Monday, October 8, 2012

OLE! Arsenal's matadors make a mockery of West Ham

Arsenal built their solid start to the season with a 3-1 victory over West Ham on Saturday at Upton Park as Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla overturned Mohamed Diame's first-half opener.

The defeat was the Hammers' first of the season in the Premier League at home, while Arsene Wenger's side remain seven points behind Chelsea, who sit at the top of the table.

Instrumental in Arsenal's win were the Spanish midfield duo of Mikel Arteta and Cazorla, who were able to topple the industrious trio of Kevin Nolan, Mark Noble and Diame.

#BUNCHOFTWITS! Chelsea & England put stop to Cole fury

Friday was eventful: firstly the chiefs at the FA released the written reasons behind John Terry's ban and fine, before later, Chelsea team-mate Ashley Cole took to Twitter to berate the "bunchoft****" that had dared to suggest his account of events were altered.

Cole subsequently deleted his tweet after perhaps FINALLY receiving some intelligent advice from those at Chelsea and issued an unreserved apology to the FA. Incidentally, Cole will remain in the England squad for the two upcoming World Cup 2014 qualifiers and should hit the 100-cap mark.

What a pity this ill-thought out tirade will go onto tarnish such a monumental achievement. 

Doors close on England for Rio

When John Terry announced his international retirement, the spotlight turned to Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand.

The centre-back missed out on Euro 2012, but many called for the veteran to be included in Roy Hodgson's latest squad for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland.

Of course those calls were quickly silenced when Hodgson was caught, prior to the squad announcement,  telling commuters on a London tube that Ferdinand was no longer part of his plans - a hasty apology swiftly followed.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Hart saves the day for Manchester City

Manchester City had Joe Hart to thank on Wednesday as the England goalkeeper produced a superb performance in the Champions League against Borussia Dortmund.

The City shot-stopper was in top form at the Etihad making several sensational saves as the German champions took the lead through Marco Reus and threatened to add many more in a dominant second-half showing.

Ultimately it was Mario Balotelli who showed nerves of steel to net a late, late penalty and salvage a draw for the Premier League champions, but there was no denying that the real hero was City's No.1.

Bayern Munich slain by BATE the giant-killers

Bayern Munich's impressive run of results came to an abrupt end, after a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Belarus champions, BATE Borisov.

After maintaining their 100 per cent record in the league, Bayern's loss was their first of the season, having won every single match since their maiden competitive fixture in August.

Having scored 19 goals, conceding only two, Bayern were the clear favourites for Tuesday's Champions League tie against BATE; however, the fixture, which was played at a neutral venue, did not quite go to plan.

Despite sitting joint top of Group F after defeating Valencia 2-1, the German side found the minnows from Belarus too much to handle. Jupp Heynckes' decision to rest Bastian Schweinsteiger backfired, with other big name stars such as Javi Martinez, Franck Ribery and Thomas Muller failing to stand up and be counted.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Jack Wilshere's return sparks celebration at Arsenal

Jack Wilshere's return from injury, after spending around 15 months out with an ankle issue, has given Arsenal a reason to celebrate.

The 20-year-old played for the Gunners Under-21s on Monday as he continues to work towards reaching full fitness after the long lay-off.

Arsenal were beaten at home by Chelsea 2-1 in the Premier League this weekend, but the talented young England midfielder's addition to the squad in October could be like a new signing for Arsene Wenger.

Although he is unlikely to feature immediately in the Arsenal first-team, expect Wilshere to filter into matches through the month, challenging the likes of Mikel Arteta and Abou Diaby for a starting spot.

Gerrard's genie can't deliver his title wish with Liverpool

Steven Gerrard's analysis of his own chances of winning the Premier League with Liverpool was summed up in five words. It will be a miracle.

The Premier League title is the only domestic honour which has eluded the 32-year-old, who is now entering the final years of his career at Anfield which also boasts triumphs in the Uefa Cup and Champions League during his time on Merseyside.

But, with the level of competition in the top flight increasing by the season, Gerrard admits his ambition of being crowned a Premier League champion may remain unfulfilled.

"It will be a miracle if I now realise my dream of winning the title with Liverpool," Gerrard wrote in his recently published autobiography, My Liverpool Story.

"I say that because of my age and where we finished in the league the past couple of years. And also the situation we're in with the rivalries.

"There's not just United and Arsenal now but City, Chelsea and Tottenham. Newcastle coming as well. The Premier League has become a lot more difficult to win for everyone."