[F]or the second of our posts exploring the theme of football ownership, we are pleased to welcome Jon Keen, a long-standing supporter of Reading Football Club and founding memberofSTAR (the Supporters' Trust at Reading). Jon is also aregular contributor to Reading blog, The Tilehurst End. Here, Jon unpacks the issue while asking the inevitable question of how it came to all this?
[F]ollowing on from John McGee's freeform assessment of League 1 yesterday, here is a somewhat more plodding assessment of the level above. That, however, is no reflection on the ins and outs of this season's Championship - a competition where extortionate transfer fees, underqualified managers and frankly terrifying owners hold sway, where parachute payments warp the competition and everyone is indulging in the filthy scramble for Premier League riches - apart from Blackpool.
We are fast approaching Christmas and the Sky Bet Championship is really taking shape. Like every other season, the Championship has already thrown up some real surprises. Here are the five things that have made it an eye-opening first half of the season.
1. Burnley leading the way
Very few people would have predicted Burnley to be in the automatic promotion places as we head into the middle of December.
Former Blackburn Rovers coach Steve Kean saw his DPMM charges romp to an 8-1 victory over Woodlands Wellington last night in Brunei but he wasn't surprised.
'The boys (have) looked fresh and sharp (in training over the last dew days). If not for the fantastic goalkeeping, it could have been double figures,' Kean said after the match as quoted on the SLeague site.
SINGAPORE â€” Former Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean has been named as the new head coach of Brunei DPMM FC, the club announced on their website late on Saturday. The 46-year-old Scot arrives on a one-year contract and replaces Vjeran Simunic, who had two spells (2008-09 and 2011-2013) in charge of DPMM.
German-born American International Jermaine Jones will not celebrate if he scores against his native country. The former German National Team midfielder who filed a one-time national team switch with FIFA in 2009 has become a critical player inJürgen Klinsmann's US National Team setup. The midfielder who now features forBeşiktaş in the Turkish League after a difficult first half of the 2013-14 season with Schalke 04 in Bundesliga.
Top 10 Premier League strikers of all time - originally posted on Soccerlens.com
When stripped to its foundations, getting goals is the aim of the beautiful game, and strikers are generally charged with providing the goods. The Premier League has been graced with a plethora of some of the world's greatest forwards since its inception, with English punters perennially debating which striker takes the crown of the best ever on English soil.
Nineteen years after Eric Cantona kung fu kicked a spectator in the crowd at Selhurst Park, Manchester United return to Crystal Palace in a much different scenario. That season, Crystal Palace were relegated while Manchester United lost the title on the final day of the season to Blackburn Rovers.
Arsenal are through to the FA Cup fourth round after beating North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 on Saturday.
A terrific Santi Cazorla shot put the Gunners ahead in the 31st minute and then Tomas Rosicky wrapped up the win when he dispossessed Danny Rose on the halfway line before coolly beating Hugo Lloris, to seal a convincing win.
Cardiff City are interested in signing Paul Ince as the manager to replace Malky Mackay if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer turns down an approach from club owner Vincent Tan, according toThe Daily Mailnewspaper.
The newspaper reports that Cardiff City Chairman Mehmet Dalman is planning on having more talks with Solskjaer's representatives today, while sources close to Tan reveal that Paul Ince is a possibility.
Blackburn's DJ Campbell arrested in football spot-fixing probe - originally posted on Soccerlens.com
Blackburn Rovers forward DJ Campbell is one of the six people arrested in connection with a football spot-fixing investigation, his club have confirmed.
On 28th November, we covered a story based on the reports of The Telegraph that said six people were arrested including a former Premier League player as a part of an ongoing investigation on suspicion of fixing English football games, but due to confidential reasons, the name wasn't published then.
Here's the draw for the 3rd round of the 2013-14 FA Cup:
Ipswich Town v Preston North End; Derby County v Chelsea; AFC Bournemouth v Fleetwood or Burton Albion; Birmingham City v Bristol Rovers or Crawley Town; Grimsby Town v Huddersfield Town; Everton v QPR; Brighton & Hove Albion v Reading; Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur; Sunderland v Carlisle Utd; Bolton Wanderers v Blackpool; Blackburn Rovers v Manchester City; Norwich City v Fulham; Aston Villa v Sheffield Utd; Macclesfield Town v Sheffield Wednesday; Charlton Ath v Wrexham or Oxford Utd; Manchester Utd v Swansea City; Port Vale v Plymouth Argyle; Newcastle Utd v Cardiff City; Rochdale v Leeds Utd; Wigan Ath v MK Dons; Doncaster R v Stevenage; Stoke City v Leicester City; Southampton v Burnley; Middlesbrough v Hull City; West Brom v Crystal Palace; Kidderminster H v Peterborough; Nottingham Forest v West Ham; Bristol C v Watford; Southend U v Millwall; Barnsley v Hartlepool U or CoventryC; Yeovil Town v Leyton Orient; Liverpool v Oldham A or Mansfield T;
Matches will be played over the weekend of 4 and 5 January 2014.
In the past 13 years, roughly 0.38 goals per year have been scored by goalkeepers in the Premier League. So when a goalkeeper does score, it's such a rare treat that it's something you want to embrace and watch over and over again.
Only five goalkeepers are in the folklore of Premier League keepers who have scored in England's top flight.
Liverpool has embraced the return of Luis Suarez and the Uruguayan marked his return to the Premier League with a sensational brace that helped to cap of a very professional performance against Sunderland on Sunday afternoon.
However, it was not only the Suarez show as his strike partner in Daniel Sturridge went top of the EPL scoring charts and was the man that turned provider for both of his sidekicks strikes.
Phil Jones was regarded as one of the finest English defenders when he was still making his name at Blackburn Rovers. It was not surprising to see Manchester United part ways with Â£16.5 million for the youngster. He is turning out into an important member of the squad especially due to his versatility.
