Tag Archives: chelsea

Weekend musing – AFL, sledging, EPL final week……

There have been instances of good sportsmanship and bad sportsmanship in the AFL last weekend.

On the good side it was pleasing to see Dyson Heppell and Joel Selwood chair James Kelly off after last weeks game to celebrate Kelly’s 300th game.

On the flip side, you had the sledging allegations levelled at St Kilda players for targetting Marc Murphy in the game against Carlton targeting. This is a difficult issue and hard to assess and monitor. By drawing attention to the sledging and the content of the sledging, it brought to light rumours that I and a lot of other footy fans who aren’t on social media sites were not aware of. Where do you draw the line when it does not involve issues that are currently in the code of conduct?

Another good story in the AFL this week is the appointment of the female umpire, Eleni Glouftsis for the Essendon v West Coast game this Sunday. By all reports she has got there on her merits and deserves the chance. Another way of getting females involved in the game of Australia Rules Football.

The EPL concludes this week with Chelsea and Tottenham wrapping up the top two spots before the weekend and Manchester City almost safe in third spot. That leaves Liverpool and Arsenal in the fight for fourth position and the all important Champions League qualification. Liverpool have the easier game, but the Gunners have come with a rush in the last month and are not without some chance of finishing fourth. With Manchester United playing off for the Europa Cup and possible qualification for the Champions League, more may need to play out before the final positions are known. I have had a look at the qualification criteria and it is by no means clear. My personal view is that it would not be a bad thing for the Gunners to miss out on Europe and only concentrate on the League next season. Chelsea and Leicester have won the League in the last two years without having to worry about the Champions League.

Have a great weekend!

Weekend musing – EPL, St Totteringham’s Day, AFL, Essendon faithful, Shot Clock, Jack Gunston

Chris Barwin HillsThe EPL season has now concluded and Leicester City won the crown by a whopping ten points. Arsenal, who by many measures had a disappointing season, sneaked into second spot. The Foxes arsenallost only three games for the season and two of those games were to Arsenal. It just shows that with Arsenal finishing second on the back of a disappointing season, how disappointing the seasons of Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United were. Man U has the chance to at least secure some silverware this season in the FA Cup which may also save the job of Louis Van Gaal. One final comment on the EPL and that is Arsenal couldn’t have waited much longer to celebrate St Totteringham’s Day!

It was interesting to see the Bombers get cheered off after an honourable loss last week and a lot of people have suggested that this may have never happened before, however, I was at a game at Windy Hill in the late 1980s or early 1990s when they applauded the team from the ground. Essendon was playing West Coast and watsonsustained about five or more injuries during the game and I remember Michael Long having to go back on the field with a shoulder injury and he may have even had his arm inside his jumper to protect it. West Coast won by a couple of goals and the Bomber faithful were so impressed with the effort in the face of adversity that they were clapped from the ground. I still remember a couple of West Coast supporters jumping up and down when the siren went and then going quiet when the Essendon crowd started clapping their team. After this game Kevin Sheedy embarked on one of his quests to expand the interchange bench which was ultimately successful.

There has been a lot of discussion about the shot clock in the AFL and what they can do to avoid the situation that was faced a couple of weeks ago when Mason Wood iced the clock to ensure North’sfevola victory. The thirty seconds allowed to shoot for goal was introduced to try and force the likes of Brendan Fevola and Matthew Lloyd to not take up too much time preparing to have a shot for goal. I always thought this was a massive over reaction as the umpires have the right to call play on at their discretion anyway. My suggestion would be to do away with the thirty second rule and hand the discretion back to the umpire.

Football players are sought after commodities to promote products gunstonin the media, particularly at this time of the year. Some are cut out for it and some are completely hopeless. Jack Gunston from Hawthorn does a number of radio advertisements and I would suggest he falls into the latter category. His ads are that lame I often turn the radio off so I don’t have to listen to him. Stick to what you are good at Jack.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – Jose Mourinho, Louis Van Gaal, A League, West Indies….

Chris Barwin HillsWell the Chelsea manager’s job continues to be a poisoned chalice with Jose Mourinho being moved on by the same Club for a second josetime the year after he took the title. It is pretty clear his team is not playing for him and being on the brink of the relegation zone, it did look to be inevitable and a case of when, not if.

Sticking with the EPL, Louis Van Gaal has also come in for some stick louisas well. While Manchester United have not been winning, they certainly haven’t been conceding many goals with the least “goals against” in the League so I don’t think it is all doom and gloom or as bad as the situation at Chelsea.

On the local scene we have the big local A League derby this weekend with Melbourne City coming off three very impressive wins as Unknown-4opposed to Melbourne Victory coming off three disappointing losses. The form guide couldn’t be more opposite. Personally I would like to see City continue their winning ways as they have been quite entertaining slotting the goals away at a consistent rate.

The Hobart test match finished, as predicted by most of the pundits, smithwith an easy victory to the Australians. I think it is time the ICC stepped into the West Indies situation to provide more finance and support. Cricket needs a strong West Indian team as they are the only test playing “nation” in that part of the world and like the AFL commission fostering football in the northern states, the ICC have the same responsibility to world cricket.

Have a great weekend!

Weekend musing – Soccer, Leicester City, Arsenal……

Chris Barwin HillsThe English Premier League ladder has an unfamiliar name on the top at the moment in Leicester City. They have obviously surprised everyone and are this year’s Southampton and the next month may indicate if they drop out of the top four as Southampton eventually did last year. Their next four games are Chelsea (h), Everton (a), Liverpool (a) & Manchester City (h). If they can split the points in those fixtures they may hang onto their spot in the top four, but as Southampton found out last year it is hard to maintain that consistency over the course of the season.

Staying with that theme it was great to see Arsenal again move alexis-sanchez-arsenal-burnley_3223813through the group stage of the Champions League after an extremely shaky start to the campaign. The home win against Bayern Munich was obviously the key with the return wins against Olympiakos and Dinamo Zagreb sealing the continuation of their run which I think is 15-16 times in a row they have progressed past the group stage.

There was also some good news for the Australian fans of the Gunners with the team coming to Australia in 2017. The bad news for Victorian supporters is that the two games they are scheduled to play will be in Sydney.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – AFL, Premier League…..

Chris Barwin HillsThere has been a lot of discussion about the substitution rule in AFL recently and I am a bit bemused by some of the comments coming from coaches and ex-players who would have been familiar with the operation of the old 19th & 20th man which existed until 1978. I can see the merit in the current rule, but having spent time on the bench as a 19th or 20th man, I think reverting to the old interchange rule is best for all concerned. I would also cap the number of interchanges to twenty a quarter. If the number of interchanges allowable was higher perhaps you restrict the number of times an individual player could be interchanged in any one quarter.

Sticking with the AFL, I was very surprised to see the Gold Coast player Stephen May suspended for his bump with Tom Rockliff.It looked like both players were going for the ball and May did not line up Rockliff to hit or bump him, but they came together in a jostle for the ball. I didn’t see the front on vision or any slow motion footage, but on vision shown to explain the decision I did not see a problem and clearly neither did the umpire as no free kick was paid.

Well Chelsea have secured the EPL crown with three weeks to go and while I find Jose Mourinho annoying, you cannot doubt his quality as a manager. He has now led Chelsea to the title three times and also did the same with Inter Milan, Real Madrid and FC Porto. You also cannot doubt Chelsea is a justified title holder given they have the most miserly defence and are second behind Manchester City for goals scored. The race is now on for second and fingers crossed the Gunners can get there and then secure their second FA Cup in a row which would be a good stepping stone to the next Premier League season.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – Premier League, AFL, MLB……..

Chris Barwin HillsNot much has grabbed me this week on the sporting front although I must say that the Gunners have left me feeling a little flat after a 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Chelsea and a draw at home with Swansea. With a game coming up against Manchester City I will just have to focus all my attention on the FA Cup.

One thing that has piqued my interest is how the AFL pundits are prepared to make prognostications about various teams seasons on the back of one performance. Some people had North Melbourne finishing in the top four and now they are gone, Carlton’s recruiting is all wrong and they are destined for mediocrity, the Bombers were in for a poor season, but they could finish in the top four. I think the reality is that you cannot make a judgement based on one performance. Essendon had a good win last week, but they get the reality check this week against Hawthorn. The Kangaroos played badly last week, but should bounce back this week against the Bulldogs. Carlton also played well last week and if they had kicked straight should have won the game with a number of their first picked players not available. One game does not define a season and you need to wait until at least half way before you can write someone off.

I didn’t get to watch any of the Major League baseball from Sydney last week, however, the ground looked amazing and as I understand it, the game was a success so it will be interesting to see if more Major League games come to Australia.

