Monday, April 27, 2015

Professional Football Association Awards for 2015

The results of the 42nd PFA Awards held at the Grosvenor House in London on Sunday 26th April 2015:

Team Awards:

Premier League Team of the Year 2015:

David De Gea - Manchester United

Gary Cahill - Chelsea
John Terry - Chelsea
Ryan Bertrand - Southampton
Branislav Ivanovic - Chelsea

Nemanja Matic - Chelsea
Philippe Coutinho - Liverpool (right)
Alexis Sanchez - Arsenal
Eden Hazard - Chelsea

Diego Costa - Chelsea
Harry Kane - Tottenham

Championship Team of the Year 2015:

Keiren Westwood - Sheffield Wed

Richard Keogh - Derby
Russell Martin - Norwich
George Friend - Middlesbrough
Simon Francis - Bournemouth

Grant Leadbitter - Middlesbrough
Matt Ritchie - Bournemouth (right)
Alex Pritchard - Brentford
Bakary Sako - Wolves

Daryl Murphy - Ipswich
Troy Deeney - Watford

League One Team of the Year 2015:

Frank Fielding - Bristol City

Tom Clarke - Preston
Aden Flint - Bristol City
Nathan Byrne - Swindon
Joe Bryan - Bristol City

Massimo Luongo - Swindon
Luke Freeman - Bristol City
Dele Alli - MK Dons (right)
Korey Smith - Bristol City

Joel Garner - Preston
Eoin Doyle - Chesterfield

League Two Team of the Year 2015:

Daniel Bentley - Southend

Conor Goldson - Shrewsbury
Steve McNulty - Luton
Ben Coker - Southend
Phil Edwards - Burton

Danny Mayor - Bury
Jed Wallace - Portsmouth (right)
Danny Mayor - Bury
Matt Grimes - Exeter

Ryan Woods - Shrewsbury
Matt Tubbs - Portsmouth

Women's Soccer League Team of the Year 2015:

Carly Telford - Notts County

Casey Stoney - Arsenal
Rachel Corsie - Notts County
Emma Mitchell - Arsenal
Lucy Bronze - Liverpool (right)

Jill Scott - Manchester City
Karen Carney - Birmingham
Ji So-Yun - Chelsea
Josanne Potter - Birmingham

Nikita Parris - Everton
Eniola Aluko - Chelsea

Individual Awards:

Men's PFA Players' Player of the Year - Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

Men's PFA Young Player of the Year - Harry Kane (Tottenham)

Women's PFA Players' Player of the Year - Ji So-Yun (Chelsea)

PFA Women's Young Player of the Year - Leah Williamson (Arsenal)

PFA Merit award - Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard

Friday, April 17, 2015

All the latest football news & transfer gossip across Europe!

Here is all today's latest football news and transfer gossip with Manchester United, Louis van Gaal, Chelsea, Alan Pardew, Barcelona, PSG, John Carver, Radamel Falcao, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Daniel Sturridge, Brendan Rodgers, Newcastle, PSV, Yaya Toure, Arsenal, Valencia, Liverpool, Gary Monk, Crystal Palace, Lyon, Paul Lambert, Roma, QPR, Inter Milan and Southampton all in the news! 

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley wants to strengthen his squad by signing Queens Park Rangers striker Charlie Austin, 25. Ashley hopes the move for Austin will show the club's ambition and encourage Derby manager Steve McClaren to take charge. Crystal Palace and Southampton are also watching the striker closely - Daily Mirror

Swansea City manager Garry Monk has distanced himself from reports linking him to West Ham. Monk has been touted as a potential successor to current Hammers boss Sam Allardyce, whose contract expires at the end of the season - BBC Sport

Edinson Cavani has revealed that he does not want to leave Paris Saint-Germain. Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United have been linked with moves for the 28-year-old, but he is keen to stay in the French capital - Daily Star

Atletico Madrid and France international forward Antoine Griezmann, 24, is a transfer target for Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola - Bild (German tabloid newspaper)

