Author Archives: Michael James

Lampard Paired With Gerrard in England's Starting Lineup

Posted on by Michael James

Yes, you read correctly. We’ve seen this story before. Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard can’t play together in the same midfield, but yet England boss Fabio Capello is going to give it another try in today’s friendly against the Czech … Continue reading

Observations of England U-21 Friendly Against Slovenia

Posted on by Michael James

• I was disappointed to see how many empty seats there were at Hull City’s KC Stadium. I know this was only a friendly, but come on. These players are the future of England’s national team, and the already small … Continue reading

John Terry Should Not Be England's Captain

Posted on by Michael James

I’m sure you’ve all heard it by now: England manager Fabio Capello named John Terry captain of the Three Lions today. If you believe the numerous media reports, the strong favorite to be handed the armband on a permanent basis … Continue reading

Premiership All-Star Team–Round 1

Posted on by Michael James

I’m going to do something new this season. After every round of games — that is to say, after any league games that have been played between Tuesday of one week and Tuesday of the next (which takes into account … Continue reading

Premiership Preview–1. Manchester United

Posted on by Michael James

The two-time defending champion of England and current champion of Europe experienced quite the drawn-out saga this summer, as there were times when it seemed certain that Cristiano Ronaldo, the most talented player in the world, would be leaving Old … Continue reading

Premiership Preview–2. Liverpool

Posted on by Michael James

For Liverpool FC, it’s all about the Premiership this season. Another deep run in the Champions League would be nice, don’t misunderstand, but the primary focus for Rafa Benitez and his team is the domestic league. Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, … Continue reading

Premiership Preview–3. Chelsea

Posted on by Michael James

Chelsea has not finished outside the top two in five seasons, a span in which they’re averaging a mind-blowing 88.5 points a season. They’ve won two Premiership titles, two Carling Cups, an FA Cup, and, for what it’s worth, a … Continue reading

Premiership Preview–4. Arsenal

Posted on by Michael James

2008 hasn’t been a great year for Arsenal and their fans. In February, they watched their hated North London rivals Tottenham win a major trophy (Carling Cup), something Arsenal hasn’t done since winning the Premiership four seasons ago. They’ve watched … Continue reading

Premiership Preview–5. Aston Villa

Posted on by Michael James

Aston Villa surprised many neutrals last season, and probably even some of their own supporters, with their 6th-place finish. In 2006-2007, the Villans checked in at a respectable 11th, a nice improvement from 16th the season before. Villa’s emergence, led … Continue reading

Premiership Preview–6. Tottenham

Posted on by Michael James

The 2007-2008 season was a roller coaster for Tottenham Hotspur. Martin Jol was removed from the manager’s post in late October, but only found out through a text message sent to his nephew, who then forwarded the news to the … Continue reading

Premiership Preview–7. Portsmouth

Posted on by Michael James

Just like Manchester City and Everton, Portsmouth is coming off their best season in England’s top division in years, and I’m not sure there’d be much argument from the South Coast side’s supporters by saying it was the best season … Continue reading

Premiership Preview–8. Manchester City

Posted on by Michael James

Manchester City’s 2007-2008 campaign was their best since rejoining the Premiership after a few years of purgatory in England’s lower levels. Manager Sven-Göran Eriksson compiled a very respectable 19-11-15 record in his first year on the job, guiding the club … Continue reading

Premiership Preview–9. Everton

Posted on by Michael James

As much as Everton fans may not want to admit it, their club will always operate under arch-nemesis and cross-town rival Liverpool. There’s no way around it; Liverpool is statistically the most successful team in English history, having won more … Continue reading

Premiership Preview–10. West Ham

Posted on by Michael James

I think it would come as a surprise to many to know that West Ham, not Middlesbrough, not Aston Villa, not any of the promoted clubs, had the highest average of English players in their starting lineups (6.61/11) in the … Continue reading

Premiership Preview–11. Blackburn Rovers

Posted on by Michael James

In his four-season tenure at Blackburn, Mark Hughes guided the club to three top-10 finishes, including 7th place last year, and two appearances in European competition. He compiled an 82-47-59 record in competitive games over that span, and his team … Continue reading

Premiership Preview–12. Newcastle

Posted on by Michael James

When Sam Allardyce left by “mutual consent” in early January, Newcastle turned to a familiar figure to turn the club’s fortunes around. I said it then and I’ll say it now: Kevin Keegan, who spent over a decade away from … Continue reading

Premiership Preview–13. Sunderland

Posted on by Michael James

Backed by the loudest supporters in the Premier League last season, measured at average peak volume at 129.2 decibels, almost as loud as a jet, Sunderland will look to improve on last season’s respectable 15th-place finish. The Black Cats were … Continue reading

Premiership Preview–14. Middlesbrough

Posted on by Michael James

According to the BBC in an online article published in December of last year, Middlesbrough’s youth academy has produced the most graduates (9) eligible to represent England at international level and start in at least five senior games for the … Continue reading