Tuesday, December 28, 2010

All The Latest Transfer Gossip

All of today's latest transfer gossip, with the transfer window opening this Saturday.

Real Madrid, Manchester City, Liverpool, Bordeaux, Lazio, Lille, Sevilla, Marseille, Internacional, Gremio, AC Milan, Manchester United, Inter Milan, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Aston Villa, CSKA Moscow, Chelsea, Newcastle, Tottenham, Stoke, Celtic, West Ham, Besiktas, Galatasaray, Blackburn, Everton, Hull, QPR, Reading, Southampton, Leicester, Peterborough and Swindon.............are all currently caught up in transfer gossip.

Is your Club involved?

Manchester City are reportedly interested in the services of Real Madrid defender Pepe (right) - AS Newspaper Madrid

Manchester City are ready to make a £7m bid for Bordeaux's former Liverpool midfielder Alou Diarra, once the transfer window opens - talkSPORT radio

Striker Roque Santa Cruz is expected to leave Manchester City for a six-month loan spell at Italian side Lazio as soon as the January transfer window opens, with a view to making the switch permanent - Daily Mail

Sevilla striker Luis Fabiano has confirmed he will be remaining with the side, after being been linked with Marseille and Inter Milan, as well as Copa Libertadores champions Internacional - AS Newspaper Madrid

Liverpool have submitted an offer of £10.7m for Lille's Ivory Coast striker Gervinho (right) - IMScouting.com

AC Milan insist no deal has been agreed to sell Ronaldinho, but an exit appears to be inevitable. However, Brazilian outfit Gremio claim they are closing in on a deal to take Ronaldinho, whose current contract expires at the end of the season, back to the club where his illustrious career began - caughtoffside.com

Mario Balotelli's increasing struggles at Manchester City are being underpinned by chronic homesickness and a dislike of life in England - so much so that the striker wants to return to Italy (after only 5 months in the UK), with AC Milan his preferred destination - Daily Mail/The Guardian/The Sun

Sir Alex Ferguson is preparing a £15 move for CSKA Moscow keeper Igor Akinfeev (right), as the Manchester United boss prepares for life after Edwin Van der Sar, who is expected to hang up his gloves at the end of this season - caughtoffside.com

Michael Owen is set to be shown the door at Old Trafford. The former England International could have his Manchester United career brought to an end as early as next month. United will listen to offers in the January transfer window, with Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier likely to be at the head of the queue for the player he had at Liverpool - Manchester Evening News

Newcastle striker Andy Carroll has told manager Alan Pardew that he is not tempted by a move from St James' Park. Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham all harbour an interest in the 21-year-old - The Guardian

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson is ready to battle with old club Fulham for Crystal Palace's 18-year-old striker Wilfried Zaha (right), who is valued at about £2m - Daily Mirror

Chelsea are the favourites to sign highly rated Southampton youngster Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Stoke are also interested in the 17-year old - Daily Mail

Harry Redknapp has dismissed reports linking Spurs star Luka Modric with Chelsea - sportinglife.com

Stoke defender Robert Huth plans to reject the chance of a £5m move to Liverpool to stay at the Britannia Stadium - Daily Mirror

Avram Grant insists there's no way he'll allow Scott Parker to leave West Ham in January - sportinglife.com

Swindon striker Charlie Austin (right) says he could leave the club next week, with Celtic, Hull, QPR and Reading all interested in signing the 21-year-old - The Sun

Blackburn Rovers right-back Pascal Chimbonda is being tracked by Turkey's top two clubs, Besiktas and Galatasaray - footballpress.net

Hull City want to follow up moves for Leicester's Matty Fryatt and Peterborough's Aaron McLean with a £2m bid for Everton striker James Vaughan - Daily Mail

Gerard Houllier has confirmed Aston Villa's Steve Sidwell is close to joining West Ham - sportinglife.com

Friday, December 24, 2010

Pardew out to inflict a 'Blue Christmas' on Mancini - Betting News with Betfred


Alan Pardew could take another massive step in getting the Toon faithful on his side if his Newcastle team can beat Premier League high flyers Manchester City on Boxing Day.

The former West Ham and Southampton boss was not the favoured choice to take over the reigns at St James' Park following the dismissal of Chris Hughton, but in his first game in charge he engineered a 3-1 win over Liverpool. Their game against Birmingham was postponed last weekend due to the snow, so he will have benefited more an extended period in training with his new troops and Newcastle United are 12/5 in the football betting to get the victory.

Roberto Mancini must have hoped City's game had also fallen foul of the weather as he watched his team go down 2-1 to Everton on Monday night. With none of City's rivals for the Premier League title playing, they missed an opportunity to go top of the pile and crank up the pressure on Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea.

For Pardew it was Newcastle's big players in the shape of Kevin Nolan, Joey Barton and new England striker Andy Carroll (11/2 to be first goalscorer against City) - that inspired them to the victory over Anfield, and the boss has been busy refuting suggestions the Newcastle number nine could be out of St James' Park in the New Year.

Despite all the turmoil within in the City camp, there is no doubting the quality and potential there is among the squad - and the Premier League betting makes them 5/4 to win the game.

The outcome of this match is going to hinge on how Newcastle's big players step up on Boxing Day. Nolan, Barton and Carroll, along with their central defensive pairing of Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson will all need to be on tip-top form if Newcastle are to bag all three points.

But Mancini will have instilled in his team the importance of bouncing back from their loss to Everton, and games such as this are ones City should win if they truly consider themselves as contenders to win the Premier League title.

My Tip of the Weekend:

Newcastle should provide a stern test for City and the 23/10 with Betfred for the match to be drawn looks a good option.
Also Carlos Tevez is 4/1 to get the first goal, and he will be a real danger for a Toon defence that on average has conceded more than a goal a game at home this season.
Manchester City are the Premier League's top scorers away from home, so City's goal threat combined with Newcastle's leaky defence makes the 10/11 on offer that there will be a total of 2-3 goals in the game appealing.

