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Topics - spideybuff

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Football / Youth Coaching Schools
« on: January 13, 2015, 09:33:29 AM »
I looking for a coaching school in Trinidad for 5 to 10 year olds. What you all think are the best based on your experience?

W Connection
Jean Lilywhite
La Foucade
Ron La Forest
Football Factory

They have like a million hidden gems in different communities too.

Any recommendations?

Football / 2014/15 Free agents Thread.
« on: August 08, 2014, 09:26:16 AM »
Ronaldinho and Eto"o. Both are free agents...

A side in Spain or England outside the top four /two really can't give both of them a contract and have some young guns doing all the hard work around them?

Football / Westside Superstarz
« on: October 25, 2012, 07:22:23 AM »
Anybody has a list of their squad and coach etc...or can direct me where I can find that information?

Football / Soo...anybody going that game on Tuesday?
« on: November 12, 2011, 01:08:58 PM »
I taking a roll call.

I am a die hard fan...as are most of us here, but I really eh have that time to waste.

If I end up there I mightn't be able to control my anger either at the fact that we couldn't progress from a group containing Bermuda, Barbados and Guyana.

Probably the only three countries in the region that still care about cricket more than football.

Or it not having any...?

Football / Zidane's son
« on: September 22, 2010, 07:47:37 AM »

It's not often big players actually have good sons, but this one seems to be a "Real" prodigy. Then again, I think Maradona son was supposed to be a big player in Napoli youths some years ago, but I haven't heard about him since.

Zinedine Zidane’s gifted son, Enzo Fernández, a chip off the old block at Real Madrid

Instantly, his skill bewitches; the chest control, positional sense and drives from deep all suggest a talent to make mockery of his 15 years.

But one move above the rest gives him away: a lazy 360-degree dribble once known as the ‘Marseille turn’, where he contrives to drag his foot back, spin his body and finally beat his opponent in a single liquid motion.

At Valdebebas, Real Madrid’s gleaming training sanctuary out by the city’s airport, it is referred to simply as the roulette and it stands in Los Merengues folklore as the exclusive preserve of Zinedine Zidane.

The effortlessness of its execution by a teenager might be explained by the fact that young Enzo happens to be Zidane’s eldest son, a player not merely in the great one’s image but of his blood.

On this occasion, junior is branded as Fernández – maiden name of Spanish mother Veronique – as part of his father’s attempts to control the maelstrom of publicity about to engulf him.

To a generation of fans who grew up replaying that volley to win Real’s ninth European Cup in 2002, or those two headers for France in the 1998 World Cup final, there will only ever be one Zidane. Already, though, the profile of his progeny is elevated to pop-star levels.

Enzo’s exploits have gained him his own unofficial website, while a montage of his most outrageous pieces of invention to date, in a youth tournament against Barcelona three years ago, has attracted almost five million views on YouTube.

How could a 12 year-old display such consummate control? How dare the little tyro score from a direct free kick?

Touted across Spain as el heredero (the heir), Enzo was apparently born to emulate the game’s established nobility, having been named after Zinedine’s hero, the former Uruguay star Enzo Francescoli.

The problem is that, like many coveted properties from the Real hothouse, he faces multiple claims upon his loyalties. Specifically, he is burdened by the vexed issue of whether, as a boy of mixed ancestry, he winds up competing for France or Spain.

The hopes invested in him by both countries are such that the imminent resolution could yet have a profound bearing upon his future career.

Although born in Bordeaux, Enzo has spent his last nine years in Madrid and can trace his maternal grandparents to the town of El Chive, in Almería.

The debate appears all but settled in the eyes of the Spanish federation, whose under-16s coach, Santi Denia, has watched Zidane Jnr perform in Real colours several times, with the intention of inviting the youngster to practice sessions.

But sometimes even a passport cannot define one’s ties. On this front, Zidane is perhaps best placed to dispense advice, having played the pawn in a similar diplomatic stand-off between France and Algeria over whose flag he should carry.

Algeria, as the land of his birth, loudly asserted that he was theirs when the choice came in 1994, despite a rumour that then coach Abdelhamid Kermali deemed him not fast enough.

There was a technicality, however, which no amount of Algerian bluster could challenge: Zidane had by this time made his debut for France. For Enzo, still perhaps three years off a senior call-up, the decision is nothing like so clear.

