Archive for the ‘visionsport.TV’ Category
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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West Ham’s move to Olympic Stadium not just hammer blow for Leyton Orient, it will challenge balance of power in London
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.
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.
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.
“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.
Sky TV’s quest to champion Women in Sport is no way diminished by Charlie Webster’s sexy photoshoot for FHM
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.
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?
Behind the scenes on Charlie Webster’s photoshoot for FHM . . .
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
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
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.
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
As Team GB’s cycling heroes prepare for the weight of expectation on their shoulders at London 2012, it is worth listening to the wise words of Performance Director Dave Brailsford, one of the driving forces behind the sport’s outstanding success story in this golden era for British riders.
With one eye on cycling’s legacy after the Games Brailsford told me: “This is the top of one wave as it were where people want to perform and absolutely execute and deliver what they’ve been working for for a long long time. But also we want to inspire the next generation.”
Clearly, the British cycling guru wants Team GB to continue their global domination of their sport. And it was mission accomplished at the Tour de France when Bradley Wiggins became the first Brit to win cycling’s premier event, with world champion Mark Cavendish and Chris Froome sharing in the glory.
But the charismatic coach is on a mission to grow the sport as well as Britain’s medal haul.
“There’s winning which is obviously the most important thing. But it’s not the be all and end all either,” said Brailsford, adding: “People can be inspired not just by winning but by the way you go about it.”
When I asked him if he felt any extra pressure to maintain British cycling’s domination at London 2012 he replied: “I don’t feel any pressure. But there’s a responsibility to be the best that we can be.”
David Beckham’s snub by Stuart Pearce is a disgraceful omission from Team GB for one of the leading lights behind London 2012
Football is about passion, romance and making dreams come true. That’s why we call it the beautiful game . . . and that’s why Stuart Pearce is way off target by omitting David Beckham from Team GB.
Forget the notion that Beckham is too old at 37. His old Manchester United buddy Ryan Giggs, a year older at 38, is one of the three over-age players selected by Pearce along with Craig Bellamy and Micah Richards.
Dismiss the argument that he’s not playing at a high enough level in the MLS. His LA Galaxy team-mate Robbie Keane has just skippered the Republic of Ireland at Euro 2012 and has one eye on the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Please take no notice of the killjoys who do not agree that the fans who want to watch a locally born footballing icon in action at London 2012 should be given their wish. Heaven forbid that the paying customer should have a voice.
At the end of the day, Team GB has not competed at the Olympics since 1960 and this is a one-off representative side to celebrate London being the host nation.
More to the point Becks played a starring role in helping London win the vote to become the first city to stage its third Olympic Games. And his exclusion from the 18-man squad is a shocking slap in the face for a sporting hero who is a true ambassador both for the game and for Britain.
We all know that the former England captain is not the greatest British footballer who ever played the game. But he is nonetheless an outstanding talent . No one can bend it like Beckham. And he remains a remarkable sporting icon who should be a proud member of Team GB.
Shame on Stuart Pearce for failing to recognise Beckham’s role is far greater than a number on a shirt.
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Champions League semi-final . . . and Torres scores! This was match that had everything as Chelsea’s 10-men slay Barcelona
Football is the greatest game on the planet because you just never know when something magical is going to happen . . . and tonight’s epic Champions League encounter at the Nou Camp was one of those occasions that will go down in sporting folklore as a match that had just about every twist and turn you could possibly imagine.
For Chelsea’s heroes, who fought on against all the odds after skipper John Terry was sent off for a moment of madness when he inexplicably kicked out at Alexis Sanchez, it looked like mission impossible when the West London club fell 2-nil behind on the night. Didier Drogba’s one goal advantage from the first leg was blown away in 10 minutes of meyhem at the end of the first half in Barcelona, as Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta struck either side of Terry’s red card.
It was a crazy spell punctuated on the stroke of half-time by a breakaway deliciously converted by Ramires – the Brazilian unfazed by the knowledge his earlier yellow card had ruled him out of the final. It was a mighty blow as powerful as Roy Keane’s in similar circumstances that dragged Manchester United back from the brink against Juventus back in 1999. That made it 2-2 on aggregate and put Chelsea ahead at the interval on the away goals rule. But it was far from the end of the breathtaking drama.
When the world’s best player Lionel Messi – who has never scored against Chelsea – smacked his 47th minute penalty against the crossbar after Drogba felled Cesc Fabregas, it was the start of another riveting half. Barca, with over 70 percent of the possession, came forward in wave after wave of attacks. But when they did find a way past the stubborn 10-men, a raking shot from Messi hit the post and then Alexis Sanchez had an effort ruled out for offside.
When Drogba made way for Fernando Torres I remember saying out load ‘If he comes on and scores the winner all his misses will be forgotten.’ It was a script you could not write and there was another lucky escape for Chelsea when they survived a handball that probably should have given Barca another penalty. But the official missed it and the ball immediately broke to Torres who was suddenly clean through on his own.
It was as if the Spaniard had been signed purely for this moment of destiny and this time there was never any doubt the player who has been guilty of so many shocking misses since he was signed from Liverpool for £40 million in January 2011 would seal the tie. As he effortlessly rounded Victor Valdes and steered the ball into the empty net, the man who had masterminded this remarkable sting, interim manager Roberto di Matteo, began his ecstatic victory celebrations on the touchline.
It was a scene that will be etched into many memories for generations to come. It was the day tactics and experience got the better of the team so many had put on a pedestal as arguably the greatest club side we have ever seen. But on this evidence Barca are not the masters we all thought – and even the magical Messi lost his aura of invincibility as he was brought to his knees by the team that lies sixth in the English Premier League.
FT: Barcelona 2-2 Chelsea (Chelsea win 3-2 on aggregate). Goals: Busquets 35, Iniesta 43 – Ramires 45+1, Torres 90+1
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