By Tony Alvarez
Tonight sees the biggest game in European club Football where one side are just one match away from being crowned the Champions of Europe.
The final is to be contested by FC Bayern Munich of Germany who overcame Jose Mourinho‘s Real Madrid in a tough semi final that went all the way to penalties and English side Chelsea, who overcame all sorts of problems and beat reigning Champions Barcelona against all expectations and odds.
The game unusually will be played at Bayern Munich’s home ground the Allianz Arena. Although the crowd will be split as per any other Champions League final Bayern will have the advantage of having played on the pitch week in week out all season.
Tag Archive: Chelsea
By Tony Alvarez
By Tony Alvarez
Following Tottenham finishing fourth a position which would normally put them in the qualifying rounds of the Uefa Champions League, many fans who are not supporters of the North London side or Roberto Di Matteo‘s Chelsea have been caught in two minds about who they want to win the Champions League.
Of course Chelsea finished the season in a disappointing 6th place but all will be forgotten if they can win in Munich on Saturday and be crowned European Champions for the first time.
After nine months and 825 clubs battling it out in the oldest cup competition in the world, we have reached the last two to battle it out in this year’s FA Cup Final.
Liverpool and Chelsea will meet at Wembley tomorrow evening to decide the 131st showpiece event for English football’s most famous domestic cup, and these are two sides that have a rich FA Cup tradition.
The Reds have won the trophy on seven occasions and last lifted the cup back in 2006, when a last-gasp equaliser by Steven Gerrard and heroics from Pepe Reina in the penalty shootout saw them overcome West Ham in one of the all-time great finals.
Chelsea’s recent history in the competition is unmatched; while they have won the cup six times, three of those triumphs have come in the last five seasons and are now one win away from four in six.
While Liverpool have stuttered in the Premier League this season, their cup form has been peerless; having won the Carling Cup back in February, Kenny Dalglish’s side are looking to complete a domestic cup double. View full article »
Last night I’m sure many of you saw Chelsea beat current European Champions in the home leg of their Champions League semi final clash.
Despite their visitors being favourites for the tie Chelsea defied the odds and recorded a 1-0 win thanks to a strike deep into first half stoppage time from Didier Drogba.
Despite their win which was undoubtedly impressive it is only half the job done and Barcelona are still marginal favourites to progress to next months final in May.
It would not be the first time Barcelona have lost away in England and still progressed in the tie.
Last season on route to their Champions League win the Spanish side lost 2-1 to Arsenal at the Emirates before using their home advantage in the 2nd leg and recording a 3-1 win to progress. View full article »
By Tony Alvarez
Today sees the 2nd semi final in this seasons FA Cup with the winner looking forward to a Wembley date with Liverpool in just 20 days time.
We are now at the penultimate stage but for Shouts From The Stands the tournament started way back in the first round proper in November 2011.
I started the tournament following Colchester United with the intention of following them until they got beat and then to follow their conquerors.
By Tony Alvarez
This weekend sees the FA Cup 6th round fixtures take place with sides hoping to cause upsets up and down the country and reach the semi finals of arguably the Worlds greatest Cup competition.
As regular visitors to the website will know both myself and Laurie chose a side to follow in round one of the competition, should that side lose we follow the side that beat them.
I initially started off with Colchester United who lost out to Swindon who in turn lost to Leicester in round four I followed Leicester through their 5th round victory vsNorwich and will now look ahead to their real glamour tie away to Champions League quarter finalists, big spending Chelsea.
The undoubted growing pressure on Andre Villas-Boas only served to increase at the weekend after they were booed off in a disappointing 1-1 home draw to Championship side Birmingham City in their FA Cup fifth round tie.
It was a result that clearly did not go down well within the Stamford Bridge heirarchy either, with a shake of the head from Chief Executive Ron Gourlay and a stern expression from Chairman Bruce Buck evident at the final whistle.
While Birmingham deserved great credit for an excellent performance that merited a replay at St. Andrews, much was made of the lack of creativity and a cutting edge in the Premier League big boys.
By Tony Alvarez
So far the January 2012 transfer window has seen very little action especially amongst the big 6 in the Premier League who beside Manchester City all need to strengthen you would feel.
Of course Manchester United have brought Paul Scholes out of retirement and Arsenal have brought in club legend Thierry Henry on loan but neither of those came at any expense and were not the moves their sides so dearly need.
