Saturday, August 16, 2014

Crystal Palace Football Club Squad List - 2014/15


#1.Julian Speroni - Age 35 - Date Signed: 12 Jul, 2004.
#13.Wayne Hennessey - Age 27 - Date Signed: 29 Jul, 2010.
#26 Chris Kettings - Age 21 - Date Signed - 31 Jan, 2014.


#2.Joel Ward - Age 24 - Date Signed: 30 May, 2012.
#3.Adrian Mariappa - Age 27 - Date Signed: 03 Sept, 2013.
#4.Brede Hangeland - Age 33 - Date Signed: 01 Aug, 2014.
#5.Patrick McCarthy - Age 31 - Date Signed: 12 Jun, 2008.
#6.Scott Dann - Age 27 - Date Signed: 31 Jan, 2014
#21.Jerome B Williams - Age 19 - Date Signed: 26 Aug, 2013.
#27.Damien Delaney - Age 33 - Date Signed: 31 Aug, 2012.
#34. Martin Kelly - Age 24 - Date Signed: 14 Aug, 2014.


#7.Yannick Bolasie - Age 25 - Date Signed: 24 Aug, 2012.
#8.Adlène Guedioura - Age 28 - Date Signed: 04 Sep, 2013.
#12.Stuart O'Keefe - Age 23 - Date Signed: 18 Aug, 2010.
#14.Jerome Thomas - Age 31 - Date Signed: 01 Jul, 2013.
#15.Mile Jedinak - Age 30 - Date Signed: 11 Jul, 2011.
#20.Jonathan Williams - Age 20 - Date Signed: 01 Jul, 2011.
#25.Barry Bannan - Age 24 - Date Signed: 02 Sep, 2013.
#28 Joe Ledley - Age 27 - Date Signed: 31 Jan, 2014.
#42.Jason Puncheon - Age 28 - Date Signed 31 Jan, 2014.


#10.Fraizer Campbell - Age 26 - Date Signed: 24 Jul, 2014.
#16.Dwight Gayle - Age 23 - Date Signed: 03 Jul, 2013.
#17.Glenn Murray - Age 30 - Date Signed: 31 May, 2011.
#29.Marouane Chamakah - Age 29 - Date Signed: 11 Jul, 2014.

Other Crystal Palace FC players not in the current 25 man squad for 2014/15 season:

# Jack Hunt - Age 23 - Date Signed: 02 Sep, 2013. (On loan to Nottingham Forest until 1 Jan 2015).
# Stephen Dobbie - Age 30 - Date Signed: 01 Jul, 2013. (On loan to Fleetwood until 30 Jun 2015).
# Kwesi Appiah - Age 23 - Date Signed 31 Jan, 2012. (On loan to Cambridge United until 10 Jan 2015).
# Alex Wynter - Age 20 - Date Signed: 01 Jan, 2010. (Season long loan deal to Portsmouth).
# Lewis Price - Age 30 - Date Signed: 29 Jul, 2010.
# Peter Ramage - Age 30 - Date Signed: 8 Aug 2012.
# Hiram Boateng - Age 18 - Date Signed: 01 Jul, 2012.
# Owen Garvan - Age 26 - Date Signed: 04 Aug, 2010.
# Jimmy Kébé - Age 30 - Date Signed: 31 Aug, 2013.

Management Team:

Interim Manager: Keith Millen
First Team Coach: Ben Garner
Technical Coach: David Kemp
Goalkeeping Coach: George Wood
Director of football: Vacant
Club Doctor: Bill Jasper
Physiotherapist: Alex Manos
Assistant First Team Physiotherapist: Matthew Roberts
Assistant Physiotherapist/Under-21 Physiotherapist: John Stannard
Strength & Conditioning Coach: Andy Page
Rehabilitation Coach: Joe Best
Masseurs: Ian Evans & Chris Swallows
Video Analyst: Liam Sweeting
Kit Manager: Brian Rogers
Assistant Kit Manager: Danny Young

*This page will be updated accordingly in the event of any new signings/appointments.

Friday, August 08, 2014

My Predictions for the 2014/15 Football Season and the Betting Odds.

Sky Bet League Two:

Winners: Luton 10/1

Runners-up: Southend (16/1 to win League Two, 9/2 to win promotion)

Promotion via Play-offs: Bury 7/4, York 7/2, Stevenage 4/1 or Newport County 6/1

Surprise Packages: Northampton Town and Carlisle United

Relegation: Exeter City 11/2 and Wycombe Wanderers 6/1

Top Scorer: Ryan Lowe (Bury) 12/1

Players to Watch: Kelvin Etuhu (Bury), Matt Palmer (Burton), Luke James (Hartlepool), Kwesi Appiah (Cambridge) and John-Joe O'Toole (Northampton)

# Sky bet odds correct at time of writing.


Sky Bet League One:

Winners: Sheffield United 5/1

Runners-up: Leyton Orient (10/1 to win League One, 11/4 to win promotion)

Promotion via Play-offs: Preston 5/2, Bristol City 5/2, Peterborough 5/2 or Doncaster 5/1

Surprise Package: Fleetwood Town and Swindon Town

Relegation: Crewe 11/8, Colchester 11/8, Gillingham 2/1 and Rochdale 5/2

Top Scorer: Sam Baldock (Bristol City) 6/1 or Darius Henderson (Leyton Orient) 12/1

Players to Watch: Dele Alli (MK Dons) Jobi McAnuff (Leyton Orient), Stephen Dobbie (Fleetwood), Lanre Oyebanjo (Crawley), Sam Winnall (Barnsley), Nathan Thompson (Swindon) and Jose Baxter (Sheffield United)

# Sky bet odds correct at time of writing.


Sky Bet Championship:

Winners: Wigan 9/1

Runner-up: Derby (7/1 to win the Championship, 9/4 for promotion)

Promotion via Play-offs: Cardiff 9/4, Watford 5/1, Bournemouth 13/2 or Wolves 13/2

