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Manchester United have youth on their side and rejuvenated Wayne Rooney will help David Moyes prove critics wrong!

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To Be Continued ID

There has been no shortage of  ’experts’ in the media – not to mention rival fans envious of the Theatre of Dreams – who have spent much of the past two decades predicting the decline of Manchester United. The sudden retirement of the greatest manager in the history of British football and the subsequent appointment of David Moyes as Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor gave the prophets of doom new hope.

With the new manager overseeing the Red Devils’ worst start to a League season since the Premiership was born in 1992, the vultures eagerly licked their lips. This United team is “too old”, Moyes “is out of his depth” and talisman “Wayne Rooney wants to leave Old Trafford” were all the media fuelled chit chat that was the talk of  pubs and clubs around Britain and Radio Phone-Ins that feed off the soap opera that surround the beautiful game.

by John GubbaThe chatter so convincing for some observers that the majority of non-Manchester United fans – and even a large percentage of the glory hunters who have never even been to Old Trafford – were starting to talk about the decline of the Empire as if it was a fait accompli.

But the delicious reality for United’s faithful worldwide army of followers is that the doom-mongers have once again got it all hopelessly wrong.

The honest truth is that Moyes has skilfully overcome a difficult start to what  most people have taken for granted is the impossible job of following in the footseps of Sir Alex.

From the start Moyes has told anyone who would listen that Rooney was staying at Old Trafford and was looking fitter and in better shape than he done for years. With seven goals already for club and country this season Wazza is back to form approaching his best and in the countdown to next summer’s World Cup in Brazil he looks like a player rejuvenated and hungry for a new era of success.

As Ferguson’s “Chosen One” only a fool would write off the former Everton manager after six League matches. While the Reds may currently lie six points behind early pace-setters Arsenal, the gap behind neighbours Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur is just one win and pre-season favourites Chelsea are only four points ahead of Moyes men. There is still a long way to go and the sensational full debut of 18-year old Adnan Januzaj with a matchwinning double at Sunderland before the international break illustrates the real strength in depth of a squad that has been built for longevity.

Yes of course there are a number of experienced, older heads at the club in Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra, Michael Carrick and the unbelievable Ryan Giggs who hits 40 next month. But the truth is that United have an outstanding nucleus of young stars.

There have been youth players making the grade at Old Trafford in every season since the Busby Babes made United great. And the current blend of home grown talent and imported youngsters is no exception.

To suggest that United  are a team in decline because the players are too old is the biggest misrepresentation of the truth by that unrelenting gang of media hatchet men, self-interested critics and so-called experts.

Moyes could easily send out a formidable United team where the veteran of the team is Wayne Rooney at the ripe old age of 27 and the average age is just 23. And I am not talking about fringe players, for example;

David de Gea – 22

Rafael da Silva – 23
Phil Jones – 21
Jonny Evans – 25
Chris Smalling – 23

Adnan Januzaj – 18
Tom Cleverley – 24
Luis Nani – 26

Danny Welbeck – 22
Javier Hernandez – 25
Wayne Rooney – 27

The following subs have an average age of 22:

Ben Amos – 23
Marouane Fallaini – 25
Wilfried Zaha – 20
Nick Powell – 19 (on loan at Wigan)
Jesse Lingard – 20 (on loan at Birmingham)
Michael Keane – 20
Will Keane – 20
Anderson – 25
Shinji Kagawa – 24
Fabio da Silva – 22

Theatre of Dreams - May 2013
As for the old ones how many clubs in the Premier League would turn down the following, even if they do have an average age of  32 including the 39-year-old Giggs:

Robin van Persie – 30
Michael Carrick – 32
Ryan Giggs – 39
Antonio Valencia – 28
Ashley Young – 28
Patrice Evra – 32
Rio Ferdinand – 34
Nemanja Vidic – 32

Roy’s Boys were brilliant against Montenegro and Poland so give Hodgson the respect he deserves for restoring England’s pride

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Poland-2013_GerradHodgsonRooney

As an Englishman I am thrilled that Roy Hodgson did what he promised and secured qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. What makes me proud is that Roy’s Boys booked their place in Brazil with a swagger, proving all the doubters and the critics wrong in sparkling fashion. There is even satisfaction at the way an honourable man has made a monkey out of the media who mocked his appointment less than 18 months ago.

