Media and Football Fans pressure for Charlton Athletic

Charlton Athletic Football Club will feel the pressure as they are expected to bounce back to the premier league this year at the first attempt. As one of the players who was in the team that was relegated from the Premier League the last time Charlton went down I feel qualified to comment on the feelings and pressures that the Football club will be going through.

I remember in 1999, at the start of the season, Alan Curbishley was very nervous. It seemed to me that he knew the expectations on the club even though we had only graced the premier league for 1 unsuccessful season.

His first few team meetings were to drill into the squad that it was vital we got off to a good start in that 1999/2000 season. In pre-season and the early games I felt Curbs was over-anxious that we get off to a good start.

Curbs knew that as one of the sides that had been relegated from the Premier League we were expected by the media and by our own fans to be one of the front runners to get promotion. Life then was different for the club as Curbs had not spent big in the summer, signing only myself on a free transfer from West Brom and a few others to strenghten his squad.

This year, the 2007/2008 season will be very different down at the Valley. Charlton have had a long stay in the premier league, subsequently building a squad of higher calibre players than we had in 1999, upon whom the expectations of the fans will be huge.

The bonus Curbs had then in 1999 was that his squad was a good Championship squad, full of experienced players from that division such as Richard Rufus, Clive Mendonca, John Robinson, Mark Kinsella, Steve Brown, Myself and many others who were competent playing at that level. This allowed us to put together a strong season of consistent play as we marched towards promotion and the championship title.

Many of Charltons players will not know life in the Championship and it could be a big surprise to them. With a squad of higher paid players, expectations from the fans will no doubt be very high and emotions will be tense in the early stages of the season as everyone wonders whether Alan Pardews inherited team have what it takes to scrap their way out of the Division.

Pardews side will need a strong start to ensure that they live up to their role as early season favourites and get the crowd on their side. What Pardew will be keen to avoid is a shaky start which will tough on his squad. We worked very hard in the 1999/2000 season and it showed as we dominated the league. Our players were very fit, well organized, played well together, but more than anything mentally very strong.

Pardew has proved himself to be a great manager in the Championship and he will definitely know what it takes to get the addicks back into the Premier League this season. Charlton deservedly are one of the favourites for promotion and lets hope the team hits the ground running on the opening day. I will be watching the season unfold from another continent and will not be nearly as nervous as the last time Charlton tried to climb out of the Championship League.

Will Charlton Athletic Football Club get promoted?

You gotta luv youtube (football video) - warning - this may offend some people

Sheffield United's long running saga over the Tevez Football affair should finally be over as they lose their appeal at the high court for disciplinary action against West Ham.

Hitlers Sheffield Utd Suffer Their Downfall

Could Manchester United beat a Football Team 14-0 this Season?

Manchester United Football Club get closer to signing their man as Carlos Tevez looks set for his medical at the reds. Although not seemingly the most prolific goal scorer, notching 25 goals in 75 appearances for Boca Juniors, 25 goals in 38 appearances for Corinthians and only 7 in 26 for West Ham United, Tevez as he shows below is in the mould of many footballing geniuses.

Travel Forward in Football Time - 2007/2008 Season - Home Team 0 Manchester United 14

Now cast yourself forward to the 2007/2008 season as United take the field against a gutsy lower team from the Premier League called Home Team FC. (take your pick from any side outside the top 4 or 5 elite premier league sides).

Manchester United field their strongest side with Tevez, Ronaldo, Saha, Hargreaves, Scholes and Giggs providing devastating rapid passing and moving, honed by their pre-season football training sessions.

At home Manchester United find it more difficult to break teams down because the opposition play with a more defensive attitude. But Home Team FC are the hosts and under pressure from an expectant crowd they have to attack the Reds.

Ronaldo Scores and Winds up the Home fans

Manchester United play with a sense of freedom and after 5 minutes Ronaldo puts them 1 up. Ronaldo is getting baited by the home team fans who still can't forgive him for his 2006 World Cup antics, but needless to say the PFA player of the year rises above this and continually eludes his markers.

Remember this is just football fantasy - but it could come true??

Several late tackles by Home Team FC defenders earn them yellow cards. After just 15 minutes another bad tackle, this time against Tevez reduces Home Team FC to 10 men. Manchester United are in full flow scoring several more goals before the half hour mark.

Billy Bulldog

Billy Bulldog, the heart and soul of Home Team FCs midfield and player of the year from the previous season is charging around the field trying to get close to Manchester Uniteds superstars. Home Team FC's own foreign imports are conspicuous by their absence and not "digging in" for the teams cause.