The next 48 hours could see as many as three English sides exit the Champions League at the group stage for the first time since the Premier League was allowed four participants.
Group stages of Europe’s elite competition are often viewed as dull affairs with the usual suspects progressing with relative ease.
Not this time around; while the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich have qualified at a canter, the trio of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea are fighting for their European lives.
All of them are assured of European football after tonight, but they will want to ensure it is in the less attractive and profitable Europa League.
Tonight, Chelsea take on Valencia in Group E knowing that anything less than a win or a goalless draw will see them drop into the last 32 of UEFA’s sister competition.
While their home form during the campaign has garnered two wins, it’s the Blues’ paltry record on the road of two draws and a defeat that has left Andre Villas-Boas’ team on the brink.
Their defeat away at Bayer Leverkusen a fortnight ago means that they now have to overcome one of the top teams in Spain.
Things aren’t faring much better for Silva’s new side on the European front; while Manchester City have been unbeatable domestically, their first season in the Champions League has proved far more difficult.
In a tough Group A containing Bayern, Villarreal and Napoli, Roberto Mancini‘s men have come unstuck on a few occassions, most notably in their away trips to Naples and Munich.
Those losses have left them third in the table, and even a win at home to the already-qualified Bayern tomorrow evening won’t guarantee their place in the knockout stages.
City will need a favour from a Villarreal side that have lost all five games to deny Napoli taking the runners-up spot, which will be guaranteed with a win at the El Madrigal.
However, they aren’t the only ones from Manchester sweating on qualification; United are in the best position of the three, sitting second in Group C.
But defeat away to FC Basel will see the Swiss outfit cause an almighty shock and take the place of the English champions in the last 16 along with Benfica.
A draw would be enough for Sir Alex Ferguson‘s men, but even that won’t secure top spot, a possibility not available to City and slim for Chelsea.
So even if they all scrape through, there is a good chance they will face Barca or Real in the next round and leave their revived Champions League hopes in the balance once again.
But they are permutations that are far away; right now, three of England’s biggest clubs have to make sure their European adventures this season don’t continue on Thursday nights.
So what do you think? Will the English sides make it through to the last 16? Or will any, if not all three sides drop into the Europa League? Leave a comment and let us know your views.
By Tony Alvarez
Parker who without a doubt has been West Ham’s star man this season, signed a new contract in September however as we know contracts are not worth much these days.
If a club offers a high enough transfer fee despite Gold and Sullivan’s promises to keep him I think the bid would be accepted, from then on its up to the player whether he wants to leave, but would he?
It has often been said that Parker is currently a big fish in a small pond (no disrespect to West Ham, however Parker seems a very level headed man and will realise he has made a move to a more illustrious club before and it certainly didn’t work for him.
Parker was Charlton’s star man between 2002 and early 2004 even dislodging the then captain Mark Kinsella from the side, a newly rich Chelsea then came calling and Parker saw the bright lights and walked towards them, 16 months and 15 appearances later Parker was moved on to Newcastle United where he re-found his form.
Although his spell at Chelsea wasn’t the best he was awarded the PFA young player of the year in the year Chelsea signed him but it must be said that the award was given for his performances for Charlton not Chelsea.
Despite West Ham’s poor form so far this season Parker has been a shinning light, in all competitions Parker has played in 21 games scoring 6 goals.
Such good form has made the media link Parkers name with clubs hunting for European competition such as Liverpool and Tottenham amongst others.
With West Ham in the middle of a relegation battle, where it is more than conceivable that they could get relegated it would make sense for Parker to jump the possibly sinking ship.
My personal opinion is that Parker should stick it out until the end of the season at a minimum, should he keep West Ham in the Premier League and then wants to leave to better himself, it would be with the best wishes of the West Ham faithful and he will keep his idolised status, much like Carlos Tevez did.
Should West Ham get relegated with Parker then he will be expected to leave again with the blessing of the fans. However, should he abandon the ship in this January transfer window he will lose a lot of respect and if he does make a rumoured move to Tottenham he could possibly be hated by the fans who currently adore him.
What are your opinions? Will parker still be a West Ham player in January? Hammers fans would he lose respect for him if he left in January? Would he become a villain in your eyes if he joined Tottenham? Fans of other clubs would you welcome Scott Parker into your side? Let us know your thoughts.