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Posts Tagged ‘Tuncay’

Cup fever, Australian agony,the window closes….maybe on Jose?

February 1st, 2011 No comments

It wasn’t a classic, but all the same, mission accomplished!  For the second year running we are through to the fifth round of the FA cup.  Our hopelessness in the competition has been genuine and legendary but it seems we are starting to change.  On Sunday it took some grinding and battling but in the end Huth’s header and Sorensen’s spot kick saving expertise saw us deservedly go through.  Not that the Wolverhampton public seem too concerned by their exit.  The lousy crowd of 11,967 was disappointing to say the least.  They may well have relegation avoidance on their mind, but all the same,  it was a poor showing.  I’d like to think that had it been a home tie we’d have had more interest than that. 

Whilst attempting to avoid  prematurely evaluating the quantity of poultry, the fifth round draw could have been much harder.  Brighton is a game we will understandably expect to win.  That was the good fortune we lacked three times last season!  If we can get through to the quarter final and receive another favourable draw we could soon hear the taste of  Wembley in our red and white nostrils.  But we are still Stoke in the FA Cup….. more likely we are a goal down to Brighton after ten minutes and laboriously struggle to an 80th minute equaliser then lose the replay on penalties.  That’ll teach us for allowing a rare streak of optimism to infiltrate our psyche!

The transfer window came and went.  For Stoke City it was a subdued affair.  Tony Pulis and Peter Coates made it clear that a deluge of new signings was unlikely and so it proved.  The main focus of our attention was the possible sale of Ricardo Fuller.  For various reasons players do well at some clubs but can struggle at others and for Stoke Fuller has been very good indeed. We’ve managed to keep hold of him which is a relief.  We could debate and consider the reasons for his near departure but the fact is we may never know the whole story.  There are so many factors (many financial) in why a player chooses to leave or remain at a club it’s too hard to speculate on.  Suffice to say it’s good news to keep him for at least another six months.  How Fuller feels himself at staying with us is another thing we may never know fully!  It’d be harsh if any Stokies wished Tuncay anything but best wishes on his move to Wolfsburg.  While his form was sometimes patchy he gave us some great memories.  As for another departure…..  in years to come we’ll reflect on the Gudjohnsen situation and wonder what that was all about.  An expensive and baffling little episode, and again, we may never know the full story about his time with us.   

The most damaging aspect of Gray and Keys comments about females in football is that, being a human being, Sian Massey will at some stage  make a mistake.  That mistake will receive excessive media scrutiny and put increased  pressure on her.  It could lead to some asserting that females don’t understand the offside law after all…. oblivious to the fact that plenty of male officials make errors.  The Sky boys club could have a lot to answer for.

The story of Stoke and Kris Commons sums up the progress we’ve made. Six years ago he left us and some of us were disappointed. But now, despite him being an international and  the prestige that comes with it, very few of us would want him back. This symbolises how far we’ve come.  A talented player, who is still only 27 now isn’t good enough for us.  His move to Celtic also symbolises how short of financial clout the Scottish League is.  For a club of Celtic’s size and stature to buy a player from the English Championship isn’t necessarily  a compliment to the player, it’s a sign of how Scottish clubs are having to make do and mend with little light at the end of the tunnel.

The final of the Asian Cup between Australia and Japan was how a cup final should be.  Neither side was paralysed by fear and both played attacking football, which might not seem to be the case for a game which ended 0-0 after 90 minutes.  They each created chances but couldn’t quite get the finish right,  Harry  Kewell squandering the best chance of all.  Japan’s late winner came from a technically excellent volley but you have to wonder why at such a crucial stage the Australian defence went walkabout.  So a 0-1 defeat for Australia but there are plenty of positives to be taken.  It’s all part of a learning curve and the experience of playing in an international final has a multitude of benefits.  In the same tournament in 2007 Lucas Neill arrogantly inexplicably made public an expectation of winning the tournament without losing a game.  That was based on nothing and when Japan put a poor Australian campaign out of it’s misery  by winning the quarter final on penalties justice was done.  Four years later Australia underrated nobody and did a professional job throughout.  Not quite having the armory to lift the trophy is frustrating but nothing to be too downcast about.  This campaign proved how much  the national side here has improved.    It’s also worth remembering that losing to a team of Japan’s stature is nothing to be ashamed of.  They have much more international experience and in the final perhaps it was that extra experience that made the difference.  From the local perspective it’s pleasing that some of the A-League players made the step up, Brisbane Roar’s Matty Mckay in particular… but I’m biased of course! 

