Monday, November 19, 2012

Watch the Zlatan Ibrahimovic Goal...some things don't need words

Monday, November 12, 2012


Robbie Keane Crowned 2012 Castrol Index Top Player

November 8, 2012 – WAYNE, N.J. – Castrol®, an official sponsor of Major League Soccer (MLS), is honored to announce its final rankings report for the 2012 MLS regular season.  Castrol Index, the official performance index of MLS, ranked all players from the data collected since the MLS season began on March 10, 2012, through the final game of the season. LA Galaxy forward Robbie Keane earned the “2012 CastrolIndex Top Player” distinction by accumulating 854 points in 2,520 minutes on the field during the regular season.  Keane edged out San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski, the 2011 Castrol Index Top Player, by 18 points as a result of overall play at the forward position.  

Keane finished up the season with success in target shots (8th best among 454 players in MLS) and winning duels, as well as good passes.  Wondolowski did not manage to overtake Keane on the last day of the regular season, despite being the top goal scorer in MLS.  It is important to note that 23% of Wondolowski’s goals were achieved from the penalty spot compared to 7% for Keane; and penalty kick goals are given less credit compared to goals scored during the run of play.

Castrol is also excited to recognize the top position players of the 2012 MLS season.  The top midfielder is Sanna Nyassi of Montreal Impact, the top defender is Matt Besler of Sporting Kansas City and the top goalkeeper is Michael Gspurning of Seattle Sounders FC. Nyassi’s success at midfield was a result of his effort on offense, particularly on target shots (#2 in MLS), good passes and duels won.  Besler’s success on defense was due to his ball clearances (#1 in MLS), interrupting an opponent’s attack and good passes – all decisive skills for defenders.  Much of Gspurning’s success in goal was his 79.7% efficiency in saving on-target shots and help from his team, which conceded many fewer goals than other teams.

In its second season, the Castrol Index has provided an opportunity for fans to engage in the sport, and to join in the discussion spurred by sophisticated analysis, previously privy only to coaches and players. Castrol's team of performance analysts have used the latest technology to provide data for the 2012 MLS season and to determine the sport’s second Castrol Index Top Player. In assessing every player’s actions for net positive or negative impact on a team’s ability to score or concede a goal, analysts have logged more than 1,800 player movements per match, examining the merits of every action.

“Following its successful inaugural year, the Castrol Index has continued to grow in the 2012 MLS season – both in terms of fan acknowledgement and engagement, as well as MLS player support and recognition,” said Tracy Drelich-Knauer, Associate Promotions & Sponsorship Manager for Castrol.  “Each season we hope to see the Castrol Index become even more part of the MLS dialogue.”

The MLS Cup playoffs kicked off on October 31. Castrol invites fans to visit the Castrol Index website to test their predictions against the Castrol Predictor to determine who will be the final two clubs vying for MLS Cup 2012.  This tool forecasts the teams that will advance in the playoffs based on empirical data collected during the season.  The Castrol Predictor looks at factors such as the number of goals expected to be scored, the number of goals expected to be conceded and whether the team is playing at their home stadium or on the road.  Last year, the Castrol Predictor projected the LA Galaxy to win MLS Cup 2011 – and on December 1, 2012, fans will learn if the Predictor will be correct yet again.

Points per 90
Robbie Keane
LA Galaxy
Chris Wondolowski
San Jose Earthquakes
Alvaro Saborio
Real Salt Lake
Thierry Henry
New York Red Bulls
Steven Lenhart
San Jose Earthquakes
Saer Sene
New EnglandRevolution
Fredy Montero
Seattle Sounders FC
Kei Kamara
Sporting Kansas City
Kenny Cooper
New York Red Bulls
Blas Perez
FC Dallas

To view the full Castrol Index, visit  Fans can also join the Castrol Index and Predictor discussion on Castrol’s Facebook page at or on Twitter using #castrolindex.

About the Castrol Index
The Castrol Index, a proprietary technology that objectively ranks a player’s performance, was launched in 2008 with Castrol’s official sponsorship of the UEFA Euro2008™ tournament. It was further expanded and refined in partnership with FIFA for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ and is now used the world over—supporting the 5 major European Leagues.  This innovative tool analyzes and tracks every players move, providing statistical data and insightful analysis to fans, players and coaches to enhance their engagement with the game. 