COMMENT - remember the story yesterday about former Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean heading to DPMM in the SLeague? Another story today by the way suggested former Arsenal, Everton etc etc striker Francis Jeffers may be heading for a trial there.
The North London based club has confirmed the signing of Nigerian centre back Semi Ajayi after the youngster's outstanding performances during several trial matches with Arsenal's Under 21 squad. The defender was formed in Charlton's youth academy and has surprised quite a few scouts in the last months.
Well this is certainly a strange one. After having spent 10 years at Charlton Athletic, 19 year old defender Semi Ajayi has signed for Arsenal. In a rather interesting move for the Gunners, who are yet to announce the signing on their official site, the former Charlton man announced the move via his Twitter account on Tuesday afternoon.
Newcastle have been interested in 24 year-old Blackburn strikerJordan Rhodes since he was playing for Lee Clark at Huddersfield over two years ago. Jordan Rhodes Blackburn and Scotland striker And Jordan finally signed for Blackburn Rovers in the summer of 2012 for a fee of £8M, and since then he has continued to score [.
Blackburn vs Manchester City 1-1 4 January 2014 is a post from Soccer Blogger. Follow Soccer Blogger on Twitter
Blackburn vs Manchester City 1-1 4 January 2014 is a post from Soccer Blogger. Follow Soccer Blogger on Twitter Blackburn vs Manchester City 2014 ( Blackburn Man City VIDEO BELOW) Final score and result:- Blackburn vs Man City 1-1 ( Dann/ Negredo) Ewood Park- 4 January, 2014- FA Cup- 12.
Blackburn striker Dudley Junior Campbell has been arrested as part of the ongoing investigation into alleged spot/match-fixing and corruption in the English Football League, his club have confirmed this morning.
"Following reports in today's national media, we can confirm that striker DJ Campbell has been arrested," Blackburn said via a statement on their official site.
Blackburn Rovers striker DJ Campbell is one of six people arrested as part of an investigation into match-fixing. The former QPR, Birmingham and Blackpool man is alleged to have deliberately picked up a yellow card during his side's game against Ipswich last Tuesday evening. His arrest is connected to a story published in The Sun [.
[L]ater today, Burnley and Leicester City meet in what amounts to a real Championship decider, the two teams having been far and away the best and most consistent the Football League has had to offer in 2013-4. To our shame, we have criminally under covered Burnley so far this season so by way of redress, we are delighted to welcome Jamie Smith, Editorof the Clarets blog nonaynever.
For all the criticism he has received, you can't argue that David Moyes has been watching a lot of football as he plans for a summer rebuild at Manchester United. One of his own players appears to be the target of his latest scouting mission. The United boss was at Ewood Park yesterday to watch [...]
Footage has now emerged of the yellow card that has led to DJ Campbell's arrest for alleged spot-fixing. The Blackburn striker was booked for this challenge on Ipswich Town's Aaron Cresswell in a game last Tuesday.
In his programme notes for Saturday's less than thrilling 0-0 draw with Reading, Blackburn Rovers' quietly impressive manager Gary Bowyer told of the outcome of his recent visit to India to meet with the club's owners, the by now notorious Venky's. The meeting was planned a number of weeks in advance, because there was an international break.
At least, the supporters of Blackburn Rovers may choose to console themselves this evening, at least the team won yesterday afternoon. For the first time since the start of last month, Rovers have three points under their belt with a one-nil win against Middlesbrough being enough to lift the team to ninth place in the Football League Championship table.
ï»¿ Less than a week after the BBC reported in earnest that Blackburn Rovers' defender Bradley Orr was set to join TFC, it has become official. While it's not necessarily another #BloodyBigDeal it could plug up one of the few glaring holes left in The Reds' starting eleven.
While there are still depth questions at the centreback position, the rightback role was looking like it would have to fall to MLS novice Mark Bloom by default.
Man City vs Blackburn 5-0 FA Cup Highlights 2014 Negredo Dzeko Aguero Goals Video is a post from Soccer Blogger. Follow Soccer Blogger on Twitter
Man City vs Blackburn 5-0 FA Cup Highlights 2014 Negredo Dzeko Aguero Goals Video is a post from Soccer Blogger. Follow Soccer Blogger on Twitter Man City vs Blackburn 2014 ( Manchester City Blackburn VIDEO BELOW) Final score and result:- Man City vs Blackburn 5-0 ( Negredo*2, Dzeko*2, Aguero) Etihad Stadium- FA Cup 3rd Round [.
Incoming Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis has targeted Blackburn striker Jordan Rhodes as the man who will fire the Eagles to Premier League safety. Former Stoke boss Pulis takes over at Selhurst Park today and wants to sign Rhodes in January to bolster his new side's attack. The Daily Mirror claims Pulis wants to make [.
There may not have been any Chelsea academy action last week but there was Chelsea players in action as always across many leagues out on loan so this weeks academy report is basically just a loan report.
Starting in the Premier League and Romelu Lukaku and Everton fell to their second 0 - 0 draw in 2 games this time away to Crystal Palace, it was another 90 minutes for Lukaku that will be very beneficial for him but it is goals that Lukaku will be looking for.
After beating them 1-0 in the first leg, MLS side Sporting KC thundered out of the CONCACAF Champions League last night by losing 5-1 against Cruz Azul in the second leg, with the Mexican side rubbing salt into the wound by scoring one of the finest team goals we've seen in a good long while their fifth and final goal of the evening.
It was always likely to only be a matter of time before somebody issued a legal challenge to somebody's Financial Fair Play rules somewhere in this country. After all, the acquisition of debt has become one of the defining characteristics of football in this country from the very top of the professional game down in recent years.