England announce Ashes squad

England have announced their 17-man touring party for this winter’s Ashes series, and there have been one or two surprise call-ups.


Alastair Cook and Joe Root have been selected as expected, and will almost certainly open the batting at Brisbane. The selectors have chosen Michael Carberry as the back-up opener ahead of Nick Compton. Carberry’s form in the County Championship has not been great, but Compton shot himself in the foot when he criticised the selectors for dropping him after the New Zealand series, and his Test career looks to be over despite scoring 889 runs in this year’s County Championship so far.

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England-Australia ODI Series Review

After the main event of the summer, there was always a danger that the one-day series was going to be a damp squib and so it proved, with two games washed out by rain. After the first match at Headingley was washed out, Australia comfortably won at Old Trafford. Michael Clarke scored a century as the tourists racked up 315, which England never looked like challenging, slipping to an 88-run defeat. Only 15.1 overs of play were possible at Edgbaston before England levelled the series with a tense three-wicket win at Cardiff. Having bowled Australia out for 227, Clint McKay took a hat-trick to reduce England to 8-3, but half-centuries from Michael Carberry, Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler saw the home side to victory. Australia easily won the decider, scoring 298 including 143 from Shane Watson before bowling England out for 249.

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Championship Round-up

My Championship round-up from Football League World

Football League World

Blackpool continued to defy the odds with a 2-1 win at Bournemouth yesterday to stay top of the Championship. Queens Park Rangers kept up the pressure with another win, but Millwall’s start went from bad to worse with a humiliating home defeat to Derby County.

Bournemouth had started the new season strongly, particularly at home, but they came unstuck against Paul Ince’s Blackpool side, who took their fifth league win of the season. Ricardo Fuller scored after seven minutes but Lewis Grabban quickly levelled the game with his fifth goal of the season. Tom Ince, who was making his first start of the season, hit the post but Neil Bishop’s headed goal soon after the break restored Blackpool’s lead. They were reduced to ten men after an hour when on-loan defender Jack Robinson was dismissed for two bookable offences. Paul Ince was sent to the stands late on when he…

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The Future Of English Football Is Abroad – An Alternative View To England’s Problems At International Level

The Youth Radar

Too many foreigners in the Premier League stopping our young Englishmen making the most of their potential? Why not go elsewhere?

Every time England perform under par – a recurrent theme throughout this 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign – calls ring throughout the nation for a countrywide overhaul of our youth system. There are ever-louder shouts for cuts to the number of foreign players in the Premier League and comparisons between the academy systems of our country and our main international rivals are ripe in numbers across global media outlets.

The FA’s new Chairman Greg Dyke offered a counsel of doubt to the current state of our national team upon taking up the role, also warning that foreign players are tarnishing England’s chances of ever winning a World Cup. “20 years later (After the Premier League was created) we would end up with a league largely owned by foreign…

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I just died of boredom

Well, not literally, but you know what I mean. Having just seen England struggle to a 0-0 draw against Ukraine, I’m starting to question why I bother watching England matches. We play the most dire brand of football and can’t keep possession for toffee. We treat teams such as Ukraine and Montenegro with the utmost suspicion, as if they’re as good as Brazil or Spain. We never take the game to the opposition, it’s just appalling to watch. It often gets results, but it doesn’t make for good viewing. I know the group of players we have is not strong at the moment, but tactically I’m not convinced by Hodgson, particularly when the opposition are taking the game to us. You get the sense that there is no Plan B, which at this level is just not good enough.

Nevertheless, England sit at the top of their qualifying group, and wins at home to Poland and Montenegro will see them qualify for the World Cup. Then again, we needed a result at home to Croatia in 2007, and we all know what happened then…

That’s enough, I’m off for a snooze.

Transfer Deadline Day – My Thoughts

Transfer deadline day is an important day in the footballing calendar, as managers scrabble around to buy a player (or five) that will help them have a successful season, but the whole thing looks increasingly farcical with every passing year. The transfer sagas become more drawn out, the fees become larger, the rumours become sillier and then you have the mad rush at the end with players moving for incredibly inflated prices.

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England’s 2014 summer schedule finalised

The schedule for India’s tour of England in 2014 has been announced, and it looks like it will be a busy summer as they play five Tests over a period of 42 days. The five Tests will be played at Trent Bridge, Lord’s, the Ageas Bowl, Old Trafford and The Oval. The Test series will be followed by five one-day internationals and one Twenty20. The first Test starts on 9th July. Everyone will be hoping for a more even contest than the last time India toured in 2011 – England whitewashed the tourists 4-0.

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Frustrating start to the new season for Ipswich Town

Portman Road was full of optimism leading up to the first game at Reading, but four points from the first five games has left some fans concerned and re-evaluating their expectations for this season. Ipswich have let a lead slip on three occasions this season already, and this is a trend that needs to be stopped as soon as possible.

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