Verbal Memo | F.A. Cup & more…

This weekend was a vintage one in the F.A. Cup. Giant killings. Upsets. Call them what you want. The small guns came out fighting and crushed the big guns hearts. The Fairy Tale Cup is alive and well.

Brentford, MK Dons, Luton Town, Leeds United and Oldham played a little throwback F.A. Cup football, much to the delight of fans across the football universe. This is exactly what the F.A. Cup needed. An exciting, thrilling weekend peppered with results as shocking as the ending of The Crying Game!

A Conversation With…Derek Rae

A Conversation With Derek Rae is pure football poetry. One of football’s finest voices, Derek always paints a beautiful picture through his commentary. Do you know anyone who can marry the famous poet Robert Burns with football?

From Team GB and the Olympics to all things Premier League including Luis Suarez, John Terry, Robin van Persie, Andre Villas Boas, Brendan Rodgers, Manchester City, mid-level clubs and beyond, Derek discusses it all with an honest perspective. There’s even time to talk a wee bit of Rangers!

Football, soccer, call it what you want, it’s just like being down the pub with your mates.

A Conversation With…Andre Villas Boas

There’s no doubt Brendan Rodgers will be under intense scrutiny and pressure when the new season starts. Taking over the managerial reigns at Liverpool and following in the footsteps of legend Kenny Dalglish will definitely be a tough task for the ex-Swansea coach.

However, if there is one man who easily wins the gold medal for “Manager Under the Most Pressure” it has to be Andre Villas Boas. Will we see the man who dazzled the football universe at Porto? Or will we see the AVB who failed miserably at Chelsea? As mentioned earlier this month on this site, I don’t believe lightning will strike twice for Villas Boas, who lived in the shadow of the Special One during his time at Stamford Bridge.

A Conversation With…Arseblog

Since joining Arsenal, Robin van Persie hasn’t put prolific back-to-back seasons together for the North London club. Is it fair to say he will not have the same success next season and that now is the time for Arsenal to cash in on the Dutchman? How would Arsenal shape up tactically without him? And what is the scoop with Theo Walcott and his unrest? Could Arsenal afford to lose either or both of these players? What has become of the Gunners? What is the identity of this team? Why does everyone always want to leave?

A Conversation With…Kristan Heneage

Just a few months ago, Harry Redknapp was the soup de jour in English football. Fast forward a few months and not only did he lose out to Roy Hodgson for the England job, but he was also replaced by Andre Villas Boas as manager of Tottenham. This hasn’t been the only major change of manager in the Premier League. Aston Villa, West Brom, Liverpool and Norwich City have also chosen to move forward with a new coach. Kristan Heneage from ESPN and FourFourTwo joins us for “A Conversation With” where we dig a little deeper and dissect the managerial changes. First up, Andre Villas Boas and Spurs. Will it be another disastrous season for AVB in the Premier League, or will he deliver glory down White Hart Lane? Kick back and enjoy the conversation.

Lightning won’t strike twice…

If you are a football romantic, then Andre Villas Boas to Tottenham could end up being one of the potential feel good stories of the new season. If you are a skeptic, then every single sign says Villas Boas will crumble more than an England player during a penalty shoot out.

The former Chelsea and Porto manager certainly has a point to prove on his return to the Premier League. His failure at Chelsea leaves many unanswered questions about his overall ability to manage a team at that level. Many would argue winning the treble with Porto is easier than winning the Premier League with Chelsea. Either way, there is an evident gulf between the two leagues but surely people can respect winning the treble at any level is quite an achievement.

Spring is here…

It’s that time of year where the flowers are blooming, the weather is getting warmer and everyone’s mood is filled with optimism. It’s also that time of year where the men are separated from the boys on planet football. That’s right folks. Spring is here. Do you know what else that means? It’s time for Arsenal to fall apart.

Over the last few years, spring has become more predictable than an episode of a daytime soap opera. Either Chelsea or Manchester United are leading at the top of the Premier League and winning the F.A. Cup, and Barcelona are dominating in Europe, destroying anything within 10 yards. It’s also the time of year where Arsenal dissolve as quickly and as easily as an Alka Seltzer.

Deals, deals and more deals…

The January transfer market can be as exciting as it is annoying for some clubs. In the middle of the season, transfers can cause unrest and can lead to disastrous results.

Teams can lose their best players, and before you know it, the season is over. However, teams can also buy great players and see their season end in a winning fashion. Either way, people either love or hate this time of year.

The January transfer window hasn’t exactly set the world on fire, but the last few days can always prove to be a shocker. And there is a story brewing that is making all the headlines. Fernando Torres is being hunted by Chelsea. Surely Liverpool don’t want to sell him, do they?

Sleeping with the enemy…not…

What can I say? I’ve been missing in action. I’ve been bad. I’ve had no desire. Just like my beloved team. It’s their fault. They did this to me. This season, they’ve already had me floating towards heaven and then they abruptly drag me into the depth’s of hell. It’s senseless. It’s hurtful. And shameful.

I haven’t even been able to face the blog. I mean it’s not like I write ground-breaking articles. They are merely my football thoughts that hopefully turn into conversations between fellow football fans. It’s just like being down the pub with your mates. But let’s face it. There are times when you don’t fancy going down the pub. Especially when your team recently lost its balls to the enemy.

Remind you of someone?

Gareth Bale saved Tottenham’s blushes in Europe last night with a stunning hat-trick against Inter Milan. Let’s face it. After Tottenham’s first-half display, nobody saw Bale’s second-half performance coming. If Lionel Messi had scored three goals in that fashion, everyone would be lording him today.

Bale was the only Spurs player who didn’t look like a deer in headlights at the San Siro. He turned the travelling fans experience from a nightmare into an almost amazing dream. Still. Well done son. You are without doubt, a future divo in the making. In fact, last night, you officially arrived.