Tag Archive: Gareth Barry


Michael Carrick’s noble statement that he would definitely “consider” an England call up, this season, yet again exposes the problems footballers have with being a reserve.

The Manchester United star withdrew his name from selection in January, after a dissatisfying 2010 World Cup campaign.

Being withdrawn, he was not selected for Roy Hodgson’s side for this summer’s Euro 2012 tournament, and he recently admitted to Betfair.com that he would have rejected a call-up, even if it were formally made.

Carrick outlined the situation at the World Cup as the reasons for his decision to focus on club football. Having made the squad, he trained and camped with his teammates but did not get a minute of play in South Africa, a predicament he foresaw should he join the Euro 2012 set-up.

But, when Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry pulled out of the campaign injured, the perfect replacement in the centre of the park was back at home. Instead of Carrick partnering Steven Gerrard in midfield, responsibility was handed to the inexperienced Jordan Henderson, who was largely ineffectual in Ukraine.

Carrick’s presence may well have bolstered England’s midfield during their quarter-final defeat to Italy, where Andrea Pirlo ran the show in the centre of the pitch. In deciding not to represent his country – even simply as a substitute – Carrick has surely rejected any chance of getting back into the side.

For why should a man dissatisfied with life on the subs bench be awarded a starting role?

Jamie Carragher, Liverpool’s rock in defence for the past decade, retired from international football as he was not getting a game. His appearance in South Africa, therefore, was disheartening to say the least, as he had not earned the right from playing England qualifiers.

The noble Carrick, if he wants to be part of England again at a major tournament, must prove himself willing to work with the squad during their next qualification campaign.

Visit the Betfair Premiership website for the best odds, picks, and tips for the upcoming campaign, as well as the 2012/13 Champions League.

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By Laurie Fitzgerald

On Friday the Football Association announced that John Terry would not be eligible for the England captaincy in this year’s European Championships.

After a meeting with the FA board, Chairman David Bernstein announced that Terry could not carry on with the armband with the charges of racial abuse against Anton Ferdinand, after his court case was adjourned until July.

While they stressed that the Chelsea centre-back will be available for selection, it would be difficult for Terry to captain the national side and unable to have the chance to clear his name until after the tournament.

It’s a decision that has split public opinion, with many feeling that Terry should remain captain on the basis of innocent until proven guilty.   Continue reading

Luka Modric is doing his best to engineer a move away from White Hart Lane

By Laurie Fitzgerald

It’s a year ending in one, and with no major tournament involving and ultimately disappointing English football fans, the summer transfer sagas have taken centre stage.

The likes of Ashley Young, Phil Jones, Luka Modric, Jordan Henderson, Samir Nasri, Cesc Fabregas, Carlos Tevez and Stewart Downing have become embroiled in potential departures from their respective clubs, either successfully or ongoing.

Young and Jones completed their moves to Manchester United from Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers respectively, while Henderson’s move from Sunderland to Liverpool remains the biggest transfer of the summer so far at £20 million.

But if a few other players get their way, then Henderson’s fee will seem almost paltry in comparison to the potential deals in store by the end of August.

Spurs midfielder Modric seems to be spouting his hard luck story on a daily basis, painting a picture that club chairman Daniel Levy is holding the Croatian against his will – 12 months after signing a new six-year deal with the club.

“I reminded Mr Levy of the gentlemen’s agreement we made last summer…I mentioned that if a concrete offer of a big club comes in we will then look at the offer and agree the best solution for all of us,” said the 25 year-old.

If Modric was so concerned about this ‘agreement’ then maybe he should have asked his agent Nikky Vuksan to implement it into the legally-binding contract he was actually signing instead of using it to justify his recent actions.

As a Tottenham fan, it’s easy to be angered by the past couple of weeks. There’s no doubting Modric’s ability; his wonderful balance, excellent vision and touch, as well as being deceptively strong, would make him an asset to any team in the Premier League.

