Friday, August 28, 2009

The Physio Room - Injury Update

It has been a busy week in the world of English football.

As well as a full programme of English Premier League fixtures last weekend, we also had the 2nd round of the Carling Cup and some UEFA Europa League matches in midweek too.

Which players from the English Premier League came away unscathed from the last 7 days of action on the field, and who on 'millionaires row' picked up a bump or a bruise that might rule them out of their teams' weekend EPL game.

I can tell you the team with most to worry about in terms of injuries at the moment is Birmingham City, although they have several players due back this weekend, whilst Sunderland and Wigan it would appear have the least to worry about in terms of injury woes.

Click on the 'link' to find out the latest on your Club's injury worries, and how soon it will be before some of your teams high profile player's will be back in action.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

After-Dinner Sports Tales - Phil Tufnell

My after-dinner sports tale for this month is one told by the charismatic and controversial Phil Tufnell, the former England cricket bowler with a talent for spinning the ball on the field and getting into trouble off of it.

Nicknamed 'The Cat' for his ability to sleep anytime, anywhere, Tufnell made his debut for Middlesex in 1986. It was here that he developed a reputation for being a cricketer with big talent, but little dedication for the discipline of the game. He was occasionally in trouble for missing practice or minor matches and once missed a game when shopping for a fridge instead.

Despite brilliant bowling figures, once getting 11 wickets for 93 runs, he was an abysmal batter whose career average did not reach double figures. He played 42 Tests and 20 One Day Internationals for England between 1990 and 2001, and 316 first-class matches, mainly for Middlesex.

Tufnell’s larrikin tendencies meant he was later disciplined for numerous offences to do with birds, booze, drugs and generally offensive behavior.
In 1997 on an England tour to New Zealand he unwittingly became the focus for a publicity campaign for a winebar in Christchurch.

Here is an amusing excerpt from an after-dinner speech made by Phil on that infamous incident in New Zealand in 1997

"I woke one morning to find myself plastered all over the front of the local paper for apparently having smoked grass in the gents at an establishment called Bardelli's. By 10 o'clock that same morning a rash of posters appeared around town declaring, 'Tufnell reckons that Bardelli's is the best joint in town.'
It was complete nonsense, of course. I was invisible at the time."

Tuffers' retired from professional cricket 2003 in order to participate in the reality television show 'I'm a Celebrity.....Get Me Out of Here!' from which he emerged as King of the Jungle. He was a team captain on the sports quiz show 'They Think It's All Over', did analytical punditry on Sky Sports and Channel 4, and has made appearances on current affairs programmes, chat shows and quiz shows. He has co-authored a humorous book called 'Phil Tufnell's' A To Z of Cricket' and wrote his autobiography, 'What Now?'

He is extremely accommodating to people who wish to discuss matters with a sporting celebrity.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Roll Call Of ‘Refereeing’ Faux Pas!

The season is barely up and running – but we've already had one of the blunders (faux pas) of the season courtesy of referee Rob Shoebridge and his officiating assistants, who somehow missed the fact that Crystal Palace striker Freddie Sears' shot hit the back of the net, before rebounding out off the stanchion inside the goal during Palace's defeat at Bristol City last Saturday – choosing to award a goal-kick instead.

Although I am Palace fan and season ticket ticket holder, I am not going to get into a debate about the use of technology, the actions of both sets of players, managers or chairmen, and the subsequent post-match mud-slinging by all concerned.

Of course I have my own thoughts and opinions on the incident, and I could write a dissertation on the subject if required, but I shall not be disseminating them on here.

The newspapers, football websites, radio phone-ins, club messageboards and so forth have gone into meltdown with the coverage of the incident, and its all getting rather irritating and tedious.

Nothing is going to change the events of last weekend, and as long as Sepp Blatter remains President of FIFA these 'goalgate' issues will never go away.

The game is over, Palace lost 1-0. End of story........until of course the next time that controversy of a similar nature rears it's ugly head!

But as major refereeing blunders go, Shoebridge has plenty of competition, as I shall substantiate for you now.

How many of you, the readers of this blog article remember the following six refereeing/refereeing assistant 'howler's ranging from just last season to almost 30 years ago?

To watch a video of the incidents click on the link inserted into the line containing the referee's name, the clubs involved and the date.

1/ STUART ATTWELL – Watford v Reading 2008

Possibly the strangest decision of the lot? In a Championship match last year Reading winger Stephen Hunt's corner hit Watford defender John Eustace and looked to go out of play for another corner.

Unbelievably Attwell awarded a goal after his assistant informed him that the ball had crossed the goal line when in fact it had gone wide of the upright, much to the bemusement of both sets of players.

2/ CHARLES CORVER – France v West Germany 1982

West Germany keeper Harald Schumacher's vicious attack on France's Patrick Battiston was the most brutal foul ever seen on a football pitch.

Instead of producing a card or awarding a penalty, Corver inscrutably signalled for a goal-kick, as Battiston lay motionless on the pitch with his own teeth lying around him.