Alas, Chapter VII Article 18 of the Fifa statutes reads unhelpfully for his purposes, decreeing that a player of dual nationality can switch associations at any time provided he has not received his first full international cap.

France’s mediators still hope to use this phrasing to ensnare Enzo, even if they promise to do so tactfully. Unless he helps win a World Cup for them, they will not go as far overboard as they did with his father, projecting his image on to the Arc de Triomphe.

But a documentary on the relationship, entitled “Dans les pas de papa” (In the footsteps of dad) has been screened on state television, including a split-screen demonstration of father-and-son roulettes, as if they were identical tricks.

François Blaquart, coach of the France Under-17s, is being gentle, while admitting that a sensitivity resides in the very name Zidane: “The most important thing is that he wants to play for France. This is a hyper-mediated event. If it were the surname Dupont, we would not be commenting at all.”

As it is, Zidane finds himself both the iconic figure for French footballers, if his Berlin butt on Marco Materazzi is excused, and the emblematically elegant madrileño for his storied record at Real.

His success in spawning another player potentially as gifted just seems, in each of his adopted lands, too good to be true. Still, he is plainly finding the minute scrutiny of his son stressful.

“I’d rather not talk about it,” he said when pressed. “He’s enjoying his football in Madrid and that’s what matters.”

Under the direction of Florentino Pérez, the Real president and Zidane’s close friend, a media exclusion zone has been thrown around Enzo to ensure he is unsettled no further.

How Zidane must pine for more innocent days, when all he had to worry about was a family kickabout in the garden. But if his genetic good fortune is any guide, he had better start embracing the notion of a dynasty.

Rapidly it is emerging that the famed Zidane technique is not confined to Enzo alone. Theo, his younger brother, is only 12 but a recent addition to Real’s children’s ‘B’ squad, as a goalkeeper.

The development of Theo, who at the age of five joined local club Canillas — also the destination of Ronaldo’s son, when the Brazilian represented Real – is still more freakish.

..New Zealand! The lowest ranked side. That is a BIG, BIG accomplishment and something they should hold on to forever.

From a neutral point of view, I feel we(Concacaf) should play Asia in a playoff and New Zealand(oceania) should get a full spot for 2014 instead of the half spot as just reward for that showing.

Only thing is, it would be impossible to take it back afterward

Pretty self explanatory. I know we are probably the most learned people in Trinidad regarding Jack's tricks. But at the end of the day, as Trinidad football fans, do we see Jack being able to help Trinidad and Tobago football even further as he is now the one with the government purse strings that he blamed for all that was ill in the past?

Football / Ince to retire...nobody post that one yet?
« on: May 06, 2010, 09:16:32 AM »

Veteran goalkeeper Clayton Ince set to retire 
Ince was part of the Trinidad & Tobago squad for the 2006 World Cup
Walsall and Trinidad & Tobago goalkeeper Clayton Ince has announced that he will retire from professional football at the end of the season.

Ince, 37, made over 300 appearances in English football for Crewe Alexandra, Coventry City and the Saddlers.

He told BBC WM: "It was a big decision because I love playing football.

"I spoke to my family and my close friends about it, and it was time that I made that decision because, at some stage, we all have to go."

Ince joined Crewe in 1999 and spent six years at the Alexandra Stadium before joining Coventry in the summer of 2005.

He remained at the Ricoh Arena for just one season, before moving to Walsall and helping the Saddlers to the League Two title in his first year at the Banks's Stadium.

Ince continued: "It's been a pleasure and I would like to thank everybody at Walsall for the welcome they gave me and their feelings towards me even though I'm going."

"My heart is still at Walsall and I'll always be looking for their results."

Ince, who won 79 caps for Trinidad & Tobago, will now return to the Caribbean to work with young footballers and pass on his experience of the English game.

"I'll be able to let them know about the trials and tribulations of being in England, being away from their family and being a true sportsman," said Ince.


The 'I Thought You Were Overrated And I Was Right' XI

1. Peter Cech: Can hardly catch a cold these days)

2. Gary Neville: Forget what I said earlier - one-paced and tiresome.

3. Wayne Bridge: After all the shenanigans about not playing for England, doesn't look like we'll miss him after all.

4. Michael Carrick: There is some kind of killer blow missing in Carrick - it's like he's a Geordie Tim Henman or summat.

