Saturday, 23 April 2016

FA Cup Semi could see both managers get the sack.

Manchester United face Everton in the first FA Cup semifinal today, a massive match as not only will the two clubs compete for a coveted berth in the final but many believe both managers jobs will hang on the result.
In all honesty though, more so than Louis Van Gaal (LVG) the axe has been hovering over Roberto Martinez head for a while now. Roberto has won the FA Cup before as manager of Wigan. Since taking over at Everton it has been a case of two steps forward and three steps back from Moyes Everton era's shadow. The Merseyside club now sit 11th on the Premier League and they come into this semifinal off a 4-0 slaughtering by their Merseyside rivals Liverpool in mid week and the confidence is lacking right through the squad.
For LVG it may not be so clear cut that a loss today will see him hanging up his managerial boots, in fact he could win the FA Cup and still that wont be enough to finish out his final year of his 3 year contract. Especially because champions league qualification lays in others hands not his own teams.
MATCH FACTS
*** This is the third time Everton have met Manchester United in the semi-final.
*** They've been paired together 11 times in the cup, with Everton winning six of those games, and United winning five.
*** Under LVG they have faced Everton four times with LVG winning three.
*** Everton have won 6 of their last seven FA Cup semi-finals but have needed extra time and penalties in four.
*** Manchester United have only scored once in their last four Wembley games vs Everton.
*** Manchester United last 5 fixtures 5 wins in 6 (W W L W W W)
*** Everton last 5 fixtures no wins in the last 6 (L L D D D L)
TEAM NEWS
Everton
Everton face defensive problems for their FA Cup semi-final clash with Manchester United at Wembley.
Ramiro Funes Mori is suspended following his derby red card while full-back Seamus Coleman is definitely out and captain Phil Jagielka a likely absentee.
Roberto Martinez is optimistic John Stones will have recovered from illness but Gareth Barry (groin) faces a late fitness test. Defender Matthew Pennington has been recalled from a loan spell at Walsall to provide cover.
Possible squads: Robles, Oviedo, Stones, Baines, Barry, Besic, McCarthy, Lennon, Cleverley, Barkley, Deulofeu, Lukaku, Howard, Connolly, Davis, Pienaar, Kone, Osman, Mirallas, Niasse, Pennington.
Manchester United
Bastian Schweinsteiger, Luke Shaw and Adnan Januzaj are Manchester United's only absentees.
Germany midfielder Schweinsteiger (knee) is unlikely to play again this season but left-back Shaw (leg) is working with a physio as he steps up his rehabilitation.
Januzaj is building his fitness before featuring for the first team but Chris Smalling is fit to play at Wembley after a late knock in the midweek win against Crystal Palace.
Possible squads: De Gea, Romero, Valencia, Darmian, Varela, Smalling, Blind, Jones, Rojo, Fosu-Mensah, McNair, Fellaini, Carrick, Herrera, Schneiderlin, Lingard, Mata, Depay, Young, Rashford, Rooney
Prediction
It is going to be a long day at the office for a certain blue manager and  #JCBAlikeThat. It won't be a goal-fest because with LVG's Manchester United it never is but I can't see anything but a red win.

Jade Christopher Bentley Adams signing off
(@Jcba & on IG @Jcba_Official)


Wednesday, 10 February 2016

The Premier League changes its logo.

The most lucrative football league in the world, The English Premier League (EPL), yesterday unveiled its new official logo, which will be used from the 2016-17 season onwards. The division's lion icon has been the face of England's top flight since its launch in 1992 but has undergone a makeover to give it a fresh, modern look.
It means, EPL is ending its 12-year association with Barclays bank and will from now on be known simply as ‘the Premier League’.
The new logo – has a crowned lion’s head gazing to the right, accompanied by either the words ‘Premier League’ or ‘PL’ -- will replace the current logo of a lion with its left paw on a football. All 20 clubs in the top flight have also agreed a new centralised sponsorship strategy, meaning the league will no longer have a named sponsor.
“From next season we will move away from title sponsorship and the competition will be known as the Premier League, a decision which provided the opportunity to consider how we wanted to present ourselves as an organisation and competition. We look forward to sharing more details of our new positioning in the coming months,” said Premier League managing director Richard Masters in a press release."
In doing so the Premier League will now be able to shake hands with iconic American sporting competitions such as the NFL and NBA.
My two cents on the new Logo
Change is always difficult and for a while it will be strange but in the end keeping up with changing times does call for you to step up and The Premier League has done just so. #JCBAlikeThat