About Castrol
BP Lubricants USA Inc. markets premium lubricants and business–building programs directly to independent lube operators, service providers, new car dealers and leading retailers. Our leadership brands includeCastrol® GTX® — a premium conventional motor oil; Castrol® GTX® High Mileage™ - a premium synthetic blend designed for vehicles with over 75,000 miles; the Castrol® EDGE ® line of advanced full-synthetic super premium motor oils that offer unsurpassed strength and performance; as well as our range of commercial transport lubricants. To find out more about Castrol products and programs, please call 1–888–CASTROL or log on to

About Major League Soccer
Headquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer is the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. MLS features many stars from the U.S., Canada, and around the world. Major League Soccer’s 17th season features 19 clubs each playing 34 regular-season matches. Those clubs include the Chicago Fire; Chivas USA; Colorado Rapids; Columbus Crew; D.C. United; FC Dallas; Houston Dynamo; 2011 MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy; New York Red Bulls; New England Revolution; Philadelphia Union; Portland Timbers; Real Salt Lake; San Jose Earthquakes; Seattle Sounders FC; Sporting Kansas City; Toronto FC; Vancouver Whitecaps FC; and, in their inaugural season, Montreal Impact. For more information about MLS, log on to the league’s official website at  

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Manchester United put on a nice show against Fulham

Manchester United 3 Fulham 2 Premier League Result

With 100m sprint star Usain Bolt showing off his 3 Olympic Gold medals onb the pitch prior to kick off, Damien Duff silenced the buoyant Old Trafford crowd with a really neat finish (3 mins). Fulham's lead only lasted for 7 mins as new striker Robin Van Persie scored his first for the Red Devils. Kagawa scored in the 35th minute taking a striker's type finish after a long range Cleverly shot rebounded to the debutante. Rafael then made it 3-1 with a neatly headed finish. The first half finished 3-1, arguably harsh on Martin Jol's boys.

Fulham started brightly and after a flurry of chances there was a bit of a defensive blunder in the Manchester United back four leading to a Vidic own goal in the 64th minute making it 3-2. After that, Fulham carried on putting the pressure but got no joy. Wayne Rooney came on towards the end and got a bad cut to the leg, Rooney is expected to be sidelined for at least 4 weeks but remember this game for RVP's first Man Utd goal - check this You Tube clip

Friday, June 15, 2012

England v Sweden Footy Banter


Good luck England tonight - show that we can do well without Wayne Rooney!

Great banter from the Swedish press. Genius! #ComeOnEngland

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What's on the Android Market for Soccer?

Before I launch into this post, this is a post purely targeted at Android phone users, particularly fans of Best Android Downloads. I thought as an iPhone owner I should understand more about the dark side because I am thinking of getting one of the new Samsung handsets this year. Note that all links go to the Android Market - enjoy!

Football apps for mobile and tablets fall into 2 broad categories: keeping up to date with fixtures/results/news and games. I think as football fans we know where to go to see how our team have done. Whether its the Beeb, Sky Sports News or the popular free ESPN app we now what to do on our touchscreens when its 17:00hrs on a Saturday early evening. Most clubs have their own apps for up to date match previews and player interviews, mostly free.

This post however is about soccer playing apps. I ventured into the world of the Android Market to find the top 3 best free and top 3 best paid soccer apps and this is what I found:
Top 3 soccer game android apps - paid

PES 2012 Pro Evolution Soccer
PES 2012 Android app
1. PES 2012 (link)
I have downloaded Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 on iPhone and after borrowing a friend's HTC phone to play this I was equally impressed. OK so it's free on iPhone (for a lite version) and a couple of bucks on Android, so what. Great integration with Facebook for social gaming and most importantly incerdible touch screen gameplay for those boring moments on the train. For the soccer gamer pros.

2. FIFA 10 (link)
EA Sports know the score with what a good mobile game needs to be. Simply menus, nice positive feel when controlling the players and passing is really nice. PES looks nicer but there's not alot in it gameplay wise.

Real Football 2012
RF 2012 Android app

3. Real Football 2012 (link)
Great value for a dollar. Really sociable format and nice smooth gameplay. I quite like the graphics of this one too, a bit old school in places but this is a great smartphone rival for Konami and EA Sports.

Top 3 soccer game android apps - free

run Football Manager (soccer)
run Football Android app
1. run Football (link)
run Football is my favourite free soccer app on Android. It is a Football Manager game that is super addictive and particularly good for people that are happy to get their friends involved in social gaming/multiplayer. Takes me back to the days of Champ Manager!

