Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Statistically, the ICT index score of the best performing players in the English Premier League so far this season!


The ICT Index (Influence, Creativity, Threat) is a new feature for the 2016/17 Premier League campaign.

A football statistical index, it has been developed specifically to give a verdict on a player as a Football Premier League asset.

It condenses more than 40 match event statistics for three key areas – Influence, Creativity and Threat, to generate the data into a single score.

This score is what is known as an individual’s ICT Index score, and via this data is able to offer an accurate summary on player performance.


Season 2016/17 - Last update: 21/02/17 at 9.30am


For those of you currently playing 'Fantasy Premier League Football' you may want to take note!


Goalkeepers:

1. Tom Heaton (Burnley) 74.0 ICT Index 
2. Ben Foster (West Brom) 60.7 (pictured right)
3. Heurelho Gomes (Watford) 53.3
4. Petr Cech (Arsenal) 52.0
5. Jordan Pickford (Sunderland) 51.9
6. Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea) 50.3
7. Víctor Valdés (Middlesbrough) 48.8
8. Artur Boruc (Bournemouth) 48.2
9. Lee Grant (Stoke City) 45.7
10. Hugo Lloris (Tottenham) 43.8


Defenders:

1. Patrick van Aanholt (C. Palace) 123.3 ICT Index
2. Kyle Walker (Tottenham) 116.0
3. Michael Keane (Burnley) 111.7
4. Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool) 110.7
4. Antonio Valencia (Man Utd) 110.7
6. Steve Cook (Bournemouth) 108.4
7. Séamus Coleman (Everton) 103.9
8. Charlie Daniels (Bournemouth) 103.8
9. Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) 103.3
10. Gareth McAuley (West Brom) 102.5


Midfielders:

1. Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) 333.0 ICT Index
2. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) 250.0
3. Christian Eriksen (Tottenham) 239.2
4. Kevin De Bruyne (Man City) 229.4
5. Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea) 216.2 (pictured right)
6. Eden Hazard (Chelsea) 215.6
7. Sadio Mané (Liverpool) 209.7
8. Paul Pogba (Man Utd) 206.7
9. Mesut Özil (Arsenal) 205.4
10. Michail AntonioTheo (West Ham) 192.4


Forwards:

1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Man Utd) 291.6 ICT Index
2. Diego Costa (Chelsea) 241.0
3. Romelu Lukaku (Everton) 219.0 (pictured right)
4. Harry Kane (Tottenham) 183.1
5. Sergio Agüero (Man City) 178.7.
6. Christian Benteke (C. Palace) 171.8
7. Jermain Defoe (Sunderland) 165.2
8. Salomón Rondón (West Brom) 161.1
9. Troy Deeney (Watford) 152.4
10. Fernando Llorente (Swansea) 145.8



1. Influence

Influence is the first measurement. This evaluates the degree to which that player has made an impact on a single match or throughout the season.

It takes into account events and actions that could directly or indirectly effect the outcome of the fixture.

At the top level these are decisive actions like goals and assists. But the Influence score also processes significant defensive actions to analyse the effectiveness of defenders and goalkeepers.

2. Creativity

Creativity assesses player performance in terms of producing goalscoring opportunities for others. It can be used as a guide to identify the players most likely to supply assists.

While this analyses frequency of passing and crossing, it also considers pitch location and quality of the final ball.

3. Threat

This is the third measure, producing a value that examines a player's threat on goal. It gauges individuals most likely to score goals.

While attempts are the key action, the Index looks at pitch location, giving greater weight to actions that are regarded as the best chances to score.

All three of these scores are combined to create an overall ICT Index score. That then offers a single figure that presents a view on that player as a Football Premier League asset.



Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Babe of the Month - Lindsey Vonn, alpine skiing legend!


Lindsey Caroline Vonn, alpine skiing's poster girl, is as ruthless, brilliant and successful as they come in the competitive world of alpine racing.

Born Lindsey Caroline Kildow on 18th October 1984, in St. Paul, Minnesota, Lindsey Vonn is one of the world's top female skiers. Growing up in Minnesota, with her four siblings, Vonn began her ascent to sports stardom as a toddler, when her father, former competitive skier Alan Kildow, first put her on skis. He would later serve as her first coach. Vonn started racing at the age of 7 years.

Vonn then trained locally with coach Erich Sailer before moving to Vail, Colorado, in the late 1990's. In 1999, the 14-year-old Vonn made history when she won the slalom at Trofeo Topolino in Italy, becoming the first American woman to attain this honor. Over the next few years, she excelled as a junior competitor, and at 17 years old she was selected for the U.S. Ski team for the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she came 6th in the combined. The following year, she won a silver medal at the Junior World Championships in Puy Saint-Vincent, France.

In 2005, Vonn joined the Red Bull Athletes Special Projects and began working with a new coaching team. Around this time, Vonn wrote on her website: "I had a feeling this was going to be my big chance." Vonn had high hopes for the 2006 Olympic Games in San Sicario, Italy; but during a practice run, she had a terrible accident she was evacuated by helicopter to Turin and was hospitalized overnight. She still competed, however, coming in seventh in the Super G and eighth in the downhill events.


Vonn made an impressive comeback the following year, winning two silver medals at the 2007 World Championships in Sweden, in the downhill and the Super G.
Vonn then began her winning streak at the World Cup in 2008, with a downhill championship victory — marking her domination of the sport.

In 2009, she took the gold in the downhill and Super G competitions at the World Championships and won both the downhill and Super G events at the World Cup.


In 2010, Vonn got the chance to fulfill a lifelong dream. She won two medals at the Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada; she earned the top honor - her first gold medal - in the downhill, and took home the bronze in the Super G. Over the next few years, Vonn continued to dominate the sport. She took top honors at the World Cup in the downhill, Super G and combined events over three consecutive seasons.

