Saturday, 29 March 2014

Blank post

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Looking ahead to Over the Limit

So as I go and remortgage my house to buy the third WWE pay-per-view in seven weeks, Over the Limit already has five matches announced:
  • Kofi Kingston & R-Truth (c) vs Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger (Tag-Team Championship Match).
  • Leyla (c) vs Beth Phoenix (Divas Championship Match).
  • Sheamus (c) vs Randy Orton vs Chris Jericho vs Alberto Del Rio (World Heavyweight Championship Match).
  • CM Punk (c) vs Daniel Bryan (WWE Championship Match).
  • John Cena vs John Laurinaitis.
Over the Limit then is already shaping up to be a good pay-per-view, and I am going to predict that three more matches will be added to the card.
  • The Miz vs Brodus Clay
  • Santino Marella vs Cody Rhodes (Champion vs Champion match)
  • Ryback vs Tyson Kidd
It's pretty much a certainty that Brodus Clay will be at Over the Limit as WWE creative continue to push him (literally down our throats), and seeing as Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger are already involved in a match, he will have to squash the opponent he has recently been facing, The Miz. Don't get me wrong, I liked Brodus Clay at first, but he hasn't got a feud, he's got no direction. I would really like to see him going up against someone like Ryback, who falls into the same category as Brodus Clay in my eyes.


Santino and Cody Rhodes have been having a war of words on Twitter recently, and I wonder if creative are going to utilise this. It's even possible this could be the match that breaks down the draft between the brands if both championships go on the line, lets be honest the brands don't really mean much anymore with a Supershow every other week. Add in the fact that Cody Rhodes is a fast rising star, and Santino is one of the most over faces in WWE right now, and this could be a very interesting match.

One of the matches I am looking forward to most though is the tag team match between Kofi/Truth and Dolph/Swagger. The tag team division has been awful for the past year or two, and while it will never be the same as it was when teams like The Dudley Boyz, Edge and Christian and The Hardyz were battling it out, it's good to see something is happening with it again. It's even starting to get a storyline with Epico and Primo involved. My predicition is this match will see Mason Ryan interfere somehow, and Epico and Primo will challenge the winners.

The Diva's division has also been stale recently, but will Over the Limit see the return of Kharma? It certainly needs something to kickstart interest in it again.

Add to the mix a fatal four way, and a match for wrestling fans everywhere in Daniel Bryan v CM Punk and Over the Limit may actually be worth remortgaging the house.

Which leads us on to the main event. On paper this seems a ridiculous match, the Raw and Smackdown GM vs the face of the WWE. But credit where credit is due, the creative team have built this match up in exactly the way they wanted to. I really want Cena to win, and put that pompous, arrogant, raspy voiced fool in his place. We all know there will be interference (Lesnar? Tensai? Big Show?), but creative have worked the character of Laurinaitis so well and got the desired results, we want to see him lose.

So while the WWE have only had a limited amount of time to build up any feuds, there are so many questions we all want to see answered that I can see this being a successful show.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Rumour: Demba Ba coming to Stoke

Let me begin by saying Happy New Year to you all, and secondly apologies for the lack of posts in the past two weeks, but what a way to kick off the New Year:  Is Demba Ba coming to Stoke ?
With rumours circulating that Demba Ba coming to Stoke , some of you may be wondering just who he is.
Demba Ba is a player I rate very highly, having seen him play for Hoffenheim.  He nearly made a breakthrough into England early on in his career, having a trial at Watford, but a change in personnel put dash to them hopes.

Ba began his senior career at Rouen, making 26 appearences and scoring 22 goals.  Then in 2007, Hoffenheim approached Demba to help them, they were languishing at the foot of the table.  In an extraordinary turn of events, Ba helps the club to second in the league, scoring 12 goals in 29 games for the club, securing their promotion.
Once an integral part of the set-up, relationships have soured when Ba refused to travel to Hoffenheims Christmas training camp.  Although originally interested in a move to West Ham, rumours are circulating that the Potters have put the money together that could ensure Demba Ba coming to Stoke is a reality.
Although born in France, Demba Ba is part of the Senegalese National side, scoring two goals in nine appearences.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Big Mama’s house – Mama Sidibe’s return to the Stoke squad.

The Sentinel reported not too long ago that Mama Sidibe’s return to the Stoke squad was just around the corner.  As a reward for Sidibe trying hard to make a comeback from injury, he would be awarded with a place in the 25-man squad that has to be renamed this January.

