Wednesday, 30 March 2011

England Friendly Games

England vs Ghana was a good game, and Ghana deserved to draw at least, perhaps even win. But I did not go. In fact I stopped going to England friendlies about two years ago. And the reason is why should I if even the England team do not take them seriously.

Of course, for Andy Carrol, Cahill and Jarvis, then last night was massive. But I want to see how Cahill will play with Terry. Can Jarvis play with Rooney?

By letting the star key players go home early, Capello made last night's game a joke.

The suggested reason was so that they could rest before a hard run in, and only players still in the Champions League were released.

Firstly, is that not disrespectful to the other teams in the League? Is Rooney more important to Manchester united than Parker is to West Ham? I think not. And, Manchester United have more resources available to rest players if they need it.

It seems that some teams are given preferential treatment over others. Is that fair? At the start of the season teams know if they are in the Champions League or not, it really is down to them to manage their resources.

Secondly, is this an admission form the FA that Champions League is bigger, better and more important than International football? I hope not, because it is not. there is nothing bigger than the World Cup. For all fans, nationwide, we can support England. The Champions League is fun football, and I want an English (are Arsenal English?) team to win of course, but I can not really support any team in the way I support England. Internationals MUST remain the pinnacle of the game.

thirdly it is disrespectful to fans, who pay handsomely to go and see England, and whilst I should expect some trials for new young players, they should be melded in to the full team,so we learn how they interact with the stars.

Capello let the country down on Tuesday, weakly giving in to the Champions League teams and should be ashamed.

About the Author: Connected is a Football fan, England fan, and a member of FA EnglandFans. In real life he sells products that make familes happy, top selling products this spring are 12ft Trampolines and Air Hockey Tables

Friday, 25 March 2011

Best Football Players of 2011

Who are the players of the season so far?

Most Surprising
Gareth Bale. He has been superb this season. Two years ago they were leaving him out of the team as they had never won a game he started, this year he is superb and possible worth £30m+. Gives pace and width and excitment.

Most Influential
Carlos Tevez. With a team of superstars, someone has to set the pace and set the tone. YOu notice when Tevez is not playing. Its not just his goals, bu the energy. Manchester City are not the same without him.

Best Relaunch
Scott Parker. Was superb at Charlton, becoming the linchpin of a good team, and moved to Chelseafor £10m where it really did not work out for him. He was not hollywood enough but proably good enough. A move to Newcastle where they had huge problmes did not help him, and for a while it seemed he was seeing out the contract at West Ham. This season though despite being in a poor performing team, he is superb,and deservedly got back in to the England team, where he looked at home.

Best Defender
Nemanja Vidic. Quiet simple, without him Machester United look weak and frail defensively. With him, the defence is transformed.

Best Manager
Ian Holloway. No doubt the most entertaining, having the most fun and has a team of unknowns playing well. Lets hope they stay up. We like him.

Most Unlikely Star
Charlie Adam. The heartbeat of Blackpool. Seems likely he will move in the summer, and will be a massive loss, perhaps even bad enough to get Blackpool relegated next year if they stay up this year.

Best Signing
Rafael van der Vaart. At £8m bargain of the year. He is superb, and we love watching him play. Taken the shine of the game of Defoe and crouch though and thats not good for England.

Most Dissapointing
Fernando Torres. Started the season with a new World Cup winners medal, but has been a miserable git all season. Engineeered a move, where Liverpool are laughing. COuld be the worst signing of all time if he does not get his form back. Undoubtably a brillitant player, but something is wrong either physically or mentally. And remember you have scored as many goals for Chelea as he has.

Add to the list, or give us your ideas.

About the Author: He is firstly a football fan, secondly a retailer of Pink Trampolines and Air Hockey Tables. But sport is the first love.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Olympic Tickets Strategy

Its decision time. What Olympic tickets do you actually buy. for years its been a fantasy that when the Olympics come to town we will get loads of tickets and watch loads of the games there in the flesh, being a part of the biggest sporting occasion on earth. But now the reality is here, what tickets do we apply for?

So, now, with credit card in hand, (Visa of course) and a glass of coke, not Pepsi ready we sit down and plan. But wait. If I go to the handball first round games, I will miss the cycling.

