Archive for 2012
What a huge error of judgement by Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew: hypocrite who manages “wee club in the north-east”
It is hardly surprising that Sir Alex Ferguson’s actions during Saturday’s thrilling victory over Newcastle United and his subsequent reaction to criticsm from beaten boss Alan Pardew has caused a media frenzy. But the truth is that Fergie has hit the target once again with his brilliant response to the ill-judged words of the Magpies’ boss..
When the Football Association confirmed no action will be taken against Ferguson for confronting referee Mike Dean and his assistants before the start of the second half over the controversial way they allowed Newcastle’s second goal to stand, it was a slap in the face for Pardew.
The Newcastle manager made his feelings clear when he announced that Ferguson’s conduct was worthy of a dismissal, adding that Dean will have been “slightly disappointed” he did not take action at the time.
But Sir Alex deliciously put Pardew in his place when he accused him of hypocrisy, describing him as a manager of a “wee club in the north-east” and passionately defended his right to confront referee Dean.
It was pure theatre at his Friday press conference at Carrington when The Boss declared: “Alan Pardew has come out and criticised me. He is the worst at haranguing referees. He shoves them and makes a joke of it. How he can criticise me is unbelievable. He forgets the help I gave him, by the way.
“I was demonstrative but I was not out of order. The press have had a field day. The only person they have not spoken to is Barack Obama because he is busy. It is unfortunate but I am the manager of the most famous club in the world. Not Newcastle, a wee club in the north-east.
“I was demonstrative. I am always demonstrative. Everyone knows that. I am an emotional guy. But I was not abusive. I shouted Mike over. We walked towards each other. I was only on [the pitch] three or four yards. That has been overplayed. The problem for me is that the profile of this club is huge.”
For the record, Pardew was given a two-match touchline ban and fined £20,000 after accepting an FA charge of improper conduct for pushing an assistant referee earlier this season. He was also sent off during the 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur on 18 August when he pushed Peter Kirkup after claiming the ball had gone out of play during a Tottenham attack.
Why Robin van Persie – the missing link for Manchester United’s Comeback Kings – is bringing best out of Sir Alex Ferguson
It is only a matter of time before Manchester United tighten up their defensive frailties and when that happens Sir Alex Ferguson will once again have a team ready to conquer Europe. Do not rule out that happening this season with football’s greatest ever manager hellbent on crowning his career with victory in the Champions League Final at Wembley in May.
In the meantime, the football world can only marvel at the way the Reds have mastered the art of outscoring their Premier League opponents. The Comeback Kings did it yet again when they celebrated the holiday period with a breathtaking 4-3 Boxing Day triumph despite going behind three times against Newcastle.
Javier Hernandez grabbed the glory when he snatched the dramatic last minute winner at the Theatre of Dreams and the magnificent Mexican is once proving he is one of the world’s great predators in front of goal. But it is RVP who is now the main man at Old Trafford and gone are the days when United were over-reliant on Wayne Rooney.
Do not get me wrong. Rooney is still one of the best players in the world and his value to United is priceless. But it is no longer a crisis when Rooney is injured or off form – as he clearly was at Swansea on Sunday. RVP is a rare talent of a different kind and it is no exaggeration to compare his influence on Ferguson’s team to the effect Eric Cantona had when he famously inspired the first Premier League triumph for the Boss back in the early 90s.
It is no wonder that Fergie reacted so furiously when he saw the Dutchman take that blow from Ashley Williams at the Liberty Stadium. In the week he celebrates his 71st birthday there is clearly a spring in the step of the manager who clearly still has that raging hunger for more trophies. And the reason for that is largely due to the signing he this week described as the “missing link.’
Not only is he the missing link. But as his national manager Louis van Gaal also declared this week that 29-year-old Van Persie “has become an even better player at United.”
The Holland boss declared: “Robin van Persie is getting better and better – it’s incredible. He is a super professional player who really knows what he wants from his career and how he will achieve it. I have never seen any player reach Robin’s age and still improve as a footballer. Moving to United has been good for him – and it has been good for Holland.”