You cannot criticise someone for wanting to better themselves in any walk of life, and with the opportunity to potentially triple his wages at Chelsea and Champions League football, it’s easy to see why Luka’s head is turned.

However, if Modric knew he’d be so determined to get a bigger move in the short-term, then making such a long-term commitment was incredibly naïve, and the anger of the supporters is justified.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident this summer, with a raft of players seeming to forget the agreement they have in writing when something seemingly better comes along.

For the past 12 months, all we’ve heard about Cesc Fabregas is how the Arsenal skipper’s heart belongs to Barcelona, and how it always has ever since he was a boy growing up in Cataluna.

Fair enough. So forgive my perplexity that the Spaniard started to yearn for a move to the Nou Camp just a few years into an EIGHT-year contract at the Emirates.

It’s not just a foreign mentality; In May, Stewart Downing professed his joy at being at Aston Villa, with the England winger even talking about signing a new deal at Villa Park.

The 26 year-old claimed, “The important thing in football is, if you’re happy, then why change it? I know it’s been a disappointing season, but I can see the bigger picture.”

It turns out the bigger picture is a potential £18 million move to Anfield, with Downing apparently wanting to make the move just two months after expressing a desire to commit long-term.

You can’t help but have sympathy for Villa supporters that for the past three summers have seen their best players leave (Gareth Barry, James Milner and Young) and could be about to see another key player depart.

Other cases are more open to debate; Tevez has said he wants to leave England so he can be closer to a family that is unwilling to move to Manchester, while Nasri has reportedly told Arsenal he wants to leave, giving the club the option to cash in with just a year remaining on his current deal.

But for fans not only of those clubs affected this summer, but for almost any supporter out there, it seems loyalty has finally disintegrated once and for all.

Supporters turn up week in week out and show adulation for those out on the pitch due to the players seeming to show their commitment off it – only to find their backing was misguided.

It’s disheartening for fans to see a key component of a developing squad leave when they think their team has a chance of progressing.

No doubt the likes of Modric, Fabregas and Downing will get the moves they crave, but the worst part is that none of this is a surprise anymore in modern day football.

We’re all used to it by now.

Sources: Daily Mail, BBC Sport, Birmingham Post

So what do you think? Do the likes of Modric, Fabregas and Downing deserve criticism for forcing moves away from their clubs? Or is it another setback for supporters that put their faith in modern day footballers? Let us know your thoughts.

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By Tony Alvarez

With Rio Ferdinand the man appointed as England captain by Fabio Capello likely to miss the upcoming England fixtures due to injury/ lack of match practise many sections of the media are suggesting that John Terry the man stripped of the arm band 14 months ago could be renamed as skipper.

 I am sure the majority of you are aware Terry was stripped of the armband following off the field controversy which involved him having an affair with the wife of former England and Chelsea team mate Wayne Bridge.

With both captain and vice captain (Steven Gerrard) likely to miss out through injury Capello is going to have to name a new skipper if only for these next two fixtures. If the recent friendly with Denmark was anything to go by Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry are in line to be leading the side out against Ghana and Wales.

I personally would rule Gareth Barry out because should Capello stick with the 442 system that the players looked comfortable in against Denmark, Barry is not guaranteed a starting birth, it is well known that Capello would like the England side to be built around Arsenal’s teenage prodigy Jack Wilshere. Under the assumption that he would command one of the 2 central midfield places then it’s a toss up between Lampard and Barry for the other, in my eyes that’s a non contest.

Which then leaves Lampard and Terry as the two main contenders to be named captain, personally I would go with the man who would be a better captain and lead their side the best and for me that is John Terry, if at club level he is the right man for the armband ahead of Lampard why should it be any different for the national side.

I would rather have the best captain regardless of off the field incidents, the arguments that the players may lack respect for him I disagree with, regardless of whether he is wearing an armband or not he still leads the defensive line and the players still listen to him.

John Terry is a natural leader it would be a waste of time giving the armband to someone else who doesn’t have the organisational or is not as inspirational as him

What do you think? Should Terry be reappointed as captain? Is Lampard the man to lead England forward? Is there someone I have overlooked? Should off the field antics make a difference in Footballing decisions?

Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts

By Tony Alvarez

A we are around midway into the January transfer window we decided to look into what types of players each club needs, I will also put forward my opinion of the ideal players to fulfil the roles and how likely it is to happen.

Earlier in the week I gave my thoughts on the teams whose names start between the letters A and L now is the turn of the rest of the teams in the Premier League.

To look back at who I thought the teams from A-L need to sign please click this link: https://shoutsfromthestands.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/who-does-your-club-need-in-the-transfer-window-a-l/

 

Manchester City- Having completed the signing of Dzeko I don’t think they really need any one.

I don’t think City will win the league but there is not many areas I think there squad could improve. If you do have the ambition of being a top top side which City clearly do, I don’t think Kolo Toure is up to the standard required any more. So possibly a new centre back is needed but I would wait until the summer.  For me the biggest hole in City’s team is Gareth Barry, he just doesn’t do much. City already have the players to replace him so I don’t think they need to bring anyone in to cover him.

Manchester United- Where do you start with United? For me there squad is one of the worst they have had in many years, but there top of the league and unbeaten. Personally I would add a winger Nani has been performing well but Giggs whilst still class isn’t consistent enough anymore and Park is not a winger so with Valencia’s injury they are one man short.

As Nani prefers playing on the right someone who is comfortable on the left is needed. I would look at Juan Mata from Valencia left footed and can play from the left but prefers to play centrally which will be ideal once Valencia is back to full fitness and would give United another option.

Newcastle- They have tried and it looks like failed to sign Seb Larsson which is a shame because I think it could have been a good move for them. Currently it seems like Barton is the only creative player in the side. Gutierrez runs with the ball well and Nolan adds goals but neither really create chances for others. I think they went for the ideal player in Larsson due to his crossing ability and the aerial prowess they have upfront with Carroll and Ameobi.

The press have linked Newcastle with Ziani from Wolfsburg who Is a creative player so Pardew is defiantly looking in the right places.

 I would also be tempted to look at another centre back Taylor, Coloccini and Williamson are all very similar and with it rumoured that Campbell wants out I would look at another slightly quicker centre back although I cant think of any one in particular at the moment.

 

 

Stoke- Stoke are a very good unit so they wont want to make too many changes, Pulis always looks for the same sort of player big strong lads unless he is looking for a winger then he goes for quick with decent delivery. At the time of writing this it appears the deal for Demba Ba is all but completed. He could be a good signing as much as I rate Fuller he just does not score enough goals but is a great player to bring on when you are in need, the same can be said of Walters. I think one more central midfielder could be added just to give the squad some depth, looking into the mould of players that Pulis usually goes for its hard to pick a name of who he could sign.

The press have reported both Stephen Ireland and Mark Noble have been looked at by Stoke. Ireland is not a typical Stoke player and if he played the way he has for Villa wouldn’t last five minutes. Noble is much better suited to Stoke’s game although he isn’t big in stature he is an all action box to box player with a bit of quality on the ball, Pulis has denied the link but I think this could be a good signing for Stoke.

 

 

Sunderland- My first step would be to try and sign Danny Welbeck permanently; I don’t think United would go for it though. The team is quite strong they have strikers all capable of scoring a mixture of players in the middle and a few different types of defender. Personally I think Sunderland need two players.

They don’t have a natural left sided midfielder which leaves them looking a bit unbalanced at times unless Zenden is playing and he is too old to be playing too many games on the spin.

For the left it was rumoured Bruce was interested in Charles N’Zogbia which would of been the ideal signing attitude aside but Wigan have already ruled that move out.

The other position I would sure up is at centre back for me they have 4 or 5  average  centre backs all 6 out of 10 but no one with that bit more quality.

To be honest the centre backs are ok for the rest of the season but if they carry on their form and then want to make that jump to the next level next season then this is defiantly one of the areas I would look at strengthening.