5. John Terry: Could be outpaced by an overfed tortoise.

6. Geovanni: Remember him? Used to score spectacular goals when Mr Brown was in town and the future was orange.

7. Anderson: Have never seen him look like he knows what he's doing. Ever.

8. Jon Obi Mikel: Apart from giving away stonewall penalties and getting away with it, what does he offer?

9. Jason Scotland: You're a goalscorer, you're called Scotland. How's that ever going to work?

10. Kenwynne Jones: Looks imposing 'til he lets another sitter through his legs, when he looks like a bow-legged flamingo.

11. Michael Owen: Not entirely his fault, but the man needs to get working on his punditry persona quick-smart.

Manager: Rafa Benitez

From BBC


Editor's Roundtable: Discussing The Best Performers In The CONCACAF Hexagonal
Goal.com's newest feature has a group of editors rating the player performances in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying

The editors on hand to kick off the first edition of the Roundtable were Chief Editor Andrea Canales, Associate Editors Shane Evans, Zac Lee Rigg and Allen Ramsey, and Mexico Editor Luis Bueno.

Andrea Canales: Ok, so, who were the best performers in the  CONCACAF Hexagonal? I'd have to say that Giovani Dos Santos was pretty impressive - best of the young guys, for me.

Zac Lee Rigg: I'll get it in before that fanboy Shane does: Landon Donovan makes the difference for the U.S.

Shane Evans: Ha

Canales: Dos Santos didn't start that well, muffing chances for Mexico against the USA in Columbus, but the Gold Cup gave him a huge boost of confidence, and he came on strong at the end. The performance against Costa Rica was especially notable.

Luis Bueno: I'd have to say Landon Donovan was the biggest contributor to any team. Landon was there from the start, scored his share of important goals and also helped set up several other important goals.
Hands down, he's the best player in CONCACAF right now.

Canales: LD seems to have gotten over his inconsistency, which was pretty much the only thing holding him back before.

Rigg: Even in his quiet games, he made crucial assists or set pieces that contributed to points.

Canales: It's actually hard to pick a top LD game, because he had so many good ones.

Bueno: To me, his performance against El Salvador in Salt Lake was critical for the U.S. El Salvador was hoping to steal a 1-0 win and went ahead but Donovan was clutch in helping generate the attack in those games.

Rigg: Looking at other teams, Carlo Costly did the business for Honduras. He's not as well known as David Suazo or Carlos Pavon, but he was involved much more. If Honduras make the World Cup, it'll be down to him. In particular, he put on an electric performance as Honduras crushed Costa Rica 4-0 at home.

Canales:  I remember that game - Costly was almost unstoppable. I'm actually looking for more from El Salvador in the future, too. They really scrapped well in the Hex and I think the addition of Arturo Alvarez has made them more dynamic.

Bueno: El Salvador has grown a lot and could be strong, but they have to hold onto Carlos de los Cobos. He's made all the difference, and without him I don't see El Salvador reaching the Hex in 2013.

Canales: Yeah, I have a feeling some Mexican club team will try to lure him back home with a big contract.

Bueno: Well, he was asked about returning to Mexico to coach but he's not really in with any of the club owners so he'd have a hard time returning, believe it or not. You get the same recycled coaches in Mexico, because they are all part of the old boys network or whatever. Still, El Salvador were impressive in moments but definitely have room to improve.

Evans: I'll go ahead and say Tim Howard for my top CONCACAF player.

Canales: "El Pato" did keep the US in games where their defense was otherwise shaky.

Allen Ramsey: I'd say you have to add Carlos Edwards for me. He was crucial for T&T the entire Hex. Look, the guy plays on a team that was horrible during the hex, but he was great.
Not even the top players in Mexico and the U.S. want to deal with that guy when he gets a full head of steam going forward. In separate games he made Beasley and Lando look like they were standing still.

Canales: We haven't even mentioned Costa Rica, but they did start the Hex in great form.

Bueno: Celso Borges was a monster for them when they were doing well.

Canales: Then he got injured, right?

Bueno: Losing Walter Centeno for the Mexico game, though, was huge and shows how strong he was as well.