Have a great weekend!

Sportzfan Radio show #247.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!20 May 2012 247.2 – Featuring the Professor, Daniel Eade and Sportzfan Stan with Daniel discussing the NBA playoffs and why he thinks Vinny Del Negro won’t be re-appointed as Clipper’s coach. Mark Fiorenti comes on the show to talk soccer and reviews the Melbourne Victory’s match against Greek champions Olympiacos. He also looks at Chelsea’s success overnight in the European Cup and the exciting last day of the English Premier League that saw Manchester City crowned as champions. Paul Dalligan talks NRL and the State of Origin game. He is not as pessimistic as Nick Tedeschi on NSW’s chances and sees them winning 18-10. He also reviews the NRL round to date and believes the Rabbitohs will win this afternoon. Daniel talks ice hockey and discusses the form of the two Melbourne teams. The Panel then discuss Craig McDermott standing down as Australian bowling coach, Ricky Ponting and Anthony Mundine fighting a 41 year old opponent.

Sportzfan Radio show #245.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!6 May 2012 245.2 – The fifth anniversary show featuring the Professor, the Gelding, Daniel Eade, Sportzfan Stan and special guest John O’Callaghan talking about WADA rules and the AFL & AFLPA trying to have cannabis taken off the banned list and whether Nick D’Arcy should have been selected for the Australian Olympic team. Mark Fiorenti comes on to talk soccer including A League, Premier League and FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Liverpool. Paul Dalligan discusses the rugby league round so far with Melbourne Storm still undefeated and Daniel Eade talks ice hockey and the AIHL.

Sportzfan Radio show #234.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!12 February 2012 234.2 – The Panel discuss the test series between Australia and India with the question being whether Australia has improved that much or was India that bad. Paul Dalligan feels it has a lot to do with new bowling coach, Craig McDermott. Even Sportzfan Stan gave the Aussies the thumbs up with a nine out of ten. Tennis is also on the agenda with a look at Australia playing China in a Davis Cup qualifier being played in Geelong this week. The Panel agree that Lleyton Hewitt and Bernard Tomic have the advantage over Ze Zhang and Di Wu. The Professor raises the question whether Australia will get back into the Davis Cup top 16. Mark Fiorenti comes on to discuss soccer, beginning with Sydney’s coach, Vitezslav Lavicka ‘resignation’ this week. Names rumored to replace him include Italian great, Gianfranco Zola, former Sydney FC player Dwight Yorke and Graham Arnold. There will be other coaching vacancies at the end of ther season and these are also discussed. Paul Dalligan looks at the pros and cons of Harry Kewell’s signing by Victory and whether it was a good thing. Internationally, England’s coach, Italian Fabio Capello, announced his resignation after the F.A’s decision to strip Chelsea’s John Terry of the England captaincy over racism charges during a Premier League match. In rugby league, Paul Dalligan was pleased that the independent commission is off the ground after four years in the making and he discusses the future of the ARL with the coming media rights negotiation.

Sportzfan Radio #196.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!3 April 2011 196.2 – The Panel discuss the final of the World Cup cricket agreeing that the Indian middle order played very well when the game was on the line. They then look at the selection of Michael Clarke as Australian cricket captain. Paul Dalligan thinks it is a ‘safe’ selection. Sportzfan Stan says that not only should the captain have been changed but also the selectors and coach. He also queries the qualifications of the selectors to do the job. The Panel look at the Socceroos win against Germany during the week playing a lot better style of football. Holger Osieck gets the thumbs up for positive, attacking football. Sean Callanan comes on to discuss social media and Carlton FC letting Daves Hughes tweet during last night’s game against the Gold Coast Suns. Sean doesn’t think it was a success as there is a fine line between comedy and respect. He believes some would have cringed at the tweets. There’s also a discussion about the Yankees being caught out giving hand signals from the stands in a post on twitter. Paul Dalligan talks rugby league and is critical of Matt Orford’s mistake that eventually cost the Canberra Raiders the match. He is happy that the Rabbitohs have won another game. Mark Fiorenti comes on to talk soccer and is congratulated for finally tweeting. He discusses the Socceroos and Premier League and thinks Manchester United may be over the line for the Championship with more interest in who will be relegated. The Panel talks NBL finals with Gold Coast Blaze’s Mark Worthington. He thinks the Townsville Crocodiles will win the Championship.