Germany went on to win on penalties and book a place in the World Cup final – Battison eventually recovered but only after slipping into a coma.

3/ RAY LEWIS – Man Utd v Spurs 2005

Tottenham Hotspur looked to have secured a famous win at Old Trafford back in 2005 when in the last minute Pedro Medes' audacious effort from the halfway line beat United keeper Roy Carroll.

However, despite the ball having clearly crossed the line, assistant referee Lewis did not give the goal and the game finished in a 0-0 draw.

4/ DEREK WEBB - Coventry v Crystal Palace 1980

In similar circumstances to Freddie Sears' 'goal' last weekend, Clive Allen 'scored' one of the most controversial disallowed goals of all time in a game between Coventry and Palace in 1980. Allen curled a stunning direct free-kick into the top corner of the net where it rebounded off the stanchion and back into play. Webb enigmately waved play on despite the protests of the Palace players. Palace went on to lose that game too!

5/ GRAHAM POLL – Australia v Croatia 2006

Graham Poll's long and distinguished refereeing career will be remembered predominantly for his highest-profile error.

Poll has never been a stranger to controversy and his critics were given plenty of ammunition when he messed up on the biggest stage of all – the World Cup.

Poll had been tipped as a possible World Cup final referee – but his tournament ended in the group stage with his famous three-card trick.

After booking Croatia's Josip Šimuniæ, Poll then failed to send the same player off when he booked him a second time and only showed him red when issuing a third yellow card.

6/ STEVE CREIGHTON - Millwall v Peterborough 2009

Last season Millwall beat Peterborough 2-0 at The New Den thanks in part to a thrice-taken penalty. Gary Alexander twice saw his spotkicks saved by Joe Lewis but each time assistant referee Steve Creighton ruled the England Under-21 keeper had come off his line. Winger Dave Martin made no mistake third time around.

However on watching the video footage you will notice that yes the goalkeeper Lewis does come off his line, not once, not twice but on all three occasions. Yet Creighton did not flag the third time.........the only time the penalty was actually scored!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Physio Room - Injury Update

Click on the 'Link' below to see which Premier League players are feeling below par this week, as this may well and more importantly impinge on YOU, the footy fan as you jig and re-jig your 'Fantasy Footy' teams for the forthcoming Premier League season.

Who are those players who are going to get you off to a flying start, and have any of the players you want in your starting XI already picked up an injury before a competitive ball has been kicked.

Can players such as Ledley King, Torres, Gerrard and Walcott stay injury free, and how long will it be before last year's victims of serious injury, the likes of Phil Jagielka, Jimmy Bullard, Chris Iwelumo and Dean Ashton be back in competitive action?

Here is the latest on the injury woes that may affect your last minute decisions.

Finally good luck to all those fans taking part in the many fantasy football competitions that are running this season.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Crystal Palace Squad List - 2009/10


# 1.Julian Speroni
# 12.Darryl Flahavan


# 2.Nathanial Clyne
# 3.Clint Hill
# 5.Patrick McCarthy
# 6.Jose Miguel Fonte - Sold to Southampton in Jan 2010
# 15.Lee Hills
# 20.Danny Butterfield
# 22.Johannes Ertl
# 24.Claude Davis


# 4.Shaun Derry (Captain)
# 7.Darren Ambrose
# 8.Neil Danns
# 10.Nick Carle
# 21.Kieran Djilali
# 26.Kieron Cadogan
# 29.Ryan Smith - Released Jan 2010
# 33.Alassane N'Diaye
# 37.Nathanial Pinney
# 42.James Comley


# 9.Stern John - On Loan at Ipswich since Nov 2009
# 11.Victor Moses
# 14.Sean Scannell
# 16.Freddie Sears - Loan Cut Short - Recalled by West Ham, Jan 2010
# 17.Simon Thomas - Released Jan 2010
# 18.Calvin Andrew
# 19.Alan Lee

# Subject to change.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

My Pre-Season Predictions 2009/10 - Winners & Surprises!

Premier League Winners: Chelsea 2/1*

Championship Automatic Promotion: Middlesborugh 7/1* & Sheff U 11/1*
Surprise Top 6 finish: Peterborough 6/1#

League One Automatic Promotion: Huddersfield 8/1* & MK Dons 10/1*
Surprise Top 6 finish: Brentford 9/2#

League Two Automatic Promotion: Rotherham* 8/1 & Chesterfield 12/1*
Surprise Top 7 finish: Darlington 7/1#

Champions League Winners: Inter Milan 11/1*

* Odds are for the named teams to WIN their respective leagues OUTRIGHT.
Each Way 1/4 odds a place 1, 2, 3 (Premier League 1/3 odds a place 1, 2 and Champions League 1/2 odds a place 1, 2).
# Odds are for the named teams to finish in the Top 6/7 ONLY.

Betting odds supplied courtesy of Coral bookmakers.