Premier League Preview & Review

Monday, 5 November 2012

Hello readers,

Today it seems as though I've had an epiphany - the thought came to mind whilst I was sorting out my fantasy team that perhaps I should use this blog not only to forecast my recent football opinions, but to give a quick preview ahead of the week's Premier League matches with my fantasy tips.

These fantasy tips will include my version of SkySports' #ITK with a look into each game giving some key players to play, and a final summary of my favourite option in goal, defense, midfield, and attack.

There was then extra thought that perhaps I could review the weeks matches - not focussing on the fantasy side of the game, but the actual football. If I don't review the week, then there will definitely be a post regarding some sort of football involvement from that week.

So, I'll speak to you all on Friday night

Hope you like these ideas, and continue reading!


Arsenal - Squad Analysis

Monday, 1 October 2012

Mikel Arteta Mikel Arteta of Arsenal FC in action during the pre-season Asian Tour friendly match between Kitchee FC and Arsenal at Hong Kong Stadium on July 29, 2012 in Hong Kong.

Again, as every gooner says at the beginning of each season, "Arsenal are going to win the Premier League this year, just watch", and as with every year, they're so wrong. However, from watching the first 4 games of the season, I do see Arsenal putting up quite a challenge. Before you think I'm being biased, not in the slightest, I'm a Manchester United fan, so this is purely my own opinion from studying the first few games of the season.

Let's start with the defense. A solid back-line of Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen and Gibbs - pretty average, but seeming to work, with either Vito Mannone or Wojeich Szcezeny in goal. One thing which shows good quality in this starting back-line for me, is how this week (vs. Southampton) Arsenal's best defender last season, one Laurent Koscielny, only made the substitutes bench, and didn't even appear. The shear height of Mertesacker in conjuction with the raw power and determination of captain Thomas Vermaelen, is seeming like a lethal partnership so far - especially as they've only conceded 1 goal in 4 games. On  to wing-backs, although Jenkinson is only there to fill the role left by the injured Bacary Sagna, he seems to be dealing with opposing Left Midfielders very well - just take a look at Arsenal's 2-0 win at Anfield against Liverpool only a couple of weeks ago, he made Raheem Sterling look like a fool every time he touched the ball. Jenkinson shows some touches of class, however (especially significant in the Southampton match) he can make some errors by lunging unnecessarily into challenges - but he's only 20, he'll learn. And finally there is Kieran Gibbs (22yrs); personally, I'm not his biggest fan, but that is with me comparing him to previous Arsenal Left-Backs, including Ashley Cole and Gael Clichy, however he has shown some glimpses of maturity over the course of the summer break, which has resulted in him confidently taking part in the attacking phases, as well as swiftly sorting out his defensive duties. A special mention to Steve Bould - the new Arsenal assistant and ex-defender, who is the mastermind behind Arsenal's, so far, impressive defensive displays.

For Midfield, 2 words - Santi Cazorla. Consistent, versatile, confident, an all-round midfielder of class, and for around £15 million, BARGAIN! Him, mixed with his Spanish team mate Mikel Arteta, are seeming like an unfathomable midfield partnership where any other central-midfielder can slot in with them at any point (e.g. Francis Coquelin vs. Southampton, Abou Diaby vs. Liverpool). There honestly isn't much more I can say about Arsenal's central midfield, even with the loss of Alex Song, the capture of Santi Cazorla is looking like the buy of the season so far in the Premier League. Remember, Arsenal still have young Jack Wilshere raring to get back to first team action, so when he's back from injury, Arsenal's midfield will be a hard force to get past.

In Attack, in my view, there are far too many options, and far too many AVERAGE options. Lukas Podolski, for me, is the only quality striker Arsenal have. They have over 7 wingers, all of which aren't of great quality (although Oxlade-Chamberlain does impress), and they're new Frenchman, Olivier Giroud, isn't turning out to be as fantastic as was hoped (the next Marouane Chamakh?). I for one quite like Olivier Giroud, although he hasn't scored, to a more in-depth football analyst, you will notice that the runs he makes to receive passes and crosses are quite magnificent, many times the only problem for him has been the lack of quality of passing from the long list of wingers which clog up Arsenal's wage bill. Yes, Giroud has missed 2 sitters, but he needs to settle, he is still showing glimpses of promise, so my advice for Arsenal fans is to be patient with him, and not to treat him like Marouane Chamakh was - who is now wasting away, clogging up your wage bill, holding you back from signing new players.