It’s only February but there is little doubt that Real Madrid’s defeat at Osasuna was exceptionally good news for Barcelona.  There many points still to play for but it’s increasingly clear that  it’ll be the European Cup which determines whether or not Mourinho’s season is a success or failure.   Whether he stays at the Bernebau for a second season remains to be seen.  Mourinho has already been saying how much he misses working in England but who in the Premier League could realistically afford to employ him?  The only real possibility would be if Man City failed to reach 4th spot and the owners wield the oilstained axe.   But it speaks volumes for the stature of the self proclaimed special one that should he feel the blade on his neck in Madrid it’ll hardly dampen his employment prospects. 

One of the weekends bizarre football moments came in Germany where Arjen Robben clouted teammate Thomas Muller.  Here it is in installments!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlCcpENytr4

Turkish Delight and Brazilian brilliance

January 19th, 2011 No comments

Our win against Bolton was solid if unspectacular.  After edging ahead we rarely looked likely to relinquish the lead.  We were on top all over the park.  The only phase of the game that Bolton got involved in was the period after half time when they looked as if they had received the proverbial rocket up their collective backside, but we soon extinguished that fire.  Keeping clean sheets is a priceless habit and Bolton couldn’t find a way through, this in itself was the most pleasing aspect of the game.  Another great positive was the performance of Tuncay.   He was instrumental in our attacking play often adding those quirky little touches that gave our game an extra dimension, and his pass for Ethers run, which led to the penalty, was simple but perfect!   The real endearing thing about Tuncay is that he smiles when he plays!  In a football world where players can look thoroughly indifferent after reaching a European Cup Final, it’s refreshing to see a player who actually looks as if he enjoys playing football.  Some of his supercilious fellow professionals could do with following his lead.  Another memorable point from the game was late on when the black bin liner blew across the pitch.  Not as amusing as the halcyon days of a dog on the pitch but  memorable all the same.

After a comprehensive victory it may seem overly niggly to pick fault BUT is there any chance at all of our players improving the free kicks at goal?  Wilson’s on Saturday was dire.  They either go into the wall or fly miles over the top.  Pennant hit the bar away to  Bolton but apart from that there has been  no threat at all.  For a side that doesn’t create much from open play a free kick gives a great chance to get a shot on goal but after each one I can’t be the only aghast Stokie pondering what they do in training all week.  If the time spent practicing Rory’s throw ins, (which are increasingly looking a spent force) was taken working on free kicks on goal, and shooting in general for that matter we’d increase our scorability, which wouldn’t be a bad thing at all!

It’s quietly pleasing to have made some progress in the FA Cup.  The game at Cardiff certainly wasn’t a cup classic but you can’t do more than win.  Several of the fringe players got a much needed game and came through.  Soares involvement was a surprise as I’d totally forgotten about him!  It all provides more experience for Ryan Shotton too who appears to be one of our bright young things.  Walters leaague form is patchy but scoring those two goals won’t harm his confidence at all.  Wolves away next and it would be preferable not to face a Premier team away.  However, I don’t like to focus on omens too much but in the last two seasons the team that has knocked Cardiff out has gone on to lift the trophy.  Is that a reason for optimism?  No, probably not. 

Despite being a lover of football traditions, it’s foolish to deny that the FA Cup has lost much of it’s polish in recent years.  Seeing games played out on front of half full stadiums and managers clearly regarding the whole competition as a nuisance isn’t an inspiring spectacle.  The FA holding this years final on a weekend of a full Premier League programme hardly suggests that it’s a priority for anyone.   But that  shouldn’t  stop us dreaming!! 