Instead of getting behind the new man, the pathetic Sun ridiculed the way Hodgson speaks. It was a cynical attempt to make money out of a headline designed to sell newspapers. It backfired because even their own readers recoiled in embarrassment at the headline-writers’ sick sense of humour. While the Sun overstepped the mark of decency, the rest of the media have never been shy in taking aim at the man in the top job. Many felt vindicated because of a blind loyalty to Harry Redknapp, the man the majority of hacks wanted to be at the helm because he has a flair for giving the media what they want. I must admit I was initially disappointed that Redknapp was overlooked. but I have always given Hodgson the respect he deserves.

john-working240borderAs I wrote a week before the start of Euro 2012: “There is little doubt in my mind that the new England boss is going to restore pride in the top job. And that is just as important (as success) this time around.” Post tournament I concluded: “Not only has Roy Hodgson shattered the myth that managing England in the modern era is an impossible job, he has turned around a team with no direction and no hope into a confident squad with no fear and a fresh belief that nothing is impossible. To claim a quarter-finals showdown with Italy at Euro 2012, Roy’s boys have confounded the critics. Only all-conquering Germany won more points in the Group stages. And in skipper Steven Gerrard England have been inspired by one of the stand-out players of the tournament.”

What makes Hodgson’s success so rewarding is that he has done it his way, learning and moving on from his mistakes and never losing sight of the end goal and his footballing philosophy, whatever the media throw at him.

And it is not just the tabloids who are quick to criticise at every opportunity. Just about every national newspaper has turned on Hodgson and his predecessors whenever they get the chance. While former England player Gary Lineker, a man who is always ready with a putdown but never goes out of his way to contribute anything positive, is just one example of the broadcast media who have become part of the pack that feeds on the game and never shirks from sticking the boot in.

What has made the England job increasingly difficult ever since Sir Alf Ramsey’s heroes won the World Cup at Wembley in 1966 is a media that revels in destruction, confrontation and fostering an ugly blame culture that stifles creativity and self-expression. It is no surprise that playing for England was losing its appeal for an increasing number of players. While big name managers primarily viewed the challenge as a chance to bank a gold-plated pension.

It is not just the job of managing England that has suffered at the beck and call of the media. Just take a look at the Premier League. Only Arsene Wenger, another dignified man with the thickest of skins, has had any significant time in the hotseat. While I am not an Arsenal fan and never will be, I do feel a warm glow of satisfaction in publicly sticking by Wenger when the knives were out, now that he has his team sitting proudly at the top of the Premier League summit having pulled off the transfer coup of the summer in signing Mezut Ozil.

No way to treat the England manager: Roy Hodgson has made the Sun eat its words

No way to treat the England manager: Roy Hodgson has made the Sun choke on its ill-chosen words

What really makes me laugh is the way the media are skilled in turning things round to suggest they were right all the time to shower abuse on the men whose jobs they could never come close to doing if they were given the chance. Martin Samuel, great writer that he is, does just this in the Mailonline when he argues that the critics got it right because they wanted Hodgson to be less cautious and Wenger to spend big. This argument is so simplistic that I almost did myself injury laughing at Samuel’s bare-faced arrogance.

Tell me honestly, how many people sitting in Roy Hodgson’s shoes would have gambled on picking Andros Townsend for England’s two decisive World Cup qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland. And how many football managers would have succeeded in persuading Ozil to join their team. Not that team selection and transfer activity is the be all and end all. Tactics and creating an unbreakable team spirit is something that only the most gifted of managers get right.

