Tag Archives: January Transfer Window

Should the FA Cup replay’s be scrapped?

Following the New Meadow 2-2 draw with Shrewsbury and Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp stated his first team players, nor himself, would appear in the replay back at Anfield.

Image result for shrewsbury town v liverpool
Shrewsbury’s Jason Cumming’s scored the equaliser on Sunday to take the tie back to Merseyside.

Since Klopp’s arrival to the Premier League he has shown no happiness towards the busy December period and the replay format of the cup, it seems he believes the players are requested to play too often, hindering their physical capability and lack of recovery time. Despite this, his team way ahead at the top of the Premier League do not seem to be suffering on the whole. A factor which is potentially being interpreted as ignorance when their competition is from the lower leagues who play more games than those in the top division with remarkably less money and resources.

A recent discussion on BBC Radio 5 Live heard how Great Britain hockey star Samantha Quek argued the FA Cup replay’s should be scrapped and the format should be changed to two separate pots of Premier League and Championship teams and another of the lower divisions. A disgruntled Tranmere fan was on the phone to explain how much the FA cup meant to a lower league team, not just financially but sentimentally, and rightfully so.

The FA Cup ties and replays are renowned for bringing extra revenue to smaller clubs which can become a vital input for changes that Premier League clubs do not have to think twice about. Shrewsbury manager Sam Ricketts explained how the money from the return trip to Anfield would allow for improved drainage of the pitch and cameras for analysis to be used in games. Something Premier League regulars may take for granted.

The FA Cup allows for extra distribution of money which is circulated within English football, vitally this money can reach the lucky lower league teams who make it through the rounds. But it is also the importance of sentiment that the cup brings. For a supporter, the FA cup can be a magical occasion and allows for that chance to visit a Premier League ground to watch their team play against some the world’s greats. Similarly for a player, who may have finished a day working, to then take to the stage lined up against world famous players, a great euphoric feeling which can’t be replicated.

Yes, the Premier league may be tasking for players who play a higher standard week in week out, but they are professional. Their clubs, if anything out of respect, should participate thoroughly in an FA Cup game as if it was any other game.

Shrew Good For Liverpool!

League 1 Side Shrewsbury Town, who currently sit in 16th Posistion in League 1, proved to be a tough nut to crack for Champions League holders Liverpool in their FA Cup 4th round tie, played yesterday at Montgomery Waters Meadow.

Liverpool as is their way in cup competitions this season, decided to field a virtual academy team, with several key first teamers left on the bench.

Jurgen Klopp clearly thought and felt that the team he selected would be able to see off the league 1 side… However, as was shown on the night – Shrewsbury had other ideas.

The Shrews played a 3 5 2 Formation, which is used by several teams throughout the league, because it is very diffcult to play against. Liverpool stuck with their tried and tested 4 3 3 formation, which has left them unbeaten in the Premier League so far.

Liverpool started the first half quite strongly and took a lead through Curtis Jones.

This was the point at which it was thought the flood gates would open and Liverpool would run riot.

But…

Quite the opposite happened, with Shrewsbury sticking to their game plan and forcing Liverpool to go out wide a number of times and not taking the chances they were creating.

Shrewsbury grew in confidence and as the first half went on, they gained a better foothold in the game and finished the stronger team at half time & … just 1 goal down.

HT Shrewsbury 0 Liverpool 1

The second half started and unbelieveably within 60 seconds from a Liverpool cross, the Shrewsbury wingback Donald Love, in trying to clear the ball, put it in the back of his own net.

Shrewsbury 0 Liverpool 2

A stunned silence fell around the ground, but, rather than letting it get them down, Shrewsbury, simply carried on where they had left off in the first half, getting stronger and putting Liverpool on the back foot.

Shrewsbury then decided to make a substitution with Jamie Cumings coming on and very shortly he was into the action, scoring a goal to close the score to 1-2.

With Liverpool getting anxious, they threw on First Salah and then Firmino in an effort to scare Shrewsbury, though it has to be said this failed as both players were in effective as Shrewsbury stuck to the game plan

Cumings then made the score 2-2 and that was how it remained until the end, meaning that they will go to Anfield for the replay and full of belief that they can win the tie.

That fact will be made easier, because the Liverpool team they play, will closely resemble the team that played yesterday, as the first team are on a Premier League Winter break.

So the Shrews were to Shrew Good for Liverpool. How do you think Shrewsbury will get on in the replay?

Victor Moses joins Inter Milan on loan deal. Reuniting with Antonio Conte

After completing a loan spell with Fenerbahçe, Victor Moses is joining Inter Milan on loan with an option to buy, reuniting him with former Chelsea coach Antonio Conte.

