With Coxon MIA this week many thought the Pubcast would fall to pieces. However up stepped Jim who took the reigns and hosted a great show and to be honest no one even realised Mike was missing! The Pubcasters headed to Henry’s to chat about the week’s football whilst basking in glorious sunshine. To say there was a “sight” or two to be held wandering around Canary Wharf was an understatement. There was a début from new Pubcaster “Gooner Chris” (as Jim quickly named him) who played the full 45 minutes and impressed his new team mates on his first appearance. It was the first round of the Premier League this weekend and with last week’s Internationals and all of the rest of the Football League there was loads to discuss, including Arsenal’s dismal start to the season (sorry Chris…………I’m not sorry).
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The lads were excited this week as they re-convened ahead of the new season to give their annual pre-season predictions. Looking at the leagues from the Conference up the boys (Mike, Dan, Jim and Andy) gave their views on who’ll succeed, who’ll fail, who’ll surprise and how they think their own clubs will fare (don’t worry, there wasn’t too much Bale chat).
On top of that there was the usual skewed look at transfer news, pre-season results, funny stories and a (sort of) apology to Celtic fans.
The level of interest that there is in the Premier League means that there are always lots of rumours surrounding the teams – with the most successful sides in particular attracting lots of speculation surrounding their activities. In the last couple of years Manchester City have become on of these sides, and there is a lot more interest in them than there was before, from the media, fans in other countries, and companies interested in sponsorship deals – with rumours suggesting that the online casino site JackpotCity may be interested in teaming up with the men from the Etihad.
The links between football and gambling have existed for a long time, as football players have long been enthusiastic participants in horse racing and poker, and football fans often enjoy sports betting. Now however, more supporters seem to be getting interested in online casino games, and the sites are reflecting this with games themed around football – particular slots games. The fact that football fans are proving to be an ever-more receptive audience for online casino coupled with the fact that both football and gambling are thriving forms of entertainment actually makes it surprising that there hasn’t been a closer link-up between the two until very recently.
However the rumoured sponsorship deal between Jackpot City and Manchester City could be set to change this, as it would represent a major move into this market. It could also be a lucrative area for Manchester City, as their would be the potential for spin-off casino games based around the club, alongside the money from the deal itself – at a time when they are heavily focused on increasing their income to comply with FIFA Fair Play rules. Even if this particular rumour proves to be unfounded, it would be a surprise if more such deals don’t happen with the top Premiership clubs soon
A busy week in the world of football left the lads with plenty to discuss on our 107th show! Not least the chance to profit from selling the shirt of Dave Coyle, key player at Pubcast sponsored amateur team Riverside FC. We’ll keep you updated on that one. Also this week…
• Villa win
• Charlton’s FA Cup win
• Rafa and ‘Arry in
• Wimbledon v Franchise Scum
• Worst managers in history
• West Ham fans @Spurs
• Seedorf in Brazil
• Trowing racism out the window
• Palace sign a cheerleader
• FA Cup games this weekend
• Best current strikers
• Naughty boys of the week
• Motherwell fan’s controversial number plate (honest)
• Much, much more!
This week saw the Football Pubcast reach a huge milestone, the 100th Episode! Who’d have thought that when Simon Head first recruited a band of misfits to chat about all things football, the show would come this far! A special mention has to go to all of the listeners who’ve given the boys a reason to keep recording every week (and given them an excuse to go to the pub)! On this week’s show there was not only a full squad out but also a cameo from the Godfather himself. After the initial centenary celebrations were over, the boys sat down to discuss the week’s football including; the England squad for the upcoming qualifiers, worst injuries in football, a surprise package from the guys at FFDU and much much more…..
• Jim’s history lesson
• Glossop North End
• Stand out and stand down performances of the week
• Gareth Bale – deliberate diver or massive wimp?
• Wilfred Zaha to a big club in January?
• Redknapp to QPR?
• Stone Cold Charlie Austin strikes again
• Dodgy Football League referees
• Danny Shittu vs Owen Coyle
• Red Dragons flying high
• Coxon’s hate for Tony Pulis
• Garth Crooks gaff
• Spanish League review
• Jeffers joins the Maltese League
• Quotes of the week
• Hastings United and the FA cup 3rd qualifying round
• A League update and confirmation of the Pubcast’s team to follow
• And much much more
This week saw the surprise return of Football Pubcast creator and Godfather figure Simon Head, much to the enjoyment of our excitable regulars. There was lot’s to discuss as the build up to Season 2012/13 really kicks in and the post-Olympic focus shifts firmly back to football. The boys give their predictions & opinions for the 10 months ahead which, as ever, include some interesting theories and differences in opinion. There was also an edible gift of questionable quality to welcome Simon back into the fold – see photo above! Also on Show #92…
• Darren Fletcher returns
• Olympic Final Review and Sean’s golden ticket
• Van Persie’s failed medical
• Italians on hunger strike
• Si’s trip to the women’s volleyball and the greatest name in sport
• The Community Shield (yes it was played last weekend)
• Kolo Toure and Ashley Cole’s medals
• Rangers Update
• Blackburn’s crazy press conference
• League (Capital One ) Cup results
• Gillingham v ‘Boro and Simon v Kay Murray
• Wembley FC
• Naughty Boys of the Week
• Chris Kamara’s new TV ad
• England v Italy preview
• A young Rooney taking the piss
• Malcolm the kitman
• Plus much, much more!
Ever feel like you’ve been punched in the stomach watching football? Ever actually been punched in the stomach watching football? If so then you probably know how myself and thousands of other Manchester United supported felt at around 16.55 yesterday…you probably don’t care about that though.
