Friday, 5 February 2010

Chelsea transfer ban lifted

I said it here on 23rd October: "It is my forecast that Chelsea will never serve any part of this transfer ban, despite precedents being set for other clubs who have broken the rules in just the same way."

And lo, it has come to pass.

As reported by the BBC yesterday: "Court lifts Chelsea transfer ban over Kakuta signing".

The website report said: "Chelsea have had their transfer ban lifted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport after reaching an agreement with Lens over the signing of Gael Kakuta. A statement on the Cas website said that the two clubs and the player had accepted the player's contract with the French side was not valid. Thus Kakuta could not have terminated it prematurely, so Chelsea could not be liable for inducing it to be breached. The Cas said all parties agreed the proceedings would remain confidential."

Yes, I'll bet!

Funny how a rich club suddenly comes to an agreement with a not-so-rich club and the agreement "remains confidential". Funny how, all of a sudden Lens accepted that the contract had not been valid. They didn't think that at first!

I sniff something not quite right.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Why Terry should stay as England captain

 suppose, as it appears to be the hot topic of the moment, that I should join the debate about John Terry's captaincy of England.

He has crossed some sort of a line by having an affair with the girlfriend of a Chelsea team mate (Wayne Bridge, now at Manchester City). In doing so, of course, Terry has upset not only Bridge, but the balance of his own family - his wife and twins.

So should John Terry carry on as England captain?

Chelsea obviously see no problem wih the situation as he has carried on as captain of the Blues.

Why should it be any different for England?

Some may say the job's so important and it's representing the nation and all that. Is it? Is that the real reason for all this debate? Or is this just a typical media storm in a tea cup, brought about because of the lifting of restrictions on reporting this story, and the "haven't-we-done-well-to-expose-him?" media frenzy that has followed?

Let's face it. The media (newspapers in particular) love to "get" someone, don't they? And the bigger they are, the better. Captain of England? Top score!

If Fabio Capello sacked Terry as captain (and he won't), who would he put in his place?

Who are the candidates?
Steven Gerrard (he of the nightclub fight accusations)
Wayne Rooney (he of the dubious onfield discipline)
Rio Ferdinand (will he be fit?)

The fact is that Capello chose John Terry as England captain because he is the best man for the job - football-wise. Does there need to be another reason?

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Peterborough sack Cooper after 13 games

Back on 11 November last year Peterborough United sacked boss Darren Ferguson. I wrote about the stupidity of that decision here:

Mark Cooper, previously of Kettering Town, was put in charge.

Well here we are 13 games later and The Posh have now sacked the hapless Cooper. They have won just once since Cooper took over on 14 November.

Cooper said: "I am deeply shocked and saddened that my contract with Peterborough has been terminated. I'd like to offer my sincere thanks to all of the players, all of whom have been 100% behind me, and to my staff."

Chairman Darragh MacAnthony said this on the club website:

"Following Mark Cooper's departure from the football club yesterday I wish him well for the future and have no doubt that he will be back in management sooner rather than later. After losing 8 times in 13 games including five defeats in January where we conceded 12 goals and only scored 1, his position became untenable and I felt it was time for a change for the good of the club.

"I take full responsibility for the recruitment and departure of Mark and will always hold my hands up when something does not work out for the club because of a decision that I make. I can only give the Posh fans my word that I will make it up to all of them for the events over the last three months.

"There haven't been a lot of great times for us in the Championship and our confidence is at a serious low point at present but I have appointed the right manager to take us forward and install some much needed confidence all over the club top to bottom and have a good go at these last 18 games.

"Mistakes get made, but it's not how you make them that matters, it's how you fix them and hopefully we can get back to winning football matches and playing attacking football once more and unite our dressing room and of course our fans!"

New boss is former Motherwell and Stockport County manager Jim Gannon

Monday, 1 February 2010

Who can wrest fourth place from Liverpool?

The fight for fourth place in the Premier League to secure a Champions League spot for next season stumbles on. No one can quite grasp the opportunity.

For all their apparent failings this season, Liverpool are placed fifth with 41 points from 24 games. Tottenham surrendered a lead late on in the game at Birmingham City on Saturday, but they still hold fourth place, but are only one point ahead of Liverpool on even games.

In sixth, with two games in hand on the two above them, are Manchester City with the same points as Liverpool. With only three defeats all season, they still look a good bet, but can't quite get consistency in their performances. Yesterday's 2-0 over Portsmouth was comfortable, but uninspiring. A lace and a point behind City, on 23 games, are Aston Villa, who secured a good 2-0 win at Fulham on Saturday, but otherwise have stumbled of late.

It is then six further points back to Birmingham City whose good run seems only to have secured a Premier League spot for next season, rather than forcing them into fourth-place contention.

Thus, it looks to be between the four: Spurs, Liverpool, City and Villa.

You'd have to say, despite all their troubles, Liverpool look the likeliest.