Such was the media furore surrounding Avram Grant’s position at West Ham, their game against Arsenal had the air of a public execution.  Each close up shot of the beleagured gaffer greeted with a comment about his impending sacking.  By half time Grant had become little more than a figure of pity.  The mismanagement of his proposed dismissal from the powers that be at Upton Park is as haphazard as it is disrespectful.  Treating the manager with that kind of contempt is ludicrous.  Allowing the approach to Martin O’Neill to become public was clumsy and damaging, esspecially as they were to be in a live televised game later that day.  If you want to sack a manager you sack them and pay them off.  That O’Neill has rejected the offer leaves Gold and Sullivan with some much derserved egg on their faces.  Amazing that after undermining Grant, David Sullivan had the audacity to come out and call for everyone to support him…..  even in the glib world of football speak that was a bit rich.  As for Martin  O’Neill, At 58 O’Neill has one big job left in him.  Methinks West Ham isn’t it. But if Dalglish doesn’t fancy it long term it wouldn’t be a huge shock if he was to turn up at Anfield.

Steve Bruce has expressed his disappointment that Darren Bent has chosen to join Aston Villa.  Shouldn’t he have balanced that with showing his elation at the size of the fee?  18m which could rise to 24m.  Despite the initial shock of the fee, if Bent injects the goals that Villa’s forward line is missing it could prove to be a shrewd investment.  Houllier will be painfully aware of the ramifications if Bent doesn’t succeed at Villa Park.  

One of the best moments of the weekend’s football came here in the A-League, Alex Terra’s goal for Melbourne Heart against Perth Glory was spectacular.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewQUsDq1dr8  You could drag out the well worn cliche about ‘if a Brazlilian had done that’…  but for the fact that Alex Terra actually  is a Brazilian!

Halfway to the magical 40 and Machiavellian administrators

November 30th, 2010 No comments

It’s understandable that a manager wants to defend his team.  It’s easy to appreciate that a manager might want to publicly focus on the positive aspects that come from a game.  But even bearing those things in mind it’s hard to believe that Roberto Mancini seriously honestly believes that Man City deserved to beat us on Saturday.  If so you have to engage, as Tone did, that well worn mantra for all football supporters when a view on a game differs from their own… “What game was he watching?”   To engage yet another football cliche, it was clearly a game of two halves.  There was a story that on arrival on the pitch at the Brit to warm up Balotelli, to the amusement of the Stoke coaching staff, dashed down the tunnel clearly unsettled by the cold.  In the first half it seemed not so super Mario’s discomfort had become a virus which spread throughout the team.  For the first 45 minutes we played with impressive intelligence, one aspect of which was that we allowed them to have the ball where it couldn’t hurt us.  They could indeed play 10 passes in a row but if that’s done in areas which can’t hurt us, and angles are closed to limit their options, why waste energy frantically hassling and clattering?   We paid a  price for our inability to gain a lead from our first half dominance.  For much of the second half we had difficulty breaking forward, but for all Man City’s possession they didn’t create many clear cut chances.  There were several potshots but little seriously tested our defence.  It took a combination of skill and opportunism from Richards to out us behind.  Richards dummy and turn combined with Collins lack of concentration led to a shot on goal he buried in style.  Some might blame Begovic but it’s hard for any keeper to save a shot hit with such power and accuracy.  It looked as if that was that, especially as we seemed unable to rally to launch the usually obligatory  siege on their penalty area.   But in the end, and it really was the end, that marvellous bit of skill from Tuncay let to Ethers ruthless finish to gain us a well deserved point.  So precise was that little piece of Turkish delight (sorry) that Ethers didn’t even have to break stride to take his shot.  There was little time for anything else in the game so all that was left was for Mancini to attempt to rewrite history.  One point that has to be made about Man City is that they do have some great talent in their side, but are a long way from being substantial title challengers.  Stoke away is a serious test of character and how the challenge is dealt with demonstrates whether you have the resilience to stay competitive.  For all the millions spent they didn’t do nearly enough to win this game and in the first half didn’t want to be out in the cold.  Their collection of superstars need to be reminded that points win leagues. not hairstyles.    That puts us halfway to the magical 40 mark.  Lets hope we can maintain the desire of the last four games 40 won’t be too far away!  Well done Stoke, we have a team to be proud of long may it continue.

It’s commonplace for Barcelona to dismantle sides.   The striking difference  this time is that  it was done against a top team filled with stars and a tactical master at the helm.  Aside from the initial humiliation, Real Madrid don’t actually have that much to worry about.  There is still a long way to go and despite the obvious psychological advantage many twists and turns lie ahead.  Many bemoan the fact that the Premier League is unbalanced in terms of TV money distribution, yet in Spain each club negotiates their independent TV rights deal.  This means that Barcelona and Real Madrid can maintain their dominance almost totally unthreatened  by the minions.  There are murmurs that they are both seriously considering sharing some of  the money to assist their poorer brethren, it’s  hard to imagine the English mega giants choosing such altruism. 