First off…congratulations to Manchester City. I’ve said all along that the team who wins the league deserves it and they do. They scored the most goals, conceded the least and that was, literally, the difference. It’s easy to look at where the title was won and lost but ultimately City won it by “doing a United”; destroying opponents and pulling it out of the bag when the cause looked lost.
As a United fan today is disappointing but you’ve got to hold your head up high. We finished on level points with a team far more expensively assembled, we were blighted by injuries to some of our most important players (what we wouldn’t have given for a fully fit Nemanja Vidic or Darren Fletcher all season) and we had some glorious results along the way. Here’s some highlights from the season for me…
* The Drubbings – There has never been a Premier League season quite like this one, and where better to start than the absolute thrashings that some teams have doled out. Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal, Tottenham 1-5 City, Tottenham 4-0 Liverpool, Arsenal 7-1 Blackburn, Fulham 6-0 QPR…I think that covers them all…oh yes, I forgot the 6-1…Norwich 1-6 Manchester City.
Some of the performances have been out of this world, I mentioned on last week’s show that I don’t think a thrashing can be classed as a truly great game but to be fair those will all live long in the memory.
* The Attackers – La Liga is currently home to the two best attacking players in the world (and maybe 3rd, 4th and 5th) but the Premier League definitely has it’s world class talents. Robin van Persie has finally turned years of potential into world class talent, Sergio Aguero has had the best debut season for a striker since van Nistelrooy and Wayne Rooney has, strangely for him, gone about proving that he is indeed a world class striker with his best goal haul yet (although he’s still not fully forgiven for THAT contract negotiation).
We’ve had Danny Graham and Grant Holt step up fantastically from the Championship, Newcastle’s Senegalese strikeforce terrorise defences up and down the land and the likes of Yakubu and Emmanuel Adebayor roll back the clock when they looked like their careers were petering out.
* The Defenders – And on the flip side, the defenders have been equally fantastic. I still galls me that Vincent Kompany did not win either the PFA or FWA Player of the Year (he didn’t even get short listed for either prize) and alongside him Joleon Lescott has almost become City’s Denis Irwin – you don’t necessarily notice him but he rarely puts in a bad performance. For United Jonny Evans has returned from the brink to be one of the first names on the team sheet and Rio Ferdinand actually stayed fit for most of the season (and played something like his best)!
Fabricio Coloccini was imperious for Newcastle, finally living up to the potential he had at Milan, alongside the excellent Mike Williamson, Danny Simpson, Ryan Taylor and James Perch. Leighton Baines is finally challenging Ashley Cole as England’s No.1 left back and Kyle Walker, Micah Richards and Phil Jones offer some hope for the future. And that’s before mentioning the ever brilliant Bacary Sagna and the infinitely improved Laurent Koscielny at Arsenal
- The Comebacks – Yesterday’s finish, for a neutral anyway, is on a par with Liverpool 0-2 Arsenal 1989 in terms of drama (I hope they don’t make a crap film out of this one as well). But even before that it was a season of comebacks. Chelsea 3-3 Manchester United, Manchester United 4-4 Everton Arsenal 5-2 Tottenham, City 3-3 Sunderland, QPR 3-2 Liverpool…the drama this season has not been seen since 1998-99 and, arguably, surpasses it.
- The Managers – Firstly a doff of the cap to Roberto Mancini, there’s harder jobs than managing a team with endless fortunes but he’s done a fine job and conducted himself with dignity throughout the season. Likewise Sir Alex Ferguson has taken one of the worst Man Utd sides in the Premier League era to an 89 point haul – the joint third best United points haul since 1996.
But the real stand out managers have been lower down the league. Roy Hodgson’s reward for solidifying West Brom as a mid table team has been the England job, Paul Lambert and Brendan Rodgers have both done fine jobs with promoted clubs and David Moyes continues to be the best manager in the second half of the season. If this was limited to the last 10 games then Roberto Martinez would also get a nod. But the undoubted manager of the season was Alan Pardew. After losing most of his senior players in the summer most people had him down as the first manager to get sacked and Newcastle as relegation fodder but the job he has done has been exceptional. The tough job now will be repeating it next season and holding on to his star players.
* The Over-Performers
I’ve already covered Newcastle above but what a year it’s been for them. It’s a great shame that they couldn’t grab the fourth Champions League place but hopefully the club can move on next season. But it’s been a year for the underdog, and for the first time in many (unfortunately blue) moons that both City and Everton finished above their red rivals.
Norwich and Swansea have been fantastic this season, never looking in danger of the drop and, the latter especially, playing great football. Fulham meanwhile have quietly gone about their business and finished in the top half and Wigan have somehow pulled off another Houdini job.
* The Under-Performers
If it wasn’t for Roberto di Matteo (or Lampard-Terry-Drogba, depending on who you think really wears the trousers) then Chelsea would get quite a kicking here. But as it is they’re now a game away from the Champions League so it’s difficult to call that underachievement.
Liverpool have bought some light relief at some of the darkest times this season with their bad PR and even worse performances. They might have a trophy but an 8th place finish can’t be papered over, truly a season to forget. Owen Coyle has done what Gary Megson failed to in relegating Bolton and Venky’s and Steve Kean are clearly Burnley fans but it’s two teams in red and white that stand out for me…
Sunderland struggled under Steve Bruce first half of the season despite a busy summer in the transfer market. Then Martin O’Neill came in and for a while they were flying, but a 13th place finish is very disappointing and a terrible end to the season doesn’t bode well.
And Stoke look like dark horses for relegation next season. They’ve been poor all season, scraping out results in a manner that is increasingly being found out and finishing near the bottom of a lot of stats tables. It’s telling that the Real Premier League Table (a table that takes debatable decisions into account and says whether a team should have got a result or not) has them in the bottom three and next season looks like it’s going to be a struggle.