If I am at the Archery then I will miss  the rowing heats on the TV.

So, now we are faced with the very real dilemma. Do we really want to actually go to the Olympics, or is it better to watch it on TV?

the second problem is how many tickets do we apply for? Do we apply for loads thinking that we will only get a few if any in the Olympic ballot, or do we be more confident. Seems the danger is that if we want to see the Water Polo and we apply for all the first round games just hoping to get one, we may get them all and have two weeks of tickets for games we do not want to see.

So, it seems that we have to temper the fantasy of watching  all the Olympics live, and think about actually what would we really like to see and only apply for those.

Or do you have a better strategy for buying Olympic Tickets?

About the Author: He is an avid sports fan, who remembers the day we got awarded the Olympics like it was the day JFK got shot. He is a retailer of 10ft Trampolines, and this weeks top selling products are Willostix Cricket Balls and Talbot Torro Shuttlecocks.

Bet on Arsenal to win the League

Regular readers will know that we have a theory that exploits the over emotional nature of football excitement. That over emotion projects forward unreasonable expectations on teams that statistics do not bear out.

So, we advised on the 1st of March that you bet on Arsenal to win. See:

Arsenal Can Still Win
At that point United were 4 points ahead and Arsenal were 2/1 to win the league.

We then advised you to hedge the bet with a bet on United at 4/5 that covered all losses but made a profit if Arsenal won. See:

That would have guaranteed no losses and £750 if Arsenal win.

Now after the weekend the odds have moved again and Arsenal are 3/1. It seems a bad weekend for the bet, but we did advise you to hedge last week. Trouble is I bet you didn't. You are a gambler and decided to let it run. But that's not the point of this bet. It is not trying to find the winner it is trying to get an edge using unrealistic emotion in football betting odds.

So, lets analyse the odds. Arsenal are now 3/1. they are 5 points behind with a game in hand. Win the game in hand and they are 2 points behind and they still play United at home. Still a fair bet. Manchester United still have to play Arsenal away and Chelsea at home. Arsenal look to have an easy run in comparatively.

But the main point is that United have 8 games left. Statistically speaking they should get 17 point from those games on average. That means two defeats. Or 4 draws. Of course Arsenal will get only 20 from their 9 games, so we still expect Manchester to win the league. But, the question is WHEN will Manchester defeats come. If the come early in the 8 games then the odds will shift again. Look how much they shifts this weekend.

So, if you did not do it last time, then NOW, put £1000 on Arsenal. We almost guarantee that the odds will shift and you will be able to cover the bet and ensure no losses.

But, please remember that the author sells Trampolines and it takes a lot of sales of 8ft Trampolines at only £99 to make enough profit to generate £1000 for a bet. If he could make a living from gambling he would, so be warned he still sells trampolines. Let that be your own warning. This is for fun, not financial advice.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Fulham Michael Jackson Statue

Is it April 1st?

Fulham FC have announced that they will be unveiling a statue of Michael Jackson before their next home game.

Of all the great Fulham players to commemorate, they chose an American Pedo! I bet he could not tell the difference between an American Football, a Rugby Ball or a Soccer Ball.

Apparently it all comes about because the club's chairman and owner Mohamed Al-Fayed was a friend of the of Jackson. He commissioned the statue after the singer's death in 2009, originally planning to erect it outside his shop, Harrods. But he has now sold the Harrods store and is now planning to humiliate the Fulham fans with it.

"Michael Jackson was truly a legend, a term used too often in this modern world saturated in the hyperbole surrounding celebrity," Al-Fayed told the Fulham website.

"He was my friend, a man with whom I shared many happy memories and who died a tragic and untimely death.

"He left behind a legacy of music so vast it takes one's breath away; from a precocious talent to an ingenuity and groundbreaking modernity that shall never be repeated.

So at the game against Blackpool, Al-Fayed will unveil the ridiculous statue of Jackson in an 'iconic pose'. Prizes for the worst 'iconic pose' you can think of?

Still Blackpool at home is better than their first idea of a special friendly with Young Boys of Bern.

And do they have any plans for a Gary Glitter statue?