On 5th February 2013, Vonn suffered a debilitating injury at the World Championships in Austria. After tearing both her ACL and MCL, along with fracturing her lateral tibial plateau, she underwent reconstructive knee surgery soon after. It took several months of recovery for Vonn to recover before she would be able to hit the slopes once again. She was next seen skiing at a training camp in August.

All seemed well as Vonn stated that her injured right knee felt as good as her left on the slopes, but she aggravated her injury while training on November 19. She competed and placed 40th, 11th and fifth in the Super G at Lake Louise, Alberta, the following month. Unfortunately, only two weeks later, she had to remove herself from a World Cup downhill competition in Val d'lsere, France, after her MCL was sprained. The sprain, in addition to her torn ACL, made Vonn's likelihood in competing during the 2014 Winter Olympics unlikely. She announced on 7th January 2014, that she would not be able to compete in the Winter Olympics.

Vonn made her comeback on 6th December 2014 at the Women’s World Cup downhill race at Lake Louise, Alberta, winning the event in only her second race back. On 18th March 2015, Vonn won the last World Cup downhill race at Meribel, France and claimed the World Cup downhill title for the seventh time. The next day, Vonn notched her eighth victory of the season by winning the last super-G race. With this win, Vonn took the super-G season title for a fifth time, tying a record shared by German Katja Seizinger, Austrian Hermann Maier and Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal.

On 11th November 2016, Vonn announced that she had severely fractured the humerus bone of her right arm in a training crash. She had undergone surgery to repair the bone. Vonn returned to the World Cup on 15th January 2017, in the downhill race at Altenmarkt, Austria where she finished 13th. On 20th January in her second race back from injury, she won the downhill event in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, capturing her 77th win, an all-time women's record, passing Annemarie Moser-Pröll of Austria who had held the record since the 1970's.


Vonn made headlines in 2012, when it was reported that she was dating American golf superstar Tiger Woods, after meeting him at a charity event in 2012. The pair went public with their romance in March 2013, but they announced their breakup in May 2015 due to their busy schedules.
Vonn was previously married to former competitive skier Thomas Vonn from 2007 to 2011.

Lindsey's hobbies include cycling, tennis, reading, and watching NBC's Law & Order.

Though she makes many public appearances, Vonn says training takes up most of her life except for a few weeks after the ski season. Her hobbies include cycling, tennis, reading, and watching NBC's Law & Order.

Vonn appeared in the 2010 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition which featured Olympians from the 2010 Winter Games, and in 2016 she took part in a photo shoot for Sports Illustrated, wearing only body paint.



You can follow Lindsey on: FacebookTwitter and Instagram and also on her Website 



Monday, January 23, 2017

The Murky Side of Hope Solo


Hope Amelia Solo, the gorgeous looking cover girl of American sport, often the darling of the United States Women's football team IS also the perpetrator of an assorted array of various shenanigans over the years, which has unfortunately damaged both her sporting and celebrity image.


Here are a list of some of Hope's transgressions over the years?

2007

Solo was the starting goalkeeper for the United States in the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup in China.
Heading into the semi-final match against Brazil, U.S. coach Greg Ryan benched Solo in favor of 36-year-old veteran U.S. keeper Briana Scurry, who had a strong history of performance against the Brazilians but had not played a complete game in three months. Scurry had a bad match, and Brazil ran away with the game in a 4-0 win over the United States.
Solo was unable to keep her frustration under wraps, and launched a tirade against the coach and Scurry: "There's no doubt in my mind I would have made those saves," she said. "And the fact of the matter is, it's not 2004 anymore…It's 2007, and I think you have to live in the present. And you can't live by big names. You can't live in the past. It doesn't matter what somebody did in an Olympic gold-medal game in the Olympics three years ago."
Following her outburst Solo released an apologetic statement the following day but Greg Ryan announced that Solo would not be with the team and would not play in the third-place match against Norway the following day. Team captain Kristine Lilly stated that the decision on Solo was made by the team as a group.



2008

In 2008, it was announced Solo would be the starting goalkeeper for the U.S. team at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. In a reversal of roles from the 2004 Olympics, Briana Scurry did not make the team, though she was an alternate. On 21 August, the U.S. women's team won the gold medal by defeating Brazil 1–0 in extra time, in no small measure due to Solo's outstanding performance in goal. After the team won gold, Solo appeared on NBC Today Show, and she stated in a 2012 article appearing in ESPN The Magazine that she was drunk while on air:-
"When we were done partying, we got out of our dresses, got back into our stadium coats and, at 7 a.m with no sleep, went on the Today show drunk. Needless to say, we looked like hell."





2010

Solo apparently didn't learn her lesson after the 2007 incident with Scurry. Solo signed with WPS expansion team, Atlanta Beat in May 2010. However following a play-off loss against Washington Freedom in September 2010, Solo took to social media and laid down a blistering Twitter attack directed on two fronts, accusing Boston Breakers supporters of offensive chanting and racist remarks towards a teammate, then questioning the integrity of match officials and the league itself.
"It's official, the refs are straight bad," she said (via The Washington Post). "It's clear the league wanted DC in the playoffs. I have truly never seen anything like this. It's sad. I am done playing in a league where the game is no longer in control of the players."
According to The Washington Post, those comments (among others in her tirade) earned her a $2,500 fine, eight hours of community service, and a one-game suspension from her team.



2012

Leading up to the Summer Olympics, Solo received a public warning from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) after a 15 June urine test concluded the banned substance Canrenone had been detected. Solo said in a statement she had been prescribed a pre-menstrual medication and was not aware it contained any banned substances. She cooperated with the USADA and provided them with the necessary information to prove that it was a mistake. Her story checked out and she was cleared with a public warning. The positive test did not require Solo to withdraw from any pre-Olympic matches.

