Accumulator-Start of a dream

The season came underway on Saturday, and what better way to start it off than putting some money on hoping to make a nice profit.

The bet

I had Spurs, Everton and Fulham all to win. I also had QPR to draw their game.

Stake: 1.00
Potential return: 26.31

West Ham vs Tottenham Hotspur

The first half didn’t start very well, but there was a key turning point early into it. Kyle Naughton gave away a penalty and got sent off as a result. It was a penalty but a red card was very harsh, and made it difficult for us to play with one less player on the pitch. Noble missed the penalty, after having scored 10 penalties consecutively previously. Dier moved to right back and Capoue went to centre back. The game got better for us upon the arrival of Andros Townsend, he was one of the few players that was willing to take a shot at goal. Then Collins got sent off for having received two yellows. This evened out the game as each had now had one sent off. Right at the end of the game Downing was sure to score, but Lloris saved us, yet again. Shortly after, Dier was put through from a pass by Harry Kane,he then got around the keeper and scored! A 90th minute goal on his debut kept my accumulator alive.

Leicester vs Everton

McGeady opened the scoring on the 20th minute mark, with a quality finish in the top corner, avoiding the defenders that were standing on the line trying to stop him. An equaliser came almost straight after, on 22 minutes a corner was whipped in, the ball bounced around a bit, but then Ulloa was able to score making it 1-1. Naismith then scored right on the brink of half time with another good finish. Everton lead at half time. For the 2nd half it seemed as if my accumulator was going to continue but then at the end, with only 5 minutes left of play, Leicester equalised, the accumulator was ruined.

QPR vs Hull

The goal came in the 52nd minute from a corner. There was no one at the back post and Ferdinand didn’t stay with his man, this cost QPR a goal, Hull lead 1-0. QPR got a penalty late on, and missed it, this was justice though as it clearly wasn’t a penalty. Another part of my accumulator wrong.

Fulham vs Millwall

Millwall scored after a failed clearance by Scott Parker, and Fulham were unable to get a goal back, let alone the two they needed. Thankfully it wasn’t just Fulham that ruined my chances of winning any money this week.

Overall

The season started with a series of unpredictable results, I blame this for my accumulator being pretty dire. I intend to turn this into a weekly thing, and seeing how much money I spend and make over the course of the season.

So far

Placed: 1.00
Returned: 0.00

Thank you for reading this post. I’ve reached a milestone, this was my tenth post! Many thanks to everyone who’s read it, commented on it, and shared it. You can contact me on twitter: @sneeky_09 or via email: fernandesfootball@gmail.com

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Schalke review + West Ham preview

After the 2-1 victory against the German club, I take a look at the game and what’s to come, with the opening game of the season.

The Schalke game

The start of game was very positive, fast passing, and a lot of movement off the ball. When it was lost, the players pressed high and quickly, trying to win the ball back quickly.

We created a fair amount of chances, but the main occurrence was the players being caught offside. What seemed to be the problem would be the player creating a good run, but it being spotted too late and therefore hitting a pass to an offside player. It isn’t too much of a problem as the players will eventually be more in sync with each other and learn when someone is going to make a run. They will hopefully also learn to spot and make the pass earlier on.

After the start of the second half, several substitutions were made and it really affected the game, and not for the better. Both Harry Kane and Soldado came on, neither performing particularly well. Soldado did score, but even him himself laughed upon seeing the replay. Kane failed to take his chances several times and showed he doesn’t really have the quality to be featured in the squad as often as he is. Soldado did some impressive passing and had great link up play as he always does, however the problem is we bought him to score goals, and so far he hasn’t been good enough.

The main problem with Pochettino’s style is it really doesn’t suit Soldado which means we aren’t really ever going to get the best out of him. The style of play that is being encouraged, requires the striker to move about, including out to the channels. You don’t want Soldado going out wide, he’s a poacher, he needs to be in the box.

The only other problem I’ve seen, is long balls, it seems we force teams to do it with how we press, but if their player gets on the end of it, it causes us problems. This leads me onto my next point…

West Ham

We could end up losing to West Ham just because of our weakness to long balls. West Ham play long ball football all the time, they managed to beat us last time with it, they just could again.

