Premier League transfers after Brexit

The UK left the EU at the end of 2020 and with the end of freedom of movement came a new regime for football transfers with players coming from an EU country now requiring a Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) to be able to play in the UK. The January transfer window was generally quiet with not much money being spent (impact of Covid has perhaps some responsibility for that) but the only comments I can find regarding the new system from a prominent manager came from Sam Allardyce. The West Brom head coach made comments early in the window that the new system was making it harder for him. On January 4th, he told reporters…

Sam Allardyce. [Image from the Premier League].

‘I have found three players already who were capable of coming here and they’re not allowed. It’s a shame. Due to the new regulations in terms of the permit they were unable to come to this country, whereas (previously) they would have done. I have to look at that and think ‘can he qualify?’ read more

Sam Allardyce in at West Brom, Slaven Bilic out: Will he keep them up?

The 2020/21 Premier League season got to the 13th round of games and while that number is unlucky for some, it was cruelly unlucky for Slaven Bilic. My choice of the sack race didn’t come off (I eventually went for David Moyes) and the Croatian was removed from his role as Head Coach of West Brom following their very credible 1-1 draw at Manchester City. The Hawthorns [Image above from West Bromwich Albion] club statement read:

West Bromwich Albion have today parted company with Head Coach Slaven Bilić. Assistant Coaches, Dean Računica and Danilo Butorović, and First Team Coach Julian Dicks have also left the club with immediate effect. The Baggies are currently 19th in the Premier League table with seven points from 13 fixtures. Albion would like to thank Slaven and his coaching staff for their efforts in achieving promotion last season and wishes them all well in the future. The club will make no further comment at this time. read more

2018/19 Premier League Preview

Admittedly this post is late. So, too is the World Cup Review which will be published in the next two days. The delay to this post was down to me not having the finishing touches done. However, I have not changed the bulk of the text since it was written on Friday.

Just four weeks since the conclusion of the World Cup in Russia and a new season of the Premier League has begun. From now until May, we have 380 games of top-flight football to be nervous, sweat over in the hope it benefits our teams and enjoy.

The 2017/18 season was a historic one full of twists and turns up and down the table apart from the top spot. Manchester City under manager Pep Guardiola was the runaway champions as they set the new records left right and centre. After a 1-1 draw with Everton in their second game, they went on to win 18 consecutive games to set a new Premier League record. They also set new records for most goals scored over a 38 game season and the most points. In doing so, they became the first side to reach 100 points. They were almost unstoppable. However, an invincibles season eluded them as Liverpool inflicted their first defeat of the season at Anfield in January. That was their first of only two defeats as Manchester United inflicted defeat on them at the Etihad to extend the title race by only one week. read more

Match Thoughts Double header: Newcastle United 2-3 Leicester City & Newcastle United 0-1 Everton

Another week of two games in December means another double bill dose of Match Thoughts from The Mind of Rowan.

The weekend 9th-10th December daw controversy. The title race is probably over after Manchester Cty’s 2-1 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford, the Merseyside derby ended 1-1 while David Moyes’s West Ham side surprisingly defeated Chelsea 1-0. That was the shock of the weekend while Christian Benteke’s penalty arguably cost Crystal Palace a much-needed victory.

Newcastle United team facing Leicester City at St James’ Park 9/12/17

Another side in need of a much-needed win was Newcastle United who hosted Leicester City at St James’ Park in the Saturday evening kick-off to mark their clubs 125th birthday. Rafa Benitez made three changes to his Newcastle starting line up with DeAndre Yedlin returning to the back four at right-back while Javier Manquillo reverted to left-back with Chancel Mbemba dropping out. Mohamed Diame was not retained as in came Isaac Hayden while Joselu came in for Ayoze Perez just behind Dwight Gayle as Benitez opted for a 4-4-1-1 formation. read more

NUFC EFL Championship Season 2016/17: December

It may now be 2017 but we had to get through December first. What’s not to like about December hey? Sure, the nights are colder and longer but there’s the joys of counting down to a New Year as well as the giving and receiving of gifts from friends and family under the guise of the big fat man with the long white beard. The day itself was saddened as the world lost George Michael and then days later with one of the most recognisable faces from one of my favourite film franchises in Carrie Fisher. May they Rest In Peace. However, life goes on and so does Football which brings me to…

10 Developments in Football: December 2016
  1. uefa_champions_league_logo_2The Champions League Group Stages came to a close in December with Leicester City, Manchester City and Arsenal progressing to the knockout stages while Tottenham Hotspur fell into the Europa League after finishing 3rd in their group, a position secured by a 3-1 win over CSKA Moscow.
  2. Arsenal’s reward for eventually topping a Champions League group was the daunting tie of Bayern Munich (not much luck there) after PSG were held to a 2-2 draw by Ludogorets (their reward was a tie against Barcelona). Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City were drawn against AS Monaco while Leicester City paired with Sevilla.
  3. Southampton fell out of the Europa League on away goals in the Group Stage as a 1-1 draw at home against Hapoel Beer Sheva FC saw the visitors progress in 2nd.
  4. Manchester United progressed with a 2-0 win over FC Zorya Luhansk and will face St Etienne in the Round of 32; Tottenham face KRC Genk.
  5. Cristiano Ronaldo won the Ballon d'Or for the fourth time in 2016 and also helped Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid win the FIFA Club World Cup [Image from Sky Sports]
    Cristiano Ronaldo won the Ballon d’Or for the fourth time in 2016 and also helped Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid win the FIFA Club World Cup [Image from Sky Sports]

    December also marks the awarding of the Ballon d’Or to the best player of the year and for 2016 it went to Cristiano Ronaldo who won the award for the fourth time.

