Thursday, December 29, 2011

12 things I would like to see in football in 2012

By Paul Frederickson

It is that time of year again when we can ponder what has happened in the football year and look forward to 2012 with twinkling eyes hoping that the new year will bring many football wishes into fruition.
With that said Game of two Halves brings you the 12 things that we want to see in the 2012 football world!

Many competitions around the world, the FA Cup in particular, capture the imagination of the football public. The fairytale wins, monumental upsets and heroics can bring a new perspective to what are becoming predictable competitions to many parts of the world. The Football Federation of Australia (FFA) has mentioned its plans for an FFA cup. The geographical distances that handicap travel for many teams in this country would seem to be the major stumbling block. A Game of two Halves hopes that the logistics can be worked out as fans, through FFA surveys, are crying out for an Australian cup competition, a major sponsor would help!

On and off the field Manchester City's Mario Balotelli is a headline waiting to happen. From letting off fireworks in his apartment to nonchalantly shouldering a goal Mr Balotelli brings a smile to A Game of two Halves on an almost weekly basis. Please let Mario bring his 'unique' mindset and behaviour into 2012 with the same verve that he has embraced in his career so far.

There have been times in the UEFA Champions League where teams have caused upsets, but not too many times that those upsets have allowed the relative minnows to progress past the group stages of one of the world's premier competitions. This season's incarnation of the competition has seen one seemingly 'minnow' progress past the group stage by topping their group. Apoel Nicosia have become the first team from Cyprus to make the last 16. As ESPN reported of the achievement:

Midfielder Constantinos Charalambides was still coming to terms with the size of APOEL's achievement."This is the biggest day and the biggest moment in the history of this football club. I don't think anyone has really realised what has happened, especially as we were in such a tough group. (1)


There have been numerous examples over the years where goal-line technology may have changed decisions and the course of games in the correct manner. A Game of two Halves would like to see the technology introduced at the top level of all competitions around the globe. The technology is there and in so many ways the game is progressive, but FIFA's reasoning behind its non-introduction are staggering in their absence. I would suggest that the decision to use the goal-line technology in a game would be at the discretion of the referees only. We have the technology, fans can see the replays already on television, use it.

Many competitions do not live up to the hype that is delivered by the increasingly expectant media and supporter bases. We want the 2012 Euros to live up to the hype. A lack of injuries and teams hitting form at the right time will go a long way towards guaranteeing this materialises. Group B alone, with the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Portugal should create a feast of football in June.


There have been so many great goals from around the world. We are greedy at a Game of two Halves. We just want more, and more, and more! Soccer AM gives us a taste of what is to come with their compilation of this season's Champions League goals. (2)

With the advent of new owners spending money on non-traditional powerhouses many competitions, excluding La Liga and the Scottish Premier Leagues for example, are becoming more competitive. We hope that that means more clubs will be pushing for titles in 2012 and that more champions are decided on the final day.


Racism has always been in football but that does not mean it should stay in football. Recent events in England, the Suarez and Terry incidents, have brought the issue back into focus. It is up to every fan to play their part, organisations can have campaigns, individuals make the difference.


Crowd violence, like racism, has marred our beautiful game since its very conception. I hope that 2012 brings more strategies to curb the violence that sees football receive negative press and keep many fans away from games. We hope to see more initiatives such as the one implemented in Turkey earlier this season. As the Guardian reported: (3)

On Tuesday night, Istanbul's Sukru Saracoglu stadium was packed to the rafters with football fans keen to see their home side, Fenerbache, play Manisapor. There was just one thing missing among the crowd of 41,000 – men. After unruly behaviour by fans at a previous match, the Turkish FA ruled that there would be no fans allowed at the next two games.

Once again though, whilst organisations can implement initiatives, fans must make the individual choice to create collective harmony for our wonderful game.


It is hard to fathom that in competitions that purport to be professional that some of the most important components are not professional. Take Australia's fledgling professional competition, the A-League, the referees are not full-time employees. So whilst many clubs and the organisation take strides forward the game regresses due to poor decisions that have plagued the competition in 2011.

Professional leagues need professional referees.


Pele and Maradona were once in multi-generational players. The shadow that their names create over the sport almost outweighs the tremendous legacies that their skills have endowed to the sport. Yes, there is brilliant young talent emerging from all corners of the globe, a Game of two Halves just wants them to be their own players and not the 'next' player. By the way I saw this young player who reminded me of, well, never mind!