During the 2012 summer Olympics in London, Solo raised eyebrows when she went on the record about the sex, drinking, and other debauchery that happens inside the Olympic Village. She told quite the wild tale to ESPN magazine: "I've seen people having sex right out in the open. On the grass, between buildings, people are getting down and dirty." Solo also admitted to sneaking celebrities and other non-Olympians into the Village after-hours

Hope Solo can't even get married without some sort of incident. Early on the morning of her wedding day on 12 November 2012, Solo, her brother Marcus Solo, and her husband-to-be Jerramy Stevens were involved in an alleged drunken altercation during a soiree at her home. Around 3a.m, Marcus made a series of four calls to 911 to request medical assistance resulting from a brawl involving a stun gun. According to ABC News, a female house guest suffered injuries to her hip, Hope had a bloody elbow, Marcus had blood on his forehead and knees, and police said Stevens "appeared to be hiding" between the bed and the wall of the mater bedroom. Authorities believed Stevens caused Hope's injuries and arrested him for domestic violence assault, reported ABC News. The pair wed later that same day, and police reportedly dropped the charges when the alleged victims refused to co-operate.



2014

In 2014, Solo was one of the victims of the iCloud leaks of celebrity photos, during which several nude pictures of her were leaked online. She expressed solidarity with the other women affected and criticized the perpetrators: "This act goes beyond the bounds of human decency"

On 21 June 2014, Solo was arrested and charged with two misdemeanor counts of assault in the fourth degree; one against her half-sister and the other against her nephew. At the police station, while cops were trying to book her into jail, ESPN said Solo "was so combative that she had to be forced to the ground, prompting her to yell at one officer, you're such a b***h. You're scared of me because you know that if the handcuffs were off, I'd kick your ass." When asked by an officer to remove a necklace, Solo reportedly "told the officer that the piece of jewellery was worth more than he made in a year." She was booked under her married name of Hope Amelia Stevens.
After pleading not guilty, she was released the following day. In August, her trial was scheduled for 4 November 2014, but this was later delayed until 20 January 2015. On 30 December 2014, the judge ordered more depositions from the defendants and delayed a decision on whether charges against Solo would be dropped until 6 January 6 2015.

Following her arrest, Solo sat out one game for the Seattle Reign and the NWSL allowed her to continue playing soccer through the end of the 2014 season. There was some debate in the media about whether this exemplified a double standard in professional American sports.





2015

On 13 January 2015, the judge dismissed the assault charges against Solo based on a lack of cooperation from both alleged victims
However, prosecutors filed an appeal with the Superior Court of Washington. Prosecutors were scheduled to file their argument by 13 July 2015, with the defense due to respond by 10 August 2015. Oral arguments were then scheduled for 11 September 2015.
The charges were reinstated in October 2015. On 8 June 2016, KING5 Seattle reported that the state appeals court denied a discretionary review to dismiss the reinstated domestic violence charges. Solo can appeal the ruling to the Washington state Supreme Court

During the semi-final match of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada between the United States and Germany, she used a stalling tactic - almost to the point of impropriety. Solo wasted a lot of time pointing to the referees and her teammates, then taking a long drink of water and even pouring some down her neck.
The tactic worked: as the tournament's high scorer, Célia Šašić, missed her penalty kick, to keep the game scoreless. This marked the first time a German team, men's or women's, had missed a penalty in a World Cup. The US went on to defeat Germany and lift the World Cup trophy and Solo received the Golden Glove trophy as the best goalkeeper.

During a training camp for the U.S. women's national team in 2015, Solo reportedly slipped away from the facilities in a U.S. soccer team van for a rendezvous with her husband, former Seattle Seahawks tight end Jerramy Stevens. Allegedly, Stevens was too sloshed to be driving, and the pair were pulled over by police in Manhattan Beach, Califiornia. Stevens was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence, reported ESPN W. Solo wasn't arrested, but the run-in with cops was embarrassing to the national team and coaches, particularly because they didn't learn about the incident until it was reported on TMZ. As a result,
Solo found herself serving yet another 30-day suspension from the national team.



2016

At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Solo found herself at the center of two controversies that angered many soccer fans around the world. First, she became the target of offended Brazilians after she posted pictures on Twitter of her mosquito net and an arsenal of bug repellent, with the hashtag #zikaproof. Brazilian soccer fans responded by hounding Solo during the U.S. Team's matches at the Olympics. Each time Solo touched the ball, they chanted "Zika" at the top of their lungs.
Solo attracted more controversy in the United States' quarter-final defeat by Sweden. During the penalty shootout she caused an interruption of several minutes when changing her gloves before Sweden's final kick, in an apparent act of gamesmanship. Lisa Dahlkvist was seen to laugh at Solo's antics, before calmly converting the penalty to eliminate the United States.
Following the match Solo called her opponents "a bunch of cowards" in reference to their ultra-defensive tactics, adding "The best team did not win today, I strongly, firmly believe that."
The remark was made to Grant Wahl (an American sports journalist) in the raw aftermath of the defeat, part of a wide-ranging interview in which she also praised her team's Scandinavian conquerors. The comments sparked outrage from athletes, coaches, and fans around the world.
The International Olympic Committee called Solo's comments "disappointing" but said she was unlikely to face formal disciplinary action adding: "People are free to say those things. We wouldn’t stop their right to express themselves, within boundaries, obviously." Swedish coach Pia Sundhage was more blunt in her assessment: "I don't give a crap. I'm going to Rio, she's going home" and later said, "I think she was just stressed, and that she did not really mean it."

On 24 August 2016, following Solo's comments at the Rio Olympics, US Soccer suspended Solo for six months and terminated her national team contract, making it her second suspension from the USWNT. The governing body said that Solo's previous misconduct had influenced its decision. Solo reacted angrily, saying that her comments had been used as a pretext to force her out, due to her prominent role in the national team's campaign for equal pay.
Teammate Megan Rapinoe speculated that Solo's termination was "probably some legal strategy" on the part of US Soccer. In announcing a legal challenge to US Soccer's action, the players' lawyer Rich Nichols termed it: "excessive, unprecedented, disproportionate, and a violation of Ms. Solo’s First Amendment rights."