Sunday 26th December: Newcastle v Manchester City, kick-off 3pm.

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

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Like the 'Seven Deadly Sins,' here are the 'Seven Worst Gifts' a man can give a woman at Christmas.

Guys, Christmas is approaching fast! We know that many of you like to wait until ten minutes before the shops close on Christmas Eve before attempting to buy those supposedly fantastic gifts for the 'love of your life.'

Remember women are happy to receive gifts! It shows thoughtfulness, time, and effort on your part, and gives women a sense of feeling loved and appreciated. Of course tastes vary, but there are a few offerings that tend to fall short of a women's expectations.

For Christmas you must be very careful when choosing your wife/girlfriend/partner the right gift. Buying the wrong gift can easily send out the wrong message.

Men, please read this list of no-no's carefully, if you value your relationship - don't even consider buying any of the following items for your partner.
This list may well save you a trip to the A & E Department and/or divorce court.
The life you save may be your own!

1/ A Stripper Pole.

It does happen! The wife of a friend of mine took a stripper class to get into shape and her husband shoved a pole under the tree the next year. I know you’re just dying to see what goes on in those classes and you want to see your lady’s new-found talents, but installing one of these in your house will only ensure your disappointment, plus she will have all the ammo she needs to start accusing you of going to strip clubs all the time and not being happy with the 'real' woman in your life.

2/ Fake Designer Anything.

Not quite as bad as a stripper pole, but still lacking in thought.
Buying your wife/girlfriend a fake Ralph Lauren or a fake Gucci handbag is wrong in so many ways!
Do not buy anything off the back of a lorry, or from from a guy named Burt or a woman called Snow Bunny. They will tell you what you want to hear - "this plastic bag is an authentic designer handbag worth £400, yours for £19.99."
Do not believe them, don't fall for it, don't buy it!

3/ Small Appliances.

Or large ones for that matter! Never Give a woman, for Christmas any household appliance that you think will make her life easier. If a woman needs (or even just wants) a new blender, vacuum cleaner, toaster or microwave, they'll go out and buy it for themselves. Appliances just send the wrong message.
For me, it congers up images of the 1950's housewife who wishes to please her man by keeping the house clean and has dinner waiting on the table when he walks through the door.

4/ Stuffed Animals.

I know a percentage of women will disagree with me on this one, but come on ladies! We're not in junior high school anymore. There's a time in a young woman's life where a stuffed animal is an appropriate gift, and it happens to not be when you are a grown up.

5/ Exercise Equipment or Gym Membership.

I don’t care if your chunky wife keeps mentioning how bad she wants to get in shape and she needs a treadmill – she will hate you forever if you stick that baby under the tree. It’s one thing to encourage her big booty to get to the gym and work off her 'baby weight,' but it’s another to stick something under the tree that screams, "You need to slim that lard ass of yours down!"

6/ Car Related Items.

Buying her anything for her car isn’t for her........it’s for you. She doesn’t care that she has no sense of direction, that her car is messy. She doesn’t use that sunshield thingy and she certainly won’t use one of those scraper devices to remove ice, because she will lose it in the mess of her car. She will end up scraping her windows with a credit card like she’s done since the day she was first able to drive.

7/ A Cookbook.

The last thing your woman wants to open up on Christmas morning is a reminder of the huge meal she has to prepare all by herself (mainly because your lazy ass is already drunk from over indulgence the night before)
Unless your significant other is an aspiring chef or just loves to cook and create new dishes frequently, a cookbook is a gift that could be taken the wrong way. They're fun to browse through at first, but quickly loose their appeal, only to be stuck on a shelf to collect dust.

So now that you know what not to buy, I can hear you screaming from the rooftops,"so what the hell do I get her then?"

The trick is to not ask her. Asking her will only ruin the surprise and display to her that you have no idea what to get her. What you need to do is a little research and harness your skills of observation. How do I do that? I hear you ask........

The next time you're watching TV together, take note of any comments she makes during the Ads of any products or items she likes. When you are shopping together, see which shops she veers towards and tries to drag you into. Figure out what her hobbies are and see if you can buy anything to compliment them or anything she needs.

The more creative you are with your gift this Christmas, the more impressed your partner will be. It's not hard, it just takes a little time and effort.

If you've taken the time to ask her friends what she secretly wants, and got it - she will be eternally grateful.......or grateful at least until next Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

All The Latest Transfer Gossip

With the January transfer window less than two weeks away, rumours are rife both at home and abroad as Clubs look to reinforce their squads in an attempt to secure the services of new players for various reasons.
Some managers jobs may be on the line as a result of their teams failure to meet pre-season expectations, whether they were trophy or survival driven. There are unhappy players, owners and fans across Europe, and of course we are in the middle of an global economic recession.

Do clubs have the money to sign new players in an attempt to achieve their goals? Are clubs willing to risk putting themselves into debt in order to fund transfers and players salaries?

Whatever the situation, which varies hugely from club to club the transfer rumour mill is really hotting up!

It is interesting to note that there are some players that look certain to be on the move in January, but their destinations seem to vary according to the source of the rumour!

Manchester City, AC Milan, Barcelona, Wolfsburg, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Celtic, Zenit St Petersburg, Tottenham, Lazio, Birmingham, Aston Villa, Liverpool, Borussia Monchengladbach, Borussia Dortmund, Newcastle, Blackburn, Everton, West Ham, Blackpool, West Brom, Sunderland, Fulham, Norwich, Sheffield United, Millwall, Southampton and Swindon.............are all currently caught up in transfer gossip.

Is your Club involved?