It’s no joke: soccer players are at risk of brain damage – that’s why Sir Alex and RVP right to react over Ashley Williams at Swansea
Sir Alex Ferguson is trending on twitter tonight after urging the FA to ban Swansea’s Ashley Williams for kicking the ball at Robin van Persie’s head and claiming it could have killed his Manchester United striker.
Buffoons like Piers Morgan – one of RVP’s biggest fans before he was sold to united by Arsenal – were quick to ridicule Sir Alex, claiming it was a gross overreaction. The former Daily Mirror editor described Fergie’s rant as a “meltdown” and urged followers to re-tweet his verdict that this was the “craziest statement in football history.”
But let’s hang on a minute here before we accept the partisan ramblings of a critic who was sacked for publishing fake photographs of military abuse because this is no laughing matter. The truth is brain damage caused by the impact of the football is a matter of growing concern in the sport and many scientists are trying to get this recognised.
Lying prone on the ground with the play stopped by the referee after a challenge on the edge of the Swansea penalty box, van Persie felt the full force of the ball smashed against his head by Williams.
Fumed Ferguson: “Robin van Persie is lucky to be alive. It was a disgraceful act from their player. He should be banned by the FA. Robin could have had a broken neck.”
United’s furious manager insisted Williams had deliberately aimed the ball at Van Persie, who clearly drew the same conclusion when he reacted furiously. Referee Michael Oliver also saw it that way, booking the Swans’ defender and the Dutchman for his response.
Williams’ claim that it was an accident was not convincing and the video suggests otherwise.
Meanwhile, the seriousness of brain injury caused by the impact of the football is causing increasing concern in the medical profession. In a recent study, Dr. Michael Lipton, of the Albert Einstien College of Medicine states that “repeated heading could set off a cascade of responses that could lead to degeneration of brain cells”.
In his study, he assessed the brains of 32 amateur soccer players and concluded: ”What we’ve shown here is compelling evidence that there are brain changes that look like traumatic brain injury as a result of heading a soccer ball with high frequency. Given that soccer is the most popular sport worldwide and is played extensively by children, these are findings that should be taken into consideration in order to protect soccer players.”
It is widely know that David Beckham can hit the ball at speeds of up to 100 mph. Facts like these and numerous studies are the reason many scientists now believe that brain damage can accumulate from sub-concussive impacts as well as concussions. Sub-concussive impacts are simply impacts to the head that aren’t hard enough to cause a concussion, but still jar the brain a little. Heading the ball qualifies as a sub-concussive hit and today’s impact to the head of van Persie during United’s 1-1 draw in South Wales was an extreme case.
Forget 1966 – London’s Olympic year of 2012 is the greatest ever in the history of British Sport. That is why winning this year’s Sports Personality of the Year Award will carry extra significance for the winner.
Simply getting nominated is an achievement in itself this year and the BBC’s shortlist for the Top 12 is a remarkable roll call of extraordinary sporting heroes. Britain can be proud whoever gets the people’s vote. And we could genuinely make a strong case for every one of these incredible men and women.
The most emotional triumph for me was watching Sir Chris Hoy make it six Gold medals. But this was the year that his good friend Bradley Wiggins put the cherry on top by winning the Tour de France.
It has been a traumatic year for the sport following the exposure of Lance Armstrong as a drugs cheat. But Wiggins and the rest of our great British cycling stars are now deservedly the envy of the rest of the world – and Wiggo this year stands out from the crowd, not just for his sporting achievements, but also as a wonderful personality with style, poise and an impressive aura that makes him the pride of 2012.
Age: 30 Sport: Boxing - First woman to win an Olympic boxing title
Age: 35 Sport: Sailing – fourth straight Gold made him most successful Olympic sailor
Age: 26 Sport: Athletics – Olympic poster girl set three personal bests on way to Heptathlon Gold
Age: 29 Sport: Athletics – first Briton to win Olympic Gold in both 5,000m & 10,000m at the same Games
Age: 37 Sport: Rowing – struck Gold in rowing after three silvers at successive Olympic Games
Sir Chris Hoy
Age: 36 Sport: Cycling – emotionally made it a British record six Olympic Gold medals
Age: 23 Sport: Golf- youngest winner of US PGA Championship since Seve ballesteros and a Ryder Cup winner
Age: 25 Sport: Tennis - ended Britain’s 76-year wait for a Grand Glam champion in epic US Open final after Gold at the Olympics
Age: 18 Sport: Swimming – won two Paralympic Golds to add to the two she secured as a 14-year-old four years earlier.