Rigg: Agreed, Borges has really come into his own as a player and can dominate matches.

Bueno: Yes, Borges was hurt too. But he's young and will be around for a couple more cycles anyway.

Canales: It's Trinidad and Tobago who seem to be lacking young stars right now. Dwight Yorke - his expiration date is up.

Bueno: I was just thinking earlier how far Trinidad fell off from 2005. I don't see them returning to the Hex in four years, not with teams like Jamaica and Canada ready to make a run to the Hex.

Ramsey: I'll bet if you went around and asked the other five managers who they would pick as the player from T&T they most feared was, they'd say Edwards or Kenwyne Jones.

Canales: Yeah, I definitely see Canada in the next Hex.

Bueno: Both Jamaica and Canada just got the short end of the stick in the semifinal round.

Canales: The Hex seemed so wide open early on, with Costa Rica at the top, but now it's reverted to form - USA and Mexico on top: I really think it was the depth of both squads that made the difference.
Players get injured, and smaller countries just couldn't compensate well enough.

Bueno: Those are the only two teams who have been able to take care of business at home. Honduras, I thought, had gotten past their days of choking big games away at home, but they reverted back to their old selves. Honduras blew it twice, check that, Carlos Pavon blew it twice. He had a free header in the 90th minute at Mexico that could have helped salvage a point, then his wretched misses against the U.S.

Canales: If your life was on the line and you had to pick a CONCACAF player to take a PK to save you, who would it be?

Evans: Kenwyne Jones

Rigg: In goal it would be Tim Howard.

Canales: In goal is not the question.

Rigg: But if it were the question, I would have answered it.

Bueno: If my life was on the line... since I first interviewed him when he was 16, I'd hope he'd put a little something extra on it for me, so I'd have to say Landon Donovan. Although Cuauhtemoc is pretty clinical in his PKs as well.

Rigg: Ah, Temoc, how have we not brought him up yet? Rapidly approaching his 50th birthday and still showing those kids and their rock music how it's done.

Canales: Shane, Kenwyne would probably steal the PK even if you didn't pick him.

Ramsey: I think Landon would steal the Pk

Canales: To save Shane? Maybe not.

Evans: I'm telling ya, Jones has ice in his veins.

Canales: To go with his thieving heart. And Temoc - Bruce Arena is a big fan these days. Less so in 2002, I'm sure.

Bueno: The one thing about Blanco, and this obviously has nothing to do with him per se, is that I'm a little worried about Mexico relying so much on a 36-year-old.

Canales: Luis, he's Mexico's Zidane. Although will hopefully be less insane at the World Cup.

Bueno: Yes, hopefully. But that's my point. Zidane retired, and now France is struggling to qualify for the World Cup.

Football / Jones over Scotty
« on: August 13, 2009, 06:13:43 AM »
Well, let we pretend we reach October: during that time we draw in Honduras and beat the States and now we heading to Costa Rica.

Scotty have 8 in the EPL and Wigan 10th
Jones have 3 in the EPL and Sunderland 16th.

What is the reasoning behind Jones keeping his starting spot, next to Cornell? (he didn't score in the last games between now and then)

Football / Clyde Leon over Birchall?
« on: August 13, 2009, 06:09:36 AM »
Birchall has seemingly become a bit part player under latas. I liken it to Cantona's description of Deschamps as a "water carrier". It seems to me that Latas views Birchall's contribution in a similar manner. I not saying Latas wrong, as each coach has their style and their opinion...but I just wondering what is allyuh take on the situation as to why Leon is the preferred ball winner over Birchall, currently.

Football / Chelsea and Pirlo
« on: August 04, 2009, 07:12:11 AM »
I know I am not Ancelotti... but I really have to question the desire to bring Pirlo to Chelsea. True, he is (arguably) the best deep lying playmaker in the world but I would think that a team with Lampard, Ballack, Essien and Jon Obi Mikel already, one of them could fulfil that role. All 4 of them are more Pirlo than a Gattuso or Kaka, so if he trying to duplicate the Milan style I would go for a more Kaka like player than a Pirlo like one.

I guess, based on his thinking, Lampard = Seedorf ; Essien = Gattuso; and right now it was Malouda, Joe Cole and Kalou for the Kaka role. Now that he selling Kalou, I guess Deco might get a bligh there (if he doh leave.) or the new 'winger' they buy.

