Tag Archive: Everton

The Premier League season begins tomorrow, but there will be no Sir Alex Ferguson in sight. Perhaps some journalists, pundits, and fans will be reminded of the late comic, Spike Milligan, who used to end many of his comedy sketches by staring at the camera and asking: “What are we going to do now?”

Winning start | New Manchester United manager David Moyes has already won a trophy, but the real battle is about to begin. (Image | Daily Telegraph)

Winning start | New Manchester United manager David Moyes has already won a trophy, but the real battle is about to begin. (Image | Daily Telegraph)

Fergie may be gone, but the Premier League juggernaut continues, and it appears that the race for the 2013/14 title will be between three clubs: Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United.

United are used to approaching the season under intense scrutiny, but this this time the pressure is different, for other clubs will see the Red Devils as a kingdom without a strong leader.

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It would be logical to review football on a season by season basis, but 2012 was just a bit special. As well as the European Championships, Africa Cup of Nations and Olympic Games, all the usual competitions provided thrilling moments.

Euphoria | Spain midfielder Juan Mata and striker Fernando Torres celebrate their annihilation of Italy. (Image | Betting Expert)

Euphoria | Spain midfielder Juan Mata and striker Fernando Torres revel in their annihilation of Italy. (Image | Betting Expert)

Rather than document everything that took place, I have attempted to break down the last 12 months into a series of awards.

However, I will not focus on the more obvious categories, such as “most goals scored” (Lionel Messi, with 91) and “most prolific tweeter” (Joey Barton).

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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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A platform to build on? | Fans have been perplexed by the decision of Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew not to strengthen last year’s overachieving squad. (Image | Mirror)

Newcastle United confounded expectations and surprised us all by finishing in fifth position last season, one place ahead of Champions League winners Chelsea. However, the club’s lack of activity in this summer’s transfer market signals a clear lack of intent from the Magpies.

It ought to be stressed that the performance last season was no fluke. This did not constitute another “Ipswich Town – 2000/2001”. It was not a flash in the pan achievement. Manger Alan Pardew has an array of genuine top class talent at his disposal, yet Newcastle continue to pass under the radar. Despite this, discerning observers ought not to let the media’s lack of acknowledgement fool them. After all, “why don’t we just talk about Liverpool instead?” Does this sound familiar? It should.

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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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Debt, mismanagement, corruption, lawsuits, missed payments and boardroom crises have finally inflicted the worst damage they can: on what happens on the pitch (Image | The Daily Mirror).

The sorry tale of Rangers Football Club is a sad refrain. In the latest blow to the club and its supporters, the Scottish Football Association (SFA) announced last night that it even considered throwing Rangers out of Scottish football. The same Rangers that has 54 league titles and currently holds the record for the biggest number of trophies won by a UEFA-recognised team. The blame game is well underway, but it is worth revisiting the causes of the club’s all-consuming crisis.

The cracks began to appear with the sale of Rangers from David Murray to Craig Whyte, around this time last year. Although Ally McCoist’s side went on to lift the league title, all was not well. This was confirmed when, on February 13, the Ibrox outfit went into administration, an act which saw Rangers docked 10 points and the title in effect handed to arch-rivals Celtic.

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