Age: 35 Sport: Cycling – four cycling titles at Paralympics to complete a British record-equalling total of 11 gold medals.
Age: 33 Sport: Athletics – clean sweep of four gold medals at Paralympics for the ’Weirwolf’
Age: 32 Sport: Cycling – first Brit to win Tour de France and then took his fourth Olympic Gold
When it comes to new technology Ipswich Town have made a giant leap to the top of the table by becoming the first Football Club in Britain to offer our DVD catalogue via a brand new Download To Own (DTO) online store.
While Netflix, Lovefilm and Apple are downloading the latest movies, Planet Blue have embraced the digital revolution by launching our own dedicated service that will bring you the best of the Super Blues at the click of a button.
Our top titles will remain available on physical DVDs because they are still a popular gift item, especially at Christmas. But now you can build your own digital library that you can watch on your laptop, PC, mac, smartphone or connected TV.
Boys of 81, Official History of Ipswich Town, Match of the Seventies and Road to Europe are the four titles available as digital downloads on day one of this new service. And more great titles will be made available soon – including a brand new Great Goals of the Last Decade DVD.
The beauty of download to own (DTO) is that fans can download the complete DVD – including the extras and interactive menus – direct to their own computer or enabled device. This overcomes the streaming issues of variable broadband connection speeds because once the digital file is downloaded it gives you exactly the same experience as having the physical DVD.
Fans can choose between a full licence which enables you to play the file on up to 5 devices and even burn your own physical copy of the DVD, or a 24 hour rental (just like hiring a DVD from Blockbuster without the hassle of leaving home).
The Download To Own service is provided by the club’s DVD production partners VSI Enterprises who will be making the most popular titles in their back catalogue available online.
Check it out now by visiting itfcshop.co.uk
— ITFC Greatest Goals (@ITFCgoals) January 23, 2013
Pat Crerand radio rant: phone-in just a cheap shot by BBC journalists trying to blame Rio Ferdinand for hooligan fans
It is typical of declining standards at the BBC these days that this morning’s 5Live Phone-in deliberately promoted the idea that Rio Ferdinand was to blame for outragous fan behaviour at Sunday’s Manchester derby. It was the latest shameless attempt by the radio station to boost their ratings.
With many callers given airtime, who – like the presenters – had not even seen United’s 3-2 derby win over City, it was yet another hatchet job by lazy journalists trying to fuel public misconception. Anyone with any common sense will be applauding Manchester United legend Pat Crerand for ridiculing the suggestion that Ferdinand was at fault for celebrating the sensational injury time winner.
Ferdinand was hit by a coin as he celebrated the dramatic 94th minute strike by Robin van Persie. Earlier Wayne Rooney, who scored a double to give United a 2-nil lead, was pelted by coins when he lined up to take a corner. And Joe Hart had to intervene when a hooligan wearing City colours ran onto the pitch and tried to get to Ferdinand.
The real issue here is that there is an ugly hard core of hooligans once again tarnishing the beautiful game. There can be no excuse under any circumstances for so-called fans to throw coins or any other missiles at players on a football pitch. No matter how much supporters pay for tickets it does not give them the right to act like animals and run onto the pitch and attack the players.
For the BBC to give credence to the suggestion that fans at any Premier league match only react in such a manner because players celebrate scoring a goal is pure insanity – or as Paddy put it: “ludicrous.”
Crerand has built a cult following on MUTV for his opinionated comments and unbridled passion for Manchester United and it has been my great pleasure to get to know the man behind the microphone, who became a legend along with Best, Law and Charlton in Sir Matt Busby’s 1968 European Cup winning team.