Surprise Package: Brentford

Relegation: Blackpool 8/13, Charlton 3/1 and Leeds 7/2

Top Scorer: Chris Martin (Derby) 12/1 or Troy Deeney (Watford) 12/1

Players to Watch: Moses Odubajo (Brentford), Britt Assomablonga (N.Forest) Lewis Grabban (Norwich), Adam Le Fondre (Cardiff), Clayton Donaldson (Birmingham) and Will Hughes (Derby)

# Sky bet odds correct at time of writing.


Barclays Premier League:

Winners: Manchester City 2/1

Runners-up: Chelsea

Europe (Champions League qualification): Manchester United and Arsenal

Surprise Package: Stoke City

Relegation: Burnley 4/7, Leicester 5/2 and West Brom 5/2

Top scorers: Daniel Sturridge 5/1, Olivier Giroud 18/1 e/w and Romelu Lukaku 20/1 e/w

Players to Watch: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal), Stevan Jovetic (Manchester City) Aaron Cresswell (West Ham) Kieran Trippier (Burnley) and Yannick Bolasie (C.Palace)

# Sky bet odds correct at time of writing.


Friday, August 01, 2014

Babe of the Month - Aussie track athlete Michelle Jenneke

Michelle "Shelly" Jenneke was born on 23rd June 1993 in Kenthurst, a suburb of Sydney, New South Wales with a population of around 5,000, and the 21 year-old is an Australian 100m hurdler and model.

In June she was selected to represent 'Team Australia' at the 2014 Commonwealth Games being held in Glasgow, and it will be her 'major championship' debut.

Michelle received worldwide media attention in 2012 for her pre-race warm-up before the 100m hurdles race at the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships in Athletics in Barcelona - as seen in the video below.
She was one of the athletes featured in the 2013 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

In 2014 Jenneke was featured in a video-heavy mobile computing app on stretching techniques called:  'Stretch! with Michelle Jenneke.'

Michelle has trained with coach Mick Zisti as a hurdler from the age of 10 at the Cherrybrook Athletics Club. She competed at the Canberra hosted 2008 Pacific School Games in the 90 and 200 metres hurdles.

In March 2010, Jenneke finished 1st in the 100m hurdles and broke the Australian record in the women's sprint medley relay at the 2010 Australian Junior Championships.

Michelle Jenneke at the Junior World Championships in Barcelona in July 2012

In July 2010, Jenneke was in Australia's team at the 2010 Singapore Youth Olympic Games, running the 100m hurdles and the women's medley relay.
In the hurdles, she came second with a time of 13.56 and setting a personal best after winning her heat, and the medley relay team came fourth. Her medal was the first Australia won at the Games in athletics.

At the 2011 Australian Junior Championships, she had a first place hurdles finish in the under-20 group.

In April 2011 she competed at the 89th Australian Athletics Championships and finished third in the 100m hurdles behind world champion Sally Pearson.

On 15th July 2012, Jenneke finished fifth in the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships 100m hurdles.

Michelle recorded a personal best time of 13.23 on her way to winning the 100m hurdles at the Queensland Track Classic in Brisbane in March this year.

Michelle inside Hampden Park, where she'll be competing in the 100m hurdles final today!

                      You can follow Michelle on TwitterFacebookInstagram and on her website

Friday, July 25, 2014

All the latest transfer gossip across Europe!

Unsurprisingly clubs across Europe are extremely busy trying to negotiate transfer deals as they attempt to strengthen their squads ahead of their forthcoming domestic seasons.
The 2014/15 English Premier League season kicks-off on the 16th August, the German Bundesliga campaign will commence on Friday 22nd August, Spain's La Liga begins on the 24th August, while Italy's Serie A season opens up on the 31st August 2014.

Here is a round up of all the latest transfer gossip across Europe today!

Is your club involved?

Juventus, Manchester United, Liverpool, Atlético Madrid, Inter Milan, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Porto, Chelsea, Manchester City, Barcelona, PSV Eindhoven, Tottenham, Real Madrid, Lazio, Feyenoord, Borussia Dortmund, Paris Saint-Germain, Roma, Leicester City, QPR, Crystal Palace, Hamburg, Napoli, Aston Villa, Southampton, Liverpool, Lille, Marseille, Dynamo Moscow, Everton, AIK, Ferencvaros, Besiktas, Pachuca, Celtic, Udinese, Sheffield United, Hull, West Brom, Sevilla, Norwich, Fiorentina, Monterrey, Watford, Nottingham Forest, Burnley, Cardiff, Millwall, Peterborough, Bristol Rovers and Rochdale .............are all caught up in the latest transfer news/rumours across Europe, as we speak.

Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal (right) has dealt a blow to Manchester United by ruling out a switch to Old Trafford - Daily Mail

Liverpool are now poised to move for the 27-year-old Chile international with a £42.5m bid - Metro

Atlético Madrid Madrid have made a fresh approach to sign unsettled Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez, who is also been tracked by Inter Milan -

Atlético Madrid have also expressed interest in Nacho Monreal and Santi Cazorla, from Arsenal - and Daily Express

Arsenal are in pursuit of Real Madrid's veteran goalkeeper Iker Casillas. The Gunners have offered the 33-year-old Spain international a five-year deal worth £1.4m a year - Daily Express

Arsenal target Jackson Martinez has admitted that he does not know where his future lies. The Porto striker who has a £32 million release clause featured for Colombia at the World Cup and has been coveted by Arsenal as well as AC Milan, Roma and Valencia - TalkSPORT

Jose Mourinho is close to completing a reunion with former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, 36, as goalkeeper Petr Cech, 32, warns the Chelsea manager not to leave him on the bench next season - The Sun and Daily Mirror

The agent of Manchester City's Javi Garcia has denied striking a deal with Napoli for the 27-year-old Spain international midfielder - Forza Italian Football (Italian newspaper)