Manchester City are reportedly planning a January move for AC Milan star Ronaldinho. The 30-year-old is thought to be surplus to requirements at the San Siro caughtoffside.com

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has renewed his interest for Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko (right) and could offer over 20 million Euros for the Bosnian international. However, the German club officials want more than 30 million Euros - footballpress.net

Manchester City are set to battle Chelsea for the signing of Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko - imscouting.com

Manchester United are also interested in Dzeko and are planning a club-record £35m offer for the 24-year old - caughtoffside.com

West Ham are lining up a January swoop for Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor - The Sun

Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier is ready to resume his pursuit of Joey Barton. He tried to sign Barton for Liverpool when the midfielder was at Manchester City and has joined West Ham in a bid to prise the 28-year-old away from Newcastle in January - Daily Mail

Fulham and Liverpool are interested in 24-year-old Irish midfielder Stephen Ireland, who wants to leave Aston Villa after a recent bust-up with coach Gerard Houllier - footballpress.net

Bayern Munich are lining up a £9m offer for Everton defender Leighton Baines - Daily Mail

Bayern Munich are planning to sign 26-year-old right-back Glen Johnson from Liverpool in January. The England international is valued at 15 million Euros - footballpress.net

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is reportedly interested in securing the signing of Zenit St Petersburg's attacking midfielder Danny (right) as well as young Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Marco Reus and Borussia Dortmund playmaker Mario Götz - sport360.com

According to Russian media reports, Zenit St Petersburg are tracking Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard, and hope to sign him in January - footballpress.net

Arsenal's Brazilian midfielder Denilson is attracting the interest of Spanish giants Barcelona - imscouting.com

The Gunners will use the money from Denilson's sale to Barcelona to fund a move for Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott - Metro

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson is planning a double swoop for Tottenham striker Peter Crouch and Manchester City winger Shaun Wright-Phillips - caughtoffside.com

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp is set to offer Newcastle £20m for striker Andy Carroll and could use forward Peter Crouch as part of the deal - Daily Express

Birmingham will bid £6m to pinch Tottenham forward Robbie Keane from under the noses of neighbours Aston Villa - The Sun

Blackburn want to start their rebuilding process by signing Blackpool's Scottish midfielder Charlie Adam (right) - Daily Mirror

Lazio chairman Claudio Lotito wants to sign an additional striker in January and one option is Bayern Munich's Miroslav Klose 33, who is for sale in January before his contract expires at the end of the season - footballpress.net

West Brom are set to make a January offer for Celtic striker Georgios Samaras - Daily Mail

Celtic's bid to sign Anton Ferdinand next month is set to be scuppered by a defensive crisis at Sunderland - Daily Record

A host of clubs are chasing Norwich midfielder Owain Tudur Jones, including Sheffield United, Millwall, Southampton and Swindon - Skysports.com

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lindsey Vonn - American Alpine Ski Babe

Lindsey Vonn (née Kildow, born 18th October, 1984 in Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA) is a US alpine ski racer.

In 1999, Vonn became the first American female to win at Italy's Trofeo Topolino (for skiers of ages 11–14) where she was victorious in slalom. After climbing through the ranks of the U.S. Ski Team, she made her World Cup debut aged 16 on the 18th November, 2000 in Park City, Utah.

Lindsey Vonn made her Olympic debut at the 2002 Winter Olympics, where she raced in both the slalom and combined in Salt Lake City, coming sixth in the combined.

At her second Winter Olympics held in Turin, Italy in 2006, Vonn crashed while training for the downhill race and was evacuated by helicopter and hospitalized overnight. Despite a bruised hip, she returned the following day to compete and finished eighth. The gritty performance earned her the U.S. Olympic Spirit Award, as voted by American fans, fellow Team USA athletes, former U.S. Olympians, and members of the media for 'best representing the Olympic Spirit.'

At the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Vonn won the gold medal in downhill, the first American woman to do so. She also won bronze in the Super-G (Super Giant Slalom).
She also won three consecutive overall World Cup championships ( in 2008, 2009, 2010), the first American woman and only the second woman ever to accomplish this.
With her Olympic gold and bronze medals, 34 World Cup wins in four disciplines (Downhill, Super G, Slalom and Super-Combined), her two World Championship gold medals and two World Championship silver medals, Lindsey Vonn has become the most successful American woman skier in history.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Spurs have a chance to show their credentials - Betting News with Betfred


Tottenham Hotspur can hammer another nail in Chelsea's Premier League title ambitions at White Hart Lane on Sunday, and given Spurs' recent matches there should be no shortage of entertainment in this London derby.

Harry Redknapp's side have impressed in both the Premier League and Champions League so far this season, with their European heroics overshadowing their domestic form on many occasions.

On Sunday they welcome a struggling Chelsea side, that have been knocked off the top of the Premier League table after failing to win any of their last four league games, and seen them collect just five points out of a possible 18, as well as losing in midweek to Marseille in a Champions League tie.

Considering how well Chelsea started the season they have seen a real contrast in fortunes and Spurs could heap more misery on them at White Hart Lane - with the home side priced at 9/5 in the football betting to take all three points.

Spurs boast a wealth of attacking prowess, which has been proven with their average of three goals a game in the Champions League group stages, and they are likely to pose great problems for a Chelsea defence that has looked more fragile in recent weeks, than they have done in a very long time.

Although Spurs have scored goals for fun at times this season, finding the net has been Carlo Ancelotti's problem throughout this poor run. They have not scored more than once in a Premier League game since the end of October and are 6/4 in the Premier League betting to win on Sunday, meaning they will need likes of Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka to step up.

Redknapp told 'Talksport' that Spurs are now at the same level as Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea - and if they are victorious this weekend then not many people can argue with this.

The veteran manager claimed Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon can "cause anybody problems" and the strikers at his disposal mean he sets out to attack teams. Chelsea would need a real turnaround in fortunes to reverse their recent run, and Spurs can close to within one point of their opponents with victory over their fellow Londoners.