"Twat the dago *&$@&*? " (fill in the accent) bellows a Home Team FC fan to Billy Bulldog. Billy, frustrated by his teams inability to get into the game, rallies to the Fans cry and smashes into Tevez, leaving the Argentinian in agony on the floor. Another Red card for Home Team FC.

30 minutes gone and Home Team FC are 4-0 down and with only 9 players on the field they are in a desperate state.

Manchester United score another 3 goals before half time and relax in the dressing room with a 7-0 lead.

Home Team FC substitute their star foreign striker who has not touched the ball all day and play with a 4-4-0 formation in the second half. It doesn't stop United from notching another 2 quick goals after just 10 minutes of the second half. 9-0 to Manchester United.

172 passes, 5 minutes of uninterrupted Passing and 84% possession

Manchester United, full of players who need little coaching or encouragement to keep the ball, pass the ball from left back to center half to right back, back to center half, into midfield, back to the right full back and so on, exhausting Home Team FC's players.

The key to playing against a team with only 10 men (or 9) is to keep possession and make the opposition work hard chasing the ball. Too many times 10 men teams inspirationally survive because the 11 men teams do not move the ball and keep the penalized side working. After an hour of chasing a ball with one less player a side will wither.

United string together 172 passes and keep the ball for a full 5 minutes of play. At one point Rio Ferdinand actually sits down on the center circle, only to be lectured by Alex Ferguson for his arrogance and disrespect to Home Team FC.

Ferguson brings on Solksjaer for the final 15 minutes of the game and the little Norwegian scores 4 goals in just 9 minutes of play to bring the scoreline to an unlucky 13 for Home Team FC.

Van der Sar, Manchester Uniteds Goalkeeper, scorers their 14th goal from the penalty spot in the final minute of the game, after a tired and desperate Home Team FC defender lunges at Tevez and brings down the diminutive Argentine striker.

The stats show United had 78% possession in the first half and 84% possession of the Football in the second half.

Ok, so this is all fantasy but I really think that Manchester United could do this to an unlucky team this year, especially if they do secure the services of Tevez. What do you think?

Could Manchester United beat a Premier League Football Team 14-0 this season?

Footballs greatest goals - Lionel Messi v Mexico - 11th July 2007 (video)

I am in a subdued Mexico, as I write this. Mexico is subdued because Argentina knocked them out of the Copa America, 3 goals to 0. Lionel Messi's (contender to Maradonas throne) goal was surely one of the best goals ever last night as he cheekily clips the ball over the stranded Sanchez.

Is Messis goal better than Maradonas v England in 1986?

Messi's Maradona style goal vs Getafe

Carlos Tevez signs for Manchester United Football Club?

How can any Football Club hope to compete with Manchester United this year if they are able against all odds to create some order out of Carlos Tevez's numerous contracts and sign him to their team for the upcoming 2007/2008 Premiership Football season.

Lawyers from Manchester United United, West Ham United, The Premier League and Media Sport Investment (a subsidiary of a secretive investment firm registered in the British Virgin Islands, who initially brought Tevez to the Premier League) will be fudging their way through Tevez's affairs including who owns his registration. Read about the murky side of Footballs agents and middlemen in the Tevez and Mascherano transfers : Click here.

Back to the Football

Any player capable of pulling the strings for the incredibly talented Argentinian side must be worth signing but with Ferguson's attacking options already bursting at the seams with Ronaldo, Rooney (, Saha, Nani, Solskjaer, one has to wonder how Ferguson is going to juggle all this talent. What seems clear is that he is building a team which will display lightning fast attacks and interplay that will at times be dizzying and breathtaking to watch. I would not be surprised to see a double digit scoreline this year in Uniteds favour if they catch a team off-guard.

No doubt this flair will be matched by the sides fiery Latino temperaments, although I doubt that this will cause Ferguson too many sleepless nights as his dream of collecting the worlds finest footballing geniuses on his Manchester United doorstep come true.

In the spirit of fair play to the rest of the premiership teams, I hope that United do not get their man, although the irresistible thought of Tevez, Ronaldo, Giggs, Hargreaves, Scholes, Nani et al, strutting their stuff is something that every Football Manager can only dream of (unless your Ferguson)

Will Signing Carlos Tevez make Manchester United untouchable

Vote on who got the best deal by signing Thierry Henry (Barcelona) or Darren Bent (Tottenham)

Who got the best deal - Barcelona or Tottenham?

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