‘What’s the point?’ asks Redknapp

harry redknapp.jpegNEVER a man to mince his words, Spurs boss Harry Redknapp has spoken out over the international break taking place on the eve of the Premier League kick-off.
He said: “Can someone tell me why you have an international week the same week the season starts. What’s the point?
“They’ve just been away as a group to the World Cup, they’ve come home and now they go off again just before the first game of the season.
“I won’t see them until the Friday, 24 hours before we play Manchester City. How can that be a way to prepare?
“We are piling in more and more games. All you can do is play and recover, play and recover.”
Well said Harry – is anyone actually planning to watch England take on Hungary on August 11, just three days before the Premier League starts?

Football Hero?!?

IN GOALTASTIC’S opinion, the Guitar Hero games are a bit of a strange concept – after all it’s cheaper, easier and far less nerdy to buy a real guitar and a practice amp.
Give me Pro Evo any day.
But here’s something really you can’t do in your own home – a giant football controlled version of the game.
Set to Kasabian’s Underdog, watch freestyle footballers Paul Wood, Paul Klein, Darryl Stewart, Tom Pett, Lewis Foster and Harry Adcroft take on the challenge.

Another goal-line gaffe?

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RATHER like the Uruguayan referee who missed Frank Lampard’s wonderstrike against Germany at the World Cup, have UEFA overlooked something rather obvious when it comes to goal-line technology…
This season, in a bid to stave off further controversy over the use of technology to prevent such goal-line gaffes, UEFA is introducing additional assistants – meaning the use of five referees to some Champions League matches and European Championship qualifiers.
One of the reasons why techonology is often blocked are the cost implications.
However German company Cairos Technologies say introducing their technology at soccer stadiums would actually prove a cheaper – as well as more reliable – way of making close calls.
Sales director Mario Hanus said: “You need to pay a referee each time for each match and two more referees, that is more expensive than having goalline technology.
“Referees all around the globe say ‘please, we are the ones who are blamed if we take the wrong decision’.”

Ashley Young worth three players

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SPURS are so desperate to land flying winger Ashley Young they’re prepared to offer Aston Villa not one, not two, but three internationals as a swap deal.
According to the Mirror, Harry Redknapp is prepared to exchange Robbie Keane, Jermaine Jenas and David Bentley for Young.
They wrote: “Redknapp knows only a mouth-watering offer for ex-Watford trainee Young will get the Villa star.
“But Villa need to sell-to-buy and could be tempted to do business to revamp their squad if Young asks to quit.”

A horny bunch in Loughborough

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WHILE Newcastle have become the latest Premier League club to ban vuvuzelas from their home ground, joining Tottenham, Arsenal, Birmingham, Everton, Fulham, West Ham and West Brom, one Loughborough team would like to see a horny crowd.
Loughborough University FC head coach Tom Curtis has announced they will be going against the grain and embracing as many vuvuzelas as possible, despite the reaction to the plastic horns at the World Cup in South Africa.
The surprise announcement by the Midlands Football Alliance side has already been welcomed by the supporters’ club, who had been pressing the club not to ban them.

It’s time for East Midlands teams

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SINCE Derby County limped out of the top flight in 2008 licking its considerable wounds, it’s been possible for football fans to drive the length of the M1 on away days without passing by a Premiership stadium.
And last May, both Leicester City and Nottingham Forest blew the chance of a regional showdown after losing their play-off semifinals against Cardiff and Blackpool.
However, like I mentioned for Middlesbrough yesterday, 2010/11 could yet be a good season for the region’s teams.
While Premier League drop-outs Portsmouth, Hull and Burnley look far from ready to bounce back, canny manager Billy Davies has kept faith with the majority of the squad that finished third last time out, and with another year of experience under their belts, they should be ready.
And while Derby may struggle to excite again this term and end up mid-table, Leicester also have a relatively unchanged squad looking to repeat last year’s heroics, and while they have lost manager Nigel Pearson it should be remembered that newbie Paulo Sousa took Swansea to just a point off the playoffs last term.
You never know, next season the likes of Rooney, Tevez and Torres could be dusting off their Leicester and Nottingham street maps once again…

I can manage, honestly

YESTERDAY I ruffled a few Fulham fans’ feathers with my dejection at Mark Hughes getting the manager’s job over me.
“Idiot,” said Peter Manley.
My blog was branded “drivel” by Alan King.
Confused From Barrow exclaimed: “Is there something wrong with you? Jesus man.”
So I’d like to say two things to anyone upset enough over my obviously-ambitious decision to apply for the role to comment yesterday –
1) You don’t ask, you don’t get, and…
2) Yes, I would love to manage a football team, who wouldn’t?
So I’d like to make a offer to any team, however big or small, without a manager, in North Leicestershire or thereabouts – I’ll have a go as caretaker manager.
What’s the worst that can happen?

Goaltastic Boro

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THE more eagle-eyed surfers amongst you may have noticed that only one football team sits on my blogroll to the right – the mighty Middlesbrough FC.
That’s right, Goaltastic is a Boro fan – and this season is looking like a good one to be backing them.
I can’t wait to see our side in action in the Championship, and there’s one reason why – this year we look full of goals.
Gordon Strachan is a canny manager, and he’s pulled off an unbelievable coup in signing Kris Boyd from Rangers, top scorer in the Scottish Premier League 2005/06, 2006/07, 2008/09 and 2009/10.
And for 2009/2010, when Boyd didn’t grab the golden boot, who top scored north of the border? Another Strachan signing, Scott MacDonald.
With the aforementioned plus wingers Tarmo Kink and Andrew Halliday, midfielders Kevin Thompson and Nicky Bailey and defender Stephen MacManus boosting a squad that weren’t a million miles off the play-off last season, it’s no surprise that Boro are favourites to top the Championship next year.

Unfriendly match

A FRIENDLY match between neighbouring islanders had to be abandoned after a number of fistfights broke out.
A pre-season friendly between Sardinia’s Cagliari and Corsica’s Bastia was abandoned after 75 minutes on Wednesday after players repeatedly fought each other.
Serie A Cagliari were beating the French team 3-0 when the referee called a halt to the match in Sardinia between two of the top teams from the neighbouring islands.

A league of our own

I WOULD like to take a minute to thank the Goaltastic Fantasy Football League’s founding fathers (and mother).
With the Premier League kick-off still weeks away, already a whopping eight teams are ready to contest the league’s inaugral season.
May I just add that professional leagues operate in Armenia, Kuwait and The Phillipines with eight teams, so we’re in good company.
So a big thanks go out to LEEDS LEEDS LEEDS managed by Amy Watkins, So So Sousa! managed by Pete Warrington, Dirty Sons of Pitchs managed by Andy Forscutt, Sousa so good managed by Richard Rush, Pugwash 11 managed by Mathew Amos, Godder move on up managed by David Godsall and Shankleys Army managed by Ian Hynes for lining up against my Ashletico team.
Of course, more teams are welcome to join – to do so, put together a team here, and then join the Goaltastic league by using the code 183-84.
League updates will be blogged here throughout the season, so fame and fortune – okay, just fame – awaits successful challengers.