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Hillsborough memorial

Yesterday marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy where 96 Liverpool fans were killed in 1989. Anfield was the site of the memorial service.

David Conn The Guardian- “After six days of heartbreaking testimony by bereaved families at the new inquest into how 96 people met their deaths at the Hillsborough football ground in 1989, there was a warmth close to celebration to the service at Liverpool‘s sun-blessed Anfield home marking 25 years since the disaster.

The grievous loss the families suffered was remembered: of sons, daughters, fathers, grandfathers, fathers-to-be, a mother – who went off to support Liverpool in that FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest under similar spring sunshine and clear blue skies.

Hillsborough Memorial - 25th Anniversary

But the speeches by Trevor Hicks, both of whose daughters, Sarah, 19, and Victoria, 15, were killed in the crush, Margaret Aspinall, who lost her 18-year-old son James; the Liverpool and Everton football managers Brendan Rodgers and Roberto Martínez, and the Labour MP Andy Burnham, dwelled more on the other, remarkably life-affirming side of the Hillsborough story: the families’ relentless fight for justice.

Hillsborough Memorial service

It was the word spoken more than any other on this day of solidarity, emblazoned on many scarves raised above heads among 24,000 people in the ground: justice, for the 96. Hicks recounted the families’ long campaign against the original 1990-91 inquest, the quest for the truth about what really caused the crush on the Leppings Lane terraces, and for accountability.

It was a campaign without result until five years ago when Burnham’s address as a Labour minister to the 20th anniversary service was drowned out by the crowd’s call for justice. That led to Burnham’s initiative to have all official documents relating to the disaster published, then the landmark September 2012 Hillsborough Independent Panel report, followed three months later by the high court quashing the inquest, after 21 years.

Hillsborough Memorial - 25th Anniversary

This time, in an age of expenses scandals and seemingly ubiquitous mistrust of politicians, Burnham – widely recognised to have overturned years of official inaction and helped deliver a justice process – was welcomed with an immediate standing ovation. He took as his theme the families’ determination, the togetherness of Liverpool and its two rival football clubs, as displayed by Martínez paying his respects in the home of his club’s fiercest sporting rival.

Soccer - Hillsborough 25th Anniversary Memorial Service - Anfield

“Your voices were carried off the Kop and into the heart of the establishment,” Burnham said of the justice calls in 2009. “That was the moment the dam burst, and asked the most profound questions about our country, and how it is run. How could a whole city be crying injustice, and nobody was listening? In time, your fight will make our country fairer.”

Describing the “dignity, courage, humanity” of the families, who were sitting quietly in rows in front of him, he told them: “You are truly the best of us.”

That tribute was echoed by Rodgers, who mentioned some of Liverpool’s great players, its iconic manager Bill Shankly, and his own predecessor Kenny Dalglish, who as the manager in 1989 identified intensely with the families and personally attended many of the funerals.

Soccer - Hillsborough 25th Anniversary Memorial Service - Anfield

“But without doubt the single biggest source of inspiration is every morning at Anfield, seeing the Hillsborough memorial, the 96 names,” said Rodgers, who has led his team to becoming favourites to win this season’s Premier League, with four games to play. “You who have fought so long on their behalf, and on behalf of the survivors, you are the true inspiration.”

Hillsborough Memorial - 25th Anniversary

The priests of three local churches read out the names of those who died, and a candle was lit for each name. This part of the service took more than eight minutes, to a crowd which had fallen completely silent.

Now, after the opening of the new inquest which is featuring the families’ personal statements about the victims, the world finally knows more about them, hearing of rounded, beloved, hardworking, talented people whose futures were lost, not just names on the long memorial list outside Anfield’s Shankly gates.

John Anderson, alphabetically the first, was remembered at the inquest by his son Brian, who was also at Hillsborough and survived the crush. He said his 62-year-old father was a fit amateur referee, married for 42 years, whose family were robbed of his retirement.


Six days of family testimony have covered 45 of those who died, not yet half; other families have gasped and wept hearing detail for the first time. One victim discussed on the first day was Patrick Thompson, who was killed at 35 leaving five children all under six.

“Please listen to the evidence, and let my children know that their dad was not a hooligan, but a hardworking man who just happened to love football,” his widow Kathleen had asked the jury, referring to the accusations of drunkenness made against the Liverpool fans by South Yorkshire police after the disaster.


Peter Thompson, not related to Patrick, was married and his wife was expecting their baby, when he went to the 1989 FA Cup semi-final and never came home. His daughter, Nikki, was born four months after he died.

When the candle was lit for Alan McGlone, 28 when he went off to the match, the crowd could recognise him as the father whose widow Irene told the inquest how their two infant daughters, Amy, then five, and Claire, then two, had asked her to send him in to wake them up when he came back.

“I am still waiting to wake my girls up from this nightmare,” Irene said in her statement.