Sepp out is the easiest call that we could make in this regards, but Mr Blatter is only one branch in the myriad of, seemingly corrupt and selfish FIFA officials. But it is not only the taint of alleged corruption but also the gaffes and ostensibly out of touch reality constructs from FIFA that are a worry.

True reform in 2012 would mean that each member country has one vote each, making it a truly democratic congress.

May 2012 bring you at least a slice of footballing nirvana!


(1) ESPN Soccernet, "Jovanovic ecstatic after qualifying",, November 24, 2011.

(2) SoccerAM, "Best Champions League Goals 2011", 24/12/2011.

(3) The Guardian, "What, a football match with only female spectators?", 2011.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Manchester United-Wigan Athletic 5-0. 26-12-2011

United, top of the league

Manchester United have finished top of a 'league of shame' for match-day arrests.
The champions had more fans held by police than any other team in the Premier League during last season – almost twice as many as second-placed Sunderland.

The figures, released by the Home Office show that the number of United supporters arrested rocketed from 165 in the 2009-10 season to 276 last year.
Some 117 fans were held at home games and 159 at away matches.

The vast majority of the arrests were for alcohol offences (127), followed by violent disorder (63), ticket touting (26), pitch invasions (20)(In Holland one bloke runs onto the pitch and the whole country goes berzerk, the media are often refering to England's football law which should be the solution for all Dutch problems too. I'm sure Joe Public will sleep well when footballfans are punished harsher than rapists and other proper scum. AR), public disorder (15) and possessing offensive weapons (11).

City joined United in the top four of the list - with 108 arrests last season.
Bolton had 52 fans arrested and Wigan 27.
Outside the top flight, Rochdale had seven arrests, Stockport five and Bury just one.
United said the figures should be seen in context of the fact Old Trafford had a bigger capacity than any other ground.

A club spokesman said: "These figures should be presented as a percentage of the stadium’s crowd, rather than as individual figures."
Mark Longden, from the independent Manchester United supporters association blamed the high number of arrests on 'over-zealous' policing at football grounds.
He said: "We're one of the very few teams that sells out their ticket allocation wherever we go.
"We all have our bad eggs but I think most sections of supporters are the same. The main issue is over-zealous policing.
"The way supporters are policed in general is conducive to getting arrested. The police release these figures every year which are designed to show football supporters to be hooligans carrying bricks and knives.
"It's in their interests to talk up the aggro."

Manchester City declined to comment.
The figures also showed that 23 fans were arrested in the Premier League for racist or indecent chanting – including two United fans.

Total number of arrests - home and away
Manchester United 276
Sunderland 126
Newcastle 123
Manchester City 108
Arsenal 107
Aston Villa 103
Birmingham City 74
Chelsea 74
Stoke City 70
West Ham 68
Liverpool 66
Bolton Wanderers 52
Wolves 50
Tottenham Hotspur 48
Everton 45
Blackburn Rovers 37
West Brom 35
Wigan Athletic 27
Blackpool 26
Fulham 12

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Napoli vs Genoa - Highlights

Chelsea fans take note, Napoli are heading into the new year on fire with a 6-1 demolition of Genoa. Cavani struck twice, whilst Gargano and Zuniga scored belters from outside the box. Check out the highlights below.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fulham vs Manchester United - Highlights

Manchester United ended the year in spectacular fashion destroying Fulham 5-0 away from home. The win sees United keep the two point gap at the top of the table, leaving them in second position. Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov both scored spectacular goals in the thrashing. CHECK IT OUT!

Inter Milan vs Lecce - Highlights

Inter made it four from four with a 4-1 victory over Lecce. Despite going behind early the Milan side recovered to put four past Lecce and cement their spot near the top of the Serie A going into Christmas.

Manchester City vs Stoke - Highlights

Manchester City downed Stoke 3-0 ahead of the Christmas break seeing them finish the year on top of the English Premier League. Goals from Aguero and Johnson  secured the victory!

Check out the highlights below!

Eurosport Extract - Terry to face prosecution in race row

The Crown Prosecution Service has authorised the prosecution of John Terry for a racially aggravated public order offence.

