Rescinded Red

Oh the media monkeys and their junket junkies will invite you to their plastic pantomime. Throw their invites away.

Boro Reject Downing’s Transfer Request

stewart-downing5Middlesbrough rejected winger Stewart Downing’s transfer request, submitted to the club this morning.

“We received a transfer request from Stewart this morning,” chief executive Keith Lamb said.  “It was considered before being rejected.”

Downing cited the club’s league position as a reason for the request.  They have only 20 points form 17 matches, out of the relegation zone on goal difference.  Unfortunately for Downing, that’s why Middlesbrough can’t let him leave.

Downing, 24, was a graduate of Middlesbrough’s academy.  He’s made 191 appearances for the club over seven seasons.

Middlesbrough allegedly rejected Tottenham’s European value bid of £6m for Downing last week.  It will require closer to the young English value of £15m for the Boro to consider a sale.

Filed under: Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Rumor, , ,

Monday EPL Result: Manchester United 1-0 Middlesbrough

berbatovDimitar Berbatov scored for Manchester United against Middlesbrough.  Undoubtedly, this now justifies spending £31.5m on him last summer and losing Carlos Tevez.

Manchester United has scored only four goals in their last six Premier League games, but have earned 14 points, with four 1-0 victories and no concessions.

Would a content Cristiano Ronaldo get chippy with Emmanuel Pogatetz?

Middlesbrough have lost five of eight and have not won in the league since Nov. 11.

Filed under: Football, Premier League, Soccer, , , ,

Saturday EPL Results: Steed, Big Sam and Ricky

sunderland-v-liverpool-1Hull City 1 – 4 Sunderland: Steed Malbranque had a goal and two assists.  How long before Ricky Sbragia gets the permanent job?

Bolton 2 – 1 Portsmouth: Much less impressive for Portsmouth than it looks.  Could Adams suck them into the relegation fight after January player losses?

Fulham 3 – 0 Middlesbrough: A workman like effort for Fulham, with a fair reward.  The Boro have just three points from their last six matches.

Blackburn 3 – 0 Stoke City: Big Sam engenders the new manager bounce.  With winnable games coming up, he could have them out of the relegation zone by New Years Day.

West Ham 0 – 1 Aston Villa: Both teams played hard, my man. Both teams played hard.  Lucas Neill’s sublime own goal deflection proved, without a doubt, why he’s worth £70,000 a week.

Filed under: Football, Premier League, Soccer, , , , , , , , , ,

Saturday EPL Results: Title Contenders Underwhelm

heurelho-gomes-spurs-190Liverpool 2 – 2 Hull City: Liverpool dropped points for the third time in four Premier League matches.  Gerrard’s brace evened proceedings, and the Reds stirred the pot during the second half.  But with Robbie Keane on the bench, Liverpool could not muster a third.

Tottenham 0 – 0 Manchester United: Spurs held the line despite injuries to King and Woodgate, with the maligned Gomes, surprisingly, making a crucial late save.  The goalkeeper relieved some angst, but Berbatov, the £30m man, will get more supporter scrutiny, as he once again went scoreless.

Middlesbrough 1 – 1 Arsenal: Adebayor scored early, but Aliadiere, who only tries against his former club, equalized to give Southgate his fifth result in a row against Wenger.  Arsenal missed the opportunity to pick up two points on Liverpool and Manchester United.  It’s sad when this is considered decent.

Manchester City 0 – 1 Everton: Neither side had a healthy striker, so it’s unsurprising that they battered each other boringly for much of the match.  What Cahill lacks as a pure striker, he makes up in grit, with his late header earning Everton a huge away victory.

Wigan 3 – 0 Blackburn: Pressure is pushing down on Paul Ince, as Blackburn succumbed meekly in their eleventh straight without a win.  Blackburn fans united with Wigan fans for chants of “You’re getting sacked in the morning.”

