Sheffield United targeted another young playmaker but Argentinos Juniors turned down the Steel City club’s £180,000 bid for Diego Maradona.

 

Sabella had been enjoying a mixed time at River Plate for whom he had made over a 100 appearances for by that time. The stocky playmaker was both feted and criticised for his individualism on the pitch and there were question marks over his lack of pace. Indeed during his time with River he gained the nickname Pachorra, slang for lazy.

 

A major stumbling block for Sabella at El Monumental was that he was behind Norberto Alonso in the pecking order for the number ten shirt. Alonso was the undisputed fan’s hero at the time and that left his understudy little chance to impress in his favoured position.

 

On one occasion a scout from Grêmio came down from Brazil to scout on Alonso for an upcoming Copa Libertadores clash. Alonso was out injured for the game with Independiente so Sabella deputised and played a blinder. The scout returned to Grêmio and said he didn’t get to see Alonso but if he keeps that other lad on the bench then he must be pure dynamite.

 

Sheffield United’s representatives seems to like what they saw as well and a £160,000 transfer was agreed between River Plate and the second division side.

 

The statistic say that Sabella made 76 appearances for the Blades and bagged a poultry eight goals, in which time the club were relegated to the third tier. A word with some of the fans who saw him play during this time offers a different perspective.

 

One Bramall Lane regular remembers Sabella scoring the best goal he has ever seen at the ground against Dundee in the Anglo Scottish Cup. On that occasion the Argentine Blade dribbled past five players before slamming the ball home.

 

Sabella is fondly recalled as the type of player who was worth the admission price on his own with a box of tricks to compete with any player in the world. Unfortunately at times he could even bamboozle his own teammates with back heeled flicks and the like that were far beyond the comprehension of most players fighting a second division relegation dogfight.

 

Another Blades fan recalls a piece of skill by Sabella down by the corner flag against West Ham United which led to a clash of heads between Billy Bonds and Frank Lampard Snr. as they collided in the Argentine’s wake.

 

Allan Clarke brought Sabella to Leeds United in the summer of 1980 for £400,000 after the player had refused to move to Sunderland in a £600,000 deal because of his ambitions to play in the top flight.

 

In a season and a half at Elland Road Sabella made 23 appearances for Leeds United before leaving halfway through their relegation season of 1981/82. Sabella is also fondly recalled by many Leeds fans who saw him play and remember him entertaining the crowd alongside Frank Worthington. Sadly the duo’s showmanship came at the determent of the club’s results.

 

It was a visit to Yorkshire by then Estudiantes coach Carlos Bilardo that convinced Sabella to come home sharpish rather than hold out for a dream move back to River Plate.

 

Bilardo had been keeping tabs on Sabella during the player’s time in England and convinced the Estudiantes board to rustle up the cash to finance a trip to Leeds.

 

“The club didn’t have any money but I managed to get a few dollars together and made the journey,” recalls Bilardo, who would go on to coach Argentina to World Cup trumiph in 1986. “I convinced the directors it was a good deal but I had to borrow money from Sabella to pay for the trip home.”

 

Bilardo was already a well established name in El Leóns’ folklore as part of the team that won three Copa Libertadores and the Copa Intercontinental in the late 60s. Now he had taken the manager’s job Bilardo was looking to build another golden period for the club.

 

Sabella was joined in a new look Estudiantes’ midfield by Marcelo Trobbiani, Jose Daniel Ponce and Miguel Angel Russo which played their way towards a Metropolitano title in 1982 and added an Argentine league title a year later.

The final piece of the jigsaw was the Copa Libertadores and El Pincha came close in 1983 but eventually fell at the semi-final stage.

 

During this period Pachorra saw his stock rise beyond previous comprehension in his homeland and he picked up four caps for the national selection. He left for a spell with Grêmio, maybe that scout who saw him against Independiente finally getting his man, before returning to Estudiantes for a second spell.

 

He was still living close to the Jorge Luis Hirschi Stadium when he eventually hung up his boots in 1988 and his bond remained strong with football in La Plata.

 

Two years later Sabella started out on his coaching apprenticeship as Daniel Passarella’s second in command. In a seventeen year spell with Passarella he worked at River Plate twice, Parma of Italy, Monterrey of Mexico and Corinthians of Brazil. The management team also took charge of the Argentina and Uruguay national selections during this time.

 

The deputy finally struck out on his own and got the opportunity for his first job when Estudiantes parted company with Leonardo Astrada earlier this year. Just like Ángel Cappa at Huracán questions were asked if Sabella would be able to cut the mustard.

 

Four months down the line with a Copa Libertadores title in the trophy cabinet nobody is questioning the quick work of Pachorra.…

A Togel Singapore question of profile

 

 

After a whirlwind start to summer down under, nobody has been left in any doubt the capacity for football, the world game, to make Australians scratch their heads in befuddlement.

 

From the celebrity to the downright unknown, from David Beckham to new Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek say, it’s been a confusing time for many.

