May 01 2014

Five Reasons England Will Win the World Cup

Posted by admin in Football news and analysis

There are reasons to be positive about England’s chances at the World Cup but there is also plenty of cause for concern. We take a look at five reasons why England will win the World Cup and five more why they won’t.

Five Reasons England Will Win the World Cup

Wayne Rooney – He has held the hopes and dreams of England fans since he burst onto the scene as a 16 year old but is yet to deliver on the biggest international stage. If Rooney is at his best in Brazil then he could make the difference and deliver England to the promised land.

The Youngsters – The Golden Generation consistently failed to deliver so now it is the turn of a new collection of players to show what they can do. The likes of Ross Barkley, Raheem Sterling and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have enjoyed fantastic seasons in the Premier League and, if they can take that kind of form to Brazil, they could inspire England to greater things.

Steven Gerrard – England’s captain has inspired Liverpool to their best league campaign for over two decades and they are now on the verge of claiming their first title since 1990. If he can provide the same kind of inspiration to the England team, and if his Liverpool teammates can perform to the same standard, then there is every chance that he will have a similar impact on the national team.

It’s About Time – We’re now up to 48 years of hurt so a trophy is long overdue for the Three Lions. The law of averages says that it has got to happen some time soon and, as far as the England fans are concerned, there is no time like the present.

No Expectations – Usually England go into a big tournament with the heavy weight of expectation on the players’ shoulders. However, after the tough draw, excitement about England’s chances has died down a little and that could allow the players the freedom to play as well as we know they can.

Five Reasons Why England Won’t Win the World Cup

Wayne Rooney – He has the potential to do something special but, if he’s not at his best, England could suffer from having to carry Rooney. His World Cup record has not been great and Alex Ferguson suggested in his autobiography that he needs time to get back to his best when he hasn’t played for a while – meaning his tournament could be over before we see the real Rooney.

Group of Death – The draw for the group stage probably couldn’t have gone any worse for England as they were picked to play against Uruguay, Italy and Costa Rica. It means that there will be at least one highly rated team going home early and, the way things stand, England look to be the most likely candidates for that early flight home.

Take Your Pick – Even if England do make it out of their group they will have to battle past a number of quality teams to make it to to the final. Unfortunately for Roy Hodgson and co, this tournament seems to be blessed with several impressive sides such as Brazil, Argentina, Germany and Spain and it looks like England will have to beat at least two of those sides if they want to lift the World Cup.

Penalties – When England get to the knockout stages in a major tournament it invariably goes to penalties at some point and they almost always lose. It happened against Italy in Euro 2012, Portugal in both the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2004, Argentina in the 1998 World Cup, and Germany in both the 1990 World Cup and Euro 1996. In fact, England’s latest defeat on penalties means that they now have officially the worst record on penalties for teams that have been involved in three or more shootouts.

History – No European side has ever won a World Cup in South America and England have only gone further than the quarter finals on one occasion when they didn’t host the tournament. Do they have the ability to change either of those statistics? It doesn’t seem so.

Jun 16 2011

5 Reasons Why Arsene Wenger Should Retain Samir Nasri

Posted by admin in Football news and analysis

Arsene Wenger will be under immense pressure in the summer and by all reports, it is likely that this summer will be busy for the Gunners. There are a number of players who could leave the club while some sections of the media report that Arsenal are tracking a number of players in the summer. It is certain that the manager and his team are desperate to end this frustrating trophy drought and he will try to add quality players to the squad.

With Manchester United and Liverpool already active in the transfer market with the signings of Phil Jones and Jordan Henderson respectively, it is important that the Gunners strengthen in this summer. It is certain that Liverpool and Tottenham will try to break into the Champions League spots in the next season, which will make it more competitive next year.

Arsenal’s manager should not only ensure that they keep their place in the top four but also challenge for the title and win trophies in the next season. It will be one of the most important seasons in Wenger’s Arsenal career and being an intelligent man, he will understand and analyze where his team went wrong in the last season.

It is important to strengthen in the summer but it is even more important to retain the best players of the team for the next season. It is uncertain whether Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy and Cesc Fabregas will be in an Arsenal jersey next season because they are integral members of this young squad. Nasri, in particular, had an excellent season last year and can progress to reach further heights in the next season.

However, he has only one year on his contract and he has not renewed his deal due to a financial disagreement according to Wenger. He is certainly going to attract various clubs from Europe but his agent has made it clear that the contract negotiations have not stalled and that talks are still ongoing. Here is five reasons why Arsenal should give in to Nasri’s demands in order to keep him at the Emirates.

1. Uncertain Future of Cesc Fabregas

Though Fabregas is arguably the best player in the current Arsenal squad, he has always been linked with a move to Barcelona and has not quashed the possibility of moving in the near future. Fabregas has been frustrated by the lack of trophies during his time at Arsenal and Barcelona will try to sign their former youth player.