It’s pleasing to see the British home office report stating that arrests at football are down 10%.  Apparently, in a World cup year,  there were no arrests for England fans abroad.  Is it the first time ever this has happened?   http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/crime/football-arrests-banning-orders/fbo-2009-10?view=Binary

The announcement of World Cup hosts for 2018 and 2022 is imminent.  It’s actually more crucial for the national football health of Australia to host 2022 than it is for England to host 2018.  In England football exists continues to generate interest and income and remains prominent.   Here it’s different.  The energy and expense that goes into a bid like this is phenomenal and if the show arrives here in 2022 it looks like a shrewd investment.  If the party takes place elsewhere the resources used by the bid could appear to be seriously wasteful.  Bearing in mind the A-league has several clubs in financial disarray, it will be suggested that the money used to fund the bid could have been more wisely spent by helping to provide infrastructure for the game here.  The irony is that while moving to FIFA’s Asian section was an intelligent step to take, if Australia had stayed with Oceania they would be near certainties to host the tournament. 

It’s now highly unlikely the Joeinoz dream of successive tournaments in England and Australia will come to fruition.  Consecutive World Cups in predominantly white predominantly English speaking nations doesn’t sit well with FIFA liking to present themselves and as a globally inclusive entity which is trying to save the world from the tyranny of oppression.  Admittedly this image of universal harmony didn’t stretch as far as asking delegates to consider a nations  history of racist abuse  when voting, but why get off the train when the gravy is still simmering?   Combine this with the sickening way that English journalists  daring to expose corruption in the bidding process has damaged the English bid, it’s unlikely to court favour with those whose gravy train is in danger of being derailed.  The odious Jack Warner of CONCACAF has been wined and dined by David Cameron seeking forgiveness and votes.  It’s increasingly clear that hosting a tournament is little to do with suitability to do so, it’s all politically motivated.  The internal wrangling gives Machiavellian a complex for not living up to itself.

New signings a new manager and mock shock

September 9th, 2010 No comments

The transfer deadline arrived amid the usual media bullshine and ballyhoo BUT this time it was different.  Different because Stoke City were one of the main players in the bi annual game of protracted negotiation.  Since reaching  the Premier League it’s felt at times as if nothing changed when transfers fall through andwe’ve look on enviously as other clubs seem to effortlessly acquire their targets.  Now we have turned that around and we have bought several new players in… like a Premier League team does!!  It’s hard to imagine Jonesy won’t be a first choice striker so the main interest will be who partners him.  It has been widely suggested that Gudjohnsen is a long way from match fit leaving Fuller Walters and Tuncay contending for the starting spot.  These are difficult decisions but that’s all part of a manager’s job, and there are much worse situations a football manager has to confront.  By the time we face Aston Villa  on Tuesday morning,  the new players will have had a nearly fortnight to train with their new colleagues and for the gaffer to impose on them what’s required.  Over to you Tone!! 

The Villa game takes on new levels of interest with our new signings taking their bow and it being their first game with a new manager in charge.   Gerard Houllier is the latest manager to try and squeeze Villa into a top four spot.  His excitable predecessor blew his chance when their 08/09 campaign disintegrated after a 2-2 draw with us.  Can Houllier gel all that potential into a side that can dine at Europe’s top table without getting food down their shirt?  Tuesday morning will be their first step on that journey.  We mustn’t give the genial Frenchman the warm welcome we gave to Sam Allardyce at Blackburn.  It was exasperating to read reports that Big Sam had motivated Blackburn to a much needed victory.  In actual fact, we decided to hand the game to them by way of brainless defensive errors.  Sonko’s unnecessary lunge set the tone for the rest of the first half.  No new manager anywhere  will ever have an easier welcome.  