Barcelona have reportedly launched a £16m bid for Thomas Vermaelen. The Belgian centre-back, who has been at Arsenal since 2009, is also said to be a target for Manchester United -

Manchester United are planning a move for 20 year-old PSV Eindhoven left winger Memphis Depay (right) - Metro

Borussia Dortmund are lining up an offer for Chelsea target Carlos Strandberg, the Swedish striker, with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus also in the hunt. But they are all yet to firm up their interest with a bid – and they could be gazumped by Dortmund.
The Bundesliga side are ready to offer BK Hacken £1.2m for the striker - Bild (German newspaper)

Spurs defender Vlad Chiriches, 24, could be heading for the exit after just one season, with Roma weighing up a move for the centre-back - Daily Mirror

Liverpool on the verge of signing Southampton defender Dejan Lovren. It is believed that the two clubs have agreed on a fee in the region of £20m, with the Croatian international set to undergo a medical this weekend - and

Lazio are ready to make their move for Manchester United and Liverpool target Stefan de Vrij. The Feyenoord and Dutch international defender is valued at £7 million - Il Messaggero (Italian newspaper)

Paris Saint-Germain could let 29-year-old forward Ezequiel Lavezzi leave if they will succeed in signing Real Madrid 27-year-old winger Angel Di Maria - Sportitalia (Italian TV)

Leicester City have joined QPR and Crystal Palace in the race for Tottenham's 23 year-old German international midfielder Lewis Holtby (right), on loan - Daily Star

Hamburg are trying to speed-up the negotiation for Napoli 29-year-old midfielder Valon Behrami -

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert says that 29-year-old captain Ron Vlaar - who has been linked with Tottenham - is not up for sale -

Dani Osvaldo is set to become the latest player to leave Southampton by signing for Inter Milan - The Sun

Crystal Palace have confirmed the signing of striker Fraizer Campbell from Cardiff City on a three year contract for an undisclosed fee -

Liverpool could face late competition from Atlético Madrid for the signing of Lille and Belgium international striker Divock Origi - Marca (Spanish newspaper)

Everton are stepping up their interest in AIK's highly-rated Sweden winger Nabil Bahoui -

Everton are on the brink of clinching a deal for 21-year-old Bosnian midfielder Muhamed Besic from Ferencvaros - The Sun and

QPR have entered the race to land France midfielder Mathieu Valbuena from Marseille (right), after he rejected the chance to join Dynamo Moscow - L'Equipe (French newspaper)

Chelsea's German midfield misfit Marko Marin, 25, is in talks over a loan move to Turkish side Besiktas - and

Chelsea appear to have failed, at least for the time being in their quest to sign 21 year-old winger Jurgen Damm from Mexican club side Pachuca - Record (Mexican newspaper)

Roma have confirmed the signing of 18 year-old Paraguay international striker Antonio Sanabria from Barcelona -

Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk, 23, is keen on a move to Southampton - but the Scottish club want at least £10m for the Dutchman - Daily Mirror

Juventus have signed midfielder Roberto Pereyra from Udinese on an initial one-year loan deal -

Hull City are hoping to clinch the £2m signing of Sheffield United defender Harry Maguire today - Daily Mirror

Sevilla are ready to make an approach for Norwich midfielder Leroy Fer - The Times

West Bromwich Albion, are reportedly close to securing a double defensive deal.
Cristian Gamboa (right), who helped Costa Rica reach the World Cup quarter-finals, and Australian left-back Jason Davidson are said to be on the brink of moving to The Hawthorns -

Fiorentina are putting the finishing touches to a deal for 30 year-old Argentina defender Jose Maria Basanta from Mexican club side Monterrey -

Burnley are lining up a bid for Nottingham Forest star Henri Lansbury - The Sun

Udinese striker Odion Ighalo, 25, has revealed he is close to sealing a loan move to Watford -

Cardiff City have had a second bid for Southampton's 30 year-old defender Jose Fonte turned down.

Millwall have snapped up former Everton winger Magaye Gueye, 24, on a free transfer after a successful trial -

Peterborough have signed 25 year-old right-back Michael Smith for an undisclosed fee from Bristol Rovers on a three-year deal -

Rochdale have signed striker Calvin Andrew on a free transfer after a successful trial. The 27-year-old was a free agent after leaving York City in May -

Monday, July 14, 2014

FIFA 2014 World Cup - The Worst XI Players

On the pitch the 20th World Cup finals held in Brazil was in the main one of the best tournaments in living memory. It pretty match had everything:- goals a plenty, drama, passion, tears, shocks, surprises, many memorable moments, great individual performances along with several teams that exceeded expectations.
However as with any team event there were players that were quite simply awful and contributed little to their respective teams.

As a result I have compiled a team of what I would consider to be the worst eleven players that took part in the tournament this summer.

Iker Casillas (Spain)
South Africa’s Golden Glove winner had a terrible tournament. In the opening game, Casillas’s errors were costly: his absence for a free-kick led to the Dutch going 3-1 up, while a comical attempt to control the ball in his box allowed Robin van Persie to get his second of the game. In Spain's following must-win game, the Spanish captain inexplicably punched away a free-kick to gift Chile their second goal and send the reigning champions packing.

Leighton Baines (England)
If you are able to recall a positive contribution of the Everton player to The Three Lions’ cause, you must be a biologist specialising in micro-organisms.
Baines was toasted by the canny movements of Matteo Darmian and Antonio Candreva versus Italy, and he wasn't much better against Uruguay.

Central defender:
Pepe (Portugual)
The Real Madrid defender came into the World Cup as a Champions League winner, but his tournament will forever be remembered for an idiotic, thuggish headbutt on Germany’s Thomas Muller in the 37th minute of the opening game, that got him sent-off and helped condemn the Portuguese to their heaviest ever defeat in the competition.

