Sunday, 13 April 2014

Wembley minute's silence gives way to respectful applause

This got a mixed reaction when I posted it on Twitter. It's spontaneous applause from the FA Cup semi-final between Hull and Sheffield United at Wembley.

It broke out within seconds of the referee's starting whistle. Compare it to the moving silence at Anfield before Liverpool's clash with Manchester City hours earlier.

It was as if Wembley was commemorating and Anfield was mourning.

There were those who understood the clapping. But some expressed that it seemed to celebrate the fight for justice rather than commemorate the dead.

25 years on and the wounds of Hillsborough will never quite heal completely.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Chelsea players guilty of over celebrating a penalty

It's the plague of modern football: over celebrating a penalty.

The players are caught up in the hype of a "vital Champions League away goal in a key match", when in reality it was just an early equaliser in a quarter-final first leg.

Chelsea players were guilty of pumping fists and hugging long-lost family when they swamped and jumped on the shoulders of Eden Hazard as they drew level at PSG.

Celebration must be felt inside to look authentic - and these guys seemed to have learned to celebrate like this for TV, Twitter and Press photos!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

United rattle the European Champions - but can they finish the job?

Thursday, 6 February 2014

LMA statement confirms Laudrup's shock at Swans sacking

Michael Laudrup has broken his silence after his surprise sacking at Swansea City. After leading the club to a ninth-placed finish in the Premier League and victory in the League Cup last season, the Dane was shown the door. Here, he declares his consternation at losing his job.

Swansea's first major trophy and a top-half top-flight finish 
‘I am deeply disappointed to have been dismissed as manager of Swansea City.  In particular, the manner in which it happened and the actions the club has taken since notifying me in the briefest of letters which gave no reasons why such hasty and final action was deemed necessary.  I am, of course taking legal advice and the LMA have already written to the club asking for a proper explanation as to why I was summarily dismissed. Until we receive the response I am unable to say any more about the termination but I do want to take this early opportunity to thank the Swansea City fans for their continued support and say it has been an honour to manage this great football club.

‘I have thoroughly enjoyed my time managing in the Barclays Premier League which I consider to be the one of the best leagues in world football. I leave the club proud of our collective achievements over the past 20 months and I believe we have continued the club’s progression in the manner of my predecessors including Roberto Martinez and Brendan Rodgers.

‘Of course the obvious highlight during my time in charge was leading Swansea to the first major trophy in the club’s history in winning the Capital One Cup at Wembley resulting in European qualification. In addition, our 9th place in the Barclays Premier League was our highest finish in 31 years and the second highest in the club's 102-year history which again is something which fills me with pride.  This season we have all enjoyed the memorable journey in the Europa League where the team will soon to face Napoli in the last 32 of the competition. The club has informed me that I cannot visit the training ground to say my farewells to the players so I do that now through this statement.  The players have been fantastic and their contribution under the very professional guidance of my coaching staff has been absolutely fundamental to the club’s recent successes. Three members of my staff have also been dismissed.

‘Whilst league results have been disappointing of late, we are still 12th in the table and it is there for all to see the fine margins in the league this season in terms of points that separate 11 clubs. Although we have been unfortunate with injuries, I believe our league form would have improved and that we would have benefited from the forthcoming Europa League and FA Cup matches.

‘I wish the club the very best for the future and for the rest of the season in the Barclays Premier League, Europa League and The FA Cup.’