Tag Archives: Fulham

Wasted chances prove costly in loss to Fulham

6 Dec

Clint Dempsey scored his 37th Premier League goal to lead Fulham to a 1-0 win over 10-man Liverpool on Monday, Dec. 5.  LFC’s Jay Spearing was harshly sent off with about 20 minutes remaining.  Anyways, onto thoughts and observations from the game…

  • The Reds are struggling mightily to put the ball in the back of the net on a regular basis.  Granted, the framework isn’t helping the cause, but too many chances are being missed.  Liverpool easily could have had the lead before Spearing’s red card, which leads me to…
  • Ah, yes, the red card.  Spearing clearly got the ball first, but caught Dembele on the follow-through.  Very harsh for a red card as Spearing was just going hard to get the ball.  I thought the ref had done a good job up until this call, which obviously changed the game dramatically.
  • I am not sold on Andy Carroll at all.  I realize that a strike partnership isn’t born overnight, but Carroll looks lost out there.  He looks like he doesn’t know what to do or where to go whenever Suarez has the ball.  You could see it early on when Suarez played a through ball and Carroll was rooted to the spot.  Additionally, he is not finding enough ways to get into dangerous spaces on a regular basis.  He had a couple decent looks tonight, but after his shot right at Schwarzer, he disappeared.
  • The Reds definitely missed Lucas out there today. Dempsey and Dembele had way too much time on the edge of the area to get off good shots. That’s the kind of defensive lapses that will come back to bite you in the ass.  As a whole, Fulham had too much time to operate in the midfield.  I realize it will take some time to adjust to playing without Lucas, but who will step into that role?  They need someone in that defensive mid role to be successful.
  • I have to give props to Clint Dempsey for his goal today.  He’s now the all-time leading American scorer in the Premier League with 37 goals, surpassing Brian McBride.
  • Inconsistency is killing this team.  Coming off very solid performances against Chelsea and Man City, this was Liverpool’s game to lose.  The team has struggled to play consistently well all year and needs to learn to keep the pressure up (and for the love of all that holy, score goals) for every single game.

Manchester teams looks to continue strong start

26 Aug

Both Manchester United and Manchester City have started the season in dominating fashion and will look to continue that form Sunday against Arsenal and Tottenham, respectively, teams both fighting for their first wins of the season.  Meanwhile, Liverpool aims to improve on last season as they take on Bolton, where they only won once in the first eight games of the year (yikes).  Definitely a solid slate of games this weekend, especially considering the top four clash between Aston Villa and Wolves kicks off action for game week three.

TV SCHEDULE
Saturday, August 27

Aston Villa vs. Wolves – 7 a.m. ET/ESPN2 (Live)
Wigan vs. QPR – 7:23 a.m. ET/Fox Soccer Plus (Live)
Swansea vs. Sunderland – 9:53 a.m. ET/Fox Soccer Plus (Live)
Chelsea vs. Norwich – 10 a.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)
Blackburn vs. Everton – 10 a.m. ET
Liverpool vs. Bolton – 12:30 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)

Sunday, August 28
Newcastle vs. Fulham – 7:53 a.m. ET/Fox Soccer Plus (Live)
Tottenham vs. Manchester City – 8:30 a.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)
West Brom vs. Stoke – 9:53 a.m. ET/Fox Soccer Plus (Live)
Manchester United vs. Arsenal – 11 a.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)

Premier League predictions

12 Aug

The 2011-12 Premier League season starts tomorrow and I can’t wait. I am so ridiculously excited.  My prediction?  This is one of the closest title races in a long time and it comes down to the last couple weeks. As much as I hate to say it, I think that Manchester United will win its second straight title as Chicharito takes the league by storm. I peg Man City as runners-up as the team builds on its success last year. Even without Tevez, Sergio Aguero is more than capable of picking up the slack. Liverpool makes a triumphant return to the top four after two years out and Chelsea rounds out the top four.

Champion: Manchester United
Top Four: Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea
Relegated: Swansea, West Brom, Wolves
Golden Boot: Chicharito, MU

TV SCHEDULE
Saturday, August 13
Blackburn vs. Wolves – 2 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer Plus (Delayed)
Fulham vs. Aston Villa – 9:30 a.m. ET/ESPN2 (Live)
Liverpool vs. Sunderland – 10 a.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)
QPR vs. Bolton – 9:55 a.m. ET/Fox Soccer Plus (Live)
Wigan vs. Norwich – 2:30 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Delayed)
Newcastle vs. Arsenal – 12:30 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)

Sunday, August 14
Stoke City vs. Chelsea – 8:25 a.m. ET/Fox Soccer Plus (Live)
West Brom vs. Manchester United – 11 a.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)

Monday, August 15
Manchester City vs. Swansea – 3 p.m. ET/ESPN 2 (Live)

*One more plug for Fantasy Premier League: http://fantasy.premierleague.com and the code is 1335966-299712!

McBride to retire at season’s end

3 Sep

Brian McBride, my favorite U.S. soccer player and true class act, has decided to call it quits at the end of this MLS season.  McBride got his start in MLS, racking up 62 goals for the Columbus Crew before making the move to Fulham and the Premier League. He’ll see out his final season in a Chicago Fire uniform.

McBride was named Fulham’s Player of the Year in both the 2006-07 season and the 2007-08 season.  He was the team’s top scorer in 2006-07 with twelve goals and helped keep Fulham in the Premier League.  After leaving the club in 2008, Fulham named a pub at Craven Cottage McBride’s.  His success at the highest level in England helped pave the way for other Americans overseas.  McBride has to be considered one of the best U.S. field players to ever play in England.

