10 Years Ago – A 10 Goal Thriller

There have been some truly absorbing games since the Premier League began. Whether it be a crucial six-pointer or a cagey, tight title clincher, we have all experienced highs, lows and extraordinary matches.

One such match that fits the bill took place 10 years ago today. Oh, how time flies.

White Hart Lane was the venue for Tottenham Vs Reading. A premier League encounter that gave us a result nobody could have predicted. I doubt anybody put money on it. If you did, please give me a call and share your incredible knowledge/luck.

The first half was relatively tame. Well, compared to the 2nd half goalfest that was to come anyway. Spurs took the lead after only 7 minutes through Dimitar Berbatov with a tap-in.

Within 10 minutes Kalifa Cisse had levelled for Reading, and that was it for the first half. A seemingly routine Premier League clash that looked as if it could go either way.

Only 8 minutes into the 2nd half, Ivar Ingimarsson headed the Royals ahead, only to see Berbatov fire home an equaliser after 63 minutes.

The floodgates were well and truly open. Reading recaptured the lead on 69 minutes with Dave Kitson heading home a Nicky Shorey corner. The lead was again short-lived as Berbatov completely his hat-trick 4 minutes later.

Surely we wouldn’t see too many more goals? Oh, yes we would. Straight from the restart, Kitson added his 2nd and Reading were back in the lead for the 3rd time.

Into the final quarter of an hour and Tottenham refused to lie down. Steed Malbranque was next on the scoresheet to make it 4-4.

79 minutes on the clock and the home side were awarded a penalty. Yet more drama was to ensue as Robbie Keane saw his penalty saved, only for Jermaine Defoe to head in the rebound……… 5-4!

How would this astonishing game end?

That man Berbatov completed his man of the match performance by adding his 4th and Spurs 6th to give us a final score of Tottenham Hotspur 6 Reading 4.

Not one for those of us that like to see good defending, and I’m sure both managers joined fans in tearing their hair out at times.

Steve Coppell: It was great entertainment and if you were impartial it would have been a magnificent game to watch.

Gus Poyet: It was a great game for Match Of The Day, but not a great game if you were one of the managers

One thing is for sure is it was a game that offered entertainment of the highest level. Two teams refusing to lie down and fight till the bitter end. There have been others and maybe, just maybe we might see something similar this coming weekend. 


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Jose Wants Mour Attacking Flair – Haz He Really Got A Chance Of Signing Eden?


Reports this morning are suggesting that Jose Mourinho wants his former player, Eden Hazard at Old Trafford

The Sun believe the Portuguese coach wants Manchester United to table a bid of around £90m for the Belgian playmaker.

It is believed Hazard doesn’t have the best of relationships with Mourinho and was instrumental in his departure from Stamford Bridge two years ago. Any suggestion of a fallout is only pure speculation though.

It is also unlikely Chelsea would entertain bids for one of their best players, with Amtonio Conte constantly hailing him as one of the best, especially from a rival. 

Having said that the former Lille man, who joined the blues for £32m in 2012, has yet to put pen to paper on a new deal, and let’s not forget that Chelsea recently sold Nemanja Matic to United. 

Real Madrid are likely to bid for the Belgian, with Zinedine Zidane a long term admirer.

So, is a Mourinho – Hazard reunion a realistic possibility, or are we just going through the motions of crazy rumours as the transfer window edges closer?

Comment your thoughts below…

Chelsea Team News – Morata, Luiz And More -Southampton (Home) 



Antonio Conte has just finished his latest pre match press conference ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Southampton the visitors to Stamford Bridge.

First up the Italian spoke of availability following injuries such as Alvaro Morata, who missed the midweek win at Huddersfield. The Spaniard is a maybe with Conte confidently informing the press filled room that the striker has trained the past couple of days and is in contention to play this weekend.

Another notable absence recently has been David Luiz. Amid stories of talks between the two with the Brazilian desiring to sort out his future with the transfer window imminent. Conte spoke of the latest of his injury problems stating his has a big inflammation on his knee and doesn’t know when the former PSG man will be back. Make of that what you will. However, it will certainly not put any rumours to bed in the short term.

Continuing on the absentee front it’s good news as there have been no further injuries this week.

How Chelsea line up remains to be seen, but bare in mind the blues face Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday before the busy festive period and so changes and players being rested is a huge possibility. 

In reference to playing without a recognised striker on Tuesday night… Conte explained it’s an advantage as it doesn’t give the opponent a point of reference. Adding “keeping a good balance remains the key” A possible hint that Morata may not figure from the start perhaps? One possible replacement to lead the line is Batshuayi. On the Belgian…  “He is part of my squad. He was out for three weeks because he had a problem in his ankle and then he struggled a bit to find the right physical condition. Now he is starting to stay in good form” 

With 3 points being paramount to any prolonged title challenge… The former Juventus coach said “We must find the right solution to contend for the title and challenge Manchester City”

On Southampton… The Italian is certainly not underestimating the visitors and commented the blues will find it difficult tomorrow due to the saints “young and fast players” Picking out Long, Bouffal, Tadic and Austin as the most dangerous. He went onto mention how unlucky they were in losing late on at the Etihad recently. 

Luiz In Conte Talks?



Out of favour Chelsea defender David Luiz is in talks with blues boss Antonio Conte over his future according to reports this morning.

Re-signed from PSG last summer in a £30m deal, the Brazilian played a huge part in Chelsea’s title success last season, but has found regular appearances hard to come by of late, with youngster Andreas Christensen proving a perfect replacement. 

