EPL Team Profile – Tottenham

The formal name of the club is Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, or Tottenham Hotspur FC. They are also referred to as the Spurs, or the Lilywhites. Founded in 1882 as Hotspur FC, the squad train at their home venue, at White Hart Lane, with its capacity of about 36,000. ENIC International Ltd. owns the squad whose chairman is Daniel Levy. Spurs are managed by Harry Redknapp, popularly known as just ‘Arry. The club enjoyed their best period in top flight English football between the 60’s and the 80’s, and became the first in the 20th century to win both the League and FA Cup, but they are yet to win the Premier League.

They finished fourth in the Premier League standings, last season, their best ever performance in the Premiership. In the three matches played so far in the ongoing season, Spurs have recorded a draw against Manchester City, and a win against Stoke city, both creditable efforts. However, they let themselves down, somewhat, losing 1-0 to relegation favourites Wigan.

Early Season Preview:

The last season saw Tottenham hit a high their fans had been predicting they would, for a long time. Although a top four finish seemed always on the cards, it still caused surprise when Spurs actually got there. The club went into a period of decline under the stewardship of Juande Ramos. So credit should justifiably go to Harry Redknapp for getting the squad back on the rails. The squad that played in the third match of the season against Wigan Athletic comprised: Cudicini, Kaboul, Bale, Dawson, Assou-Ekotto, King, Lennon, Huddlestone, Crouch, Palacios, Defoe, Bassong, Kranjcar, Alnwick, Keane, Giovani, Jenas, and Pavlyuchenko.

In Jermaine Defoe, Spurs have a prolific scorer of goals, the most important ingredient in winning matches. Tottenham have never been short of big name players but have been outclassed where it matters most — in scoring goals. And Defoe is capable of changing that perception, as he proved last season. Last season was the first for winger Danny Rose and he made an immediate impact, with a early goal against Arsenal in the only match he played. This season, Rose should be in the news for Spurs more often than not.

Redknapp has been a little slow working the transfer market. A possible reason for that could be his preoccupation with James Milner’s impending departure for Manchester City. But that hasn’t stopped ‘Arry from acquiring Internacional’s Sandro for £6 mn. There is also talk about a late bid for Real Madrid’s Rafael van der Vaart, apart from a shock move for Arsenal striker Adebayor.

Things should become clearer in the coming days about the final composition of the squad, as the transfer window has shut, finally. In spite of their great 2009-10 season and the undoubted calibre of their squad, they could be trumped by the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool, in their bid for a top four spot. Redknapp may also be hoping he has beaten the transfer window deadline with his late offers, as those players could have a bearing on how far Spurs can go the season.

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Get key highlights from Liverpool’s UEFA Champions League group stage tie in Portugal, as a fine Curtis Jones performance and goals from the front three, gave the Reds all three points.

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Chelsea Preview: Will The Blues Remain The Fashion This Season?

Chelsea pride themselves in being global entertainers more than anything else.

And more than anything else, the Premier League champions would like the tag of European champions, in keeping with their multi-national self-image. Especially the European Cup title that has eluded them.

In the last four years, Chelsea have entered one Champions League final and two semi-finals, and have returned empty handed.

This year could be the last opportunity for the core members of the team that made this possible.

Chelsea’s European ambitions have restricted the club, in that the UEFA insists on «financial fair play».

The club is not short of money, by any stretch of imagination, but this has meant that Chelsea boss Roman Abramovich has had to trim his budget.

This has meant the departure of a big-name signing such as Joe Cole. Another player, Tomas Kalas, who came in from Sigma Olomuc for a reported 5.2 mn, will be loaned out.

In the upcoming season, the team will also not have the services of Miroslav Stoch, who will be sold to Fenerbahce for an undisclosed amount. Michael Ballack will leave for Bayer Leverkusen, Joe Cole for Liverpool, and Danny Philiskik for Oxford United, all as free agents.

Players out on loan will include Rhys Taylor to Crewe, Ryan Bertrand to Nottingham Forest, and Ben Gordon to Kilmarnock.

Carlo Ancelotti has been the club’s most successful coach. Chelsea became only the seventh team in history to win the ‘double’, comprising the Premier League and FA Cup titles, under Ancelotti’s watch, last season.

They failed to achieve this under Jose Mourinho, arguably Chelsea’s most successful coach ever.

In fact, Chelsea were so dominant in 2009/10 that they became the first team to top 100 goals, in an English season after Tottenham Hotspurs achievement of 111 goals in 1962-63.

Ancelotti owes his legendary patience to his rural upbringing. The ex-Milan midfielder won the Champions League twice each as a player and as a coach for the Italian side.

A potential weakness for Chelsea in the upcoming season could be in defence. Jose Mourinho the coach of the 2005 Premier League winning side built the team on a defensive platform.