 

 

Tottenham- For me Tottenham’s squad is quite strong and complete, they have a few players of a similar mould in the midfield which made me think trying to sign Piennar was a bit pointless although he is a good player.

For me a new left back is a must, I cant see anything in Assou-Ekotto that suggest he should be in that side, from what I can gather from the Tottenham fans I have spoken to he’s either loved or hated so some of you would strongly agree whilst others will completely disagree that he needs replacing.

 He isn’t your typical left back but I would look at the Valencia left back Mathieu he is a solid no frills left back who keeps things simple but is strong in the air and in the tackle.

I also do not particulary rate Alan Hutton but I do rate Corluka so if Hutton’s keeping him out of the side he must be doing something right.

 

West Brom- This is a difficult one, Odemwingie is not clinical enough but causes teams so many problems as it is Di Matteo’s preference to play one out and out striker would you bring in someone who will guarantee goals but then lose all that Odemwingie gives you.

Personally I would stick with what they have as they currently have enough to stay in the league if he can get them all working together. Dorrans was scoring for fun in the Championship and Di Matteo needs to find a way to rediscover his scoring touch as goals are where West Brom are lacking.

I would also like to see more of Somen Tchoyi on the pitch he seems a bit lazy but is very creative and can change games.

 

 

West Ham- There are so many players at West Ham that if playing at their full potential are more than good enough to get them out of the trouble there in, the problem is Scott Parker is the only player showing any real form.

I think the signing of Wayne Bridge is a good one and it makes their back line pretty much complete.

 I think West Ham are fine in the middle but its on the flanks they are struggling, Jack Collison has been a massive loss for them as he adds a little bit of class and for me Behrami has not been himself this season.

 I remember before the season started I said to a West Ham fan they were stupid to get rid of Diamanti because he gave you width and that spark of producing something from nothing, I still believe this is the case.

 All reports suggest that Grant is looking at a whole host of strikers but between Cole, Obinna and Piquionne there is the potential for enough goals in the team they just need the right service.

 The ideal signing although he would be difficult to prize away would be Chris Brunt he can play wide has a beautiful delivery is good from set pieces and will get you goals, but for them reasons it would take a lot to get West Brom to part with him.

 

Wigan- For me Wigan have a whole host of problems and don’t have the money to rectify them, I think they will be gracing the championship next year, Rodallega is a good player but does not offer enough goals so someone to play alongside him who will get the goals his work deserves would be ideal, they have used the loan market well in signing Tom Cleverly and I think they should dip into it again to sign a striker.

 Again in the midfield they have N’Zogbia who is a good player and Cleverly adds something to the side but for me the likes of Gomez and Wason just don’t cut it in the Premier League, Hendry Thomas is a good holding player so just someone who can press on a bit is needed, I am not sure how bad the financial situation is so I would look at Adam Hammill who is available for half a million.

Figueroa is a good player and the rest of the back line are just battling hearts on their sleeves type of players this could be strong enough to get them through, but due to lack of individual quality they need to come together as a unit.

 

Wolves-Wolves are an odd case, Kevin Doyle is a good player Steven Fletcher is a good player they get good service from the likes of Hunt, Jarvis, Jones and Milijas so why are they not scoring goals? Its not like they are missing a whole host of chances each week either it’s quite baffling.

Karl Henry has been a big loss as he adds the bite in midfield but he should be back soon and I think he could spring the team into action.

I would be tempted to add a player at the back, Craddock was the leader and he has been out for a long time and he will not come back and straight away be ready for the rigours of the Premier League.

I think generally they need to add a centre back but even if they sign a player on loan for the short term until Craddock comes back it could be enough to see them safe this season.

It’s been reported that Mick McCarthy has given up on trying to sign David Wheater which is a shame because he could have been the ideal man for what Wolves need, someone in a similar mould needs to be looked at, they could do a lot worse than signing Sol Campbell until the end of the season.

Let me know if you agree with my opinions or if you disagree who you would sign for your club or any of the clubs I have mentioned?

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