Football - International football rating Footballtop en Ecuador hold England in a friendly match <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><img src="/sites/default/files/imce/20033/alex_1992652a.jpg" width="620" height="413" alt="alex_1992652a.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>Ecuador hold England as <a href="">Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain</a> sustains a knock to his knee and will be scanned before the last friendly against Honduras on Friday.<br /></strong></p> <p>Ecuador opened the scoring as early as 8th minute when Enner Valencia outjumped England’s defenders to head home. Wayne Rooney equalized on 29 minutes after helter-skelter in front of Ecuador goal. Ross Barkley set up Rickie Lambert’s second goal before Michael Arroyo hit the back of the net with a stunning long-range shot.</p> <p>Raheem Sterling then saw the straight red card for a reckless challenge on Antonio Valencia. However, Manchester United player responded agressively and was aslo sent off.</p> <p>The biggest concern for Roy Hodgson was a knee knock, sustained by Arsenal youngster Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The medical staff will now evaluate his fitness before the final drill with Honduras in Miami.</p> </div></div></div> Thu, 05 Jun 2014 08:42:48 +0000 Leon Smolski 269714 at Premier League: Who pulls Manchester United down? <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><strong>Have you ever thought why the manager of your club keeps starting a player who had fallen out of favor with the fans? Or doesn’t give a chance to someone, who you think is a game changer? Here is something that might be the reason.</strong></p> <p>Despite hot times in Premier League and the return of Champions League, I decided to have a look at Sochi Olympic Games and shift attention to ice hockey for a change. Oh, Luis Suarez, Fernando Torres or <a href=""><strong>Ashley Young</strong></a> would definitely not be able to compete in that sport with their theatrics and physique. But I’m not going to become a one thousand three hundred and fifty-second press person chewing over diving, spitting, biting and racist issues of modern football game. What I was impressed with was the amount of statistics available to managers and fans in ice hockey. You can evaluate players’ contribution to the game simply looking at the numbers on your computer. That said, if this system was applied in football, no one would have paid 30 million for Erik Lamela or Marouane Fellaini. They are different sports, football and ice hockey, and we can’t be guided by the same logic and statistics. But I couldn’t help trying to put some of the players in the shoes of their winter sport colleagues and put them under the scrutiny of impartial numbers in an attempt to measure their contribution to their squads’ performances. As long as possession, distance covered and other television stuff does not bring you victories, but goals and final score are the only things that matter at the end of the day, I took the plus/minus stats to see what players have positive impact on the game. Obviously, there is no fairness in those stats, because some players are picked for serious clashes, others have cameo roles, some miss games through injuries and so on. But if you look at those stats, you see that that some of the players are meant for being part of selections that bring positive results, while others pull the team down. The stats could be really surprising.</p> <p>It would takes ages to count the stats of all Premier League teams and I picked Manchester United as arguably the least stable and predictable team of the season.</p> <p>David Moyes has used 27 players in current Premier League season, more than any other of the managers. Obviously he is trying to find better options and the best combinations, but who are the players contributing to positive results and who are the odd ones?</p> <p>A player who was on the pitch when a goal was scored gets one point. If a goal was conceded - he has one point off. Number of matches played and other patterns are not taken into consideration.</p> <p>So here is the efficiency list of Manchester United players:</p> <p><img src="/sites/default/files/imce/20033/619286-fbl-eng-pr-sunderland-man-utd.jpg" width="650" height="366" alt="619286-fbl-eng-pr-sunderland-man-utd.jpg" /></p> <p><strong><em>1. Antonio Valencia +14<br /> 2. Adnan Januzaj +12<br /> 3. Patrice Evra +11<br /> 4. David De Gea +10<br /> 4. Tom Cleverley +10<br /> 6. Phil Jones +9<br /> 6. Jonny Evans +9<br /> 8. Wayne Rooney +8<br /> 9. Robin van Persie +6<br /> 9. Javier Hernandez +6<br /> 9. Rafael +6<br /> 12. Shinji Kagawa +4<br /> 13. Nemanja Vidic +3<br /> 13. Ryan Giggs +3<br /> 13. Danny Welbeck +3<br /> 16. Michael Carrick +2<br /> 16. Fabio +2<br /> 18. Anderson +1<br /> 18. Chris Smalling +1<br /> 18. Darren Fletcher +1<br /> 19. Juan Mata +1<br /> 22. Rio Ferdinand 0<br /> 22. Wilfried Zaha 0<br /> 24. Nani -2<br /> 24. Alex Buttner -2<br /> 26.Marouane Fellaini -3<br /> 27. Ashley Young -4</em></strong></p> <p>Quite curious, isn’t it? So Antonio Valencia, Adnan Januzaj and Patrice Evra seem to be the ones who really have the famous United spirit. And is Tom Cleverley that useless as everybody thinks? But if you look at the bottom of the list, it’s hard to disagree with the results. Few United fans have enjoyed performances of Young, Fellaini and Nani so far. </p> <p><img src="/sites/default/files/imce/20033/ashley-young-014.jpg" width="664" height="396" alt="ashley-young-014.jpg" /><br /> And you can make a natural squad of the eleven most efficient players with Evra, Jones, Evans and Rafael at the back, Cleverley, Januzaj and Valencia in midfield, Rooney behind the strikers in van Persie and Chicharito. What do you say, David Moyes?</p> </div></div></div> Fri, 21 Feb 2014 07:08:00 +0000 Leon Smolski 243947 at Premier League. Manchester City top the table after a controversial victory in Newcastle <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><img src="" width="615" alt="Premier League. Manchester City top the table after a controversial victory in Newcastle" /></p> <p><strong>Manchester City get to the top of Premier League with a controversial victory over Newcastle United.</strong></p> <p>Frantic clash at St. James Park ended in a 2-0 win for the visitors courtesy of Edin Dzeko and Alvaro Negredo goals. However, the match was embroiled with controversial calls from the referee Mike Jones, who chalked off <a href=""><strong>Cheick Tiote’s</strong></a> screamer from outside the box due to his teammates’ being in passive offside position. Fifteen minutes from time the referee failed to send off Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa for a reckless challenge on Samir Nasri who had to leave the pitch on a strecher. The heat of the game saw Alan Pardew go mad at the final whistle as he used an extremely vulgar language to insult his colleague Manuel Pellegrini and had to apologize promptly to avoid rigorous reaction.</p> <p><strong>Manchester United</strong> managed to impress with classy performance against Swansea City inspired by youngster Adnan Januzaj and score twice courtesy of Antonio Valencia and Danny Welbeck in the absence of main strikers Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney. However, David Moyes has not yet stated whether he is in position to bring in new players in January.</p> <p><strong>Chelsea</strong> overcame stubborn Hull City courtesy of brilliant solo display from Eden Hazard and a late Fernando Torres strike. They currently lie second ahead of Monday Arsenal game.</p> <p><strong>West Ham United</strong> have left the relegation zone with a victory in Cardiff trough Carlton Cole and Mark Noble goals. Sam Allardyce can feel some relief after disastrous start of the year.</p> <p><em><strong>Hull City 0-2 Chelsea<br /> Cardiff City 0-2 West Ham United<br /> Everton 2-0 Norwich City<br /> Fulham 1-4 Sunderland<br /> Southampton 1-0 West Bromwich Albion<br /> Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Crystal Palace<br /> Manchester United 2-0 Swansea City<br /> Newcastle United 0-2 Manchester City<br /> Stoke City 3-5 Liverpool</strong></em></p> </div></div></div> Mon, 13 Jan 2014 11:53:29 +0000 Leon Smolski 233641 at