My Tip of the Weekend:

Spurs'attacking prowess will prove too strong for Chelsea, and Tottenham to be winning at both half-time and full-time at 4/1 looks great value with Betfred.
Also with Jermaine Defoe fit again the 6/4 on offer with Betfred that he will score at anytime in the match looks a steal.

Sunday 12th December: Tottenham v Chelsea, kick-off 4pm, Live on Sky Sports 1.

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

Monday, December 06, 2010

Part Two of The World's Wackiest Sports - Ferret Legging

What do coal miners do for fun in Yorkshire, England? They partake in a sport that involves these three things: trousers, a ferret, and the ability to endure a fully fanged ferret shoved inside one's trousers.

The sport is surprisingly simple:

Contestants tie their trousers at the ankles, then drop two ferrets inside and fasten their belts to prevent the animals from escaping. The man that lasts the longest wins.

Lest they have sneaky contestants, judges make sure that the ferrets aren't sedated and the contestants aren't drunk. The ferrets must have a mouth's full of teeth - unfiled or otherwise blunted. Their nails mustn't have been clipped. Oh, and in case anyone asks: no underwear, please. The trousers must be loose so the ferret can move from ankle to ankle.

The sport involves little innate talent, except for the ability of ignoring a nasty bite to one's ....... well, you get the picture!

Indeed, before entering a competition, males "whose families are not yet complete" are required to have written permissions from their partners.

The ferrets are occasionally put inside the contestants' shirts in addition to their trousers. An attempt to introduce a female version of the sport—ferret busting, in which female contestants introduced ferrets down their blouses—proved unsuccessful.

So how long do you think people last with ferrets rummaging around in their trousers? A couple of seconds? A few minutes? Half an hour?

On 5 July 1981, retired miner Reg Mellor, from Barnsley, set a new world record time of five hours and twenty-six minutes at the 'Annual Pennine Show' at Holmfirth, Yorkshire. He had practised the sport since his youth, but had received no recognition until he set the new world record.

Mellor, who had hunted with ferrets in the dales outside of Barnsley for many years, had grown accustomed to keeping them in his trousers to keep them warm and dry when out working in the rain. Mellor's "trick" was to ensure that the ferrets were well-fed before they were inserted into his trousers.

Frank Bartlett, a retired headmaster, and Christine Farnsworth, broke Mellor's record in 2010. The pair managed five hours and thirty minutes, raising £1,000 for the Whittington Community First Responders.

Ferret legging has existed for centuries. Following a brief resurgence in popularity during the 1970's, ferret legging has been described as a "dying sport", that according to a 2005 report published in the 'English Northern Echo' newspaper, is being replaced by ferret racing, in which the animals race through a plastic pipe.

Although the sport is now uncommon, you don't have to trek to the coal country of Yorkshire, England to find the sport of ferret legging - a national 'ferret legging' competition has been held at the Richmond Highland Games and Celtic Festival in Richmond, Virginia, USA, since 2003,

In 2007, the 'Manitoba Ferret Association' held a ferret legging competition in St. Vital Park, Winnipeg, Canada to raise money in support of the organization's shelter for homeless ferrets.

According to Kelly Yager of the 'Manitoba Ferret Association,' the animals actually like small, confined spaces.

Marlene Blackburn, who works with the 'Ferret Rescue League' to ensure that no ferrets are harmed in the sport, claims that during the years the competitions have been held in Richmond no contestant has ever been bitten, although some may get a few scratches.

Jay Lugar, spokesman for the Richmond Highland Games & Celtic Festival, said ferrets are "generally very harmless, fun-loving creatures."

Louis Mahoney of the 'Richmond Times-Dispatch' newspaper said it is "sure to bring a laugh."

The magazine 'Cracked' listed it as the fifth "most baffling" sport in the world.

Rick Reilly, American sportswriter for ESPN, a worldwide leader in sports coverage, tried ferret legging as part of his quest to find "the world's dumbest sport" for a book he published on the 4th May 2010 called "Sports from Hell."

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Green-Eyed Monster heads to White Hart Lane - Betting News with Betfred


It is a case of those ' who want to' facing those ' who already have' at White Hart Lane on Sunday when Liverpool take on Tottenham Hotspur.

The North London side finished in the top four last season and have now qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League after some inspirational performances - and their form is reflected in their price this weekend, 11/10 to beat the red half of Merseyside.

How jealous Reds fans must be as they are forced to make do with a place in the Europa League competition, as well as seeing their side faltering in the Premier League. Indeed, the Premier League best odds make Liverpool 4/1 to finish in the top 4 this season compared to the 9/4 on offer for Spurs to do likewise.

Roy Hodgson will be hoping that Spurs have an off day after their Champions League win over Werder Bremen on Wednesday night. For inspiration he is likely to look at some of Spurs' previous results following their midweek European exertions, which include defeats at the hands of both Wigan and Bolton.

Liverpool are looking to end a poor run of form on the road, where they have taken just three points from 21 this season, and have won only twice away from Anfield since December 2009.
They are 13/5 in the football betting to take all three points on Sunday.

What must be of worry to Reds' fans is how regularly their side have conceded goals on the road, and now they travel to face a Spurs team that has been free-scoring in recent weeks.

Earlier in the week Christian Poulsen said Liverpool need to get "better and better" away from home, and they can be sure that their top four credentials will be truly tested at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

Spurs are capable of ripping any side apart going forward with their free-flowing attacking football, just look how they destroyed defending European Champions Inter Milan, so this is a daunting examination for Liverpool.

Harry Redknapp's side look full of confidence and self-belief - the exact opposite to Hodgson's troubled troops. A lot will depend on how Liverpool cope with the man-of-the-moment, Welshman Gareth Bale, who is 8/1 to score the first goal, and the buy of the season so far, Dutchman Rafael van der Vaart.
It seems that if you can nullify their presence in midfield, then you are a huge step closer to getting a result over the Londoners.