What stands out like a beacon from this World Cup qualifying campaign for England is that Hodgson has created the type of team spirit that we are more used to seeing at a successful club side. In much the same way that Jack Charlton brought success to the Republic of Ireland with a limited pool of talent during his colourful reign from 1986 to 1996, the oldest ever manager to be handed the so-called “Impossible Job” has already done something that his over-rated predecessor Fabio Capello miserably failed to achieve. He has restored English pride for the fans, the players and the manager himself.

The media critics who did not want Hodgson to get the job in the first place will now become self-appointed cheerleaders until the next bad result or shift in public opinion. But we can only make real progress with a long term strategy. Not the kind of short-term knee jerk decision making that we see at some of our biggest club sides. That is why Hodgson must be given a fair opportunity to build on what he has achieved so far. We owe him that at least for getting England to what will be the biggest World Cup in our lifetime.

 

Sorry to disappoint prophets of doom circling Theatre of Dreams: Empire will get stronger under ‘Chosen One’ David Moyes

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BY JOHN GUBBA

Ever since Sir Alex Ferguson caught the world of football by surprise with his retirement, the clamour to predict the decline of the empire he has built over the past 26 years at Manchester United has been deafening.

The appointment of David Moyes as Fergie’s successor as manager at Old Trafford has been greeted by so many so called experts announcing a shift of power in the English game that there has been public perception that this is inevitable.

The Champions of England were relegated to third favourites to retain their title behind Chelsea, buoyed by the return of Jose Mourinho, and Manchester City, who have brought in Manuel Pellegrini to replace ‘failure’ Roberto Mancini.

David Moyes after United's 4-1 win at Swansea City on the opening day

David Moyes will build on United’s opening day 4-1 win at Swansea

The media have revelled in the uncertainty they have gleefully magnified about the future of Wayne Rooney, who remains a Manchester United player and is almost certainly going to remain so for the next year at least – unless there is an almighty last minute merry-go-round before the transfer deadline just 12 days away.

But the reality is this: David Moyes is an outstanding football manager who has the ability and the opportunity not just to keep the red flag flying high above United’s Premier League rivals, but to build on the foundations laid down by his mentor.

As the sorcerer’s apprentice, Moyes can take pride and confidence from the knowledge that he has more right to be called ‘The Special One’ than self-publicist Jose Mourinho because the Glaswegian is ‘The Chosen One’.

Watching and listening to Moyes in action is almost surreal because he is so closely modelled on the man he has replaced in the hotseat.

Once he gets a few more wins under his belt to build on the success of winning the Community Shield against Wigan and crushing Swansea on the opening day at the Liberty Stadium, the doubters will start to believe that this is the beginning and not the end of another glorious chapter in the history of Manchester United.

The next fortnight will tell us a great deal about the destiny of this season’s Premier League because by then we will know who the top clubs have recruited or lost and we will have seen Manchester United play hosts to Chelsea as well as travel to Merseyside to take on rivals Liverpool

Moyes’ opening five matches in the defence of United’s Premier League title also includes a trip to the Etihad to tackle neighbours City. A tougher start it would be hard to imagine. But rather than being a negative this can be a huge boost for the new boss because a show of strength now will silence the doubters and give him the support he needs to build on Fergie’s success.

There is no comparison with what happened 40 years ago when Sir Matt Busy handed the reigns to a young and inexperienced Wilf McGuinness. In those days United had an ageing team in desperate need of rebuilding, despite the presence of Best, Law and Charlton – all in the twlight of their careers.

The modern day United is a club that dwarfs the past because there is a structure in place that has been built on solid foundations, with excellence in every department not least the playing side where talisman Robin van Persie is a majestic footballer at the height of his career and improving with age.

There is an exciting blend of youth and experience with those added ingredients of  confidence, self-belief, talent and above all else an unquenchable never-say-die will to win.

There are those who will doubt Moyes’ ability to deliver until he has put trophies in the cabinet.  And there are many who will enjoy stoking up the pressure the longer that takes.

