Monday, January 31, 2011

Transfer Deadline Day - No Rumours just Done Deals!

Updated regularly all-day today..............The January transfer window is now officially closed. Here are a list of the 'done deals.'

Chelsea have signed defender David Luiz from from Benfica for a fee of £21 million.
Liverpool have signed Andy Carroll from Newcastle for £35 million on a five-and-a-half-year deal.
Chelsea have signed Fernando Torres from Liverpool on a five-and-a-half-year deal for a fee of £50 million.
Blackpool sign Sergei Kornilenko on loan from Zenit St Petersburg.
Wigan have confirmed the signing of striker Conor Sammon on a three-and-a-half-year deal from Kilmarnock.
Fulham sign Eidur Gudjohnsen on loan from Stoke until the end of the season.
Huddersfield have signed 31-year-old striker Danny Cadamarteri until the end of the season.
Hibs have confirmed the signing of striker Akpo Sodje from Charlton on an 18-month deal.
MK Dons sign youngster Keanu Marsh-Brown on loan from Fulham.
Scunthorpe have signed Norwich defender Michael Nelson for an undisclosed fee.
Tottenham's Giovani Dos Santos has joined Spanish side Racing Santander on loan until the end of the season.
Everton have confirmed the signing of Greek teenager Apostolos Vellios. The 19-year-old striker has joined from Greek side Iraklis Thessaloniki for a nominal fee.
Lincoln extend loan of Arsenal defender Gavin Hoyte until end of the season
Blackpool have now agreed a deal to sign Jason Puncheon from Southampton.
Liverpool have signed Luis Suarez on a five-and-a-half-year deal from Ajax for a fee of £22.8m.
Reading have signed Canada Under-20 captain Ethan Gage and American youngster Erik Opsahl.
Leicester City confirm the signing of former Portuguese international goalkeeper Ricardo on a short-term contract until the end of the season, subject to an International Transfer Certificate
Torquay have signed Morecambe midfielder Craig Stanley on loan.
Southampton boss Nigel Adkins has raided his old club Scunthorpe to sign striker Jonathan Forte for an undisclosed fee.
Bristol City sign Scunthorpe's 25-year-old winger Martyn Woolford for an undisclosed fee on a three-and-a-half year deal.
Blackburn have signed Argentinian midfielder Mauro Formica on a deal until the summer of 2014.
Newcastle have signed Stephen Ireland on loan from Aston Villa for the rest of the season.
Aberdeen have signed Steven Smith from Norwich City on loan until the end of the season.
Crystal Palace have signed defender Dean Moxey from Derby County on a three and a half year contract for an undisclosed fee.
Parma have penned a loan deal for Juventus striker Amauri, ending speculation linking him with Fulham and West Brom.
Blackpool have completed James Beattie's loan move from Glasgow Rangers until the end of the season.
Glasgow Rangers have signed El Hadji-Diouf from Blackburn on loan.
Bolton have signed Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea on loan.
Aston Villa have signed Michael Bradley from Borussia Monchengladbach on loan to the end of the season.
Wycombe Wanderers have signed Anthony Straker from Aldershot on a month's loan.
Sheffield United have signed Neill Collins from Leeds on a two-and-a-half year deal.
Blackburn have signed striker Ruben Rochina from Barcelona on a four-and-a-half-year contract.
Derby's proposed loan deal for Liverpool's Daniel Ayala has been held up because Ayala has a hamstring problem. He will stay at Liverpool until it is healed and Derby will then sign him outside the window on an emergency loan, which is allowed in the Championship.
Blackburn's Jason Roberts has completed a remarkable turnaround and penned a new contract with Rovers.
Stockport have taken Rochdale defender Alan Goodall on a loan deal until the end of the season.
Stoke's Abdoulaye Faye will remain at the Britannia Stadium after the club blocked any possible move to Celtic.
Tranmere have been given permission by Sunderland to extend Michael Kay's loan deal.
Barnsley have completed the signing of West Ham's Frank Nouble on loan until the end of the season.
Bundesliga side Wolfsburg have signed Stoke City's Tuncay on a three-and-a-half year deal.
Liverpool have signed 17-year-old midfielder Conor Thomas from Coventry on loan until the end of the season.
Hull City have signed 19-year-old Manchester United striker Cameron Stewart for an undisclosed fee.
Leeds United have bolstered their goalkeeping options after signing Manchester City's David Gonzalez on loan for the remainder of the season.
Birmingham have confirmed the signing of 26-year-old Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins on a six-month loan from Rubin Kazan.
Nottingham Forest have completed the signing of US international striker Robbie Findley, 25, on a free transfer from Real Salt Lake.
Barnsley have signed Chelsea's reserve team midfielder Jacob Mellis on loan.
Bristol City have completed a 3 month loan signing of Wolves striker Andy Keogh.
Carlisle have signed Patrick Madden from Bohemians for an undisclosed fee.
Lincoln City have signed striker Scott Spencer on a free transfer until the end of the season following his departure from Southend last week, and also ex-Millwall man Ali Fuseini from Lewes.
Blackpool have signed Sunderland midfielder Andy Reid has for an undisclosed fee.
Marouane Zemmama has joined Middlesbrough on a three-and-a-half year deal for an undisclosed fee from Hibernian.
Preston North End have finalised the signing of Ian Ashbee on an 18-month contract from Championship rivals Hull City
Wigan have been given the green light by Manchester Utd for Tom Cleverley to stay on loan with The Latics, until the end of the season.
Brescia have announced the signing of Cristiano Zanetti from Fiorentina on a two-year contract.
Ipswich Town have signed Luton winger Andy Drury. The Tractor Boys activated a £150,000 release clause in the 27-year-old's contract to take him to Portman Road.
AC Milan have announced the signing of Nicola Legrottaglie from Juventus on a six-month contract.
Sergio Aguero has signed a contract extension with Atletico Madrid, despite interest from Spurs.
Oxford United have signed Colchester winger Simon Hackney on loan until the end of the season.
Cheltenham have signed striker Matt Green on loan from League Two rivals Oxford United until the end of the season.
Wolves have snapped up Brazilian goalkeeper Adriano Basso on a free transfer until the end of the season. The 25-year-old shot-stopper has been a free agent since leaving Bristol City last March.
Hibernian have captured Czech Republic goalkeeper Jakub Divis on loan until the end of the season.
Shrewsbury Town have bolstered their backline with the loan capture of West Brom's 19-year-old defender Paul Downing.
Scunthorpe United have brought in Nottingham Forest striker Joe Garner on loan until the end of the season.
Peterborough United have signed goalkeeper Paul Jones on loan for the rest of the season from League One rivals Exeter City.
Charlton have completed the loan signing of Leeds United left-back Federico Bessone for the remainder of the season.
Middlesbrough have completed the signing of Bayern Munich defender Maximilian Haas.
Nottingham Forest have signed Liverpool full-back Paul Konchesky on loan for the rest of the season.
Primera Liga outfit Real Zaragoza have signed Sunderland's Paolo Da Silva as expected.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A well-grounded football education - Notts County FC