Friday, January 13, 2017

All the very latest football news and gossip across Europe!




With the January transfer window in full swing, there is plenty of transfer talk and a few deals have been done! Many clubs across Europe are doing their best to strengthen their squads as the second half of the season gets underway. Some clubs are trying to push on in an attempt to lift some silverware, others to consolidate their current situation, and needless to say their are plenty of clubs busy looking to bring in new personnel as they attempt to save their seasons!

Here is a round up of all the latest football news/gossip across Europe today, which includes the likes of: West Ham, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Dimitri Payet, Jack Wilshire, Alvaro Morata, Real Madrid, Lyon, Atletico Madrid, Virgil van Dijk, Patrice Evra, Robbie Brady, Southampton, Everton, PSG, Michy Batshuayi, Robert Snodgrass, Morgan Schneiderlin, Carl Jenkinson, Liverpool, Sevilla, Middlesbrough, Fulham and Slaven Bilic to name but a few!


Dimitri Payet will be sold by West Ham this month. The Hammers will hold out for the highest price they can get for the 29-year-old, who is refusing to play for the club, according to manager Slaven Bilic. Payet has reportedly told West Ham he wants to return to France for "personal reasons" - Daily Mirror

Premier League leaders Chelsea will move for 29-year-old West Ham playmaker Dimitri Payet, who Hammers boss Slaven Bilic says is refusing to play for the club - The Sun

PSG want to sign Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi. The Belgian, who signed from Marseille for £33m in the summer, is yet to start a Premier League game for Antonio Conte's side, making 12 substitute appearances - L'Equipe (French nationwide daily newspaper devoted to sport)

Manchester City, Everton and Italian side AC Milan are monitoring the future of Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere. The 25-year-old is on loan at Bournemouth and his contract with the Gunners expires next season - Daily Star

According to latest rumours coming from Italian sources, Liverpool and German international defensive midfielder Emre Can, who turned 23 just yesterday, has become a main target for Juventus. Can is currently on a deal with The Reds until June 2018, the player is likely to cost about 16 million euros - transfermarketweb.com

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been speaking to Mesut Ozil's agent, and says he's very relaxed about the contract situation with the German - skysports.com

Crystal Palace are close to signing former 35 year-old Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra - Sky in Italy, via Sky Sports

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is preparing to make a bid for 24 year-old Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata - OK Diario (Spanish digital newspaper Okdiario.com)

Jeff Schlupp has joined Crystal Palace on a four and a half year deal from Leicester City. He will be available to play in Palace’s match at West Ham tomorrow - skysports.com

Everton have confirmed the signing of Morgan Schneiderlin from Manchester United - skysports.com

Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke will block any efforts by manager Sam Allardyce to offload him to West Brom - Daily Mirror

Sevilla are the latest club to cool their interest in signing Liverpool's Mamadou Sakho. The Reds are thought to want around £20m for the French international centre back. However, several clubs, including Southampton and Swansea, have been unwilling to match his wages, understood to be around £105,000 a week - skysports.com

Jesse Lingard has agreed a new Manchester United contract worth £95,000 per week- skysports.com

Eddie Howe has said there have been no talks with Chelsea about John Terry going to Bournemouth on loan - skysports.com

Lyon are the only club trying to sign Manchester United winger Memphis Depay, 22, on a permanent deal but have offered substantially less than the £15m asking price - ESPN and skysports.com

Arsenal full-back Carl Jenkinson looks set to go on loan to Crystal Palace, with a deal expected in the next two or three days. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said: “With Carl, yes, there is a possibility that he will move, in the next two or three days.” - skysports.com

Stoke manager Mark Hughes has revealed talks have reopened with West Brom in a bid to finally thrash out a deal for Saido Berahino. West Brom Head Coach Tony Pulis says it's not just Stoke interested in signing striker Saido Berahino - skysports.com

Burnley have made an offer worth up to £13m for Norwich winger Robbie Brady, 24. The Republic of Ireland international is also wanted by Crystal Palace and Sunderland - Daily Mirror

Burnley and Leicester have bid around £10m for Norwich midfielder Robbie Brady. The 24-year-old is reportedly valued at £13m by the EFL Championship side, with Hull City due 25 per cent of any deal. Crystal Palace, Sunderland and Aston Villa are also reportedly interested in Brady - Daily Mail

Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk, 25, is believed to be a transfer target for Everton - Daily Star

Dutch international winger Luciano Narsingh (26), has officially joined Swansea City from PSV Eindhoven on a deal until June 2019, after four seasons with the Eredivisie club - transfermarketweb.com

Wolfsburg are weighing up the chance of signing 29 year-old Argentinian forward Mauro Matias Zarate from Fiorentina. The former Inter Milan, Lazio and West Ham player has a contract with Fiorentina until June 2018, and has recently started new contract talks with the Serie A club - Corriere dello Sport - Stadio (Italian national sports newspaper)

Simone Zaza has accepted an offer from Valencia, according to Sky in Italy. The Juventus striker, currently on loan at West Ham, will move on loan to the Spanish side for 2m euros, with an obligation to buy for an extra 16m euros - Sky in Italy

Crystal Palace boss Sam Allardyce has made an initial £6m bid for Sunderland full-back Patrick van Aanholt, 26, who is rated at £10m by the Black Cats - Daily Mail

David Moyes has admitted Sunderland have knocked back a bid from Crystal Palace for Patrick van Aanholt. Sky sources understand the bid to be in the region of £6-7m - skysports.com