But I know that Moyes will succeed because Sir Alex was never going to let anyone fills his shoes who was not going to be the right man for the job. And in surrounding himself with the likes of Ryan Giggs and Phil Neville, as well as his established backroom team from Everton, there is a great sense of stability and continuity. Not to mention that Moyes will always have the support and advice of his predecessor whenever he needs it.

My prediction is that Moyes will not need the time that Ferguson was given in his early days at the club and the conveyor belt of trophies is going to keep rolling into Old Trafford. In fact I expect the new kid on the block is destined to make Manchester United bigger and stronger because he is starting from an unprecedented position of strength for a new manager.

All truly great football managers come from Glasgow and it will not be long before Moyes is seen in a different light by the fans and the media who were calling for what they believed would be a more glamorous big name appointment.

RETRO GOAL of the day: David Beckham 1996/1997

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David Beckham – Derby County v Manchester United, 1996/1997
production company: VSI TV for VISIONSPORT

Born on 2 May 1975, David Robert Joseph Beckham is an iconic footballer who made his name playing for his boyhood heroes Manchester United. As a youngster he attended one of Bobby Charlton’s football schools in Manchester and won the chance to take part in a training session at FC Barcelona. After trials with Leyton Orient, Norwich City and Tottenham Hotspur, he became part of a famous group of youngsters who won the FA Youth Cup for Manchester United in May 1992.

He went on loan to Preston in 1994/95 before returning to Old Trafford and making his Premier League debut for Manchester United in a goal-less draw against Leeds United on 2 April 1995. He went on to win six Premier League titles, two FA Cups and the European Champions League with United, and was in the team that won the Treble in 1999.

In 2003 he signed for Real Madrid where he spent four years winning the La Liga championship in his final season before joining LA Galaxy. His five-year spell in America included a mid-season loan spell with AC Milan in 2009. He finally left the States to join Paris Saint-Germain in 2013.

Beckham’s international career saw him win 115 caps for England between 1996 and 2009, including six years as captain. Twice runner-up for the FIFA World Player of the Year, he was the world’s highest-paid footballer in 2004 when his commercial earnings boosted his salary at Real Madrid.

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May 1st, 2013 at 11:59 pm

West Ham’s move to Olympic Stadium not just hammer blow for Leyton Orient, it will challenge balance of power in London

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BY JOHN GUBBA

Whether or not they take full advantage of the opportunity that has been granted to them remains to be seen, and there is still a legal challenge to be considered. But there is no avoiding the facts.Handing the keys to the Olympic Stadium to West Ham United will change the face of football in the Capital.

Whichever way you break this down, there is no escaping the fact that the Hammers will be paying just £15 million pounds for the keys to an iconic stadium with a 54,000 capacity and that could catapult the East End club into Champions League contention.

Purely based on capacity, that will give the Hammers the potential for more matchday revenue than Chelsea or Spurs. It will also put them close to being on a par with Arsenal, who invested £390 million pounds in building the 60,000 seater Emirates Stadium and have consequently struggled to hold off the challenge of neighbours Tottenham as the dominant force in North London.

It remains to be seen if West Ham fans, and most do not want to leave the Academy of Football at Upton Park, will fill the Olympic Stadium. By the time the Hammers are scheduled to take up residence in 2016 they may be watching a team back in the Championship.

Getting keys to Olympic Stadium better than winning the lottery every week for the next year

Getting keys to Olympic Stadium better than winning the lottery every week for the next year

But owners David Gold and David Sullivan, and vice-chairman Karren Brady, in agreeing such an advantageous deal with the London Legacy Development Corporation, have been handed a golden ticket that is better than winning the lottery every week for the next year.

As far as business deals go it is pure genius because when the new owners took control the club was in financial meltdown. Now there is an extremely bright future ahead if the Hammers can build on the solid foundations that have been put in place and continue to make progress on the pitch.

If West Ham play their cards right they could be knocking on the door of the Champions League within the next five years. But there is still much that can go wrong with this master plan and much will depend on the legal challenge  being mounted by neighbouring Leyton Orient owner Barry Hearn.