For the past three months I have been filming a documentary with Crerand to celebrate the upcoming 50th anniversary of his association with Manchester United. And I can promise you that this will be a football programme you will not want to miss. The documentary gets its first screening on MUTV on Sunday, 3 February 2013
There is no one in football quite like Paddy, who famously rang a radio station to defend Eric Cantona on the night the Frenchman kung-fu kicked a yob in the crowd after he was sent-off in the match against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park back in 1995.
THE FULL TRANSCRIPT OF PADDY CRERAND’S RADIO RANT AT PRESENTERS CHRIS WARBURTON AND RACHEL BURDEN
Chris Warburton: We’ve had a lot of people getting in touch saying the players have to take a bit of responsibility, stop celebrating in front of opposing fans and stoking it up. I just wondered what your thoughts are on that?
Paddy Crerand: Who’s said that? Who’s made that statement?
CW: We’ve had various calls and texts from our listeners, Paddy.
PC: What planet do they live on?
CW: Well, you tell me.
PC: Well, I’ve no idea. I was at the game yesterday, do you expect fans not to celebrate when their team scores a goal?
CW: No, no, what they’re suggesting is that players are going up to opposing fans and celebrating in front of them and that that stokes the crowd up.
PC: I was at the game yesterday and that is absolute rubbish. Who suggested that, and where did that come from? Absolute garbage. How many people phoned you up? One? Two? Three?
CW: No, no, we’ve had various texts this morning saying the same thing as well.
PC: Well how many? Tell me how many. If you’re going to make a statement like you’re making a statement now, tell me how many.
CW: Just take it from me that we have had a good number of texts…
PC: I’m not taking it from you, you tell me.
CW: Well, I haven’t got it to hand Paddy.
PC: Well why make a statement then, if you haven’t got it to hand? No I’m not taking it from you, why do you make a statement like that when you haven’t got the evidence?
CW: Well, what do you think of the point?
PC: I think the point is absolutely ludicrous. You go to a football match, or any sporting situation, and you think people shouldn’t celebrate? What planet are your people on at all?
CW: No, no, that’s not what’s being suggested.
PC: That’s what you’re suggesting.
CW: In terms of…
PC: In terms of what? Now you’re making excuses for yourself.
CW: I was going to ask you a different question Paddy.
PC: Yeah, go on then.
CW: In terms of the environment at a derby, how has it changed from when you were playing?
PC: It’s not changed in any way whatsoever. I don’t care that it’s a derby, or any football match, people celebrate when their team scores a goal. What do you expect them to do, be quiet? I don’t know what you’re suggesting, I’m totally amazed. Just a minute please – is this a publicity stunt?
CW: No. I think I’ve been quite clear in what I’m saying to you Paddy. Let me ask you a question about the football.
PC: Yeah, well ask me a sensible question then. Don’t talk stupid and ask me daft questions about whether fans should celebrate or not.
CW: Well we asked Danny Mills the question about an hour ago, Paddy, and he gave us quite a reasonable answer.
PC: Well what did he say to you? I’ve no idea what Danny Mills says to you, what was his reasonable answer?
CW: He told us that you can’t hold players in any way responsible.
PC: Of course you can’t. Why make a thing about a sensible answer that Danny Mills gave you that people should celebrate? Of course they should celebrate.
Rachel Burden: I think there might be a bit of misunderstanding here. A number of people texted the programme and people called Five Live…
PC: How many texts? A million?
RB: If you’d let me finish…
PC: Half a million?
RB: If you’d let me finish…
PC: Hundred thousand?
RB: If you’d let me finish the point…
RB: …and the point was about Rio Ferdinand going down to an area where home fans were and celebrating in front of them.
PC: Let me say something to you. Did you watch the game yesterday?
RB: I listened to it.
PC: Well you didn’t watch it then, you don’t know what happened then. Rio Ferdinand was nowhere near where the away fans – where the home fans were. He gets struck by a coin that somebody’s thrown from about 15 or 20 yards, it’s not like he was standing in front of their supporters jumping up and down. He was 15 or 20 yards from their fans.
RB: Do you remember things like that happening when you were playing in these derbies?
PC: I don’t remember anything like that happening, no.
RB: So do you think the atmosphere has got worse over the years?
PC: Why did you change commentators? Why have you come on all of a sudden?
RB: That’s just the way it works on the programme, we both join in together.