But having only won one pre season game I don’t think it’s likely they will beat us!

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ITKs

With the season still seeming like a long way away, and only pre season matches to entertain ourselves many people end up spending their time on twitter following accounts known as ITK accounts. These accounts claim to be “in the know” and their aim is to post transfers before you will see them anywhere else. I don’t think these accounts are reliable but I still think they can be worth following.

Their Sources

Most of the time they seem to just take information off each other which obviously isn’t as reliable as sources such as sky sports etc. It also seems that they just make educated guesses based on other news and what agents have come out and said, which again isn’t always fully reliable.

Accounts I’ve seen

I once followed one of the first itk accounts known as agent itk, and at first it seemed like he knew what he was talking about, but then he made a promise to spurs fans, a promise that Leandro Damiao was coming to spurs. That didn’t happen and he was humiliated.

There was also a Chelsea dedicated itk account a couple of years ago that said Hazard would go to Chelsea before he went there. He got it right and people thought that meant he was trustworthy. He later came out saying that he made the account for a laugh over the summer and getting transfers correct was just a lucky guess.

Overall

Overall I would say it might be worth your time following these types of accounts because it helps you to keep up to date with the latest transfer gossip, and not miss out on any rumours. I wouldn’t use for anything more than that though, don’t take their word, and believe what they say will happen, just use it to get an idea of what’s going on in the footballing world.

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Why Lloris is sold next year

Hugo is definitely one of our key players at the club. He has recently signed a 5 year contract at the club, but I reckon he won’t be at the club any longer than a year. Here’s my reasons why:

Levy
Although I wrote a lot of good things about levy in a previous post (see here: http://tinyurl.com/komapmf) he has got a reputation for selling our best players. He sold Modric and Bale, so it’s likely he will sell Lloris at some point.

Recent Trend

Carrying on from my last point, both Modric and Bale signed big contracts for Spurs before leaving to Real Madrid soon after. It looks like Hugo will be following this trend having just signed a new contract himself.

Our “special” agreement

Our link with Real Madrid hasn’t really done us any favours. What it has done is make it easier for Madrid to buy players from us. They’ve bought Modric and Bale, they’ll more then likely buy another of our star players.

Vorm

After the signing of a keeper of a good quality it’s likely he will have been bought with the idea he will at some point be replacing Hugo as our main keeper. Currently he will just be replacing Friedel, as the backup keeper, but I see him having a more important role in the future.

Overall

Overall I would say there is a very high chance of him leaving, he will be hugely missed.

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World Cup review

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The World Cup has finally come to an end. Let’s take a look at the tournament as a whole.

The Home Nation
Although they finished 4th Brazil won’t be happy with how their tournament went. They lost the semi final 7-1 which was just shameful for a country of their stature. They then lost 3-0 to Netherlands meaning they finished 4th conceding 10 goals in their last 2 games, not very good defensively. Overall they didn’t play well at all and actually were lucky to get as far as they did. They’re known as the nation of football, but they didn’t show us that at all this World Cup.

The champions
Germany had a strong tournament overall and ended it well, beating Argentina 1-0 in extra time. Although they only won with a 1 goal margin, they had 60% possession and more shots on target than Argentina. You could say that they didn’t deserve to win it as they only got 7 past Brazil! All jokes aside I think they definitely deserved to win the tournament.

Golden Ball
The award for best player of the tournament was handed to Messi. This wasn’t a good call as although he did score crucial goals for Argentina he didn’t have the consistency of some of the other players in the tournament. He scored 4 goals but none after the group stages of the competition which is when they are needed most. He also missed the chance that ended up costing them the World Cup it self.
I think it should’ve been given to James Rodríguez. He got the golden boot and was consistent in the games he played. He also got one of, if not the best goal of the World Cup.

Overall
Overall it was a good World Cup with a lot of exciting and high scoring games. We’ve seen how Spain have lost their dominance and we’ve seen Germany deservedly rise to win it.