But where does that leave Ballack? I think Ballack coulda done the Pirlo role unless he is just backup for Lampard.

The only way I see it is that maybe Mikel still being groomed so he figure Pirlo will be able to be the person to show him how to do it properly, since Mikel is definitely not a Makelele and have talent to be a more creative player.

Football / Question re: Strike Squad midfield
« on: June 07, 2009, 08:39:57 PM »
After watching how we shape up yesterday, i was reminded of the Strike squad era as the tactics were very similar. For those who were able to really analyse our tactics back in those days, it was really a case of defend well, play with heart and then we attacking up the left side with Latapy and Leonson.

Now it seems Latas doing the same as Gally, only we going up the right side with Carlos and Tinto.

I just cah figure out who used to be the 4th player in midfield for the Strike Squad after Latas, Kerry Jamerson and Hutson Charles cause I can't picture them having a right winger/midfielder. Any body could recall? And doh tell me Yorke cause he and Latas never used to play together until probably Nov 19th.

Football / Who here know Kenwyne personally?
« on: June 07, 2009, 08:34:18 PM »
Tell Mr. Drogba jr. that he never do ONE shit for TnT yet eh, so he have no RIGHT to be standing up and quarelling whole game when he eh get the ball where he want it and looking like a fricking prima donna who not willing to work in the forward line.

Stern John put in his hard work over the years in order to complain all d time now, Kenwyne, for all the hype, has accomplished NOTHING of note for us.

Please let him know that.

He might be right about all the bad balls he getting, but standing up in one spot and complaining? Nah man, we as the fans not accepting that. Better he do like Scotty and keep your mouth shut and run like a headless chicken behind lost causes and pretend he trying rather than standing up and complaining all d damn time.

Stern John score goals for years for us before he start to do that at least, if that is the example he following.

Football / Argentina in the HCS?
« on: April 03, 2009, 06:31:50 AM »
I watching the way the WCQ shaping up and under Maradona, Argentina have a very good chance of finishing 5th. If we manage to claim 4th...how many of us here would gladly sacrifice a place in S. Africa in exchange for seeing Messi, Tevez, Aguero and the great Maradona himself, in flesh in the stadium...playing their hearts out in order to qualify. Cause u know they coming to embarass us after the indignity of having to have a playoff.

Tha's a tough call for me...cause even if we qualify for the World Cup with this old man side, we ent doing no better than 4 years ago. 2014 is the real deal when the u-20's ready...

Football / Kenwyne suffering...
« on: April 02, 2009, 08:24:31 AM »
..under that no Manager regime at Sunderland. He no longer improving and I blaming that on Sbragia being in charge at Sunderland. Maybe as a coach as opposed to a manager he got more time to work individually with the players and Kenwyne missing that cause he definitely moving backwards in terms of everything. He cah even win a header anymore as opposed to last year when everything in the air he was a threat.

He need to get out of Sunderland this post season and go somewhere where he could get proper personalise attention if he wants to realise his potential.

Football / Bertille '05 v Pacho '09
« on: April 02, 2009, 07:47:00 AM »
U remember us looking this bad under Bertille b4 Beenie take over?

The 2-1 vs the USA in the Oval we didn't look that bad even though we lose, but then we get 5 from the guats.

I just cah remember us consistently playing this bad though, even though Hector Sam and McFarlane had to bail us out against St. kitts and St. Vincent to even get us in the hex.

Which team looks worse?

Football / U-20's in Pro League
« on: March 13, 2009, 12:32:27 PM »
Forgive me if it have a thread about this already but I couldn't find it.

Let me just say, i think it is a great step and the team will benefit from it going into the tournament in Egypt.

But..I have a few questions about this which I going out on a limb to assume were not addressed in making this happen because Jack have a tendency to say thing just so without consulting anybody.

1) The players who were on pro teams last year, will they still be getting paid by their pro team cause they under a contract and this counts as national duty? For those who may not be aware, if you are called on to serve your country, your employer is obligated to pay you for the period you miss. That kinda harsh on the pro league teams if that is the case...

2) Last year I know Jamal Gay play for the U-20's and Joe Public, but if they playing for both sides...isn't that too much football for the boys especially in a World Cup year?

