Tag Archives: Blackburn

Premier League’s Top Ten Most Deadliest Strikers

Who is the best striker in the Premier League? That is perhaps one of the hottest debates in the world of football and could go on for days. 

Some teams with a huge transfer budget spend huge amounts of money in hope of landing a proven goal scorer with a knack of finding the back of the net and in order to guarantee themselves a regular goal supply up front. But, it doesn’t work like that and who knows better than Chelsea. While, Premier League’s record signing Fernando Torres has struggled, there are many players still going who appear in the top ten.

In the present game where winning means everything and second place is nothing, there can be no more precious asset than goals and goalscorers. So, who is the most deadliest striker in the league? Luckily for us, Opta Stats have come up with a list of the top ten strikers who statistically are the most clinical finishers in the Premier League till date. In our today’s Picture Special, we have a look at those top ten strikers…

Note – Minimum requirement to enter the list is that the striker should have played atleast 15 games.

1. Sergio Aguero (Manchester City | Goals – 28, Mins/Goal – 117 mins 11 secs)

2. Javier Hernandez (Manchester United | Goals – 28, Mins/Goal – 120 mins 15 secs)

3. Thierry Henry (Arsenal | Goals – 175, Mins/Goal – 121 mins 47 secs)

4. Edin Dzeko (Manchester City | Goals – 22, Mins/Goal – 128 mins 09 secs)

5. Ruud van Nistelrooy (Manchester United | Goals – 95, Mins/Goal – 128 mins 11 secs)

6. Robin van Persie (Arsenal & Manchester United | Goals – 105, Mins/Goal – 137 mins 25 secs)

7. Hernan Crespo (Chelsea | Goals – 20, Mins/Goal – 140 mins 39 secs)

8. Alan Shearer (Blackburn Rovers & Newcastle United | Goals – 260, Mins/Goal – 142 mins 52 secs)

9. Mario Balotelli (Manchester City | Goals – 20, Mins/Goal – 147 mins 35 secs)

10. Demba Ba (Newcastle United | Goals – 31, Mins/Goal – 149 mins 23 secs)

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FIFA Puskás Award 2012: Ten Nominated Goals (Videos)

FIFA will be announcing the winner of the Puskás Award on January 7, 2013 along with the Ballon d’Or during the star-studded gala evening in Zurich.

Named after the legendary Hugarian striker Ferenc Puskás, the award is given to the player – male or female – judged to have scored the most aesthetically significant and “most beautiful” goal of the year. The award was presented for the first time in 2009, with Cristiano Ronaldo being the first winner. Turkey’s Hamit Altintop won the award the next year followed by Neymar in 2011.

This week, FIFA released the 10-goal shortlist. Take a look at each strike and then cast your vote for 2012’s best goal.

Agyemang Badu (Ghana v Guinea), Frebuary

Hatem Ben Arfa (Newcastle v Blackburn), January

Radamel Falcao (America de Cali v Atletico Madrid), May

Eric Hassli (Vancouver Whitecaps v Toronto FC), May

Olivia Jiminez (Mexico v Switzerland), August

Gaston Mealla (Nacional Potosi v The Strongest), January

Lionel Messi (Argentina v Brazil), May

Neymar (Santos v Internacional), March

Moussa Sow (Fenerbahce v Galatasaray), March

Miroslav Stoch (Fenerbahce v Genclerbirligi), March

Premier League 2012/13 Team Preview – Queens Park Rangers

Welcome to IntoTheTopCorner’s team-by-team preview to the new Barclays Premier League season. Here we look at Queens Park Rangers’ vital stats, their summer transfers and analyse their chances.

Manager: Mark Hughes.
Captain: TBD.
Stadium: Loftus Road (18,360).
Last season: 17th.
Leading scorer (PL): Heidar Helguson (8).
Odds: Title 1500-1. Relegation 9-1.

