Archive for the ‘Euro 2008’ Category

Odds on Next England manager

November 22, 2007 1 comment

The latest odds on who will replace Steve McLaren as England manager….(odds in brackets represent odds first offered when the news of McLaren’s sacking broke). We will be updating this page whenever interest is declared or a manager is ruled out.

Monday 10th December: JOSE RULES HIMSELF OUT! Plenty of people have lost a bit of cash today after Jose Mourinho sensationally ruled himself out of the running for the vacant England job. Mourinho decided that the job wasn’t for him after posting a message on his agent’s website. Mourniho’s decision makes Fabio Capello the overwhelming favourite with the bookies although the lack of English must still be an obstacle. It may also leave the way open for Harry Redknapp to re-enter the running. However, O’Neill and Mourinho are now both gone, leaving the FA facing another situation whereby they’ll be offering the job to a man who wasn’t their first choice, like McLaren after coveting Scolari last time around. And we all know how well that ended up. Mourinho does stay at 16/1 as it would be just like him to take the job tomorrow after this announcement. The idea of a German managing the English team will probably rule out Klinsmann, Lippi is a good bet at the moment.

Friday 7th December: Mourinho wants it. The fans want him to have it. The FA will pay him €6 million a year. Er. No brainer? Anyone? Regardless, the 7/2 you could have had when McLaren was sacked is still not great. The 11/10 on offer now is almost better in that he’s roughly even money and overwhelming favourite for the job. The only way he won’t get it is if Barcelona or AC Milan sack their managers. Which is unlikely. Capello remains second-favourite but the lack of English thing may be a problem coupled with the extreme differences between Serie A and Premiership styles and players.

Thursday 29th Nov: Louis Van Gaal has declared his interest in the job. The AZ coach will have delighted his club by registering his interest with the media. Van Gaal has a clause in his contract which allows him to leave his job to coach England but it doesn’t kick in until 2009. Chances are he won’t get offered it anyway, although he boasts an impressive cv having won both major European competitions as well as Dutch and Spanish league titles.
Jose Mourinho either wants it desperately or isn’t sure depending on which paper you read. Most reckon he’s issued a come and get me plea. As the overwhelming fans choice (I didn’t say all fans before Utd and Liverpool fans start arguing) Mourinho’s odds are likely to stay low whether he says the FA can f*** off or kisses their feet.
Benitez’ odds have drifted after a couple of good results rendered his job slightly safer.
Alan Shearer is still a decent outside bet given the high-profile backing he has received, as is Hiddink ridiculously enough. Russia’s decision to stall his contract talks could be taken personally by a successful manager like the Dutchman. Smart money is still on Mourinho though.

Monday, 26th Nov: Alan Shearer is still available at decent odds as talk of him being ‘perfect for the job’ grows: Alan Hansen’s words, not ours. Jurgen Klinsmann is another big mover after he declared an interest while Jose Mourinho’s people, whoever they are, say the Special One (God, enough already) is waiting on a call from the FA.

Friday, 23rd Nov: Odds dramatically tumble on Rafael Benitez after he refuses to rule himself out of the running amid reports of a breakdown in his relationship with Liverpool’s owners. Benitez is cut from 50/1 to 18/1. Alan Shearer says he is surprised but won’t rule himself out either. Arsene Wenger says is should be an Englishman and says it won’t be him. O’Neill’s odds drift after he says he is not interested. Capello has become the out and out favourite. Anyone asked Martin Jol?

Thursday, 22nd Nov: Harry Redknapp confirms he will be putting his name forward for the vacant position. Sam Allardyce rules himself out uncertainly, saying he has to honour his contract. Not saying, I don’t want to go for the job. Fabio Capello has already registered his interest in the job while Martin O’Neill has played down reports linking him with the job (again).

