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Sports Then and Now



Who Are The Best Players From New Zealand To Have Played In The Premier League? 0

Posted on May 20, 2020 by John Harris

The Premier League has been glittered with some of the best footballers from around the world, with 111 of the 2017 foreign FIFA-affiliated countries represented over the league’s 28-year history. Included in that are six players from New Zealand that have enjoyed successful stays in the top-flight in England.

Gambling on the sport has always been popular, with bettors able to wager on their favourite players to score the first goal. However, it isn’t just football that gamblers can bet on as they can also play at Casino Dreamz and find all their favourite slots, poker and blackjack titles. However, which Kiwi players have enjoyed more success than others in the Premier League?

Chris Wood

The only active player in the Premier League to have been born in New Zealand is Chris Wood. The striker has only got better with the more experience he has had in the top-flight throughout his career.  His talents were quickly noticed by Burnley, who paid a then-club record fee of £15 million to take him to Turf Moor in the summer of 2017. He scored on his debut for Burnley as they drew 1-1 at Wembley against Tottenham Hotspur.

Since then, he has scored at least ten goals in each of his last two seasons in the Premier League. Wood is currently on course to set his best-ever goals return in the Premier League this season having scored eleven goals in 26 appearances. Before having success at Burnley, he had finished the 2016-17 season as top scorer in the Championship for Leeds United.

Ryan Nelson

Ryan Nelson played in the top flight in England for eight years. His career in England spun across three different clubs, with the majority of his success coming during his seven-year stay with Blackburn Rovers. He made 208 appearances for Rovers during his stay and scored eight goals. During his time at Ewood Park, he helped Blackburn maintain their Premier League status and also played a part in the club finishing in the UEFA Cup spots.

He left Blackburn on transfer deadline day in January 2012. Nelson was released on a free transfer after sustaining a knee injury, but Tottenham Hotspur were quick to add him to their squad. He went onto play eight games for Spurs before being released at the end of the season. His final season in England came in the 2012-13 campaign, as he played 24 times for Queens Park Rangers.

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Deciding EPL Confrontations 1

Posted on September 26, 2018 by Emily Kalvin

The English Premier League is the most intensive internal championship in the world. In the current season, the championship has already shown some surprises and records and now we are waiting for the future rounds that will finally clean the air.

Football fans will certainly remember the current season of the EPL, as “Manchester City” led by Josep Guardiola showed a record winning series and disengaged from its competitors already in the first half of the championship. Remarkably, the “citizens” confidently disposed of their main rivals who could have competed with them during the season. The rivals were:

  • “Manchester United”;

  • “Arsenal”;

  • “Chelsea”;

  • “Tottenham”;

  • “Liverpool”.

By the way, the first and the latter took revenge in the second half of the season. The home failure of “United” deprived Guardiola’s team of the championship trophy in the home stadium. However, they won the title in the next round.

Premier League-logo

The Premier League standings are traditionally a major topic of both fans and experts’ discussion. In this season, teams’ positions are quite equal, so much depends on the outcomes of the last rounds. The EPL fixtures are intriguing confrontations where competitors have absolutely no margin for error. Read the rest of this entry →

Premier League at 25: How Do ex-Pros View the Modern Game? 2

Posted on August 18, 2017 by Peter Addison

The Premier League is celebrating 25 years.

The Premier League is celebrating 25 years.

As the Premier League celebrates its twenty-five year anniversary, there can be no doubt that football has changed irrecoverably over that period. It seems that the modern game is all about money, and the grip of the money giants means that plucky upstarts like Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers can no longer hope to challenge the elite as they have in the past (we’ll excuse Leicester City’s 2015-16 EPL win as an anomaly).

The question is, how do ex-Pros view the cash-cow that modern football has become? Are they resentful of the money that current pros earn – after all, Middlesbrough’s Britt Assombalonga, a player who’s never even played in the top flight, is reportedly on £40,000 a week.

In a recent Emile Heskey interview at the fan-created site AskFans.co.uk, the former Leicester City, Liverpool and England striker gave his thoughts. “The game’s quicker, people are looking after their bodies better, and there are certain more athletes around then when I first started,” said Heskey. He also cited Leicester’s Jamie Vardy and new Manchester United record signing Romelu Lakuku as modern-day players he would like to have played with.