  6. That wasn’t all Ronaldo won in December as he helped himself to a hat-trick as Real Madrid needed extra time in Yokohama to defeat Kashima Antlers 4-2 to secure their second FIFA Club World Cup.
  7. Club Badge : 2004 - presentChelsea finished 2016 top of the Premier League after their 4-2 win over Stoke City at Stamford Bridge extending their winning run to an equalling record of successive wins in a single Premier League season; 13.
  8. Five managers lost their jobs in December with the oddest perhaps being the dismissal of Gary Rowett by Birmingham City to replace him with Gianfranco Zola. In the Premier League, Swansea City became the first club to look for their third manager after partaking company with Bob Bradley having only been in charge for 85 days. Elsewhere, the man who blames anyone but himself and that cringeworthy dance at Wembley, Alan Pardew was sacked by Crystal Palace.
  9. Carlos Tevez was one of the latest to join Chinese football [Image from The Telegraph]
    Carlos Tevez was one of the latest to join Chinese football [Image from The Telegraph]

    The increasing financial clout of the Chinese Super League surprised again after Brazilian midfielder Oscar left Chelsea for the league and was swiftly followed by Carlos Tevez.

  10. Football was also given some space in the Queens New Years Honours list which was released on New Year’s Eve: Wales and Northern Ireland managers Chris Coleman and Michael O’Neill were both recognised.
Managerial departures in English football in December 2016
Managerial departures in English football in December 2016
Managerial departures in English football in December 2016
Breakdown of Managerial departures in English football during the 2016/17 season to the end of December by the top four divisions

Newcastle United News: December

Assistant coach Ian Cathro left Newcastle to manage SPL side Hearts [Image from Sky Sports]
Assistant coach Ian Cathro left Newcastle to manage SPL side Hearts [Image from Sky Sports]

Cath be gone: Apologies for the awkward subheading but Newcastle United had one departure in January in the form of Ian Cathro. The well-established catch was the only survivor of Steve McLaren’s First team coaching set up under Rafa Benitez but the lure of a management role was too much for the Spaniard to turn down. He departed to manage SPL side Hearts to replace Robbie Nielson who departed for MK Dons. The 30-year-old’s first game in charge of the Tynecastle club was a game with Rangers. He left with Rafa Benitez’s best wishes stating, ‘When a coach has the opportunity and the desire to progress his career in management, it is always very important to allow them the freedom to move on and develop themselves.’. read more

Newcastle United EFL Championship season 2016/17: September

September is a glorious month for football! The league games keep coming thick and fast, the ‘big boys’ have entered the EFL Cup and the biggest club competition globally is back; The Champions League! A glorious month for Football! Or, least it was until this week. Revelations brought forward by the Daily Telegraph highlighted England manager Sam Allardyce giving ‘foreign investors’ advice on how to circumvent rules regarding g third party ownership of players sighting West Ham’s signing of Enner Valencia in 2014. The Telegraph have continued implicating more figures in English football; suggesting 8 premier league managers are implicated as well as three figures in The Championship.

Here is a selection of events this month… read more

NUFC English Championship 2016/17 season preview

Football is back and so will this man on to our TV screens! [image from http://www.skysports.com/football/news/11095/10193888/watch-best-of-soccer-saturday]

Well, it’s that time of year again folks! It’s August and the football season will be back soon meaning the delights of live matches every weekend; Jeff Stelling and the boys on Gillette Soccer Saturday; Gary Lineker hosting Match of the Day (get your Y-fronts ready Gary!) and Chris Kamara with his odd expressions like ‘fighting like beavers’ and will he miss a red card again? There is also the much anticipated reuniting of the Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola rivalry at Manchester United and Manchester City respectively while Leicester City come into the season as defending champions! Who would have thought that 12 months ago? But, alas Newcastle United will be starting their season one week earlier; the Friday night kick-off at Craven Cottage to face Fulham in the Sky Bet Championship.

sky-bet-championship-logo-8x6549-3148790_613x460 read more

England EURO 2016 Part Two: Who should replace Roy Hodgson?

Roy Hodgson (pictured) resigned minutes after Iceland defeated England at EURO 2016; the FA are still looking for a successor...
Roy Hodgson (pictured) resigned minutes after Iceland defeated England at EURO 2016; the FA are still looking for a successor…

After the debacle that was England’s humbling 2-1 defeat to Iceland (I’m not intending to insult Iceland; they did marvellously well at EURO 2016 but this match, in particular, was a huge surprise) in the second round of EURO 2016; Roy Hodgson resigned minutes after the final whistle. So, The Football Association (FA) are now on the hunt for a new manager for the national; senior men’s team. In charge of this recruitment is chief executive Martin Glenn, Dan Ashworth; Director of elite development and vice-chairman David Gill.

Their task will be to find the best man for the job and hopefully someone who will secure a knockout round victory at a major international tournament. It’s something Roy Hodgson failed to achieve and in actual fact England have failed to do so since a David Beckham free-kick defeated Ecuador in Germany 2006. This three-man team are already underway in the recruitment process of replacing Hodgson with reports of Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce and Hull City boss Steve Bruce being interviewed within the past week. read more