3) The Champions League...isn't it wrong for a side like Jabloteh to have to give up all the youngsters they groom last year and basically have a weakened side to compete in the Champions League? Isn't it unfair for players like Primus and Bateau to miss out on that experience as well?

4) All these boys probably looking to go pro but just in case.. doesn't competing in a Pro League now prevent them from playing college ball, whether they getting paid or not?

5) Are they getting paid to represent the country? Cause if they not and they were getting paid from their club side last year, they just suppsoed to give up that salary and depend on mummy and daddy again (if #1 turns out to be not true and their clubs no longer paying them)

6) Will the pro league be able to regulate having players move from team to team just so during the season? For example, if a youthman hot up against the u-20's and Vranes like him, can he call him into the squad and then jus send him back to his side if he play shite for a few games? That will disrupt the side he came from and take away from the professionalism the league trying to work toward.

Was Skeene even there when Jack make the announcement or Jack just say this happening on he own and everybody else have to move to suit? I thought the Pro League were independent to the TTFF?

Just some ramblings cause I thought it would have more feedback on this announcement from the media

Football / Birchall : Unemployed?
« on: March 06, 2009, 01:18:02 PM »
Allyuh realise Micky Adams get fired? Brighton offered Birchall a contract at all or he on loan there til his Coventry contract run out?

« on: February 13, 2009, 11:01:25 AM »
Graeme Souness, Joe Kinnear, Ruud Gullit...now they are looking at Bryan Robson? Do they just look in a book of bad managers to find somebody? Who next? Terry Fenwick????

Football / Sweat in Miami
« on: January 21, 2009, 09:03:46 AM »
Hey, I up in Miami til Sunday and I looking for a small sweat. I staying in Coconut Grove so if anybody know somewhere close by where I could probably fall in, let me know.


Football / D Blacklist...is it over?
« on: September 13, 2008, 10:28:09 PM »
Think about it...the players were called back, but were any of them given a fair chance? Well outside of the local based crew like Cornell, Wolfe, Theobald and Whitley (if they were all on that list in the first place).

Maybe re-calling them was just a political move by Jack to get the heat off the blacklist and let Pacho play it off as tactical decisions. This way, when it come to the legal aspect, Jack safe in saying that there is none, nor was there ever one.

Maybe this is why the foreign based getting treated so by Maturana...? He has already shown that he is a puppet to Jack and the Corneals, so why not go along with this one as well?

He has discarded unceremoniously thus far....Ince, Stern, Birchall, Scotty, Lawrence with the last one being the only person to get more than one game.

Highly suspicious...

Football / Stern gets Soccernet Championship signing of the season
« on: May 09, 2008, 06:50:43 AM »
You've never had it so good?
Norman Hubbard

Lauded by its members for its competitiveness and criticised by outsiders for its lack of quality, the Championship has enjoyed and endured arguably its strangest season so far. It has provided three FA Cup semi-finalists, with Barnsley blazing a trail for the second flight by beating the superpowers of Liverpool and Chelsea, but supplied the worst team in Premier League history.

Tony Mowbray: Boss of the year in our Norman's Championship reckoning.Yet Derby County's haul of 84 points, 12 months ago, would have made them champions this season. No wonder, then, that pessimistic predictions have abounded for any sides' prospects after promotion.

But whereas the Premier League boasted a big four, the Championship had a middling 24. It is rare that a division is quite so equal; several teams have entertained play-off hopes and relegation fears within the same campaign.

The pleasing conclusion for the purists is that the best side won it. West Bromwich Albion made no pretence of fielding a midfield enforcer and showed a continuing inability to defend set pieces. But they played attractive, open football and if Plan A failed, well, there wasn't a Plan B. Manager Tony Mowbray mumbled his way through the campaign, but his players had a unique eloquence and played with a unique elegance.

Kevin Phillips possessed the sharpest footballing brain in the division and the surest finishing. Alongside him, Ishmael Miller had the bulk of a boxer, but preferred the ball at his feet. Jonathan Greening and Robert Koren ran countless games from the centre of midfield and Zoltan Gera was the pick of a group of talented wingers. The second-best footballing side was, at various points in the campaign, Bristol City, Charlton, Ipswich, Barnsley and Cardiff, but none were comparable with Albion.