Aston Villa 4 – 2 Bolton: Gabby Agbonlahor doubled and Ashley Young scored another to secure Villa a solid victory.  The win moves them past Arsenal into fourth place.  Surprisingly, it’s only their second home league win since September.

Sunderland 4 – 0 West Brom: Sunderland built on last week’s moral victory with a tangible one, sparked by Kenwyne Jones scoring two goals in a minute.  The result moves Sunderland out of the relegation zone and places interim Ricky Sbragia in the permanent job discussion.

Filed under: Football, Premier League, Soccer, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Saturday EPL Results: United Escape Against Sunderland

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Manchester United 1 – 0 Sunderland: Sunderland conveniently picked the match after Keane leaves for their most steely performance of the season.  United outshot Sunderland 31-3 and finally took the advantage on a late Vidic header.

Arsenal 1 – 0 Wigan: Adebayor scored early.  Arsenal hit the post a few times.  Eboue was booed off the pitch.  The Gunners nearly cocked it up, but held on for three points.  Arsenal fans will take it.

Blackburn 1 – 3 Liverpool: This was close for most of the match, but Liverpool caught fire at the end.  Can Liverpool get by on midfield goals?  Winless in their last ten, how much more patience will Blackburn have for Ince?

Bolton 0 – 2 Chelsea: A solid Chelsea victory with little inspiration.  Anelka scored against his former club.  Deco dumped in an overrated scissor kick.  Chelsea has won six straight away at Bolton, without conceding.

Hull City 2 – 1 Middlesbrough: Boro took a late lead from Tuncay, but an own goal and a David Wheater penalty handed Hull the win.  Could Hull be playing in Europe next season?

Newcastle 2 – 2 Stoke City: Michael Owen scored two in the first 24 minutes.  Newcastle squandered the lead.  Shockingly, Joe Kinnear will likely face another conduct inquiry.

Fulham 1 – 1 Manchester City: The biggest club in the world started Darius Vassell up front, and again disappointed away from home.  Jimmy Bullard scored his first league goal of the season.  Fulham look quite frisky this season.

Filed under: Football, Premier League, Soccer, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Saturday EPL Results: Fulham Hold Aston Villa

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Aston Villa 0 – Fulham 0: Consistency is the key to the top four.  Aston Villa showed why they have not yet finished there.  Gareth Barry missed chances, but it was an even performance from both sides.  Fulham deserved the result.

Middlesbrough 0 – Newcastle 0: This was a monotonous stalemate between two similar teams, filled with almosts and might have beens.  The mist overtaking the pitch in the second half fit the dreariness of the spectacle.

Sunderland 1 – Bolton 4: Cisse scored the first goal, but Bolton roared back with four, threatening the Sunderland goal to the end.  Sunderland won’t fire Keane, but his magic seems to be wearing.

Wigan Athletic 2 – West Brom 1: Wigan recored consecutive victories for the first time under Bruce.  Wigan went down on a Titus Bramble error, but fought back to score two.  They are finally getting the results their talent dictates.

Stoke City 1 – Hull City 1: Hull’s road warrior status continued.  They’ve earned 15 of their 23 points away from home this season.  It would have been 17, but for a dubious penalty.

Filed under: Football, Premier League, Soccer, , , , , , , , , ,

Saturday EPL Results: Big Four Shutout

arsene-wenger

Manchester City 3 – Arsenal 0: Mentality improves the narrative, but in reality it’s the squad’s thinness.  Arsenal missed Fabregas, Adebayor, Walcott, Sagna, and Toure.  Every Arsenal outfield sub was teenaged.

Chelsea 0 – Newcastle 0: Profligacy cost Chelsea a win.  The had 70% of the possession and 33 shorts with nine on target.  Newcastle did not challenge Cech once.

Liverpool 0 – Fulham 0: Fernando Torres returned and could not affect the result.  Perhaps, Benitez correctly assessed the Keane-Torres partnership.  Not one you’d expect to drop at Anfield.