Football Kicks
Football Kicks Anrdoid app
2. Football Kicks (link)
With over 7 million downloads, this is superb footballing fun with an unorthodox format. Positive feeling gameplay where spin and pace help you master the perfect free kick. Becks eat your heart out. Chip over the wall, bend around it, get a posh new haircut - lots of fun!

Pocket Soccer
Pocket Soccer Anrdoid app
3. Pocket Soccer (link)
Old school and addictive. Pocket Soccer has an overhead view, 'kick off' style (going back a few years there) and is highly popular on Anrdoid. It's beauty is its simplicity, by far the most old school game listed in this article. Nice and light memory wise. If it was an addictive top 3 this would rank #1! 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

AC Milan 4 Arsenal 0 Champions League 15th February 2012

Before launching into my Champions League match analysis of AC v Arsenal I must apologise for the lack of blogging recently, no excuses are worthy of even beginning to type when you claim to be 'BlogFootball' on Twitter!

So Arsenal made the glamorous journey to the San Siro this evening to play AC Milan in the Champions League for the first leg of their last 16 tie. In recent seasons, Arsenal's total football style has made mincemeat of most opponents, with only Barcelona and possibly Manchester United blocking them from being champions in terms of form. However no Nasri and no Fabregas has made Arsenal less formidable in Europe. That said, their league form is decent at the moment (Van P = goal machine) and going into this game they would be relatively confident of being able to 'park the bus' at the San Siro. But under Wenger, have Arsenal ever been capable of parking the bus?

AC Milan have bought well. Ibrahimovic, Robinho, Van Bommel, Boateng : the nucleus of a superb AC Milan team. AC started very strongly with Arsenal looking a bit static in defensive areas, only the Verminator looked capable of dealing with the movement and attacking play from the home team. In the 16th minute, after some decent possession AC Milan bagged one with ex Tottenham man Kevin Princes-Boateng scoring an absolute screamer (if you didn't see it, You Tube it).

Arsenal's retort to AC Milan's first goal wasn't really good enough, as the Gunners couldn't get behind Milan's defensive line. In the 38th minute, Robinho scored after some great pass and move from AC Milan. Milan kept the ball very well and Arsenal's midfield couldn't penetrate to get the ball through into advanced areas for Van Persie or Theo Walcott. A frustrating first half for Arsenal but is more that AC Milan were good than Arsenal were bad. 2-0 at the break was definitely a fair reflection of the match, it could have easily been 3 or even  4 to the home team.

Wenger had to make the change: Theo Walcott for Thierry Henry. The perfect setting for the genius Frenchman to galvanise the younger Gooner players and provide that extra bit of magic. Straight away he provided nice link up play and Arsenal were just getting going when Ibrahimovic linked up with Robinho and score from outside the box with a fantastically placed strike finding the bottom right hand corner of the Arsenal net. 3-0 down, ouch.

Arsenal showed character and determination but AC Milan looked really impressive in all areas, better than they've looked in years. The second half was pretty much the same story as the first half, both teams locked in midfield battle but Milan were first to the ball most of the time and also showed more determination to get the ball back. 

In the 65th minute, Van Persie hit a nice on target volley that worked the Milan goalkeeper to tip it around his post. This was Arsenal's first real chance of the game and was shortly followed by a substitution where Chamberlain came on for Arsenal as Wenger went more 'kitchen sink' than 'park the bus'. You might as well go out fighting. 

In the 69th minute, Boateng came off. The damage had been done but I couldn't help but think that the Arsenal midfielders would have been relieved to see the industrious Boateng go off. Still, this was a team performance by Milan, dominating Arsenal in all areas. There were notable performances by Antonini, Ibrahimovic, Robinho and Boateng.

In the 77th minute, Djourou brought Zlatan Ibrahimovic down in the penalty area (I thought it was a pen, but I am a Spurs fan!) and Ibrahimovic netted the penalty to make it 4-0.