Premier League clubs and players have received more than 130,000 abusive posts on social media this season, according to a study by anti-discrimination group Kick It Out.
The research found Chelsea were the most targeted club, while Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli suffered more abuse than any other player - BBC Sport

Alan Pardew has put a £20m price tag on Yannick Bolasie and says Crystal Palace will be buying, not selling this summer -

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has been told to send Radamel Falcao back to AS Monaco and spend the money on a striker who suits his system - Daily Express

Valencia's planned move for 29-year-old AS Monaco striker Radamel Falcao, who is on loan at Manchester United, looks set to be scuppered because the Spanish club must complete a permanent deal for Manchester City forward Alvaro Negredo - Daily Telegraph

Barcelona attacker Pedro wants to sign for Inter Milan – news which will disappoint Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United. - Daily Express

Manchester City are willing to listen to offers for Yaya Toure this summer, but the midfielder is determined to stay at the club - Daily Mail

Daniel Sturridge is a major injury doubt for Liverpool's FA Cup semi-final clash with Aston Villa on Sunday - Daily Star

Southampton boss Ronald Koeman has told Manchester United target Nathaniel Clyne that it's time to make his mind up - Daily Star

Roberto Martinez is already planning Everton's summer transfer activity amid reports of a move for Tom Cleverley. Cleverley on loan at Aston Villa played under Martinez at Wigan and will be a free agent when his Manchester United contract is up in the close-season -

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has warned forward Raheem Sterling, 20, and winger Jordon Ibe, 19, of the conduct he expects after the pair were pictured with a shisha pipe - The Sun and The Guardian

Oscar says he has no plans to leave Chelsea amid reports he could be sold at the end of the season. The Brazil international has started 24 of Chelsea's 32 Premier League games this season, but has been substituted in 18 of them. A newspaper report on Thursday claimed Jose Mourinho is ready to listen to offers for the midfielder, who cost £25m when he was bought from Inter in the summer of 2012 -

Real Madrid's 16-year-old attacking midfielder Martin Ødegaard could be loaned to Villarreal The Norway international only joined the Galácticos from Strømsgodset in January of this year - (Spanish based football website)

Newcastle United manager John Carver will "review" the club's captaincy this summer and could take the armband away from defender Fabricio Coloccini, 33, to give it to 25-year-old right-back Daryl Janmaat. Daily Mail and The Guardian

Manchester United and Liverpool have revived their interest in AS Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic, with the 25-year-old set to have talks with his employers about his future next week - Metro and Daily Mirror

Former Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert could be a target for Sunderland and Fulham if he does not return to former club Borussia Dortmund - The Sun

Carl Jenkinson says he is unsure whether he will remain with West Ham next season or return to Arsenal - and Sport magazine

PSV Eindhoven skipper Georginio Wijnaldum has ambitions of securing a move to a top European side - and insists the Premier League is an option. The attacking midfielder who has been linked with Manchester United, Arsenal and Newcastle in recent months only signed a new four-year contract last August, but says he is open to leaving the Dutch club -

The agent of Netherlands international Marco van Ginkel, 22, says the midfielder wants to return from his loan at AC Milan to play for Chelsea next season - Daily Express and

Wojciech Szczesny could be Arsenal's Wembley FA Cup hero - and still be shown the door at the end of the season - Daily Mirror

Striker Alexandre Lacazette, 23, a transfer target for Arsenal, Manchester United, and Newcastle has confirmed he wants to sign a new contract with Olympique Lyonnais - Daily Star

Despite a meeting today with the agent of Palermo striker Paulo Dybala, Atletico Madrid say they are not interested in signing the Argentinian born striker -

Stoke City want Barcelona's teenage winger Moha El Ouriachi - Daily Mirror

Thursday, April 09, 2015

The Greatest Loan Deals in Premier League History

Loan signings are rife in football these days!

A loan deal can be a fantastic temporary solution to a club's problems - bringing in that special player for a season or even half a season, in an effort to help a Club realise its trophy ambitions, save a club from relegation, or simply to replace an injured player.

Over the years there have been some important loan signings in the Premier League.

