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It’s Been a While

Apologies for the lack of updates, yikes, this year!  Life has unfortunately kicked my arse for the last nine months, mainly with work and reaping the benefits of my employment by actually going out and doing stuff.  This isn’t a personal blog so I won’t bore you with those details, so here’s a quickfire recap on a few of the things I’ve missed lately.
The European Football Championship was excellent this summer, of course with Spain winning it after murdering Italy 4-0 in the final.  I must admit that shocked me, I was convinced Italy at least stood a good chance of winning seeing as they had a rock-solid defence and Spain more often than not played without a recognised striker.  Good to see Torres back to his best in the Premier League coming back to recent events, the league is as exciting as ever now that Manchester City have joined United and Chelsea to make it a three horse race for the title this year.  Lots of money has been spent as always, Eden Hazard in particular looks to be a fantastic acquisition for Chelsea as does Santi-Cazorla for Arsenal.  I can’t see them challenging for the league title this year but it would be nice to see them beform consistently between now and May rather than choking towards the end.  Time will tell.

Mass Effect 3 is one of the biggest releases of the year

Video games, always a favourite of mine.  We’ve had some belters this year with the amazing Skyrim, the new Hearthfire DLC is something I’m interesting in purchasing as building a detailed property is a feature I’ve always wanted Bethesda to expand upon.  Good call by them, I’ll try and stick a review up once I’ve played it.  Guild Wars 2 is out as well of course, but I’ve not had the chance to play that either just yet. Luckily it’s my birthday in almost exactly a months time and that’s very high on my list of DO WANT! so again more thoughts and opinions on that when the time comes, no doubt that’s just as fantastic as the first one.  As for games I have played I finally got around to playing and completing all three of the main Uncharted games, which on the whole were fantastic but in my opinion gradually got weaker as the series progressed.  It’s still a memorable experience though and one any PS3 owner shouldn’t miss, so go play them if you haven’t already.   Mass Effect 3 was another big release earlier in the year, and my goodness did that get a reaction.  No doubt you’re aware of the controversy surrounding the… rather poor ending, but thankfully that’s been rectified and the new ending is much, much better.  I can honestly say that the final half an hour before the original ending is the most incredible gaming experience I’ve ever had the pleasure of being on the edge of my seat for, again that’s a series well worth investing your time in if you’ve not already done so.

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Should Arsene Wenger Go?

For those following The Barclays Premier League you’ll no doubt be aware of Arsenal’s crumbled title challenge.  For those that don’t, in recent years the team has made a habit of spending an entire season hot on the heels of whoever is leading the race, only to completely bottle it with four or fives games to go – and this season has been no exception.

Since losing the Carling Cup final to Birmingham City back in February Arsenal seem to have hit the self destruct button, only beating Leyton Orient and Blackpool since – losing another three and drawing the remaining five.  The most recent defeat at home to Bolton Wanders all but conformed the end of their title challenge, they’re currently nine points behind leaders Manchester United with four games to go.  Not only that, they’ve also relinquished second place to Chelsea, meaning they’re most likely going to finish third.

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That’s One Way To Take a Penalty

I think this should be attempted in the Champions League final.

World Cup 2010 Review

Well, it’s over.  The greatest tournament on earth came to a close on Sunday evening as Spain took on Holland in the final, so today I’d like to share my thoughts and opinions on the extravaganza with a general review plus a team-by-team analysis.

We’ll start with how the tournament played out on the whole.  I’ll begin by being brutally honest, the World Cup of 2010 was not as impressive as most of us hoped it would be.  The quality of the football itself was more often than not appalling, I’d love to see the overall stats for shots on target compared to those off target but it’s a safe bet to say the numbers are in favour of the latter – the amounts of shots, free kicks and headed attempts that cleared the top of the goal by some distance was ridiculous at times, and the ball specifically designed for the tournament played a huge part in this.

None of the players liked it.  They found it too light, unpredictable and generally badly designed, and when the players could get the thing going for the goal it gave the goalkeepers all kinds of trouble.  Excluding the French team, goalkeepers were made to look the silliest players of the tournament time and time again with shots that looked to be going straight at them suddenly taking a wild turn in mid-air leaving them flapping like fish out of water.  The Uruguay ‘keeper in particular probably suffered the most, combining his own errors with those that weren’t really his fault made him stand out as a player who looked dafter than he should have and will probably be remembered for those frequent howlers than the fact that he helped his team to a fantastic fourth place finish.

But enough about all that for now, let’s get on with the team by team analysis.

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“Nice to see your own fans booing you” or “why we’re playing like crap”

Wayne Rooney criticised the fans despite another poor performance

The title of this post is something uttered by England’s Wayne Rooney as he trudged of the pitch in South Africa at the World Cup after a dire 0-0 draw against Algeria.  With no disrespect meant to the North African country they are a team that should have been beaten comfortably, and so England were (rightly in my opinion) booed off the pitch after another poor performance.

Anyone who’s watched the World Cup will probably know that the England team had already played out a 1-1 draw against the USA the previous weekend, and while the States were considered to be England toughest opponents in a group that also includes Slovenia it was still supposed to be little more than a stroll to success according to fans, the media and betting agencies alike, and when that all went wrong it was considered a minor setback.  Matches against Algeria and Slovenia were therefore must-win games, and now with two games played and two draws as a result the team need to absolutely annihilate Slovenia to not only win back the support of their fans but also even qualify from the group their in.

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