Tag Archives: Terry

20 October 2012 – Tottenham vs Chelsea

Tottenham-2/4-Chelsea @ White Hart Lane

47′-Gallas, 54′-Defoe//17′-Cahill, 66′- Mata, 69′- Mata, 91′ Sturridge

Chelsea used to absolutely dominate Tottenham back in the day, with something along the lines of 30+ games in succession going from Chelsea. However ever since 2005 Chelsea has had a hard time at White Hart Lane, as the Spurs have not loss to the Blues in the last 6 games there. This game is a little different, however, since Tottenham have looked strong with their new addition to their team and Chelsea are still unbeaten in the EPL before the game. So which one of the two trends would give way?

Game of the Week. EASY. A strong showing from both teams lately made this game an interesting one. However, one thing to note is that Gareth Bale was not in the starting line as reports say that his wife went into labor roughly an hour before the start of the game. Start of with some great play from Chelsea. Torres seemed to be working his magic up front as the three behind him (Mata, Oscar, Hazard) worked well to support. Obi Mikel controlled the game well and worked the team up at a good pace. 17′ minutes in Chelsea’s corner gets deflected out to Gary Cahill, who volleys a smasher right through Friedel. Not much else to report of the half other than a couple opportunities from Chelsea and something or two out of Tottenham. Mainly, Chelsea maintained control of the half and did not let the home team gain any momentum whatsoever. Going to the second half, a early set piece from Tottenham took a confused Chelsea to the tie. However, it didn’t end there as a pressing home team took the momentum of the goal to work a second one from Defoe, who was assisted by Aaron Lennon. A rapid succession of goals plus the home field advantage game Tottenham a commanding lead in the momentum, as Chelsea couldn’t come out of the back in an orderly fashion. After a long spell of pressure from Spurs was ended by a chance from Chelsea, followed by a goal from Juan Mata off a mistake from Gallas. It did not end there as absolutely amazing movement from Juan Mata tied to an amazing pass from Eden Hazard connected for the third goal for Chelsea. After that, the game seemed to go all in Chelsea’s favor as the spell of Tottenham’s momentum came to a screeching halt. More pressure from Chelsea ended up with an extra goal from the substitute Daniel Sturridge, courtesy of the trip from  Kyle Walker near the 18 yard box and an assist from Juan Mata. That would basically conclude the match, as the White Hart Lane would suffer its first Blues lose since 2005.
Man of the Match- Obviously Juan Mata. Admittedly a quiet man in the first half, but came to life after the Tottenham momentum surge in the first 20 minutes of the second half. After which Juan Mata dictated the pace of the whole game and scored a double of his own, raising his streak to six goals in five games. Second goal, however, blew my mind, as the vision of Juan Mata to make that run so much earlier than it was seen by defenders is truly the reason why he is one of the best in the EPL at the moment. This man is having no thoughts about a sophomore slump.

 

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6 October 2012 – Chelsea vs Norwich

Another week for the English League and I’m super excited for the week. A couple of very good games to top off a strong week for England in the Champion’s League as they win three of their games and tie one. This one will about Chelsea (of course) and finally having the time to talk about a game has made me very excited. Today’s match was with Norwich City at Stamford Bridge, and Norwich’s away games have not looked pretty. However, this is the English Premier League, where no game is easy and every match is taken with the highest consideration. Anyway onto the game.

 

Chelsea started out strong today with some good attacks starting from the two defensive midfielders today, Obi Mikel and Lampard. However, it was the Canaries who opened first, as an 11th minute goal off a counter attack gave them the lead. A strong volley off the header back, along with some view obstruction of Cech’s vision, gave none other than Grant Holt the first goal of the game. However, Chelsea were not going to stand and let that score line settle down, as 3 minutes later, Chelsea’s top man Fernando Torres buries on in the opposite corner in tremendous fashion off a expert cross from their right back Ivanovic. This opened up the rest of the game, as Chelsea continued the attack on the Norwich defense. However, a failed bicycle kick from Torres to deny his second led to Frank Lampard’s smashing volley, giving him the second goal of the game and his first EPL goal since February.  It did not seem like Chelsea was content at that point, as unrelenting pressure from the attacking force kept on striking. With little answer from the yellow side, Chelsea found their third off a counter attack, led by Chelsea’s 2011/12 Player of the Year Juan Mata, who seems to have no plans on getting second season jitters. Juan Mata, with three Man of the Match’s in a row, started the counter with Torres and Hazard streaking along side, eventually finding the Norwich gap that gave Chelsea’s Belgian a chance to expertly slot it past Ruddy. In the 31st minute, Eden Hazard achieved another goal of his EPL season. This ended most of the major tackles in the first half, as Norwich still has no answer after a strong start to the game.

Second half was much of the same. Chelsea came out with a semi-lackluster performance and did not look all that interested, with a command on the game and a lead on the scoreboard, Chelsea were flying high. However, after the 60th minute, things changed for Norwich’s worst, as Chelsea’s attack looked to be stronger. The added momentum of Oscar, who had many looks on goal, and the pace of Hazard and Mata eventually brought the Blues to their fourth, as an absolute smasher of a goal came from Ivanovic, who hit it too strong for Ruddy to keep out. Ruddy did get a hand on it, but the Serbian right back hit it too hard from too close. A giant gap in the 18 box gave Ivanovic the composure to smash a one-touch volley into the Canaries goal. After this, one or two instances of life from Norwich fell short as Chelsea continued to press on as well, as the attack did not look like it would end for Norwich. After 90 minutes of bombardment at Stamford Bridge, the game came to a unsurprising ending, as in-form Chelsea took a comfortable fixture over out-of-form Norwich.

Other notables were Oscar’s strength in attack. Oscar seemed to get a couple shots off, but otherwise contributed more as the great attacking midfielder he is.  Grant Holt’s constant ability to find openings in defense is a scary one, and a in-form team would give him the opportunity to score at a constant rate.

Chelsea- Strength in attack took over their strength in defense, as the young men up top seemed to take control of the game with the help of the defensive midfielders and the two side backs. In my opinion, defensive looked iffy at times, but the attack kept them  well into the game, as the small answers the Norwich has for Chelsea gave the attack the ability to create their own game. Playing a 4-2-3-1, and probably doing it the best in England, the formation gave the home side the chances to keep forward with strong attack, as well as the opportunity to counter for the third goal from the Blues. Man of the Match was clearly the Spaniard Juan Mata, who started attack and made hell for the Canaries. His expert passing and strong fundamentals gave Chelsea everything they needed to put attack on the opponent’s net. A good game from the home side going into the international break.

Norwich- Not much to say about a team that hasn’t looked good since the beginning of the year. Honestly, Norwich became my mini-favorites last year, with the strong attack that they had and the never-say-die attitude that they kept through the season. However, it doesn’t seem to be clicking this year, as everything is out of place. Attack is, more times than not, relatively elementary, with almost no depth in ability or teamwork behind it. If they want more  points, the attack will have to be more complex, especially on all the good defensive teams in the league this year. Defensive was an even worse issue, as they were unorganized and easily scrambled, Chelsea’s Juan Mata looked to open them up easily. Not a good game from the Canaries, but then again, they haven’t had one all year.

Last note- I’m really happy to this and I’m glad to be back and writing about football. Will hopefully commentate on the Gunners vs Hammers match, as that game proves to be interesting, especially with the form that the Hammers have been in their first season back from the tier under.

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19 August 2012- Wigan vs Chelsea


Final Score – Wigan:0/Chelsea:2

2′-Ivanovic, 7′-Lampard(PK)

Being  a Chelsea fan, it’s going to be hard talking about my fixtures. I am a huge fan but also a huge critic, and I will be the first to see my teams faults. Regardless, Chelsea did not get handed the win today, but it did seem that the game was decided in six minutes. After that, Chelsea was never too close except for the clearance from Ramis after Torres barely beat the keeper and an attempt from Oscar early after his entrance. Wigan never looked that threatening, but Victor Moses did give Ashley Cole some issues in the first half. The main note, for Chelsea fans anyway, is that both signings, Oscar and Eden Hazard, has very impressive games today. Hazard started and assisted Bran’s goal in the second minute with a beautiful turn in the midfield, and was also the cause of the penalty due to his speed around the defender. Oscar would replace him in the second half, with a great show of talent and pace. He is a hard worker and is always working off the ball, as well as getting back to play defense, whether it is in the midfield or the defensive third of Chelsea.

As for Wigan, I feel like Victor Moses does not have the midfield backing to make him a major threat. I don’t say that because Chelsea is linked with him, but it is something that Wigan is seriously lacking. The team’s defensive line is solid at times, making sure that the mistimed runs of Torres would result in a flag in the air, but otherwise did not seem like they had an answer for Chelsea counterattacks.

Chelsea looks good, but this is not the team that will beat Newcastle United next Saturday. Reading shouldn’t be a problem, but Di Matteo is good at prioritizing and taking the season one step at a time. In my honest opinion, I think that Chelsea is a major top four contender and will be consider one of the most volatile teams all season. 

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Euro 2012 – England vs Italy

What started as a crazy first ten minutes resulted as a game of strength on strength. Italy, obviousy playing just a bit better than England. There isn’t much to say but I’ll bring up some halftime notes!

England-I think their main problem on the right side is James Milner. He slows down the game considerably and messes up in crucial times. I say throw Theo in there and let him do his magic. Other than that, Welbeck hasn’t seen much of the ball, so I say throw in Andy Carroll and get some width into the team. Other than that, I do not see anything other than the solid defense and strong will of John Terry saving there butt once again.

Italy- Other than the lack of finishing quality, I say don’t change anything and make sure that you get more opportunities to have more shots on goal.

Final Score – England:0/Italy:0(win by PK’s)

Although I can’t say that the extra time was surprising, the game was definitely an exciting match. Italy played very well and tested England’s defense for a solid 120 minutes without prevail. That’s not to say that England was parking the bus, as they had a decent amount of attacks but nothing as dangerous as the attempt early in the match that Buffon magically stopped. For most of the game, Italy attacked with pace and strength, showing anyone who said they didn’t deserve to be there a thing or two (I’m on that boat). No game should end by penalties, and I hate to see like England leave because of my ties to the Barclay’s Premier League but the game must be decided. Some notes for the teams, even a little for England and Roy.

Italy- After this game, Italy has shown is offensive teeth, as England was forced to play defense for most of the time. The attacking power of Balotelli and Cassano was definitely felt hard by England, as the support threat of Pirlo was always lurking. Buffon was top notch as always, showing a bit of youth and expertise at the same time. The one worry I have is Italy’s ability to score, which has not been prevalent this tournament. If they want to beat Germany, scoring is gonna have to be something the get down over the break. Other than that, making sure that Schweinsteiger doesn’t create and Mario Gomez doesn’t get free looks on the net are on top priority goals. Also, playing with the same style and pace as they did today will score them a goal on the weaker defense of Germany.

England- Defense was solid enough to hold a Italian onslaught but the offense was terribly poor even with the Rooney addition. Andy Carroll showed more life and worth than Rooney and Welbeck, and that is a major worry for them. Rooney did not have a good tournament show, almost comparable to Robin van Persie. Two players who both had amazing seasons in the Barclay’s to show up and not do anything for their countries. Maybe not having Lampard was a bigger issue than thought, but the bottom line is that Roy needs to think of something for the offense if he is still here by 2014.

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Goal-line Technology-Should today’s football implement it?

On the 19th of June, 2012, during the Euro 2012 game between Ukraine and England, Mario Devic put a ball over Joe Hart and into the goal. However, the ball was scooped out by John Terry just in the nick of time, but not quite. Replays show that the ball was in fact all the way in and it was a goal. These calls have been happening for years and years, and the UEFA started implementing a fourth and fifth referee on the pitch, one on both sides of the field, just to the left of the goal. This referee’s main job is to enforce whether the ball would have crossed the ball fully or not, thereby making for a more just game. Initially this was Micheal Platini’s solution to goal-line technology, something that gets pitched to him every year. During the Ukraine vs England it is certain that the 5th official had eyes on the ball and could have made the correct call, but then didn’t.  The question has been brought up to the president again, saying that this is exactly the reason why goal-line technology should be implemented for the 21st century football.

The pros for this technology would mainly, and probably most importantly, be a perfectly scored game. Therefore, deserved wins are given, and everything that rolls behind that. The cons are that a big human part of football is taken out, which adds to the greatness of the game. Now the way you look at that con could possibly throw it in the pros list, but for me, that’s a con. Obviously this means that I am against such a change in the game. I love the human aspect of the referees because I think it adds a dimension of the game forces players to not rely on the officiating team. That would mean that the referees would be doing their job 100% of the time, which sounds great, but where is the risk of playing offside traps if you can possibly get away with it every time? What’s the point of adding a shove here or there if it’ll be called a foul every time. While I am not commentating on the actual goal-line technology, I am commentating on the near-perfectly reffed game that does not seem appealing to me.

Maybe it is the old side of me that agrees with Platini about this said topic. Many have told me I am a out-of-time person, living in the wrong time frame. While I do not think that is completely true (I am blogging, aren’t I?), I see the semi-validity behind it, which makes me think that this is also affecting my thoughts and views on this matter. I think that this is one human error that could of been made by anyone. In fact, I applaud John Terry for doing what he did, because if he did not this wouldn’t be needed to be talked about. Yes, maybe a more suitable answer is needed for this, but I do not think new tech is the answer. Plus, English fans will argue that three Ukrainian plays before that, the pass was offside and therefore that ball should not have reached that point.

I would love to hear the thoughts of others, as I love intelligent conversation. I am sorry about how late this is and how I didn’t get to do a quarterfinals pre-write. When you do not get paid to do these things, no one supports or respects what you do, even if it is completely out of love.

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Euro 2012- England vs Ukraine

Final Score- England:1/Ukraine:0

48′-Rooney

The co-hosts take their exit in an exciting fashion as they give the supposed favorites a run for their money. On the other side of the of the headline, Wayne Rooney makes his entrance and leaves his mark as his goal was the deciding factor in the match. Ukraine beating down on England in the first half with strong shots and quick ball movement were surprised not to have one end up in the back of the net, partly the fault of Joe Hart. He was not the only player of note in the white shirts as Steven Gerrard played unbelievably well. He was the heart of the attack today, on top of his pinpoint accuracy.  Although John Terry had a great game today, including causing the miscall from the 5th referee on Devic’s attempt on goal, but more on that later. Regardless, it was an exciting match and I felt like Ukraine deserves more than to be sent out this early. Of course, winning is just as important as playing well, and with the array of opportunities that the Ukrainians acquired it is hard to sympathize too much with the home team. Great game to watch and a great conclusion to the group stages.

In the 62′ minute, Devic from Ukraine made a break in the box and hit it over Joe Hart towards the box, just to be cleared by John Terry at the last second. Replays show that the ball was, in fact, in the goal and Ukraine deserved the goal. In the moments before this play, however, a clear offsides on the Ukraine team was not called and therefore allowed the continuation of the play up until the controversial call. Up until now, the refereeing has been remarkable, omitting the first game, of course. But this call was missed by the 5th referee, a solution that UEFA came up with in order to make a secondary solution to miscalled goals in crucial times. This officially negates this idea and brings back the idea of goal line technology, which Micheal Platini has been actively avoiding. On that note, I’ll make a different write-up about the pros and cons of goal line technology, as well as my personal thoughts on it.

Also, I will do a pre-quarterfinals write-up tomorrow on what to expect in the coming games.

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Euro 2012 – England vs Sweden

HALF TIME! Time for some notes. To be honest there isn’t going to be much said.

England- Great goal from the Liverpool pair. I couldn’t have saw that coming even if I was on the pitch. Regardless, the goal has put them in a favorable spot to win the crucial three points to level themselves with France. Scott Parker needs to keep shooting from far and that Liverpool connection needs to happen more often. On the defensive end, the Ibrahimovic situation needs to be sorted out because if he is shrugging off defenders, he will surely break someone in the wrong area for England. Keeping the defense solid and making sure that Parker and Gerrard have their looks, along with a little something  from the young guns like Welbeck and Young will surely secure the win.

Sweden- Surprisingly playing better defense then they usually do, Sweden needs to take advantage of this and push at the beginning of the half. Ibrahimovic is still the key to the Swedish offense, and it seems like every touch he has on the ball is dangerous. He is playing too far back in order to create for his team as well as attack with numbers. Finding a way to let him push out even further will be key to tying or winning this game for the yellow shirts. Only one goal down, they are definitely not out of it yet.

Final Score- England:3/Sweden:2

23′-Carroll, 49′-G.Johnson(OG), 59′-Mellberg, 64′-Walcott, 78′-Welbeck

After a heart-stopping game, the Swedes will take their exit. This game was unbelievable, with attacks back and forth and with every attack being deadlier than the last. In the end, England was out on top, finishing the yellows off with a beautiful redirection of the ball by Danny Welbeck. Assisted by none other than Theo Walcott, he made an amazing impact the second he got on the field, taking Milner’s place and immediately making results. Questions have gone up in the England manager’s direction as whether Walcott should be starting over Milner, but I guess that is for a different time as the next game, England will have their main striker back, Wayne Rooney, to help them in the last game of the group stages and beyond.

Sweden- Taking a dagger to the heart, the expertise of the masterful Theo Walcott ended Sweden’s rally, which seemed like it was going to upset this England side. Ibrahimovic had some amazing looks at the net, just none that ended where he wanted them. In the end, there was only a few things that could of been done to have helped rally this team through, but the counter attacks were the main problem. Two attacked with a weakened defense, Walcott knew what to do on both occasions to help his team rise to the top. Although the main problem being the defense, it wasn’t the only problem, as both goals came off set pieces. While this might say more for England than it will for Sweden, we bid the Swedes farewell, as they gave the world such an entertaining game. Being a massive fan of Ibrahimovic, it is sad to see him go, but this tournament is about great teams, not players.

England- Some heart from a team that has been criticized day after day, England really showed the amount of superstars that are present on this team. Although both goals came off preventable fouls, England found a way to push through conceding two goals in a row and score two of their own. Theo Walcott was the man of the match, in my opinion, coming on and scoring and assisting within fifteen minutes of his entrance. Carroll today had an amazing goal, but was a part of the goal against his side, creating the free kick that paved the way for one of Sweden’s goals. The other foul, conceded by Milner, makes me question his start. After an under average game today and missing the goal that would of put England on top in the France match, Milner may have become more of a liability than a help. Obviously, not all the blame goes to the fouls, as England’s terrible defense today almost spelled the demise for them. Even against a side like Ukraine, England will need to step up the defense, starting with John Terry, who must learn how to control his defense like he does with Chelsea. With the addition of Rooney to the line-up, England can have a bright future ahead.

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Euro 2012 – England vs France

Half-time in the match. Pointers

England- The idea that Roy had for his team was a sound idea. Play good defense and counter attack in numbers. But looks like it got unraveled after the goal at the 30′ by Lescott from Manchester City. Milner’s chance was almost too good, and sad to see it go to waste and this might end up kicking England in the end. Roy Hodgson needs to make sure that Parker and Gerrard get up and out of the defense, which is very uncharacteristic of him, and make sure that he can support Welbeck and Young, both phenomenal strikers that only need one chance to fix a match. The main thing to note is after the goal by Lescott, England played defense for 15 minutes. This cannot be done against the French side, as they have too many players in form and too much attacking power, regardless of the strength of the England back line.

France- Honestly, I cannot say too much about this side. Blanc is a veteran manager and player and has been to many tournaments as both. He looks like he knows exactly what he is doing with the team. Of good note, however, France is currently sitting on the perfect balance of possession and attack. They are not straining too many opportunities and finding one good look after another, with Nasri finding a great slot and possibly catching Hart off his toes. The main criticism I bring up for them is their defense, which needs to be stronger on set plays and fast attacks in order to come out with points today, because England is looking for a good counter, luckily without the likes of Rooney or Lampard.

On another note, Ian and Steve are quite entertaining as always.

Final Score- France:1/England:1

Lescott-30′, Nasri-39

Very exciting match. Loved the paced back and forth attacking, as it was engaging the whole ninety minutes. It seemed like a textbook football match. Some notes to make for both teams in the future.

England- Although I do believe that this defensive mindset was for France and other strong attacking teams, I hope they don’t make a habit of it. With so much attacking force, it will be disappointing to sit back like that against teams like Sweden, who aren’t known for their defense at all. This side will also be missing Rooney for another match but after that I think that England will feel the confidence surge a bit to carry them into the knockout rounds. Not much to say about this other than Gerrard needs to get out even more than he did the second half, but obviously will feel better about it with Rooney in the back. Sadly, this injury-struck team could do more with the likes of Lampard and Cahill (bias?). I do question the reason of not starting Theo Walcott, but maybe Roy has realized that. Sadly, like I hoped against, the game came down to Milner’s miss.

France- I can say even less about this side. They played some very pretty football all the way through the game and were, in my opinion, the stronger team on the pitch. Samir Nasri played like a big name should, but France needs to see more from Ribery and more importantly, Benzema. I am a true Benzema fan since his Lyon days, and he has been doing so well for his club, almost making the other veteran striker Higuain look like he was a novelty item. He did have some strong looks and looks promising, but I’m glad that he found his footing against England and hopefully he can take that into the rest of the tournament. By no means did Ribery play poorly, in fact I think he did a wonderful job, but a little more would propel this team to the semi-finals in this tournament. I do not agree with the Malouda choice over Ben Arfa, even as a Chelsea fan, but maybe that experience was needed on the pitch. Ben Arfa is one of France’s more creative players and giving that asset to Benzema could be vital. On a positive note, I loved Cabaye’s pace and prowess on the field. I truly believe he is a player to watch so as long as France is in the tournament. After this game, I believe France will be coming out on top of the group and exceeding England in this tournament.

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