Here are in my eyes some of the best loan signings in recent memory!

Jermain Defoe - West Ham to Bournemouth (2000/01)

West Ham United manager at the time, Harry Redknapp, sent 18-year-old Beckton-born Jermain Defoe to then Second Division club AFC Bournemouth to gain some regular first-team football at the start of the century. He scored an impressive 18 goals in 29 games, including a record-equalling ten goals in successive games to equal John Aldridge’s and Clarrie Jordan’s post-war record, as well as finding the net on both his FA Cup and Football League Trophy debuts for the Cherries.

These exploits propelled the youngster into the public eye, and many thought he could be the next Michael Owen. While he did not quite reach those dizzy heights, Defoe, now 32, has enjoyed a terrific career with West Ham, Portsmouth, Tottenham, Toronto FC, current club Sunderland and England, scoring over 200 goals to date.

Romelu Lukaku – Chelsea to West Brom (2012/13) and Chelsea to Everton (2013/14)

The Belgium international was loaned out to West Brom on 10 August 2012 on a season-long loan deal, and the 19 year-old striker proved to be a terrific coup for The Baggies. He scored 17 goals in 38 appearances, in all competitions, and was a major reason for West Brom’s excellent Premier League campaign.

Despite being loaned out by the club, Lukaku outscored all of his Chelsea teammates in the Premier League that season, being the sixth-highest goal scorer of the 2012–13 season with 17 goals.

On the final day of the summer 2013 transfer window, he joined Everton on a season-long loan. The striker made his debut for the Toffees away to West Ham on 21 September 2013, scoring the winning goal in a 3–2 victory for Everton. Lukaku went on to find the net 15 times in 31 league games to help Everton to fifth place with a club record of 72 Premier League points.

On 30 July 2014, Everton announced that Lukaku had signed a five-year deal with the club, for a record fee of £28 million.

Kevin Campbell - Tranzbonspor to Everton (1999)

Campbell arrived at Goodison Park in March 1999 from Turkish side Tranzbonspor, with Everton languishing in the relegation zone.

Campbell made an instant impact at Goodison Park, in his two month spell with the Merseyside club he became the club’s top scorer that season with nine goals in only eight games as Walter Smith’s side avoided the drop.

Campbell also became the first-ever loanee in Premier League history to be awarded the 'Player of the Month' award after scoring six times in five matches in April 1999.

Campbell's move to Everton was made permanent in the summer of 1999 for a fee of £3million. Campbell went on to play for six more seasons in Merseyside, but nothing emulates his loan spell with the club in 1999.

Henrik Larsson - Helsingborg IF to Manchester United (2007)

Having re-joined his hometown club Helsingborg IF, following a successful spell at Barcelona, the Sweden and Celtic legend was 35 when he made the shock move to Old Trafford. Larsson was signed by Sir Alex Ferguson on loan from 1 January until 12 March 2007, coinciding with the Swedish League's off season.

The former Celtic frontman scored for the Red Devils on his debut against Aston Villa in the FA Cup third round, before his strike against Lille in the Champions League last-16 propelled United toward the semi-finals of Europe’s premier club competition.

In total, the Swede made 13 appearances, scoring three goals, as United finished the season with their first Premier League crown for four years.

The legendary striker then declined Ferguson's offer of an extended deal, in order to return to his native Sweden.

Daniel Sturridge - Chelsea to Bolton Wanderers (2011)

Sturridge moved to Bolton on a six-month loan deal on 31 January 2011 after struggling to win a starting berth up front at Stamford Bridge under boss Carlo Ancelotti.

The striker made an immediate impact by coming off the bench to score an injury-time winner on his debut against Wolves, the first of four goals in his first four games for the club. He followed this with another goal in the defeat to Tottenham Hotspur the following weekend, in which he made his first start, before scoring his third goal in three games in a 2–0 victory over Everton. When Sturridge scored the equaliser against Newcastle in his fourth game, he became only the sixth player to score in his first four games for a club in Premier League history.