Central defender:
Gerard Pique (Spain)
As one of many to play below his best for Spain, his dismal centre-half pairing with Sergio Ramos led to a shaky defence which incorporated a dodgy offside trap and lazy attempts to man mark the opposition. At least Shakira (right) was on hand to give him a cuddle and the opportunity off the pitch to make up for his pitiful performances on the pitch!

Glen Johnson (England)
Liverpool fans have been frustrated for ages about their longtime right-back's inability to man-mark or defend properly, but now their pain is shared by the nation after three below par performances during England's limp World Cup presence. He did tee up Wayne Rooney for his first goal at FIFA's big event, but it wasn't enough to mask his inability to defend, the key reason for him being on the pitch.

Steven Gerrard (England) 
Although he was praised for his mature adaptation into a deep-lying, restrained playmaker for Liverpool, Gerrard's attempt to reprise this role for England looked more headless chicken than fearless leader. He spent much of the World Cup chasing shadows or being overrun. His role in Luis Suarez's second goal, an unwittingly perfect flick-on for his club teammate's well-timed run, added further bitterness to a difficult campaign - and surely his last in an England shirt. Gerrard is not the only English player to make the list, so rest assured Steven, at least you'll never walk alone!

Paulinho (Brazil)
Few Brazilian players covered themselves in glory during the finals, but Tottenham's Paulinho proved to be the pits. Toothless and insipid in the middle of the field best describes his performances. At the 2013 Confederations Cup Paulinho received the Bronze Ball as the competition's third best player. Not sure if it was the same player at the World Cup?

Alexander Song (Cameroon)
After a close fight with Kevin-Prince Boateng of Ghana, Song claims the position. Not long ago, Song was deemed to be one of the most promising defensive midfielders in Europe. But he left Brazil a beaten man with a red card to boot following a boneheaded elbow to Mario Mandžukić's head in Cameroon's second group game. Croatia went on to win the game 4-0 and Song later apologized to Mandžukić, and to the people of Cameroon for being sent off.
FIFA punished Song with a three-match ban, as well as fining him. The match was further tainted following an investigation into possible match-fixing, after allegations in a German newspaper claimed that the convicted match fixer, Wilson Raj Perumal, correctly predicted the final outcome of Cameroon-Croatia match, which included the scoreline and the sending off of a player.

Antonio Valencia (Ecuador)
Given his credentials AV was supposed to be the best player on the Ecuador national team. However The Manchester United man was completely overshadowed by his namesake Enner Valencia this summer. After being largely invisible in Ecuador's first two group stage games, Valencia topped off a torrid tournament by being sent-off for a foul on Lucas Digneh in is side's final but crucial group stage match against France.

Diego Costa (Spain)
La Liga winner and symbol of Atletico Madrid’s greatest domestic triumph, Diego Costa was one of the World Cup’s biggest flops. Having opted to represent Spain over Brazil, Costa looked like a fish out of water and after three matches scoring no goals and Spain’s early exit, they aren’t complaining. His World Cup stats read: 50 touches of the ball in the tournament, no goals, no shots on target and just ten touches in total in the opposition penalty box.

Fred (Brazil)
The ignominious Fred departed the pitch in his last World Cup game after his every touch was being met by jeers by his home crowd in Belo Horizonte. A single goal to his name in six games, the hapless and erratically Fred remains the most impressive non-striker at the World Cup. The definition of peripheral.

Other dishonourable mentions:

Stipe Pletikosa (Croatia)
Sergio Ramos (Spain)
Dani Alves (Brazil)
Benoit Assou-Ekotto (Cameroon)
Philippe Senderos (Switzerland)
David Luiz (Brazil)
Wilson Palacios (Honduras)
Shinji Kagawa (Japan)
Xavi (Spain)
Joao Moutinho (Portugal)
Kevin-Prince Boateng (Ghana)
Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon)
Hulk (Brazil)
Edinson Cavani (Uruguay)
Wayne Rooney (England)

Monday, July 07, 2014

How The English Premier League Season Finished A Decade Ago!

The 2003/04 Premier League season was a unique season for many reasons!

Arsenal, Leeds United, Leicester City, Middlesbrough, Roman Abramovich, Glenn Hoddle, Arsène Wenger, Claudio Ranieri, Steve McClaren, Peter Reid, Chris Coleman, Sam Allardyce, David O’Leary, Sir Bobby Robson, Scott Parker, Rio Ferdinand, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry were all in the headlines for various reasons.

Nine of the twenty clubs that competed in the Premier League that season, a decade ago, were not plying their trade in the 2013/14 Premier League season just gone, one in particular is now a 4th tier league club!

What a difference a decade makes!

Here is a round up of where the twenty clubs that fought out the 2003/04 Premier League season finished in the league and any influencing factors or personnel that made an impression, good or bad!

20th: Wolverhampton Wanderers

Back in the top flight after 20 years away, Wolves did not win any of their opening seven Premiership fixtures and it was obvious that the season was going to be a long and hard struggle. Wolves finished bottom on 33 points, six points from safety with a goal difference of -39. They scored the fewest goals (38) during the season. They also failed to win any of their 19 away games during the season.

19th: Leeds United

Leeds was relegated in a season that saw their debts rise to £100 million and a lot of their key players sold. Peter Reid and Eddie Gray were both sacked during the season after a run of poor results, with Kevin Blackwell taking over towards the end of the season. Leeds had the dubious honour in the 2003/04 season of conceding the most goals of any club (79) combined with the most losses(21).

18th: Leicester City

Leicester finished the season in the bottom three and were relegated back to the first division after being promoted the previous season. Micky Adams failed to keep his side up in a season which saw three of his players Keith Gillespie, Frank Sinclair and Paul Dickov accused of sexual assault in La Manga, although all charges were dropped. That season Leicester won fewer games than any other side, just six out of 38 games played.

17th: Everton

The Toffees finished just above the relegation zone on 39 points after winning just nine of their 38 games throughout the season. This would be Wayne Rooney’s last season for the club, after he signed for Manchester United at the end of the season.

