Tag Archive: Clint Dempsey


By Laurie Fitzgerald

After a truly great summer of sport dominated our attention, it almost feels like the new football season has snuck up on without anyone realising.

But it’s easy to forget after the past few weeks of witnessing our Olympic heroes inspire a nation that last season’s Premier League campaign will be etched into the memory of every football fan for many years to come.

A title race that came down to the last kick of the season (literally) a battle for the Champions League places that had more twists and turns than a Carlos Tevez transfer saga, and a relegation battle that had supporters of several clubs biting their nails for several months on end.

Now, the new season gets underway today with either plenty of change or plenty of uncertainty dominating the thoughts of clubs ready for the next long journey ahead.     Continue reading

By Laurie Fitzgerald

Sergio Aguero’s 95th-minute strike secured the most thrilling of Premier League titles for Manchester City as Roberto Mancini’s side earned the club’s first title in 44 years in truly dramatic fashion.

That 3-2 win over Queen’s Park Rangers served as heartbreak for their Manchester rivals United, as Sir Alex Ferguson‘s men had the title given to them and dashed from them all within a matter of minutes.

It was also a fitting end to a Premier League campaign that has thrown up endless twists and turns, and this in a week when the 2011/12 season was voted the greatest in the league’s history, with each club having their own intriguing story.

City will look upon their triumph as potentially the beginning of a new and successful era, with the incredible financial backing of Sheikh Mansour now reaping the rewards.

United will try and use this moment to inspire their younger players such as Phil Jones and Danny Welbeck to drive them on and continuing the consistent success that’s been in place over the past 20 years.     Continue reading

By Tony Alvarez

By midnight tonight the Premier League season will be over, we will know where everyone has finished and more importantly who has grabbed the final important places that are still up for grabs.
It has been the first time in many a year that the final day of the season has seen so much still to play for.

The title is still there to be won with the Manchester clubs, City and United fighting to be crowned Champions.
3rd and 4th are still yet to be decided, really they shouldn’t be important placing but with the money the Champions League brings in they are extremely important, third is also more important that it has ever been before as the side who finish 4th will miss out on Champions League Football should Chelsea triumph over Munich in Munich on May 19th.

Continue reading

By Laurie Fitzgerald

The first half of the 2011/12 Premier League season has once again served up the same sort of drama and excitement we come to expect from the biggest league in the world.

This season is shaping up to be more tense than ever though; gone are the days where it was the usual suspects in the title race as the top of the tree has as many as six teams pushing for the summit.

It’s just as exciting at the bottom, with all the sides in the bottom half of the table casting worried glances at the perils of relegation.

Manchester City find themselves top of the table having been in first place at Christmas for the first time since 1929, and with their Champions League campaign over, Roberto Mancini‘s star-studded squad will have their eyes firmly fixed on a first-ever Premier League title. Continue reading

By Tony Alvarez

Before Shouts from the stands winds down for the summer where instead of a daily article we will be just be dealing with the issues with 2 or so articles a week we will look into who each Premier League side should/needs to sign this summer.

This is the second part of the article, on Wednesday I looked at who the teams who had finished in the top 6 would sign you can find that article on the link below:

Today is the turn of the sides that finished 7-12 in the Premier League in the season just finished.

 

Everton:

  The Toffee’s main worry will be holding on to their current squad and if rumour is to be believed manager. After the season he has just had Leighton Baines has been linked with many big clubs and it looks as though Everton will have a battle on their hands to hold on to the English left back.

Similarly despite not having the most impressive of seasons the talent that Jack Rodwell possess is recognized by everyone and this could be seen as the chance to get him on the cheap before his stock really rises.

Should these two departGoodisonParkthey would need to be replaced especially Baines, however the club would receive in the region of £25 million for the pair and for the first time in years would have a decent amount to spend in the transfer market.

Assuming they keep hold of both Baines and Rodwell then there isn’t too many areas that Moyes will feel the need to improve on, of course he could do with better players in most positions but you have to be realistic.

I think a major target will be a goalscorer, we have all seen that Louis Saha is capable of scoring goals however getting him fit and on the pitch is the problem, Yakabu looks to be off and James Vaughan has departed leaving only Beckford and Anichebe who no disrespect do not but fear into most Premiership defences.

I think Everton should take a good look at Demba Ba he was impressive in a West Ham shirt even though they were relegated and he should enough glimpses of his ability to make me believe he could get 15 Premier League goals if he had the majority of the season in the Premier League.

A winger could be added but Moyes likes Baines to bomb forward and the left midfielder tuck in a job which the likes of Osman due perfectly so a winger is not a necessity.

Fulham:

Fulham have always been a side that performed well as a unit but don’t particularly have any standout players, the likes of Clint Dempsey and Bobby Zamora were not big names before they were at Craven Cottage, due to this its very hard to link them with players.

Zamoraand Johnson have both performed well when fit, Dembele was starting to look good before his injury and Dempsey has had his most impressive season so far.