Jade Christopher Bentley Adams signing off
(@Jcba & on IG @Jcba_Official)

Sunday, 7 February 2016

DOUBLE Dutch .... at the Bridge

United and Chelsea find themselves in the unenviable positions in the rat race that is the Premier League. Normally this fixture has the title in the sub-plot yet to be honest both teams would be satisfied with just making the Champions League places, man oh man how things have changed.
The Dutch duo's of Guus Hiddink and Louis Van Gaal have a history of facing each other 8 times in their careers and the Blues temporary boss holds the advantage of just losing once to his compatriot. 
There is just 14 Premier League games remaining and with results yesterday, United must win today if not to possibly win  the league but to at the least underline their top 4 ambitions. The Reds unfortunately have a disappointing record at Stamford Bridge as well, with just one victory recorded from the last 13 Premier League visits, a 3-2 win in October 2012 when a former red Chicharito scored a late winner.
The reigning champions can  boast an undefeated run under Hiddink, granted more draws than wins but they still haven't lost since the Special One left. LVG's chargers are in good nick too after their midweek exploits goals do look more forth coming.
Player to watch Chelsea
Diego Costa has look like a man reborn after the change of manager at Chelsea and his form of late will have the United defence on high alert, he could well be a game changer.
Player to watch Manchester United
Wayne Rooney has been in rich goal scoring form with 7 in 7 and is well on his way to becoming the clubs record goal scorer. If Chelsea want to keep up their unbeaten run the will have to keep the United skipper at bay.
Referee: Michael Oliver will be the man in charge at Stamford Bridge. United have lost one and won one when he has officiated their fixtures this season, notably the Reds 3-1 victory over Liverpool.
Prediction
History smiles on the the home side especially at the bridge and it is about time United pull one over on the Blues. What better time that later today to just so. I wouldn't say United are favourites but I can say I'd much rather be in LVGs shoes than that of Guus Hiddink's. United to win by one if there is a winner!!!!

Jade Christopher Bentley Adams signing off
(@Jcba & on IG @Jcba_Official)

Saturday, 6 February 2016

The Darkest Day


February 6th will forever be circled on the calendars of everyone connected with Manchester United.
From www.manutd.com official club site
On that day in 1958, the darkest day in United's history, 23 people - including eight players and three members of the club's staff - suffered fatal injuries in the Munich air crash.

Flying back from a European Cup tie against Red Star Belgrade, the team plane stopped in Germany to refuel. The first two attempts to take off from Munich airport were aborted; following a third attempt, the plane crashed.

Twenty-one of the people on board died instantly. Aeroplane captain Kenneth Rayment died a few weeks later from the injuries he sustained while Duncan Edwards - one of the eight victims from the team - passed away 15 days after the crash. The tragedy is an indelible part of United's history, as is Sir Matt Busby overcoming his injuries to build another great team which won the European Cup 10 years later.
Roger Byrne (28), Eddie Colman (21), Mark Jones (24), David Pegg (22), Tommy Taylor (26), Geoff Bent (25), Liam Whelan (22) and Duncan Edwards (21) all died, along with club secretary Walter Crickmer, trainer Tom Curry and coach Bert Whalley.
Eight journalists died - Alf Clarke, Tom Jackson, Don Davies, George Fellows, Archie Ledbrook, Eric Thompson, Henry Rose, and Frank Swift who was a former Manchester City player. Plane captain Ken Rayment perished, as did Sir Matt's friend Willie Satinoff. Travel agent Bela Miklos and crew member Tom Cable also died.
We will never forget.
Jade Christopher Bentley Adams signing off
(@jcba & on IG @Jcba_Official)