16th Manchester City

City finished in 16th position in their first season since leaving Maine Road, with Kevin Keegan’s side only confirming their stay in the division on the penultimate game of the season. Striker Nicolas Anelka was top scorer hitting 16 of their 55 goals scored in total that season.

15th: Blackburn Rovers

Blackburn had qualified for Europe in the two previous seasons and it was quite a surprise for Graeme Souness’ side to be batting relegation. The side managed a decent run towards the end of the season and were safe by the end of April and eventually finished 15th in the table.

14th: Tottenham Hotspur

A dismal start to the season cost Glenn Hoddle his job and he was sacked as manager on 21 September after two-and-a-half years at the helm. Director of Football David Pleat took over first team duties until the end of the season, but was unable to inspire Tottenham to a challenge for European qualification nor either of the cup competitions, and a 14th place finish in the final table was Tottenham's lowest since 1998. On the plus side Robbie Keane hit 14 goals for the North London side. Jacques Santini was appointed as the new head coach at the end of the season.

13th: Portsmouth

Portsmouth's Premiership debut was a fine one, as they finished 13th and established Fratton Park as one of the hardest Premiership grounds to get a result at. Harry Redknapp’s side had some impressive results at Fratton Park, including 1-0 wins over Liverpool and Manchester United and a 6-1 thumping of Leeds United. Only their dismal away form prevented them from finishing even higher, but it was still a very good season for the only newly promoted side to preserve their Premiership status. Yakubu Aiyegbeni hit 16 goals for Pompey, Teddy Sheringham was named 'Player of the Month' in August 2003 and Harry Redknapp won 'Manager of the Month' in April 2004.

12th: Southampton

Southampton finished 12th, the season after finishing in their highest ever position in the Premier League (8th). The Saints finished above their south coast rivals Portsmouth, but were shocked in March when Gordon Strachan handed in his resignation and was replaced by Paul Sturrock, even though former manager Glenn Hoddle was favorite. James Beattie bagged 14 goals for Southampton that season.

11th: Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough missed out on a top half finish by two points after losing 5-1 to Portsmouth on the last day of the season. However, Steve McClaren became the first Middlesbrough manager in 128 years to win a major trophy after 'Boro defeated Bolton to win the League Cup at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.

10th: Birmingham City

Birmingham City had one of their best seasons in the Premier League, spending most of the season challenging for a Champions League place before a late slump saw them drop to tenth. Mikael Forssell was their top goalscorer with 17 goals.

9th: Fulham

Fulham finished in the top of the table for the first time in the Premier League, in what turned out to be a very good first season in charge for Chris Coleman who at the time of his appointment was the youngest top-flight manager ever.
Louis Saha was transferred to Manchester United for a fee of £12.4 million in January 2004 having already scored 15 goals so far that season.

8th: Bolton Wanderers

After two near misses with relegation, Sam Allardyce finally established Bolton as a Premiership team. They were League Cup runners-up and an eighth place finish was the club's highest final position for some 50 years. Jay-Jay Okocha won 'Player of the Month' in November 2003 and Sam Allardyce was named 'Manager of the Month' twice that season in November 2003 and January 2004.

7th: Charlton Athletic

The Addicks finished in their highest league position since the 1950’s, even though their late season slump cost them qualification into Europe. Midfielder Scott Parker was awarded the young player of the season award by the PFA, beating the likes of Wayne Rooney, John Terry and Glen Johnson who were also nominated.

6th: Aston Villa

Villa finished 6th in David O’Leary’s first season in charge, but this was not enough to qualify for Europe. They entered December on the brink of the relegation zone, but a great run of form beginning over Christmas took them into the top six during March. It was only defeat on the last day which saw them miss out on European qualification. Juan Pablo Ángel was Villa's top scorer with 16 goals.

5th: Newcastle United

Sir Bobby Robson guided Newcastle to 5th place on goal difference ahead of Aston Villa, and secured the Magpies a place in the UEFA Cup. Their fifth-place finish was achieved despite bad runs at both the start and the end of the season, with the club failing to win their first six and their last five league games. In fact they finished the season having drawn an astonishing 17 of their 38 league games and achieving only two away wins all season. Alan Shearer with 22 goals was the top scoring Englishman in the Premier league that season. In October 2003 Sir Bobby Robson won 'Manager of the Month' and Alan Shearer won 'Player of the Month.'

4th: Liverpool

Gerard Houllier’s side finished in the final Champions League place on 60 points, with Michael Owen finishing on 16 goals for the season. However, this was not enough for the Liverpool board with Houllier being replaced by Rafa Benitez and Michael Owen being sold to Real Madrid at the end of the season.

3rd: Manchester United

United won the FA Cup in May, but this success only partly compensated for a failure to win the Premiership title which, for at least the first half of the season, had looked likely to end up at Old Trafford. Ruud van Nistelrooy was on song as usual with more than 30 goals in all competitions, but the loss of Rio Ferdinand for the final four months of the season (part of his penalty for failing to attend a drugs test on 22 September 2003) coincided with United surrendering their Premiership crown and finishing third in the final table. The 2003/04 season was also Cristiano Ronaldo's first season at Old Trafford following his move from Sporting Lisbon in the summer. In December 2003 Sir Alex Ferguson and Paul Scholes won 'Manager of the Month' and 'Player of the Month' respectively.

2nd: Chelsea

Chelsea finished 2nd in Roman Abramovich’s first season at the club, even after spending more than £100 million on new players in the summer of 2003. In came the likes of Hernan Crespo, Damien Duff, Wayne Bridge, Joe Cole and Claude Makélélé. The side did reach the Champions League semi-finals, but none of their new signings could help them win a trophy. Claudio Ranieri was replaced by José Mourinho at the end of the season. Ranieri was named 'Manager of the Month' on two occasions that season.