Hull City have announced the signing of Everton's froward Oumar Niasse on a six-month loan and midfielder Evandro Goebel on a permanent deal from Porto. Everton forward Niasse will be available for the clash with Bournemouth tomorrow, while the Goebel deal is down to international clearance.
Niasse, who has had a torrid time since joining Everton from Lokomotic Moscow, will be at the KCOM Stadium until the end of the season - skysports.com

Aitor Karanka would like to keep Ben Gibson at Middlesbrough for his entire career amid speculation in the British press that Chelsea are lining him up as a £30m replacement for John Terry - skysports.com

Middlesbrough are closing in on the signing of Bojan from Stoke. It's understood Stoke would want around £12m if the deal were to be a permanent move. West Brom made an enquiry earlier in the transfer window. Daily Star and skysports.com

West Brom are set to join West Ham in the race for Hull's Robert Snodgrass. The Scot, 29, has rejected a new contract offer at Hull, while West Ham have had a bid rejected for Snodgrass - Daily Mirror

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino admits Tom Carroll could be set to leave the club, due to a lack of first team opportunities - skysports.com

Derby County midfielder Will Hughes has signed a new contract with the club until 2020 - skysports.com

Championship side Leeds have rejected offers of £7m for full-back Charlie Taylor, 23, from Premier League sides West Brom, Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace - Guardian

Atletico Madrid midfielder Tiago has revealed that he turned down three offers from elsewhere after coach Diego Simeone told him to stay at the club. Recent reports from Spain claimed that the Portuguese midfielder, who is out of contract at the end of the season, was contemplating leaving the club to head to China- skysports.com

Sheffield United have announced the signing of Daniel Lafferty from Burnley with the defender penning a two-and-a-half year deal at Bramall Lane for an undisclosed fee - skysports.com

Norwich boss Alex Neil has been chatting with the media and has confirmed the club are in talks with Swansea over the transfer of Martin Olsson - skysports.com

Brentford’s valuation of striker Scott Hogan has still not been met, despite bids having been received from more than one club. Hogan trained yesterday and today and will be in the squad to face Newcastle at Griffin Park tomorrow. It is understood the club value him at around £15m, with a 30 per cent sell on clause due to his former club Rochdale - skysports.com

Aston Villa are eyeing up a bid for Fulham's Tom Cairney. The midfielder, 25, is valued at around £10m, and was sold by Villa manager Steve Bruce while at Hull three years ago. Newcastle are also reportedly keen on Cairney - Daily Mirror

Fulham midfielder Jozabed has joined La Liga side Celta Vigo on loan for the remainder of the season - skysports.com

Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic has confirmed that Chris Martin is available again for selection after refusing to play since Boxing Day - skysports.com

David Davis has signed a new three-and-a-half year deal with Birmingham City, the club announced this afternoon - skysports.com

Aberdeen have rejected a reported £500,000 bid from Cardiff for winger Jonny Hayes - skysports.com

Doncaster Rovers have signed goalkeeper Ian Lawlor from Premier League giants Manchester City. The 22-year-old failed to make a senior appearance during seven years at City, although he has gained first-team experience during loan spells at Barnet and Bury - skysports.com



Monday, December 19, 2016

All the very latest football news and gossip across Europe!




With the January transfer window opening in just two weeks time, many clubs across Europe will being doing their best to strengthen their squads, in an effort to lead them to glorious victory or save them from glorious failure, come the end of the season!

Here is a round up of all the latest football news/gossip across Europe today, which includes the likes of: Manchester United, Chelsea, Barcelona, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Lionel Messi, Louis van Gaal, Bayern Munich, West Ham, Marseille, Leonardo Bonucci, Morgan Schneiderlin, Mathieu Flamini, Santos, Inter, Juventus and Slaven Bilic to name but a few!


Zlatan Ibrahimovic is ready to extend his stay at Manchester United and snub a £120m offer from China - The Sun

Bayern Munich have beaten Chelsea to the signing of Hoffenheim centre-back Niklas Sule, according to Bild. The 21-year-old defender was set to be the subject of a January move from the Premier League leaders, who were reportedly willing to bid £30m.
However Chelsea’s pursuit of Sule is at an end after Bayern agreed an undisclosed fee with Hoffenheim for the defender - Bild (German tabloid newspaper)

Barcelona vice-president Jordi Mestre has revealed that the club are looking to tie up Lionel Messi’s new contract in the first few months of 2017. Messi’s current deal is set to enter its final 18 months and the Camp Nou giants are keen to ensure he stays at the club beyond the summer of 2018 - Movistar (Spanish communications operator)

Juventus are still 'dreaming' of signing Alexis Sanchez and will reportedly bid for the unsettled Arsenal forward next summer - The Sun

Arsenal are planning to break the £200,000-a-week barrier at the club to keep striker Alexis Sanchez - Daily Mail

Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel, 29, is in talks with Ligue 1 side Marseille, after being frozen out by Antonio Conte - Daily Mirror

Axel Witsel has reportedly rejected an SOS call from Chelsea boss Antonio Conte as he prepares to join Juventus. The Belgian midfielder’s contract at Zenit St-Petersburg expires at the end of the season, with a 2017 move to Italian champions Juventus already agreed.

Inter Milan are one of a number of clubs interested in Manchester United midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, 27, who has played just eight times for Jose Mourinho's side this season - Calciomercato (Italian football news site)

Everton have issued a 'come and get him' invitation to try to unload England midfielder Ross Barkley - Daily Express

Crystal Palace could release midfielder Mathieu Flamini, 32, in January. He has been given permission to return to Marseille - Daily Mirror

John Terry is at the centre of a £16million tug of war between two Chinese Super League Clubs with managers who have Chelsea connections. Guangzhou Evergrande and Shanghai Shenhua both interested in signing the defender - Daily Express

Reported Chelsea target Leonardo Bonucci has signed a new five-year contract with Serie A champions Juventus. Should the Premier League leaders decide to pursue a winter deal for Bonucci, a much greater fee will be demanded, after he signed improved terms that tie him to 'La Vecchia Signora' until 2021.