Sturridge continued to make an impact at Bolton and finished his loan spell with an impressive eight strikes to his name in just 12 Premier League matches.

On his return to Chelsea he was to be met by a new Chelsea manager - André Villas-Boas.

Christophe Dugarry - Bordeaux to Birmingham City (2003)

The World Cup-winning Frenchman is thought of as a true Birmingham legend after his spell at the club over a decade ago. Much like Eric Cantona, Christophe Dugarry had an arrogance and aura about him which he backed up on the pitch.

Dugarry, the former AC Milan and Barcelona striker signed for Birmingham on a six-month loan deal from French Ligue 1 side Bordeaux in January 2003.

He scored four goals in five league games and managed to help propel Steve Bruce’s team away from the bottom three and towards a final position of 13th in the table, following promotion the previous season.
Dugarry signed permanently in 2003/04. He saw out only the first season of his contract before leaving the club by mutual consent, citing family reasons, but he will always be held in high regard at St Andrews.

Jurgen Klinsmann - Sampdoria to Tottenham Hotspur (1998)

The German striker was already a hero at White Hart Lane after a memorable spell during the 1994/95 season. His return on a six month loan deal from Serie A side Sampdoria in December 1997 was greeted with great joy by the Tottenham faithful, with their club languishing in the relegation zone at the time.

Jurgen Klinsmann scored nine goals in his 15 Premier League appearances, including four away at Wimbledon in a crucial 6-2 victory.

The North London side survived - Spurs finishing the season in 14th place, four points above the drop zone and Klinsmann was rightfully lauded for his impact on the side.

Klinsmann ended up playing the last top-level match of his illustrious career on the final day of that campaign, with the German inevitably netting in a 1-1 draw at home to Southampton.

Ivan Campo - Real Madrid to Bolton Wanderers (2002/03)

The Spaniard was a regular for a while at Real Madrid, so when Bolton manager Sam Allardyce acquired his services back in August 2002 it was a real coup for the Premier League strugglers.

The defender was a key man in helping The Trotters survive on the final day of the season. He enjoyed the loan spell so much that he signed on a permanent basis in the summer of 2003, staying until 2008.

The Spanish centre-back was converted into a holding midfielder and Bolton reached the League Cup final in 2004 and the club finished eighth in the league, at the time the highest finish in their Premiership history.

In 2005, Bolton finished sixth in the league, thus earning qualification for the UEFA Cup for the first time in their history.

Campo scored a 43-yard screamer on the opening day of the 2006/07 season against Spurs, thus endearing him further to the the Bolton faithful! Campo fitted in well with Bolton's style of play, but also topped the charts for most red and yellow cards received of any player in the Premier League in 2006–07.

Campo was so popular and such a success during his time at the Reebok Stadium that he gained cult hero status in the process.

Ronnie Rosenthal - Standard Liege to Liverpool (1990)

Rocket Ronny had been on trial at first division Luton Town where he scored two goals in three games but they couldn't broker a deal with Standard Liege. Liverpool asked Liege if they could have a look and after only one reserve appearance he was signed on loan in March 1990 until the end of the season.

At the time of Rosenthal's arrival at Anfield Liverpool trailing Aston Villa in the title race.
However, it did not take the relatively unknown forward long to make a mark in England, with Rosenthal scoring a 'perfect hat-trick' on his full debut in a 4-0 win at Charlton Athletic on 11 April 1990.

The Israel international's seven goals in only eight league fixtures were crucial in Kenny Dalglish’s side going on to win that season's 1989/90 First Division Championship (The inception of the English Premier League was in 1992).

On 29 June 1990 Rosenthal was signed permanently by Liverpool for a fee of £1.1m making him the first foreign player bought by an English club for more than £1m. However he never went on to make the same impact at the club, as when he had first joined on loan, mainly making appearances from the bench.

Rosenthal played 97 times for the Reds, scoring 22 goals. Rosenthal moved to Tottenham Hotspur in January 1994, for a fee of £250,000.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Babe of the Month - Pro Golfer & Model Blair O'Neal

Blair O'Neal was born in was born on 14th May 1981 in Macomb, Illinois, USA.

Her family moved to Arizona when at the age of two where she spent the rest of her childhood. At an early age Blair enjoyed ballet, jazz and cheer. Then at the age of 11, Blair’s dad enrolled her and her brother in a junior golf clinic at San Marcos Golf Resort in Chandler, Arizona.

Entering high school, Blair had already established herself as one of the best junior golfers in the state. She eventually made the decision to take her talents to Corona Del Sol High School in Chandler, Arizona. Blair was a double threat earning high marks in academics and adding to her trophy collection on the golf course. 

Blair was a three-time medallist at the 5A Regional Golf Championship, four-time Golf MVP and eventually 5A Arizona State Girls Golf Champion.

Despite countless collegiate offer letters, her childhood dream a reality and accepted a full ride scholarship to Arizona State University.
She competed all four years as an Arizona State Sun Devil having never missed or being sat out of a single tournament. And while doing so, she was crowned a two time NCAA women’s long-drive champion.

After college, Blair quickly turned professional and about the same time, booked her first modeling gig. After a short stint playing golf in Asia, she quickly gained status on the LPGA Symetra Tour (then known as the LPGA Futures Tour). For two years Blair fought financial instability and then a broken foot, and eventually made the decision to put her golf game on hold.

For the next three years Blair pursued her modelling career. She eventually racked up quite the modeling resume through runway fashion shows, television hosting, catalogues, magazine covers, websites and commercial advertisements.

Then one day she received a call from the creators of the Golf Channel’s Big Break television series. Golf Channel gotten wind of Blair through the golf community and asked her to audition. But having to knock the dust off her clubs just to audition, Blair was eventually denied.

So back to modeling she went and down went the golf clubs, again. But after nearly two more years of modeling, Blair got another call from the Golf Channel. This time they weren’t interested in Blair auditioning they wanted her on the show! Without a minute of hesitation, she accepted. During the spring of 2009, Blair competed on the Golf Channel’s Big Break: Prince Edward Island. And despite the lack of preparation time, she finished runner up. But more importantly, she revived her golfing career.

Having been away from the game for over four years, she lost her status on the LPGA Symetra Tour (then known as the LPGA Futures Tour). So Blair took to the local mini-tours to freshen up her game. While doing so, she received another call from the Golf Channel asking her to come back to do another Big Break reunion show. This time she was fully prepared. In the fall of 2010, Blair was crowned the winner of Big Break: Dominican Republic.

Blair’s Big Break winnings provided her the financial stability to pursue the game at the highest level. Later in 2010 she went to LPGA Qualifying School, making it to the final stage.

Although falling just short of obtaining her LPGA tour card, she got back her full status on the LPGA Symetra Tour. And in doing so, she proudly signed on with Cobra-Puma as her primary sponsor. In 2012, Blair completed her first full season on the LPGA Symetra Tour. Blair currently continues her quest of one day obtaining her full LPGA card.

When not crushing drives, the 5′ 9″ blonde bombshell has made the most of her modeling career. Among countless other accolades, Blair has been named: “One of the Hottest 50 Athletes of All-Time” by Sports Illustrated, one of the “Top 10: Fit Golfers” by Golf Channel, one of the “Hottest Golfers” by Golf Digest, and one of “The 18 Most Beautiful Women in Golf” by Golf Magazine.

She appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition magazine with Cobra-Puma three consecutive years from 2011-2013.

33 year-old Blair has also translated her experiences into the on-camera platform through her work as host of "The Golf Buzz" presented by Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday, "What’s in the Bag" with Cobra-Puma presented by the Golf Channel, "Hot Tips from a Hot Golfer" presented by, and co-host of "Golf’s Sexiest Shots" presented by Golf Digest.

Blair continues her mission as a dedicated athlete, but presents the look and the personality that will will brighten anyone’s day. Her competitiveness and drive, combined with her beauty and character, make her equally gifted on the golf course, on the runway, and on the streets!

You can follow Blair on Twitter, FacebookInstagram or
on her Website