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Nabil Bentaleb-First Team Material?

Nabil Bentaleb featured in the first team 15 times last season, which is impressive considering he is only 19 years old, but did he deserve his place in the team or was it another mistake by manager at the time, Tim Sherwood?

Stats

Nabil has been given 8 awards in total by squawka for good play during a match. This includes 3 best player of the team awards which is particularly impressive as it shows he is able to out perform our best players at such a young age. He was also given 3 for best possession of the ball which highlights his ability of keeping and passing the ball. He also won 2 for best defence, this shows that not only can he keep and pass the ball successfully but he can also track back and help out the defence when he is needed to.

Overall Opinion

Overall I would definitely say that I am glad that Bentaleb was introduced into the first team. He has already showed signs that he deserves a place in the squad if not the first team, and at 19 years of age he can only improve. I would also say he is extremely under-rated, even by spurs fans. I would put this down to the bias some spurs fans had against Tim Sherwood, which caused them to dislike everything he did,including the introduction of Bentaleb. Although I personally didn’t like Tim Sherwood, I do think that his decision to include Nabil in the first team was a good one, and it should be something we, as spurs fans, should be thankful for. I would also say that if Bentaleb was in Manchester City’s or Manchester United’s squad, possibly even the Arsenal squad, people would rate him much higher then they currently do.

His Future

I’m sure that Bentaleb will turn into a quality player, so expect him to be involved in a transfer scandal involving Spanish paper Marca and Real Madrid, in a few years time!

All stats from squawka.com

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A Hipster’s Guide to the World Cup- Teams

Is backing Brazil or Argentina to win the World Cup too mainstream for you?! Well I’ve got the answer to your problems!

Alternative teams:

The most obvious country to choose would be Belgium. They’ve got a good, mainly young squad with a lot of talent. They proved their worth with a 2-1 comeback in their first group game against Algeria. They are a highly recognised team and expected to do well.

Another good team to back would be Croatia as I wrote about in my previous post(see here: https://fernandesfootball.wordpress.com/2014/06/13/world-cup-predictions/) they’ve got a good team and play good football. Although they lost to Brazil in their opening game, they proved they are a team worth including. Also with their 4-0 win yesterday, they’re even more impressive.

One country you should keep an eye out for is Columbia. They’ve got players such as Armero, Zuniga and Monaco midfielder James Rodriguez. They’ve already proven they can do well with an impressive 3-0 win over Greece.

Uruguay have a trio of good forwards, with Cavani, Forlan and Premier League top scorer Suarez meaning they’ve definitely got some firepower if nothing else, but with a tough group including England, Italy they may not even qualify for the later stages.

Costa Rica may not have many recognisable names but they’ve proven they’re a decent side and can certainly create chances. They were able to pull off a 3-1 win against Uruguay and might be able to pull off an upset and qualify over England or Italy for the later stages.

Chile will definitely be worth looking out for,as they have shown they’re a good side by confirming their place in the next stage of the competition after a convincing 2-0 win over world champions Spain, knocking them out of the World Cup. They play good attacking football that has already seen them score an impressive 5 goals in 2 games, only conceding 1.

My last team is Bosnia and Herzegovina. They’ve got Manchester City’s Eden Dzeko and Roma star Miralem Pjanic who had 7 goals and 7 assists for Roma last season and was given an average rating of 7.48(from whoscored.com). Also with a narrow loss to Argentina, they’ve shown they are capable to play well and create chances even against the best teams.

Odds:
Here are the odds of each team winning the World Cup (accurate of the time of writing the blog):
•Belgium 20/1
•Croatia 200/1
•Columbia 33/1
•Uruguay 100/1
•Costa Rica 250/1
•Chile 20/1
•Bosnia and Herzegovina 150/1

The chances of one of these teams winning the World Cup is 16%, not too bad seeing as we’ve not gone for any of the majorly popular teams!

Thank you for reading the 3rd post on my blog, if you have any comments please feel free to contact me on twitter, my username is @sneeky_09
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