In: Jose Bosingwa (Free, Chelsea), Samba Diakite (£3.5m, Nancy), Fabio (Loan, Manchester United) Robert Green (Free, West Ham), Junior Hoilett (Free, Blackburn), Andrew Johnson (Free, Fulham), Stephane Mbia (Loan, Marseille), Ryan Nelsen (Free, Tottenham), Park Ji-Sing (£2.5m, Q.R.R).

Out: Patrick Agyemang (Released), Joey Barton (Loan, Marseille), Gary Borrowdale (Released), Akos Buzsaky (Released), Lee Cook (Released), Danny Gabbidon (Released), Fitz Hall (Released), Heidar Helguson (Undisc., Cardiff), Paddy Kenny (£440k, Leeds), Bruno Perone (Released), Elvijs Putnis (Released), Peter Ramage (Free, Crystal Palace), Dan Shittu (Free, Millwall), Rowan Vine (Free, St Johnstone).

Kits

Key Man – Park Ji-Sung
The former Korean international is undoubtedly QPR’s marquee signing of the summer and the former Manchester United man, who won four Premier League titles and one Champions League title during his time at Old Trafford, is expected to bring in some vital experience, quality and leadership to take up a key role in Mark Hughes’ side.

Opening Fixtures
18-Aug – Swansea (H)
25-Aug – Norwich (A)
01-Sep – Man City (A)
15-Sep – Chelsea (H)
22-Sep – Tottenham (A)
01-Oct – West Ham (H)

Probable Formation (4-4-2): Green; Bosingwa, Ferdinand, Nelsen, Fabio; Hoilett, Taarabt, Diakite, Park; Cisse, Zamora.

Verdict: After last season’s rollercoaster ride surving the drop, QPR’s owners have spent enough in the summer to make sure they won’t be involved in another relegation battle this season. Park Ji-Sung is by far the best signing of all – his time at Manchester United has taught him a lot, and his work-rate is probably the best in the Premier League. Former Blackburn winger Junior Hoilett is another shrewd purchase by the former Blackburn manager – Mark Hughes, along with the experienced trio of England international keeper Robert Green, New Zealand skipper Ryan Nelsen and former Everton forward Andrew Johnson. Hughes has strengthened the squad with some smart signings and I have a feeling that QPR could surprise a few people this season and exceed expectations.

Prediction: 9th.

Premier League’s Top 5 Golden Oldies To Watch This Season

With just over ten days to go for the new 2012/13 Premier League season to kick-off, we continue to look forward to it and build up for the new season. Today, we look at the top five Golden Oldies in the Premier League. Five players who have been a vital part of the Premier League for the last few years and continue to impress us even today – with their advancing ages – whenever they play. 

5. BRAD FRIEDEL – TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (41 YEARS)

For many players, age is just a number but for some keepers it’s not even a number and Brad Friedel is one of those. At the age of 41, the former American international remains Tottenham’s first choice keeper as he looks forward in making some more spectacular saves and helping Spurs qualify for the Champions League next season. There have been rumours of Tottenham signing a new number one this summer, but Friedel has said that he will continue work hard and fight for his place in the first-team.

4. CRAIG BELLAMY – LIVERPOOL (33 YEARS)

Bellamy looked at home during his second spell at Liverpool and was probably the much-needed spark in Liverpool’s disastrous league campaign last season. The 33-year-old Welshman has been a regular performer in the Premier League with the likes of Newcastle, Blackburn, West Ham & Manchester City and was also the Reds top performer in the League Cup last season. Sadly, if the reports are to be belived then Bellamy could be playing his trade in the nPower Championship next season with Cardiff City.

3. FRANK LAMPARD – CHELSEA (34 YEARS)

Lampard is one of the most famous footballers around the world because of his legendary status at Chelsea. The England international has been a mainstay in the Chelsea first-team since his arrival at Stamford Bridge from West Ham in 2001. At the age of 34, Lampard with his brilliant passing abilities and an eye to score spectacular goals, is a huge part of the Chelsea team as they look to win the Premier League title for the first time in two years and also defend their Champions League trophy.