1st: Arsenal

Arsenal completed an entire Premiership season without losing a single game. Their final record read 26 wins, 12 draws and 0 defeats and a total of 90 points, eleven clear of Chelsea. Striker Thierry Henry with 30 league goals was undoubtedly the finest player in a brilliant side, though the likes of Robert Pires with 14 goals from midfield and Patrick Vieira earned similar plaudits for their own excellent performances. But it had not always looked like this. Until February, Arsenal had bounced between first and third place, as the three-way race with Chelsea and Manchester United seemed unpredictable. However Arsenal got even better in the second half of the season while their rivals faltered, and the title was wrapped up before the end of April. Arsène Wenger won two 'Manager of the Month' awards that season and capped it off with the prestigious 'LMA Manager of the Year' award. Henry was named PFA Players' Player of the Year as well as being the League's top goalscorer and Arsenal scored the most goals (73) and conceded the fewest (26), in what was a truly memorable season for The Gunners!

Arsenal's 'Invincibles' celebrate winning the 2003/04 Premiership title.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Babe of the Month - US Country Songstress Kaitlyn Baker

Gorgeous singer/songwriter Kaitlyn Baker was born on 23rd November, 1994 and raised in the small coal mining town of Pound in Wise County, southwest Virginia, USA with a population of just over 1,000 people.

Blue-eyed beauty Kaitlyn still lives in Pound with her parents and younger sister. She is in fact a coal-miner’s daughter. Today her father, Lyndon Baker, heads his own logging firm, but for five years he mined coal. Kaitlyn grew up with musical influences all around - her grandfather played banjo, her grandmother sang Loretta Lynn songs, and Kaitlyn's mother Tammy says that she used to sing before she could talk.

"My whole family has either been in the mines or associated with the mines" says Kaitlyn.
Her music is all about home and the coal-packed mountains where she was raised.

When it comes to her influences, Kaitlyn says that two stand tall above the rest: "My favorite artist has always been Elvis Presley. I grew up listening to a lot of older rock music, bluegrass, and country. I also listened to a lot of Martina McBride. She’s such a classy artist, and her voice is so powerful. I’ve always looked up to her."

Kaitlyn began singing in church at the age of seven and had finished three independent albums by the time she was 14. Then, at 14, still on her own, she delivered a country record called 'Sure Feels Like Home,' featuring songs written by various Nashville songwriters. By age 15, Kaitlyn was making regular trips to Nashville to write, record and perform her songs. "I was always in the studio" she says:
"If I wasn’t doing shows, I was in the studio."

In January 2014, 19-year-old Baker signed a contract with Nashville’s Silvercreek Records and she plans to release her first album through Sony/RED later this year.

Steve Pope, a veteran of Nashville’s music scene and now the vice president of Silvercreek’s Nashville operations said of Kaitlyn: "The Lord has blessed her with a great voice. The passion in her delivery makes her songs believable and she has a big heart."

The singer describes her songs as "mountain-y with a flash of bluegrass, a healthy dose of fiddle 
and a driving rhythm."
"We want them to sound rootsy," she says. I want people, when they listen to it, to be like, "Oh, I went to Virginia and back today."

All along, Baker has won applause - for the shows, the CDs and for a recent song 'Coal Train.' Kaitlyn says: "It’s such a good feeling to have so many people message you, call you, tell you how proud they are of you!"

'Coal Train' is an upbeat song Kaitlyn co-wrote with her manager Scott Arnold. With its searing guitar riffs and spine-tingling fiddle playing, Kaitlyn sings the story of a young man who leaves home in search of a better life, only to return to his roots years later.
The music video (below) for the catchy 'Coal Train,' is set near one of Pound’s historic markers and sings of the coal trains that have rumbled in and out of Wise County since the late 1800's - a tribute to her hometown.

The very talented and beautiful Kaitlyn Baker with her song and video titled 'Coal Train'

Kaitlyn has performed at venues throughout Virginia, Kentucky and Nashville, and has co-written songs with several established Nashville songwriters, including Silvercreek Records’ resident songwriter Janet Miller.

She has also opened shows for country singers Sammy Kershaw Doug Stone, Billy Currington, Rhonda Vincent and Brett Eldredge, as well as for the country band Sawyer Brown.

You can download Kaitlyn's outstanding debut single 'Burn' on iTunes - a real life story about burning down memories at the end of a relationship, which she co-wrote with Scott Arnold.

Good luck to the new Princess of US country music, a small town girl full of big dreams! Xxx

You can follow Kaitlyn on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or visit her website

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

All the latest transfer gossip across Europe!

The entertainment value at the World Cup finals continues to exceed the expectations of many a football fan, unlike England's all to familiar 'early exit' from another major tournament. Although the summer transfer market does not officially open until 1st July, clubs across Europe are however busy trying to negotiate transfer deals in an attempt to strengthen their squads ahead of the forthcoming domestic season.
Some of the rumours may be true, some of them mere speculation and a proportion of them could as they often are, be down to lazy journalism. You decide!

Here is a round up of all the latest transfer gossip across Europe today!

Is your club involved?

Liverpool, Athletic Bilbao, Manchester United, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Manchester City, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Porto, Real Sociedad, PSG, Newcastle, Crystal Palace, AC Milan, hull, Spurs, Napoli, Dynamo Kiev, Benfica, Valencia, Stoke, Monaco, West Brom, Norwich, Swansea, Inter Milan, West Ham, Derby, QPR, Burnley, Udinese, Chievo Verona, Torino, Atalanta, Celtic, Zenit St Petersburg, Sheffield Wednesday, Birmingham City, Brentford, Derby and Charlton...........are all caught up in the latest transfer news/rumours across Europe, as we speak.

