All posts by Peter Moore

I am very experienced in sport media. I specialise in sport radio, which includes reports, updates and interviews. Currently run my own sport based website. www.kool-am.co.uk

Lewandowski on the verge of overhauling Ronaldo’s European record

To think that a 31-year-old Pole is on the verge of overtaking Cristiano Ronaldo’s record haul of Champions League goals in one season.

Yes, it is true and let’s be honest, very few people would have predicted that Robert Lewandowski would have the honour of getting one over the great Ronaldo.

As it stands, Lewandowski is only four behind the great man’s total after picking up a brace as the German Champions beat Chelsea 4-1 on Saturday for a 7-1 aggregate victory.

Ronaldo’s haul of 17 Champions League goals happened in 2013-14 when he featured for Real Madrid. With the strong possibility of Bayern Munich reaching the final in Lisbon, that amounts to three more games for Lewandowski to surpass Ronaldo’s total.

However, he still has a long way to go to get anywhere near Ronaldo as Champions League top scorer. The Portuguese striker tops the list with 130 with Messi in second on 115. Lewandowski stands in fourth place with 66 so far but that aside one has to marvel at just how well the Pole has been playing this season.

Lewandoski’s incredible season can be summed up by his numbers this season. Over the two legs against Chelsea he played a part in all seven Bayern goals in the tie.

His 53 goals in all competitions this season have come in 36 out of 44 matches. Lewandowski’s haul for both club and country this campaign includes four in a Champions League game away at Red Star Belgrade, a hat trick against Schalke in the Bundesliga and another hat trick- this time for Poland away at Latvia- in a European qualifier.

If you add up his total goals and assists in domestic games over the past two seasons, his tally is an impressive 67, only surpassed by the legend called Messi with 95 for Barcelona.

Already the likes of Tammy Abraham have gone on record to say that Lewandowski is the best striker in the world at the moment. Only today, German legend Lothar Matthaus came out and said that he felt the Pole is not only the best striker in the world but best footballer also.

No doubt the likes of Ronaldo and Messi will have something to say about that but you can’t deny that Lewandowski is a world class player, who one day will become a Bayern all time club legend.

As the champions league enters the final 8 stage George Clayton talks about the who co on our YouTube channel Now by clicking the link below

https://youtu.be/lCbgefVH2W0

USA World Cup winner joins Manchester City Women

United States World Cup winner Sam Mewis has joined Manchester City from North Carolina Courage.

The 27-year-old has played 67 times for her country and featured regularly during last year’s World Cup.  The American started in her side’s 2-0 victory over the Netherlands in Lyon.

The midfielder becomes City’s second signing this summer after England striker Chloe Kelly joined from Everton.

Mewis follows in the footsteps of her USA team mate Carli Lloyd, who had a brief spell with Manchester City back in 2017.

Standing at 6ft tall gives her presence on set pieces and she also has long athletic strides which has seen her become effective with goals from long range.

Sam was born in Weymouth Massachusetts in 1992. She signed for the Pali Blues in the W League in 2013, where the side went on to lift the Western Conference title as well as the national championships.

Mewis was selected fourth overall by the Western New York Flash in the 2015 National Women’s Soccer League entry draft. She appeared in all twenty regular season games for the Flash scoring four times with four assists.

In 2017 the Western New York Flash was sold to new owners and rebranded as the North Carolina Courage. She had an excellent season for the Courage after appearing in every game she was named to the NWSL Best X1.

Mewis missed the beginning of the 2018 season after recovering from a knee operation. Despite this setback she still featured 17 times as the Courage won their second consecutive shield.

Due to her participation at the 2019 World Cup, she only appeared in 12 regular season games for the Courage, who went on to win the shield for the third consecutive year.

In a successful international career to date which has seen Mewis feature in six of seven matches in the 2019 World Cup, she scored twice in the tournament in a 13-0 annihilation of Thailand in the group stages.

In her six years to date in USA national colours she has made 67 appearances and scored 18 goals.

Her USA team mate Rose Lavelle is heavily linked with City and alongside Caroline Weir and Jill Scott featuring in midfield the signing of Mewis only strengthens the Manchester clubs pursuit of more honours next season.

EFL Clubs vote for introduction of salary caps

The English Football League and the Professional Footballer’s Association appear to be on a collision course after clubs in Leagues One and Two voted in favour of the introduction of salary caps.

Fixed caps of £2.5 million for League One clubs and £1.5 million for League Two have been approved after a vote by clubs on Friday.

The EFL said the caps would take effect immediately and hoped it would help to get inflation under control and bring greater financial stability after the Covid-19 crisis.

It is understood that 22 League Two clubs voted in favour, with only two against. In League One, 16 clubs voted for the introduction of salary caps with eight against the idea.

As well as basic wages and taxes, the cap on total salary spending includes bonuses, image rights and agents’ fees, while payments earned from successful cup runs or promotions will be excluded.

Clubs in League One and League Two who exceed the cap by up to 5% will face a financial penalty. Further breaches would be referred to a disciplinary commission.

This news in my opinion is most welcome to lower league football. It has been known for a long time that some clubs in the lower leagues have clearly been spending well outside of their budget.

Take the financial troubles of Wigan and plenty of others who have been clearly functioning well out of their means. Clubs have been offering players silly money just to entice them to play at this level of football.

Fine, if you have the funds to back up this promise, not fine if you have not got the money available. This isn’t a case of players demanding silly money, it is their agents who are very much at fault.

In the current economic situation, we all live in at present, football is no different to any other industry. It will will have to tighten its belt otherwise there will be some clubs who could fall by the wayside.

