All posts by jackriley117

Should we have a winter break in England?

It has been announced that the FA and the Premier League have agreed to have a two-week winter break in February of the 2019/20 season.

All of the other top leagues: Spanish, French, German, Italian, even Scottish have a winter break. So surely this is a step forward for English football?

Well, all that can be seen from this decision is that the English game is losing its heritage and tradition.

It maybe a stupid or a tiny tradition, or not even a tradition, just a thing that hasn’t changed, but it’s our little tradition.

Pep Guardiola said it was killing the players not having a winter break and José Mourinho says it is why English clubs don’t win the Champions League.

But the Champions League is a competition in which English clubs have the second best winning record behind Spain, a country from which only two clubs have won, whereas five English clubs have.

Pep may be one of, if not the best manager at the top level of European football. However, this isn’t the only time he has spoken out against the English game and its traditions.

Guardiola’s Barcelona and the rest of La Liga, their style of play tradition is passing from the back, keeping the ball, etc etc.

However, the English tradition in football is to two-foot the person with the ball and the crowd go mental for it. But Pep, not so much.

If a foreign player wants to play in England, they need to get used to a snowy St James’ Park and brace themselves for the tackles flying in.

And it isn’t even like the introduction of a winter break will have positives for fans to make the game more interactive with supporters.

The FA Cup Fifth Round is to be played midweek. So forget about the Plymouth Argyle fans who are drawn away at Newcastle, because English traditions need to be destroyed and a winter break is necessary for that.

The top bosses in football don’t ask themselves “Fans don’t see the FA Cup as beautiful and magical as what it was, I wonder why?”

It’s got nothing to do with the fact that the rules keep changing: moving the semi-final to Wembley, picking which rounds they want replays for, making games midweek and not putting fans first.

Also, Premier League clubs will have two weeks minimum without a match. There’s already enough stick on social media and everywhere when everyone only has England to watch, never mind no football at all.

So, the winter break is likely to be introduced in the 2019/20 season. It may be a good thing, it may not be. Only time will tell. (It’s not, it’s definitely not).

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Should West Ham stick with David Moyes beyond this season?

David Moyes came into the West Ham job in mid-November, replacing Slaven Bilic who had left the Hammers in a huge relegation scrap still in the first half of the season.

The Moyes era at the London Stadium has been mixed, with impressive results such as the 1-0 win over Chelsea, 4-1 away at Huddersfield Town and the emphatic 3-0 win at the Bet365 Stadium.

However, there have also been disappointing results including the 3-0 loss at home to Burnley, the FA Cup defeat to League One Wigan Athletic and the 4-1 loss in South Wales against Swansea City.

One noticeable thing about Moyes is that he is improving performances of the squad and compared to the Bilic era, the West Ham team are attacking more and are on the whole, improving the atmosphere in the London Stadium.

It is also clear to see that summer signing Marko Arnautovic has become an incredible Hammers player since the Scot took the helm, scoring all of his nine goals under the former Manchester United man.

West Ham, after the 1-1 draw against Stoke City at home, are in 14th place, with the opportunity to climb two places with their game in hand on Watford.

Moyes has guided the club to seven points ahead of the drop zone, just eight points off eighth place. If Moyes were given a full summer transfer window with the chance to bring in his players then he could build on the squad he has clearly improved already, build more and guide the club up the Premier League table.

West Ham do you want to see David Moyes in the managerial hot seat next season? If not who do you want to in charge of your team? Let us know in the comments section…

Who should win PFA Player of the Year?

It is the time of year that the PFA Player of the Year nominees are announced, and there have been some excellent players exceed expectations and have been performing out of their skin consistently for the whole of the season.

Manchester City have recently been confirmed as champions, and Pep Guardiola has seen three of his players be nominated for the Player of the Year award: David Silva, Leroy Sané and Kevin de Bruyne.

On the other side of Manchester, only David de Gea has been nominated from the Old Trafford squad. Meanwhile, the other two nominations are the league’s two top goalscorers, Harry Kane from Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.

A lot of fans, players, managers etc have said in interviews and on social media that the award should be either between Kevin de Bruyne or Mohamed Salah.

de Bruyne leads the assist chart with 15 to his name, along with seven goals. He has averages 73 successful passes per match and has been the key to Manchester City’s incredible success and will earn his medal more than any player in a sky blue shirt.

Salah joined Liverpool for £36.9m from AS Roma and in his first season at Anfield has seen him score 30 goals and easily able to break the record for most goals in a season, and has guided the Reds to the semi-final of the Champions League and third place in the Premier League.

Behind the stats, the two have been incredibly impressive with their performances and pride they show for their respective clubs, and have attracted the attention the world.

It is almost impossible to decide who wins this award, but to nearly break a goalscoring record in his first season, and to be the most crucial cog in Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool machine, it would have to go to Salah, but it’s fair to say there would be no complaints if de Bruyne were to claim the award.

Football fans do you agree Salah should win it? If not who should get the award? Let us know in the comments section…

Is Loris Karius the answer to Liverpool’s goalkeeping problems?

Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet have been heavily criticised this season and last for being at fault for being too weak to play for Liverpool FC.

However, since a reported altercation between Mignolet and Jurgen Klopp, Karius has been playing regularly instead of swapping games with the Belgian.

Since the start of 2018, Karius has played all games for Liverpool apart from the New Years’ Day victory at Burnley and the 3-2 FA Cup loss to West Brom.

Since this run, Karius has kept seven clean sheets out of 14 games, conceding 11 goals, three of them in the thriller against Manchester City.

But now, with Karius looking like Liverpool’s number one, the Reds are now third in the Premier League and are 3-0 up in the Champions League quarter-final against Manchester City.

It looked like Klopp would be on the lookout for a new goalkeeper, but Karius now looks to be paying back the German manager for his faith in him.

Karius has two big games to prove himself further to the Anfield faithful, the Merseyside derby away at Goodison Park and the Champions League second leg at the Etihad.

The Reds have six games left to play before Klopp starts preparing for next season, where the goalkeeping position may not now be his priority.

Karius is still only 24 and has many years to play and has now proven himself and adapted to the English game following his difficult start.

It now looks like if Klopp were to bring in a new goalkeeper in the upcoming transfer window, it may be as a back up if Mignolet were to leave.

3 Players who could leave Blackburn Rovers if they fail to get promoted

  1. Bradley Dack

This has been a great season for Dack who got his move to a big club in the summer, transferring from Gillingham in the summer. Dack has scored 15 league goals from midfield already this season and so would be keen on proving himself at Championship level. If Rovers get promoted then he would most likely stay at Ewood Park, but if they are not promoted to the second tier, then they would definitely receive offers for Dack, which he may be tempted by.

2. Danny Graham

Graham has been incredible for Rovers since arriving in 2016, and has been securing the number nine spot at Ewood. At the age of 32, as a striker he will want to prove himself at the highest level possible for the few seasons he has left before retirement. He stayed loyal to Rovers after last season’s relegation but may wish to get back to the Championship, whether that is with or without Blackburn Rovers.

3. Charlie Mulgrew

A famous name in Scottish football, Mulgrew left Celtic for Lancashire in 2016. Although staying with Rovers after the relegation, it was confirmed that they had rejected a bid for the Scot from Sheffield Wednesday. So it is clear that the Championship is keen to see him, and he may be there if Tony Mowbray’s men get to the second tier. But he may also be there if Rovers don’t get promoted and an offer is good enough.

Blackburn fans do you think any other players could leave the football club if you fail to get promoted this summer? Let us know in the comments section…