There is something obscene about the ruthless way the League One club have been dismissively brushed aside by the LLDC. And you have to ask why London Mayor Boris Johnson has been so vocal in his support of West Ham at the expense of both Leyton Orient, who want to ground share, and Tottenham.

The financial facts are simple. The Olympic Stadium has been paid for by the public, the total bill topping £600 million pounds. The cost of extending the roof and adding retractable seats could be as much as £190m. And all but West Ham’s £15 million contribution is coming from the tax payer.

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While Tottenham have the financial resources to search for an alternative, West Ham’s move – and whichever way you break down the figures they are getting it on the cheap – looks like a death sentence for the Os. It is hard to ignore the complaints by Hearn who quite rightly argues his small club are being trampled on.

Hammers fans want to stay at The Academy of Football

Many Hammers fans want to stay at Upton Park: The Academy of Football

“It is a mess, the whole thing has been a mess for the last six years, horribly handled by lots of different people,” said Hearn in an interview with London’s Evening Standard. “We are at the point where we are seeing if the club that is 750 yards away from the Olympic Park are being abused, ignored and sledge-hammered by a massive club.

“We think they have over-stretched their mark and the taxpayer will have something to say about it, but in the meantime we want to preserve the independence and existence of Leyton Orient Football Club.

“It is unbelievable, I remember four or five years ago one of the Olympic organisers said the tenancy of the Olympic Stadium would be decided four months from that point.

“Although West Ham have been confirmed as the tenants, there are still so many questions that need to be asked.It looks to me like there has been a deal done through a back-door somewhere and I have plenty of questions that need to be answered.

“Newham Borough Council have come up with £40million and in the difficult world when you are closing hospitals and libraries and putting people out of work, is this the right money to spend? West Ham are selling Upton Park but only contributing £15million to the stadium, should they be given a free home like this? I’m just asking a question.

“It does seem unfair that Arsenal and Tottenham are spending hundreds of millions of pounds on their own stadiums because they are stand-alone commercial enterprises and West Ham are being levered at huge discount and you have to ask yourself the question why. What has gone on for them to get that deal?”

Hearn is banking on a judicial review in his favour that will force the LLDC and West Ham to discuss the idea of ground-sharing. Whatever the outcome, questions will be asked by the public and the media for years to come.

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Sky TV’s quest to champion Women in Sport is no way diminished by Charlie Webster’s sexy photoshoot for FHM

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Covergirl - who shouldn't Charlie Webster flaunt her good looks?

Covergirl – why shouldn’t Charlie Webster flaunt her good looks?

BY JOHN GUBBA

For anyone to suggest that Charlie Webster has damaged her career by posing for a sexy FHM photo session is simply absurd. Does anyone think that glamour shoots have harmed the reputations of her Sky colleagues Kirsty Gallagher and Charlotte Jackson? Being beautiful never damaged the career of Gabby Logan, one of the most successful broadcasters in TV Sport and recently voted 2012 Celebrity Mum of the Year – and why should it?

I had to laugh when my former associate Charlie Sale wrote in the Daily Mail that “There is considerable annoyance among management and her fellow Sky Sports News presenters over Charlie Webster appearing scantily clad on the cover and inside lads’ magazine FHM.” Sale claims the FHM shoot (video below) “upset a number of her female colleagues, who feel such exposure can only damage their efforts to be taken seriously as broadcast journalists and become known for the quality of their work rather than their looks.” Really?

Vic Wakeling, the former Head of Sky Sports, once confided: “It is our policy to appoint glamorous presenters because that is what the viewers want.” True, Wakeing has retired. While former presenters Richard Keys and Andy Gray got the bullet after embarrassing the channel with male chauvinistic comments a couple of years ago. But that has not stopped the hugely popular satellite channel from filling our screens with good looking presenters, as Webster’s anchor role merely confirms. What’s more, why should they change a winning formula and where does it say in the book of life that you can’t have brains and beauty?

