Thursday, January 31, 2013

Can Liverpool's Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge form a unique striking partnership?

Liverpool's new signing Daniel Sturridge has already impressed many and his partnership with Luis Suarez looks like the beginning of something special. Sturridge has been claiming for years he is best when used as an out and out striker and he has got his wish since moving to Liverpool. Finally after a few years of moaning, Liverpool have a strike-partner for their top player Suarez.

Sturridge has claimed he is loving life at Liverpool a few times already and it's shown on the pitch as he has bagged a few goals in his few appearances so far. At Manchester City and Chelsea everybody realized he had great potential, but now we are all seeing it first-hand and you cannot help but believe he is going to be a big success for the club.

How can the Suarez and Sturridge partnership benefit Liverpool?

  • Liverpool now have more striking options
  • The pressure will be shared between the two
  • Between the duo they have pace, strength and goal-scoring abilities.
Liverpool still have an outside chance of finishing fourth, and gaining the their ultimate goal of qualifying for the UEFA Champion's League competition. But it looks good for Liverpool as since the duo have been working up-front together they have played very well in a tough run of games, scored goals and shown glimpses of great footballing combinations.

Can the duo help Liverpool make a push for success?

Yes they can! Many criticized the signing of Daniel Sturridge, but they will now realize why Liverpool have brought the England international in to the club. This signing fits in to their budget, gives them more attacking strength and improves the team in many ways so it would seem like Liverpool can only achieve more having both of these talents, rather than Suarez on his own. Injuries and bans are always a worry for Luis Suarez and now with Sturridge it seems the club can breathe easier knowing they have a very good option if Suarez is ever absent.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Manchester United look set to sign Wilfried Zaha

Crystal Palace are known for grooming young and talented players. Since early 2012 many football fans across England have been raving about the sensational performances of their player Wilfried Zaha. After years of speculation he looks set to finally agree terms with a Premier League club in Manchester United.

It's being reported that the two clubs are close to agreeing a 12m fee that will see Zaha stay with Palace until the seasons end. The young star has been tipped to grace an elite English club since his early days at Palace and Manchester United seem to be the perfect destination for the young talented star.

With rumours of Nani's departure sticking around it looks likely that Zaha may be his replacement in the summer. With Sir Alex Ferguson being known for developing young stars it looks like Old Trafford is the place for Zaha to have his talents groomed over the coming years. Zaha can play as both a winger and a striker and United see him as a great addition to their current squad. Although it's believed Zaha can have an impact on his arrival this appears to be a signing that will benefit the clubs future past Sir Alex Ferguson's stay as manager.

With talks underway it appears a deal will be completed in the near future, most likely before next weeks transfer deadline. Several Premier League clubs such as Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Man City have monitored the star but it seems like United have too much pulling-power for the other clubs to compete in this deal.

The Palace ace was capped by England against Sweden in November and many believe that wasn't a one off appearance. Although Zaha is not known for his goal-scoring ability his all-round play has fans leaving the ground astonished at what they've witnessed. It's been clear for a long while that although Zaha may not be ready for the Premier League he is certainly far too good to be a Championship player for much longer.

With Palace hoping to get promoted to the Premier League this season they will be demanding Zaha stays for the seasons duration and they will probably be granted this aspect if any deal is concluded. If and when Zaha leaves it is surely a matter of "who's next" as the club have developed Premier League stars Nathaniel Clyne and Victor Moses in recent times. With such a great track record with their youth system Palace will be hoping the next star is ready to be called upon.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Bayern Munich set to appoint Pep Guardiola in the summer

Since the day he left Spain Pep Guardiola has been linked with most of the worlds greatest teams. As time went on many were thinking he was a top target for both Chelsea and Manchester City in this upcoming summer, however everybody was shocked to learn Pep will in fact take over the managerial position at Bayern Munich.

  • Despite his success Pep is only 41
  • Pep is a top-target to replace Sir Alex Ferguson
  • Chelsea have tried to sign him a few times

Jupp Heynckes had recently informed Bayern he would be retiring this summer and the club swept to secure the services of the highly-regarded Pep Guardiola. Pep has signed up to be the Bayern manager for 3 years starting in the summer of 2013 and this has led to speculation that it might coincide with Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United retirement date, meaning he could get his wish of managing an elite English club too.

Pep decided to take a Season-long break from May 2012 and left Barcelona without their managerial hero. During his time in Spain he won 14 trophies including two Champions Leagues titles. Pep is known for the grooming of many of Barcelona's finest talents and is seen as one of the greatest managers of all-time.

Can Pep make Bayern as good as Barca?

Bayern had looked set for a successful season anyway and this may prove the spark they need for extra motivation. With players like Robben, Ribery and Muller Bayern Munich are always a front, but with the coaching of Pep can they achieve greatness? Although he will be blessed with world-class talent one can wonder whether he will be able to cope without the services of Messi and Xavi.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Why don't more players make the jump to America?

