Tag Archives: Chris Hughton

Premier League Team Of The Week – Gameweek 13

See who have made our Team of the Week from an exciting thirteenth weekend in the Premier League. Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur provide two players each, while there is one each from Chelsea, Stoke City, Norwich City, Southampton and Wigan Athletic.

Petr Cech (Chelsea)

It has been a difficult past week for Chelsea, but the Czech international keeper has show some good leadership qualities during it. He was once again commanding in the draw with Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, making a number of good saves.

Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City)

The Argentine international put in another professional display against Chelsea on Sunday and showed everyone why he is preferred ahead of Maicon and the injured Micah Richards for the big games. He was solid in the defence and always prepared to join the attack, looking to become the extra man in attack in an attempt to make the difference.

Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City)

Stoke recorded their sixth clean sheet of the season during Saturday’s 1-0 win over Fulham. The former Manchester United defender has played a leading role in making the Potters defence watertight and over the weekend he led by example, and also came close to finding the target as he struck the crossbar.

Vincent Kompany (Manchester City)

Much of the focus before and during City’s trip to Chelsea was on the Blues’ new interim boss Rafael Benitez, but the City skipper was man of the match on the pitch. The Belgium international was solid as a rock at the back and showed no signs of his ankle injury that required heavy strapping. He kept Fernando Torres quiet throughout the whole game and made numerous blocks, interceptions and clearances.

Sebastien Bassong (Norwich City)

The Canaries have stretched their unbeaten run to six game and much of the credit goes to this Cameroon international. It doesn’t matter who Chris Hughton pairs him with, he seems to shine. He was the man who earned Norwich a share of the spoils at Goodison Park, and was also a rock at the back as Everton were restricted to just one goal in front of their own supporters.

Anderson (Manchester United)

The Brazilian has not actually shined during his time at Old Trafford, but on Saturday against QPR he entirely changed the game. He physicality in the midfield pushed United on following his introduction in the second half after going a goal down and his assist for Chicharito’s goal was top class.

Darren Fletcher (Manchester United)

On Saturday afternoon,  it didn’t look like it was the Scot’s first Premier League game for over a year as he put in a display that surely would have pleased the manager and the fans alike. He was not at his very best but made the most number passes in the game than any another player, and also scored an excellent header to put United ahead.

Gaston Ramirez (Southampton)

There has been a lot of talk of the Uruguayan international before his arrival to England and on Sunday he showed his true potential in Southampton’s 2-0 win over Newcastle. He put in an outstanding performance, as he set up the first goal for Adam Lallana and scored the second himself. He linked up perfectly with Lallana and Rickie Lambert as the hosts looked far more threatening going forward.

Jordi Gomez (Wigan Athletic)

His own fans were jeering him earlier in the game but his response was as emphatic as you can get. He scored an injury time goal that not only completely his hat-trick but also nicked all three points for the hosts against Reading on Saturday. He became the only second Spaniard ever to notch three goals in the same game – after Fernando Torres.

Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur)

Much like his Tottenham team-mates, the Welshman has not really hit the heights so far this season, but a good display in the North London derby defeat to Arsenal last weekend looks to have woken him up. He scored a nice goal and was an ever-present threat to the West Ham defence during the 3-1 win at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur)

The England international striker is certainly enjoying his like under Andre Villas-Boas, as the former Porto and Chelsea boss prefers to play him in the lone striker role. His good form continued on Sunday with a brace against his former team, taking his tally for the season to seven.


Premier League 2012/13 Team Preview – Norwich City

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

Manager: Chris Hughton.
Captain: Grant Holt.
Stadium: Carrow Road (27,033).
Last season: 12th.
Leading scorer (PL): Grant Holt (15).
Odds: Title 2500-1. Relegation 6-4.

In: Jacob Butterfield (Free, Barnsley), Javier Garrido (Loan, Lazio), Robert Snodgrass (£2.8m, Leeds), Michael Turner (£1.6m, Sunderland), Steven Whittaker (Free, Rangers).

Out: Daniel Ayala (Loan, Nottingham), Michael Ball (Released), Richard Brindley (Released), Andrew Crofts (Undisc., Brighton), Josh Dawkin (Free, Braintee), Adam Durry (Free, Leeds), Zak Whitbread (Released), Aaron Wilbraham (Free, Crystal Palace).


Key Man – Grant Holt
The news that Norwich’s star striker had signed a new deal and had decided to stay was like music to the fans’ ears. Holt, a true leader in every sense, tormeted most of the teams defence last season by scoring 15 goals. If the Canaries are to survive in the top flight and avoid the second-season syndrome, then they will need him to be on song again.

Opening Fixtures
18-Aug – Fulham (A)
25-Aug – QPR (H)
01-Sep – Tottenham (A)
15-Sep – West Ham (H)
22-Sep – Newcastle (A)
29-Sep – Liverpool (H)

Probable Formation (4-5-1): Ruddy; Martin, Turner, L Bennett, Tierney; Pilkington, Howson, Surman, Johnson, Snodgrass; Holt.

Verdict: Following Paul Lambert’s departure, former Birmingham boss Chris Hughton has been appointed in safeguarding the Cannaries’ future in the top flight. It was bad enough when Lambert left in the summer but the situation looked like it could get worse after key man Grant Holt handed in a transfer request. But a change of heart from the striker saw him sign a new three-year-deal that will be a massive boost for the Norfolk club, who are hoping to avoid the second-season syndrome. Chris Hughton is no doubt a good coach and he did a good job at Newcastle but this is a tough test for him. I don’t think Norwich will do better than last season and for me they are one of those teams battling to survive. At the end of the season, they might just go down fighting.

Prediction: 18th.

Who Is Jack Butland? Introducing England’s 3rd Choice Keeper For The Euros

At the start of the season, Jack Butland wouldn’t have ever dreamt of being on the plane to Poland-Ukraine as a part of England 23-man squad for the Euros. But nine months later, an unfortunate injury to Norwick keeper John Ruddy means the 19-year-old Birmingham keeper has been called into Roy Hodgson’s team, taking the youngster straight into the big time.

Who is Jack Butland?

The question is a very good one. We havent seen Butland playing in the Premier League  or the Championship or even in the League One this season. Even the fans of Birmingham City – who are his employers – have only seen him if they have seen their reserves or the under-18s in action. But ask the people of Cheltenham and they will have nothing but praises for the young keeper who has appeared 24 times for them during his two loan periods at the club this season.

Yes, surprised? Cheltenham Town who play in the nPower League Two is Butland’s only club – so far – for whom he has played first team football. At six feet four inches, Butland is a commanding presence in the box and an athletic, agile shot stopper, and he has made full use of his stature to keep eleven clean sheets this season and has conceded just 26 goals. He has been one of the reasons for Cheltenham’s success this season which has seen them qualify for the League 2 playoff final against Crewe at the Wembley on Sunday.

Butland joined the Birmingham Academy in 2007 but hasn’t yet played a single game for the Blues. The best he could get was a place on the bench during the recent Championship playoffs. Despite having yet to make single appearances for the first team, the young keeper has already ‘Young Player of the Season’ award at St Andrews in May 2010 for his performances with the Reserves and England U-17s.

He has been involved with England setup since 2008 when he made his debut for the Under-16s against Northern Ireland and kept a clean sheet as the Young Lions won 6-0. Since then Butland has represented the Three Lions at every age group and was the key member of the U-17 squad that won the European Championship in Liechtenstein in May 2010. He was later called up for the Under-20s for the 2010 Under-20 World Cup in Colombia. He kept three clean sheets during the tournament and conceded just one goal against Nigeria, which in the end led to England’s downfall as they later failed to score.

His performances did not go unnoticed and he was later called up for the England Under-21s by boss Stuart Pearce. Butland made his debut in the 6-0 win over over Azerbaijan Under-21s in a Euro 2013 qualifier, and has since gone on to make a total of six appearances before being called-up as a replacement for John Ruddy in the senior team yesterday.

Who has been the man behind Butland’s success?

Butland comes with a huge promise and could be one of the stars in the future but much of that credit must be given to Birmingham City’s and current England goalkeeping coach David Watson. Watson, who has 178 appearances as a keeper for Barnsley, has been the key to not only Butland’s success but also has enhanced the careers of former England keeper Ben Foster and the current number one Joe Hart during their times at St. Andrews. And in Butland, it looks like he has moulded another potential shot-stopper for the Three Lions in the future.

What are his chances of playing at the Euro 2012?

To be quite honest the chances of him playing for England at Euros are zero. Joe Hart is England’s number one choice keeper and Robert Green will be his backup in case Hart suffers an injury, hope it doesn’t happen. So, Butland will only get a chance to play if both Hart and Green are suspended or injured and that looks highly unlikely. But expect to see a lot of him in the future, maybe during the friendlies after the Euros or during the qualifying campaign for the 2014 World Cup or 2016 Euros.

Jack Butland Career Stats

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