 That’s more than enough attacking talent but they have suffered badly form injuries but I don’t think Mark Hughes will add to the attacking line up.

I personally think they need a new left back summer signing Carlos Salcido is struggling to get on the pitch and from what I’ve seen Matthew Briggs does not look to be ready for Premier League football.

I would look atWayneBridge, he’s available and wouldn’t cost too much and despite not being the best he could do the job for the next 2 years or so the only issue would be if Fulham could meet his wage demands which are reportedly quite high.

Fulham are also solid in the middle without having any star names, a player could be signed just to compliment them and give Hughes another option but it wouldn’t be anyone big and I think it would be difficult to put a name to who they should sign.

 

Aston Villa:

Villa similarly to Everton must first worry about keeping hold of their current squad before deciding who to add, I’ve been told from a source in the media that Ashley Young has agreed to join Manchester United and a deal will be completed within a week. Stewart Downing has also been rumoured to not enter negotiations over a new contract because he believes there are bigger clubs taking an interest in him. Richard Dunne faced disciplinary measures from the club earlier in the season and it is of the general belief that he is no longer happy at the midlands club.

Following the January signing of Daren Bent the club are ok for strikers, however if the rumours about Young are true they need a creative influence in the middle, unless Stephen Ireland finds his City form of three years ago this will need to come from some one outside the club, it is strongly rumoured that Villa are looking at Mark Noble and Thomas Hitzlesperger from West Ham whilst both good players who would suit Villa I don’t think they provide the creativeness in the middle of the park, these two could be targets but it would mean a change in systems for the club.

If Gerard Houllier does return as manager from his health scare then Villa could well be shopping in a French market as he knows the French League like no other.

Many Villa fans seem to think young Ciaran Clark will replace either Collins or Dunne at centre back and no one will be signed, whilst I likeClarkif I were a Villa fan I’d like to see added steel to the centre backs.

 

Sunderland:

If I just wrote STRIKERS I wouldn’t be far wide of the mark, Gyan has proved to be good enough in his maiden premier league season but has had no help especially since the loss of Darren Bent. In the last few weeks Stephane Sessegnon has been playing upfront which was unfamiliar for him as he likes playing just off a striker or in a wide position.

The black cats have been unlucky has loanee Danny Welbeck and Frazier Campbell both suffered injuries which ruled them out for long spells.

I think Sunderland are another club that should look at Demba Ba he could be the perfect partner for Gyan with his power and Gyans pace, or even another relegated striker DJ Campbell would not be a bad move.

At the back Sunderland are a bit like Fulham where they have no star names but seem to compliment each other well, the likes of Phil Bardsley, Titus Bramble and John Mensah would struggle at other clubs but they do the job atSunderland.

I feel if they could get Onuoha permanent basis it would be a good move. I would also try and add one other centre back Roger Johnson fromBirminghamwould be worth a look however it is reported that some of the Premier League big boys are after him soSunderlandcould be bullied out of the market.

 

West Brom:

West BromI feel are a difficult side to predict, they seem to have the perfect players to play the system they play considering there wage budget.

It is well known that Roy Hodgson likes to build from the back and works on the philosophy if you don’t concede goals you cant lose games.

In his time so far at the Hawthorns he has got them defending well despite not having the greatest players, I think he will look to bring in another centre back as he could improve on Tamas and Meite.

I find Hodgson impossible to second guess in terms of a name and I think he may use his expert knowledge of the Scandinavian market to pick up a raw gem.

Another player I thinkWest Bromneed is another striker to take some of the goal scoring burden off Odemwinge, Fortune is not up to the task, Cox has been played a bit deeper and Miller’s fitness is still questionable. The best case scenario would be a fit Ismail Miller as he has pace, power and decent finishing ability but can WBA afford to wait and see If he can rediscover his best form.

 

Newcastle:

Newcastlewill be glad to have their place as a Premier League club reconciled with a solid mid table finish and will now look to build to make sure they don’t slip again.

Its blindingly obvious the club need a striker an have struggled since the January departure of Andy Carroll. Although Leon Best, Shola Ameobi and Peter Lovenkrands have chipped in with goals I don’t think any of them are good enough to lead a strike force in the Premier League.

I know I’ve mentioned his name with a host of other clubs but they could do a lot worse than looking at Demba Ba. They have been heavily linked with Jay Boothroyd but I feel this would be a risk as he is completely unproven at Premier League level.

With the announcement that Barton will not get a new deal Pardew will look to receive a fee for him but will then have the tough ask of replacing him, Newcastle got arguably the find of the season in Chiek Tiote and will look to find a similar gem this year.

If they are going to look in the premier league then the likes of Mark Noble or evenBlackpool’s David Vaughan are well worth a look.

Newcastlehave often been linked with Seb Larsson and withBirminghamrelegated I would not be a surprise isNewcastlefinally got their man.

I’m also unsure if Danny Simpson is up to the job at right back I feel Pardew would rather sign another centre back and shift Steven Taylor across so the defence stays settled.

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