*Ground Name: Meadow Lane (opened 1910)
*Address: Meadow Lane Stadium, Meadow Lane, Nottingham NG2 3HJ
*Main Club Number: 0115 952 9000
*Club Founded: 1862
*Club Nickname: The Magpies
*Ground Capacity: 19,588
*Current League status: Npower League One
*Official Club Website:
*Email address:
*Record Attendance: 47,310 vs York City, FA Cup 6th Round, 12th March 1955
*Record League Victory: 11-1 vs Newport County, Division 3 South, 15th Jan 1949
*Nearest Train Station: Nottingham station is a 10-15 min walk from the ground
*Pubs for away fans: Vat and Fiddle, Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem and the Brewhouse Yard

The Ground:
County moved to Meadow Lane in 1910, but today it is a modern all-seater stadium with a near 20,000 capacity, excellent views and modern facilities. The Main Stand or Derek Pavis Stand is a single-tier stand that runs the length of the pitch, and houses offices and the changing rooms. At the far end behind the goal is the two-tier Kop. Away fans were housed there until the 2008/09 season. Now away fans are housed in a section of the Jimmy Sirrel Stand, named after the club's greatest manager. The stand runs the length of the pitch and has a flag pole on the front of the roof on the half-way line. Behind the other goal is the single-tier Family Stand. The ground sits on one side of the River Trent, located only 300 metres away from rivals Nottingham Forest's City Ground, which lies on the other side of the River Trent.