2. PAUL SCHOLES – MANCHESTER UNITED (37 YEARS)

At the start of last season it looked like football had lost one of it’s greatest sons when Scholes decided to hang his boots. Then in January, the Ginger Prince returned and showed the world his true class and proved that age is just a number. The former England international played a vital role last season helping United finish second in the league to Manchester City, just on goal difference. The midfield maestro made 17 appearances for the Red Devils scoring four goals, which made Sir Alex Ferguson offer him a new one-year deal.

1. RYAN GIGGS – MANCHESTER UNITED (38 YEARS)

With over 900 plus appearances, 160 plus goals and 12 league titles to his name, Giggs is by far the most decorated players in the Premier League’s history. At the age of 38, the former Wales international has been an one-club man with Manchester United and is an important part of the Red Devils squad. He looks energetic and tireless whenever he comes on to play and remains a threat to the opposition defence even today. He is a true legend, an inspiration and a role model for everyone in the game.

Premier League New Signings Best XI

With just over two weeks to go for the new 2012/13 Premier League season to begin, we continue to look forward to it and build up for the new season. Today, we have decided to make a best XI of the new signings done by the Premier League clubs this summer.  

The team is formed by using the 4-2-3-1 formation. It also has a manager (who has been recently appointed) and seven substitutes. Have a look at the them and feel free to comment below.

GK – ROBERT GREEN (WEST HAM TO QPR – FREE)

The experienced England keeper may be still haunted by the goal he conceded against USA in the 2010 World Cup, but he is a safe and reliable man to have inbetween the sticks. Hughes snapped him up for free after his contract with the Hammers came to an end this June.

RB – NATHANIEL CLYNE (CRYSTAL PLACE TO SOUTHAMPTON – £2M)

The young, highly-rated but talented right-back joined the Saints for a compensation fee after his contract with the Eagles expiered in the summer. The 21-year-old, who was once a target of Manchester United, will add a lot pace to Southampton’s defence and will be a constant threat on the right-side.

CB – JAN VERTONGHEN (AJAX TO TOTTENHAM – £11M)

The Belgium international was chased by a hosts of top clubs across Europe, but in the end Tottenham won the race to sign him. With Ledley King having announced his retirement in the past month, Vertonghen will be a perfect addition to the squad and his presence will be felt at the back.

CB – RON VLAAR (FEYENOORD TO ASTON VILLA – £3.5M)

The Dutch international has spent the best part of his eight year career at Feyenoord and the hard tackling defender – who had a decent Euro 2012 campaign compared to his team – will be a great addition to Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa side – who have been poor at the back in the past couple of seasons.

LB – FABIO (MANCHESTER UNITED TO QPR – LOAN)

The young United left-back has been primed for big things in the future, but his opportunities and Old Trafford have been very limited. The pacey Brazilian, who is good with either foot is expected to be R’s first choice left-back at Loftus Road and will be hoping to impress his employees with a good season under Mark Hughes.

CM – OSCAR (INTERNACIONAL TO CHELSEA – £28M)

The young Brazilian has been one of the top performers for his country at the Olympics this year and his big money move to Chelsea has excited a lot of fans. The playmaker, who has great vision, passing and an eye for spectacular goals, is tipped for big things at Stamford Bridge.

CM -GYLFI SIGURDSSON (HOFFENHEIM TO TOTTENHAM – £8.8M)

The Iceland international had a very successful loan spell with Swansea last term and that attracted a lot of suitors for the 22-year-old midfielder. The former Reading star snubbed offers from Liverpool and Swansea to join Andre Villas-Boas at Tottenham and is expected to play a major role at White Hart Lane this season.

LW – LUKAS PODOLSKI (FC KOLN TO ARSENAL – £11.4M)

It’s not often that you see Arsene Wenger buying experienced and proven talents over youngsters, but this signing of the German international, who has more than 100 caps to his name, could be a masterstroke and could well help the Gunners win their first ever major silverware in more than seven years.