Is anyone seriously appalled by the allegations / revelations (delete where necessary) about Wayne Rooney’s private life?  Did the populace  collectively feint in exasperated, astounded, disgusted, devastated, marinated shock?  I can’t help thinking the News of the World are tapping into the mood of the nation, that being their is still a lot of anger over the horrendous World Cup campaign.   Not that many people seem too bothered aboutwhat he may or may not have done!!  If his two England performances are any indicator the pandemonium has inspired him!  Two excellent performances that made a big contribution to two victories for England and the ideal way to start to lift the dark clouds of South Africa.  Joe Hart was impressive against Bulgaria and, despite a few edgy fumbles, was competent against Switzerland.  It’s important that now, despite the aforementioned fumbles, FabCap makes it clear that Hart is no.1.   It ends speculation and gives Hart confidence and sheds any fear he may be feeling.  Similarly Adam Johnson has surely earned an extended run in the team.  A new younger face and feet filled with talent.  Give him a starting place against Montenegro andtell him to enjoy himself.  Although it contradicts the aura a lot Englandplayers carry in tournaments it might be refreshing for them to remember it is possible to play for England and have a good time.  It was Brian Clough who’s main motivational technique was to ensure that his players never went out to play with fear in their hearts.  Two wins is an excellent way to commence the campaign, this may seem premature but victory in the next game actually gives us one foot in the finals.  And preparation for 2012 starts now.  It’s hardly a surprise that Capello has announced he’ll be leaving the job after the European Championship.  Since the World Cup he’s had the air of a man wondering why he ever took the role in the first place.   So who to replace him?  It’s highly likely the next manager will be English, and why would that surprise anyone after the roaring success of Steve McClaren?   

One of the oddest rumours is that Ryan Giggs could be poised to take the job of managing Wales. Surely this is paper talk.  There has been suggestions he could combine the job while still playing.  Well despite what gets suggested you can’t really manage part time.  He should remember that Brian Clough said he’d happily give away his managerial success to have completed his playing career to it’s natural end.  While he had the job Kenny Dalglish was asked if managing Liverpool was the best job in the world and he said it was the 2nd best job in the world….  the best was PLAYING for Liverpool.  Giggs shouldn’t be too hasty.

Only 84 days until the announcement of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts.  Hosting the World Cup could be the biggest thing in the history of England.    Nobody can deny The English game has had sickening problems since 1966 but it’s time.    Many things have improved in the last twenty years and the world coming around for a  dinner party (a very big dinner party) would be the perfect  way to celebrate these developments.   Please register here and back England’s bid to host the 2018 World cup.

http://www.england2018bid.com/support/register.aspx

MysticalDescent’s views on England v Algeria

June 19th, 2010 No comments

Player Ratings First:

James – 6 – Did all that was asked of him but never looked confident and his defence looked like strangers to him.

Johnson – 5 – Can’t defend and he never showed any of his supposed attacking prowess. Unfortunately he’s all we’ve got.

Carragher – 6 – Even if he’s slow and clumsy, he did a decent job of getting the basics right, unlike everybody else.

Terry – 5 – Another shaky performance.

Cole – 5 – Was more willing to get up the flank, but was poor in his control of the ball and his he ultimately contributed very little.

Lennon – 5 – Struggled to get into the game and when he did, he made some very poor decisions.

Lampard – 4 – His tournament must end now if England are to progress.

Barry – 5 – Some good defensive play in the first half, but as the game went on his distribution got worse and worse.

Gerrard – 5 – Showed promise when he drifted into the middle, but you cannot, you absolutely cannot, just abandon your post like that with absolutely no discipline whatsoever. He was played on the left wing and he left that area of the pitch completely empty most of the time.

Heskey – 6 – Not as good as he was against the USA, but once again he was the only player in England’s attack to actually turn up and do a job. He gets more criticism than he deserves.

Rooney – 4 – The pressure seems to be really getting to him. When I’ve seen him in person, he has almost never given the ball away. This time, every time the ball touched him it would almost instantly return to Algeria.

Wright-Phillips – 5.5 – Just plain not good enough.

Defoe – 5 – Offered absolutely nothing.

Crouch – 5 – Barely touched the ball.

Let’s make no bones about it; this performance was simply not good enough. We weren’t stifled by a team that set out to defend, as Algeria had no such intention and were just as courageous as us. Like the USA, Algeria is a very poor side comprised mostly of players who play several levels below England’s superstars. The fact that one of their biggest stars, Madjid Bougherra, spent a large portion of his time at Crewe Alexandra and Sheffield Wednesday should tell you an awful lot about the quality of player that they have. Responsibility has to lie with both the players and the manager. You may disagree with the team that Capello fielded, I know I did, or even his system, but the 11 players out there should have been capable of scoring at least one against such a poor team. Lampard have several opportunities to put England players through on goal, but instead chose to take a hopeless shot from thirty yards or give it away, Gerrard cost the team width and balance by choosing to spend the entire game sitting in the middle and Rooney seemed to completely buckle under the pressure, having now failed to do anything productive in 180 minutes of football.

