Brian Strahan

Fernando Torres - Uncertain Future at Chelsea

on June 08 2013 10:38 AM

Jose Mourinho might have only returned to Stamford Bridge, but fans and commentators alike are awaiting to see how he restructures his Chelsea squad ahead of next season.  Edinson Cavani has been linked with a move from Napoli and Chelsea have apparently already had a £40 million offer rejected.  Brazilian and Zenit St Petersburg frontman Hulk and Manchester United's Wayne Rooney have also been linked with a move to London. 

Any one of these would add significant weight to Chelsea's forward line; and you would think, add significant question marks as to the future of Fernando Torres.  But the Spaniard doesn't see it that way.

Torres was speaking at a press conference yesterday ahead of Spain's two end of season friendly internationals against Haiti and the Republic of Ireland.  "I have three more years on my contract so I am not worried. I know my future is there,'' he said. "To be honest, it is like this every summer. There is talk and speculation. But as I said when I signed my contract, I will be there for five-and-a-half seasons. My future is there."

Republic of Ireland Gear Up For End Of Season Challenges

on May 20 2013 4:29 PM

Republic Of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni, suggested last week that the inclusion of Anthony Pilkington, in what seems like an excessive end of season cluster of matches, could see the utilization of the Norwich City wide man in a restructured midfield formation. 

The opportunity {or pressure} to try something different seems to have arisen and Trapattoni implied the type of midfielder Pilkington is would have allowed for a five man midfield with Wes Hoolahan sitting off a lone striker.  But then came today's news that Pilkington's ongoing knee issue meant that rest is to be the best medicine in close season. 

Trapattoni will have other options and the opportunity to tinker with the shape of his Irish team isn't lost by the withdrawal of a player who has yet to play for Ireland.  Whether his enthusiasm to wane from the norm though, ensues, remains to be seen. 

Jean-Marc Bosman Imprisoned

on April 20 2013 11:08 AM

It all seems rather humdrum now, but when Jean-Marc Bosman successfully sued his then Club RFC Liege for restraint of trade in 1995, and won, the decision would change the landscape of football, player movement and contracts significantly and permanently.  

His name is part of the parlance of how football is spoken about.  To move on a free is to move on a Bosman.  He and his actions are ingrained in our subconscious at least.  And correctly so.  Because of him the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled that what was in place was a system that restricted the free movement of players.  The fallout was that players were given the right to move at will, and for nothing, on the completion of their contracts. 

Tribunals to seek agreement between two clubs over a player with no contract, appears now almost half-witted.  But it was indeed the case at the time and necessarily so. To let a players contract run out and still retain his services as servile as it was, was how it was.

New Injury Blow For Newcastle Fullback

on April 17 2013 11:27 AM

Newcastle United have announced that Ryan Taylor has suffered a further cruciate knee injury.  The 28 year old had injured his knee in a Europe League qualifier last August against Greek club Atromitos.  After going through surgery soon after and undergoing rehabilitation over the last eight months this is a depressing blow for the Liverpool born full back.

This latest injury will rule Taylor out for at least the majority of the 2013/14 season if not the full campaign.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said: “Ryan has worked so hard and diligently since his injury.  He has been a model patient and has given his all to ensure he could return to full training in the best condition possible.  Clearly everyone at the club is deeply saddened by this news.

Pardew added: “Ryan has, and will continue to, receive the full support of everyone at Newcastle United during this difficult time for him.”

Narrow Victory For Irish Under-15s Over Finland

on April 17 2013 8:03 AM

A Jean Yves Poame goal at Coolock’s Oscar Traynor Centre last night saw Ireland’s Under-15 side defeat Finland in a friendly played on a still night on Dublin’s northside.  In the first of two friendly internationals in three days between the two nations, Niall Harrisons Ireland side had the basis of a strong first half performance to thank for their victory.

It was from Malahide United’s Zacharay Elbouzedi’s corner that Corduff FC midfielder Poame struck the decisive goal.  Shortly after Stephen Kinsella of Templeogue United was put through on goal by the always energetic Brandon Payne but Kinsella was thwarted by visiting goalkeeper Jere Pirainen who also saved well from Kinsella’s own shot five minutes later.

Finand’s best chance came shortly before the interval when Niilo Mäenpää had a long distance effort that was saved by St. Kevins Boys’ Corey Chambers.  Chamber’s club team mate Robert McCourt and Lucan United’s Conor Masterson had to offer concentrated defensive performances in order aide their side to hold on to a tight lead.