My Tip of the Weekend:

Spurs have looked in great scoring form, but they are also susceptible to conceding, and the same can be said of Liverpool, so even money with Betfred for more than 2.5 goals in the game seems a good option. Also with leaky defences on both sides Betfred's 4/5 that both teams will score looks very tempting.

Sunday 28th November: Tottenham v Liverpool, kick-off 4pm, Live on Sky Sports 1.

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

Friday, November 19, 2010

Five 'Not So Fab' Faces as France Flourish!

Last Wednesday night England's very own Roman emperor and general, Mr.Fabio Capello led our national football team into battle. The outcome was another woeful, hapless and altogether thoroughly embarrassing performance, which ended inevitably in defeat.

What makes the 2-1 'friendly' defeat even more galling is that the opposition were France, who less than six months ago were in total disarray themselves, as disharmony on and off the park at the World Cup led to an unprecedented and almost catastrophic collapse within the ranks of the French Football Federation.

At the tournament last summer, Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka reportedly clashed with Raymond Domenech at half-time during their second group game against Mexico, and was sent home from the World Cup for 'verbally abusing' his coach.
The rest of the France squad refused to train in protest at the decision, and Domenech had to read out a statement from them explaining their actions.

The FFF managing director Jean-Louis Valentin resigned in disgust, and even French President Nicolas Sarkozy was called upon in an attempt to defuse the situation!

In the end France were eliminated for failing to deliver on the pitch, and were thus eliminated at the group stage of the tournament, with Domenech refusing to shake the hand of South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira after the final group game.

Domenech 'stood down' as France coach after the tournament and former Manchester United defender Laurent Blanc replaced Domenech in July.

The World Cup controversies subsequently forced FFF president Jean-Pierre Escalettes to resign, while head of state Nicolas Sarkozy pledged to personally lead an investigation.

It doesn't end there either, as Domenech is now currently seeking £2.5m in severance pay, claiming he was made a 'scapegoat' for his team's poor World Cup performance.

The trauma following such a dramatic chain of events, you would understandably think might take a football nation quite a while to overcome.

On the contrary in fact - Blanc has adapted incredibly well, and his side sit top of their Euro 2012 qualifying group after four games.

After 90 minutes at Wembley this week, in which England's players were outfought, outthought and outplayed so comprehensively by their French opponents, here is an interesting statistic worth noting in terms of the resources available to both nations - ' There are currently 41 French professionals playing football in England right now, and not one Englishmen playing in France.'

The reaction of the England football team to its failure at the World Cup could not be more different to that of our counterparts across the English Channel.
We continue to deliver abject sub-standard performances, while France, once the phoenix consumed by flames, has risen again from the ashes..........and in quick fire time!

How and why is this the case?
A new manager.............enough said!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Leryn Franco - South American Athletics Babe

Leryn Dahiana Franco Steneri (born 1 March 1982 in Asunción, the capital city of Paraguay, of Uruguayan parentage). Leryn's natural beauty and her sporting prowess, allows her to pursue a career in athletics, as well as one of a professional model.

Her athletic career started in 1998 at the age of 16, breaking national records in both the javelin and triple jump. She eventually chose the javelin throw as her area of expertise. She went on to win javelin bronze in 1999 and 2000 at the South American Junior Championships, and in 2001 she walked away with top honours. Leryn was South American under-23 Champion in 2004, and in doing so she won herself a place on the Olympic team at the Athens Games, in 2004.

At the Pan American Games in 2007, Franco broke her own personal record, earning her the chance to represent her country at the Olympics for the second time, in Beijing, in 2008. She also gained notoriety through her participation in the opening ceremonies.

As a model and beauty pageant contestant Leryn was the runner-up in the 'Miss Universo Paraguay' competition in 2006 and also in the 'Miss Bikini Universe' pageant the same year. She also has her own calendar, which was shot in 2007 by Martin Crespo.
She has been romantically linked with Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic, after they met at the Beijing Olympics.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Toffees Need To Stick It To The Gunners - Betting News with Betfred


Everton have been painfully shy in front of goal all season but are going to need their strikers to be on top form if they are to get all three points against Arsenal on Sunday at Goodison Park.

Arsene Wenger's men are riding high in the league despite losing three games and looking shaky. The defeat against Newcastle showed the continued fragility of goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski and the Gunners rode their luck against Wolves in midweek to earn a win.

Everton have recovered from the early season jitters to climb the Premier League table, and should certainly not be on the end of a 6-1 home thrashing like they were in this fixture last season. However despite home advantage and an improvement in results recently, the Toffees are still the outsiders in the Premier League betting at odds of 12/5 for the win with Betfred compared to the 6/5 on offer for Arsenal to take all three points.

David Moyes earned the manager of the month award for October, but he knows his team could be even higher if his misfiring strikers could score on a more regular basis.

Yakubu and Louis Saha have struggled as Everton have scored only 13 goals so far this season, but now the Toffees fans are hoping that Jermaine Beckford can be the one to fire them up the table.

He has been poor so far, but finally came to life with a brilliant last-minute goal against Bolton in midweek, the type of goal his team-mate Leighton Baines claims he has been doing "quite regularly" in training.

"He has now proved he can be a valuable asset for the club," said the defender.

While one goal does not a goalscoring legend make, it could fill the Everton fans with some optimism - especially as the Arsenal rearguard looks more vulnerable than in recent seasons. Beckford is 8/1 in the football odds to be first goalscorer, so this could be a good option, if the game is stalemate going into the latter stages.

With the right pressure in the correct areas the Blues should be able to cause the Gunners defensive problems, but they will have to be wary as the likes of Fabregas, Wilshire, Walcott, Chamakh and Arshavin could really trouble them on the break

My Tip of the Weekend:

Expect a tight game in which Arsenal will be too strong and take all three points back to London with a 1-0 win, a result which is 6/1 with Betfred.

