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England World Cup shirt released & Nike fail to impress…AGAIN



England’s kit for this summer’s 2018 World Cup has been released and, to no one’s surprise, it is about as inspiring as every other Nike kit that’s been released in the last 12 months… Not very.

According to Footy Headlines, who somehow managed to swipe the images whilst no one was looking and released the pictures, along with a detailed description on their website before the official release today.

“The England kit for the 2018 World Cup brings a more traditional and bespoke look for the Three Lions to replace Euro 2016’s quite unpopular look. Once again produced by Nike, the England 2018 home jersey will be released in March 2018, together with the away.”

Nike were heavily criticised by fans during the last tournament by creating an ‘across the board’ tournament brand design, whereby every Nike kit look pretty much the same just a different colour.

It would seem Nike has taken those criticisms and done… Absolutely nothing about it!

Once again they seem to have taken a template and a colour chart and thrown each badge on. Basically, first and foremost, it’s a Nike shirt following the brand guidelines, carrying the Nike look, with the sleek Nike feel… and then they stick the country’s badge on.

The training kit on the other hand has got everyone talking. Its almost amalgamation between the classic 1982 home shirt and the 1992 blue third kit. either way its cracker. Just a shame it’s just a train shirt.

Now I, myself, am by no means a dedicated follower of fashion, or would consider myself to have any allegiance to any specific brand – I’m more of a put-on-the-nearest-thing-to-the-bed kind of guy. That said, however, Adidas have absolutely nailed it with their designs for 2018.

Adidas have gone full retro, and not just with the German kit. Every design for this year’s World Cup is a hint of that nation’s past glory days and character. And even if they were not the glory days, each kit, at least, has some individuality.

Adidas hold just over the majority of kit designs at this year’s World Cup, representing 12 nations. Two more than Nike’s 10. But even with the majority, they have brought a whole lot more individuality to each design with every nation carrying its own style.

The only positive to come from England’s new kit reveal is that the accompanying shorts and socks will revert back to the traditional navy blue and white, while the names and numbers will also return to red.

The new strips are expected to be formally unveiled ahead of England’s friendly against The Netherlands in late March.


Allardyce, Pardew, Hodgson – Relegation Saviours or Bottom Feeders?



Sam Allardyce, Allan Pardew and Roy Hodgson have all been chosen by PL clubs over the course of this season and entrusted with keeping Everton, WBA and Crystal Palace respectively in the richest league in the world.
Why? Why? And Why?

Over 80 years of managerial experience and no major trophies on any of these CV’s.
18 stints at PL clubs between them and yet here we still are looking at them scrapping with the rest for survival. We’ll try not to point out that a lot of these clubs now find themselves in financial troubles… Make of that what you wish.
Sure there has been the odd good run which has seen Pardew make a couple of FA cup finals, Roy steered Fulham to the UEFA Europa League Final and Allardyce turned Bolton into a top flight side.

Since being unveiled to the press their combined 2017/18 records make for poor reading:-
Played – 60
Won – 16
Drawn – 18
Lost – 26
Win % – 26.6%

2 ex England managers and a former candidate for the top role. Would Koeman, De Boer or Pulis have done any worse? Surely not.

Fingers are often pointed by various pundits when foreign appointments are made, claiming that this is what is hampering “young British Managers” – total nonsense. It is the continuous appointment of these journeymen stopping the likes of Derek McInnes, Gareth Ainsworth and Paul Hurst gaining opportunities for jobs well done in difficult circumstances with budgets similar to the size of a Palace reserve player’s yearly wage.

The only argument that anyone could throw into the mix here would be that Everton are currently occupying a top 10 position. To put that into context, Burnley were 6th 11 league games ago, they haven’t won a single game in those 11 and are currently 7th. Take away the top 6 and the league is nothing other than competitively poor.

West Brom appear doomed and it may make sense for Pardew to ask Barry & co where they left that taxi because he’ll be needing it shortly.