Of course, McBride was a stalwart on the U.S. national team as well.  He amassed 96 caps and scored 30 goals for the red, white and blue.  He played on three World Cup squads (1998, 2002, 2006) and tallied three goals in the competition.  One of the most recognizable pictures of McBride has to be his bloodied face after getting elbowed by Italy’s Daniele De Rossi in a group stage game in 2006.  Of course, he’s not going to let a little thing like blood keep him down, he was back in the game minutes later.  I mean, hell, the guy’s got steel plates in his face after all the ‘bows that got thrown his way.  He’s the freakin’ Terminator.

McBride’s always been a strong, tough player; the kind of guy any coach would want on their team.  He’s one of the good guys too, donating money and equipment to charities and youth programs.  I still remember going to see him play when I was 12 years old.  I hung around after the game between the Crew and DC United, hoping against hope to get his autograph. And lo and behold, he hung around after the game and signed a bunch of autographs, including the DC United shirt I was wearing. Awesome. I still have it hanging in my closet and really should find a spot for it on my wall.

Here’s to a fantastic career for one of the true legends of U.S. soccer.

Things I missed

3 Aug

Wow, ok, I was out of the loop for a while (woohoo vacation) and so much soccer-ness has happened in that time span. Anyways, here’s the rundown and my thoughts on the latest events.

  • Fernando Torres is staying at Liverpool.  Granted this came out today, but still, it makes me ecstatic, like, I want to shout hallejuiah from the rooftops ecstatic.  It would have been totally lame of him to leave after one down season, so clearly this is the right decision.  It’s also a big boost for new manager Roy Hodgson, who now has both his stars returning.  (Now Torres just needs to work on growing his goal-scoring locks back.)
  • Staying on the Liverpool track, there’s also speculation that Chinese businessman Kenny Huang is interested in buying the club from terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett.  Supposedly, Huang has offered to buy the club’s debt as part of the deal.  There are also a couple other bids out there too, at least, that’s what Martin Broughton has said.  Regardless of what happens, hopefully it goes down before the season starts on August 15.  Hicks and Gillett need to get out.
  • Rafa Marquez has joined former Barcelona teammate Thierry Henry in New York.  Marquez has the capability to play in the middle as both a midfielder and a defender.  Along with stalwart Juan Pablo Angel, the new duo could make the Red Bulls quite dangerous.
  • The ever-entertaining/batshit crazy Diego Maradona is no longer the coach of Argentina.  This is a good thing for Argentina.  Maradona might have been a wonderful player, but he doesn’t have the coaching mindset required of a top international side.  His petulant attitude came out in full force after it was announced that he would no longer be the team’s coach. While his sideline munchkin antics will be missed, his baffling squad decisions and outlandish remarks will not.
  • Mark Hughes is the new manager at Fulham, replacing Roy Hodgson.  Hughes was at the helm of Manchester City for 18 months before being unceremoniously dumped midseason of last year.  He did a solid job coping with all the changes at Man City and had the team on the verge of the top four.  Being in a more stable environment will probably be good for the man.
  • German midfielder Sami Khedira joined Real Madrid from Stuttgart.  Khedira had a very solid World Cup and was able to turn that performance into a contract from one of the world’s top clubs.  Well played, sir, well played.
  • This whole Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona thing is getting obnoxious.  All you Barcelona players need to stop saying incendiary comments.  I’d be surprised if Fabregas left Arsenal this season, but it really is just a matter of time.  But Mr. Fabregas, please know that it’s rude to keep two teams in limbo, make up your mind.
  • Moves I’ve found interesting for one reason or another: David James to Bristol City from Portsmouth, Freddie Ljundberg to Chicago from Seattle, Raul to Schalke from Real Madrid

Hodgson named manager of LFC

1 Jul

And the world keeps on spinning even without the World Cup.  Roy Hodgson has signed a three year deal as the new manager of Liverpool.  The former Fulham man was the 2009-10 Manager of the Year after leading Fulham to the Europa League final.

Hodgson has done well at Fulham, but managing Liverpool is a whole new ballgame with a lot more scrutiny.  He has stated that his goal is to get the Reds back into the Champions League.  I think this is a good starting point, it’s a solid goal and one that is definitely attainable.  He hasn’t gone out and made overly bold assertions about Liverpool winning the league.  He realizes that it’s going to take a little time to get things going back in the right direction.

I don’t envy Hodgson’s position right now.  He’s stuck with two of the worst owners possible, who are jacking up the price of the club so high, no one wants to buy it.  Rumours abound about top players like Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard and Javier Mascherano leaving.  Hodgson definitely has his work cut out for him in trying to keep key players in town and putting together a solid team that can compete at the top of the table.

With a new manager and new owners hopefully on the way, it’s a new era at Anfield.

Atletico and Fulham square off in Europa final

12 May

Atletico Madrid and Fulham will meet in the Europa League final today in Hamburg, Germany. Neither team produced a stellar domestic campaign, but a European trophy would clearly override anything else the team did this season.

Fulham has surprised people in this competition, dispatching Wolfsburg, Juventus and Hamburg en route to the final. Right now, it’s looking like Clint Dempsey won’t get to start, but he’ll likely see action off the bench.

If you have DirecTV, you’re in luck and you’ll actually be able to watch the game. At least, if you get the UEFA channel or you can watch it online at UEFA.com for 10 bucks. Is it really so hard to show these games on TV channels that more people could see?