Personally, I have always supported the old adage “If you’ve got it flaunt it.” No one would seriously argue that David Beckham or Jess Ennis have cheapened their image by doing exactly that and cashing in on their good looks. So why should we think any less of TV presenters who do exactly the same thing.

Respect - Claire Balding has huge public support

Respect – Clare Balding has huge public support

Even Clare Balding, the classy BBC thoroughbred with an air of royalty about her, has cast her inhibitions aside and tried to sex up her appeal by proudly posing as a covergirl for Lesbian monthly Diva. Good luck to her and I’m sure the vast majority of the Great British public respect her for doing so.

Instead of trying to sell newspapers with salacious gossip, hacks like Charlie Sale would be doing us all a favour if they paid more attention to giving credit where it is due and highlighting Sky’s current quest to champion Women In Sport. No channel did more to promote International Women’s Day than Sky Sports News with an excellent amount of airtime for inspirational female role models.

Sale, meanwhile, a journalist who would never win a beauty contest, is undoubtedly among the many thousands of readers FHM are targeting by featuring glamorous photoshoots. It would be hypocritical of the sports gossip monger to claim otherwise. He certainly has an eye for a beautiful woman, as I experienced first hand when he brazenly leered over my ex in my presence with accompanying words that I could not possibly repeat here. Does that lose him any respect with his colleagues?

Jess Ennis – role model on and off the track Source: 1.bp.blogspot.com via john on Pinterest

Lady in red - Gabby Logan

Lady in red – Gabby Logan Source: i.dailymail.co.uk via john on Pinterest

Becks appeal - Victoria and David Beckham pose for an Emporio Armani advertisement

Victoria and David Beckham pose for an Emporio Armani advertisement


Behind the scenes on Charlie Webster’s photoshoot for FHM . . .

Michael Owen Announces Retirement From Football Tuesday 19th March 2013

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BY VISIONSPORT.TV

Michael Owen

Michael Owen

Michael Owen a former England striker has announced his retirement from football at the end of the season.

Debuting for Liverpool at only 17 years old, before his famous solo goal for England against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup.

Owen, 33, who scored 40 goals in 89 internationals, played for Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle United and Manchester United and is now at Stoke. Including a hattrick against Germany in England’s famous 5-1 victory over their rivals in 2001.

He said: “It is with an immense amount of pride that I am announcing my intention to retire.

“I have been very fortunate in that my career has taken me on a journey I could only have dreamed of.”

He has scored 220 goals in his club career, winning the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup (three times) and Uefa Cup. Owen was named European Footballer of the Year in 2001 – the first Englishman to achieve the accolade since Kevin Keegan in 1979.

“Having progressed through the ranks at Liverpool to make my first-team debut at 17, before embarking upon spells at Real Madrid, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Stoke City, not to mention representing my country on 89 occasions, I now feel it is the right time to bring the curtain down on my career,”

Do your homework and sports betting will add an extra layer of enjoyment to the thrill of picking a winner

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BY JOHN GUBBA
When I was a kid growing up my father spent hour upon hour studying form and statistics about sport. He had a great love for horse racing and launched a successful broadcasting career giving racing tips on BBC Radio Merseyside.Never did I get to hear about the losses, and God knows there must have been occasions when the family went short because a horse failed to fulfil its potential. But when dad won big it was good news for everyone, including an army of fans who religiously followed all his predictions.Most famously, Ron Gubba was a big friend of the great “Ginger” McCain, the famous race horse trainer who guided the legendary Red Rum to win the Grand National three times.

I will never forget the excitement of watching Red Rum beat Crisp in one of the most thrilling races ever to win the Aintree classic for the first time in 1973. Knowing that dad had placed a sizeable bet at favourable odds six months before the race, after McCain had urged him to back his horse, was my first taste of what it’s like to back a winner because I had also secretly gambled my pocket money.