Palace’s good run has ended and Everton’s initial resurgence has stalled.
Stoke were ignored by all except Paul Lambert, does this truly indicate how much of poison chalice a PL managers job is? Or are the relevant boards not football savvy enough to know to pluck a good manager from relative obscurity?
Playing it safe could be about to backfire!

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Sunderland and Hull – The Double Droppers?



Sunderland & Hull

Both of these clubs currently find themselves lingering towards the bottom of The Championship having recently felt the pain of PL relegation back in May 17.

Friday night’s first half horror show saw Hull dumped from the FA Cup and even tho Sunderland a slight improvement  with this weekends draw against Middlesbrough, more games pass these two by as they stare back-to-back relegations in the face.

Not all is doom and gloom though! Despite last seasons’ poor performance bank balances will still be given a shot in the arm…

Over the next three years, Sunderland will receive 55% of the near £100m they made from TV revenue, 45% the following year and 20% in the third. However, Hull will only be entitled to the first two payments. Because they suffered relegation after only one season, thus voiding them of the final £20m payment.With the business end of the season fast approaching it is difficult to make a case for either of the sides escaping given how the first 30+ games have gone.

Chris Coleman and Nigel Adkins are now the men with the world on their shoulders, having inherited inferior players from Simon Grayson and Leonid Slutsky respectively. Each dugout has been occupied on a number of occasions in recent seasons, this has not helped either cause.

Adkins was looking for a way back into the game so was always going to accept the offer from the Tigers but Chris Coleman must spend his evenings wondering what ever made him say yes to one of the most undesirable jobs in the country. You have to question yourselves when you can’t tempt a manager from outside the Old Firm north of the border to leave his club for yours at this level. Derek McInnes looks to have made a shrewd decision to stay put.

The transfer dealings over both windows would indicate nothing other than sheer panic. I mean Ashley Fletcher, Lee Camp, Ovie Ejaria and Marc Wilson have come through the doors at the Stadium Of Light while slightly further south at the KCOM the incomings such as Seb Larsson, Michael Hector and Fraizer Campbell aren’t the players required at this particular stage of the clubs history.

They both need proven footballers and perhaps a couple of “statement signings” in order to get the fans back in the stands. Both of their last home league games have seen a total attendance of 45k watch on, not even enough to fill The Mackems 49k capacity once over!

Speaking of home games the SAFC fans have had to endure more pain than most, they recently went a year without gaining a needed 3 points to their total.We all know that there are no easy games in the Championship and that will be the case in the coming weeks as most sides will have something to play for.

Finding themselves in League One next season and lining up against the likes of Walsall and Gillingham will be a glaring reality check of their poor performances both on and off the pitch.
Both clubs, like most, carry debts with them year on year and realistically you have to wonder that if they both succumb to relegation this year will we ever see these clubs climb back up the leagues?

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Video | Shocking Scenes as Eight Sent off in Mass Brazilian Brawl



A Bahia state championship match was abandoned yesterday as ten players, including substitutes, were sent off for Vitória and Bahia.

 The aftermath of a penalty just after the half-time break ignited a match which had already shown signs of boiling over. Bahia’s Vinicius converted the spot kick before celebrating in front of the home fans with pelvic thrusts Shaggy would have been proud of.

This was much to the annoyance of the home fans and players. What had initially been a typical scuffle erupted when Vitória’s Kanu threw a one-two combo that would have been at home in Saturday’s Super Middle-Weight title fight.

The subsequent brawl was eventually broken up fifteen minutes later with the referee sending off eight players (three Vitória , five Bahia). With ten minutes left, however, a further two  players received their marching orders and the match was abandoned.

To put the amount of red cards into context:

There were two more sendings off in that initial brawl than £35 million striker Andy Carroll managed league goals (6) during his time at Liverpool.

It is also same number of red cards as Patrick Viera, Richard Dunne and Duncan Ferguson, the most sent off players in Premier League history, saw in their entire top-flight careers.

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