23 June 2012

Premier League | Cudicini Hedges His Bets Over Next Tottenham Manager

Carlo Cudicini, the Tottenham keeper, has decided that he had better make sure that the next Tottenham manager, whoever that may be, knows that he, the keeper, is 100% behind him.

He tells Sky Sports Italia that "Tottenham are a great team and he could learn a lot here."

But Cudicini knows that AndrĂ© Villas-Boas may not be the next manager, even though he is the favourite at 1.38 with Betfair.  So he also says, of Rafa Benitez, "Benitez did very well in England as coach of Liverpool and he knows English football very well."

In case that was not enough (Benitez is a 75/1 outsider), he mentioned to Radio Kiss Kiss, "[Fabio] Capello to Tottenham would make me very happy,"

So, just to be clear, if you want to be the next Tottenham manager, Carlo will welcome you with open arms.

22 June 2012

Premier League News | Wenger: Van Persie will stay at Arsenal

Speculation continues over Robin Van Persie's contract negotiations. He has 12 months remaining on his contract and Manchester City are said to be interested in signing the Arsenal and Holland striker. 

Sky Sports News have quoted Arsene Wenger as saying to Italian newspaper La Repubblica,
"He will stay at Arsenal" (link below). 

Premier League | Grant Holt to hold talks with Norwich

Grant Holt will speak to new Norwich City manager, Chris Hughton, before deciding his future.

Holt has been linked with West Ham, but his agent has said that there will be no decision made until the manager has returned from holiday.

Premier League | Transfer Rumour | Daniele de Rossi

Daniele de Rossi, who signed a five year contract with his club, Roma, has made a minor attempt to place some cats in amongst the pigeons by saying;

"I have received many offers from English football. And I must say that I feel attraction for it. 
I like English football very much. I think now it's probably more interesting than Italian football.
 There are lots of outstanding and talented players, as is the case for Spain as well."
 Does he want a move already, or merely creating a bit of mischief?  Perhaps he expected to be playing France in the quarter-finals, and has just seen the pound signs (or Euro signs) flashing before his eyes.

21 June 2012

Premier League | Shirt Sponsorship

Shirt sponsorship has been with us for many years now, but how much does it bring in to clubs?

Sport Business reports that the largest clubs, unsurprisingly, rake in the most money.  The two Manchester clubs get €22m each, but what is the lowest amount you can get away with as a shirt sponsor in the Premier League?

The lowest amount paid (apart from Blackburn, who have generously donated the space on their shirts to the Princes' Trust) is €300, 000 paid by insurance giant Aviva to Norwich City.

20 June 2012

Premier League | Transfer News | Premiership

Transfer News From The Premier League.

As today is devoid of Euro 2012 matches, it seems an opportune moment to catch up with what transfers have been happening with the Premier League clubs.


Manuel Almunia has been released, but has yet to find another club, although rumour has it he has been connected with Fiorentina.

Lukas Podolski, who scored in Germany's game against Denmark has been signed from Cologne.

There is a suggestion that the club will accept offers for Robin van Persie of around  £30m.

Aston Villa

Carlos Cuellar, Emile Heskey and Brad Guzan have been released, and Brett Holman will arrive from AZ Alkmaar on a free transfer.


Chelsea welcome Eden Hazard from Lille and Marko Marin from Werder Bremen.  Didier Drogba has left for China.


James McFadden and Marcus Hahnemann have been released.  There are no signings as of now, but David Moyes is rumoured to be on his way to Tottenham Hotspur.  These rumours are, as always, hotly denied.


Andy Johnson has signed for local rivals, QPR.  The club are also linked with Andrei Arshavin.


Fabio Aurelia has left Merseyside to go to Gremio (Portugal, apparently).  They are controversially linked with Gylffi Sigurdsson.  It's controversial, because Brendan Rodgers began to sign Sigurdsson when he was manager of Swansea.

Manchester City

Real Madrid are reported to be trying to sign David Silva, and City are linked with Javi Martinez of Bilbao.

Manchester United

Michael Owen has been released.

Newcastle United

Newcastle have denied that Demba Ba is leaving, but Hatem Ben Arfa could be signed by Chelsea.


Grant Holt could be on his way to Everton.


Andy Johnson has signed from Fulham.  QPR stalwart Danny Shittu has been released.
Robert Green is said to have signed and completed his medical whilst on England duty.  Paddy Kenny has gone to Leeds.


Reading are looking to strengthen their squad with Adrian Mariappa from Watford (or Udinese B as they may soon be called), Ashley Westwood form Crewe, and Dame N'Doye of Copenhagen.


Robert Huth has signed a new contract.


Craig Gordon has been released.


Nothing to see here, following the departure of manager Brendan Rodgers.

Tottenham Hotspur

Luca Modric has left, as has Harry Redknapp.  Tottenham are currently managerless and have been linked with AndrĂ© Villas Boas.

West Bromwich Albion

Nicky Shorey has been released.

West Ham

West Ham have been linked with Joselu of Real Madrid.