Moses, who was primarily used as a winger earlier in his career, was converted to a wing-back during Conte’s stint at Chelsea. This conversion ended up benefiting the Nigerian-international as his play played a pivotal role in The Blues securing the Premier League title in 2017.

The duo also won the FA Cup in 2018. However, after Conte was fired and replaced by fellow Italian Maurizio Sarri, Moses fell down the pecking order and was loaned out for 18 months to Fenerbahçe.

After making 14 appearances for the Turkish club in his first season, Moses has only been featured six times this season. He has also been sidelined with several muscle injuries, causing him not to be featured since November. 

Other than playing for Chelsea and Fenerbahçe, Moses has suited up for Crystal Palace, Wigan Athletic, Liverpool, Stoke City, and West Ham United. In 298 appearances at the senior level, the 29-year-old has scored 36 goals. 

The Nigerian was also a key member of the Super Eagles, including being a member of the 2018 World Cup squad. Moses had scored a pivotal penalty in the final Group D match up against Argentina to tie the game but fell 2-1 and were knocked out of the competition. Shortly thereafter, he had retired from his international duty.

As Moses gets ready to suit up for Inter, fans are hoping the chemistry between him and Conte will help them secure their first Serie A title since 2010 as they stand four points behind fellow Italian powerhouse Juventus for the top spot in the league.

LA Galaxy find replacement for Zlatan in Javier “Chicharito” Hernández

After world-renowned striker Zlatan Ibrahimović left the LA Galaxy to return to A.C. Milan, the team officially announced that Javier “Chicharito” Hernández signed a three-year Designated Player contract for the five-time champions. 

The MLS-side were desperate to find an option for their Number 9. After several names were reported to replace the Swede, including his former PSG teammate Edinson Cavani, the club was able to land Mexico’s all-time leading goal scorer.

Chicharito played for Guadalajara, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, West Ham United, and, most recently, Sevilla. In 308 career appearances at the senior level, he accumulated 115 goals. Along with finding success scoring in some of the best leagues around the world, the Mexican international has won several awards, including two Premier League titles, a FIFA Club World Cup, and much more.

Meanwhile, for El Tri, the 31-year-old has found the back of the net 52 times in 109 appearances. Chicharito has been dominate for his country, winning the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2011, the CONCACAF Cup in 2015, and was named the federation’s Men’s Player of the Year in 2015.

Even though Chicharito is not as well known in the world of football like Zlatan, he will still have an impact in filling the seats at Dignity Health Sports Park. With the city’s huge Mexican population, getting one of the country’s most historic players is not a bad way to attract fans to attend the games.

Having arrived from a short stint in La Liga, critics are wondering if the veteran is able to compete in the league. It will be an interesting experiment as the LA Galaxy are on their quest to win their sixth MLS Cup, but first since 2014.

Nottingham Forest 3 – Luton 1

Nottingham Forest came from behind to beat bottom of the table Luton Town to move 5 points within the second automatic promotion spot with a game in hand, that game ahead is on Wednesday Night against Reading at The City Ground.

The prospect of that gap being 2 points is quite remarkable when you consider it was as big as 14 points in December when Forest were in the midst of a traditional slump during that month. However, unlike previous seasons, the slump has not continued post-Christmas – Forest winning 4 and drawing 1 since then. Along with second-placed Leeds going through another traditional slump in form has meant Forest are not out of the automatic promotion contention.

However, if they are to achieve this target they will have to improve performances, today’s match was another example of Forest not dominating the play but finding a way to win. They started slowly and allowed Luton early possession and pressure which led to Luton taking a deserved lead through Harry Cornick after 23 minutes. The goal came from the area where Luton were looking most dangerous, with a cross from the left-hand side from Potts.

The first half was a physical battle in midfield which Luton were largely winning, however, when Forest’s Ben Watson won one of these battles, Luton complained it was a foul but Forest played on and a superb cross-field pass from Yuri Ribero found Joe Lolley who ran at his full-back and fired a shot which was not handled by Luton keeper Simon Sluga, who should have done a lot better.

Forest improved massively after the half time break being on the front for much of it, the pressure told when Lolley scored with a fantastic strike into the top corner from outside the box after Watson’s good pass found him on the right-wing from where he cut inside before finishing. Lolley was a constant threat in the second half, running past players every time he got the ball. He created more chances to extend the lead and put the game beyond doubt but efforts from Tiago Silva and Sammy Ameobi went just wide.

Luton came slightly back into it in the last 10 minutes but Forest won a penalty with just minutes remaining when Silva’s free-kick struck Sonny Bradley’s hand in the wall. Lewis Grabban converted to get grab his 15th goal of the season to secure the 3 points.