Monday, 31 October 2011

Newcastle keep rolling on

When Chris Hughton was sacked last year I really felt sorry for him, he seemed like a nice guy in footballing terms and seemed to have the backing of his players 100%. Therefore the decision to bring in Alan Pardew on a long term contract to replace a manager who got the team back into the premier league seemed an odd one as Pardew's previous work had been a slight disaster at Southampton. That's what makes football though! Newcastle are now 3rd in the league 3 points ahead of Chelsea in 4th and more commendably 1 point behind Manchester United last years champions who are 2nd.

What makes this transformation even more remarkable ? Alan Pardew has been running the team on negative investment. In the summer he lost a key play in Jose Enrique to Liverpool as well as the big money loss of Andy Carroll last January. These 2 big money signings you would have thought could be some major spending money for Pardew but he has not had the opportunity to use it at all. In addition to that he has also lost 2 key midfielders in Joey Barton and Kevin Nolan. These key 4 losses to a team recently promoted would usually be catalyst to a massive collapse in a teams performance and morale. Therefore i believe Alan Pardew deserves a lot of credit for the signings he has made and the way in which he has galvanized the team together.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Norwich Vs Blackburn response

Well now the dust has settled slightly to what was a frenetic ending. If you didn't see, Blackburn were leading 3-1 with 8 minutes to go before a major deflection on a 25 yard shot caused norwich to pull a goal back but the real controversy was to come in stoppage time. A free kick was taken by Bradley Johnson to the customary huge numbers of players in the box all pushing and shoving, when Nzonzi was sandwiched between Steve Morison and Grant Holt. The force on him caused him to appeal by raising his arms and look at the ref, at which point the ball hit him on his outstretched arms and a penalty awarded. In my opinion this was an extremely lucky penalty and I feel a bit sorry for Nzonzi, regardless Grant Holt stepped up and put away the penalty extremely well and under huge pressure.

So Norwich got a point where we possibly didn't deserve one, but come the end of the season points like this and taking 2 points away from Blackburn could be extremely important. I personally am extremely pleased with a point in the circumstances although many fans will have seen this as a game we could win. In the end Blackburn played very well and brought the game to Norwich and although they have not been getting the results their improved performance levels were seen in the game and they dominated us in the second half especially before an extremely defensive couple of substitutions changed the impetus in Norwich's favour. This negative thinking from Steve Kean was odd but understandable as he is under immense pressure every game from the fans and to get 3 points away from home would have been brilliant for him as well as the team.

Overall I am not too concerned for Norwich as I think our performance levels have been extremely high and I am pleased as to how we have started the season. Before the season if you had offered me the chance for Norwich to be 8th in the league and 7 points above relegation I would have bitten your hand off for it.

Moving forward we have a tough game next week against an inconsistent Aston Villa away which could be tricky as well as Grant Holt pushing for a starting place with 2 goals in 2 with great composure shown after a few off the pace performances in the beginning of the season. I'm not sure how he would fit into a team who are playing well with a good system at the minute, but only time will tell and fortunately its not up to me. Final point what a goal Steve Morison lovely strike that will do his confidence wonders.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Robin Van Persie

Today Robin Van Persie became the leading goal scorer in the premiership for the season so far; following a hat-trick in Arsenals 5-3 victory over Chelsea. In addition to this he is also the leading goal scorer for the calendar year, highlighting how good a player he is. A lot of teams absolutely dominate others and get massive victories that can boost to players goal totals, but in the case of Van Persie he has become almost a one man team. There is no doubt that Arsenal are not the team they were, with the loss of two players of the importance of Nasri and Fabregas alot of inexperience/ lack of real quality has been exposed. This however has been the spur on Van Persie has needed to keep Arsenal in with a decent shot at a high placed finish this year after a very poor start.

The question that needs to be asked is, with the players that Arsenal currently have is Robin Van Persie going to be able to do it all for them?

On current form it looks like he will have to whilst the gunners wait for Jack Wilshere to return and Chamakh to find his goal scoring boots. Without Robin Van Persie I believe Arsenal could be in a serious predicament moving forward with no one to build around, which Arsene Wenger will have to in January and or the summer. At the end of the day though he is keeping them going forward single handed and for the foreseeable future it looks like he will have to continue doing so.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Norwich Vs Blackburn

On the look of it this should be an easy game for Norwich, Blackburn are bottom of the table on only 5 points so far this year and Norwich are on an incredible high having just snatched a point off Liverpool at Anfield. But on the flipside, Blackburn have just won an incredible 4-3 game against Newcastle in the carling cup when they easily could have folded having conceded 2 late goals in normal time. This just shows how Blackburn really have been improving and Steve Kean hasn't 'lost the team'. Their performances in the league have also been steadily improving and were unlucky not to get at least a point against Tottenham last weekend.