Rooney with Djamel Abdoun
A good night’s work for Algeria, but more pressure on Rooney

I worry that the manager has fallen prey to one of Sven’s biggest weaknesses. We all knew with depressing certainty in Euro 2004 that no matter how poorly David Beckham played, he would be guaranteed to play the full 90 minutes. I get the impression that the manager thinks that certain players seem to do so well for their clubs and are so highly rated by everyone that they must play, no matter what. The fact is this: England have only one world class player, Wayne Rooney. The likes of Gerrard, Lampard and Terry are good players, but are massively limited and selfish in an England shirt. They stand out in the Premier League, but that is because they get away with murder thanks to the assistance of their superior foreign team-mates and the referee. All three can do the spectacular stuff, but are simply nowhere near world class. They get all the plaudits simply because they are English players who do the spectacular stuff for their side. Gerrard may still score screamers from the edge of the box in the last minute for Liverpool, but it’s no coincidence that he’s been powerless to stop their slide since the sale of Xabi Alonso. The manager must make some gutsy calls in time for the next game. He’s the man who shipped Ronaldo out of Real Madrid, so I don’t think it’s beyond him.

He would do well to learn from Stoke City’s example. On paper, most teams would probably fancy themselves against Stoke, but there is a rigid system packed full of players who fill a very specific role in that system. If players don’t fit in, they don’t get in the team. People may tear their hair out when the likes of Tuncay and Kitson can’t hold down a place, but the right players play in the right system and it works. For what it’s worth, I believe that England has the right system, but we are picking the wrong players for that system. The midfield is currently the weakness and 2 chances created in 180 minutes of football goes a long way to showing that. Gerrard finally seems to have hit form for England and he’s been sandwiched into the left wing position. On a good day, he’s ineffective there, and on a bad game like last night he’s completely free of discipline and just wanders about doing whatever he pleases, completely abandoning his post. Joe Cole, the only player in the England squad with experience of playing on the left wing at international level and one of England’s few creative sparks, seems to be behind Lennon, Wright-Phillips, Gerrard and Rooney in the picking order for the left wing position. This just does not make sense. Gerrard is probably England’s best central midfielder and is wasted out wide, keeping somebody who can play in that position out of the team (sound familiar, Stoke fans?). The odd one out is Lampard, who for all his superstardom is simply not good enough. I suspect some supporters will be unable to cope with the loss of somebody who is ‘obviously’ good, but if you cannot fit in, you are nothing to the team. Barry should partner Gerrard, but we’d be much, much stronger in the centre if Paul Scholes had been convinced to return. He’s done his job very quietly this season and he doesn’t get forward as much these days, but Scholes is still the best English central midfielder. He can receive the ball off the defence and his range of passing is then superb. England sorely misses somebody like him. Up front, the Heskey and Rooney partnership is probably the best we have, but their roles need to change slightly. Heskey should drop a little deeper and Rooney should focus on spearheading the attack as an out and out striker rather than falling back into midfield. At the very least, those small tweaks would us through to the next round, but Capello must have the guts to stand by his system and get rid of Lampard.

Capello on the touchline

Capello must be strong enough to stand by his system and wield the axe on some of his over-rated stars