John Terry, Ricardo Carvalho, Paulo Ferreira and Wayne Bridge were the defensive wall rival teams had to contend with before they could dream of beating Chelsea, five years ago.

Terry and Carvalho who remain are clearly aging, although Ashley Cole from Arsenal and Brazilian are great new options for Chelsea. Alex is not only solid in defence, but can also hunt with the hounds, and is a particular asset in free kick situations.

This is a team of big personalities, in John Terry, Frank Lampard, Petr Cech and Didier Drogba. On the flip side, this could mean a potential clash between, say, Didier Drogba and the team’s bad boy, Nicolas Anelka.

John Terry, in particular, is the club’s most successful captain ever. With Liverpool’s Yossi Benayoun replacing Joe Cole this season, they have one more potential captain.

England Frank Lampard was the driving force of the side in the last season, and his 30 club and international goals is an act that he could find hard to replicate, this time around.

Michael Essien, whom injury kept from doing World Cup duty for Ghana is the club’s most popular player, while the star of the future is 19 year old French teenager, Gael Kakuta.

Chelsea remain the team to beat this season.

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Inside Anfield: Liverpool 3-1 Newcastle Utd | Best view as Jota, Salah & Trent win it for the Reds

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What Is Wrong With Boas’s Chelsea?

Chelsea has been under heavy criticism lately for performing badly against the big teams such as Arsenal and Manchester United, losing both games and more against neighbors Queens Park Rangers. Is something really wrong with Chelsea or is it Andre Villas Boas?

Fernando Torres is not used to Chelsea’s play style; back in Liverpool Fernando Torres was the main player when it came to counter-attacks especially with Steven Gerrard behind him to assist with quick passes. Chelsea is currently playing a possession game which keeps the opposites defenders in their box and closes down spaces for players like Torres. It is obviously impossible for the entire team to change their strategy for one player so he needs to adapt quickly or it’s over for him. Fernando is already 27 so he only has 3-4 years where he can excel in and the 50 million paid by Roman Abramovich will keep haunting him unless he does.

Didier Drogba is not the same player anymore, the forward that scared the Gooners, Red Devils and all of Europe has finally grown old; it was going to happen eventually especially with the Ivorian international turning 33 earlier this year. His recent performances in the EPL have shown that he has grown too slow and old for the premier league.

Bosingwa is very weak defensively, despite his speed and accurate crosses Jose Bosingwa is blamed by many for the blues defensive errors; he is quick to leave his position and dash forward and is frequently beaten by the opposite forwards. Several analysts called out for Brainislav Ivanovic to replace Bosingwa in his position as he is much better defensively and could do better for Chelsea but Boas has showed his trust in Bosingwa by constantly starting him.

Florent Malouda, Kalou and Anelka don’t have anything to offer anymore, the trio has achieved much for Chelsea but it is clear that they are no longer suited for the club if they are to compete with the big guns of Europe. Andre Villas Boas has already hinted at Kalou’s exit as he has not been included in a premier league or a UCL game in some time but Anelka and Malouda’s fates are still unknown.

Terry is still getting hammered by the media over racism claims, many have noticed that the John terry playing for Chelsea is not the same player that he used to be; and with the English media discussing the investigations of the case in every single aspect it is no secret that John Terry is suffering from lack of concentration which caused him to be removed from England’s starting squad against Spain.

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Highlights: Everton 1-4 Liverpool | Reds ruthless in derby win at Goodison

Goals from Jordan Henderson, Mo Salah (2) & Diogo Jota netted for Jürgen Klopp’s side in their Premier League victory at Goodison Park.

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"Hands-Up-To-The-Sky" – Ricardo Kaka Biography

Kaka Biography – Introduction

I’m writing this Kaka biography a few weeks after the 2006/2007 Champions League final, a final ending with a happy result, 2-1 for the Brazilian’s team, AC Milan against England’s Liverpool.

I must say, as impressive as Filippo Inzaghi (who scored both AC Milan’s goals) was, my eyes were focused on the Brazilian Kaka throughout the entire match. His passes, his dribblings, his speed and his vision on the pitch were honey to my eyes.

I decided to write this Kaka biography not because the Brazilian needs it, but because I want you to find out who the real Ricardo Kaka is, how he rose up the ladders of his career before being a super star and what exactly does that «hands-up-to-the-sky» kaka celebration mean.

Kaka Biography – Early Career

After spending his early days at different youth clubs around his home town of Brasilia and Sao Paulo, Kaka was eventually offered a professional contract at a very tender age: seventeen.

Since Kaka played great soccer for Sao Paulo’s youth teams, the reserve team and the Brazilian U-17 national squad, he immediately attracted the eyes of several European clubs, the one coming forward first being Turkish side Gaziantepspor.