Fabio Capello 4/7 (11/4) (7/2) (3/1) (9/4) (9/2) (6/1) (14/1)
Martin O’Neill 5/1 (9/1) (7/1) (10/1) (7/2)
Marcelo Lippi 6/1 (18/1) (33/1) (40/1) (18/1) (16/1)
Jurgen Klinsmann 14/1 (16/1) (10/1) (20/1)
Jose Mourinho 16/1 (11/10) (5/4) (4/1) (7/2)
Luis Scolari 25/1 (20/1) (14/1) (12/1)
Alan Curbishley 25/1
Harry Redknapp 25/1 (18/1) (6/1) (9/1) (16/1) (14/1)
Steve Coppell 25/1 (28/1)
Guus Hiddink 33/1 (28/1) (22/1) (18/1)
Louis Van Gaal 40/1 (33/1) (22/1) (14/1)
Alan Shearer 40/1 (16/1) (14/1) (12/1)
Rafael Benitez 40/1 (25/1) (22/1) (16/1) (18/1) (50/1)
Martin Jol 125/1 (80/1) (66/1)
David Beckham 250/1
Steve Staunton 1000/1

McLaren Sacked (+ his reaction)

November 22, 2007 Leave a comment

Steve McLaren has been sacked as manager of England after last night insisting he would not resign after England failed to qualify for Euro 2008.
McLaren has been sacked by the FA just hours after telling a press conference that he would not walk away from his England job despite the disappointment of failing to qualify for a major final for the first time since 1994’s World Cup in the USA.
The FA had no option but to sack McLaren after the 3-2 defeat last night rendered his job untenable.
Early favourites are Jose Mourinho (who is likelier to take a club job, although the salary involved would be astronomical), Fabio Capello (who has already said he’d like the job-talk about enthusiastic!) and Martin O’Neill who will be linked with the England job every time it becomes available over the next hundred years.
O’Neill has already said he’s not interested though that is unlikely to quell the speculation given that O’Neill is favoured by members of the FA and the general public who see him as the man to whip a generation of under-achievers into shape.

McLaren gave his reaction to the news of his sacking.
He said: “this is one of the saddest days of my career.”
Read more…

England are out

November 21, 2007 1 comment


3-2 to Croatia at Wembley, Steve McLaren is in his final night in charge of England.

More tomorrow….

McLaren reads our blog.

November 21, 2007 Leave a comment

Ok, that’s possibly not true. However, after this blog spent yesterday giving out s*** about him persevering with Beckham and Robinson, Steve McLaren will reportedly drop the pair for tonight’s clash with Croatia.

For the record at the time the media was talking about Beckham winning his 99th cap and contemplating Carson playing. It was clearly our detailed reasoning that drove McClaren to re-think his team….

Must be something we said about him being a weaker manager for leaving them in….maybe.

England V Croatia Preview

November 20, 2007 1 comment

Well, it’s make or break time. England have (again) left it with all to play for going into the final game.
Croatia go to Wembley knowing that qualification is secure. Their 2-0 defeat to Macedonia will have stung them into action though and the longer the game goes on at 0-0 the more likely Croatia might decide to try and knock out England, allowing Russia in should they beat Andorra, which they will.

...lads? Er.....lads?

(McLaren wanders lonely as a cloud…)

McLaren is not a popular man at the moment. Then again, on current form, should England qualify they might fancy their chances given some of the stronger teams’ qualification campaigns. Italy look strong but the likes of France, Holland, Portugal and Spain have all suffered blips in their respective campaigns. Spain and France lost to Northern Ireland and Scotland respectively. Portugal are still chasing qualification tomorrow night and Holland have been well beaten thus far by Romania and seem to grind out results against much weaker teams.

However, for England to look at this as positive news they need to do two things. (a) qualify and (b) get a new coach.
I appreciate that everyone is saying McLaren needs to go and that it is hardly shocking to suggest he should go however it is not based on results that I would see him sacked.