One player who has seen it all is George Haigh. You’ve probably not heard of him, but currently, at a staggering one hundred and two years of age, Haigh is the oldest surviving professional footballer, having made his debut for Stockport County in 1936. He doesn’t actually see much difference between the modern era and sepia-tinged times. “I would’ve found it easy playing today; centre-half would’ve been dead easy for me knowing what I know now, I’d have been an international!  And the equipment is so much better; the boots were so heavy in my day, especially when it was wet.  In the modern era, David Beckham is probably the one who stands out, I’d like to have taken him on.” Read the rest of this entry →

Where Are the Big Premier League Transfers of Summer 2015 Going to Land? 0

Posted on March 31, 2015 by John Harris

soccerSpring is here, and summer is just around the corner. And that means one thing for sports fans, the summer transfer window. Who needs to watch football when you can become engrossed in the endlessly fascinating merry go round that is the transfer window?

And, as you’d expect, the rumors are flying around already. The title isn’t yet won (although Chelsea look set to clinch it anytime now) but that won’t stop us talking about who’s heading where this summer.

Chelsea
The biggest and most exciting rumor doing the rounds at the moment concerns Chelsea and a bid for Gareth Bale. A lot of people have been scratching their heads wondering how this Chelsea team could be improved, but Bale would certainly do that.

It’s said that the club are ready to make a £75 million bid to Real Madrid for the Welsh winger. It hasn’t been a happy time at Real Madrid this season for him. His time at the club started well, but he’s recently been criticized by fans. Read the rest of this entry →

Dalglish Handed Task Of Bringing European Glory Back To Liverpool 2

Posted on August 25, 2011 by Rod Crowley

As football fans all over Europe ready themselves for the Champions League Group Stage draw this week, Liverpool fans will be looking the other way whilst remembering those halcyon days of the late 70s, early 80s when it was their club who were the best in Europe.

Liverpool won the first of their five European Cups back in 1977 with a team that had been put together by their legendary manager, Bill Shankly. It was just sad that he had retired by the time the team won the Trophy and the plaudits were taken by his replacement Bob Paisley.

The 1977 team still had several of the greats Shankly brought to Anfield, players such as Tommy Smith, an uncompromising defender and dedicated Liverpool player. Ian Callaghan one of the most reliable of all wing players as well as captain Emlyn Hughes, known as “Crazy Horse” to his team mates. The star of the show however was Kevin Keegan who had announced some months previously that he would be leaving the club at the end of that season to play for Hamburg in Germany.

The Reds won the final against Borussia Monchengladbach by 3-1 with the goals coming from Terry McDermott, Smith and a penalty by Phil Neal. The win gave them the distinction of becoming only the third British Club to win Europe’s most coveted Soccer trophy, following in the footsteps of Celtic, winners 10 years previously in 1967 and Manchester United who won in 1968. Read the rest of this entry →

Premier League Soccer: Fulham Steps Up Manager Search 1

Posted on July 26, 2010 by Thomas Rooney

Cardiff boss Dave Jones is one candidate for the Fulham manager position.

After an unsuccessful bid to bring Martin Jol from Ajax to Craven Cottage, Fulham continue to look for a new manager. The latest name being banded about is that of Cardiff boss Dave Jones.

Sven Goran Eriksson and USA coach Bob Bradley are still thought to be in the mix though. Eriksson has made it clear he would welcome a move back to the Premier League. The Swede feels he has unfinished business in England after being acrimoniously sacked by Manchester City two years ago.

Those who bet on premier league managerial appointments believe that Fulham are a tempting prospect for any manager. The London club finished the season mid-table in the league but reached the Europa League Final. Owner Mohammed Al Fayed usually backs his manager’s in the transfer market.

The only issue they face when hiring someone is that Jol was clearly the board’s first choice. With the amount of ego’s football, not many managers want to be thought of as a second choice. If Cardiff manager Jones would be keen to move to Craven Cottage. Those who bet on championship football will know that the Welsh club are riddled with debt and are constantly forced to sell their best players.

Jones has performed relative miracles at Cardiff, turning them from a lower mid-table team into a top Championship side. Last season’s play-off final will have hit him hard however and he may feel the time is right to move.

It remains to be seen who Fulham go for, the club aren’t letting on who is on their shortlist.

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rocky Colavito: Super Slugger
      March 30, 2020 | 7:24 pm
      Rocky Colavito

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was just the fifth player in Major League Baseball history to have 11 straight seasons with 20 or more home runs, yet could not sustain that greatness long enough to earn a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      In some sense, the legend of Rocco “Rocky” Colavito Jr. began long before he ever started pounding home runs at the major league level.

      Born and raised as a New York Yankees fan in The Bronx, Colavito was playing semipro baseball before he was a teenager and dropped out of high school at 16 after his sophomore year to pursue a professional career. The major league rule at the time said a player could not sign with a pro team until his high school class graduated, but after sitting out for one year, Colavito was allowed to sign at age 17.

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