Chris Kirkland has gone to Sheffield Wednesday on a free, and Roberto Martinez has been linked with the vacant manager's job at Tottenham.

18 June 2012

Euro 2012 | England v Ukraine France v Sweden Preview | Betting Tip

England v Ukraine 


The big news from the England camp is that the main man is back.  Wayne Rooney is available for selection in this game against the home team who will have a stadium full of fans to provide an intimidating atmosphere at the Donbass Arena in Donetsk.  There has been media speculation (surprise) that Rooney may be a bit of a loose canon, having sat out two difficult games for England.  The fact is that Wayne Rooney is a more nuanced player than he once was.  Last season he received 1 red and two yellow cards, in the previous two seasons he received 8 yellow cards in each campaign.

England report no injuries, so I expect Rooney to replace Carroll.

Ukraine will enjoy home advantage in this encounter, which will be a huge boost, but England are a better team; Ukraine lost to France, with whom England drew.  Ukraine may need to play without their talismanic striker, Shevchenko, who is carrying an injury to his knee.
Whilst England will qualify with a draw, Ukraine need a win.

Betting Tip

[The following tip is for fun only.  Gamble responsibly (if at all) and only gamble money you can afford to lose.]

England are 2.08 (21/20), which isn't great odds, but I can't decide whether there will be goals in this (probably not).

France v Sweden

France are in the lucky position of playing a team who have no possibility of qualification, wheras France need only a draw.  Doubtless Sweden will be playing for pride, and they have good players, if they are a little reliant on Ibrahimovic.
Neither team report any injuries.

Betting Tip

[The following tip is for fun only.  Gamble responsibly (if at all) and only gamble money you can afford to lose.]

France should sweep the Swedes aside, with Nasri, who is having a good tournament and Benzema, who is yet to shine.  They have playmakers and strikers with the ability to score.  So I would back France at 1.62 (5/8).

Euro 2012 | Spain v Croatia | Italy v Ireland | Betting Tip

Spain v Croatia (The "Biscotti" Game).

You may wonder what the above refers to.  In Italian horse racing, when a horse is doped to lose a race, the doping agent is given to the horse on a biscuit, or biscotti in Italian.

Your now wondering what horse doping has to do with Spain v Croatia.  It so happens that should Spain and Croatia draw 2-2, then they go through together irrespective of the result in the other match.

Assuming that there is no collusion, and for the good of the game, let us hope that the final score is not 2-2.  Croatia will need to win this match (or draw 2-2 or higher score draw) to go through without depending on Ireland to do well against Italy.  Spain need a draw to qualify, or a win to ensure first place.

Neither team has reported any injury concerns.

Betting Tip

[The following tip is for fun only.  Gamble responsibly (if at all) and only gamble money you can afford to lose.]

As Croatia need at least a goal to ensure qualification, this game will in all likelihood be open, which will suit Spain, so I would go for Over 2.5 Goals at 1.75 (8/11) at Betfair.  As a matter of interest, Correct Score 2-2 is ridiculously short at 12.5 (11/1), which I would avoid.

Italy v Ireland.

Ireland will want to get at least a goal here, if only to match the Netherlands dismal performance at this tournament.  It is also Damien Duff's 100th appearance.  If Ireland can avoid their now traditional early goal, then who knows what will happen.

The only injury concern is Balotelli, who has a knee injury and may be rested.

Betting Tip

[The following tip is for fun only.  Gamble responsibly (if at all) and only gamble money you can afford to lose.]

I can only see an Italy win here at 1.43 (4/9), which doesn't seem to offer much value.  An alternative market is Over 2.5 Goals at 1.84 (5/6) at Betfair.

17 June 2012

Euro 2012 | Portugal v Netherlands Preview | Betting Tip

Portugal come into this match with a real chance of progressing; but their destiny is not entirely in their own hands.  If Germany beat Denmark, then Portugal will go through as runners-up with a win, draw or even a loss, as long as the loss is by a margin of only one goal. If Denmark draw with Germany, then Portugal are through with a win or draw.  If Denmark beat Germany, then Portugal will progress with a win, unless Denmark win with a one goal margin (other than 2-1 or 1-0).

They beat Denmark in their last match, and will need to take that momentum forward into this match.  They have a fully fit squad, and so Paulo Bento will be able to field the team he feels best suited to beating a Dutch team, which has been mis-firing.

The Netherlands can only progress if they win by a two goal margin and Denmark lose, which at least is simple.  The fly in their ointment is the fact that they have managed only one goal in 46 goal attempts over two matches.  They need, therefore to go for goals, and we can expect Huntelaar to start, possibly at the expense of Van Persie.  Huntelaar has looked disgruntled at being on the bench with Van Persie on the pitch, and Bert van Marwijk may decide to ring the changes.

Betting Tip

[The following tip is for fun only.  Gamble responsibly (if at all) and only gamble money you can afford to lose.]

Both teams will be desperate for the win here, and, although neither team have shown themselves to be goal-scoring machines, I think that in this match, there will be goals.  Betfair have Over 1.5 goals at 1.24 (1/4), and I think that that is a nailed on certainty.  Watch this space!