McLaren is recognised as a fantastic coach through the methods he employs on the training ground and you don’t get to no.2 at Old Trafford and no.1 for England without being good at what you do. The FA appointed the wrong man, yes, but that doesn’t mean McLaren has nothing going for him.
The problem with McLaren is he hasn’t made the big calls at the right times. The news that Scott Carson is possibly set to start tomorrow night is a joke. Not because of Carson, because Paul Robinson has been short of confidence for some time now. A decent Spurs defence (on paper) has looked like something from St. James’ Park due to the lack of confidence in the man behind them. Robinson has made a series of gaffes this season, far more than any top keeper should make in a season or two, or three.

His blunder against Croatia can be forgiven, but still shouldn’t have happened. Carson should have had his chance before now. Had Ben Foster been no.1 at Old Trafford this season he would have been wearing the England jersey before now. His injury has simply left McLaren not considering an alternative. Carson is a loanee. He plays at Aston Villa who aren’t a fashionable club. McLaren must have wondered what the reaction would have been had he put Carson in and seen him humiliated. Which betrays a lack of confidence. Which makes it baffling why he decided to bring back David James, a player he clearly has no intention of seeing as a viable no.2

Why not?

(Little bit unnecessary but why not says you…..)

Beckham. No, no way, not at all. Sorry, but this nonsense about Beckham being good at set-pieces and worth his place in the team is a joke. Beckham’s days in an England shirt are over. His initial decision to drop Beckham was the right one, but bringing him back destroyed everything he’d accomplished by standing up to the media and saying that Beckham was done. How do you bring back a player into the fold that you had previously got rid of? How does Beckham feel, knowing the media’s clamour brought his return quicker than anything he did with a ball in the past few seasons. He’s unfit. People say he’s playing in an inferior league. He’s not even playing in it. He’s been more or less permanently injured since arriving in LA unless there is an England game on. The quality of the league doesn’t apply when Beckham isn’t playing in it. Were he playing week-in, week-out with a pub team he would possibly deserve his place in the squad. The fact that Beckham is not playing is the most important thing. Should he start tomorrow, or go to Euro 2008, it will be a sorry day for the squad when a player bursting to play, giving it everything at the weekend to show he deserves a place, is left behind in favour of the nation’s icon.

People may read this and see it as an anti-Beckham vendetta. Not so. Beckham has done amazing things on the pitch. And been a terrific leader for England. But not in the last couple of years.

McLaren needs to make way for someone who will make a real team out of England. Someone who will come in with no sentiment and decide if Gareth Barry is playing better than Frank Lampard or Steven Gerrard, Barry will play. Every single player in the squad should believe he can make the first eleven. Not the last one or two…..

Mid-week flutter

November 20, 2007 Leave a comment

To prove that Saturday’s hopeless attempt at winning loads of money from the bookies was just a once-off, today’s flutter is more reserved with a certain element of spice.

Also, our stats show that people aren’t looking at the unbelievable free-kick just below this post. Could it be that you’ve all seen it? If you haven’t, go look a it. Now. It’s ridiculous. Sublime. This post will be neither.

Here Goes (though why that gets a capital G I don’t know):

Weighing in at odds of 87.56/1: (Winning teams in bold)

LEEDS (2/5) v Hereford (Yes it’s risky.) wrong
VENEZUELA (8/15) V Bolivia (May as well give up now) right
GERMANY (1/5) v Wales (Banker)
Read more…

Categories: Euro 2008, Preview, Soccer

Israel 2 Russia 1 (plus a round-up of Scotland, Wales, North+Rep of Ireland)

November 18, 2007 Leave a comment

Well, Israel did it. Russia crumbled and the draw that kept their hopes alive was dashed when straight after hitting Israel’s post, they conceded a last-minute equaliser.
England coach Steve McLaren reinforced his god-like status when he revealed how he was always sure it would come down to the final game against Croatia. Fair play Steve. Maybe England lost to Russia last time out on purpose.
The Sunday Times’ Joe Lovejoy reveals today that several sources in the FA have revealed McLaren is on borrowed time regardless of Wednesday’s result at home to Croatia.
Read more…