Friday, 1 January 2021

Classic Tommo Moment

A classic moment captured on film from the one and only Derek Thompson

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Ronnie O'Sullivan & Mark Allen - Hammer and Tongs

A lively and perhaps expected exchange between Ronnie O'Sullivan and Mark Allen during their match at the Champion of Champions.

Sunday, 1 November 2020

The Melbourne Cup is Just Days Away


When the most prestigious races around the world come to mind, which ones first spring to mind for you. If you're in the UK the answer to that may well be the Grand National or possibly Cheltenham Gold Cup, in the United Stated the Kentucky Derby or Belmont Stakes, and if in France we'd surely opt for the group one Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe . Where the country in question is Australia though, we would of course say none other than the Melbourne Cup, held each year at the Flemmington Park race course in Melbourne, Victoria. This 2 miler, first run way back in 1861 is the jewel in the crown of Australian horse racing and has top tier prize money on offer with a massive purse of A$8,000,000 in 2020. The race takes place on Novemeber 3rd and racing fans all around the world will be primed to see who comes out of top in this captivating affair.

The Melbourne Cup has build its stellar reputation over decades, culminating in many moments that fans of the sport will no doubt be familiar with. In fact, such is the gravitas of the occasion that it's a public holiday in metropolitan Melbourne and some parts of Victoria. And let's not forget that moments make a n event what it is. Even in its recent history, who can forget 2012 when the first seven finishers were all bred in Ireland (and of course one or two of this years potential winners could well be too!), 2015 when Michelle Payne became the first female jockey to win the race or 2017 when Rekindling was the first three year old to win the Melbroune Cup since the 40s.

So with generous prize money, a place in the history books on offer, and reputations on the line who are the main contenders in with a shot on the day? Well currently heading the field is 5-1 shot Tiger Moth. He's followed by a bunched up group that includes Verry Elleegant, Surprise Baby, Anthony Van Dyk and Sir Dragonet amongst others. It's one of those prestigious races where everyone has their own unique take or method of picking a winner. Some opt for office sweepstakes (or choosing by name alone!), others a fun bet or two, and of course more serious punters will also enviably be having a look in. The unknowns only add to the excitement, and the 2020 Melbourne Cup should be a thrilling encounter of top quality racing.

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Thursday, 1 October 2020

What do Newcastle United need in the transfer market?

As one of the most long-suffering fans in the Premier League, Newcastle United fans need to get used to another year of deals and relative austerity. The transfer of ownership to Saudi Arabian backers looks dead in the water, and it could mean that the Toon need to look to a more realistic market for signings. Gone are the likes of Edinson Cavani and in their place come players like Rob Holding, Ryan Fraser, and Tom Davies.

The majority of signings are being linked are domestic talents who either play in the second tier or are out of the picture with other Premier League sides. The decision of youth prospect Matt Longstaff to sign a new deal, though, might limit the need for a central midfielder.

Forward is the most obvious starting place, with Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson heavily linked. Other names include Ryan Fraser, who is on a free, and Jamal Lewis of Norwich City. Every name being linked with the Toon – across various positions – are value signings that could offer them a player with resale value in the years to come.

However, for Newcastle, tying down a key position to fill is proving tough. Defence looks quite thin, and central midfield has good quality but low numbers. Pace is a major issue in the Newcastle team, too, with their wide players and full-backs lacking either attacking flair or pace. Only really Allan Saint-Maximin could realistically say he’s done the job to the expected standard.

This leaves the Magpies shopping around for a fair amount of talent in a short amount of time. So far, the club has also been linked with trying to find a suitor for Premier League flop Joelinton, hoping to use any funds gained to buy a more suitable forward option.

Expect loans for lower priority areas like central defence and midfield, with most finances going on a forward and adding to the wide areas.

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

What do Leicester City need in the transfer market?

Having enjoyed a good season last year, Leicester City fans could be forgiven for being a little disappointed. The last-day missing out of the UEFA Champions League was a massive blow, with the Foxes throwing away a definitive lead over Manchester United to give the Red Devils a chance to return to the top football of European football.

It was a major blunder on the Foxes part, and has surely hampered their ability to both keep stars and sign new talent. With the Premier League just a few short weeks away from a return, then, what can we expect to see from Brendan Rodgers in the transfer market?

Where do the Foxes need their investment most?

Having scored an ample amount of goals in the 2019-20 season with 67 in the league, Leicester probably aren’t short of goals. With an average of 14 shots per game, too, they do create enough chances to keep growing. It’s defensively, though, that they tend to have issues. This has been a focus for years with Rodgers teams, especially in European football with Glasgow Celtic, but some smart decisions in the transfer market could solve that.

The biggest gap in the team is now at left-back, with Ben Chilwell making a move to Chelsea for around £50m. Expect a signing at left-back, as well as another competitive central defender to arrive in the near future. Another place where a signing may be needed is in nets; Kasper Schmeichel is not getting any younger, and has lost some of the verve that made him such a standout in previous seasons.

While a new keeper might not take his place immediately, expect a more Rodgers-friendly, ball-playing keeper to arrive this summer to add more competition in defence. Overall, though, for the Foxes, a bit of stability at the back should be enough to give their young midfield and excellent attack a better platform to play from.