Premier League

News, commentary, tickets, pre and post match reaction alongside opinion about the Premier League and everything English football related.

Chelsea, Europe

Avram Grant Sacked by Chelsea

Chelsea FC finally put Avram Grant out of his misery and officially announced what everyone had known for months. That he would not be coaching Chelsea next year. The contenders to replace Grant include Frank Rijkaard, Guus Hiddink and Roberto Mancini.

The official announcement reads:

“Chelsea can confirm that Avram Grant has had his contract as manager terminated today. This follows meetings over the last two days. Everybody at Chelsea FC would like to thank Avram for his contribution since taking over as manager last September. We will now be concentrating all our efforts on identifying a new manager for Chelsea and there will be no further comment until that appointment is made.”

Chelsea, Europe, Man Utd.

Man Utd Win A Classic

It was a game that had everything. Goals, unbelievable tension, red cards and finally a winner. Fifty years on from the Munich air disaster, Manchester United won their third European Cup final in a dramatic shootout.

It was a game of 2 halves and overtime. The first half belonged to Man Utd, who easily could have been three up after 30 minutes. But Chelsea battled back as they and hit the post twice, in the second half and overtime.

Avram Grant answered all the questions about his tactical knowledge with some great half-time adjustments, while Cristiano Ronaldo scored again in a big game.

Chelsea, Europe

Is Lampard Heading to Milan?

Rumors out of Moscow are that Chelsea midfield star Frank Lampard is heading to Inter Milan on a four year deal worth almost 6 million pounds a year.

While Chelsea denies the story, former Chelsea boss has been long rumored to being the new Inter coach. Jose Mourinho is very close to Lampard (and Drogba) and Lampard has stalled on signing a new contract.

I think it will be a very interesting summer at Stamford Bridge with a lot of changes, regardless of how they do against Manchester United on Wednesday.

Arsenal, Barcelona, Chelsea, Europe, Liverpool, Man Utd., Real Madrid

European Power Rankings

Eurosport has just released its inaugural European Power Ranking and Manchester United are on top. Intern Milan had led these rankings for much of the season but have dropped to fourth place after their recent stumbles is Serie A.

Europsport uses a mathematical formula based on based on points per game in domestic league and European games. What I cannot understand is how Arsenal are ranked higher than Chelsea. Chelsea finished higher than then in the Premiership and went two rounds further in the Champions League. Somehow the last-minute goal they conceded against Bolton cost them a place. And I thought the BCS formula was confusing!

Europe, Man Utd.

Giggity, Giggity Giggs!

When Ryan Giggs came off the bench in the second half for Manchester United on Sunday, he wasn’t making just another typical appearance. Not only was he appearing in the second half of the most important league game of the season, but he was also tying Bobby Charlton’s Ripken-like record of 758 team appearances.

Giggs’ soccer story begins when, on his 14th birthday, Sir Alex Ferguson offered him a contract with Man U. During the next twenty years, Giggs would help obtain over 20 foreign and domestic trophies for the squad, and he would never play for another side.

Europe, Premier League

Fulham Survives Against All Odds

It’s fitting a team with so many Americans would want to have a Hollywood ending to an otherwise ugly season, and that is exactly what Fulham conjured up in its final game of the season on Sunday.

Due to Reading’s expected thrashing of Derby and Birmingham’s surprising stomping of Blackburn, Fulham needed a win yesterday to stay in England’s top division. Anything less than three points would mean relegation for a majority of the Americans playing in the EPL.

Europe, Premier League

City’s Competitors Eyeing Targets

Manchester City’s foes in the Premiership are beginning to zero in on several targets as the upcoming transfer period draws near.

Captain Richard Dunne has been linked to Aston Villa, Everton, Newcastle United, and Sunderland. Manchester City’s four-time player of the year appears to be no longer needed at owner Thaksin Shinawatra’s City. Widely considered one of the top defenders in England, Manchester City can ill afford to lose a player of his caliber.

Dunne’s international teammate Steven Ireland has also been linked with Sunderland. A strong Irish connection is present at the Stadium of Light thanks in large part to manager Roy Keane.

Arsenal, Chelsea, Europe, Liverpool, Man Utd., Premier League

Big Four? More Like Two…

For years, pundits have argued the EPL is a boring league because of the concentration of talent at the top.

Like MLB, the EPL allows teams to spend as freely as they like, meaning billionaire American businessmen and Russian oil tycoons can stockpile the best players like rations in a nuclear fallout shelter. In case of emergency (or injury), they can just pop another superstar out of the box (new signing bonus smell!) and into the roster.

The benefits of such a system are that when Chelsea, Man U, Liverpool or Arsenal is on the pitch, fans know they are watching a top quality product. The detriments?

Chelsea, Europe, Man Utd.

Man Utd and Chelsea fans Get Visa Extension

Manchester United and Chelsea fans who are heading to Moscow for the Champions League Final got good news today when UEFA announced that all ticket holders attending the UEFA Champions League final in Moscow on 21 May will be able to use their match ticket as a visa entry to the Russian Federation for a 72-hour period.

Europe, Premier League

The Fulham Frankenstein

It’s Aliiiiiiiiiiiiiiive!

It’s Aliiiiiiiiiiiiiiive!

Fulham, aka “America’s Team” in the EPL, just won’t die, despite the fact the so-called experts labeled them as-good-as relegated weeks ago.

Granted, those experts weren’t insane for suggesting it looked certain the Cottagers would be playing second division soccer this time next year. After all, they had only won a measley four games out of thirty three all season and would need at least three wins in their last five to stay alive. Oh, and their last five included dates with Liverpool, Man City and Portsmouth, three of the EPL’s top eight teams.