Samir Nasri is amongst the best talents at Arsenal and it will be a huge blow if he does leave the club. He has shown that he is immensely talented but he will have to be more consistent to be regarded as a world class player. However, if Arsenal does lose him, it could also result in some senior players like Fabregas being unhappy with the club because in the recent past, they have sold a large number of their best players.

Though Nasri staying does not guarantee Fabregas will stay, it ensures that the mood in the camp is optimistic and that the team has a better chance of winning trophies. Also, Nasri’s role could be enhanced if Fabregas leaves the club because he is a player who can create goals from nothing. When Fabregas and Van Persie were injured for large parts of the first half of the season, it was the Frenchman who took on the responsibility of scoring goals and ensuring that the Gunners stayed in the title race till the duo returned to fitness.

2. Versatility and Possible Replacement for Fabregas in the Future

Arsenal have had problems with injuries and it has been one of the reasons for Arsenal’s six year long trophy drought. However, during the course of the season, every single team in the Premiership will encounter injuries but having quality depth in the side helps to cope with injuries. Versatile players do play an important role in the team because they can cover for another position as well if needed.

Arsenal’s Samir Nasri is amongst the most versatile players at the club and can play on both wings, central midfielder and also as a central attacking midfielder. The current squad has Andrei Arshavin, Samir Nasri and Theo Walcott as wingers and all the three are quality players though Arshavin has come under some criticism despite possessing impressive statistics. Nasri can provide quality depth and could be integral to the squad next season.

If Fabregas does leave in the summer, Arsene Wenger could utilize Nasri as the attacking midfielder and ease Ramsey into the role with further appearances from the bench and in the cup ties. Arsenal have been linked with both Gervinho and Hazard and if the Gunners do sign one of the wingers, the manager can choose two wingers from the three.

3. The Best of Nasri is Yet to Come

Though many supporters feel that Nasri’s demands could be unreasonable especially only after half a season of superb performances, it is undeniable that he is amongst the most talented youngsters in the world. At the age of 23, he is set to move to the next stage of his career and it is likely that he will continue to improve.

Also, Nasri has taken his time to adjust to the demands of the Premiership but now, looks accustomed to the pace and the physicality of the league and has had his best season for Arsenal since he joined in 2008. The tricky midfielder was rated as one of the brightest products in the French league at a young age and was touted to be the next “Zizou” by some sections of the media and supporters.

He has also established himself as a starter for the France National team and will look to improve to become a world class player. He has come a long way since he joined Arsenal and it is expected that he will only get better with experience.

4. Ashley Young to be given £130k per week!

According to the Mirror, Ashley Young will be paid a sum of £130k per week if he signs for Manchester United. However, at Arsenal, Cesc Fabregas, who is the highest paid player at the club, is reportedly paid 110k per week. However, Fabregas is arguably more talented and has proven himself to be a world class player. This is not about criticizing the wages earned by other club’s footballers; it is about the inflated wages earned by modern day footballers.

Arsenal will soon having to increase the wages of their best players in order to keep them at the Emirates. Though fans expect their club’s players to be loyal, it is difficult not to accept a huge pay-rise from a club which is just as ambitious as the current club. Some players are loyal to their clubs like Paul Scholes but there are many who will swap their clubs if they get more wages and a shot at winning trophies like Sol Campbell.

Nasri will demand higher wages to stay at the Emirates and also put pressure on the board and Arsene Wenger to sign players who can help them win trophies. The Board and Arsene Wenger (if he is involved) should take responsibility in allowing this sort of a situation to happen with two of the most important players for Arsenal (Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri). It is time that Arsenal cut down the wages on some of their less important players, sell youngsters who are not going to make it at Arsenal and increase the wages of their best players.

5. Losing Promising Players Will Not Help the Club Move Forward

Arsenal are in the midst of a frustrating trophy drought and it is certainly important to retain the best players at the club. The Gunners are uncertain about the futures of Gael Clichy, Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas who are very important for the club and also, Ivan Gazidis confirmed that there will be a “turnover” of the squad in the summer at the Q&A session.

The Gunners could not win the title last season and it is important that they build on the positives of the season but if they lose Samir Nasri due to wrangling over contract issues, it will mean that they would have to sign his replacement and it is likely that any possible replacement would take time to adjust at the club.

With the fans frustrated by the lack of trophies, it is important that they win trophies in the next season and losing their best players is not going to help them. Nasri is certainly one of the players who is important to Arsenal in the long term and is one of the few world class talents at the Emirates. Though his demands might seem unreasonable to some, it is important for the club to retain him in order to win trophies because if they do not win trophies, they will have to encounter the exodus of several other players as well.