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Sporting Traditions

Sport sometimes takes over supporters lives, they arrange their schedules around their teams fixtures and don't want to be disturbed during a match (the wife says I'm guilty of the latter). So when I read an article in a new South African Magazine Tjop & Dop about sporting traditions it gave me the idea to do some research myself I then added some more to the traditions Tjop & Dop featured in their second edition of their mag.
The War Cry

It's probably the most seasoned tradition in all of sports, first performed in 1884. The Haka is also used by other teams neighboring New Zealand, as well as the Hawaii football team, but the Ka Mate remains the golden standard, and it's easy to see why. The International Rugby Federation tried to ban the Ka Mate, because it was a non-sporting act designed solely to intimidate, however the Haka is so rooted in the All Blacks and embedded in New Zealand culture that the motion was overruled. A testament to the strength and weight of the tradition. Its intensity makes it awesome, it's rich history makes it the best tradition in all of sports.
The Older the cap

In the early 90s an unofficial practice emerged amongst Australian test players to never replace a baggy green cap, most notably by Steve Waugh. Although there is no official rule against a player obtaining a replacement cap from Cricket Australia, this almost never occurs, and the increasingly dilapidated state of an aging baggy green cap is a de facto symbol of seniority amongst the players in the team. Another tradition instituted by former captain Mark Taylor (but suggested by Steve Waugh, and one that still occurs today) is the practice of all players wearing the cap during the first session in the field of a Test match, as a symbol of solidarity. Even Shane Warne and Mark Waugh, known for their preference for a floppy sun hat, observed this tradition without question. Modern players seldom wear the baggy green cap while batting, choosing a protective helmet instead, especially when facing faster bowlers.
Gimme your Shirt!

Jersey swapping is said to have originated in 1931 after France stunned England in a friendly match by scoring five goals against the football powerhouse. The French asked for the English player's jerseys as a sign of respect and a way to commemorate their victory, thus jersey swapping was born. Currently, FIFA does not allow the exchanging of jerseys after games but the rule is enforced loosely and players have found a way to swap jersey's in the tunnel out of the prying eyes of the media. You will see them signal to the tunnel when an opponent signals he wants to swap his Jersey .
Walk-Off a Pie

A tradition used strictly in baseball, a player is usually pied in the face after a walk off hit. However, they may also find themselves pied if they pitch a no hitter or perform some other heroic act for their team. The pie is usually deployed while the player is giving an on-field post game press conference. That way the player is concentrating on something else, can't really run away because they've got equipment hooked up to them and look like a fool on national TV, it's the optimal pieing time. Pies are usually made of shaving cream.
Bath standing up

The Gatorade bath is a sports tradition that was started in the mid-80s by NFL players. The Giants claimed they started it in 1985 when they doused coach Bill Parcells, however the Bears would argue that they started it in 1984 when they showered Mike Ditka after clinching the division. The tradition gained fame in 1986 after Parcells was doused 17 times that year, including a Superbowl win (man, that must have sucked). While the tradition may not seem that appealing to coaches the image of someone tipping the bucket on their coach's head can only conjure up memories of euphoria and victory, making this tradition especially sweet (no pun intended).
Milk ?

In 1936, Louis Meyer found himself in the winner's circle at the Indianapolis 500. What's the first thing Meyer reached for? Why, a nice cold bottle of buttermilk to refresh him. Meyer was photographed gulping down the beverage and the image ultimately made its way to the National Dairy Council who saw a golden marketing opportunity: Make sure from that day on, that every winner of the Indy 500 was seen slugging a bottle of milk! A tradition was born, one of the most original ones in sports.
Heckling

