Friday, 28 January 2011

FA Cup Fourth Round - Ones to Watch

For my Nan and Grandad Henry - To them I owe my sarcastic nature and love of The Arsenal x

Well it's FA Cup time this weekend - Yah! We've got five all Premier League ties and 15 of the top flight left in the competition. A few promotion chasers will take a rest from their respective leagues and lets not forget a few non-league sides including Crawley Town after they beat Championship side Derby last time out. As much as I would love to preview all 16 matches for you, I do have a life (I do!) so I have chosen the ones that I, and some of my twitter friends are looking forward to.

Of course I'm looking forward to this after seeing Mr Wenger's men reach their first final in five years on Tuesday. It's hard to know which Arsenal will turn up as they seen to enjoy adding more games to their already packed schedule but hopefully they should come out all guns blazing at home. You would think that RVP and player of the season, Samir Nasri will be rested especially with the Barca game on the horizon. Expect Nicolas Bendtner and Andrey Arshavin to start with some more of the golden youngsters on the bench. The Russian's form has dipped and a goal would give him some much needed confidence.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Premier League Preview - Match Day 23

After last weeks FA cup weekend the players are back to earning their crust in the Premier League. With a full roster - yah -, we've got three local derbies on Sunday and quite a few debutants as we hit the midway point of the transfer window.

The first of our derby Sunday games starts in the Midlands with two teams desperate for a win and local bragging rights. Villa are currently languishing in the relegation zone something I'm sure the blues fans will remind them off throughout the match. David Bentley should be in th squad following the completion of his loan deal from Spurs. Scott Dann is out after tearing his hamstring in midweek though Lee Bowyer returns after his three-match ban for violent conduct.

Emile Heskey and Ashley Young are both suspended which only adds to Villa's worries. There are rumours that Spurs youngster Kyle Walker will make his league debut. After clear the air talks with boss Gerard Houllier in the week Robert Pires is likely to start on the bench. Both teams average about one goal a game, something they will need to rectify if they are to improve on their position in the table.

KEY MAN: Roger Johnson - One of Birmingham most important players this season.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Time to get Less Personal

Just like Richard Keys doesn't seem to remember a time before the Premier League, there are an increasing number of fans who don't remember a time BBB - or as I like to call it 'Before Brand Beckham'.

A time that seems so long ago in todays world where footballers are England's rock stars. BBB was a time when the most important thing was what they did on the pitch, not who they did in a nightclub's toilets. A time when as far as I was concerned; every footballers child was called Jack, John, Jane or Jill. A time when I cared about a footballers marriage and subsequent divorce as much as I cared about.... well, golf.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Premier League Review - Match Day 22

Where do we start? Well, another round of fixtures in the Premier League where even Mystic Meg would have a struggle predicting the scores. The race for who gets the sack first continues and I'm just as confused as you are. I can tell you one thing though, the only person smiling tonight is Sir Alex. He may even have spat his gum out for the occasion.

I'm not going to say City came to the Emirates looking for the draw, but I've seen my Nan look more threatening on a trip to Iceland*. The first 30 minutes were all Arsenal with Robin Van Persie hitting the bar for the first of a number of times. Captain Cesc Fabregas looked odds on to score with Joe Hart beaten but his shot hit the post as did the one Theo Walcott took after receiving the rebound. The only chance of note for City came in the first half after Carlos Tevez left Laurent Koscielny in his wake before sending the ball over the bar. While some desperate defending by Manchester City gave Jack Wilshere a chance which he sent over the bar.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Premier League Preview - Match Day 22

Happy 2011 everyone, hope you're having a good start to the year. As you may have noticed, I missed Match Day 21 due to still being intoxicated from New Years Eve. But I'm back - and sober - with another preview.

Another impressive performance by Mr Wenger's men will have them raring to go against second placed Manchester City at the Emirates. Their 3 - 0 win at St. Andrew's took their tally to seven points out of nine and a win at home to City would see the clubs swap places, presuming Manchester United beat Stoke the day before. Samir Nasri continues to pull the strings in the Gunners midfield and it will be interesting to see how Nigel de Jong deals with his quick feet and silky moves. I think the City man could be a bet for the first yellow card.