Category: Everton

Ross Barkley's impressive start to the season has earned him a surprisingly rapid elevation to the senior England squad (Image | Liverpool Echo)

Ross Barkley’s impressive start to the season has earned him a surprisingly rapid elevation to the senior England squad (Image | Liverpool Echo)

After my commanding performance in central midfield during game 3 of our works tournament last month (my first two efforts were poor), I was contacted by a man named Roy who asked if I wanted to appear in the Scotland friendly. He didn’t use the word “desperate”, but the tone of his voice was telling. Unfortunately, I was unavailable due to a family dinner.

The above may not be entirely true, but if England’s selection policy continues to develop along its current trajectory, I won’t be letting go of my phone any time soon.

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David Moyes, Manchester United's new manager, has been quick to make his mark on the club's coaching infrastructure (Image | Sky)

David Moyes, Manchester United’s new manager, has been quick to make his mark on the club’s coaching infrastructure (Image | Sky)

As a Manchester United supporter, I was entirely pleased (and not surprised) when David Moyes was appointed the successor to Sir Alex Ferguson. What came as more of a surprise, however, was the subsequent overhaul of the Old Trafford coaching staff.

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Ben Watson's 90th minute header confirmed the biggest headline in football this week (Image | The Sun)

Ben Watson’s 90th minute header confirmed the biggest headline in football this week (Image | The Sun)

Last week may have seen the first significant news of the football off-season, but it certainly wasn’t the last. Following the retirement of the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson, and David Moyes’ arrival at Old Trafford as his successor, there has been plenty more big news in the past seven days.

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Alan Pardew, along with first-team coach Steve Stone (right) and several other members of the Newcastle United back-room staff, have been rewarded for the team’s fine form with long-term contracts (Image | Getty)

Alan Pardew has made an impressive impact thus far in his Newcastle United tenure. Now, he’ll have longer than even he could have dreamed to work on restoring the Toon Army to its former glory.

Pardew signed a historic eight-year contract yesterday which will keep him at St James’s Park the Sports Direct Arena until 2020. The move signals a significant change of focus for a team which has had eight permanent managers – Pardew included – in as many years. The deal is the longest offered to a manager in English football’s living memory.

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Escape to Victor… Oh, wait | Everton striker Victor Anichebe thought he had scored. He had scored. It was not given, however. (Image | Sky Sports)

Normally barely a month passes in the top flight without the goal line technology and video replay debate cropping up. On Monday David MoyesEverton became the latest side to be robbed by incorrect decisions made by linesmen and referees. First, Marouane Fellaini saw his legitimate goal ruled out for offside before Victor Anichebe’s late header clearly crossed the line, only for play to be waved on by the officials. What was the result of this?

Well, unsurprisingly the world has still carried on after such a grievous injustice. Moyes, although probably still spitting feathers and burning a giant effigy of referee Mike Jones, acknowledged that the aforementioned decisions had cost his side a victory but is yet to submit an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

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Sergio Aguero fires past Paddy Kenny to secure Manchester City‘s first title in 44 years. (Image | The Guardian)

The ultimate round of matches of the 2011-2012 Premier League season had more twists and turns than a rollercoaster. In this vein, footballing clichés were wheeled out by the bucket load. At Manchester City, it really was a game of two halves, as the league leaders thoroughly pummelled the Queens Park Rangers defence, peppering shots at Paddy Kenny and any other body the R’s could get in the way. 44 of them, in fact. With Manchester United maintaining a 1-0 lead over Sunderland for the majority of the game at the Stadium of Light, all eyes were on the Etihad Stadium. Pablo Zabaleta set the Citizens on their way just before half-time, at almost exactly the same point as Bolton Wanderers completed their turnaround against Stoke City to take a 2-1 lead. QPR were relegated, Bolton were staying up, and City had a hand on the trophy. Surely this would be it from Mark Hughes’ ultra-defensive side?

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Andre Villas-Boas was sacked as Chelsea manager Sunday after a 1-0 away loss to West Brom

Well, the inevitable happened again. Chelsea fired a manager. Big deal.

Andre Villas-Boas has looked ready for the chop since Christmas. The youngest manager in the Premier League, in his third season as a manager, sitting in the hottest seat in world football? Working for the most trigger-happy owner in top-class sport with a record of three wins in 12 games? Fighting a losing battle in seemingly trying coerce a group of veteran superstars into his new-age training and tactical methods? It could never last.

And yet, after casting aside numerous more successful managers without a second blink, that trigger-happy owner didn’t want to fire this one.

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