CAM – SHINJI KAGAWA (DORMUND TO MANCHESTER UNITED – £13.2M)

Kagawa has seen a steap rise in his career from Japanese League football to Premier League football in the last three years or so. The Japanese international was named the Bundesliga player of the season last term after helping Dortmund do the domestic double and his transfer to United has delighted the United fans. The playmaker is expected to play a key role in helping United regain their Premier League title this season.

RW – EDEN HAZARD (LILLE TO CHELSEA – £32.5M)

The highly-rated playmaker was the most sought-after property in Europe at the start of the summer. Manchester City and Manchester United were both interested in him, but in the end Chelsea landed the Belgium international after winning the Champions League. Roman Abramovich has again splashed a lot of money on a youngster who is expected to become one of the best player in the world.

ST – OLIVIER GIROUD (MONTPELLIER to ARSENAL – £10.5M)

The France international had a great last season as helped Montpellier win their first ever league title in their history. Arsenal ssigned the striker early in the summer beating off competition from several clubs across Europe. With skipper Robin van Persie expected to leave in the near future, Giroud will have a huge role to play this season.

Manager – ANDRE VILLAS-BOAS (UNEMPLOYED TO TOTTENHAM)

The Portuguese had a distatourous time at Stamford Bridge which lasted for just over nine months, after he had helped Porto to do the treble in the previous season by winning the League, domestic cup and the Europa League. Villas-Boas was given another chance to prove himself in the Premier League after he was appointed as the new boss at White Hart Lane to succeed Harry Redknapp. The 34-year-old will be hoping make the most of his second chance and help Tottenham secure Champions League football for the next season.

Subs – Jussi Jaaskelainen (Bolton to West Ham for Free), Steven Whittaker (Rangers to Norwich for Free), James Collins (Aston Villa to West Ham for £2.8m), Marko Marin (Werder Bremen to Chelsea for £8.6m), Park Ji-Sung (Manchester United to QPR for £2.7m), Junior Hoilett (Blackburn to QPR for Free), Fabio Borini (Roma to Liverpool for £11.7m).

Five Premier League Youngsters To Make Breakthrough This Season

With less than three weeks to go for the start of the new 2012/13 Premier League season, we look at five young players who are expected to make the breakthrough to the first-team this season.

1. THOMAS EISFELD (ARSENAL)

Eisfeld was signed from the Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund in January for a fee around £500,000. The 19-year-old German has been the part of the Gunners’ reserve squad, but played a couple of pre-season games this year and scored two goals in the process. Good passing, vision and intelligent movement makes him a typical Arsenal player playing under Arsene Wenger and expect him to get a few substitute appearances in the Premier League this year.

2. LUCAS PIAZON (CHELSEA)

At only 18-year-old, the Brazilian joined the Blues from Sao Paulo in 2011 for a fee around £5m and arrived at Stamford Bridge in January 2012. The young forward was named the Chelsea Young Player of the Year in his first season after he had stared in the FA Youth Cup Final against Blackburn Rovers. The Brazil U-17 international has been on the fringes of the first team since last season and is expected to make the breakthrough after impressing during the pre-season friendlies.

3. SUSO (LIVERPOOL)

Jesus Fernandez Saez commonly known as Suso arrived at Anfield in the summer of 2010 from Spanish side Cadiz CF. The young Spaniard has made great strides in the Reds’ reserve and made his first team debut at the tender age of 16 as a late substitute in a friendly against Borussia Moenchengladbach. The attacking midfielder was very impressive for the Spain U-19s during the European Championships this summer and was also the part of Liverpool’s pre-season tour of the US. Suso is expected to be on the fringes of the first-team this season and may make a few substitute appearances in the league.

4. DAVIDE PETRUCCI (MANCHESTER UNITED)

The highly-rated Italian midfielder joined Manchester United from AS Roma’s youth academy in July 2009. Petrucci has been a regular performer for the United reserves and has impressed everyone with his eye for spectacular goals and impressive passing, but has been terribly unlucky with injuries. With Paul Pogba leaving the Red Devils during the summer, the 20-year-old is expected to feature in Sir Alex Ferguson’s first-team plans this season after impressing for the Reserves last season with eight goals in 25 starts.

5. HARRY KANE (TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR)

Kane is one of the products of Tottenham Hotspur’s youth academy. The 19-year-old had highly successful loan spells at Leyton Orient (2009/10) and Millwall (2012). The England U-19 international has been a regular goal-scorer for the reserves and has also made six appearances for Tottenham in the Europa League last season. Kane has impressed the new manager, Andre Villas-Boas in pre-season and is expected to be Spurs’ third choice striker this season.

Where Next For City Rejects?

Manchester City may be the Premier League champions and may have a huge transfer budget to strengthen their squad this summer, but there are many dead wood players in the squad which they need to get rid off. Here, we look at the possible destinations of those players who are expected to leave Eastlands this summer.

1. Kolo Toure

The former Arsenal defender has struggled to get his place back in Manchester City’s starting XI following the lengthy drugs ban last year, and with Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott now City’s first choice pair in the heart of the defence, Toure looks likely to leave this summer. PSG and Bursaspor, were both rumoured to be interested in the Ivorian, but with the French capital side signing Thiago Silva and the Turkish side making no further contacts, it looks unlikely that Toure will move to anyone of those two clubs. Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal are also chasing the strong defender, but his huge wage demands may create an obstacle to the potential deal.

2. Stefan Savic

With Vincent Kompany suspended and Kolo Toure on international duty, Savic had his opportunity to prove himself in the Premier League at the back for City. The result was disastrous, as he played a huge part in City’s defeat to Liverpool in the Carling Cup semi-final and his worst game was against Swansea, when he was subbed off after just 45 minutes. The Montenegro international still has three years left on his contract at the Etihad, but City could cut their losses by selling him this summer. Sporting Lisbon and Roma are both interested, while Wolves are ready to take him to the Championship on a season long loan.

3. Nigel de Jong

The hard-tackling midfielder has seen his role fall from a first team member to a squad player in the past couple of years, but yet the Dutch international claims he is happy to warm the bench and be useful whenever the club needs him. Italian giants Inter Milan are said to be interested in him and move to the San Siro could be hard to turn down.

4. Roque Santa Cruz

Signed for around £17.5m in 2009, the Paraguayan international is one of those City signings who has spent more time away on loan to other clubs rather than at the Etihad stadium. A brief spell at Blackburn was followed by a season-long loan to Real Betis in 2011/13. Mancini is not at all a fan of Santa Cruz, but Betis are certainly interested to sign him, after he scored some important goals for them in the La Liga last season. The former Manchester United target has expressed his desire to stay with the La Liga club on permanent basis and is ready to take a wage cut to do so.

5. Emmanuel Adebayor

The Togolese striker is another big money signing who has seen his career fall apart since joining City. The former Arsenal man had a bright start at the Eastlands, scoring in his first four games including against his former club but since the arrival of Roberto Mancini, the 6ft 3in slipped down the pecking order. Adebayor had successful loan spells at Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur but both the clubs were unable to agree a deal to keep him. Spurs have made it clear they want to sign him but he will have to take a significant wage drop to make the transfer possible.

6. Edin Dzeko

The tall Bosnian striker became one of the Europe’s hottest prospects during his time at Wolfsburg, where he helped them win the Bundesliga title, but his time at City has been very disappointing. Dzeko scored just twice in his first season and was in some good goal-scoring form at the start of last season, but his goals dried up in the second half of the season and that resulted him in falling out of favour with Mancini. AC Milan are rumored to be interested in signing him as a potential replacement for Zlatan Ibrahimovic.