Tag Archive: Jack Rodwell


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 Tony Alvarez

As Harry Redknapp being found innocent of all charges regarding tax evasion is being widely reported by various forms of media outlets and of course you cant turn a TV on without reading the news of Fabio Capello resigning as England boss we thought we would avoid the topics and comment on something that isn’t widely covered else where on the web.

Instead were going to look at the role of the panel who are in charge of rescinding red cards upon appeal and what it is they exactly look for, this is especially prominent this week as Stoke’s Robert Huth has had his ban upheld although it is clear to all who have seen the incident that he should not of been red carded.

Any regular reader will know I’m not a Stoke fan in fact there are possibly my least favourite Premier League team I have problems with many things they do during their games and the way they go about a Football match, however in this case the FA have done them wrong.

I wrote an article earlier in the season after Jack Rodwell was wrongfully sent off in the Merseyside derby a red card that upon a appeal was revoked, incidentally both red cards were given by the same referee Martin Atkinson, I would of expected similar treatment for Robert Huth on this occasion however the panel saw things differently.

It should be noted that Mr Atkinson is a fan of branding the red card awarding almost one in every three fixtures of the 41 he officiated in the 2010-2011 season.

If you have not seen the incident pictured above Stoke defender Huth slid in on a slippery snowy surface to attempt to win the ball, he was travelling at speed and being unable to stop on the surface didn’t help his cause, he did not lung and it was not a two footed tackle (the two reasons we usually see players dismissed). That alone should make the tackle nothing more than a yellow card, it was mistimed he never won the ball and he went in with reasonable force. But even more incredible is that if you watch the tackle he realised he would not win the ball and completely pulled out of the tackle meaning the only contact wasSunderland’s David Meyler kicking Huth’s knee as again the picture shows.

I can understand how the referee got it wrong he was under pressure fromSunderlandplayers Huth was travelling at speed and Meyler ended up in a heap on the floor, this wasn’t like Rodwell’s where there was no case for a sending off, so I can sympathise with the referee they have a tough job. But how a panel that can see it again from many different angles with no pressure on them and can even have a rule book in front of them is beyond me.

Stoke chairman Peter Coates has even spoken out about the incident and the refusal from the appeal panel/board/committee to over turn the red card awarded by the referee.

He commented “You feel it is not being operated satisfactorily… Referees do make mistakes and nobody blames them for that, but we need a system that redresses that.”

It is obvious from what I have written above that I agree with Coates and feel there is many processes that the FA use that need to be altered. But what are your views?

Should Huth of been sent off? Do you agree with the panel’s decision to uphold the red card? Is it time for a change in the process?

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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.

By Tony Alvarez

Sitting in 13th place in the league table with 30 points you wouldn’t think Everton are in any danger of getting relegated, but will still be disappointed to be sitting so low in the table in what had the potential to be a promising season.

    However rewind the clock to Friday and Everton were sitting in 16th place in the table and things were not so comfortable, it just shows that the Premier League is so tight this year and every result really matters.

  Everton had their usual poor start to the season and it was 7 games before they tasted victory in the Premier League, although amongst these fixtures there was a very credible draw against Manchester United Everton were finding points hard to come by.

  Not only were the Merseyside club struggling to pick up points but were also struggling to find the back of the net.

 Although the whole squad share the blame for not hitting the target as often as they like the form of striker Louis Saha was the biggest disappointment, without a Premier League goal to his name at the turn of the year many were beginning to question his capabilities as a top level footballer.

 However, Saha has turned things round in impressive fashion notching up 8 already in 2011 including his four goal master class at home to Blackpool.

 Following his virtuoso display against Blackpool Saha rather humbly said “We know we could do better – we should be higher in the table.

“We have got a squad with brilliant players, quality players.

“If everyone plays at their top level we can get results and move up the table where we should be.

“If I played the same way as I did against Blackpool we would be in a better situation.”

You cannot argue with what he says on paper the squad should be a lot higher in the Premier League, even with the blow of losing Steven Piennar the club still have a strong squad who are capable of beating anyone on their day.

 It does appear that Saha is blaming himself for his sides lack of goals in the early part of the season which is perhaps unfair although he didn’t produce the goods in front of goal apart from Tim Cahill no one did.

 Its safe to say Jermaine Beckford has struggled to adapt to life in the Premiership and is not producing any where near the goal tally he did whilst at Leeds but he is showing signs of improvement.

Yakubu was so disappointing he was loaned out and Anichebe has had problems with injuries and despite being a good player his is not a goal threat and will never be a 20 goal a season player.

For me these are Everton’s only real problems Tim Howard is a good keeper and the back four are a good unit and all have vast amounts of experience, there are also protected very well by Fellani.

Coleman has been a revelation this season on the right and everyone knows about the ability Arteta has and in Jack Rodwell I personally think Everton have the most promising English talent bar Jack Wilshere.

 Should Saha or anyone else keep producing goals and the rest of the side stay as they are I can see Everton having a strong finish to the season and a comfortable mid table finish. Its not what the fans would of wanted in August but when the club were sitting just outside the bottom three many Evertonians would gracefully accepted a mid table finish.

What do you think? Where will Everton finish this season? Why do they always start seasons so poorly? Can Saha’s goals continue? How big a loss is Steven Piennar? Let us know by leaving a comment

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