Look on the bright side Arsenal

Its not appropriate to be making jokes after this terrible tragedy. Its hard to feel sorry or sympathetic for them though since they are all foreigners. But we must remember that they have lost everything in almost an instant and they have been left with nothing. Still there is always next season Arsenal.

Heard this great joke today, that for the purpose of explaining to anyone reading this blog in years to come, I must explain that this is one week from the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011, and in the same week Arsenal lost the Carling Cup final, got knocked out of the FA cup and lost in the Champions League, just a few days after proclaiming that they were going for an historic quadruple.

For anyone interested, the author is not an Arsenal fan but does have £1000 invested in a bet on Arsenal to win the League. If it fails, he better remember there is a day job selling Trampolines.

Bryan Robson Cancer Battle

Tonight's news is that Bryan Robson has cancer and has an operation for cancer of the throat.

This blog is about things in British sports that interest us, excite us and make us proud to be fans of British sports. Bryan Robson was all of that.

He was an exciting, passionate player, who excited all who watched him. Perhaps at times a difficult man, but many achievers are difficult and he was an achiever.

At his best for England he won 90 caps, scoring 25 times and was always a thrill to watch.

I remember arriving from work to watch the England vs France game at the 1982 World Cup. We arrived just as the game kicked off, and were a little slow in getting out of the car. When we arrived in the living room we were watching the replay of his great goal. What a start. Terry Butcher flick on, Robson unmarked, left foot, 28seconds gone. 1-0.

What a goal, but just one of many great memories provided by a lion of a player. But he is not dead, and this ricks becoming an obituary, so we simply salute a tremendous player, a great Englishman, and wish him luck for the future.

Attack the disease with power, passion and energy and we are sure you will be fine.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Terry for England Captain?

Rio Ferdinand is out for the Wales game in two weeks time, so we need a new Captain. Frank Lampard may not be selected as Jack Wilshire looks like the new kid with promise and deserves a run.

So who does Capello choose?

Looks like he has been testing the water with news leaked that he is 'thinking of' John Terry. I think he thought that if it gets leaked and there is an outcry then he can claim that it was never really in the plans.

Well, there is an outcry. Mostly for reasons of not liking Capello I think, but there are some strong reasons why its a bad idea and some why its a good idea.

Firstly, we are tyring to think forward, and John Terry as Captain is looking backwards. Are there no younger players with 10 years left who could do the job?

Second reason against is can he really be forgiven? Sure it was a personal matter, but put simply, you don't sleep with your mates girlfriends. It breaks a code, and not being able to resist shows a lack of judgement and a lack of respect for the position.

Reasons for though are firstly, that we do need a good captain. It is important. Arsenal would probably have won the Carling cup, still be in the Champions League and would have at least two more points (Newcastle) if they had a real Captain.

Secondly, he should be a shoe-in pick. Not in and out. And just now Terry would be in since he is playing well.

Thirdly, he is quite good at it.

So, in our judgement should he get the job? No. Lets look forward.

So, who should get it. Well, who is guaranteed a place in the team? Rooney, Hart, Gerrard, Ashley Cole, Terry. That's it in my book. so, from that list, who is the captain. Not Terry. Cant be Ashley - too much baggage. Gerrard is injured for this one. Hart is the Goalie.

So, Rooney, step forward after much deliberation, we have decided that you are the only man (left) for the job.

About the Author: Connected is a Sports Fan, EnglandFans member, with a ticket to Wales vs England, who spends his day time wishing it was the weekend and selling Climbing Frame Slides amongst other things.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Bet on Arsenal to win the League..update

Two weeks ago we pointed out a peculiarity in the English Premier League betting. Namely that the emotion takes over the odds and it is possible to see out the ups and downs of a premiership season and once the league comes down to a two horse race to cover your bet.


We told you to put on £1000 at 2/1. That's £3000 back if they win.

Today just two weeks later Manchester United are now 4/5 to win the league with Victor Chandler.

So, put £1250 on Manchester united and you get back £2250. That covers your combined stakes for the two bets and you now have a free bet on Arsenal to win, that will pay out £3000 and a profit of £750.

