Tag Archive: Frank Lampard

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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The Premier League recently announced that goal-line technology will be introduced in time for next season. Action came swiftly after FIFA president Sepp Blatter finally reversed his steadfast opposition to technology in football.

Disbelief | Frank Lampard holds his hands to his head as his shot crosses the line against Germany but no goal is given in South Africa. (Image | The Guardian)

Disbelief | Frank Lampard holds his hands aloft in protest as his shot crosses the line against Germany, but no goal is given in South Africa. (Image | The Guardian)

He said that FIFA would appear to be “foolish” if it did not act on a series of embarrassing mistakes, such as the failure to award a goal to England midfielder Frank Lampard during a game against Germany at the 2010 World Cup.

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Few things are more infuriating in football that dangerous tackling. Even more enraging, however, is seeing such conduct go unpunished.

Dangerous | Wigan Athletic midfielder Callum McManaman catches Newcastle United defender Massadio Haïdara in a challenge that saw the latter stretchered off. (Image | Daily Mail)

Dangerous | Wigan Athletic midfielder Callum McManaman catches Newcastle United defender Massadio Haïdara in a challenge that saw the latter stretchered off. (Image | Daily Mail)

Like so many in the game, the decision by the Football Association not to take retrospective action against Callum McManaman of Wigan Athletic, for his egregious challenge on Newcastle United defender Massadio Haïdara, left me disgusted.

Personally, I feel the criticism being aimed towards McManaman should focus solely on his challenge. One should look at what the player did, rather than make judgements on him as an individual.

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Some of the biggest names in English football started at West Ham United’s Youth Academy. Established in the 1950s by then-manager Ted Fenton, it was later nicknamed “The Academy of Football” due to its unremitting success at producing long-lasting talent.

Reputation | The West Ham United Academy has produced scores of talented footballers over the years. (Image | West Ham World)

Reputation | “The Academy of Football” has produced scores of talented players over the years. (Image | West Ham World)

West Ham have long since been the parent club behind the greats, and are currently nurturing a second generation of legacies on their training ground.

England’s historic World Cup victory in 1966 was headlined “West Ham 4 – West Germany 2” by the British media, as Hammers legends Bobby MooreMartin Peters and Geoff Hurst played a major role in bringing the Jules Rimet trophy home.

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Forgotten winger Joe Cole began the New Year with a return to former club West Ham United, and immediately donned claret and blue for the Hammers’ third round tie against Manchester United at the weekend, writes Emma Webb.

Hope and floory | Joe Cole may have been turfed out on loan, but it's Hammer time as the midfielder bids to kickstart his career. (Image | The Mirror)

Hope and floory | Joe Cole may have been turfed out on loan, but it’s Hammer time as the midfielder bids to kick-start his career. (Image | The Mirror)

One of the many great success stories to emerge from the West Ham academy, Cole made his name early on as a schoolboy for England Under-16s.

He formed part of the FA Youth Cup-winning side of 1999, and made his first team debut in the same year at 17-years-old.

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Dangerman | Eden Hazard scored his first goal for Chelsea against Newcastle United last weekend. (Image | The Telegraph)

Kevin McCarra‘s frank assessment of the peaks and troughs of the gambler’s “last throw”, otherwise known as transfer deadline day, was an excellent read on The Guardian earlier today. Seizing upon the arrival of Eden Hazard at Chelsea for £32m earlier this summer, McCarra pointed out that sometimes the inflated and frenetic nature of 31 August – in particular – leads clubs to take on players at tremendous cost with almost an “assurance” that they will turn out to fulfil, not only their inflated price tags, but the immense weight of expectation that putting pen to paper on a deal with a Premier League outfit carries with it.

The Blues have hardly been backwards in coming forwards since picking up their maiden Champions League trophy last season, but the 21-year-old Belgian is the club’s poster boy, its marquee signing among a parade of fledgling European superstars. With three Premier League games having been played thus far, Hazard hasn’t even appeared to be slightly daunted by the amount of faith placed in him by manager Roberto Di Matteo and Russian benefactor Roman Abramovich, both in a footballing and monetary sense.

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Roberto Di Matteo and Didier Drogba have proven their value to Chelsea Football Club in helping the team to the Champions’ League title (Image | Reuters)

It takes more than physical skill to be a winner at the highest level of professional sport. It needs grit, determination, focus and confidence. Chelsea have shown that in spades in their last three Champions’ League games. In both legs against Barcelona in the semi finals, the Blues were pinned to the proverbial wall from start to finish; tonight, in the main, was more of the same.

Home-town favourites Bayern Munich had more of the ball, four times as many opportunities on goal, and a plethora of chances to kill the 2012 Champions’ League Final both in regular time and extra time. Arjen Robben’s missed penalty, chances squandered by Mario Gomes and Thomas Muller, the botched pass from Ivica Olic which rolled past Daniel van Buyten before an open goal …

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Get used to this sight: Roy Hodgson’s bold selection of Andy Carroll could prove to be one of the wisest managerial decisions he has ever made. (Image | The Guardian)

Andy Carroll will perhaps be the most contentious striking selection any England manager has made since Sven Goran-Eriksson elected to include youngster Theo Walcott in his 2006 World Cup squad. For very different reasons, mind. The British press has already tarnished the reputation of a player who, through no fault of his own, cost Liverpool £30m. The past season has proven that this was not an accurate reflection of Carroll’s ability, yet still it has been left to hang around the 23-year-old’s neck like the heaviest of millstones.

For the first half of the season, Carroll did indeed resemble a cart horse and was barely worth a place in Kenny Dalglish’s starting line-up. However, his late winners against Blackburn Rovers and Everton have at least appeared to rejuvenate the forward, who after all, is still developing as a player even now.

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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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The boy who cried ref

Footballers are remarkably petulant, spoilt, egregious individuals. They complain instantly at even the slightest hint of perceived injustice, yet they are quite happy to commit acts of sometimes shocking indiscipline. Naturally, some players attain reputations as “bad boys”. Duncan Ferguson, Wayne Rooney, Eric Cantona, Robbie Savage and Joey Barton are just a handful of notorious names from the Premier League era. Similarly, some players are, on a football field at least, “whiter than white”. Most notable of these shining examples are Michael Owen, Gareth Barry and Frank Lampard.

Rangers captain Joey Barton discussed his sending off at length on social networking site, Twitter.

The last is not seen as a dirty player, and thus it was certainly notable that his extremely ill-timed and reckless challenge on Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Adam Hamill received just a yellow card. Particularly in light of Vincent Kompany’s dismissal against Manchester United in today’s FA Cup encounter, Lampard’s “exoneration” appears to coincide even less with the rules of the game than it did at the time. Queens Park Rangers’ Barton, meanwhile, was shown the red card by Neil Swarbrick during a home clash with Norwich City, after squaring up with Canaries midfielder Bradley Johnson.

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