CW: Don’t worry, I haven’t run scared Paddy.
PC: Oh, I thought you’d run away there for a minute. No, but let me say, it was a great football match, no question about that. When it went to two each, I thought City were the team that were going to win it. Manchester United finished up winning with a deflected goal and you can’t not accept the fact that fans would celebrate when the third goal went in. And derby matches are a lot different from ordinary matches, obviously, but why somebody would throw something at Rio Ferdinand is totally stupid. Why a fan would run on the pitch…
And to be fair to Manchester City, a United fan ran on to the pitch last year when United beat City 4-3. So the effects of football on people sometimes can go to the extreme, it shouldn’t happen but it does happen unfortunately. And particularly in matches that are local derbies.
— john gubba (@johnnielegend) January 19, 2013
While morons attack Ferdinand, hero Hart protects City’s honour in defeat – but all hail untouchables Rooney and Van Persie in classic
When Joe Hart sprang to the defence of Rio Ferdinand and blocked the path of a mindless hooligan who ran onto the Etihad pitch to try to attack the Manchester United defender it represented everything that was good and bad about the biggest derby of them all.
The morons who bring shame on the greatest football league in the world will never understand that the real heroes are the ones who are not only great players but respect and admire their rivals.
Hart is without doubt the best England goalkeeper for many years and Ferdinand has been the most skilful footballing defender of his generation. To see Hart put the shameless Manchester City yob in his place was the perfect response to bring sanity to a shocking few seconds that began with Ferdinand being hit above the eye by a coin thrown from the crowd.
This was a Manchester derby that touched the dramatic heights that has made the Premier League the most exciting and popular domestic competition in world sport – and it deserves to be remembered for the brilliant football match that it was.
The big flop was Mario Balotelli who demonstrated once again that he does not have the class or consistency to match truly great players who are both brilliant and eccentric. He is just a poor, immature shadow of a true genius like Eric Cantona.
While the embarrassing Balotelli ended up marching down the tunnel in a sulk after being hooked by the manager he let down, the stars of the show served up a feast of outstanding drama.
Wayne Rooney was at his brilliant best. City rode their luck when a linesman’s flag spared them from trailing 3-nil to stage a Carlos Tevez inspired fightback. But the player of the season so far Robin van Persie struck the 94th minute winner that crushed the defending champions 3-2 and sent Sir Alex Ferguson’s untouchables six points clear at the top. Priceless.
Ferguson v Mancini is always an absorbing side show in the derby that is once again the biggest of them all – and Sir Alex is still the master
They may have hit rock bottom in the Championship a few weeks ago – but during the past decade the Tractor Boys have scored some memorable goals. From brilliant match-winners against arch rivals Norwich City to spectacular strikes from a whole host of talented goal-scorers.
To celebrate the Blues’ moving up the table under new boss Mick McCarthy, the club’s timing of the release of their brand new DVD is another great tonic for fans at Portman Road. Featuring 200 of the best and most significant goals from 2002 to 2012, this exclusive programme includes many previously unseen on DVD.
With speculation about the future of their former academy star Darren Bent, it is worth watching just to see the quality of the unsettled Aston Villa star, who would be welcomed back to the Town with open arms if he wanted to go back to his roots.
The DVD stars a glittering array of Blues heroes including both Darren and Marcus Bent, Pablo Counago, Alun Armstrong, Jim Magilton, Matt Holland, Darren Ambrose, Fabian Wilnis, Martijn Reuser, Dean Bowditch, Shefki Kuqi, Alan Lee, Danny Haynes, Francis Jeffers, Jon Walters, Owen Garvan, Tommy Miller, Jon Stead, Connor Wickham, Jimmy Bullard, Jason Scotland, Lee Martin, Keith Andrews and Michael Chopra.
This is the long-awaited sequel to the hugely popular 200 Great Goals DVD that featured great Blues strikes from 1962 to 2002.
Watch the Official Ipswich Town’s Greatest Goals of Last Decade: 2002-2012 Trailer Today for some Great Blues Action!
