Harry Houdini (born Erik Weise) was a legendary stunt performer noted for his sensational escape acts.
His name sake Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp will be the modern day Houdini if he miraculously untangles QPR from the shackles of relegation.
After Liverpool crushed QPR 3-0 at Loftus road few expected them to leave Stamford Bridge with anything less than a hiding in their next fixture.
However QPR went to the Bridge on the 2nd of January 2013 and sensationally beat Chelsea 1-0 thanks to a venomous shot by ex-Chelsea player Shaun Wright Phillips.
Only one club has survived what is known as the ‘Christmas curse’ .Since the 20 years the Premier League has been in existence the club bottom of the league at Christmas has been relegated. The notable exception was West Brom in the 2004/2005 season.
The English premier league has so far this season served a tantalizing menu of scintillating football, breath-taking upsets, massive wins and edge of the seat action.
As the teams approach the New Year many clubs will be keen to dip their fingers into the transfer market. Some to make much needed additions while others will be seeking to stem a crisis. Below is an overview of the likely transfer deals and what options various clubs may be looking at:
- MANCHESTER UNITED
Manchester United are sitting pretty at the top of the log. Boasting a total of 46 points from 19 games and a massive goal difference of 20 the Red Devils as they are popularly known also lead the form table with a total of 16 points out of a possible 18 in their last six games.
The age-old resilience of Manchester United has been present all through this season and was best typified by their incredible Boxing Day come-back win against Newcastle. Despite being behind three times against the Magpies Manchester United kept coming back for more and eventually won the thrilling tie 4-3.
After two weeks of action, the 36th edition of the Council for East and Central African Football Associations (CECAFA) Tusker Challenge Cup will come to a conclusion on Saturday the 8th of December 2012 in Kampala, Uganda.
From an initial complement of twelve national teams the stage is now set for the two best teams in the tournament- Uganda and Kenya – to come head to head in a replay of the 2008 final that was also played in Kampala.
It is anticipated to be a tight encounter with Uganda under the stewardship of Bobby Williamson touted to be the favourites on the day. In their opening game the Ugandan Cranes as they are known, narrowly beat their Kenyan opponents Harambee Stars 1-0 but were in control for most of that match.
Uganda has played some free flowing exciting football the entire tournament and have in the process recorded impressive results. After the narrow win over Kenya they beat Ethiopia twice and South Sudan before routing Tanzania 3-0 in the semi finals.
The win over Tanzania was even more impressive as Tanzania are no push overs having earlier in the tournament posted a devastating 7-0 victory over Somalia.
The sacking of Roberto Di Matteo as Chelsea coach may not have come as a surprise.
For days now the grapevine had been swamped with rumours of Di Matteo’s imminent departure. Chelsea had been in dire straits for the most part of the season and their 3-0 thumping by Juventus in their last Champions’ League Group match proved to be the last straw.
In a terse statement placed on its website Chelsea said in part:
“Chelsea Football Club has parted company this morning with manager Roberto Di Matteo.
The team’s recent performances and results have not been good enough and the owner and the Board felt that a change was necessary now to keep the club moving in the right direction as we head into a vitally important part of the season”
Roman Abrahmovich the Chelsea owner had made a statement of intent when he hired Di Matteo, a former Chelsea player and assistant manager, on a permanent basis in March 2012.
Luis Alberto Dias Suarez or Luis Suarez as he is better known, is without doubt a player who draws attention. Sometimes the attention is negative and at times positive but there is never a dull moment with the mercurial Uruguyan.
Suarez was born in Salto, Uruguay and moved to the capital city Montevideo at the age of seven with his family. It is in Montevideo that his footballing talents were immediately recognised. Like many South American footballers of repute Suarez was a child prodigy and honed his talents on the streets. He was eventually snapped up by local team Nacional at the age of 14.
In 2009/2010 the attention of the world was first drawn to Suarez (who by then was the Captain of Ajax) when he scored 49 goals in all competitions. In the Eredivisie, the Dutch top division, Suarez had cut a niche for himself. He entertained the fans week in week out and scored some outstanding goals.