What do i think about the game? I think although it may come across negative as Norwich have been playing well recently, the most important thing is to not lose and get at least a point out of the game. I think we're playing Blackburn at a very vulnerable time and the way they've been playing they can either turn their season around here or it could be the end of Steve Kean. It is a very difficult game to predict in this circumstance and I think Norwich will have to be at their best to win the game as Steve Kean will know the importance of this game for the safety of his job and will think it is a game they can win.

After Grant Holt's impressive substitute performance against Liverpool last week alot of fans seem to favour him starting again, but i think that 'if it aint broke don't fix it' is a good moto to live by. Therefore I would be surprised if there were any changes to the starting line up that has seen us only lose one of our last 5 games (away at man united) which is no small feat. I'm sure he will continue to press for a place but the current team has been playing so well why change a winning formula?

Prediction : 2-2

Scorers :  Morison, Johnson (Norwich)
               Yakubu, Pedersen (Blackburn)

Key Man : Steve Morison; if he can stop Chris Samba controlling the defence then Norwich will have a good chance of exploiting gaps that may appear. If he has a poor game then Blackburn could have a lot of possession and cause problems for our defence which is still our weak point.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Michael Owen

As a football fan who grew up admiring Michael Owen, I just felt it was time to write a blog about him after reports today of his pleasure of scoring against Aldershot in the Carling cup. What has happened to him? He was the one of the best strikers i had ever seen, very quick, very agile, extremely calm when finishing, a world beater. So what is he doing at Manchester United as the 5th choice striker? Limited to occasional substitute appearances as well as weaker cup team matches. The only reason i can see him wanting to be a bench warmer is the fact that he can still get his premier league medal at the end of the year (something he missed out at both Liverpool and Newcastle). At almost 32 years old he has surely only got a few years left playing at premier league level, so what i wonder is why does he not join a team where he would get regular football?

I am sure there are plenty of teams out there that would like to have him in their squad and many in the premier league that he could make into their starting line up. In my opinion he could still play for 2 more seasons in the premiership and be a useful player (hat-trick newcastle Vs West ham). This would be if he can get and stay fit as i am sure his ability is in no doubt as many people say class is permanent, form is temporary he has class in abundance.

It is such a shame as a fan of his to watch his career drag on in a depressing manner warming the bench for a good team when he could be playing and recapturing some of his former glory. I really do hope Michael Owen moves on and shows the world he still has it in him before his legacy is tarnished further.

Monday, 24 October 2011

It is here!

Football manager 2012 was released the other day, leaving fans all around the world desperate to play what is essentially the same game as ever but with updated teams leagues and transfer values. Why are football games so addictive that people feel the urge to spend another £40 the next year just to buy an up to date version of what they already have? In the case of games where you can control the players such as Pro Evolution Soccer and FIFA, i can see why people continue to buy them year after year. The enhanced physics of the game and better graphics always make the game seem new whilst only being about scoring more goals than your opponent, but when it comes to football manager i am stumped. I just haven't quite found what it is about football manager that makes it one of the most popular computer games year after year.

If you are interested here is the link to the free demo : http://www.footballmanager.com/demo

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Crazy day of football

Where do I start? Man united lose 6-1 at home to bitter rivals Man City, QPR beat chelsea 1-0 who have 2 men sent off and almost the whole team yellow carded. WOW.

With all this happening you'd be forgiven to forget Spurs beat Blackburn away 2-1 putting more pressure on Steve Kean and that Arsenal beat Stoke as well as Everton beating Fulham.

Where to start with the Manchester derby? What a player David Silva is he can be absolutely unplayable and is by far one of the best players i've seen play football. This year he has been the best player in the premiership (in my opinion) and he only strengthened his claims to the lead today. On the big occasion and in such an important game he did not disappoint. In addition City played with a changed formation with only 4 in midfield limiting his license to ghost around the pitch and come into life when going forward. This did not seem to stop him though his quick feet and brilliant football brain just keep city going and everything good they do seems to go through him. To orchestrate manchester united losing 6-1 at home is some achievement.

I think Sir Alex Ferguson needs to realise his midfield is not good enough, Darren Fletcher and Anderson are good players but not world beaters and they were shown up today by a world class City who are in top form. Wayne Rooney also didn't come to the party and when that happens United seem to stop playing so well.

Another question i must ask is why did Johnny Evans play? He seems to be the weakest United defender i've seen in a while and had a poor game capped off by his red card which really left a mountain to climb for United.

On to the Chelsea game where I have to admit QPR played the game tactically well. Although negative they stopped Drogba playing well and before substituted Mata hardly seemed in the game. They used SWP's pace to great advantage and broke quickly, I still think it's a shame he is played on the left wing my Neil Warnock as he seems a much more natural right winger but he looked much more like the man that used to menace all premier league defences and that's nice to see.

Although debatable if the Bosingwa red card was so, what Chelsea did was criminal. If you get a man sent off the worst thing to do is to get another. So in this case i think although they carved out some good chances Chelsea and especially Drogba were their own worst enemies and deserved to lose just for that.

Final note: RIP Marco Simoncelli

Saturday, 22 October 2011

What a result!!