Luckily for me, because I have never had the time to study the form, I did not get hooked on gambling on the horses. My weakness has always been football. And as a passionate fan I must confess I have been tempted to take a punt on my team from time to time. As any sports fan will concur there is nothing to match the thrill of watching your heroes triumph knowing that you have also hit the jackpot.

For some it is all about the adrenalin rush of winning and it does not matter what they bet on. Many sports fans I have met even back against their favourite team or individual occasionally to soften the blow of losing. While others are addicted to the thrill of in-play betting. We all like to predict what will happen next and the satisfaction of putting your money where your mouth is will definitely give you a buzz when you get it right.

However knowledgeable you are about horse racing – you can bet on the Aintree classic at Grand National betting  – my advice is never gamble money that you can not afford to lose. Treat gambling as a purchase rather than an investment and you will never fail to enrich your sporting experience.

Oh yes, I almost forgot, dad’s winning bet on Red Rum paid for a whole year’s school fees. So do your homework and, you never know, you could be celebrating all the way to the bookmakers.

COMMENTS: Please give me your feedback on twitter @johnnielegend – and stay in touch @visionsportTV

Is Wayne Rooney world class? Why England’s finest will shape up and accept challenge to fulfill potential

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Wayne Rooney - staying at United

Wayne Rooney - staying at United

BY JOHN GUBBA

How pathetic and predictable that the media jumped on the band-wagon of concluding that Wayne Rooney is on his way out of Old Trafford after he was left on the bench for Manchester United’s Champions League crunch encounter with Real Madrid this week.

There is always a stampede of opportunistic journalists and headline writers across every form of media, from newspapers and bloggers to radio and television, who revel in trying to knock sporting heroes off their pedestal, especially if they play for Manchester United.

Ignore all the media gossip and agent-inspired spin whenever you read a story about Rooney because the truth is 99.9 percent of speculation is absolute rubbish, even when so-called experts claim they have been briefed by reliable sources.

The truth is the media spend most of their time trying to guess what is really happening and there are only ever a small handful of people in the know. But newspapers do not care if they think a headline will sell more copies or attract more online viewers. It is that simple.

When Sir Alex Ferguson says Rooney is going nowhere and there is total silence from the player himself then you know that the media got it hopelessly wrong.

Speaking at his press conference pre Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final against Chelsea, Fergie put the record straight when he said: “The Wayne Rooney nonsense first? Or do you want to talk sense? The issue you’re all going on about is rubbish. There’s absolutely no issue between Wayne Rooney and I. The suggestion we don’t talk on the training ground is nonsense. The decision to not play him was purely tactical and he understood that. Wayne will be here next year, you have my word on that.”

Forget the headlines, the real issue for me is that Rooney has underperformed on occasions over the last couple of seasons, not to mention the last three major international tournaments. And if he wants to continue to be regarded as truly world class, United’s England star must show he still has the hunger and desire to fulfil his true potential.

Despite all his goalscoring milestones, there is a sense that Rooney has never quite delivered at the highest level. Even though his record in the Champions League will suggest otherwise.

A remarkable statistic before the Real Madrid encounter was that Rooney had a better record in the Champions League knockout stages in goalscoring percentage terms than Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Didier Drogba or Robin van Persie. But there is no doubt in my mind that Rooney can do better. And that is the challenge he faces if he wants to be regarded as one of the true greats in Manchester United history.

My guess is that Rooney wants the everlasting glory to match his trophies and goalscoring exploits and being left on the bench will give him the nudge he needs to step up and get back to his best. There is no better club in the world to help him achieve his goals and in Robin van Persie he has a the perfect striking partner to make that happen.

Fergie clearly still thinks Rooney will deliver. And that will only change if he fails to respond by working hard to do his absolute best for Manchester United.

Source: guardian.co.uk via john on Pinterest

Download To Own your favourite Town DVDs straight to your computer, smartphone or connected TV

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Download to Own

Download to Own

BY JOHN GUBBA

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

Written by visionsport.TV

December 11th, 2012 at 5:46 pm