Sao Paulo agreed to sell Kaka, for a sum of $1.5m, a sum that, if you think of the player’s market value now, would seem like peanuts. Still, the sum was quite big for the Turkish side, especially for a 17-year old footballer, Kaka’s young age giving them no guarantees that he will turn out to play great soccer regularly on professional level.

Kaka Biography – Swimming Pool Incident Sao Paulo FC

In his first season as a professional player for Sao Paulo, Kaka didn’t play for the Brazilian team, but he used this time to accommodate himself with his new colleagues and the hardships of professional soccer in Brazil.

He was probably going to get his debut that season still, but an unfortunate swimming pool incident almost ended his career as a footballer, Kaka fracturing his spine in September 2000. Not only did he risk his future, but this fracture almost cost him his life and he was in real danger of being paralyzed for the rest of his life.

Miraculously, Kaka made a full recovery and came back to training after his full strength came back to him. From that day forward, Kaka found faith in God and some of his profits as a professional footballer always go to the Church, as a small gesture of thanking God for saving his life and his career. The famous Kaka celebration, after he scores a goal, is related to that incident, as each time, he thanks God for allowing him to play soccer and be there on the pitch.

Kaka Biography – Attracting the European Giants

After fully recovering from his horrible fracture, Kaka was finally given a chance to play for Sao Paulo, in January 2001 and he didn’t disappoint, scoring no less than 12 goals in 27 appearances that season. This guaranteed him a solid first team place for the 2001-2002 season, in which he scored another 10 goals in 22 matches and whenever a young Brazilian soccer player performs that well, he’s bound to get a few calls from some major European clubs.

One of these clubs would be AC Milan, one of Italy’s most important teams and Kaka signed without blinking, eager to start a European career.

You probably know the story from here. Kaka is currently in his fourth season with Milan, whom he won the Serie A championship with once, the Italian Super Cup once, and the UEFA Champions League a few weeks ago (he also played another Champions League final in the 2004-2005 season, but lost it to Liverpool in what is considered one of the most beautiful finals of the tournament). He became an indispensable player for AC Milan but also for Brazil.

As a Brazil soccer player, Kaka scored 31 goals in 52 matches so far and gave out numerous perfect assists in his role as an attacking midfielder. Having the young midfielder in the squad, Brazil football became even more technical and quick (if that was even possible) and they’re considered amongst the main favorites for the following international tournaments.

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Highlights: Liverpool 3-1 Newcastle Utd | Trent seals it with a screamer

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Leeds Boss – Dennis Wise – 1st Year Review

October 24th marks one year since Dennis Wise and Gus Poyet agreed to take over as the Leeds United management team at Elland Road.

Its fair to say that Leeds fans were very skeptical when chairman Ken Bates brought them in. Fear and paranoia were rife amongst a battered and bruised club support who were convinced that the ‘Chelsea’ connection was a conspiracy to oversee the final demise of our great club.

My initial reaction to Dennis’s appointment was one of cautious optimism. Whatever your opinion about Wise he has been successful where ever he has gone – as player and manager. He also has huge drive and fighting qualities which were desperately needed by a club sinking fast into the abyss.

The fact that the management team were unable to stop our relegation did put doubts in my mind that maybe the appointment was not going to work out. However, it is clear that the situation last season was impossible from the moment Dennis walked through the door. It was bad enough in the Premiership leaking 6 goals at Portsmouth, but shipping in 5 to Luton in the Championship? The woeful dressing room situation resulting from previous boss Kevin Blackwell’s reign was like a cancer. The club lurched from one crisis to another, from a mole with a leaked team sheet to a captain who asked to abandon ship.

Then followed the most horrendous summer in our or anyone elses history. It would have been so easy for Dennis and Gus to walk away on several different occasions. It was unclear, right up until the eve of the season, whether we would even have a team to support at Tranmere Rovers on the opening day. I remember going to the pre-season game at York thinking it might be our last ever game.

Therefore the blistering start the team have made this season under the most extreme circumstances is quite unbelievable. What a joy it is to be anticipating a possible win every week, after the seemingly endless torment of the last few years. Consecutive Manager of the Month awards speak volumes about the huge job Wise and Poyet have already done, and continue to do.

I for one will be raising a glass to Dennis and Gus. Well done lads, thank you for turning our great club around in the last 12 months.

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Highlights: Manchester United 0-5 Liverpool | Salah hat-trick stuns Old Trafford

Watch highlights of Liverpool’s sensational 5-0 victory at the home of Manchester United. Jürgen Klopp’s side produced an astonishing display to defeat their fierce rivals in Sunday’s Premier League contest.

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