         For years the question of bringing major European stars to play in the Major League Soccer in America has been a hot subject. This questions brings up interesting debates, because for such a hot topic, it hasn't really materialized. What I mean by that, is that very few international stars have come abroad to play in America, and none in their primes. David Beckham has been the biggest name to make the switch, and although you could argue whether or not it was a success or not, others have not followed in his footsteps. However, the question that many fans are asking, is why it hasn't happened, and whether or not is a good thing in the first place. Major League Soccer has faced criticism from from FIFA and international fans for not abiding by the FIFA calendar, which is the standard fall to spring format; Instead Major League Soccer has always gone by the Spring to Fall format, which causes many of its top players to leave during the season to participate in the World Cup, and other FIFA sanctioned international competitions held in June and July. This has been one of the concerns for players coming over from international ball clubs, who are simply not used to this particular format, and has made the adjustment for them that much more difficult. Another issue that Major League Soccer has faced in trying to bring international stars over is the question of money. Granted, La Galaxy paid a tremendous amount of money in bringing Beckham over here, but Beckham was a rare exception. Beckham was brought over here to sell shirts, and perhaps pave the wave for other "top" stars to do the same. David Beckham was a celebrity because he was a brand, not necessarily because he was a great footballer. Sure, he was a great footballer at one point, but by the time he came to America in 2007, he was no longer seen as a top level footballer. There have been other great international stars who have come over to the States, starting with Pele in the mid 70s, to Hristo Stoichkov and Carlos Valderrama during the inaugural seasons of the MLS, and recently with players such as Thierry Henry and Freddie Ljungberg coming over. The idea behind bringing Beckham to America, was perhaps other stars would be willing to follow in his footsteps, and it just hasn't happened. But the most important question that some are asking is if it even a good idea at all. David Beckham's stay at La Galaxy has brought some level of success, perhaps not the kind Galaxy had hoped, but it did bring some more attention to the MLS. The hope that more "international stars" would arrive and bring some kind of spectacle has not happened, but my question is why would the MLS really need all that anyways. It's an unnecessary waste of limited resources, and not really the right message MLS should be sending. The time to go after "big name" stars past their primes has come and gone. No longer are fans enchanted by the idea of watching some past his prime star make a spectacle, because fans are now smarter than that. They cannot be tricked by gimmicks anymore. What the MLS really needs to be doing is bringing up young talent, domestically, and in South America, and Central America to try to compete with the stars internationally. By wasting away money and time on one or two year gimmicks is just another reason for fans to look down on MLS. Instead, the MLS should get create and reach from within.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Is Frank Lampard's time at Chelsea about to run-out?

There comes a time in every footballers life that they are surplus to requirements and that time appears to of arrived for Frank Lampard at Chelsea. The central midfielder has long been a Premier League star that has single-handedly won them many games over the years.

It appears there is nothing the ageing Chelsea star can do to secure a little while longer at the London club. With his contract running out in the summer of 2013 there has been speculation surrounding his future, with rumors suggesting he has even offered to dramatically reduce his wages to stay at the club for a longer period.

With it looking certain Lampard has no future many other clubs have been monitoring the situation. Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has been known to be a long-time admirer and there's been suggestions he could bring the veteran to Old Trafford as the retirement bound Paul Scholes.

With Lampard available on a free in the summer many clubs are looking to add the star to their rosters knowing it should only take a good offer, with decent wages to land the England star. LA Galaxy have spare wages to spend since the departure of David Beckham and they are known for bringing older stars to their team. The Galaxy have been linked with a move for Lampard which could be an attractive proposition because of the weather, salary and exposure.

Many Chelsea fans want their star to stay and it's easy to see why, the midfielder is nearly the record goal-scorer of all time for the club and it would be hard to let a talent like that go so easily, especially in such a forceful manner. Chelsea are acting in a manner which suggests they believe they have no need for Lampard, however recent form suggests otherwise. The star can make all the difference at times and recently during all this debate proved his worth by scoring two goals as he led Chelsea to an important 2-1 defeat of Everton. With game-changing moments like this, can Chelsea really afford to let him go so easily?

Who could replace Lampard at Chelsea? 

  • Marouane Fellaini- rumours suggest he could be there player for around £20m.
  • Brazillian talent Taison has been identified as a key play maker to replace Lampard.
  • Modric, the Real Madrid star is reportedly unhappy and could return to London.
Regardless of what happens in the near future with Frank Lampard's future Chelsea fans will always remember him with the fondest of memories. However this decision could come to haunt Chelsea in the years to come. Look at the impact Paul Scholes has had for Man Utd at an even older age than Lampard, and Chelsea aren't prepared to reward Lampard's commitment with any loyalty on their part. Oh well Frank will be scoring goals again before long, but another club will get to enjoy his regular input.