At times, it felt as though the division was witnessing a debate over the direction of football - principally, between those who favoured hitting it high and long and those who attempted to retain possession. In the clash of styles, Watford were the pariahs. Nine points clear at one time, Aidy Boothroyd's methods were brought into question during an extended slump when neither results nor performances were admirable and opponents started to combat the bruising Darius Henderson. Ultimately, they were fortunate to end up with a play-off place.

Stoke were also on the direct side of the divide. Tony Pulis' men attracted few eulogies, but they were the dead-ball experts. Liam Lawrence's delivery from the flanks and long-range shooting meant he was involved in more than 40 goals and was invariably the provider for the two central defenders, Leon Cort and Ryan Shawcross, who had a combined haul of 16. Their resilience brought a return to the top flight after a 23-year absence and, while total football may be anathema to Pulis, by the season's culmination it was Boothroyd who had established himself as the 21st-century John Beck.

The travails of Watford, Charlton and Sheffield United showed the difficulties of returning to the Premier League at the first time of asking. Arguably, all underachieved. The impact of on-loan players made relations with the elite managers imperative. Miller and Roman Bednar contributed a total of 33 goals for West Brom and Pulis, displaying a typical fondness for short-term signings, borrowed astutely, but arguably none had the influence of Fraizer Campbell, whose pace helped Hull accelerate from mid-table and into promotion contention.

Neil Warnock salvaged Palace while Aidy Boothroyd sticks manfully to his Watford blueprint.In a season of surprise developments it was, for many, the most unexpected. Hull manager Phil Brown had managed perhaps the most eye-catching signing of the campaign, luring Jay-Jay Okocha to East Yorkshire, but his contribution was negligible; rather, their success was attributable to their solidity and the irrepressible Dean Windass.

Bristol City were other intruders in the top six, sustaining their momentum for three-quarters of the season while more fancied clubs laboured in the lower half. As with Blackpool's eventual survival, they showed that resources are not essential. While financial muscle did not always triumph, it was no coincidence that the two smallest clubs, Colchester and Sc**thorpe, were relegated.

Much of the division had a stint in the bottom three, though. The catalytic impact of a change in management was apparent (presumably to the fury of the LMA). Queens Park Rangers, Norwich and Preston were in serious danger of heading for League One before the appointments of Luigi De Canio, Glenn Roeder and Alan Irvine respectively. Each can present a claim to be named the division's manager of the year and, funded by the super-rich trio of Bernie Ecclestone, Flavio Briatore and Lakshmi Mittal, the Italian might well win that award next season. Roeder, who lent a hapless side much-needed direction, produced arguably the best salvage job of all.

At the other end of the table, Simon Jordan's decisiveness was rewarded when Crystal Palace, in the bottom three in November, were revitalised and organised by Neil Warnock to such an extent that they earned a play-off place. Regardless of their prospects, two of the talented teenagers the Yorkshireman blooded - midfielder John Bostock and winger Victor Moses - should be seen in the top flight at some stage.

Warnock's achievements presumably grated in South Yorkshire where a swifter change at the helm might have resulted in Sheffield United procuring a top-six finish. An end-of-season charge under Kevin Blackwell almost rectified the damage done by the mistaken choice of Bryan Robson but, as at Charlton, one of the division's most admired squads ultimately fell short. The January departure of their outstanding player, Andy Reid, harmed the Addicks; now the Blades have a summer to attempt to keep theirs, James Beattie.

His former club were involved in the greatest drama of the final day as two terribly-run clubs attempted to avert the drop into the third tier. Southampton survived but Leicester, rendered a laughing stock by Milan Mandaric as he employed five managers in 2007, did not. They depart the division with its second best defensive record; they were a side capable of winning 4-1 away at West Brom; and, besides that envied rearguard, they boasted players of the calibre of Stephen Clemence, Steve Howard, Matt Oakley and Iain Hume. Mandaric's revolving door policy and the failings of manager Ian Holloway can only account for so much.

AllsportYet there was an inexplicable element to Leicester's relegation as, indeed, there was to much else in the Championship this season.