Sunday 14th November: Everton v Arsenal, kick-off 2pm, Live on Sky Sports 1.

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

Monday, November 08, 2010

Classic Football Quotations said by Football Fans or about Football Fans - Part Three

Supporting a second team in the Premier League is like Yasser Arafat saying he has a soft spot for Judaism - NICK HANCOCK, TV presenter and Stoke City fan, 1997.

It's bad enough having to go and watch Bristol City without having things stolen - JUDGE DESMOND VOWDEN QC, sentencing a man who stole from a City fan's car, 1984.

Football violence is like smoking. If you try it once and hate it, you don't do it again. But if you try it once and like it, it's bloody hard to give up - DOUGIE & EDDY BRIMSON, self-confessed Watford hooligans, in their book Everywhere We Go, 1996.

There are more hooligans in the House of Commons than at a football match - BRIAN CLOUGH, Nottingham Forest manager, 1980.

We seem to be lumbered with the 'Inger-lund, Inger-lund, Inger-lund' chant. That may be boring but at least everyone knows the words - HELEN JOSLIN, Football Supporters' Association official, as England reached the semi-finals of the European Championships, 1996.

If it was one of our meat pies, it could have done more damage than a brick - ANDY RITCHIE, Oldham manager, after food was thrown at the referee during an FA Cup tie v Chelsea, 1999.

They're not happy in Burnley unless they're moaning. You could win 5-0 and they still wouldn't be happy. They're good folk but they'll moan about owt - STAN TENNENT, Burnley manager, 2003.

What a nightmare. I'm a Tottenham fan and I get cuffed to you - TONY ADAMS, Arsenal captain, on what was said by the prisoner handcuffed to him following his arrest for drink-driving, 1998.

Trying to explain why we hate Palace is like trying to explain why grass is green and vomit limp. We just do - ATTILA THE STOCKBROKER, poet-ranter and Brighton fan, 1995.

You won't get me flicking on a (football) phone-in. I'd rather listen to a game of chess on the radio. Phone-ins are platforms for idiots - JOE ROYLE, Manchester City manager, 2001.

I must have done all right for them to gob all over me - STEVE JONES, Bournemouth striker, after running a gauntlet of Birmingham fans, 1994.

To see more classic quotations made by Fans, Managers, Chairmen and Players alike posted on this site previously, type Quotations into the search box in the top left hand corner of the page).

Friday, November 05, 2010

Part One of The World's Wackiest Sports - The Rock Paper Scissors World Championships

All aboard if you’re looking for a truly unique experience.
Book some cheap flights to Toronto, Canada in time for for the annual ' Yahoo! Rock Paper Scissors World Championships ' which are being held on the 14th November 2010, at the Steam Whistle Brewery.

Now, we have all taken part in this game at sometime in our lives, whether it be in the school playground or down the pub – but here the stakes are a lot higher, as the winners will end up clutching C$10,000 (£6,179) in the hands that brought them to victory, not to mention bragging rights of being able to call yourself 'World Champion of Rock Paper Scissors.'

What’s more, they are officially sanctioned by the World Rock Paper Scissors Society.
The World RPS Society is dedicated to the promotion of Rock Paper Scissors as a fun and safe way to resolve disputes. The World RPS Society is involved in many areas of the sport, such as: research studies, workshops, tournaments at both local and international levels, book publishing, and much more.

As with most sports, the World RPS Society has established a code of ethics, formally known as the:
World RPS Player’s Responsibility Code.

These regulations are put forth in addition to standard game rules in order to ensure the safety and respectability of the game around the world. The responsibilities game players are expected to adhere to include:
  • Remove all jewellery and watches for the sake of safety.
  • Agree to the number of rounds before you begin playing.
  • Reconsider your options before using Rock Paper Scissors to make decisions that could affect your livelihood.
  • Always be aware of the differences in foreign cultures. In some areas, shooting signs with your hands is simply unacceptable.
There are dozens of other rules for RPS play. All are published online and can be seen here at the World RPS Society website.

The Secret to Winning at RPS:

Contrary to what you might think RPS is not simply a game of luck or chance. While it is true that from a mathematical perspective the 'optimum' strategy is to play randomly, it still is not a winning strategy for two reasons.
First, 'optimum' in this case means you should win, lose and draw an equal number of times (hardly a winning strategy over the long term).
Second, humans, try as they might are terrible at trying to be random, in fact often humans in trying to approximate randomness become quite predictable. So knowing that there is always something motivating your opponent's actions, there are a couple of tricks and techniques that you can use to tip the balance in your favour.

Basically, there are two ways to win at RPS:

The first way is to take one throw away from your opponent options. ie - If you can get your opponent to not play rock, then you can safely go with scissors as it will win against paper and stalemate against itself. Seems impossible right? Not if you know the subtle ways you can manipulate someone. The art is to not let them know you are eliminating one of their options.

The second way is to force you opponent into making a predictable move. Obviously, the key is that it has to be done without them realizing that you are manipulating them.

Most of the following techniques use variations on these basic principles. How well it works for you depends upon how well you can subtly manipulate your opponent without them figuring out what you are doing. So, now that the background is out of the way, let's take a look into these techniques.

History of the World RPS Society:

The Paper Scissors Stone Club was founded in London, England in 1842 immediately following the issuance of the1842 law declaring "any decision reached by the use of the process known as Paper Scissors Stone between two gentleman acting in good faith shall constitute a binding contract. Agreements reached in this manner are subject to all relevant contract and tort law."

In 1918, the name was changed to World RPS Club in to reflect the growing International representation. At roughly the same time the Club moved its headquarters from London to its present location at Trinity Plaza in Toronto, Canada. Despite the allied victory, the official reason for the move was "England is far too dangerous a place to make a suitable home country for a game of conflict resolution." Canada was seen as an excellent choice since it was seen as a "safe, hospitable and utterly inoffensive nation, a part of the commonwealth, yet not inhabited by the descendants of criminals."

