Sven’s Leicester

Sven with assistant Derek Fazackerley

At the start of the season, with their team languishing bottom of the Championship most, if not all, Leicester City fans would not have predicted the situation they find themselves in now. They are currently residing tenth in the league, just four points of the play-offs, managerial magpie Sven-Goran Eriksson is at the helm and they have a strike partnership of Yakubu and Darius Vassell. Perhaps this was not entirely out of the blue though. At the beginning of the season Leicester were brought by a Thai consortium led by 25-year-old Aiyawatt Raksriaksorn, who have since invested money into the club, bringing in new players and the new manager.

That being said, Leicester have not just gone on a spending spree and chucked money around. They have improved the squad where it was needed, and have showed integrity in how they have spent their money. This will be reassuring to fans, especially considering the controversy surrounding the takeover of the club. The owners had to undergo the new ‘fit and proper persons’ test, before they were able to complete their takeover of the club. The test was introduced to combat situations, that clubs such as Portsmouth have found themselves over the past couple of years.  Read more of this post


The Championship turned upside down

Preston recently sacked struggling manager, Darren Ferguson

Going into the New Year, many Championship clubs will be looking at their prospects of getting a play-off, or automatic promotion place by the seasons end. But while everyone is discussing how close the league is, and how any number of teams are in contention for these places, we often overlook the state of affairs at the other end of the table; more often than not it mirrors the close situation at the top.

The clubs at the foot of the table will be recovering from their festive hangovers knowing that action has to be taken soon, to stifle their demise. While other teams in the bottom half of the Championship will realize that just a short run of bad form could see them pulled down into a relegation battle. That’s why January is such an important month for these teams. The transfer window is open, so new recruits can be brought in, and there is still enough time left in the season for a new manager to make an impact, and save a club from relegation. -read on>

Benitez joins the Italian Job…less

Benitez waving goodbye

After just 6 months into his managerial role Rafael Benitez has been sacked by his club Inter Milan. This comes after days of speculation from the media regarding Benitez’s position.  On Monday morning many of the tabloid papers in Italy printed headlines saying that the Spaniard had been sacked, and it was only when Benitez spoke with a Spanish radio station saying, “I have not been fired” that the situation was cleared up, well sort of. It looks like this was only delaying the inevitable, with his departure expected to be officially announced within the next 48 hours.

It seems very strange to me that any manager should have to deny that his Club has sacked him. But that is exactly the circumstances Rafael Benitez found himself in on Monday concerning his position at Inter Milan. When Inter President Massimo Morrati was asked about Benitez’s future he refused to comment, which can’t have filled the manager with much confidence. I thought that it would have been fairly simple for Morrati to say he has, or he hasn’t fired Benitez. It is this ambiguous reaction from the President of Inter that clearly showed there was trouble at’ mill. -read on>

A Tale of Two Cities

Steve Coppell and Keith Millen

Bristol City could argue that they had one of the worst starts in the Football League this season, after just two matches, both losses, new manager Steve Coppell had resigned with immediate effect; not only this but he had also left behind a disjointed team with an impressive injury list, which included many of the signings he had made. Many fans felt angered and betrayed by Coppell’s sudden departure, especially since so many of them had put their faith in him. Keith Millen, who was caretaker manager for the later part of the 09/10 season, was announced as the new manager on three-year deal soon after Coppell’s had left.

Keith Millen had an impressive record while being assistant manager at City since 2004, he also had been successful in his various roles as caretaker manger at the club over the years. But many fans understandably were worried about his lack of experience as an out and out manager. These worries continued as City only managed to win two out of their first 10 league games, something that was not helped by the numerous injury problems at the club. Notably that of last seasons top goal scorer Nicky Maynard, who is still yet to make an appearance this season. -read on>

Will FIFA Change Because of the English Reaction?

Sepp Blatter announces Russia to host the 2018 World Cup -

After a disastrous World Cup this year English football fans looked forward to the possibility of ending 2010 on a high note by winning the right to host the World Cup in 2018. This however was not to be the case, England lost out to Russia after going out in the first round only managing to gain two votes, one of which being from our own English representative Geoff Thompson. Another surprise was that the ‘great’ footballing nation of Qatar would be hosts for the 2022 World Cup.

Many fans, myself included, thought that England was almost guaranteed the privilege to host the World Cup when it was announced we would be putting a bid in. So last weeks announcement came as a huge shock, not only that but it has also angered and bewildered many people. This has been brought about by the way FIFA seems to have conducted the bidding process. The British media recently exposed elements of corruption and bribery within FIFA, most notably coming from investigations conducted by the Sunday Times and BBC’s Panorama. -read on>

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