Okay this “tradition” is more of a problem but it occurs while a golfer takes a swing and the heckler shouts out to distract him. Golf is not an ideal sport for heckling. The constant hush, stern crowd conduct rules and vigilant officials make sure that anyone who makes a peep is removed from the premises and beaten with large saps in the parking lot. But it happens (not just on the Golf course but in other sporting codes too) and some have mastered the art so well they have cost many a few golfers a shot or two.
Strawberries and Cream

No one does custom and tradition quite like SW19 Wimbledon Championship is famous not olny for its all tennis whites but equally so for its famous consumption of strawberries and cream. A classic British dessert that is associated with tournament in the same way the pumpkin pie is associated with Thanksgiving. The dish itself supposedly dates back to the 1500s, and became associated with Wimbledon at its outset, as strawberries came into season right at the time that the Championships were starting. Or, if you prefer, legend has it that George V introduced it as an ideal pairing when he came to watch in the early 1900s. Either way, the dish has become inseparable from tennis’s most important tournament.

Jade Christopher Bentley Adams signing off
(@Jcba & on IG @Jcba_Official)

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Kloppdisselboom

Klopp has now been a 100 days at the helm at Anfield and to say his team have been inconsistent is an understatement, after out playing both Chelsea and City they go and lose to Newcastle and West Ham.

They are unbeaten at home in their last five in all competitions most notably their last fixture against the Gunners. Louis van Gaal's side also drew last time out after conceding late at Newcastle and until this midweek fixtures I would have said that United form and style would cause Klopp's injury hit Liverpool with some serious problems. But the high risk; end to end and even gung ho football both teams are playing now does make my mouth water at the prospect of loads of goals at either end. Lets not forget the both scored three in midweek granted they shipped three too.
The sight of Juan Mata at Anfield in white is not something Liverpool will fancy and for me its a Fantasy Footy thing.
Stats
  • Only Everton v Liverpool (20) has seen more red cards than this fixture in Premier League history (16), and only Liverpool v Spurs (19) has seen more penalties awarded than this fixture (18).
  • Van Gaal inflicted Klopp's biggest defeat as Dortmund manager in September 2009 when his Bayern side won 5-1 at Signal Iduna Park.
  • If Manchester United score it will be their 100th goal against Liverpool.
  • Wayne Rooney will be looking to score in four successive games for Manchester United for the first time since March 2012.
  • Rooney (175 goals for Man Utd) is now level with Thierry Henry (175 for Arsenal) for the most goals for a single club in Premier League history.

Players to look out for
Liverpool's Brazilian flair could pose a threat against a frugal United defence as he has always performed against the big hitters in the league, they still missing the other Brazilian.
United's youngsters have the potential to turn this fixture on it's proverbial head the likes of Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard but the return to form of Wayne Rooney could be most telling.
Liverpool Team News
Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren will not be fit to return against Manchester United on Sunday.
The Croatia international is still recovering from a hamstring injury sustained at Stoke earlier this month, while none of the other players on a lengthy injury list are close to fitness.
Striker Daniel Sturridge, who has been out since the start of December with a similar problem, is still not ready to make his comeback.
Manchester United Team News
Bastian Schweinsteiger is a major doubt for Manchester United's Barclays Premier League trip to Liverpool on Sunday. The German missed Tuesday night's draw at Newcastle with a knee injury and despite making good progress is expected to remain on the sidelines.
Phil Jones could return from his ankle problem but Antonio Valencia (foot), Luke Shaw (leg), Marcos Rojo (shoulder) and Michael Carrick (knee) are all definitely still out.

Surely this can't be a draw, I mean it won't. But what usually happens in these massive EPL fixtures is so hyped up and all we get is a stalemate and disappointment all round. The difference here is that a draw would mean nothing for both teams and though a loss could signal missing out on a top 4 place they might well throw caution to the wind again and hope they come out trumps.
Prediction
Liverpool to score first but if you look at the quality on hand for Klopp and Van Gaal the latter has an edge and it will show over the course of the 90 minutes, I see goals in fact I hope for them and I can see United KloppING their host by a clear two goals.

Jade Christopher Bentley Adams signing off
(@Jcba & on IG @Jcba_Official)