Meadow Lane - home of Notts County FC

Fiercest - Nottingham Forest. However, during recent stints in the lower levels of the Football League, rivalry has increased with Nottinghamshire neighbours Mansfield Town. Other clubs sharing local rivalries with Notts County are Derby County, Leicester City and Chesterfield United.

Famous/Celebrity fans:
Kenneth Clarke - Politician (former Chancellor)
Harold Shipman - Britain's worst ever serial killer was a Notts County fan.

Legends that have worn the shirt:
Dixie Dean - 1938–1939
Tommy Lawton - 1947–1951
Tony Hateley - 1958–1963
Jeff Astle - 1959–1964
Les Bradd - 1967–1978
Don Masson - 1968–1974
Mark Draper - 1988–1994
Tommy Johnson - 1989–1992
Also Jimmy Sirrel (Manager): 1969-1975 & 1978-1982

County Villans:
Sam Allardyce (Manager): 1997–1999
Tony Hackworth: 2001–2004
Darren Caskey: 2001–2004

Notts County are the oldest Football League club in the world, and are founder members of the Football League. They are set to celebrate their 150 year anniversary next year, 2012.

Cray Wanderers, based in Bromley, Kent were founded in 1860 and currently play in the Isthmian League Premier Division, the seventh tier of English football. If they are ever promoted to the fourth flight, they will take the place of Notts County as the oldest professional team in the world.

# Next time I shall be picking another English Football League club at random, in my efforts to give all my readers the opportunity of 'a well-grounded football education.'

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Trots could hamper Ancelotti - Betting News with Betfred


It has been a long time since Chelsea have won two games on the bounce in the Premier League, and there is no tougher place to travel to than Bolton Wanderers as they seek to end this slump live on Sky on Monday night.

The Blues have had a high-profile period of struggle in recent months with only two wins out of their last ten in the Premier League. Carlo Ancelotti's side have shown signs of recovery after thrashing Ipswich in the FA Cup and then beating Blackburn last weekend, and the Premier League betting indicates that they are are still in with a chance of landing the title. Betfred currently make Chelsea fourth favourites at 15/2 to lift English football's biggest domestic prize.

The West London side go searching for their first back-to-back Premier League wins since October, when they travel to the Reebok Stadium to take on a Bolton side riding high in the table. The Trotters have only suffered one defeat at home all season, but Ancelotti's men are a short priced 8/13 to take all the points on Monday evening, to keep them in the title hunt.

Chelsea fans will be anxious to learn of the extent of the injury Frank Lampard sustained in training in midweek, and there is no sign of a return to first team action for either Alex or Zhirkov. However confidence in the Chelsea ranks should still be high, as they look to do 'the double' over a Bolton side they beat 1-0 at Stamford Bridge in December.

Bolton have not had the strongest form in recent weeks, with only one win in their last six, but there is no doubting the dangers Owen Coyle's side posses, especially considering some of the football they have played so far this season, and the football odds make them a generous 5/1 with home advantage, to heap more misery on the visitors.

The Trotters have signed David Wheater this week and he could be in contention to make his first start against Chelsea, where he would come up against a Blues forward line that has not been firing on all cylinders recently.

Chelsea know they cannot afford to lose any more games if they want to remain in the Premier League title hunt and they will need to rise to the challenge that will be posed to them by a strong and resolute Bolton side.

My Tip of the Weekend:

As already mentioned Bolton have only lost once at the Reebok Stadium all season and that record will remain intact as this game will be a draw, which is an 11/4 shot.
If you fancy that the game will end 1-1, that is 6/1 with Betfred.
Kevin Davies is a handful for any defence and at 8/1 to open the scoring, he would be a decent shout.

Monday 24th January: Bolton Wanderers v Chelsea, kick-off 8pm, live on Sky Sports1.