So, i've just finished watching the Liverpool Vs Norwich game. What can I say? An absolutely amazing second half performance from Norwich. Much credit has to go to Paul Lambert for risking 2 up front and not just swapping Holt for Morison (who had another good game). Overall extremely happy with the result although we were a tad lucky, but i'm sure the season will even out and at the moment we need to just keep going and get as many points on the board as possible; because a run of bad form and we will be back down at the bottom again.

Final point : WHAT A SAVE JOHN RUDDY (if you haven't seen it watch match of the day tonight or youtube it)

Friday, 21 October 2011

Local band promotion/ good blog to follow


A band from Newcaste upon tyne just moved to London to pursue the dream of living the rock n roll lifestyle.

Ticket touts

A bit of a rant here.... Something has to be done about ticket touts, to some people the chance to see a band or artist may be one of the greatest moments in their life. To steal someone's chance at this concert just to sell on for extortionate fees i see as terrible. Ticket prices are already quite steep and to add on the charges that touts can and do charge is obscene and unfair to those that can't afford to pay the amounts they want. For example stone roses tickets are already online at 3X the price charged by official ticket merchants. In some extreme cases i have just seen some at over 20X the standard price because they have a conformation email to go with them. This is ridiculous and to put the tickets up straight away proves that people were prepared to ruin someones chance to see a reformed band who havent played live in 15 years for some money. Please sort this out promoters and artists!

Stone roses update

Just a quick update... got tickets to see the stone roses at Heaton Park on the 30th of June! To say i am excited would be the understatement of the year. Long live the roses

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Norwich V Liverpool

As mentioned in an earlier post, I am indeed a fan of the mighty canaries (Norwich City FC). This weekend we face another tough away fixture in the form of Liverpool at anfield. Having already played Manchester united and Chelsea away this is the 3rd of the top teams we will have faced away from home this year. Although daunting i am feeling reasonably optimistic that we can cause a few problems for them and put in a good performance. Why? you might ask.... well although millions of pounds have been spent on the liverpool squad in the last year i still believe that their defence is a weak point bar their top notch keeper. In my opinion with Skrtel and Carragher in the middle the on form steve morison could cause them a few problems. So far this season he has proved a nuisance to even the best defenders and carragher seems to have lost a bit of pace as well as skrtel being a liability getting carried away occasionally. Furthermore at left back jose enrique seems more comfortable going forward and that could leave Elliot Bennett a chance to get a break away down the right. This being said i really can't see us stopping them for 90 minutes and definitely expect them to score a couple at least, and with the strike force that liverpool have with carroll and bellamy on the bench in recent weeks however we approach this our best bet is to try and score some goals and not hold out for a draw as it wont happen.

Therefore i believe the key man for the game will be Wes Hoolahan, he keeps things ticking for norwich and often is involved in attacks as he pops up all over the pitch and seems to know when to up the tempo and force the issue. As was seen with his sprinting to take a quick throw against Swansea which resulted in Pilkingtons first goal. I think Wes can cause a few problems and wouldn't be surprised if Lucas was assigned the task of marking him closely throughout the game as his passing could be a problem for Liverpool. Another way in which Norwich could cause a few problems will be dead ball situations. So far this year his crossing has brought about the majority of norwich's goals and with the physical presence alot of our players pose it could be a real opportunity to get a goal. Maybe just maybe we could nick a point off them which would be a massive result.

Prediction : unfortunately 3-1 Liverpool

Norwich scorer : Steve Morison

Liverpool scorers: Downing, Suarez, Bellamy

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Star wars blu-ray reissue

On the topic of reissues and reunions i wrote a blog earlier about how happy i was to see the stone roses re unite. This was down to never seeing them live in my life as well as the possibility that they could make a new album. One thing i also love is star wars. Although this is the case i am not so pleased to hear about the blu-ray re release of all 6 star wars films. This includes sharpening of the original trilogy to make them 'HD'. In addition to this george lucas has seen fit to add sound effects and change some scenes. See video for details. I am not a fan.

Stone roses

As i'm sure everyone has heard the manchester band the stone roses officially reunited today announcing at 3pm in the UK that they will be performing at 2 homecoming shows in June. Personally I am over the moon an the news and will be trying anything to get myself a ticket. http://www.thestoneroses.org/

Monday, 17 October 2011

First blog

Hello internet,
                       Might as well do a pretty standard introduction blog at first to see how it goes, so here we go. My name is Billy i'm an 18 year old student at university in the U.K. studying human geography and economics. My passions include following norwich city F.c. as well as a borderline obsession with Wes Hoolahan hence the aptly named blog title and URL for the website. In addition to football i also follow international cricket reasonably closely and find myself lose hours watching cricket on T.V. when i'm at home and have a t.v. license of course! Music wise i enjoy alot of music most of which involves guitars and i haven't quite got the current phenomenon of dance music and dubstep. In the future i'd like to use this blog as an outlet to express my opinions on music as well as regular tabs kept on Norwich city and their quest to stay in the premier league this year.