After a break for the memorial service and Easter, the families are back in Warrington, Cheshire, to hear evidence about the 51 other victims. The new inquest is scheduled to last a year.


This service celebrated the families’ enduring love above all else, and culminated in Gerry Marsden singing You’ll Never Walk Alone, his original hit, long since adopted as the anthem of Anfield. The qualities of the Hillsborough families were recognised here, for having held their heads up high, and not walking alone through their storm.

Jeremy Wilson- The Telegraph-“ Five years had passed since Andy Burnham, the Member of Parliament for Leigh, had previously addressed a memorial service for the Hillsborough tragedy. Anger, understandably, was in the air and it was finally broken by one lone voice. “Justice,” shouted Roy Dixon, a Liverpool fan whose plea prompted a sustained chant of “Justice for the 96” that was to echo far beyond Anfield.

25th Anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster, Anfield Stadium, Britain - 15 Apr 2014

Burnham, who was then a government minister, paused, made it clear that he was listening and promised to act. New evidence was released, the Hillsborough Independent Panel was formed, the original verdict of accident death was overturned and now, 25 years on, a new inquest has just begun into what the coroner called “the worst ever disaster at a British sports stadium”.

Burnham was invited back to Anfield on Tuesday for the 25th anniversary memorial service and received a rapturous standing ovation.

Soccer - Hillsborough 25th Anniversary Memorial Service - Anfield

“Things changed, not because of me, but because of you,” he said.

“Things changed because you made your voices heard and thank God you did. Your voices were carried off this Kop and into every living room in the land and, from there, into the heart of the establishment. I knew you were right and they were wrong. You helped me find the political courage to do something.”

Dixon, the man whose shout was to perhaps become the turning point on the road to justice, was among 24,000 inside Anfield for Tuesday’s memorial service. “Take a bow,” said Burnham.

“If I live to 100 I will never forget the sound of your voice mate. It was the moment the dam burst. One lone cry, now an unstoppable movement asking the most profound questions about our country and the way it has been run. How can it be that an entire city was crying injustice for 20 years and no one was listening?

“As things come full circle, the shadows are lifting. There is still an uncertain road ahead, we know that, but the country is with you. You have given hope to people the world over. What was your call five years ago is mine today: ‘Justice for the 96.’ ”


That justice might have been delayed but the mood across all of Liverpool on Tuesday stretched beyond sombre reflection to immense pride at a city that, perhaps more than any other in England, is so identified by its football teams.

The scarves of clubs from all over Europe were hung, three or four deep, on the Shankly Gates at Anfield next to the Hillsborough Memorial on which the names of all 96 who died at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest are inscribed.

Beneath and adjacent to the memorial was layer upon layer of flowers and messages. “When you say a silent prayer and your dreams are tossed and blown, remember those 96 empty seats that must never walk alone,” said one. Another simply read: “On days like these we remember that football without fans is nothing at all.”

The number of choice on the back of most Liverpool shirts at Anfield on Tuesday was 96.

Soccer - Hillsborough 25th Anniversary Memorial Service - Anfield

At 8am, a message on Manchester United’s Twitter feed had reflected the goodwill that spread far beyond Liverpool. “Today we stand side-by-side with @LFC to remember the 96 fans who lost their lives at Hillsborough on April 15, 1989,” it said.

Everton also announced that they would be unveiling their own Hillsborough Memorial at Goodison Park before the end of the year. Their manager, Roberto Martinez, was another recipient of a standing ovation from the Kop following a beautifully judged speech after he had given the first reading of the service.

“I was only 15 in April 1989, a football-mad kid in a football-mad family, like any of you today,” said Martinez. “We could not believe or comprehend the horror of receiving the news their loved ones would not come home from a football match.


“What happened afterwards was not right or fair but, as my chairman said last year, they took on the wrong city. I do not have to tell you that Everton are with you. Everton remembers. We will always.”

Burnham, himself an Everton fan, said that he had asked his mum what he should say on Tuesday and she had told him to tell the Liverpool supporters that “it would be fitting if they won the league championship in this year of all years”.

Any reservation about making the link between such a devastating tragedy and the comparative triviality of football matches was eased by the message from Margaret Aspinall, the inspirational chairman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group.

Having spoken about the 25-year campaign for justice, she turned to the current Liverpool squad, who were sat in their entirety just below a who’s who of the greatest players in the club’s history.


“Stress is very difficult but it is also good,” she said. “It gives us determination to fight. I know that is what you are going to do to get this championship.”

At that point, the Kop could barely contain itself and chants of “Justice for the 96” soon switched to “We’re going to win the league”. Steven Gerrard, whose 10-year-old cousin Jon-Paul Gilhooley was the youngest Hillsborough victim, was visibly moved.

The name of Gilhooley, along with the other 95 victims, was individually read out on Tuesday. It took more than 10 minutes to complete the most moving part of the service. The whole of Liverpool then fell silent at 3.06pm, the time the semi-final was halted 25 years earlier, as bells rang out 96 times across three of the city’s churches. Brendan Rodgers, the Liverpool manager, read the evocative words of Psalm 23 of the King James Bible and, in a subsequent address, his emotion was evident.

“I’m surrounded every day of my life by inspiration,” Rodgers said. “I walk in every day past the statue of Bill Shankly and past the European Cup. But without doubt the single biggest source of inspiration for me is every match day at Anfield, when I arrive at this ground and see the memorial and the 96 names.

Hillsborough Memorial - 25th Anniversary

“You inspire us every day and inspire us to play. I feel inadequate to be in your company. Thanks for the inspiration you give to us all. We will always strive for you – the families. You’ll never walk alone.”

The front page of the Liverpool Echo had carried a photograph on Tuesday morning of every person who died in the Leppings Lane end of Hillsborough accompanied by the headline, “Never Forget”. If there is one small comfort to be had amid such a terrible tragedy, it is the ongoing certainty that few ever will.


This is it from Bobby Gee in The De Futebol Zone.


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Flamengo and Vasco tied one all in the final leg of the Carioca Campeonato. With the tie Mengao wins the title. Gigante de Colina scored first when Rodrigo tickled the twines in the eleventh minute. It sure looked like the guys from boo Mengao would lose. Not on this day. Paulinho nailed the equalizer in the 75th minute to save our butts and give Rubro Negro the title. All we have to do was tie and the Carioca Campeonato was ours. Flamengo and Vasco tied one all in the first leg.


UOL-Mesmo com um time misto e uma atuação que não lembrava os melhores dias, o Flamengo conseguiu cumprir sua missão neste domingo, na primeira partida da decisão do Campeonato Carioca, no Maracanã. Com um golaço de Paulinho, o time rubro-negro arrancou um empate por 1 a 1 contra o Vasco e ficou perto de mais um título sobre o Cruzmaltino, mantendo a escrita de não perder finais do estadual para o rival há 26 anos. O zagueiro Rodrigo marcou o gol do time de São Januário.


Para os cruzmaltinos, só uma vitória na segunda partida da final interessa para chegar ao sonhado título. Melhor time da fase de classificação e com a vantagem de jogar por dois empates mantida, o Flamengo só precisa repetir o placar na decisão do próximo domingo para ficar com a taça e sustentar a vantagem de mais de duas década sobre o Vasco.


Antes disso, porém, o time da Gávea terá outra “final”, também no Maracanã. Pela Copa Libertadores, a equipe encara o Léon, do México, na próxima quarta-feira, precisando de uma vitória para não ser eliminado ainda na primeira fase do torneio sul-americano.

Ainda que o estádio estivesse com muitos lugares vazios e o clima não relembrasse as grandes decisões, bastou que a bola rolasse para que a atmosfera de final dominasse o jogo. O nervosismo e a ansiedade de Flamengo e Vasco deixaram a partida truncada nos primeiros minutos. O Rubro-negro segurava a posse de bola no ataque, mas não chegava a assustar o Cruzmaltino.


E mesmo um pouco mais recuado, o time de São Januário respondeu rápido e abriu o placar. Aos 11min, Douglas cobrou escanteio da direita na medida para Rodrigo; o zagueiro vascaíno subiu mais que Samir, aproveitou a saída ruim do goleiro Felipe e cabeceou forte para o fundo da rede.


A vantagem no marcador definiu o cenário dos minutos seguintes. E assim foi até o final do primeiro tempo, com o Vasco dominando amplamente a partida. Com falhas na marcação e dificuldade para sair jogando, principalmente no meio do campo, o Flamengo não conseguia se encontrar e viu a desvantagem ser mantida nos primeiros 45 minutos.

Na volta do intervalo, a ambiente de final ficou ainda mais intenso, com disputas duras, confusões e até um cartão vermelho: Everton Costa, que vinha protagonizando algumas discussões, recebeu o segundo amarelo e foi expulso.


Com um jogador a mais, o Flamengo desestabilizou o Vasco e não demorou para empatar o jogo. Paulinho, aos 15min, acertou um belo chute de fora da área e marcou o gol que igualou o placar. Após desconstruir a vantagem vascaína, o Rubro-negro passou a administrar a partida, ciente de que o empate não era um mau resultado.


Com a dificuldade de contar com um homem a menos e abalado pelo empate sofrido, o Vasco não conseguiu estabelecer uma nova vantagem no placar. O Flamengo ainda pressionou algumas vezes nos últimos minutos, mas não alterou o 1 a 1 no placar ao apito final do árbitro.


Flamenguista for life.


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Chelsea kept their title hopes alive with a 1-0 win over ten-man Swansea City at the Swans house. Chico was sent packing after his second yellow card in less than two minutes.   Both of these fouls show what a genius this fool is.

Chelsea could not crack the packed box until the 68th minute. Demba Ba scored on a break way goal to get the hard fought win over the Swans.

The Blues seemed out of sorts. They lacked the killer punch to put the wounded opponet Swansea City away early. The Blues had their chances but couldn’t pull the trigger.

The Liverpool Chelsea match in two weeks will be a war. Title hopes will be on the line at Anfield.

Matt Law The Guardian-“Jose Mourinho has been cast as the villain on plenty of occasions during his successful career. So the Chelsea manager will have no problem trying to ruin Liverpool’s Premier League dream.

After Liverpool had secured another thrilling victory that sent them clear of Manchester City and underlined their status as this season’s great entertainers, Chelsea produced a classic Mourinho response to keep themselves in the title race.

There was controversy, effort, determination and a never-say-die attitude. What Chelsea lack in style under Mourinho, they make up for in substance.


Just a week ago, it would have been easy to forget Demba Ba existed but he has been Chelsea’s unlikely hero twice in the space of six days to keep their season alive.

Having rescued Chelsea’s Champions League hopes with a late goal against Paris St-Germain, Ba was on target again at the Liberty Stadium to secure a narrow win over 10-man Swansea.

It was not a performance or result that screamed ‘title winners’ at their rivals, but it kept Chelsea only two points behind Liverpool with a trip to Anfield to come on April 27.

Captain John Terry said: “It feels like a bigger win because of the Liverpool result earlier in the day. We knew about it and, looking at the result, it’s probably the one we wanted – even though Liverpool are flying.

“The manager said before the game, regardless of the Liverpool result, if we don’t win our games then we will make it easy for them. We’ve won our game and the pressure is still on the teams above and below us.”

Glen Johnson may have labelled Liverpool the people’s champions, but Mourinho has never been one to worry too much about the thoughts of those outside his immediate circle.

The siege mentality has set in at Chelsea. After cancelling his pre-match press conference, Mourinho also decided not to speak after the victory.


Asked if Chelsea were bothered by the fact Liverpool believe neutrals are on their side, assistant first-team coach Steve Holland said: “If that’s the way Brendan Rodgers wants people to see it, that’s fine. What the reality is I’m really not so sure.

“The only important thing is you do everything you can to try to win the championship for your club, your supporters. What everybody else thinks is up to them.

“We’ve probably got to win all of our games, one way or another. That’s the likelihood, but we’ve been facing that task now for a good couple of weeks on the back of our defeat at Crystal Palace.

Ba’s start at Swansea City was his first in the Premier League since Oct 6 and the winning goal was only his fourth in the top flight this season.

It took 68 minutes for him to make the breakthrough and the goal owed more to terrible defending from Swansea than attacking brilliance.

César Azpilicueta’s long throw from well inside his own half was not cut out, Nemanja Matic punted the ball forwards and Ba was given too much space by Ashley Williams before firing under the body of Swansea goalkeeper Michael Vorm.


“I always believe, even though it’s hard when you don’t play because your confidence and fitness go down,” Ba said. “I just said I would give everything and the goal came today. I never stopped believing. I know the manager always wanted to keep three strikers. I knew I would get the opportunity to come in.”

Apart from not worrying about the prospect of spoiling Liverpool’s party, Mourinho will not care that Swansea were upset by his perceived influence in the 16th-minute dismissal of Chico Flores.

Two minutes after being booked for a cynical challenge on Willian, Flores upended André Schürrle on the left edge of the Swansea penalty area.

Referee Phil Dowd took an age before finally showing the defender a second yellow card.

The decision appeared to be the correct one, but Swansea were furious with the protests of Mourinhho to fourth official Robert Madley and the complaints of Terry and Azpilicueta to Dowd.

Dowd clearly took advice in his earpiece from Madley before issuing the second yellow card.


Mohamed Salah had missed a great chance to put Chelsea ahead before the sending off, but the visitors struggled to create chances despite their advantage. Even a half-time switch to a four-man attack, with Samuel Eto’o joining Ba, Salah and Willian, failed to inspire a Chelsea goal flurry.

Eto’o missed two good chances, but Ba’s strike proved to be enough and Mourinho can start to plot how he can trip up Liverpool. No doubt he will use every trick in the book.

This is it from Bobby Gee in The De Futebol Zone.


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AFC Wimbledon defeated Southend United 1-0. The Dons Jack Midson nailed the PK in the 58th minute to put a serious hamper on the Shrimpers playoff hopes. Southend United sits in sixth place 62 points. York City tied one all with Accrington Stanley and thus cost the Minstermen a chance to move  into sixth place.

AFC Wimbledon was spared the embarrassment of getting sent down to the English Conference with a win on the last day of last years season. Barnet lost and was sent packing. Dagenham and Redbridge lost também and thus AFC Wimbledon pulled the Houdini act and escape the voce vai zone.

The Dons are not in danger of getting the heave hoe this year 14th place 52 points.


Dons dent Shrimpers’ play-off hopes

Sport UK- Southend United’s promotion hopes were dealt a huge blow with a shock 1-0 defeat against AFC Wimbledon at Roots Hall.

Former Shrimpers loanee Jack Midson bagged the only goal of the game from the penalty spot midway through the second half.

And that ended a run of three successive victories for Southend.

images (1)

In a largely uneventful game, Wimbledon came closest to scoring in the first half when Kwesi Appiah saw his close-range shot superbly saved by Shrimpers goalkeeper Daniel Bentley.
However, Bentley was beaten in the 58th minute when Midson’s weak penalty squeezed under the goalkeeper’s body and rolled into the back of the net.

The spot-kick had been given after John Egan had brought down Appiah inside the penalty area.


This is it from Bobby Gee in The De Futebol Zone.

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Fulham may have saved their season with a hard fought 1-0 win over Norwich City. The win moved the Cottagers within two points of 17th place Canaries. The lone goal of the match came in the 40th minute.Hugo Rodallega close range bomb was the difference in the match.

Norwich fired their coach Chris Hughton earlier this week. In stepped the new guy NeilAdams and guess what Norwich lost. Nothing has changed except the name of cat who decides who will play.

James Riach The Guardian-“Perhaps this should have been billed as the game of the gamblers. Fulham and Norwich have been through five managers between them this season in a desperate attempt to retain Premier League status. This narrow victory, secured by Hugo Rodallega’s strike during a scrappy and frantic game at the bottom of the table, leaves Norwich’s high-risk ploy under question and their survival hopes hanging by a thread.


They were unlucky to lose here, but that will be no consolation to Neil Adams in his first game in charge since the sacking of Chris Hughton.

Adams, who made six changes to the City starting XI, was appointed in the hope that his presence could inspire a crucial win in this six-pointer, which would have been a huge step towards safety. However, his side now hold a mere two-point lead over Fulham in 18th and with a daunting run-in to come.

Felix Magath, Fulham’s third manager of the campaign, has certainly improved performances but will thank his goalkeeper, David Stockdale, for his excellent display. The Canaries have Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal left to play and Magath may just complete the unlikeliest of turnarounds, which has seen Fulham almost claw their way to safety from rock-bottom only weeks ago.


This was the fourth meeting between these sides this season and, for Norwich, another miserable trip to west London. They should have led at half-time and were denied in the first-half only by Stockdale and the woodwork, before switching off at a free-kick and conceding shortly before half-time.

Stockdale superbly denied Ricky van Wolfswinkel in the 28th minute, reacting quickly and sticking out his right arm to keep out the striker’s first-time effort from a cross. The Dutchman has still not scored since the opening day of the season.



Everton escaped with a 1-0 win over last but not least Sunderland. Wes Brown’s own goal in the 75th minute saved the Toffees. This win gives Everton fourth place 66 points. The former Man U player Wes Brown sunk the Black Cats even further into last place 25 points. Sunderland has two matches in hand even with a victory in both of them they will only climb to 18th place. This is still four off of the get outta jail free card.


Louise Taylor The Guardian- “Winning ugly is not really Roberto Martínez’s thing but his Everton players made a decent fist of grinding out a strictly no-frills victory that promises to help propel them on to the Champions League stage.

Secured courtesy of Wes Brown’s own goal, this was far from the fluent, beautifully crafted triumph generally synonymous with Martínez’s side but its importance should not be underestimated.

Up to fourth place, two points clear of Arsenal, a huge prize is now within Everton’s grasp. Their manager was congratulated with the warmest of embraces from his old friend and former Real Zaragoza team-mate Gus Poyet at the final whistle as the Uruguayan put a brave face on a narrow defeat that all but rubber-stamps Sunderland‘s relegation.


“A bit of a contrast to some of our other games,” said Martínez. “Very tense, very cagey, but really satisfying. With three points so significant for both teams I was always worried, but we defended very well. We didn’t create too much, just three chances, so I’m pleased we took one.”

Although it went down as Brown’s own goal – Sunderland’s sixth in the League – it was appropriate that he turned in a delivery from Gerard Deulofeu. The young winger, borrowed from Barcelona, was the one individual who stood out from the crowd, the only player to provoke a frisson every time he received possession. “It was the sort of game that needed a bit of magic and Gerard contributed it,” said Martínez. “He was a real threat; the difference between 1-0 and a scrappy 0-0.”


After acknowledging his bottom-placed side required “a miracle” to survive, Poyet had pledged to “go back to basics” and he did not disappoint. Sure enough, he abandoned his recent experiment with a back five, reverted to 4-1-4-1, recalled Jack Colback to central midfield and even swapped his matchday suit for a tracksuit.

Stoke City defeated Newcastle one nil. Toons have lost four straight. Newcastle’s last win came on March 22nd a one nil win over Sunderland. Toons are in ninth place 46 points.


Crystal Palace got Aston Villa 1-0.


West Brom and Tottenham tied three all. Spurs were down three nil only claw their way back to earn the Draw This tie by Tottenham keeps the door open for Man U to take final Europa League spot. Tottenham is sixth 60 points. The Red Devils are seventh 57 points with a match in hand.

John Percy The Telegraph- “Tim Sherwood will not leave Tottenham Hotspur quietly as his side completed a remarkable comeback at the Hawthorns.


Christian Eriksen equalised in added time to further frustrate Pepe Mel and ensure Spurs’s ambitious bid to secure a Champions League place remains alive.

Sherwood is heading for the exit at the end of the season and endured a typically turbulent afternoon, with his team 3-0 down after a disastrous first half performance.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy faced chants to leave the club from the travelling supporters and West Bromwich Albion manager Pepe Mel seemed certain to secure his first ever home win since his appointment in January. But Spurs were vastly improved in the second period and capitalised on West Bromwich Albion’s nerves to earn a deserved point, punishing the Premier League strugglers in added time for the second home game in a row.


Sherwood is a dead man walking and any lingering hopes he had of being in charge next season flatlined weeks ago. He was defiantly insisting Spurs were still in contention for a Champions League place on Friday but such bold claims are flimsy when his back four perform like they did here in the first half.



Cardiff City edged Southampton one nil. The Bluebirds are still in the voce vai zone 19th place 29 points. The Saints stay in eighth place 48 points.


This is it from Bobby Gee in The De Futebol Zone.



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We have a ton of action today. Tomorrow will feature the battle between Liverpool and Man Shitty at Anfield. This match will go a long way in determining who will win the title.   Today we will have Crystal Palace- Aston Villa, Fulham-Norwich City, Southampton-Cardiff City, Stoke City-Newcastle, Sunderland-Everton, and West Brom-Tottenham.

Tomorrow’s other match is Chelsea going to Swansea City’s house.

Arsenal is off as my Gunners battle Wigan in the FA Cup semifinal today. Hull City-Sheffield United battle in the other FA Cup Semifinal that takes place tomorrow.


Liverpool sits at the head of the class 74 points. Chelsea is second 72 and Man Shitty is third with 70. The Citizens have two matches in hand. My Gunners are fourth 64 points. And we have Everton nipping at our heels with 63 points but the Toffees have a match in hand. All Everton has to do is run the table and fourth place is theirs. This goes também with Liverpool. Win out and you are the champs.


Mark Ogden fired this salvo writing that Moyes final five games will be the key if he wants to keep his job. The Glazers have fired folks for less.

David Moyes is entering the most decisive period of his reign as Manchester United manager with five games over the next month to banish doubts over the safety of his position.

Such is United’s attention to detail off the pitch and determination to remain one step ahead of the rest commercially, a finely-tuned operation now enables them to monitor social media to gauge the perception of their brand and leading figures.

It could be argued that, with Twitter, Facebook and a whole raft of websites now being watched by United, the noise and chatter of the Twittersphere is one thing that Moyes does not need to concern himself with as he attempts to survive, and then rebuild, at Old Trafford this summer.


With United’s campaign of woe now reduced to five end-of-season games battling for the dubious prize of a place in the Europa League following the Champions League elimination against Bayern Munich, Moyes’s future as manager will not become certain until the dust has settled on his first season in charge.


Whether he will be trusted by the Glazer family to invest in excess of £120  million on new players following such an unimpressive debut campaign at the club remains to be seen, although the odds are slightly in his favour.

Results and performances over the remaining fixtures will be central to Moyes’s prospects, but supporter apathy and hostility is rarely a positive combination for any under-pressure manager.

The social media reaction to United’s defeat in Munich suggests the Scot is in danger of becoming a trending topic for the wrong reasons.


Moyes’s tactics and public comments have regularly been used as a stick with which to beat the 50-year-old this season, but his decision to play Wayne Rooney for 90 minutes in the Allianz Arena on Wednesday, despite subsequently admitting the player was struggling to strike the ball properly due to the pain of a toe injury, prompted anger among supporters.


In response to a tweet from United’s official Twitter site, saying “David Moyes says ‘small errors’ cost #mufc vs Bayern Munich on Wednesday night”, the response was an avalanche of cutting replies such as “the only error was appointing him”, “the bigger error was his appointment” and “Sir Alex’s biggest error was picking him”.

Moyes rode the storm when a small group of supporters hired a plane trailing a message for him to go last month and successive league victories against Aston Villa and Newcastle have restored calm following calamitous home defeats against Liverpool and Manchester City.

While Moyes’s players raised their game in both legs of the quarter-final against Bayern, the forthcoming fixtures against Everton, Norwich, Sunderland, Hull and Southampton are a return to grim reality for United.


End the season well and Moyes is likely to be trusted to continue the job he has started, but his position will again come under scrutiny if the campaign ends badly.

Behind the scenes, there is admiration at senior levels for the work Moyes has undertaken at United in modernising areas such as scouting and analytics.

Such achievements may appear trivial to the supporter interested only in seeing United win, but with the club being run, in the words of one senior figure, “like North Korea” by Sir Alex Ferguson, Moyes’s modernisation is regarded as a crucial element of his job.

Moyes’s detractors among the club’s supporters – and there also remain players who have misgivings over his approach – cite his style of play as being alien to United’s tradition.


With players such as Bayern Munich’s Toni Kroos, Southampton’s Luke Shaw, Paris St-Germain forward Edinson Cavani and Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho identified as leading targets, Moyes would argue that his team, with his players, would enable him to produce an outfit with the flair and ambition of previous United sides.

The United midfielder, Darren Fletcher, admits the club’s players, as well as their manager, also face a month that could make or break their Old Trafford careers.


“We now have five or six league games left with nothing really to play for and that is a unique experience for us,” Fletcher said. “We are disappointed and hurting, but we have to go into these games and win them.


“If you get a chance to play, you have to go and impress the manager and show him that you are capable of being here next year.

“He will definitely look back on this season and realise it was a disappointment, but I fully expect there to be some signings.

“So it is time to show the manager that you deserve to be at this club.”

Meanwhile, United’s pre-season friendly against Real Madrid in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Aug 2 has been declared a 109,000 sell-out – understood to be the biggest attendance for a United game – on the first day of tickets being placed on sale.


We will see how this all works out. For me Moyes needs to get his ass packing. His reign has been an unmitigated disaster.


This is it from Bobby Gee in The De Futebol Zone.

De Futebol


I just love scouring the British Press for stories about futebol. This one I stumbled upon in several places. It has been twenty-five years since the disaster at Hillsborough. This is where many folks were killed. Steven Cohen was fired from his TV Show FOX Futebol Friday for his remarks about Liverpool fans. This cost him his radio show também.

Mark Ogden The Telegraph-“Even after 25 years, the scars remain raw and the trauma as stark as ever. Just one word – Hillsborough – brings everything back to the surface.

“We went to the hospital in Sheffield and there was a boy there, aged just 14,” recalls Alan Hansen, ahead of the 25th anniversary of the tragedy which claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool supporters. “The first thing the hospital said to us was that there was a mother there with her 14-year-old son and she was waiting to turn off the life support machine.


“But they wanted us to see him first. The mother wanted us to be with her boy before the machine was turned off. Nothing could ever prepare you for that kind of thing.

“He was just 14 years old. I have a son myself, who was eight at the time, but there I was, I am going to talk to this 14-year-old boy and then they are going to turn off his life. I mean, how are you meant to cope with that?


“But while it was awful and harrowing to deal with, I can only think of the boy and his mother, and all the other families. Their pain cannot be imagined.”

It began as a day filled with anticipation, an FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest on a sun-kissed afternoon in South Yorkshire.


Hillsborough, the venue for the same semi-final fixture 12 months previously, was the stage, but the anticipation would never turn to celebration.

At 3.06 pm, the tie was abandoned due to concerns for the safety of Liverpool supporters in the Leppings Lane end of the stadium and, a quarter of a century on, the opening of a new inquest into the circumstances which led to the deaths of the 96 underlines the ongoing search for answers.

But for Hansen, making his first appearance of the 1988-89 season that day following a nine-month injury lay-off, the emotion, pain and anguish remains undimmed.


“It is 25 years ago, but because it was so big, so horrific, you remember it like it was yesterday,” Hansen said. “I hadn’t played for nine months. I had played in the reserves on the Tuesday, but didn’t even know I was playing until one o’clock on the Saturday – two hours before kick-off.

“So when you go on the pitch, you only think of the game. You don’t look or think about what is going on behind you. You don’t have a clue what is going on.


“But two fans ran onto the pitch and I went to them right away because I was worried they would get us, the club, into trouble for being there. One of them just looked at me, and he had a real sadness in his eyes, and he said, ‘Alan, there are people dying in there’.

“Even then, when he said people were dying, my first reaction was one of disbelief, but that was because I was so focused on the game.


“We went into the dressing room, though, and were told there had been fatalities and we showered and just sat down, then met our wives and girlfriends upstairs and they were all in tears. The whole thing was horrific.

“But one thing which I still recall now, I got back home that night and went out for a Chinese takeaway. The enormity of what had happened simply hadn’t hit me.”

The full impact of the disaster was felt once the initial numbness dissipated in the days after the tragedy.

