Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Trapattoni Extends Republic of Ireland Contract

Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has signed a new contract to stay in the role, meaning that he will coach the team throughout the 2014 World Cup qualification campaign. Those over at casinos online .com note how Ireland secured their place in Euro 2012 with an excellent play-off victory over Estonia earlier this month of course and the Italian signing a new deal is a testament to the job he has done.

 Speaking about signing a new deal, Trapattoni said:
“It is a huge honour and privilege to represent the Irish team and we look forward to continuing. Marco and I believe very strongly in the work that we are doing to grow and develop the Irish team.”
The former Italy manager will earn around £1.25m per year as part of this new deal, with businessman Denis O'Brien contributing to this fee and helping out the Football Association of Ireland.FAI chief executive John Delaney said:
“On behalf of the FAI board of management, we are very happy to agree a contract extension with Giovanni and his team. They have done fantastic work bringing us to a major tournament for the first time in 10 years. Giovanni's experience, professionalism and achievement in qualifying for Euro 2012 has impressed everyone including the players and the FAI board. The FAI board of management are particularly grateful to Denis O'Brien for his continuing contribution which gives the Irish team and supporters the benefit of Giovanni's services into the next World Cup campaign.”
Trapattoni certainly has a favourable record as manager of Ireland. He has guided them to 21st in the world rankings after 19 wins in his 42 games in charge. First and foremost, he has made the Irish hard to beat, something which is backed up by the fact that he has only lost on eight occasions during his time as manager. Then, as far as they Euro 2012 qualification campaign was concerned, they only lost once in their 10 games, conceding just eight goals along the way.

Many have argued that they need more attacking flair if they are to be successful in Euro 2012, but they have a few months to work on that and it is more important that they have a solid foundation to build upon. It is excellent news that Trapattoni has committed his future to Ireland too. There will be no speculation going into the tournament next summer now, something which could have distracted the players from the job in hand. The next significant date for Trapattoni and Ireland is the Euro 2012 draw which takes place on Friday afternoon.

What are you thoughts on Trapattoni's success at Ireland? Will it continue with this extension? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cavani Double Lifts Napoli Above Manchester City

Cavani's precise headed goal from a corner.

Edinson Cavani punished Manchester City in the penultimate round of Champions League group stage games, scoring a double in the Italian side's 2-1 victory. As Bayern Munich sealed the first place of the group mathematically, now Manchester City must hope that Villarreal (last placed in the group with zero points) can hold Napoli at bay while Mancini's men try and defeat Bayern Munich. While Manchester City's Champions League dream could be coming to an end, Napoli's is only beginning.

At the filled San Paolo stadium in Napoli, it was Edinson Cavani who cruelly punished Manchester City's defensive mistakes. The Uruguayan forward gave the Italian side the lead with a delicately flicked header at the near post, which slipped through into City's net. A simple lapse of concentration by Manchester City's defence lead to Napoli getting the lead in the 18th minute, forcing City to chase the game away from home.

Cavani celebrating after scoring his second and the winner.
While Balotelli managed to tap-in an equalizer after David Silva's parried shot, Manchester City were still under the spell of the 57,000 Napoli fans at the San Paolo. In the second half Cavani enchanted his fans yet again with another bit of magic. The Uruguayan was completely unmarked as he ran into the box to coolly finish Dossena's low cross. For the second time the crowd went wild, as did the overjoyed Cavani who ran around in celebration.

While there were plenty of chances in the remainder of the second half, neither side managed to capitalize. Balotelli and his teammates were constantly being stopped by Napoli's keeper De Sanctis, and Joe Hart made key interventions on the other side of the pitch against Lavezzi and Maggio. The match finished 2-1 for Napoli, and while Manchester City created plenty, their inability to finish and their defensive lapses ultimately punished them.

What are your thoughts on this key Champions League match? Can Manchester City qualify for the next round? Share your comments below!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

El-Hadji Diouf Signs for Doncaster Rovers

Controversial striker El-Hadji Diouf has dropped down to the Championship to join Doncaster Rovers on a three-month deal. The move is still to be rubber-stamped but the Senegalese player has decided to sign for Dean Saunders’ Yorkshire outfit after being released by Blackburn in the summer. The two-time African Footballer of the Year is well known in these parts after spells with Liverpool, Bolton, Sunderland and Rangers and he has, of course, been in his fair share of trouble.

In September 2003, Diouf was fined £5,000 and pleaded guilty to spitting at Celtic fans in a Uefa Cup quarter-final the previous March and in six years later, he was questioned by police over allegations he racially abused a ball-boy at Everton. In truth, that isn’t even the half of it but whether you like him or not, he has undoubted quality – of that there is no doubt. The majority of soccer betting will agree with this. 

However, you can’t deny that controversy follows Diouf wherever he roams and an adverse reaction from West Ham supporters is thought to be one of the main reasons why Hammers chief Sam Allardyce opted against signing him recently. It would have been the third time that Allardyce had worked with the 30-year-old but after he had a short trial spell at Upton Park recently, it seems that fan power won the day and Doncaster nipped in to agree a deal with Diouf. They have handed the man who commanded a £10million transfer fee when he joined Liverpool from Lens a short-term contract.

Saunders has already shown that he’s not afraid to take a gamble on Premier League experience with the acquisition of ex-Spurs defender Pascal Chimbonda, and the Welsh boss – who himself only moved to the Keepmoat Stadium earlier this season from Wrexham – will be hoping that another proven performer can help Rovers climb the Championship table. He will, however, be banking on the Diouf experiment lasting a shade longer than Chris Kirkland’s recent spell at Doncaster, when the injury-prone goalkeeper picked up a back spasm – cutting his loan move from Wigan short after less than a week.

As always with Diouf, it promises to be interesting. For Doncaster as a whole, they certainly need a lift after a poor start to the Championship campaign. They currently sit 23rd in the table after securing only two victories so far this season. They have also only scored nine goals in fourteen games, a very poor return indeed. So, even though Diouf is somewhat of a risk, they will hope that he can provide the spark to improve their fortunes in front of goal. He will get his first chance to impress at home to promotion chasing Middlesbrough tomorrow evening.

What are your thoughts on Diouf's move to the Championship? Will Doncaster succeed with this strange signing? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


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