In the 84th minute, Van Persie headed on target - decent header, decent save. Just not Arsenal's night, unfortunately it would be a miracle if Arsenal progress into the last 8. The San Siro was virtually silent for the last 5 minutes, Arsenal fans must have felt battered tonight but AC Milan would have tested any major European team this evening.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Premier League 17th & 18th December 2011

Premier League Review 16th December 2011

Football fans all over England will be wishing for a good Christmas period and the stakes don't get bigger than the Barclays Premier League. Manchester City have set the pace, with their relentless, aggressive spending and managerial musical chairs finally sticking with a great squad/coach combination this season. Money can warp and transform Premier League trends. Who would have thought 5 years ago that Arsenal would tentatively travel to the City of Manchester Stadium (aka the Etihad) expecting to struggle to come away with even 1 point.

As a Spurs fan, I loved Mancini dissing Chelsea as in his mind there is a 3 horse race of Man City, Man Utd and Tottenham. As we get closer to the transfer window, will Chelsea get rid of Torres? Andre Villas-Boas has insisted that he isn't for sale; however his failure won't fall on the new Blues boss's shoulders.

Man Utd are almost guaranteed to be there or thereabouts despite losing Nemanja Vidic for the rest of the season and Darren Fletcher for an unknown period of time. Fergie's larger than life management style shines through irrespective of the manpower constraints that pop up in any football squad as he makes sure that his players understand what it means to pull on the Manchester United jersey. That said, Aguero and co are better. :-)

This weekend's fixtures are very interesting as the top 4 teams are all in extremely difficult matches. Chelsea will have a physical battle on their hands at the DW. Manchester United travel to QPR who have been very impressive in their debut Premier League season. Spurs might suffer from new manager syndrome as they face Sunderland and Manchester City have to keep Robin Van Persie out who is currently on fire.

Here are the fixtures - enjoy fellow football freaks!

Premiership fixtures 17th and 18th December 2011

Sat December 17th 2011
Blackburn v West Bromwich Albion 3pm @ Ewood Park
Everton v Norwich 3pm @ Goodison Park
Fulham v Bolton 3pm @ Craven Cottage
Newcastle United v Swansea 3pm St James's Park
Wolverhampton v Stoke City 3pm Molineaux
Wigan v Chelsea 3pm DW stadium

Sun December 18th 2011
QPR v Man Utd 12pm Loftus Road
Aston Villa v Liverpool 2pm Villa Park
Tottenham v Sunderland 3pm White Hart Lane
Man City v Arsenal 4pm Etihad Stadium

Friday, December 2, 2011

Euro 2012 group draw 2nd December 2011

The Euro 2012 draw has been kind in my view to England, with the Ukraine, Sweden and France providing the group opposition for Fabio Capello's team.

Group APoland, Greece, Russia, Czech Republic

Group B

Holland, Denmark, Germany, Portugal

Group C
Spain, Italy, Republic of Ireland, Croatia

Group D
Ukraine, Sweden, France, England

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Green Devils

Manchester United are used to being top of the Premier League - this time they've come joint top in the energy efficiency table which is the key measure of the UK Carbon Reduction Commitment.

Man Utd were joint top with 22 other organisations including Center Parcs and the Department for Energy and Climate change. 4,500 companies were audited in terms of their energy usage between April 2010 and March 2011. 60% of firms have installed smart meter or gained energy management accreditation. It was comical that Trafford Council came joint bottom!

The UK have some hugely ambitious targets for carbon reduction in the next 40 years and this has its pros and cons for the economy. That said, with the soaring costs of electricity / lighting if any organisation should get an energy usage survey and see how carbon reduction strategy could strengthen their business.

For many UK businesses, energy usage is very key at the moment and in football there is huge potential for energy wastage - for one, just think of the energy consumed by floodlights. In other industries, organisations have benefited/exploited the PR power that the CRC Efficiency Schem can bring - perhaps some of the other Premier League clubs will follow Manchester United's lead.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Chelsea v Everton 2011 5.30pm Stamford Bridgr

Manchester United lost 2 points earlier today as Liverpool held the champions at 1 a piece. This provides Chelsea with a great opportunity to move within the top 3, within 1 point of Man Utd who are still setting the standard under Sir Alex.

Chelsea still have bags of competitiveness and ambition in the Premier League. History suggests that André Villas-Boas will get one season to deliver major silverware to the Bridge and he will be out. With Drogba hitting decent form at the minute (no Torres today) the pressure will be on the Toffees from the very first minute. However, David Moyes has a great record travelling to Stamford Bridge as Everton haven't lost there in the last 5 years. The lunchtime result could motivate Chelsea that bit more today so I predict a modest home victory.