Premier League New Season Opening Fixtures
The Premier League have released the fixture list for the 2013-2014 season, throwing up a number of interesting fixtures on the opening weekend, starting on Saturday 17th August.
New Manchester United boss David Moyes has a tricky beginning to his life with The Red Devils, as they travel to South Wales to take on Swansea City at the Liberty. Whether or not Michael Laudrup is still Swans manager is yet to be seen, but United are sure have a game on their hands in the Valleys.
Manchester City face a tough test in hosting Newcastle United at the Etihad, after a troubling 2012-2013 season, The Magpies will be looking to get off to a strong start to impress the new and ever-demanding Director of Football, Joe Kinnear.
Mourinho begins his second Chelsea stint with a match at Stamford Bridge against newly promoted Hull. Steve Bruce will be delighted to make his return to the Premier League, and will be hoping to make a big impression on a day where the focus will be on The Special One’s return to London.
Aston Villa Reveal New Kit For 2013-2014
So Aston Villa have become the latest club to reveal their new kit for the 2013-2014 Premier League season. Never heard of the sponsor, but I can’t say I know the betting world all that well.
These collars seem to represent an arrow pointing downwards. An omen?
I know everyone who reads this blog is BIG on their fashion. So here are some of the new kits for next season. Some leaked, some officially released.
Some are nice, some are boring, some are horrendous.
Let’s start with one of the worst shall we?…..
Liverpool Away Strip 2013-14
Not much to say about this new Liverpool kit. The weird Native American Space Invader detail speaks for itself. Minging.
Premier League Moments of the Season
Football always throws up some unforgettable moments. But just incase you do forget them, here’s a collage of the very best we’ve seen in the 2012-2013 Premier League season.
It all starts again on the 17th August 2013! But for now, re-live the gems from the season that just passed….
The Ref Gets Involved
Premier League referee Lee Probert found himself closer to the action than he would have liked when Steve Sidwell and Ben Watson (neither is a man to pull out of a tackle) collided with Probert bang smack in the middle.
It was a proper 50/50 challenge, with both players going in a little too hard, but it was the referee who came off worse, and needed the attention of the medical team before continuing with the match.
Santos’ Half-Time Swapsie
Andre Santos was not exactly in the Arsenal fans’ good books before this due to his lackadaisical performances for the Gunners during their most difficult period this season.
But asking for van Persie’s shirt at half-time really took the biscuit.
He barely featured for Arsenal after that, and went on loan to Grêmio in February.
Suarez Munches Ivanovic
Suarez attempts to take a chunk out of Ivanovic’s forearm, and is promptly banned for 10 matches. Cue endless puns about Suarez biting off more than he can chew, “Chewy” Suarez, and the like.
It remains to be seen whether he has pushed Rodgers that bit too far, or whether he himself has had enough of Liverpool and English football.
Same old Suarez… always eating.
Evra Takes Up Arms
Great stuff from Patrice Evra, and from whoever threw that severed arm onto the Old Trafford turf.
Just a few days after Suarez is caught in the act, United win the Premier League by beating Aston Villa. During the celebrations, Evra finds himself with a severed arm. Naturally.
Thank the lord, common sense prevailed, and no actions were taken against Evra.
Fabrice Muamba Returns to White Hart Lane
After his cardiac arrest on 17th March 2012, Muamba’s heart stopped beating for over 70 minutes. Miraculously, he survived. This is the remarkable moment in November when Muamba returned to the ground where it all happened.
A great ovation from the Spurs fans.
Mulumbu Loses It
We’ve all wanted to do this at some point. In fact, we almost certainly have done it as a nipper in the school playground. West Bromwich Albion’s Mulumbu is 26. He did it anyway.
Accuracy and power.
“Score the Winner in the FA Cup Final”
Technically not Premier League news, but who cares? I didn’t think Ben Watson would feature in two magic moments of the season this year, and his second mention is a little more impressive than the first, although I’m sure we’d all love to clatter a referee every now and again. Minutes after coming on as a late substitute, Watson scores a superb header to win Wigan the FA Cup at Wembley. Story.
They were relegated from the Premier League 3 days later.
Fergie Waves Adios
After 26 years in charge of Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson retires as manager to take up a position on the board. His sendoff at Old Trafford was a moment to behold, and his speech to the crowd was a fitting way to end. David Moyes now takes over at one of the biggest clubs in the world, and his first job is to decide on the future of one Wayne Rooney.
Oh, and we mustn’t forget Mr. Paul Scholes, who also bows out this season, along with Michael Owen, Jamie Carragher, David Beckham, and Phil Neville.
I’m feeling old.
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The Special One goes out with a bang in the Copa del Rey final, which Real Madrid lost 2-1 to Atlético. Both Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo were red carded in an extremely heated derby match. Madrid have since confirmed that Mourinho will be leaving at the end of this season.
It’s not my intention to be an idle Rooney-basher. He is undoubtedly a fine player, and has been for many years. Wayne Rooney has scored incredible goals and put in some unbelievable performances. He is one of football’s superstars.
Since he exploded onto the scene at the age of 16 with that belter against Arsenal, he has been a fiery and unpredictable character. Earmarked for greatness from the beginning, he was snapped up by Manchester United in 2004 for around £25 million, and made his mark as a debutant with a hat-trick against Turkish side Fenerbahçe. Since 2004, Rooney’s goal return has been fairly impressive, and his career total boasts not far off a goal every 2 games.
Unfortunately, despite his obvious quality and relative consistency, it seems that Wayne Rooney will never be thought of as one of the greats.
There are a number of reasons for this assessment. It’s easy to run off a list of misdemeanours and claim that they “prove” Rooney is, indeed, a twerp. But you need to look in more detail at the combined impact of these events, and how they have shaped people’s perception of Rooney, his place in the modern game, and ultimately how his career will be judged when he retires.
This article isn’t meant as a condemnation of Rooney as a horrendous human being. Instead, it is an examination of the reasons why Wazza will now never be considered a legend of the game, and what has contributed towards his unpopularity.