Tottenham have bid £19m for Atalanta midfielder Franck Kessie, 20, with Chelsea and Manchester United also interested - Calciomercato (Italian football news site)

Manchester United will reportedly make a move to sign Feyenoord defender Rick Karsdorp in January - Daily Star

Saido Berahino, the out-of-favour West Brom striker has reportedly alerted clubs in Italy, with reports claiming Roma are keen on signing the former England U21 international. The 23-year-old, who is out of contract next summer, has been frozen out of Tony Pulis’ first team at The Hawthorns and has also attracted interest from Inter Milan - skysports.com

West Ham
manager Slaven Bilic has cancelled the club's Christmas party despite winning seven points in a week - Daily Telegraph and Daily Mirror

Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew has admitted results have not been good enough in 2016 and is determined to ensure the Eagles enjoy a more productive new year - The Times

Liverpool are interested in 19-year-old Santos striker Thiago Maia - ESPN (in Portuguese)

West Ham and Southampton are targeting 26 year-old Eibar midfielder Dani Garcia - Marca (Spanish national daily sport newspaper)

Fulham could beat Birmingham City to the permanent signing of £1m-rated Burnley striker Lukas Jutkiewicz, due to the recent managerial change at City - Daily Mirror.

Real Madrid forward James Rodriguez, 25, says he may leave the club in January as he searches for more playing time - skysports.com and Daily Star

Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is in the frame to become the new manager at Paris St-Germain - TF1 (Private national French TV channel)

Wolfsburg have dropped defender Philipp Wollscheid for reportedly criticising a member of the club's coaching staff. The 27-year-old Germany international, who is currently on loan from Stoke, was excluded from the squad for Saturday's 1-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt. "He's currently training individually, It's one of those things that happens" said coach Valerien Ismael - Wolfsburg Nachrichten newspaper

Celtic and Rangers could miss out on Barnsley captain Conor Hourihane - who is out of contract in the summer - after the Tykes offered him a new deal to stay at Oakwell - Daily Record

Former Everton striker Lacina Traore is a target for Malaga, according to his agent. The 26-year-old is currently on loan at CSKA Moscow from his parent club Monaco but he could be on the move again next month - Tass (Russian news agency)

Ipswich are interested in Dundalk defender Sean Gannon in the wake of the Irish side's impressive performances in the Europa League.



Monday, December 12, 2016

Statistically, the ICT index score of the best performing players in the English Premier League so far this season!


The ICT Index (Influence, Creativity, Threat) is a new feature for the 2016/17 Premier League campaign.

A football statistical index, it has been developed specifically to give a verdict on a player as a Football Premier League asset.

It condenses more than 40 match event statistics for three key areas – Influence, Creativity and Threat, to generate the data into a single score.

This score is what is known as an individual’s ICT Index score, and via this data is able to offer an accurate summary on player performance.


Season 2016/17 - Last update: 12/12/16 at 11am


For those of you currently playing 'Fantasy Premier League Football' you may want to take note!


Goalkeepers:

1. Tom Heaton (Burnley) 45.7 ICT Index (pictured right)
2. Jordan Pickford (Sunderland) 39.9
3. Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea) 35.5
4. Ben Foster (West Brom) 34.4
5. Artur Boruc (Bournemouth) 29.1
6. Maarten Stekelenburg (Everton) 28.9
7. Petr Cech (Arsenal) 28.7
8. Adrian (West Ham) 26.6
9. Hugo Lloris (Tottenham) 25.1
10. Heurelho Gomes (Watford) 25.1


Defenders:

1. Michael Keane (Burnley) 76.6 ICT Index
2. Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland) 75.3
3. Charlie Daniels (Bournemouth) 72.8
4. Steve Cook (Bournemouth) 71.8
5. Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool) 70.6
6. José Holebas (Watford) 67.7
7. Christian Fuchs (Leicester) 67.3
8. Kyle Walker (Tottenham) 64.8
9. Simon Francis (Bournemouth 63.0
10. Virgil van Dijk (Southampton) 60.7


Midfielders:

1. Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) 192.4 ICT Index
2. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) 151.0 (pictured right)
3. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) 144.9 (Injured - expected back 14 January '17)
4. Eden Hazard (Chelsea) 143.1
5. Christian Eriksen (Tottenham) 139.2
6. Dimitri Payet (West Ham) 136.7 50.4
7. Mesut Özil (Arsenal) 136.3
8. Sadio Mané (Liverpool) 136.3
9. Theo Walcott (Arsenal) 135.3
10. Kevin De Bruyne (Man City) 133.4


Forwards:

1. Diego Costa (Chelsea) 180.4 ICT Index
2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Man Utd) 167.6
3. Sergio Agüero (Man City) 146.4 (Suspended until 31 December '16)
4. Romelu Lukaku (Everton) 135.3
5. Christian Benteke (C. Palace) 120.0 (pictured right)
6. Jermain Defoe (Sunderland) 97.9
7. Charlie Austin (Southampton) 94.7 (Injured - unknown return date)
8. Fernando Llorente (Swansea) 90.4
9. Salomón Rondón (West Brom) 90.3
10. Harry Kane (Tottenham) 90.2



1. Influence

Influence is the first measurement. This evaluates the degree to which that player has made an impact on a single match or throughout the season.

It takes into account events and actions that could directly or indirectly effect the outcome of the fixture.

At the top level these are decisive actions like goals and assists. But the Influence score also processes significant defensive actions to analyse the effectiveness of defenders and goalkeepers.

2. Creativity

Creativity assesses player performance in terms of producing goalscoring opportunities for others. It can be used as a guide to identify the players most likely to supply assists.

While this analyses frequency of passing and crossing, it also considers pitch location and quality of the final ball.

3. Threat

This is the third measure, producing a value that examines a player's threat on goal. It gauges individuals most likely to score goals.

