Footballrumours’s Blog


Mindgames Backfire on Ferguson
April 20, 2009, 3:05 pm
Filed under: FA Cup | Tags: , , , , ,

Alec Ferguson was left enraged again yesterday after his team were defeated on penalties by Everton in the FA Cup semi-final. The Manchester United manager has a long running history of troubles with referees with the Football Association repeatedly pursuing the manager about is conduct with regard to refereeing decisions against his team. Ferguson has also been in the press recently criticising Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez for an alleged disparaging taunt during a recent match when Liverpool defeated Blackburn Rovers easily. Ferguson seems quite happy to put up his deputies for post-match TV interviews but decides to appear in person when the agenda suits him.

Of course Ferguson is himself no stranger to using press interviews to play mind games with future opponents. Recently we noted his part in a run-in with Harry Redknapp prior to an earlier FA Cup game against Spurs when Redknapp was suggesting who¬†he might put up to play against Ferguson’s team given his injury worries and poor league position. In the end Spurs lost the game and Manchester United went on to the semi-final stage while Spurs have gone on to recover their Premier League position and are even chasing a European competition place for next season. meanwhile Liverpool and Manchester United are almost locked to gether at the top of the league with six and seven games remaining respectively.

Prior to the semi-final Everton’s manager David Moyes made a comment about the match referee Mike Riley being a united fan. In the past Riley has been accused of making decisions biased towards United. Perhaps he should never have been selected to referee the game but he was and found himself in the hot seat when United had a strong claim for a penalty. When the penalty was not awarded Ferguson could be seen jumping around in rage on the side of the pitch and after the game accused the referee of being fearful of awarding it given the pre-match accusations. Had Moyes planted that seed in the ref’s mind?

Benitez has been known to heap praise on Chelsea in the past, saying he thinks it’s a fantastic club and he likes their style, so we may be set for some further rallies between the two managers in the run up to the FA Cup final in May.

Oh and Ferguson was also moaning about the state of the pitch at Wembley this weekend. I think that sums up his state of mind at the moment.



Champions League Headed by English Teams not Players

You may be forgiven for thinking that English football is going through a boom period with teams like Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal all featuring in the Quarter Finals of the UEFA competition. But look over those rose-tented spectacles and you will see a group of top English teams almost bereft of English players. Of course there are a few English players in those squads and some very good ones in fact. BUt look beyond players like Ferdinand, Terry, Lampard, Rooney, Gerrard and Carrick and the remainder is a who’s who of foreign talent.

Fabio Capello has just announced his squad for the forthcoming friendly game against Slovakia and the 2010 World Cup Qualifier against Ukraine and of the 24 players only 8 come from those top 4 teams. Manchester United are the exception, providing four players, but teams like West Ham, Everton and Portsmouth all provide as many or more players to the squad than Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool. In fact there are no players in the Enland squad from Liverpool, the top team in the English league of the moment.



Terry back for FA Cup
January 21, 2009, 4:23 pm
Filed under: FA Cup | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Just a week on from ending the run of Southend’s FA Cup run Chelsea are putting their final preparations together before hosting Ipswich Town at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Ipswich, currently 11th in the Championship, come to the The Bridge full of confidence after their 4-1 victory away at Crystal Palace. Chelsea’s captain, John Terry, was missing from training yesterday, apparently still receiving treatment for the back injury he picked up during the warm-upprior to last Saturday’s game at Stoke, but with Joe Cole out for the season, the return of Terry for the game on Saturday will be crucial. The winner of the game will discover their opponents in next round when the draw for the Fifth Round of the FA Cup is made at 6:15pm on Sunday evening following the big Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton.