SportsNet - January 2013
On Thursday evening the January transfer window will close, leaving clubs up and down the country to compete until the end of the season with the squads they hold as the clock strikes not-quite-midnight. In the aftermath of Liverpool’s FA Cup elimination at the hands of Oldham, it will be clear to Brendan Rodgers how many and exactly what amendments will need to be made to his own squad list.On Sunday, Rodgers’ men were outplayed, outfought and – most worryingly – outwitted by Oldham Athletic. The Liverpool manager, of course, should be held as accountable for this woeful display as his players.Hindsight, as they say, is a wonderful thing. However, the imbalance and immaturity in Liverpool’s starting eleven was identifiable before a ball had even been kicked at Boundary Park. A defence including 19-year-old full-backs Jack Robinson and Andre Wisdom as well as 22-year-old Sebastian Coates were troubled time and again by The Latics’ combination of brooding striker Matt Smith and the diminutive – yet threatening – playmaker, Jose Baxter.
One of the greatest hitters in the history of baseball finds himself back in the news, as Chicago White Sox legend Frank Thomas made it clear that he does not have much sympathy for the hitters of his era whose careers are clouded by PED usage. Thomas said unequivocally that his numbers are “clean” and that he fully expects to be inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame as part of the 2014 class.
This would be welcome news for the Hall itself, as the BBWAA failed to induct a player for the first time since 1996 despite a loaded ballot stocked with great candidates. Many voters could not get past the PED usage of some of the better players on the ballot, and the arrival of a PED-free candidate like Thomas should make for a welcome change.
But will the era he played in cause Thomas to be lost in the shuffle?
How The Top 20 Premier League Summer 2012 Transfers Have Fared So Far: Eden Hazard, Robin van Persie, Santi Cazorla And More
Looking back at the summer transfer window of 2012, a total of £490 million pounds was spent on transfer fees by Premier League clubs. Some signings have soaked, some have sunk, and some are still trying to improve their new team’s fortunes. The biggest transfer moves are reflected upon here, being named in order of club, followed by fee. To avoid this list being longer than Harry Redknapp’s list of January targets, ‘Top’ transfers are judged in terms of price and also the speculated impact of the signing on their new club. Not every club’s dealings are in this list; this is a subjective article on the larger transfers in the window only. Here are my top 20 summer transfers and how they have done so far:
From: Malaga To: Arsenal Fee: £16.5m
Sunday’s Super Bowl will be the first time ever the two opposing team’s head coaches will be brothers. And it’s fitting because both teams are so similar that they could be “brothers”, as in two identical or very similar styled teams.
The Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49er’s are two very physical, hard hitting, run the ball down your throat, smashmouth football teams. Both teams are known for having great defenses. The Ravens have historically been led by great defenses, this year’s defense isn’t as stout as usual, ranking 17th in total yards per game this season, but they still get the job done and will knock your head off if you come across that middle. The Niners defense ranked 3rd in the league this season in total yards per game. The Niners ranked 4th in the NFL in rushing yards given up per game while the Ravens ranked an unusual 20th.
So as you can see by the stats that the Niners D doesn’t play around out there on the field and they cherish the opportunity to lay the lumber on opposing players.
On the 7th of January 2013 during the Ballon D’Or ceremony World Governing body FIFA revealed its FIFA/FIFPRO World XI for the 2011-2012 season.
The main laurel-the FIFA Ballon D’Or went to Barcelona’s Lionel Messi. This was an expected announcement and very few (if any) would begrudge Messi that accolade. He was by far the outstanding performer of the past season.
The FIFA/FIFPRO final line up was another matter altogether. All the 11 players were from the La Liga and from either Barcelona or Real Madrid with the notable exception of Atletico Madrid’s Radamel Falcao.
The World XI is a selection based on votes cast by professional players worldwide. For the 2011-2012 shortlist 50, 000 professional players cast their vote.
Taking into account these numbers one would suggest that the majority had their say but questions linger. Was the selection based purely on performance or did the voters choose their favourite players irregardless of performance?
Granted all the 11 players who made it to the final list are excellent players. However many have argued that the FIFA World XI must have a global face.