This news was met with groans of despair from a large selection of the Stoke faithful, and with good reason.  The impression that Tony Pulis gives is that Stoke is here to accommodate Sidibe, not the other way around.  If Begovic is out injured, you can bet your last £13 pound that Sidibe will be played in goal.
Is Mama Sidibe’s return to the Stoke squad such a bad thing though?
For all his faults, Sidibe has a lions heart.  He will chase the ball like a dog chases a stick, and he never gives up.
Kenwyne Jones, after such a promising start, hasn’t really been setting the place alight.  Ambling back from defence, Jones is no where near the opponents box on a counter attack, and he hasn’t scored for a while now.
Is this down to Jones though, or the dip in form for Etherington and Pennant.  Recently the pair haven’t been able to get them deadly balls into the box that they were delivering with such devastating effects earlier in the season.
So who’s to blame?
Another point is that Fuller does like playing alongside Sidibe.  The pair have teamed up for many years now, and Riccy does thrive of the balls that Sidibe feeds him.  Mama doesn’t get on the score sheet much, but he does the dirty work that needs doing.
Whilst you berate him for his skill (or lack of) remember the times when your chest has swollen with pride because of the big man.  The goal against Arsenal where he made a multi-million pound defence look very stupid? 
When it went in, didn’t it feel like when one of your children does something that makes you well-up?
So maybe Mama Sidibe’s return to the Stoke squad isn’t such a bad thing.  Return to the first team then yes, it arguably is, but he does offer a different dimension to the team.  Yes it’s a step backwards.  Still, it is something different.
Who can argue that the Fulham game didn’t need that?

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Winter World Cup

Will England be playing in a ‘Winter World Cup’ come 2022?
Through the entire furore that Sepp Blatter has created with his obtuse comments about homosexuality in Qatar, a very important message was missed - Sepp Blatter has given his backing to host the tournament during the winter months after Qatar won the 2022 bid.
This is mainly due to the intense heat during the summer months for the Middle East country.  Traditionally the tournament has normally taken place between June and July, but in Qatar the heat at this time can reach up to 50c. 
Former World Cup winning captain and coach of the German side Franz Beckenbauer had previously raised concerns over the health risk posed by extreme temperatures.
Qatar were shock winners to host the 2022 World Cup and the decision was met with open disapproval.  This issue is sure to raise more criticism.
Many will ask if the issue was raised during the bidding process and if so, was it overlooked? 
Qatar did indeed mention the climate but pushed it to the background, dismissing it as a non-issue.
The idea was to build air-conditioned stadiums, and the proposal of a ‘Winter World Cup’ was never raised. 
The question now asked must surely be: Did Qatar give misleading information during their bid, or were the bidding committee aware of the implications all along?
If the committee were aware of the health and safety risk posed to players, this would only add further fuel to the fire that money played a part in the bidding process.  Whispers of corruption have surrounded the bidding process; dismissed as bitterness on England’s part due to losing the 2018 bid.
It should be noted here that England’s free media was said to have cost the World Cup bid.  Fundamentally FIFA didn’t award England the World Cup because they don’t like being investigated, but that’s a point for another time. 
Although there are no regulations that say the World Cup has to be played during the summer months, the potential disruption to the domestic leagues a Winter World Cup could cause are staggering.
Many top players and managers, including Sir Alex Ferguson, have called for a winter break in the past to aide England in their World Cup chances, but news of a potential Winter World Cup would be met with anger. 
Top clubs such as Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal would be required to release their players for up to 7 weeks to allow them participation in the tournament.
Upon their return they would be thrown into the deep end of the season with Champions League knockout stages and FA Cup latter stages. 
It would also have a knock-on effect, as players would potentially only have 4 weeks to recuperate during the summer months before having to begin pre-season training.
Sponsorship for tournaments such as the Champions League would suffer from having a Winter World Cup, having to have a two-month gap between the group stages and the knockout stages.  Then there would be a major sporting clash with the 2022 Winter Olympics which receives a healthy TV following.
Other questions were raised over the Qatar bid, such as the carbon footprint left by the proposed air-conditioned stadiums, and the laws that the country enforces.  It was not raised over a Winter World Cup though.
FIFA also stated that it was bringing football to a country where it could make a social and cultural impact.  Qatar, and Australia who were vying for the bid too, have never hosted the World Cup.  Qatar has a population of 1.7 million.  Australia – 22.6 million.  Football (soccer) is on the rise in Australia, becoming more popular. 
If FIFA wanted to make a social and cultural impact, surely Australia was the better option?
As it stands, the impression given by FIFA’s actions is that the bid was granted to Qatar with a view of making all the pieces fall into place after the acceptance.  It’s understandable that many Football fans are calling for the withdrawal of our national team.
As one German newspaper said, World Cup 2022 could be Qatarstrophic.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Stoke Chairman Peter Coates says no spending spree this Transfer window

Stoke Chairman Peter Coates has said stoke will not go on a spending spree in the transfer window.
Coates admits to not being a fan of the winter transfer window saying that people know your circumstances and try to squeeze everything they can out of you.
He also believes this is Stokes best squad ever, and with good cover as well, there is little need to buy.
“It’s unlikely we will be doing much, but you never know.”
Stoke lost to Blackpool this weekend 1 – 0 and also found out that on loan winger Pennant’s parent club Zaragoza have slapped a £6 million price tag on him.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Ryan Shawcross Update

Earlier in the week Ryan Shawcross was linked with a £20 million package move to Italian giants Juventus.  Recently Shawcross tweeted this on Social Network site Twitter.

"RShawcross87   To all the people asking me to sign for their clubs, i appreciate it but I am currently very happy at stoke and have no intention of leaving "

I'm sure many Stoke fans will be rejoicing at this news.