Archive for the ‘English Premiership’ Category

Dimitar Berbatov Smoking

I’m a Spurs fan and a big admirer of creative, flamboyant players such as Berbatov. They are my favourite type of player, as everything just seems so effortless.  It’s very sad to see a player who showed such invention and expression at Spurs not even seem like the same player at Manchester United.

I also find it very lazy and idiotic that the press and United fans repeatedly slam Berbatov for his lack of drive and sustained performances. Although last season he had a very similar goals/assists to Rooney’s. This season I believe Berbatov is a prisoner of Rooney’s shift into United’s starring role following Ronaldo’s departure

I would argue Berbatov has already proved under the right circumstances  that he can and will perform within the Premiership at a lesser team than United so his talent is unquestionable. He not only scored 20+ a season but created openings  and consistenty assisted for his team mates and was Spur’s main attacking outlet instigating most of their penetrating offensive plays.

Whenever I watch United play it is so apparent the team look to Rooney whenever possible Berbatov isn’t even an option, also compounding that fact is at Spurs Berbatov was the playmaker, the main man, everything went through him, he came deep to receive the ball and dictated things, often not arriving in the box until late, most of his destructive play was done outside the area, he was free to do as he wished.

Whereas at United he is on a leash in many regards as he’s no longer the showmaster, his team-mates understandably don’t hold him on a pedestal and he is expected to stay upfront and play his back to goal, even though all those factors are clearly not making the best use of his attributes.

I would loosely compare it to having someone like Bergkamp, Cantona or Zola in your team and telling them to stay upfront  and not get involved in the build-up play. Completely wasting their creative talents.

I totally understand why Rooney is the star man and everything goes through him at United but with that Berbatov’s talents are going to waste and are not going to come to the fore.

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For the opening 40 minutes Spurs looked comfortable defensively containing  Arsenal… then it all went wrong!

In attack Crouch was getting nothing but long ball ****, which is so frustrating. I mean it was so obvious it wasn’t working why did the team and Harry let the long balls continue throughout the game?


Defensively I truly think it’s purely a mental thing with Spurs, I mean pro teams just don’t concede 2 goals in the space of 2 , it’s unforgivable. Spurs did the same at Man U last season despite being 2-0 up. They completely collapse time and time again, to spectacular effect like no other team. Something is not right and I don’t think it ever will be unless they get a host of new players/characters in, as their players have done it too many times and not learn the lesson to say it won’t happen again and that they can rectify it.

Not sure exactly how to fix it, but it’s a massive problem that will mean they can’t match the top 4/5 not just purely on football terms but mentally. This was most apparent when they needed just a draw away to West Ham in order to clinch 4th in the league, which they had held for months previously and with that clinch the elusive Champions League spot away from rivals Arsenal. But nooooo not Spurs they managed to be undone by a dodgy lasagne and failed to get that paltry point.

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First thing that comes to mind as I’ve been struggling to come to grips with this for some time now. emile-heskeyWhy does this guy keep getting picked for England, one of the greatest football nations on Earth? I mean his club side Aston Villa don’t even pick him, and for a very good reason his game is extremely limited. Yes sometimes he holds the ball up half decent connecting the midfield and attack but surely that alone does not make him England material?

I would argue no other nation within Fifa’s World Top 20 would play Heskey within their starting line-ups. As he offers literally zero goal threat and for a striker that aint good!. Carew at his club side Villa offers a much better option, holds the ball up well and scores goals. Heskey can jump for headers, but not actually score them, can hold it up, but does not have the technique to play players in and lacks the instinct to get into goal scoring positions.

Only a team like England would persist in playing him as we like strong, fast physical players. Whereas the rest of the world encourage skill, flair and technique in their players from a young age.

Here is my list of strikers I would pick ahead of Heskey to partner Rooney and why.

1. Carlton Cole

Plays a very similar style of game to Heskey, leading the line for West Ham very well the last 2 seasons and, imagine this, actually scores goals. Very strong, can hold up the ball and run the channels just aswell as Heskey, while also having the technique to create chances for himself and others. He’s also impressed during his brief cameos for England.

2. Peter Crouch

Has an astonishing record of 18 goals in 35 England appearances, yes some of the goals were against some of football’s minnows, but alot were also sub appearances.  Lacks the strength of Heskey, but is more effective in the air, has better technique and is better at bring others into play.

3. Jermaine Defoe

I’m convinced he will score at least 20 goals this season and his recent performances for England are evident of how effective this guy is as an out and out goal scorer. I would say he is England’s best actual striker. As I regard Rooney as more of a creative forward. As he prefers to drop deep and dictate play.

4. James Beattie

Has been criminally largely overlooked for England despite performing consistently for some of the Premiership’s lesser teams.  Since arriving at Stoke City he has been a regular scorer. Beattie scored 7 goals in 16 games last season, that’s almost 1 goal in every 2 games for a relegation battler.  Offers just as much of a threat in the air as he does on the floor.

5. Kevin Davies

Yeah lol, but i’m serious… He’s not the greatest striker ever but he does the “Heskey role” better than Heskey! Despite not being the best goal scorer over the years, he had his best season in 08/09 scoring 11 goals in 38 games, a tally Heskey can only dream of! Like Heskey a very limited player but exceptional at attacking set pieces,  strength, holding up the ball and aerially.

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