Blog Archives

Underrated players: Liverpool’s Robbie Fowler

Liverpool to win the FA Cup and the League Cup – 4/1 with William Hill

It’s obviously strange to describe someone that scored so many goals as ‘underrated’, but there’s now a whole generation of fans who don’t know quite how good Robbie Fowler was, or saw the diluted, injury-ravaged version of him at Manchester City.

Honestly, he’s still the most natural finisher I’ve seen in England. Alan Shearer may have scored more goals, but in terms of looking comfortable in front of goal there wasn’t anyone even approaching prime-era Fowler.

Left-foot, right-foot, head – absolutely lethal with all them. And with that added blend of mischief which made him likeable and three-dimensional than most of his contemporaries. So it’s not really that he’s underrated, but undervalued, because he’s not talked about nearly enough considering what he did in the Premier League in the 90s. And obviously also because I just wanted an excuse to post this.

So, partly because I’m bored of writing negative things about Liverpool, here’s a solid half-an-hour tutorial on how to put the ball in the net, direct from God. Nose plasters, bleached hair, line snorting and all…

Liverpool to win the FA Cup and the League Cup – 4/1 with William Hill

FIFA 12 goals – Barcelona’s Leo Messi

Let’s have a break from all the John Terry nastiness and do something a little more light-hearted shall we?

First up, the best from the best – EA’s compilation of the best online goals scored using Leo Messi.

The Premier League Owl is on FIFA (premleagueowl) – haven’t got the finest football game on the planet yet? Sort it out.

Tottenham target Loic Remy

So Harry Redknapp has declared how much he ‘likes’ Marseille forward Loic Remy – and I think we all know what that means by now.

24 years-old, just over 6ft tall, and with seventeen caps and four goals for France, Remy is one of the best amongst the second-tier of European forwards – and one word to sum him up? Rapid. Absolutely lightning quick.

Spurs would have to come up with at least £20m for him, but they could do a lot worse…

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All of Thierry Henry’s goals for Arsenal

Thierry Henry to score first goal against Leeds? 4.00 with Paddy Power – claim your £20 welcome bonus today.

Something mainly for Arsenal fans, but not a bad way to spend 20 minutes whoever you support. Thierry Henry will likely feature at some point at the Emirates tonight against Leeds, so that’s a fairly good excuse to raid YouTube for all of the Frenchman’s goals from his first spell at the club.

Arsenal’s Robin Van Persie – All 20 goals from this season

Exactly as it sounds – here are all Robin Van Persie’s goals from his season so far. Fantasy team gold.

Discussing Chelsea’s interest in Hulk

..Or that may be ‘Hulk’s interest in joining Chelsea’. Theodoro Fonseca, agent to the stupidly-named Brazilian, has had this to say over the Christmas period:

“In all transfer windows there are polls and contacts with several clubs.

Andre Villas-Boas knows him very well and they have a very good relationship. Hulk loves Andre and he would love to work with him at Chelsea or with any other team because he likes the way he coaches.

In football everything is possible, but his buy-out clause is very expensive, so his future will depend on the agreement between the two clubs.

However, Hulk is doing very well at Porto and he has a very good relationship with the club.”

That buyout clause is £87.5m if you’re wondering. Realistically, as with all buyout clauses in Southern Europe, it’s inflated for the sake of protecting the parent club – so no, Porto don’t actually believe he’s worth that much, and nor will any transfer that takes him away from Portugal be anything like that size.

Hulk’s a funny one, because he’s an example of a player that benefits both from playing in an inferior league and from having a memorable moniker. It’s not fair to say that he’s not a good player, because he is, but don’t be drawn in by the highlight reels of his goals – playing in Portugal is not like playing in Spain, or Germany, or England. So while his 36 goals in 53 games return last season isn’t totally-miseading, it is still a distortion of his talent.

There’s been no indication of Chelsea actually having concrete interest in the forward, and nor will change I don’t think. Andres Villas-Boas may very well ‘like’ him, but that’s not the same as believing that he would translate to a top-tier league.

It’s just an opinion, but I think Hulk is at Porto to stay for a while – because given the disparity between his asking price and his ability, I don’t see any of the suitably affluent clubs in Europe taking a risk. He’s a Liverpool, Valencia, Lyon, Atletico Madrid type of player, rather than a Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, Manchester United sort – if that makes sense.

Anyway, here’s one of those highlight reels – he’s quick and there’s no questioning that he can leather the ball, but watch how much some of the defenders back off him…

Arsenal’s Robin Van Persie – First 100 Goals (Video)

Healthy, free of injury, and dragging Arsenal up the table – here are Robin Van Persie’s first 100 goals for Arsenal.

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Best & worst of the weekend – Luka Modric and Roberto Mancini


…Luka Modric’s goal against Liverpool.

I bet that woke you up after lunch didn’t it?

If Modric produced this kind of strike on a semi-regular basis, then nobody would have argue with Daniel Levy’s astronomic valuation of his Croatian playmaker. Almost peerless in possession, never misplaces a pass, strong on the ball – goalscoring has been the one string missing from his bow since his arrival in England. Couple yesterday’s strike with the one he scored and Croatia ten days ago, and Modric developing a habit for being a threat from thirty yards.

Amongst the many things that will have pleased Harry Redknapp yesterday, was Modric’s reaction to scoring. Come the end of the season, the whispers and agitating may all start again, but for now the player does at least look content to call White Hart Lane home. How many times have you seen a player dip in form after being denied a lucrative move – not so Modric, who seems to have actually got better. Credit to the Chairman for keeping him, credit to the manager for lifting him, and credit to the player himself for such a startling contribution.


…Roberto Mancini claiming to be ‘down to the bare bones’

Oh, Roberto, just when we were starting to like you and your attacking team. Word of advice; if you spend your Summers unsettling and then buying other teams’ prized players, then nobody is likely to tolerate your bleating when you run out of midfielders.

‘We are lacking at this moment because we lost two midfielders. I don’t have players. I can only change the full-backs.’

By ‘only change the full-backs’ we presume he actually means ‘only change the full-backs, forwards, wingers, centre-backs and goalkeeper’ – because City’s bench at Craven Cottage featured at least one alternative in all of those positions. Poor City, it must be tough making do with Yaya Toure, David Silva, Gareth Barry, and Samir Nasri.

Video of Tottenham new boy Souleymane Coulibaly

You’re going to hear lots of people describing this boy – boy is accurate, he’s still only 16 – as the new Didier Drogba. It’s inevitable, and it’s lazy, but it’s a measure of quite how good Coulibaly is in front of goal. Anybody who watched the U17 World Cup over the last month will know quite how complete a forward he could develop into, and his range of goals and composure in goal-scoring situations is extremely impressive. Equally, if you can find a better hat-trick than his against Brazil you’ll have done well.

Tottenham fans are probably going to have to wait to see him, talented or not he doesn’t yet have all the physical attributes he needs to play at the top level. Still, given how much Harry Redknapp hates the Europa League, you never know…

Premier League Highlights: Fulham Vs Liverpool

All the goals – and some very special ones at that – as Liverpool give Fulham a proper seeing to at Craven Cottage: