Author Archives: Michael James

The Beauty of the Playoffs

Posted on by Michael James

Those of you against some form of playoffs at the end of the season, what do you have to say for yourself now? Bristol City, a relative lightweight who won League One just last year, stunned most pundits’ pick to … Continue reading

Football League Playoff Schedule

Posted on by Michael James

First of all, congratulations to West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City for their automatic entry into the Premier League next season, congratulations to Swansea and Nottingham Forest for heading up to the Championship, and congratulations to Paul Ince’s MK Dons, … Continue reading

Should the Premiership Have Playoffs?

Posted on by Michael James

There are those out there who believe the answer to the question is a resounding “no”; in fact, the vast majority of people I talk to are firmly against the concept of playoffs in the Premiership. I hear the same … Continue reading

The Dream Lives On!

Posted on by Michael James

Fulham is a victory at Fratton Park next weekend away from completing a great escape after their 2-0 win today over Birmingham. A trademark Brian McBride diving header to finish off a fabulous in-swinging free kick from Jimmy Bullard opened … Continue reading

Liverpool Wants Gareth Barry. Why?

Posted on by Michael James
gareth-barry

Numerous reports today have confirmed what has basically been common knowledge over the past couple of weeks: Liverpool is interested in signing Aston Villa’s captain, Gareth Barry. Villa manager Martin O’Neill came out today criticizing Liverpool for publicizing this interest; … Continue reading

For All You Lower-League Fans Out There…

Posted on by Michael James

Admittedly, this is a blog focusing mainly on the Premiership, with occasional Champions League talk and even discussion about the UEFA Cup when the situation calls for it. I’ve tried to pay as much attention as possible to the promotion, … Continue reading

Chelsea-3, Liverpool-2; Blues Heading to Moscow

Posted on by Michael James

Wow. That’s all there is to say. That was how a Champions League semifinal should be played. That was a terrific, terrific two hours of soccer. Congratulations to Chelsea, obviously, for winning 3-2 and advancing to Moscow to play Manchester … Continue reading

Halftime Thoughts–Chelsea vs. Liverpool (Second Leg)

Posted on by Michael James

• Great atmosphere at Stamford Bridge tonight. This is a proper, proper European occasion. It wouldn’t be complete without pouring rain either; the drearier, the better. • Terrific long, diagonal ball from Ballack to Ashley Cole in the 8th minute. … Continue reading

Manchester United Punches Ticket to Moscow

Posted on by Michael James

Without their best forward in Wayne Rooney and their best defender in Nemanja Vidic, Manchester United made a fabulous 14th-minute strike from Paul Scholes stand up with a 1-0 victory over Barcelona to win their Champions League semifinal tie. Patrice … Continue reading

PFA Premier League Team of the Year

Posted on by Michael James

Along with their announcement of their Player of the Year (Cristiano Ronaldo) and Young Player of the Year (Cesc Fàbregas), the PFA announced their Premier League Team of the Year yesterday. For once, I have no real issue with any … Continue reading

Fulham's Premiership Survival Battle Is Not Over Yet

Posted on by Michael James

Those of you who read this blog on a regular basis know of my undying hope for Fulham to stay in the Premiership. It seems like every couple weeks for the past two months, I’ve written a post saying that … Continue reading

Ronaldo is PFA Player of the Year, Fabregas is Young Player of the Year

Posted on by Michael James

This makes no sense, or at least half of it doesn’t. For the second year in a row, Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo was named the Premiership Player of the Year by his peers. He’s scored 38 goals in all competitions … Continue reading

Most Exciting Weekend of the Year

Posted on by Michael James

Wow! Have you caught your breath yet? If there was one round of games to watch this season, this was it. I remember the last weekend of the 2007 calendar year being pretty good, but I think what we saw … Continue reading

Benitez Is Right To Rotate Lineup

Posted on by Michael James

Despite former Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock’s furious claims to the contrary last season and more whining this week, Rafa Benitez has every right to rotate his squad for a game against a relegation-threatened team. This issue has come up … Continue reading

Check Out the Center Circle at the Camp Nou

Posted on by Michael James

 Obviously this picture doesn’t show the point I’m trying to make. I just had to use for it aesthetic purposes, so I hope you don’t mind. In all seriousness though, if you’re watching the Champions League semifinal first leg between … Continue reading

Rob Styles Demoted to League Two for a Weekend

Posted on by Michael James

From the Daily Telegraph’s website: “A week after officiating at Blackburn’s Premier League game against leaders Manchester United, referee Rob Styles will be in charge of Saturday’s League Two match between Shrewsbury Town and Chester City. Styles turned down two … Continue reading

Full-Time Thoughts–Liverpool vs. Chelsea

Posted on by Michael James

• The second half was a much better 45 minutes of soccer to watch. Both teams went after it, particularly early in the half, and the game was played at a faster tempo. • Didier Drogba is so ridiculously disinterested … Continue reading

Halftime Thoughts–Liverpool vs. Chelsea

Posted on by Michael James

 • I miss Tommy Smyth and Derek Rae on the call. I’m assuming they’ll be working the Manchester United-Barcelona game tomorrow, but I’m not sure why they couldn’t do this game as well… • The first shot on goal came … Continue reading