In 1925 when the club briefly reached over 10,000 members, the name was changed again to The World RPS Society.

Breaking News:
It is my sad duty to announce the passing of Wojek Smallsoa, Chairman of the World RPS Society Steering Committee. After a life-long battle with living, Chairman Smallsoa's mortal Paper was snipped short at the age of 87. Due to the gravity of the situation, a period of mourning within the Society will be recognized which forces the cancellation of the 2010 World Championships of RPS.

At this point no date has been set for the 2011 World Championship, nor who will be entitled to Mr. Smallsoa's coveted parking spot in front of Trinity Square Plaza in Toronto.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Birmingham Bragging Rights on the Line - Betting News with Betfred


It is the battle of the second city on Sunday and the blue half of Birmingham are now looking to get one over on their old rivals after living in the shadows of claret for too long now.

Both of the teams currently sit mid-table in the Premier League, separated by two places and one point, and both go into the game having scraped through in the Carling Cup in midweek - although admittedly Birmingham did need penalties to beat a struggling League One side.

Aston Villa did a 1-0 double over Birmingham City last season, and in fact you have to go back to March 2005 for the last time the blue half of the city held the bragging rights. Bearing that in mind it is no surprise the football betting makes Villa 5/6 to win on Sunday and heap more misery on their rivals.

Indeed for many years Villa have held the mantle of the major team in the second city, but could this be the year Alex McLeish's side topple their more illustrious rivals despite being outsiders at 4/1 to win at Villa Park?

One man looking forward immensely to the derby is Birmingham striker Nikola Zigic, and the beanpole Serb, who is priced at 15/2 to score the first goal, has set his sights on being a hero at Villa Park on Sunday.

"I am aware I could become an instant hero. Of course I am. It's like every derby the world over," he said.

"If you do score, especially a winner, you are a hero for life. It is something I am well aware of."

One man who already has a reputation for scoring in derby games is Kevin Phillips, and he is looking to play some part after making his comeback from injury. He played the full 120 minutes in the Carling Cup run and is eyeing up a goal on Sunday if he gets the opportunity. The veteran is 5/2 with Betfred to find the back of the net at some stage - an attractive price for people looking to have a bet on a Premier League game this weekend.

My Tip of the Weekend:

Aston Villa look to hold the upper hand once again, but they face a tough battle, so I fancy the 10/3 double result: Draw at half-time, Villa at full-time.
Also the 2/1 for the in-form Nikol Zigic to score at anytime looks tempting.

Sunday 31st October: Aston Villa v Birmingham City, kick-off at Noon.

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

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bizarre Footballing Injuries!

Now being a clumsy person myself, this is indeed a subject very close to my heart.

I have spent so much time over the years in the Accident & Emergency department of my own local hospital, that the reception desk staff would not need to ask me for my details, if it wasn't mandatory procedure.
They have even joked that I should 'own' an A & E gold card and should have a seat in the waiting area made up with my own name plate - so on my arrival I just wave my card and proceed to sit, depending on the nature of my injury of course, in my designated seat.

However my reasons for attending A & E over the years have been a combination of daft stunts gone wrong, and genuine sporting injuries that have occurred during a competitive match or training session, and on several occasions have left me requiring surgery.

All the injuries in this article were sustained by professional footballers as a result of accidents or acts of irrational behaviour off the field – or in basic vernacular dialogue, incidents that nine times out of ten have taken place without a ball in sight - with goalkeepers being particularly susceptible!

Darius Vassell - The then Aston Villa striker missed several games after he drilled through his toe nail with a home power drill thinking it would relieve the pressure on a swollen toe. The attempt at DIY surgery succeeded only in giving the toe an infection which required medical attention.

Michael Stensgaard - Liverpool's Danish goalkeeper was forced out of the game for a year after suffering an injury to his shoulder while he attempted to fold down an ironing board. He now plies his trade with FC Copenhagen.

Santiago Canizares - The Spain goalkeeper (right) missed the 2002 World Cup whilst in the midst of one of his sessions swooning over himself in front of the bathroom mirror. He dropped his aftershave into the sink, a piece of glass fell on his foot, severing a tendon in his big toe.
This led to the emergence of the great Iker Casillas.

Richard Wright - Wright was ruled out of Everton's FA Cup fourth-round replay at Chelsea after suffering a freak injury during the warm-up. Wright ignored a notice warning him not to practise in the goalmouth and promptly fell over the sign, suffering a twisted ankle. He also damaged his shoulder falling through a loft as he was trying to pack away his suitcases.

Darren Barnard - The former Barnsley midfielder was sidelined for five months with a torn knee ligament, after he slipped in a puddle of his puppy's urine on the kitchen floor.

Jerome Boateng - Before the start of this season (2010/11) Manchester City's new £12million summer signing from Hamburg, further aggravated a knee injury by accidentally smashing it against a flight attendant’s drinks trolley, delaying his recovery by another month.

Alan Mullery - The England star missed the 1964 tour of South America after injuring his back while brushing his teeth.

Svein Grondalen - The Norway defender had to withdraw from an international during the 1970's after colliding with a moose while out jogging.

Chic Brodie - The Brentford goalkeeper's career came to an abrupt end in October 1970 when he collided with a dog which had run on to the pitch. Brodie shattered his kneecap while the dog got the ball.

Kieron Dyer - The former Newcastle midfielder damaged his left eye when he collided with a pole in training - ruling him out for two weeks.

Dave Beasant - The veteran goalkeeper managed to rule himself out for eight weeks in 1993 when he dropped a bottle of salad cream on his foot, severing the tendon in his big toe.