In summary, Arsenal's future is most definitely bright. It's early days, only 4 matches in, having conceded only 1 goal, whilst scoring 8, not to bad for a team that lost their top goalscorer last season and they're best midfielder. I'd say, if Arsenal can perhaps get rid of some useless players in January (e.g. Chamakh, Arshavin, Walcott?) and then spend that money and wage on 1 quality winger, they could certainly be pushing for Top 3, instead of just aiming to scrape Top 4.

Good Luck!


Why Balotelli is the Greatest Footballer in the World

Monday, 24 September 2012

Some call him "LADotelli", others call him a crazy Italian man who is linked with the Napoleon mafia, and that he did in fact try to fight Vincent Kompany. All we know is... He's called Balotelli! Here's a list of all the great things Balotelli has achieved in his short career, so far: >Survived a usually fatal disease at birth >£10,000 in parking fines >Car impounded 27 times >£300,000 fine for throwing darts at the youth team >Won £25,000 in a casino, gave £1,000 to a tramp outside >Rescued a child from bullying >Threw tomatoes at some Serie A manager >Threw water balloons at Serie A meeting >Started a fight with 4 bouncers, after breaking the no touching rule at a strip club >Thinks milk with tea is strange >Bibotelli saga >Had a £120,000 Audi R8 imported and wrote it off within a week >Had his friends approach girls in clubs and say "Balotelli will see you now." >Sent to John Lewis by his mother to buy essentials for the house, like an ironing board >Came back with a giant trampoline and a Vespa and Scalectrix >Started fights with Kompany, Boateng and Tevez at training >Was frequently seen at the AC Milan superstore while playing for inter >Went on TV in an AC shirt with his name on while at inter >U21s game for Italy, kicks a swedish player while he's down and proceeds to just sit on the pitch ignoring the opposition and the referee for about a minute. >Is then offended when he gets sent off and protests about it >He winked at Ferdinand at the semi final of the FA cup and celebrate in front of the Man U fans. >After the FA cup final, on live TV, says "This season I have been s***. Can I say that?" >Was stopped by police driving round Hulme (a real craphole) in his Maserati with £25,000 cash on the passenger seat. When asked why he said "because I'm rich" >Had to go off at half time in a game in Ukraine due to an allergy to the pitch >Had to be physically hauled away by Zanetti for refusing to let Samuel Eto'o take a penalty that he had won >Once broke up with a girlfriend via text while she was presenting a live television show >Slept with a model while his girlfriend was asleep downstairs >*** mental chicken hat >When he won the European Golden Boy trophy, said he had never heard of Jack Wilshere >Said he would find out who he was so he could remind Wilshere he came second >Drove his car into a women's prison so he could have a look around >Swore on live TV after the FA cup final >Attempted a roulette back heel shot against LA Galaxy and missed >Connections with the Naples Mafia, he even testified in court at a Mafia trial >Brought iPad to bench during International friendly. >Set house on fire using fireworks >Said only Messi is "a little stronger" than him, and he is better than all other players >"Why always me?" shirt, made for him by City kitman Chappy >Drove around Manchester high-fiving city fans from his car the day after >1-6 >Became the face of a firework safety campaign days after setting his house on fire >Hands £20 notes out to strangers when in Manchester >Chanted Rooney! Rooney! at the prostitute who claimed to have slept with Wayne. What a nutter! Any thoughts, leave a comment. Have you every tried some of this stuff, how'd it turn out?


Hello And Welcome!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

And it's LIVE!! ... As Martin Tyler says

Welcome to THE MATCH BALL, the weekly updated football blog discussing and posting about absolutely anything to do with football.

If you're lucky, during the week we will have some posts from our dear readers or some funny pictures, if not, you'll enjoy our weekly post on a football talking point - transfers, news, tables, etc. (written by either myself or our dear readers)

If you'd like to get involved, feel free to fill in the form here with your article and maybe it could be featured that week. You will be notified (via email) if your post has been selected, and feel free to submit your twitter account to possibly increase your followers - it's a win/win situation - write a good post, gain followers! Sound good.

Almost everything football will be discussed here, and be sure to check back every week for a new post.

So get submitting posts, if you want to be first, just fill in the form here. If not, try and spread this blog, lets get this community blog BIG!

Until next time...


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