By Drew Swainston
(Guest writer from Betfred on behalf of Beer Footy and Birds!)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Caroline Wozniacki - Danish Tennis Babe

Caroline Wozniacki (born 11th July 1990) is a Danish tennis player. As of 11th January 2011, she is ranked World No. 1 on the WTA Tour. She has won twelve WTA singles titles, six of those in 2010 and was the runner-up at the 2009 US Open, losing to Kim Clijsters in the final.

Wozniacki is currently playing in the 2011 Australian Open in Melbourne, where she is the top seed. She defeated Gisela Dulko in the first round 6-3, 6-4, and will face Vania King in the second round tomorrow.

Wozniacki is the daughter of Polish immigrants, Piotr and Anna Wozniacki. Her mother having played on the Polish women's national volleyball team, and her father played professional football. The couple moved to Denmark when Piotr signed for the Danish football club Boldklubben 1909. Her best friend is her fellow Danish tennis player Malou Ejdesgaard, her doubles partner in some WTA tournaments.

Read more at: Caroline's website

Friday, January 14, 2011

All The Latest Transfer Gossip

All of today's latest transfer gossip, as we approach the middle of January and the half way point in the January transfer window. Clubs now have just two more weeks to finalise any transfer deals, whilst other Clubs will be hoping that they can hang on to their better players - at least for the remainder of the season.

Liverpool, Ajax, Hamburg, Chelsea, Wigan, Bayern Munich, CFR Cluj, Lille, Fiorentina, Malaga, Blackburn, Manchester City, Benfica, AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, Tottenham, West Ham, Birmingham, Aston Villa, Boca Juniors, Hoffenheim, Stoke, Lyon, Newcastle, Real Madrid, Brescia, Inter Milan, Everton, Burnley, Plymouth, Blackpool, Barnsley, Crystal Palace, MK Dons, Borussia Dortmund, Southampton, Manchester United, Valencia, Derby, Leicester, Fulham, Sampdoria, Celtic, Carlisle, Leeds, Brann Bergen and Reading..................are all currently caught up in transfer gossip.

Is your Club involved?

King Kenny's Liverpool revolution will see a flurry of new signings heading to Anfield. His list of transfer targets are though to include Uruguayan Luis Suárez from Ajax for £15, Hamburg's Dutch forward Eljero Elias (right), Wigan playmaker Charles N'Zogbia, Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge and CFR Cluj hitman Lacina Traoré. Dalglish also wants a midfield enforcer and has an eye on Bayern Munich's Mark van Bommel - The Guardian

Defender Daniel Agger may be one player on his way out of Liverpool, with Fiorentina and Malaga both interested in a £3m deal - The Sun

The Reds may also try and tempt left-back Urby Emanuelson to follow Suarez to Anfield from Ajax while the Lille pair, striker Gervinho and mildfielder Eden Hazard (right) are also on manager Kenny Dalglish's list of targets - Daily Telegraph

Blackburn have signed former star Roque Santa Cruz from Manchester City on loan until the end of the season -

Chelsea are close to a £21m deal for Benfica centre-back David Luiz, with right-back Paulo Ferreira moving in the opposite direction. The Premier League champions are also keen on £18m Ajax right-back Gregory van der Wiel - The Mirror

There may be more changes in Chelsea's defence with right-back Jose Bosingwa put up for sale and Atletico Madrid's £15m-rated centre-half Diego Godin in the West London side's sights - Daily Telegraph

AC Milan Sports Director Ariedo Braida has declared: "We always admire the good players, and Bosingwa is one of them, but now we are in stand-by. For the moment there is not a real interest, in June who knows" -

Birmingham have had a bid accepted by Tottenham for unsettled striker Robbie Keane. The 30-year-old had been heavily linked with a loan move to West Ham, but Spurs boss Harry Redknapp moved to silence that speculation, stressing that any deal must be to buy the striker. The Blues have now emerged as frontrunners to secure Keane's signature after agreeing a £4million fee with Tottenham, which could rise to £6m via various add-ons and clauses in the deal -

West Ham are also now at the head of the queue for £12.5m-rated 'Argentinian wonderkid' Pablo Mouche (right) from Boca Juniors - The Guardian

Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier has played down reports claiming he is interested in signing Karim Benzema from Real Madrid. Houllier said: "I don't think Benzema will come to Villa. Jose (Mourinho) said he is missing strikers so how can he get rid of one of the only ones he has available at the moment?" -

However Blackpool midfielder Charlie Adam does remains a target for Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier. Villa have already seen two bids for the Scot knocked back, but are considering a third approach -

Birmingham, meanwhile, want Brescia striker Andrea Caracciolo - The Guardian

Hoffenheim striker Demba Ba has undergone a medical this morning ahead of a proposed move to Stoke City. Stoke tabled a £5.9m offer for the France born Senegal international, and the German club have granted The Potters permission to discuss terms with the 25-year-old, ahead of his move to the Britannia Stadium -

Steven Pienaar's talks over a move to Chelsea have broken down and sources understand the Everton midfielder will sign a pre-contract agreement with a major European club, possibly Atletico Madrid or Inter Milan -

Aston Villa are close to completing a £6.5m deal for midfielder Jean Makoun (right) from Lyon - The Times

Arsenal look set to beat Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United to the signature of Southampton's highly rated teenage midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for £5m - Daily Mail

Arsène Wenger will also tie up a cut-price deal for West Ham central defender Matthew Upson. The Arsenal boss is willing to pay £500,000 for the England centre-back - The Guardian

Everton are set to sign Burnley winger Chris Eagles in a £1.5m deal - The Sun

Blackpool are back in for Plymouth's Bradley Wright-Phillips and Barnsley's Adam Hammill - The Guardian

The agent of Borussia Dortmund's Neven Subotic has told Arsenal they would be wasting their time pursuing the Serbia international defender -

Newcastle are ready to offer Joey Barton a new deal to keep him at St James' Park. Barton, is thought to have attracted the interest of a number of clubs, including Aston Villa and West Ham. The midfielder has 18 months to run on his current contract and Newcastle are planning to give Barton a new deal to ward off interest from his list of suitors -

Crystal Palace today signed Jermaine Easter (right) from MK Dons for an undisclosed fee. The Welsh international has penned a two-and-a-half year contract with South London club -

Valencia have moved to tie down highly-rated winger Juan Mata by extending his contract to 2014 -

Fulham striker Diomansy Kamara has emerged as a target for Italian side Sampdoria - Inside Futbol

Derby County want Leicester striker Martyn Waghorn - The Guardian

Real Madrid have identified Bayern Munich's Miroslav Klose as possible cover for the injured Gonzalo Higuain. With their leading marksman set to be sidelined for the foreseeable future after undergoing back surgery, Real are in the market for a proven striker -

Goalkeeper Adam Federici has penned a new two-and-a-half-year contract with Reading -

Celtic have pulled out of a £2m deal for Brann Bergen striker Erik Huseklepp after the Norwegian club asked for more money for the 26-year-old - Daily Record

Carlisle United have signed Lubomir Michalik on an 18-month contract after leaving Leeds United -

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Resurrection of the Home Internationals!

The Football Association will confirm today (11th January) that Vauxhall has signed a four-year deal to be the new sponsor of the England football team, which could in turn lead to the revival of what was the oldest international competition before its demise over a quarter of a century ago - the 'Home International Championships.'

Vauxhall has also signed sponsorship agreements with the three other home nations, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Discussions between the home nation associations are ongoing and could lead to a tournament played over three international windows and some seven months, from November 2012 to June 2013, to coincide with the FA's 150th anniversary celebrations. There are aspirations to make it a regular event thereafter, although today FA general secretary Alex Horne poured cold water on the idea it could become a permanent arrangement. "We're talking to the home nations about a possible one-off round of matches with them in 2013, to mark our 150th anniversary," said Horne

The annual competition, last contested in 1984, was a regular fixture on the football calendar for about 100 years.

The interruption of the 1980-81 competition by the troubles in Northern Ireland did not help the championship's cause, nor did repeated bouts of hooliganism.
When England and Scotland fielded weakened teams in 1983-84, the British Home Championship was effectively finished.
Although the England versus Scotland fixture continued for another five years, the extended season and the importance of other tournaments had finally taken its toll.