Liverpool will discuss the future of striker Luis Suarez, 27, at a special meeting on Wednesday after the Uruguay international appeared to bite Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during their 1-0 World Cup victory yesterday - Daily Express and Daily Mirror

Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera, 24, (right) has passed a medical ahead of his £28.7m move to Manchester United - Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph

Arsenal are hoping to pip Liverpool and Manchester United to the signing of Barcelona winger Alexis Sanchez - Daily Express and Daily Star

Manchester United are preparing a £30m move for Real Madrid and Germany midfielder Sami Khedira - Bild (German newspaper)

New Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal desperately wants to bring Bayern Munich's Dutch international Arjen Robben to Manchester, according to Ajax youth coach Bryan Roy - Daily Express and Daily Star

Atletico Madrid are keen on Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo, 28 (right) who is reportedly unhappy in England after struggling to settle in Manchester - Daily Mail

Manchester City have reportedly got no intention of selling Alvaro Negredo after the striker was linked with a move to Atletico Madrid -

Porto have announced to the Portuguese stock exchange that Manchester City have signed their midfielder Fernando for £12million -

Barcelona want midfielder Toni Kroos, 24, who is yet to renew his contract with Bayern Munich The German international is also on the radar of Real Madrid and Manchester United - Bild (German newspaper) and Daily Star

The Spanish press are reporting that contract extension talks between Real Madrid and Karim Benzema have broken down, with his performances for France at the World Cup leading to his agent increasing their demands.
Paris St Germain and Manchester City are among those monitoring the situation closely - Daily Star

Barcelona have snapped up Chile international goalkeeper Claudio Bravo from La Liga rivals Real Sociedad -

Arsenal are interested in signing Mario Balotelli, 23 him from AC Milan, but are now playing down the sum to be paid from the 35 million euros originally to about 18 million euros -

Real Scoiedad have clinched the full rights to Carlos Vela, bringing to an end Arsenal's attempts to re-sign the Mexican forward - Daily Star

Hull City have completed the signing of midfielder Jake Livermore (right) from Tottenham Hotspur on a three-year deal. The 24-year-old impressed while on loan at the KC Stadium last season and he has now joined permanently for an undisclosed fee, although reports have suggested it could eventually rise to a club record £8million.

Paris St-Germain are planning a move for Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure, 31, who claimed Manchester City did not excuse him from their end-of-season trip to Abu Dhabi to spend time with his dying brother, Ibrahim - Daily Mirror

Goalkeeper Pepe Reina, 31, expects to return to Liverpool after his loan spell at Napoli ended - The Guardian

Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina remains unsure where he will be playing next season after confirming his agents are ‘working on my future’ -

Newcastle United are readying a £2million offer for Crystal Palace winger Yannick Bolasie (right) - The Sun

Somebody who is keen on cutting his wage bill is Mark Hughes, who has placed Peter Crouch in the bargain bin – Stoke City will accept anything in the region of £1m in an attempt to get his £50,000-a-week contract off the outgoings -

Valencia are better placed than Liverpool or Monaco for the signing of Benfica's Andre Gomes - Record (Portugal)

West Brom and Hull City are battling it out for £6.5m Norwich winger Robert Snodgrass - Daily Star

Atletico Madrid are poised to scupper West Ham boss Sam Allardyce's capture of Swansea's attacking midfielder Michu - Daily Express

Atletico Madrid have targeted Inter Milan and Colombian international midfielder Fredy Guarin. Inter are weighing up the chance to use him in a swap involving Spanish international 27 year-old midfielder Mario Suarez -

Swansea City are close to signing forward Bafetimbi Gomis, 28 (right). The France international was released by Lyon at the end of last season - Daily Mirror and South Wales Evening Post

Derby County have rejected an offer for goal-scoring midfielder Craig Bryson - who has been linked with newly-promoted Queens Park Rangers and Burnley -

Udinese have signed French striker Cyril Thereau, 31 from Chievo Verona Udinese fought off competition from Torino and Atalanta in order to seal the deal - Tuttosport (Italian newspaper)

Reports in Portugal are claiming that defender Ezequiel Garay has joined Russian side Zenit St Petersburg from Benfica for six million euros -

Mikael Lustig is delighted to have penned a new deal at Celtic and insists leaving the club never crossed his mind. The Sweden international full-back has committed to another three years at Parkhead -

Birmingham City have complete the signing of striker Clayton Donaldson from Brentford on a two-year deal -

Sheffield Wednesday are keen on taking Andy Johnson (right) from Queens Park Rangers - Daily Star

The well travelled Spanish midfielder Marcos Tébar Ramiro, 28 has joined Brentford on a two-year contract -

Derby County have signed defender Zak Whitbread on a free transfer following his release from Leicester City -

Charlton defender Michael Morrison has put pen to paper on a new deal which will keep him at the Valley until summer 2016 -

Thursday, June 19, 2014

'The Beautiful Game' - The World Cup's sexiest fans ......... so far!

Columbian and Brazilian flag baring babes bursting at the seams!

Foxy South Korean fan puckers up for the cameras!

Argentinian blonde soaking up the attention: lights, cameras, action!

Sexiest Mexican Soccer Fans (9)
 Elegant Mexican babes looking hot to trot!

Gorgeous Columbian sweetie strikes a pose!

Columbian hottie revs up her fellow fans!

Attractive Bosnian fans can't stop smiling!                         
Glamorous Mexican World Cup reporter Vanessa Huppenkothen

Bikini clad Brazilian senorita dripping wet but whose complaining!

Columbian cutie with a hair flick for the cameras!

Sexiest Mexican Soccer Fans (7)
Busty Mexican fan takes a selfie!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

All the latest transfer gossip across Europe!

The World Cup Finals are in full swing and what a fantastic tournament it has been so far!
Meanwhile the Premier League fixtures for the forthcoming season were released today, and with less than eight weeks until the start of the Premier League season clubs right across Europe are busily eyeing up prospective new transfer targets. The World Cup finals provides a wonderful shop window for a player to display their talent and secure a lucrative move this Summer. Unsurprisingly transfer rumours are rife as I speak.

