Toon could sue over unpunished horror tackle

NEWCASTLE could sue Wigan striker Callum McManaman for his horror tackle on full-back Massadio Haidara.
The 21-year-old escaped punishment for the challenge which left Frenchman Haidara in hospital when the Football Association ruled they could not charge him retrospectively because the incident had been seen by one of the match officials at the time and not deemed worthy of a red card.
It will take a second scan next week to determine the severity of the damage and subsequently how long the 20-year-old will be out of action, but although the club currently has no plans to resort to the courts that could still be an option open to the player who, it is understood, is yet to receive an apology.


Transfer Deadline Day XI

mario balotelli 2.jpeg
SO THE dust is now settling on another deadline day’s deals, and to help showcase some of the best business done today, here’s my top team of players who were on the move.
Minus Peter Odemwingie, for obvious reasons…
GK – Butland (Stoke)
DEF – Shea (Stoke), Samba (QPR), Monreal (Arsenal)
MID – Beckham (PSG), Jenas (QPR), Scharner (Wigan), Townsend (QPR)
ATK – Graham (Sunderland), Balotelli (AC Milan), Becchio (Norwich)

January sales are the business

demba ba.jpg
January’s transfer window has not been open a week and already some serious business has been done.
Now I’ll admit that these first few days of the year I’ve had my eye off the ball – but my god, some amazing transfers have not only been done already, but already seen rewards on the pitch.
Chief among these must be the scooping up of Demba Ba by Chelsea, he’s already netted a brace on his debut!
In addition, Joe Cole looked the business once again for West Ham, who also have added Marouane Chamakh to their stable of strikers, Wigan have bagged Roger Espinoza, Chelsea’s Danuiel Sturridge has joined Liverpool, while English fans will be keen to see how the dual-heritage German performs for Spurs after his switch from Schalke.
And the surprise star signing of the window could yet be the awesome marauding French full-back Mathieu Debuchy, whose signiature could revitalise Newcastle’s season yet.
That’s all in less than a week! If things carry on this way, an already explosive Premier League season could be braced to get even better – teams and players may not like them, but from a fan’s perspective, god bless the transfer window.

Ewood Chicken stops play

EARLIER this season the Anfield Cat became a cult hero for invading Liverpool’s pitch – could the Ewood Chicken be about to do the same.
After a blood and thunder opening to the six pointer between Blackburn and Wigan, a stray chicken wearing a Blackburn cape interrupted play.
The fouling fowl had to be intercepted by Wigan stopper Al Habsi and taken off by Blackburn striker Yakubu.

Premiership predictions – Blackburn, Swansea and Norwich for the drop

AFTER proclaiming Chelsea to be champions in waiting yesterday, I’m turning my gaze to the bottom of the pile – a task which left you readers divided.
Because Norwich City, Queens Park Rangers, Swansea City, Wigan Athletic, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Aston Villa all received equal votes in my Facebook poll.
And if you lot can’t make up your mind, what chance have I got?
Nevertheless, neck on the line, firstly I’m plumping for recently promoted sides Swansea and Norwich for the drop – I can’t see how either side has strengthened enough to compete in the Premier League.
Although QPR haven’t exactly pulled their chequebook out either, I really feel their talismanic Moroccan Adel Taraabt will pick them enough points up to scrape through.
That means one established Premiership team is going to be relegated…
And from the teams that teetered on the brink of the Championship last season, there’s only one that looks constantly on the verge of a crisis – not Wigan, not Wolves, but Blackburn.
I can’t see Blackburn’s owners bringing in the big names they’ve promised, and I can’t see Steve Kean keeping his job for the duration.
Rovers and out, that’s my prediction – leave me a comment below if you disagree.

Who’s going to be relegated from the Premier League?

sad birmingham.JPG
WHO’S going to be relegated from the Premier League this season?
Very soon Goaltastic will be putting its head above the parapet with a few predictions on the teams I expect to see at the top and also those dropping from bottom of the table next May.
And in the run up you can have your say on whose going to be losing out this season over on the Goaltastic Facebook page – you can pick from last season’s lowest placed teams Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle United, Stoke City, Wigan Athletic and Wolverhampton Wanderers, plus new boys Norwich City, Queens Park Rangers and Swansea City, or you can vote for ‘other’.
Click here to have your say…

Premier League Predictions Revisited: “I was wrong and I will know better next time.”

wigan celebrate.JPG
LAST August, a fresh faced blogger starting out in the world of football punditry – me – spewed out a few predictions about the season to come…
And looking back – what the bloody hell was I thinking?!?
Having tipped Chelsea to win the league – which they had a good shot at in the end, despite a mid-season blip – I messed up big time, predicting a strong season for Arsenal at the expense of Manchester United.
As well all know now, Arsenal did an Arsenal and threw their good work away at the sharp end of the season, while Manchester United chewed up the opposition and took a record 19th title.
I also predicted Everton would be surprise Champions League qualifiers…
Moving swiftly on
At the other end of the table, I stirred up some emotions by predicting Wigan to be relegated, alongside West Bromwich Albion and Blackpool.
A slew of posters questioned my judgement – despite Wigan leaving it until 12 minutes before the end of the season to escape the drop – with Tommo saying: “Wigan will not be relegated.
“At the end of the season I expect you to say ‘I was wrong and I will know better next time.'”
In the end, only Blackpool succumbed – I was wrong and I will know better next time.