While attempts are the key action, the Index looks at pitch location, giving greater weight to actions that are regarded as the best chances to score.

All three of these scores are combined to create an overall ICT Index score. That then offers a single figure that presents a view on that player as a Football Premier League asset.




Friday, November 18, 2016

Some of the Most Bizarre Red Cards in Football


After Edin Dzeko received one of the most bizarre red cards in the history of football last Sunday night, during Bosnia Herzegovina's World Cup qualifier against Greece, I decided to take a look back in time at some other 'unusual' dismissals over the years!


Edin Dzeko - Bosnia Herzegovina v. Greece (November 2016)

Firstly to last Sunday!
Edin Dzeko, formerly of Manchester City and now at Roma, was unhappy after an innocuous challenge in the corner.

Bosnia were leading 1-0 at the time, but Dzeko took exception to Kyriakos Papadopoulos stepping over him as he fell to the ground. The defender tried to grab the ball and Dzeko reacted by grabbing his legs, then pulling his shorts down. As Dzeko stood up, he tripped the Greek over, sparking a melee between both sets of players.



Referee Jonas Eriksson decided to send off both players. The incident was a key turning point as it sparked Greece into life, and Bosnia conceded in the dying seconds to draw 1-1.


Adam Lindin Ljungkvist - Järna SK v. Pershagen SK (June 2016)

Swedish footballer Adam Lindin Ljungkvist, 25 was sent off for breaking wind during a match – with the referee Dany Kako, accusing him of 'deliberate provocation' and 'unsportsmanlike behaviour.'

The player told a Swedish newspaper: "I had a bad stomach, so I simply let go! Then I received two yellow cards and then red. Yes, I was shocked, it’s the strangest thing I have ever experienced in football.

I asked the referee: "What, am I not allowed to break wind a little?" "No" he replied - "I don’t get it, but maybe he thought I farted in my hand and threw the fart at him. But I did not.”

Opposition striker Kristoffer Linde told the paper: “I was standing a good distance away but I heard the fart loud and clear. It’s the strangest thing I’ve seen on a pitch, and I’ve been playing football since I was eight years old.”


Hakan Unsal - Turkey v. Brazil (June 2002)

One of the most skillful and creative players of his generation, Rivaldo was once World Player of the Year, an icon for the Brazilian national team and a deadly forward for the likes of Barcelona, AC Milan and Olympiakos. But, there is one thing he will always be remembered for.

During the World Cup group phase match with Turkey at the 2002 World Cup, Rivaldo went over to take a corner kick – right under the linesman’s nose.
Turkey’s Hakan Unsal kicked the ball at the Brazilian’s legs, but bizarrely, Unsal, who had already been booked, was sent off for kicking the ball at Rivaldo, who was down on the ground clutching his face.



Rivaldo was actually fined by FIFA afterwards for his play-acting, becoming the first player to be punished under the crackdown on players pretending to have been fouled in order to get an opponent into trouble. Rivaldo, ahead of his time.


Ashley Vickers - Dorchester Town v. Havant and Waterlooville (March 2011)

Dorchester Town striker and player-boss Ashley Vickers was sent off in 2011 for rugby-tackling a streaker on the pitch.

The turf intruder - wearing nothing but a Borat mankini and curly wig picked his moment during a Blue Square Bet South clash at Havant and Waterlooville, but Vickers took mattered into own hands, grabbing him by the shoulders and wrestling him to the floor.

The stewards intervened - to the delight of a crowd of just 458 - but cheers turned to boos as Vickers was dismissed just moments afterwards, 'violent disorder' the verdict.



Havant and Waterlooville went on to win the match 3-1.


Pepe - Real Madrid v. Getafe (April 2009)

Real Madrid centre-back Pepe is renowned for his fiery temper, but he has done well in recent seasons to slightly curb that ill-side to him.

However, back in 2009 the Portuguese defender displayed one of the most erratic and ridiculous pieces of defending ever during a game against Getafe.

Running through on goal to deny Francisco Casquero a shot on goal, not only did he concede a penalty, but he actually started to kick at Casquero, twice, as he lay on the ground. It didn’t actually end there and after grabbing the opponent’s head, he then stamped on him, twice, as Getafe players did their best to pull him away.

After a couple of punches thrown at Getafe players, Pepe eventually walked off and was given a hefty 10-match ban.




Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer - Newcastle United v. Aston Villa (April 2005)

You don't expect to see a fight break out between two ‘team-mates’ on the pitch.

But that's exactly what happened on 2 April, 2005 as Newcastle midfield duo Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer got involved in a bust-up on the pitch.

Newcastle were 3-0 down at home to Aston Villa and already down to 10 men with just eight minutes of the game remaining, when Villa player Gareth Barry had to pull Bowyer away from the scrap before the pair were both sent off.

Dyer and Bowyer were forced to shake hands and publicly apologise after the incident under the instructions of Graeme Souness, Newcastle manager at the time.

Bowyer insisted the incident was a "moment of madness" sparked by a shared desire to win.


Eden Hazard - Swansea v. Chelsea (January 2013)

The Chelsea forward he made a fool of himself in South Wales as the Blues took on Swansea at the Liberty Stadium in the Capital One Cup semi-final. Hazard took exception to the actions of local ballboy Charlie Morgan, 17, who put his whole body on the ball when Hazard tried to retrieve it, earning a kick in the ribs from the player, with Morgan still rolling around in apparent pain.

Referee Chris Foy sent off the Belgian star.



The ball boy, who was uninjured, was interviewed by officers in the presence of his father and made no complaint about what happened.
Hazard later apologised for his behaviour saying: "The boy put his whole body on to the ball and I was just trying to kick the ball. I think I kicked the ball and not the boy. I apologise."

But Morgan, it later emerged, had tweeted before the game boasting about his timewasting skills.
One pre-match tweet on his account reads: "The king of all ball boys is back making his final appearance #needed #for #timewasting."