Official production for Ipswich Town Football Club by VISIONSPORT.TV
COPYRIGHT IN THIS VIDEO BELONGS TO VISIONSPORT.TV & VSI ENTERPRISES LIMITED. WE FILMED OR LICENSED THE MATERIAL, RECORDED THE AUDIO, OWN ALL RIGHTS IN THE MUSIC AND PRODUCED THE GRAPHICS, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
How long before Rafa is waving goodbye?
Who would bet against Rafa Benitez getting the boot long before the end of his interim spell as Chelsea manager? In a job where winning does not guarantee you staying in the hot seat, there is surely little chance of the Spaniard avoiding the axe based on his shocking start to life as the Blues boss.
Benitez got his excuses in before his side surrendered the lead to crash 3-1 at West Ham when he explained his squad was tired. In an unsubtle dig at Roberto di Matteo, he said: ” I’m not here to criticise, but that’s the reality. We will be stronger as a team and a squad if we juggle them.” But blaming his popular predecessor for failing to rotate his squad will not protect him.
Ron Suart, in charge for just 31 games during the 1974-75 season, holds the ineviable record for being the permanent manager in charge for the shortest number of matches at Stamford Bridge. Not counting the single match caretaker role of Ray Wilkins, Gus Hiddink’s three months in temporary charge is the shortest reign under Abramovich. The Dutchman is the only manager to leave by his own choice. Benitez has indicated he would like to extend his 6 month deal. But his credibility has already been damaged after his first 3 matches have produced two goal-less draws and a hammering at Upton Park.
The irony here is that Roman Abramovich, perceived to be chasing the dream of bringing beautiful attacking football to West London, had it all under di Matteo who, since delivering both the Champions League (below) and the FA Cup, was starting to turn on the style when Chelsea hit the top of the Premier League at the start of the season.
The reality is that Chelsea are now saddled with a £50 million striker well past his best in Fernando Torres and a manager who one suspects is also in decline. He may have a contract as interim boss until the end of the season. But Blues fans will never accept the former Liverpool boss, even if he does achieve something at Chelsea, which already looks doubtful. And as we all know the only thing a contract with Abramovich guarantees is a pay-off because the Russian is always liable to wake up one day, click his fingers and send Benitez back to the job centre.
Classic goals and other great freeviews on visionsport.TV
Manchester United legends past and present at Old Trafford for unveiling of statue for ‘The Boss’ confirm he’s Simply the Best
Words alone are simply not enough to pay tribute to the greatest football manager of all time – and it is impossible to overstate what Sir Alex Ferguson means to Manchester United.
It was wonderful to see legends past and present make the pilgrimage to Old Trafford to witness the unveiling of a magnificent statue in honour of the great man.
Fittingly placed in front of the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand, it is an everlasting monument to a dynasty that began 26 years ago and has emulated the success of that other great Knight who first elevated United to the status of the world’s most famous football club, Sir Matt Busby.
The return of many of Fergie’s greatest recruits including Eric Cantona, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Gary Neville, Andrew Cole, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Peter Schmeichel and Edwin van der Sar gives you an indication of how highly The Boss is regarded. And the heartfelt messages broadcast on a video screen from the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham, Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho underlined the significance of the occasion.
Beckham thanked Ferguson for giving him ‘the best years of my career’ while Ronaldo vowed to return soon for English lessons. It was pure theatre at The Theatre of Dreams attended by the entire current squad along with fans and other VIPs.
Manchester United have become masters at getting the tone and dignity of such occasions absolutely spot on and this was another perfect performance crowned by Sir Alex’s wife Cathy unveiling her husband’s statue.
“Somebody has to control me and Cathy is the only one who can,” quipped Ferguson as his wife climbed the podium to do the honours. ”Mind you, I’ve made her promise to come here every Saturday morning and bow down in front of me.” That is not going to happen – but for generations to come millions of Manchester United fans will certainly do the honours and pay tribute to the greatest manager of them all.
SIR ALEX FERGUSON THE ULTIMATE ROLE MODEL – AND THE GREATEST FOOTBALL MANAGER THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN
United legends turned up in honour of The Boss: Former players Solskjaer, Cantona, Yorke, Cole, Van Nistelrooy, Van der Sar