Aston Villa 0 – Manchester United 0: United missed a ground-gaining opportunity with Chelsea and Liverpool both drawing.  Villa broke a 14-game losing streak against United, with another solid performance.

Middlesbrough 1 – Bolton 3: Boro conceded two straight away.  They held much of the play, but they could not come through.  Swedish so-far bust Elmander scored his first for Bolton since the opening day of the season.

Portsmouth 2 – Hull 2: Who would have picked this one as the most entertaining?  It was fairly even and the score reflected it, with Hull returning to equalize twice.  The timely Windass salvaged a point for the Tigers.

Stoke 1 – West Brom 0: This match equaled expectations, which weren’t enthusiastic.  Mamady Sidibe broke the stultification with a goal in the 84th minute.  Dave Kitson left in a stretcher.

Filed under: Football, Premier League, Soccer, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday EPL Results: One Big Stalemate

Yakubu

Hull City 2 – Manchester City 2: It was exciting football, or crap defending, depending on your perspective.  This was a good road result for Man City, which says a lot for the Hughes regime.

Everton 1 – Middlesbrough 1: The type of result that will keep both these teams mediocre.  The normally prolific Yakubu scored his first goal in ten.  Is a streak to come? 

Filed under: Football, Premier League, Soccer, , , , ,

Sunday EPL Results: Sulk and Bent Braces

nicolas-anelka

Blackburn 0 – Chelsea 2: Chelsea did not have their best victory, but Blackburn were outmatched.  Nicolas Anelka scored five goals in a week.  Could anyone else look as unimpressive doing it?

Fulham 2 – Newcastle 1: It was a workman-like victory for Fulham, won by crafty Andy’s penalty-winning ability.  Newcastle have two points away from a possible eighteen.

Manchester City 1 – Tottenham 2: Bent built on his midweek form to continue Redknapp’s rollicking run of glory.  The cold weather has tempered City’s bluster and Brazilians, having lost three straight.

Aston Villa 1 – Middlesbrough 2: Villa had a chance to enter the top four, after Manchester United’s defeat at the Emireates.  Results like these hold Villa down.  They also keep the occasionally frisky Boro in the Premier League.

Filed under: Football, Premier League, Soccer, , , , , , , , , ,

Saturday EPL Results: Spurs Keep Arsenal’s Title Hopes Alive

Tottenham 2 – Liverpool 1: The Redknapp Revolution continued for Tottenham, who, nonetheless, still lie in the relegation zone.  Liverpool dominated the first sixty minutes of the match, but, without Torres, made little of it.  Their poor play finally bit them as Tottenham scored two late.

Manchester United 4 – Hull City 3: This did not excite as much as the score suggests.  Man U hit cruise control with a 4-1 lead.  Hull nearly took advantage of it.  The Tigers have returned to earth, allowing 7 goals to Man U and Chelsea, but, within reason, still look troublesome to lesser teams.

Chelsea 5 – Sunderland 0: Keane dropped Diouf and Cisse, consequently, Sunderland managed one shot total, not on target.  It’s clearly facile for Chelsea when Anelka puts through a hat-trick.

Everton 1 – Fulham 0: The matchup was as entertaining as expected.  Louis Saha decided the bleak affair with a late goal, opening his Everton tally.  The win shoots the Toffees up the table, from the general relegation area to Europe contention.

West Brom 2 – Blackburn 2: Ince’s men scored a late goal to save face.  I could not bring myself to watch this match.  Even McCarthy’s sending off–for a mild tackle and a handball–was super lame.

Middlesbrough 1 – West Ham 1: The match went back and forth, but West Ham got their first point after four consecutive defeats.  However, it was against Middlesbrough, which proves nothing.

Portsmouth 1 – Wigan 2: Wigan surprised with a penalty and an injury-time Heskey goal.  Is Adams this uninspiring, or did Redknapp choose the right time to leave?

Filed under: Football, Soccer, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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