Team of the season: Hennessey (Wolves); Hoefkens (West Brom), Turner (Hull), Shittu (Watford), Robinson (West Brom); Lawrence (Stoke), Greening (West Brom), Koren (West Brom), Howard (Barnsley); Fuller (Stoke), Phillips (West Brom)

And the 2nd XI: Myhill (Hull); Stearman (Leicester), Hudson (Crystal Palace), Shawcross (Stoke), Hill (Crystal Palace); Gera (West Brom), Elliott (Bristol City), Watson (Crystal Palace), Ledley (Cardiff); Beattie (Sheffield United), Ebanks-Blake (Plymouth/Wolves).

Manager of the Year: Tony Mowbray (West Brom) - The ultimate, and deserved, triumph of Mowbray's principles means he merits it.

Best managerial appointment: Neil Warnock (Crystal Palace) - Yet to win a popularity contest, but another promotion could beckon as a rejuvenated Palace enter the play-offs as favourites.

Signing of the Season: Stern John (Southampton) - Several West Brom and Stoke players, plus Bristol City's Marvin Elliott, merit a mention, but John mustered 19 goals for a struggling side, including an equaliser and a winner in the final-day victory against Sheffield United.

Loan Signing of the Season: Fraizer Campbell (Hull) - Helped transform a mid-table team. No wonder managers are so keen to have a good relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson

-------ESPN SOCCERNET.COM-------------

We used to have some games on fridays back in the day for men who playing the arse in work so I say lemme try and start back up something.

Here's the rules...I listing some strikers who play for Milan, each starting at 5pts. U copy and paste the list and add 1pt to your favourite. But in order to add a point you have to minus a point from another player. When somebody reach zero...they eliminated.

If it have anybody u want to add, they start at 1pt

Simple? Leh we go...

Weah-------------- -------------------------6 (+1)
Van Basten--------------------------------5
Jean Pierre Papin------------------------5
Pippo Inzaghi-----------------------------5
Marco Simone ---------------------------5
Bierhoff------------------------------------4 (-1)

Football / Bryan Robson vs Graeme Souness
« on: February 14, 2008, 07:22:58 AM »
Two of the biggest name midfielders in England during the eighties, driving forces behind ManU and Liverpool respectively. Both were highly respected as leaders and winners during their careers...

Now, they are two of the worst managers in the game yet they keep getting jobs.

Can somebody tell me...who get fired more often? Robson or Souness?

Football / Wrexham in a brawl
« on: February 11, 2008, 06:34:53 AM »

I wonder if Spann rush onto the field seeing as he is a born again christian and would believe in the mantra ''turn the other cheek".

Then again, he was probably in the stands anyways so he woulda be too far for him to even have to debate what to do.

Football / Dennis: A Wise move?
« on: January 28, 2008, 01:33:18 PM »
Dennis Wise - leaving and upward bound Leeds after suffering through all the bad times and now reaping the benefits....to be a number two at Newcastle? I am a Newcastle fan, and I welcome the grit that Wise will bring...but honestly, that make no sense to me.

Once Keegan there, he not going to be the manager. And if Keegan leaves, they will call for Shearer anyways so he never going to manage newcastle unless it's as a caretaker for a couple games inbetween. Why would u give up a good managerial position at a club like Leeds (who have history, a fanbase and will be attractive to investors once they keep moving up the rungs) to be a number #2 at a team that not challenging for anything?

Football / Paul Scholes
« on: January 28, 2008, 01:29:51 PM »
How good is Paul Scholes really?

This is a question that always has me thinking. Today Tevez was rating him again saying he is ''unbelievable''. The thing is, I am not sure how many of you notice, but EVERY single team (at least outside England) always mention Paul Scholes as the man to watch when talking about ManU.

And then, virtually every player or coach who work with him always have something to say about him, unsolicited. meaning, they will just be in a interview or conversation and they will bring his name up without somebody saying ''so what about Paul Scholes?"

Yet he is never on anybody's radar when talking about player of the year in England or best player in the world. I personally find he is a good player,not great, but the way fellow pros talk about him he sounds like he is phenomenal.

Maybe some more learned guys on the forum could educate me and show me what it is that the pros see that I don't. And by that I mean, what makes him better than Ronaldo, Beckham, Lampard and Gerrard in they eyes of his coaches and teammates...not things like he have the best volley in the game and he does the simple things well.

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