Matt McClure - Tranmere v. Wycombe (March 2015)

Make an impact! That's what substitutes are told in those precious seconds before they enter the field of play. Wycombe's Matt McClure certainly took that to heart at Tranmere on 4 March 2015, when he was sent off just 3.7 seconds after coming on.

Following an aerial challenge with Tranmere’s Adam Dugdale he was shown an instant red for throwing an elbow into Dugdale's face.




Keith Gillespie - Reading v. Sheffield United (January 2007)

Within 10 seconds of coming on as substitute Sheffield United's Keith Gillespie was heading back down the tunnel after being shown a red card by referee Mark Halsey, for throwing an elbow in the direction of Stephen Hunt.

As Gillespie headed down the tunnel he threw another punch at Hunt, and as tempers rose, backroom staff from both sides became involved.

Reading coach Wally Downes was sent from the touchline for shoving Blades' boss Neil Warnock, who followed him to the stands.


Walter Boyd - Swansea v Darlington (August 2000)

The Jamaican star was red-carded by referee Clive Wilkes for elbowing Darlington's Martin Gray. Boyd came on as a substitute seven minutes from time after Swansea were awarded a free-kick, but referee Wilkes dismissed him for his attack on Gray before it was taken.

Wilkes had stopped the game to send off Darlington's Steve Tutill for a foul on Steve Watkin.
By the time the official turned around, Gray was lying face down on the ground clutching his head.

Wilkes, who was alerted to what happened by the assistant referee, confirmed he had not restarted his watch before sending off Boyd. FA statistician Ray Spiller confirmed: "This will go in the record books as nought seconds as the match had not been restarted."


Neymar - Santos v. Colo Colo (March 2011)

Before Neymar’s fame, glory and goals at Barcelona, he was a young teenager at Brazilian side Santos attracting plenty of attention for his fantastic ability.
However, an incident back in 2011 failed to get many people smiling and instead raising eyebrows, after he was sent off after scoring a brilliant solo effort for Santos in a Copa Libertadores match.



Celebrating his fine strike, Neymar ran over to the touchline and put a mask on his face, albeit upside down, but the referee was not impressed and gave the young starlet his second yellow. If it was any consolation to Neymar, his red card sparked fury and eventually the game ended with four more sending offs.


Kieran Gibbs - Arsenal v Chelsea (March 2014)

When Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain stuck out a hand to help Eden Hazard's apparent goal-bound shot miss the mark he could have fully expected to see a flash of red from referee Andre Marriner.

The card was produced, but was shown instead to his bemused team-mate Gibbs, who protested his innocence to the referee before accepting his fate and trudging off the pitch.

Arsenal went on to lose the match 6-0 but avoided a further setback as both Gibbs and Oxlade-Chamberlain were cleared of wrongdoing, while Marriner issued a sincere apology to Kieran Gibbs.


Joey Barton - Manchester City v. Queens Park Rangers (May 2012)

Barton has never been one to shy away from trouble and like Pepe’s one, he really should have stopped when he had the chance.

With Queens Park Rangers looking to stay up on the final day of the 2011/12 season, the QPR man clashed with Carlos Tevez off the ball. Referee Mike Dean spotted it and sent him off, but the damage was not finished.
Barton then walked over to Sergio Aguero following the red card and kneed him in the leg, before attempting to headbutt captain Vincent Kompany.



Eventually after trudging off and leaving his side with a big task, he was given a 12-game ban which went stayed with him as he joined Marseille on loan,



Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Babe of the Month - Football Freestyler Indi Cowie


Indi Armstrong Cowie was born on 24th September 1994 in Boca Raton, Florida, United States to Scottish parents, and is a global superstar in the world of freestyle football, and is famous around the globe for her amazing videos and incredible talent.

As well as being an official Nike Athlete and a USWNT ambassador, Indi is also a social media phenomenon, with a current reach of 3,000,000 followers across her platforms.

In 2012 footballer Lionel Messi selected indi as the EA Games "Street v Street" world freestyle champion, and she has appeared on Ellen DeGeneres, ESPN, Good Morning America, The Today Show and was featured in the New York Times "Talented Youth of America" edition.

Cowie’s impressive resumé has also seen her travel across the world, performing at high-profile sporting and corporate events for clients such as Microsoft, SAS and Lenovo.

Indi's talents have also given her the opportunity to meet and connect with the biggest names in sport, performing a half-time show in front of 76,000 Manchester United and Chelsea fans at Old Trafford and staring in a Sony PlayStation commercial made for the UEFA Champions League which was played in 58 countries worldwide. Indi got to see it on the jumbotron in at the 2010 Champions League Final in Madrid. It was never aired in the USA.



She also took part Mia Hamm’s Celebrity Soccer Challenge with former Los Angeles Lakers basketball star Kobe Bryant and former FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich and current Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.

Oh, and she has skills on the pitch as well, playing for Celtic Ladies and the U17 Scottish women's national team during 2010/11, and for the North Carolina Tar Heels in 2012.

However in Spring 2013 Indi tore her anterior cruciate ligament during an exhibition match and her chance to play football professionally was delt a huge blow.
As she was getting back from her knee injury, she made the decision to continue with freestyle and go pro with that, although she also works as an assistant football coach for the North Carolina Tar Heels.

From the age of 12 Indi's biggest goal was to become a Nike Athlete. After eight years of hard work and dedication her dream came true!


She was inspired to take up freestyle football after observing a demonstration by John Farnworth. Cowie practices her skills up to three hours per day.

In 2015 Indi travelled to Brazil where she competed in The Red Bull Street Style Championships, to China to compete in a national TV Game Show and to Canada for The Women's World Cup.

In 2015, Cowie became the first woman to do a octuple revolution - eight full circles around the soccer ball with the foot while it is still in the air.




You can follow Indi on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and on her YouTube channel