Did we not tell you it would happen?

About the Author: this is fun, not free financial advice, since that does not exist. We make a living selling Above Ground Pools and Wooden Playhouses, not gambling. Its only for fun.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Worst Premier League Signings of 2010/11 Season

So much money is spent on transfers each year, that some of it is bound to be wasted. So what in our opinion are the worst signings of this season.

We don't mean the unlucky ones, where a great player is signed then gets a serious injury. We mean the stinkers. The ones where the players will go down in history as some of the worst to play for the club.

1. Joe Cole
Who, perhaps outside the Chelsea management saw that coming. Even in the World Cup, fans and pundits were saying, play him. And Arsenal were interested yet no-one wrote him off as useless. So when Liverpool signed him, it seemed universally as a good move both for player and club. But, what is wrong with him? He has been useless, and is obviously unhappy. He was a free transfer, but the wages must be huge. Maybe there is still time. Can he get back in the team and perform? I hope so.

2. Benni McCarthy
Slightly different here, as most people thought he was already washed up before his move from Blackburn to West Ham, but his battle with weight is funny. Apparently they have set him weight loss targets that he keeps missing and losing his weeks wages, but he lacks the will power to lose the weight. They have tried buying him out of the contract, but seems a better idea is to keep the weight loss targets and they may never pay him again.

3. Paul Konchesky
Why? Was he that great at Fulham? We don't think so, but Roy Hodgson took him to Anfield, where he was an embarrassing flop. Now Roy has gone so has Paul. Now on loan at Forest.

That's our top 3. Your club must have one. Give us your worst signing of the year.

Bet on Arsenal to win the Premier League

Only yesterday we told you to bet on Arsenal to win the League at 2/1.

Put £1000 on we said. See:

So with Man Utd losing last night, you could already be in profit.

Man Utd are now 8/13 with Stan James, so now you can back Manchester united and guarantee a profit.

Put £1900 on Utd now at 8/13 and you get £3069 back if they win the league for a combined stake of £2900. That's a profit of £169.

If Arsenal win you get £3000 back for the outlay of £2900 that's a £100 profit.


Our advice: Wait and see what happens. There is a good chance United will only draw against Liverpool, and the odds will move again. But, we still expect United to win the League.

About the Author: He is NOT an expert gambler. This is for fun not financial advice. Don't sue for the bad advice, just have fun with it, and remember he makes a living selling Pink Trampolines!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Arsenal vs Manchester United

Every year the Premiership comes down to two teams at some point.

When it does, it is possible to make some money in most seasons by betting on the outsider of the two in a two horse race.

So, today, Arsenal are 2/1 to win the league. Given that Manchester United are 4 points ahead, that does not seem unreasonable. But there are some factors common to every season that mean that results can get flaky towards the end.

Around 2 points per game is enough to win the league in most years. So, on average they will win one then draw one. This will average out across the season, so it is possible to win 6 then draw 3. So, often a lead will be transformed by normal averages across the season.

Also, the weaker teams traditionally win more points in the second half than the first as they fight for their survival. This means the last quarter of the season brings more shock results.

Lastly the leading team often has a panic or confidence crisis just before driving on. Around 7 games to go there is often a wobble.

what this all means is that the odds of the second team in the two horse race are exaggerated. So back them now at 2/1.

Put on £1000 at 2/1 and wait. If they win you will get £3000 back.

Wait and see what happens. In most years the leader will wobble, and the the emotional effect of two draws will be to exaggerate the impact of the loss of 4 points. Its almost as if there is a momentum,which means that the odds will shift dramatically.

So, if Manchester Utd lose tonight then draw against Liverpool, then they will have lost 5 points and Arsenal will in the driving seat and will be odds on.

At this point then bet on Manchester United to win, and you will guarantee yourself a profit.

It will work in most seasons, but not all. So, for this season, lets try.

Today, 1st March, put £1000 on at Ladbrokes at 2/1.

I will update you on the odds and tell you when to bet.

About the Author: Gardengamer is a football fan and coach, but he is not a professional gambler, so advice is for fun only. His real live is retailing Above Ground Pools and when in season, Trampolines, not full time betting on football. You have been warned!