Kirk Broadfoot - The Glasgow Rangers defender needed hospital treatment for burns after nearly blinding himself while trying to poach an egg in a microwave. The defender opened the microwave door to peer in at the eggs when one of them exploded, firing boiling hot eggy water all over the Scotland defender’s unsuspecting face. It’s understood he narrowly avoided burning the whites of his eyes.

Kasey Keller - The American international goalkeeper knocked out his front teeth while pulling his golf clubs out of the boot of his car.

David Batty - The former Leeds and Blackburn midfielder managed to re-injure his Achilles tendon when he was run over by his toddler on a tricycle.

David James - The England goalkeeper once pulled a muscle in his back when reaching for the television remote control. The keen angler also tweaked his shoulder when trying to land a monster carp when out fishing.

Sean Flynn - The then-Kidderminster captain suffered a broken nose, busted lip and bruised toes after tripping over his son's toy cars.

David Seamen - The former Arsenal and England keeper tore a back muscle after bending down to record Coronation Street on his VCR.

Finally a quite freakish injury that occurred 'during' a game.

Paulo Diogo - The Servette midfielder scored a goal and ran into the crowd to celebrate. However, he caught his wedding ring on the fencing and managed to tear off the top half of his finger - as well as getting cautioned for an excessive celebration.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Top 5 Signs that your Girlfriend is a Gold Digger!

Those Kanye West lyrics hit the nail on the head when they claimed a gold-digging woman won't mess with a broke man. Hell, it costs a lot to keep her happy!

The gold digger can be defined as a woman whose main reason for hooking up is so that she can gain material benefits from the latest sponge she's dating.

Here are five signs that your girlfriend is much more interested in spending quality time with your wallet than with you.

5/ Her Friends Are Gold Diggers:

As the saying goes, you can tell a lot about someone from the company they keep. If your girlfriend spends time with other women who seem to show signs of being gold diggers, or you’ve heard gossip about their behaviour, chances are she could well be influenced by their tendencies.

It's a good idea to keep your hand on your wallet.

4/ She Hates Other Women:

Always dressed in the finest clothing and looking gorgeous, the gold digger flaunts the fact that she likes to take care of herself. But it's with other people’s money, of course. Since she places emphasis on her looks, she is wary of and competitive with other desirable women and dislikes their company if they are just as gorgeous or as status-endowed as she is.

Clearly, her behaviour is caught up in insecurity.

3/ She Wants Expensive Gifts:

When you give her something sentimental that doesn't cost much, but reminds you of a special time together, or you write her a heartfelt poem, she might give you a blank look or turn her nose up at the gift.
She would've just preferred it if you bought her a pair of diamond earrings or those Jimmy Choo heels she pointed out the day before.
The gold digger is eager for gifts that are caked with money, instead of sentimental value.

2/ She's Status Obsessed:

The gold digger craves high status, thinking that she can gain it by how she looks and dresses. She’ll regularly snub people whom she perceives as having a low status, like the homeless or those working in service jobs.

On dates, she’s more likely to appear impressed if men tell her they own an Audi R8 than if they mention that they help out at soup kitchens on Sundays.

1/ She's Obsessed With Your Financial Status:

Your girlfriend has been interested in hearing about your career and financial status from day one. Though you might mistake her curiosity for interest in your life, she’s probably sussing you out to ensure you will be able to pay her way through the relationship.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Heather Mitts - USA Soccer Babe

Heather Blaine Mitts (born 9 June 1978) is an American currently playing for Philadelphia Independence as a defender in the (WPS) Women's Professional Soccer league in the United States. Heather is also a member of the United States women's national soccer team, having won 109 caps to date, and she is also a two-time Olympic gold medalist.

Read more at: http://www.heathermitts.com/

Friday, October 15, 2010

Toffees Hoping To Leave Their City Rivals Feeling Blue - Betting News with Betfred


The pressure of a Merseyside derby could be coming at the wrong time for Liverpool, but Everton fans must be looking to heap more misery on their struggling city rivals.

Both teams have had disappointing starts to the season, but few football fans expected Liverpool to be sitting in the bottom three after seven games, with just one Premier League victory so far this season. Everton sit just one place above them on goal difference, after their win over Birmingham last time out – but this clash at Goodison could have added importance for Liverpool as they have already drifted out to 8/1 with Betfred in the football betting to finish the season in the Premier League top four.

Liverpool are going to be without Dirk Kuyt, but could have Fernando Torres back in the side after recovering from an adductor strain. Although he has disappointed this season there is no doubting his quality, and as a big-game player Reds fans may fancy the 11/2 on offer for Torres to score the first goal of the derby.

One man who has scored in a winning Everton side over Liverpool is Danny Cadamarteri, and he believes the Toffees are "more than capable" of piling even more pressure on Roy Hodgson's shoulders and indeed the Toffees are many people's Premier League tips to win on Sunday.

Cadamarteri claimed the Reds look "rock bottom" and the blue side of the city could "put one over" on their more illustrious rivals.

He went on to say: "They're obviously going to be up for the derby but I think confidence in the Liverpool camp is low, and I just have this sneaky feeling that it could turn out to be one of those weekends where Everton have an opportunity to brag about a big win against the Reds."

Everton's defender Leighton Baines has told BBC Radio Merseyside that he thinks Tim Cahill could be the match-winner at Goodison Park. He is hoping the Australian midfielder can be the "man on the spot" for Everton, as he has been so often in the past, at the most crucial of times – and Cahill is 15/2 to open the scoring on Sunday.

My Tip of the Weekend:

With both sides struggling for form and goals, it's likely neither team will come away from this game happy, and as such 9/4 for the game to be a draw looks like the value bet.
Referees are also likely to be cracking down on bad challenges after the storm about dirty tackles - fuelled by former Kop star Danny Murphy's comments. So the 9/4 on offer with Betfred for a red card at Goodison Park looks tempting.

Sunday 17th October: Everton v Liverpool, kick-off 1.30pm - Live on Sky Sports 1.

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