Over recent years, there have been calls for its return, with only the English FA remaining opposed. However it looks like things are about to change. One of the main reasons for the the English FA's U-turn is seemingly financial.

The FA's finances have been hit hard in recent years by the expense of rebuilding Wembley and the implosion of its broadcast partner Setanta. This has come at a time when the governing body has spent heavily on the likes of Fabio Capello and making an unsuccessful bid for the 2018 World Cup.

Back in 1884 England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland were all playing international football. So the idea that they should all play each other in an annual league was a logical step.

Of the 89 tournaments, Wales won the tournament outright seven times and Northern Ireland three, while England and Scotland were far ahead with 34 and 24 wins respectively. Until 1979 titles were decided only on points, and not goal difference. 20 titles were shared as a result, and on one occasion, in 1955-56, the four nations split the title after they all finished on three points apiece.

In 1980-81 there was no winner because England and Wales refused to travel to Belfast owing to civil unrest.

In 1949-50 and 1953-54 the championships were used to decide World Cup qualifiers, with the top two teams going to the finals. However in 1950 Scotland, despite finishing second, opted to stay at home and withdrew from what would have been their first-ever World Cup appearance, a tournament held in Brazil that year.

The 1976-77 Championship came down to the final game between England and Scotland at Wembley. Scotland won the game 2-1, making them champions. A huge pitch invasion by the overjoyed Scottish fans ensued, causing extensive damage ensued as the pitch was ripped up and taken back to Scotland in small pieces, along with one of the broken crossbars!

Nonetheless, the games between these two fiercest of nations provided some of the happiest stories in Scottish football, including the 5-1 victory in 1928 in London and the 3-2 victory on the same ground in 1967, just nine months after England had been crowned World Cup winners.Scotland also suffered some shocking hidings down the years, including a 7-2 defeat in 1955 and a 9-3 hammering in 1961.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Sven has a point to prove to City - FA Cup Betting News with Betfred


Sven Göran-Eriksson welcomes his former club Manchester City to the Walkers Stadium for an FA Cup third round tie this weekend, looking to get one over on the team that sacked him.

The Swede was the last manager to lead City to the top of the Premier League during his one season in charge at Eastlands. The club cruelly axed him and that was followed by ill-fated stints at Mexico and Notts County before he arrived at Championship side Leicester City earlier this season.

The Premier League club will undoubtedly go into this FA Cup clash as favourites, and are 4/6 in the football betting to get the victory, but Eriksson has yet to taste defeat at the Walkers Stadium during his time in charge.

He has worked to bring in some experienced Premier League performers to Leicester, with striker Darius Vassell (8/1 to score the first goal) also set to line-up against his former employers on Saturday.

City's millionaires are riding high in the Premier League but there are certainly tensions bubbling under the surface at Eastlands and Roberto Mancini has to work very hard to keep tensions under wraps and the training ground a happy place.

Silverware would be welcomed with open arms at Eastlands this season and the club's hierarchy may see the FA Cup as a great chance for the club to get some glory. But it will be interesting to see what side Mancini puts out at Leicester, with the Championship side priced as 9/2 outsiders with Betfred.

The football predictions suggest the home side don't stand a chance, but City have already suffered something of an upset at the hands of West Brom in the Carling Cup this season.

That said even a City reserve side would be expected to steamroller over their Championship opposition. However Leicester are a transformed side under Eriksson, and the Swede will certainly be looking to prove a point to his former employers, who dismissed him in June 2008.

My Tip of the Weekend:

Leicester are a dangerous force at Walkers Stadium and 11/4 for the Championship side to shock their Premier League opponents and get a draw looks a real prospect.
The 6/1 on offer with Betfred that the game ends 1-1 looks appealing.
Also Foxes' top scorer Andy King is a tasty 11/1 to open the scoring on Sunday, and add to the nine goals he has already netted this season.

Sunday 9th January: Leicester City v Manchester City, kick-off 4pm, live on ESPN.

By Drew Swainston
(Guest writer from Betfred on behalf of Beer Footy and Birds!)