Luiz originally lost his place in the team after being sent off against Arsenal. He has also suffered with injury problems of late, making a total of 13 appearances of which 8 have been in the Premier League.

A huge character and personality within the dressing room at Stamford Bridge, the man known for his trademark curly locks may well be seeking some answers about his future with Bayern Munich reportedly showing an interest. 

Whether the no nonsense Conte will give him the answers he wants to hear remains to be seen. 

With the transfer window reopening in just over two weeks, this story could run for some time as their are bound to be other suitors for the 30 year olds signature.

Should David Luiz look for pastures new? Or should Antonio Conte restore him to the starting line up?

Comment below with your thoughts..

Have United Fans Had Enough Of The Mourinho Mentality? 

Manchester United seemingly bounced back from Sunday’s Manchester derby defeat last night with a win at Old Trafford against Bournemouth

However, not everybody that supports the red half of Manchester was satisfied with the overall performance. Romelu Lukaku’s first half goal clinched the 3 points, but the lack of attacking prowess, as United only managed 2 shots on target thoughout the 90 minutes has left some with an axe to grind. 

It’s not the first time the Portuguese tactician has been called into question during his time in the Old Trafford hotseat. 

Many have questioned they are not ‘Playing the United way’… Eeking out odd goal victories amid a ‘backs to the wall’ performance is a million miles away from the free flowing entertaining title winning football served up under the tender of the great Sir Alex Ferguson.

The Mourinho out brigade are slowly starting to rear their heads, but it’s fair to say that with the size of United’s worldwide fan base, what might seem like a vocal section of discontent is actually just a small minority of keyboard warriors. 

Or is there more to it? What is the mood like on the Stretford End? Many may share the notion that all in all it’s the points that matter. Even if we do want to be entertained we can’t always get the wish to be engrossed in a free flowing comfortable victories. On the other hand some would argue they pay enough money and would expect a certain level of entertainment.

Overall, is the criticism unfair or does Jose need to change things? 

United do sit 2nd in the premier and have scored 37 goals. Which is the 2nd most. It’s hard to use Manchester City’s form as a yardstick as their season has been extraordinary so far. 

There have been games where United have convincingly dispatched teams and scored 3 or 4 goals. However the Mourinho out camp would argue there have been more games where United have sat back and negatively held on by the skin of their teeth or approached games from the off with the plan to ‘shut up shop’

So what’s it to be? Happy to scrap for the points by whatever means? Or the need to be satisfyingly entertained? 

Take poll in our Twitter poll here

Or leave your feelings and comments below

Morata Answers His Critics And Why Costa Won’t Be Missed

It’s been a big week for Chelsea Football Club as the Diego Costa saga finally looks to be coming to an end. I won’t go into the whole episode as it’s dragged on for some time now and most Chelsea fans are pleased that it is coming to an end

Diego played a huge part in securing two League titles in three years and for that I, like most blues fans will be eternally grateful. However, it’s been obvious he doesn’t want to be at Stamford Bridge and his petulance was often his Achilles heel as well as being what made him his snarling best at times.  so it’s ‘Adios Amigo’ and best of luck.

Now there’s a new kid on the block…Alvaro Morata. The fellow spaniard has made a decent start for Chelsea with 3 goals in his opening 5 games in the Premier League. Following the Costa sale many pundits and experts asked the question as to the whether the former Real Madrid man could emulate his predecessor? It was also noticeable that he had scored all 3 goals with his head. 

Well, yesterday at Stoke City’s Bet 365 Stadium he answered those uncertainties with a display that even the staunch Morata backers wouldn’t have expected. A fine hatrick that showed his finishing ability is of the highest order and all 3 with his feet I must add. It brings his total for the season to 6 in 6 games and shows he has settled into the Stamford Bridge fold perfectly.

Costa gave passion and power and some will argue the Brazilian born striker is a better finisher. Morata on the other hand still needs to adjust to the physical nature of the Premier League. He’s a very different player to Costa and if I had to liken him to anybody, it would be another famous Spanish striker who donned the number 9 shirt at Stamford Bridge… Fernando Torres. Now before you shout “What you on about?” Despite the obvious link, I’m talking more about the Torres that graced Anfield. Pace and a great finishing ability as shown by Alvaro’s 2nd goal yesterday.

It’s still early days as to whether Morata will turn out to be a prize asset and a suitable replacement, but for now it looks a great bit of business as reports suggest Chelsea are making around £58m on the sale of Costa. Which is pretty much the down payment made for Morata. Add-ons being subject to his success could make the fee rise to £70m. So potentially the blues have sold a player 4 years older and replaced him with a fresh young player full of experience but still with plenty of potential who could lead the line for a good few years to come at potentially the paultry difference of £12m. A great bit of business and well done to the powers that be at Stamford Bridge for not giving in to the reported demands of Costa and the fees offered by Atletico.

What do you think… Will Morata prove to be a great bit of business and a perfect replacement? 

Comment below with your thoughts…

A Quick Chat With…..

A Quick Chat is a new idea that I wish to add to the blog. It’s an exciting project where I hope to be able to have a ‘quick chat’ with former players and others associated with the beautiful game asking them some simple questions about their career and what they are doing now

The first instalment will be coming up soon. So keep an eye out here and follow us on Twitter 

Follow the my personal account for more opinion and updates – Sean Vranch