So what of last night’s game? I think ‘nervy’ is a bad description, but the pressure certainly showed. Every single player on the pitch was so desperate to stand out that they made some very poor decisions and were not playing for the team. Carragher nearly scored an own goal trying to unnecessarily clear a cross that was going straight to James, Terry headed a ball into a dangerous position when it was sailing out for a goal-kick. In attack, Rooney and Cole were guilty of taking on too many defenders, while Lennon was obsessed with fancy flicks instead of doing the simple job of getting down the line and putting balls into the box. Gerrard wanted to take the starring role in the middle rather than settling down on the left. Lampard went for long shots when there were better options while Barry did a decent job of winning the ball but tried ambitious passes that almost always failed. Perhaps Capello has kept the players on their toes too much and now they are desperate to stand out in case they lose their place. I think the old ‘fear of failure’ is starting to creep back in as well, something that Sven combated pretty well. This is going to be a very big few days and the manager must handle the players well. Clough always said that his players were at their best when they were relaxed and enjoying themselves and you’re inclined to agree. A bit of team spirit and camaraderie would not go amiss. It’s all well and good to see Rooney mouthing off at the camera last night and complain that the players are living in a bubble, but Capello must create a bubble for the players now, isolated from the prying eyes of the press and the criticism of the supporters. 6 days is no amount of time to create a hard working team ethic, but it is what must be done. They must learn to fight tooth and nail for each other and for their nation.

Ultimately, few players played well. Heskey was average at best when it came to doing what was expected of him and Carragher was better than Terry, but that really is as good as it gets. The midfield was absolutely dire and chance creation was minimal. It’s unlikely that we’d have taken any chances that were created because the top English goalscorer last season had to come all the way back into the middle at actually touch the ball. Ashley Cole would probably have been more effective on the left if he had a left winger to help him out, rather than having to do all the work on his own. England failed to outshine the Algerians in a game that was ultimately a stalemate. Great if you’re Algerian, a disaster for England. This was simply not good enough.

My team for Slovenia:

James

Johnson Terry Dawson A. Cole

Lennon Gerrard Barry J. Cole

Heskey

Rooney

Thank goodness that game will be on the BBC. If I have to listen to another 90 minutes of commentary from those idiots at ITV I may end up putting the television through the window. Everything ITV do is amateurish, cheap and pathetic, be it their football coverage or shows such as the X-Factor. There are too many adverts to make it watchable, but when you listen to Tyldsley, Beglin, Southgate and all the rest trying to talk about football, you realise that the adverts are actually the best bit. Tyldsley and Townsend are so incapable of tactically analysing a game that when somebody suggests something novel like changing the system, they become like a dog with a bone and will just not shut up about it, despite it being apparent that it will simply not happen. In the studio, the panel just spout some extra nonsense to go with it all. The fact that Adrian Chiles, a decent bloke whose forte is a more informal, jokey programme such as Match of the Day 2, is fronting the supposedly ultra-sleek and professional World Cup show says it all. The BBC’s standards are pretty low as well, embarrassing even, so thank goodness for the insights of Mick McCarthy.

ITV World Cup Panel

Somebody please shut them up.

England can beat Slovenia and fulfill their potential, but they must play the right players for the system.

Tuncay Sanli meets Che Guevara and Tinchy Stryder

February 16th, 2010 No comments

What do you get when you cross a t shirt designer with a Turkish International footballing legend, a marxist revolutionary and a former University of East London student who had a UK Number one single in 2009?
A bizarre mix of t shirt designs, that’s what!

From Che Guevara to Tinchy Stryder, could our influences be wider??

Our TUNCHE design is a simple mix of Guevara

GuerrilleroHeroico
Che Guevara at the La Coubre memorial service.
Taken by Alberto Korda on March 5, 1960.

PLUS Tuncay

Tuncay in a Turkey (Turkiye) shirt

EQUALS

TUNCHE

N.B. Turkish ref. on cap badge 🙂 (*

Meanwhile

Tinchy Stryder and his Star in the Hood clothing range
available here
Star In The Hood

Tinchy Stryder - Star In The Hood

PLUS
TUNCAY – (when he plays “in the hole” behind the front two, as late on at Wigan)
Sanli Matthews

EQUALS
TUNCAY STRYKER – A STAR IN THE HOLE

Another little known connection between Stoke – on – Trent and Tinchy Stryder is Jack Foster! Jack is the son of Author Stephen Foster, known for his excellent books on Stoke City, “She Stood There Laughing” “….And She Laughed No More”
Available at Stoketshirts.co.uk
Jack is pictured on the front of “She Stood There Laughing” and has since gone on to achieve fame in his own right through his music management career. His company is called “Takeover Entertainment” and he is co – manager of Tinchy Stryder.
Not bad for a Stokie living in Norwich!

These designer shirts and hoodies are all available online at www.stoketshirts.co.uk
Click the following links

Tunche
Star In The Hole
as well as the book
….And She Laughed No More

Stoke Turkish Delight