 

Some of the reactions to Beckham’s outings in a pair of exhibition games against local sides can only be likened to the way an old timer might view the uprising of the internet.

 

Over 80,000 people turned out in Sydney to watch Beckham’s LA Galaxy side lose 5-3 to Sydney FC in what proved to be a perfect snapshot of the former England captain’s career.

 

A curling free-kick into the top corner, a second-half booking, some old-fashioned finger wagging and a final shirt-swap with Brazilian World Cup winner Juninho made the crowd’s day, their smiles second only to those on the faces of FFA bigwigs.

 

But there were countless others who wore a permanent look of perplexity at all the fuss over a ‘soccer’ player.

 

For the three or four days Beckham stayed in the harbour city he dominated front and back pages. What he ate, where he went, who he spoke to, how he spoke and, finally, how he played was all that Sydneysiders read about.

 

Since then a french fry he reportedly dropped whilst dining one evening has been auctioned online. Another wag reportedly attempted flog a photocopy of his autograph.

 

Now consider this admission from Australia’s West Ham defender Lucas Neill about Dutchman Verbeek, who ended 18 months of internal dismay by agreeing to coach the Socceroos through to the 2010 World Cup finals.

 

“I only know him from googling,” Neill staggeringly made public after hearing the news of the former South Korea coach’s appointment.

 

Those of you who have followed Soccerphile’s coverage of Australian football over recent years will remember that this is not the first time Neill has put his foot firmly in his own mouth.

 

And while the likes of Tim Cahill and Craig Moore have since come out in full support of Verbeek, you can only wonder at the raised eyebrows at FFA headquarters.

 

“Football fans can rest assured that the FFA has worked diligently to secure a coach with the qualities and enthusiasm that will give the Socceroos every chance of success,” crowed chairman Frank Lowy.

 

“Pim Verbeek has a vast range of Togel Singapore experience gained over 25 years in coaching, including several stints in Asia, and we believe he is the right man for the job of leading the Socceroos to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.”

 

Just in case anyone remained in any doubt, one helpful Brisbane-based journalist likened Verbeek, who beat off competition from Philippe (Omar) Troussier, to Hollywood’s Jeff Bridges.

 

One certainty is that the 51-year-old is sure to become a familiar face to football fans after agreeing to one of the governing body’s key requirements, that is, immediate and permanent relocation to Australia.

 

Although just five rounds of the A-League season remain before the top four contest the finals series, Verbeek is committed to a Sven-Goran Eriksson-esque touring schedule to run the rule over potential national team players.

 

He has just eight weeks before Australia kicks off their Group of Death qualifying campaign for the World Cup against Qatar in February.

 

Supporting Verbeek will be compatriot Henk Duut. The role of the former assistant to Ruud Gullit at Feyenoord has been described as the European ‘eyes and ears’ of the head coach.

 

“Some of Duut’s main tasks will be to scout future opponents and also to play a significant role in monitoring the progress of our many European-based players,” confirmed CEO Ben Buckley.

 

That, I suppose, includes Neill. I’m betting that Duut will know a lot more about the Socceroos captain-in-waiting than the other way around.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Other information about Victor Chandler Judi Slot Poker by Southendformaggio

 

 

According to the UK’s fastest growing poker website, Victor Chandler Southendformaggio , it’s no longer just a man’s game. One in six new players joining Victor Chandler Poker is female – up from virtually zero just 2 years ago. The typical female player tends to be between 24 and 25, internet savvy, shops online and has a professional business career.

 

There are 5 main reasons why women are taking up online judi slot poker with Southendformaggio:

 

Poker is gaining a lot of media attention. TV games shows, high-profile tournaments and the traditional portrayal of poker in film and TV gives the game a glamorous, exciting image.

More and more women are playing the game professionally. The success of women players listed on the Women’s Poker Hall of Fame has created some powerful role models.

The web creates a safe environment. Logging on to a poker website is nowhere near as intimidating as walking into a male-dominated casino. Good online poker rooms are moderated, mostly by women.

 

Online poker caters for the novice Southendformaggio player in a way that was not possible before the web. First, the anonymity means no-one has to worry about looking stupid. Second, there are extensive tips, articles and tutorials online that rapidly educate the novice player.

Games can be played just for fun or for small stakes. One fear is getting into a game where the stakes are continually rising. But fixed cost games mean that if women want to bet, they know exactly how much they stand to win or lose.

 

William Hill Poker Review

William Hill Online Poker launched in January 2003 and since then it has been receiving rave reviews from UK players.

 

As you would expect from the UK’s leading name in online gambling, this is a top quality poker room. The graphics and gameplay are Southendformaggio fantastic and the promotions cannot be matched for UK poker players.

 

William Hill Poker are so confident you’ll love their new poker room that they are paying all new players £5 an hour (up to £25 max) just to try it out. With an offer like that, you’d be mad not to try them out .

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