The charge relates to an incident in which the Chelsea and England captain was accused of making a racist remark to QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.
Terry strongly denies the allegation.
Alison Saunders, Chief Crown Prosecutor for London said: "I have today advised the Metropolitan Police Service that John Terry should be prosecuted for a racially aggravated public order offence following comments allegedly made during a Premier League football match between Queen’s Park Rangers and Chelsea on 23 October 2011.
"The decision was taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and after careful consideration of all the evidence I am satisfied there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and it is in the public interest to prosecute this case.
"Mr Terry will appear before West London Magistrates’ Court on 1 February 2012.
"He is now summonsed with a criminal offence and has the right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that nothing should be reported which could prejudice his trial."
The full CPS charge to Terry read: "On 23rd October at Loftus Road Stadium you used threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress which was racially aggravated in accordance with section 28 or the Crime and Disorder Act 1998."
Manager Andre Villas-Boas said before the verdict was announced that Chelsea would stand by Terry.
"The only thing I know is that I will be fully supportive of John Terry, whatever the outcome," he said. "He has my full support, he has the club's full support.
"We know exactly his human values and personality. They are never in doubt."

Queens Park Rangers-Man. United F.C. 0-2. 18-12-2011

Giggs, Giggs is going to Amsterdam!
Oh Amsterdam is wonderful, it's full of tits, fanny and United!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cagliari vs Milan - Highlights 0:2

Milan continued with their pressure on Juventus going top of the table after defeating Cagliari. If Juventus win they go back on top, but for now, Milan occupy top spot.

Check out the highlights below

Blackburn vs Bolton - Highlights

Blackburn needed a victory against Bolton to help their struggling season, but found no sympathy from Wanderers.

Check out the highlights below:

SBS The World Game, 19th December - The Perth Glory Saga

Check out the latest World Game episode in full. This week focus is turned to the issue of the furture of Perth Glory.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Football on Youtube - What is doing the rounds?

Hi all, check out some of the following football related videos which have proved popular on Youtube in recent weeks!

First we have Wayne Rooney in this game of charades:

From Hong Kong, is this thebest own goal ever?

What are Balotelli and Samir Nasri talking about?

Not something you see every day?

Let us know in the comments below, or on our facebook page anything you may have come across?

The Good, the Bad, and the Downright Ugly!

By Paul Frederickson

Another week of football and some of us will be happy and I will stay football depressed! I follow Aston Villa and the Brisbane Roar by the way...


The good is not a strong enough superlative to describe not only the feats but the way in which Barcelona play the game. Tomes will be written about the Barcelona 'way' for years to come.


In many quarters Adelaide United were seen as the favorites to win the A-League Championship and Premiership. Beaten by the bottom team, Gold Coast United, last Friday 3 nil at home was the end of Rini Coolen. Now, 12 weeks into the season they have gone back to the beginning, signing former coach John Kosmina. Restoring pride must be his first task, for the Reds have fallen so low that the only pride the supporters have seen this season was found at Adelaide Zoo.


Bah, humbug to you Mr Redknapp. No Christmas for a team that has been on Santa's good list for the past few years. No Christmas party for the high-flying spurs this year!

What do you think? What were your weekend's the Good, the Bad and the Downright Ugly!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Roma 1:1 Juventus - Highlights

Juventus came back from 1-0 down to secure a draw with Roma. The draw maintains Juventus' unbeaten run to the 2011/2012 Italian Serie A.

Roma - Juventus 1:1 by FootballKing1892

Chelsea vs Manchester City - Highlights

Chelsea 2:1 Manchester City


Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas: "Our objective was to shorten our distance to the leaders and we did exactly that. We take no extra flavour for being the first team to beat Man City. But now the title race is very much alive. A lot of teams are still competing and I think the December fixtures could be decisive. I think our players did brilliantly tonight - they reacted to circumstances, they felt the game, and we were patient in our efforts to get the goal we deserved and the win we deserved."

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini: "The game changed with the sending off and in the first half. The referee was very sure in the second half when [Daniel Sturridge] shoots and Joleon Lescott is five metres away [for the penalty], but in the first half he was also three meters away when David Silva was brought down. I hope we can do another 14 games without losing."

Chelsea match-winner Frank Lampard: "Some of the football they [Man City] played showed we needed to win to stay in the title race. Ten points is a big gap and luckily we've closed that. I had a feeling in the second half that it was going to be our night. You've got to be big enough to stand up and take them [penalties] and I was very relieved when it hit the back of the net."

C-M by footyroom

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Players in form - Robin van Persie

We asked you in a recent question on our Facebook Page, who you thought was the most in form player from around the world.

The overhwelming result was Robin van Persie.

The Dutch superstar has indeed been in fine form of late scoring 15 goals in this Premier League campaign (from 15 matches), helping the Gunners climb up back into contention for a place in Europe. His most recent goal came against Everton, in Arsenal's 1-0 league win - a superbly taken volley, perfectly executed to celebrate Arsenal's125th anniversary.

Check it out below!