Introducing salary caps makes financial sense. Just working out the maths as an example for League Two. An average squad of 25 will see a player on around £60,000 per year. Sounds pretty decent to me for a footballer. Considering most of the working population will lose their jobs or be working on a reduced salary for the time being.

By putting in to place a cap for clubs in Leagues One and Two, surely this should be extended to not only the Championship but also down to non-league level.

By bringing in salary caps you will always run the risk of losing some of the best players to other leagues, but to compensate this it will then help and bring through younger players with a chance of regular first team football and will give them a chance to move up the football ladder quickly.

However, there will always be doubts that some clubs will get around the salary cap system, like Saracens have been found guilty of in Premiership Rugby. Of course, there is the chance that will happen, but without some form of salary cap, quite simply Football will struggle to survive in the years to come.

 

 

Have Fulham learnt from their disastrous £100m spending spree?

After the celebrations of the return of Fulham back to the Premiership at the first time of asking, it is time to take a step back and access their chances of surviving in the Premiership next season.

It is a well know fact in football that sides who get promoted through the play-off route in the Championship, normally struggle.

In recent times the likes of Aston Villa, Huddersfield, Hull City, Norwich City and QPR all finished in the bottom six places in the division.

Two points that may make it possible for Fulham to survive in next seasons campaign would be the Manager and the experience of being in the top flight of English football before.

In Scott Parker they have an astute man in charge of the Cottagers. In the play-off final against Brentford his master tactics came out on top. By spotting the gap at Brentford’s near post and Joe Bryan’s technical ability to find that gap was a pure master stroke from the former West Ham player.

Since Parker has been put in charge, he has turned around the club’s fortunes. Just two years ago on transfer deadline day in the summer of 2018, five players were signed as the clock ticked down to zero.

Fulham spent an astonishing £100 million on no less than twelve players, only to look considerably worse for signing these players.  In season 2018-19 Fulham sacked Slavisa Jokanovic and Claudio Ranieri but a second play-off victory in three seasons gives them a chance to heal some scars.

For the club to survive next season in the top flight of football they will have to learn by their mistakes of 2018. Pointless splashing out that amount of money to try and survive in the Premiership. In truth, it rarely works out.

Parker needs to keep the spine of this current side to have a chance of surviving. The key player to hold on to has to be Aleksandar Mitrovic. The goal machine will learn by his poor return when Fulham were last back in the top flight. If he does so and can get back to a return of around twenty goals in a season, then the London club have a good chance of staying up.

They also need to keep the likes of Tom Cairney, Aboubakar Kamara, Denis Odoi and Tim Ream. If they can hold on to this talented group, then they could realistically keep out of trouble.

Parker will know that the hard work starts now. It will be an interesting few weeks before next seasons campaign as to what he will do in the transfer market. Key to their chances of survival will also be who they bring in.

In terms of the other two promoted sides Leeds United and West Brom. For the Yorkshire club with the flamboyant Marcelo Bielsa managing at the main table this will b e a massive challenge for him. His toughest assignment to date and hardest task for the upcoming season will be to survive.

Under normal circumstances with Leeds outstanding fan base and home fans would be worth a lot of points for the club but the likelihood of having no full capacities for the foreseeable future, this could well go against the Whites.

West Brom under Slaven Bilic look like a side that could well survive next season. Having the advantage of previously being in the Premiership for eight seasons, the Baggies know exactly what is required not to face a relegation battle.

One thing is for sure, having three shrewd and intelligent managers in the form of Parker, Bielsa and Bilic managing in the biggest league in the world and pitting their wits against other more experienced managers is going to be a sight worth seeing.

 

England’s Jodie Taylor moves to French side Lyon

England’s Jodie Taylor has joined French side Lyon until the end of 2020, the club have announced.

The former Arsenal striker moves to France on a short-term deal from OL Reign in the United States.

The 34-year-old who has also had spells in Australia, Sweden, Canada and the USA will join fellow Lionesses Lucy Bronze, Nikita Parris and Alex Greenwood.

Lyon are currently in the Champions League and face Bayern Munich in a quarter-final in Bilbao on the 22nd August, where  Taylor will be eligible to play.

She told Lyon’s website:

“I can’t wait to play with my new team. I just finished my season with OL reign in the USA, but I kind of stay in the same family.

“I talked a lot with my English teammates like Lucy Bronze who has been at the club for a long time, and I couldn’t refuse the opportunity to play for one of the best teams in the world.”

Taylor has represented her country in the last two World Cups and was the top scorer at Euro 2017.

It has been quite a journey for the Birkenhead born player, who made her debut for Tranmere Rovers in 2002 at the age of 15. She scored in a 5-1 win over Wolves in the FA Women’s Cup fifth round and has never looked back since.

When Tranmere were relegated in 2004 Jodie accepted a four-year scholarship to Oregon State University. When she left Tranmere, she had an impressive record of 29 goals in 38 appearances, despite missing six months with a broken leg.

After playing for a host of sides in the States, she returned to England in 2011 and signed for Birmingham City but moved on to Lincoln Ladies on loan. Lincoln wanted to keep Taylor but she returned to her parent club Birmingham following a stint with Melbourne Victory.

Following spells with Sydney FC, Washington Spirit and Portland Thorns FC she joined Arsenal where she made twelve appearances for the North London Side.

Less than two years later Taylor left Arsenal to sign for Melbourne City on a short-term contract. OL Reign came in for her services in 2018 where she spent two years in America having made 22 appearances and scoring nine goals.

On the international front Taylor made her debut for England in August 2014 in the sides 4-0 friendly win over Sweden at Hartlepool. At the Euros in 2017 she won the highly acclaimed award of the Golden Boot with five goals in the tournament as England reached the semi-finals.

JT