“It wasn’t until the next day that it hit me, when I went to Anfield, and it was just a sea of flowers,” Hansen said. “The Kop was covered in flowers, there were so many people there, and it just dawned on you that this was a tragedy beyond belief.


“Kenny Dalglish was brilliant after Hillsborough and continues to be so and it was his idea that the families should be allowed to come into the club, to speak to the players.

“The families would come into the lounges at Anfield and for the first fortnight after the tragedy, before we started playing again, it was every day.

“The place was packed with the bereaved, but when it comes to that sort of thing, I’m not hard, I am soft, really soft. It was probably the most traumatic time I have ever experienced.

“Going through to the lounges and talking to people who had just lost their children or parents, brothers or sisters or cousins.


“It was so hard, but again, there is always a sense of my feelings being inconsequential in comparison to the families. How hard was it, how hard does it continue to be for them?

“When the funerals started, I went to the first one and it was hugely traumatic, but I said to Janet, my wife, that they would get better.


“But I was naive and wrong because every one was worse than the one before, each family going through emotions and pain which I could never imagine.”

As with all of the Liverpool players involved at Hillsborough, there is a sense of awkwardness and discomfort on Hansen’s part when he discusses the personal strain of living with the events of April 15, 1989. Recalling the tragedy is clearly traumatic, with the former Liverpool captain visibly moved and affected by his memories.

The Scot, 33 at the time, neither sought nor received counselling following Hillsborough, despite attending several funerals in the days and weeks after the tragedy.


But rather than attempt to claim a share of the burden carried by the bereaved, there appears to be a shared sense of duty among Dalglish’s squad to ensure the victims and their families are never forgotten or misrepresented.


That is what I have always said,” Hansen said. “For every bit of trauma and sadness I have felt, it is inconsequential compared to what the families have suffered. It is unavoidable not to think about the families.


“The difference between the burden for us and the families was that, as players, you were back on the pitch and playing, on the surface seemingly getting on with our lives. But the trauma always comes back when Hillsborough is brought up.

“When you go to the memorial service every April and all the families are there and you meet a relative you haven’t seen before, with a new story of their loved one, and it is heartbreaking, just heartbreaking. There are floods of tears and everything that you would expect.

“Maybe it is a reflex thing, because I know, when Hillsborough is brought up and I start talking about it, I am in a place that I don’t want to be. I am in a place that I don’t like. I feel vulnerable and tearful, but most of all, I feel sorry for the families.

“It keeps coming back to you, the ones you have spoken to, and you remember the stories. Just young guys and girls, people with their lives in front of them. To end it that way is just horrific.

“One emotion you experience is anger, in so much as the number of people over the years who said it was the Liverpool supporters – that it was a tragedy, but it was down to the supporters.

“No it wasn’t down to the supporters. That is a complete and utter misconception and the length of time it has gone on has been beyond belief.”


With Liverpool’s challenge for the Premier League title this season coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the disaster, there is a growing sense on Merseyside that winning the championship ‘for the 96′ would bring succour and comfort to the families at a time when terrible memories are being reawakened by the inquest.

But having previously admitted to the ‘guilt’ of celebrating Liverpool’s FA Cup success just six weeks after Hillsborough, Hansen insists only the families of the bereaved can decide whether glory on a football field can ever ease the pain of tragedy off it.

“After winning the FA Cup in 1989, we were celebrating and it was just six weeks after Hillsborough,” Hansen said. “When we played on, it was easy to play on. It was the same at Heysel. Once you get on the pitch, you are not thinking about anything other than the game.

“We played nine league games, the semi-final replay and the final after Hillsborough. We played 11 times and there wasn’t any thought of Hillsborough because we were on the pitch.

“It was a false reaction, because it was just taking your mind off it temporarily. It never goes away, really. But for the families of the 96, they don’t have that, they don’t have the release.”

But can football matter to those who have lost? Would a title success mean anything?


“After I saw the 14-year-old boy in the hospital, the next person we saw was a guy who had come out of a coma and the first thing he said was, ‘Can you get me a ticket for the replay?’ ” Hansen said.

“It was going from one extreme of the scale to the other, from tragedy to humour, and it was impossible to comprehend. But I guess it showed that football remained a comfort or an escape for some of those involved.

“If it was me, I would not have been interested in football after that. But that’s only me. Everybody is different.

“Would it bring comfort to win the league now? I haven’t a clue, but it would certainly be fitting, for the team to win it 25 years on from Hillsborough.


“You can’t say it would be a perfect fit because you cannot trivialise what happened at Hillsborough by suggesting the title would make up for what happened.

“If somebody, just one person, who has lost someone could take comfort from that, then great.

“But for me, there is just incredible sadness when I reflect on Hillsborough, no sense of football being able to alleviate the pain.”


This is it from Bobby Gee in The De Futebol Zone.