Here is a round up of all the latest transfer gossip across Europe today!

Is your club involved?

AC Milan, Arsenal, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Ajax, Southampton, Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Tottenham, Al-Arabi, Barcelona, Rubin Kazan, Inter Milan, West Ham, Anderlecht, Juventus, St-Etienne, Chelsea, Galatasaray, Atletico Madrid, Paris St-Germain, Manchester City, Wolfsburg, Sevilla, AS Monaco, Valencia, Everton, Porto, Fulham, Leeds United, Hull, West Brom, Zenit St Petersburg, Benfica, Swansea and Crystal Palace, Spartak Moscow, Middlesbrough, Sunderland, Newcastle, Hertha Berlin, Leicester City, Port Vale, Burton Albion and Stevenage.............are all caught up in the latest transfer news/rumours across Europe, as we speak.

AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli, 23, is open to a move to Arsenal after his agent revealed 'anything is possible' this summer - The Guardian and Daily Mail

Manchester United are likely to bid for Sami Khedira (right), who has also been a target for Arsenal, after Real Madrid told the 27-year-old midfielder he could leave - Daily Express and

Manchester United have moved into the race to sign Ajax and Holland star Daley Blind, with negotiations to sign Southampton's Luke Shaw having stalled - Daily Mirror

Manchester United’s ongoing push to capture long term target Luke Shaw has been boosted by Southampton’s move to bring in Swansea City left-back Neil Taylor as a potential replacement for the England man - Daily Express.

Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels, says he is staying with the German club for the immediate future, despite interest from Manchester United - and Daily Express

Liverpool have opened talks with Bayern Munich over the summer signing of Xherdan Shaqiri (right), according to reports in Germany. The Reds are willing to offer £16m for the Swiss international midfielder - Bild (Germany)

Manchester United have made a £20million offer for Benfica winger Nicolas Gaitan and hope to close the transfer in the coming days - The Metro

Manchester United's Nani will move to Inter Milan on loan until the summer with an option for a permanent deal - O Jogo (Portugal)

West Ham have completed the signing of Senegal midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate from Anderlecht on a four-year contract -

Tottenham are willing to listen to offers for striker Emmanuel Adebayor with fellow forward Roberto Soldado also set to be sold - Daily Mirror

Al-Arabi coach Dan Petrescu claims Barcelona playmaker Xavi has signed a pre-contract agreement with the Qatari club -

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has made £15m-rated Paris St-Germain forward Ezequiel Lavezzi, 29 (right), his top transfer target from the World Cup in Brazil. Wenger faces competition for Lavezzi from both Chelsea and Galatasaray also linked with the Argentinian. - The Sun and

Gunners midfielder Santi Cazorla has been linked with a move to La Liga champions Atletico Madrid - The Sun

Rubin Kazan's France international midfielder Yann M'Vila, 23, is set to reject Liverpool and Arsenal in favour of a move to Inter Milan - Daily Star and

Manchester City will resist any attempt by Inter Milan to take striker Stevan Jovetic back to Italy - Daily Mail

Juventus are close to signing Dani Osvaldo from Southampton but Valencia are also interested - Gazzetta Dello Sport (Italy) and Corriere Dello Sport (Italy)

St-Etienne's Kurt Zouma (right) has decided to join Chelsea. However, both sides have still to find an agreement - L'Equipe (France)

Liverpool will consider reviving interest in Wolfsburg left-back Ricardo Rodriguez if they fail to agree a deal for Alberto Moreno.
The Sevilla star has been a long-time target for Reds boss Brendan Rodgers, but a move to Anfield appears to have hit the rocks -

Arsenal and Liverpool want Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, 28, who is keen to play in the Champions League after becoming a free agent - Daily Express

Valencia are better placed than Liverpool or AS Monaco for the signing of Benfica's Andre Gomes - Record (Portugal)

Everton boss Roberto Martinez is confident he can land Barcelona winger Cristian Tello, 22 (right), on a season-long loan, but they could face competition from Porto. The Spanish club seem willing to let him out for the campaign, rather than offload him permanently - The Sun, Daily Mirror and

Porto are preparing for the imminent sale of Fernando to Manchester City - Sport TV (Portugal):

Fulham are poised to make a £6million bid for Leeds United striker Ross McCormack - Daily Mail

Benfica's Argentine defender Ezequiel Garay has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League in the past but it seems he is set to join Zenit St Petersburg - and (Argentinian football website)

Newcastle United have offered a deal to Hertha Berlin' for 22-year-old striker Pierre-Michel Lasogga (right) - Daily Mirror and Newcastle Chronicle

Swansea City have reportedly signalled their intent to secure the permanent transfer of Middlesbrough winger Marvin Emnes. Emnes ended the season on loan at the Liberty Stadium, and the Swans are prepared to offer Middlesbrough a fee in the region of £1m for the 26-year-old -

Hull City look to have won the nine-way scramble to land ex-England defender Joleon Lescott, who is a free agent after his Manchester City contract expired - Daily Mirror

Joleon Lescott could become the first signing of the Alan Irvine West Brom era as the Manchester City man reportedly prepares for a medical at The Hawthorns - Birmingham Mail

Crystal Palace are moving closer to a £1.5m deal for former Everton midfielder Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, 29 (right), who spent the second half of last season on loan at Anzhi Makhachkala from Spartak Moscow - Croydon Advertiser

Middlesbrough are keeping tabs on Sammy Ameobi, with Newcastle open to offers for the 22-year-old forward - Newcastle Journal

Manchester City keeper Costel Pantilimon has joined Sunderland - and could replace Vito Mannone as first choice - Newcastle Chronicle and Sunderland Echo

Premier League newcomers Leicester City are interested in Port Vale's out-of-contract defender Joe Davis, 20, who has been offered a new deal by the Valiants - Stoke Sentinel

Burton Albion have announced the signing of forward Lucas Akins from Stevenage -