Tag Archives: World Cup 2010

How Would Wesley Sneijder Fit In At Tottenham Hotspur?

Sneijder-Spurs

Tottenham could be set for a major coup in the January transfer window after reports in Italy claimed Inter Milan midfielder Wesley Sneijder has agreed terms on a move.

Sneijder, who starred for the Netherlands at the 2010 World Cup, has been out of the Inter first-team for almost three-months because of a pay dispute. The Serie A giants apparently want him to take a pay cut, and the Netherlands international is willing to leave the club and move on.

Manchester United came very close to signing him in the summer of 2010, and Inter rejected their advances and £30 million plus offer. With the Dutchman struggling with injuries and his form dipping over the last two years, their failure to cash in is looking like an error of judgement. Even so the playmaker is very talented, and is wanted by many clubs across Europe. At 28, he still has plenty to offer and a new challenge may well be just what he needs to get his career back on track.

Fenerbahce are said to have made an enquiry for the Champions League winner, and the two Manchester clubs (City and United) are also in the race, but the reports in Italy have made Tottenham the favourites if the London club can agree a fee – believed to be around £10-12 million.

There is every chance the Dutchman could be a huge success and a right fit at White Hart Lane. Sneijder’s best postion is as an attacking midfielder just behind the striker and Spurs could well be the club to make it work for him.

Andre Villas-Boas’ preferred formation of 4-2-3-1 would see him fit straight into the line-up. With Aaron Lennon on the right and Gareth Bale on the left, the void Rafael van der Vaart vacated for a central attacking midfielder role would be ideal for him. So far, new signings Gylfi Sigurdsson and Clint Dempsey have attempted to fill it but have not been very impressive. With the midfield platform of Mousa Dembele and Sandro behind him, Sneijder would have ample of time and space to dictate games.

So, if the opportunity to bring the former Ajax and Real Madrid star to White Hart Lane crops up, as it has, then Tottenham should grab it with both hands.

The two big issues Spurs will face in trying to secure his signature is the present lack of Champions League football and his huge wage demands. But the Dutchman sees Tottenham as club on the rise and if Spurs can satisfy Emmanuel Adebayor’s demands – who was earning almost the same at City as Sneijder is doing at Inter – then why not Sneijder’s. With Daniel Levy at the negotiating table the fans can remain optimistic about and can be sure that they won’t pay over the odds for the midfielder.

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Steven Gerrard’s Top Five England Matches

It was a sunny afternoon in May 2000 when Steve Gerrard made his promising England debut against Ukraine and more than 12 years later the Liverpool midfielder is set to win his 100th cap for the Three Lions when he captains them against Sweden on Wednesday night.

He may not have picked up any medals with the national team, but he has surely given his all in the national cause on many occasions. Here we have a look at his top five matches for the Three Lions..

September 2001 – Germany 1-5 England

Gerrard scores his first goal for his country as England come from a goal down to achieve one of their most memorable wins in Munich’s Olympic Stadium and revive their World Cup qualification hopes. Michael Owen scores a hat-trick and there is even a rare goal from Emile Heskey.

June 2006 – England 2 -0 Trinidad & Tobago

Gerrard puts the agony of missing out on the 2002 finals through injury behind him by netting his first World Cup tournament goal to seal victory after Peter Crouch nets the opener with only seven minutes remaining.

March 2007 – Andorra 0-3 England

Gerrard single-handedly wins it for England with an inspired second 45 minutes in this Euro 2008 qualifier against Andorra in Barcelona after a dismal first-half performance. He scores twice before David Nugent nets his only international goal.

September 2009 – England 5-1 Croatia

Revenge is sweet for Gerrard and his team-mates after missing out on the Euro 2008 finals as Croatia are hammered at Wembley to secure a place at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The Liverpool skipper and Frank Lampard share four goals with Wayne Rooney the other man on the scoresheet.

June 2012 – England 1-1 France

One can sense the pride as Gerrard leads England into a major tournament – UEFA Euro 2012 – as official captain for the first time. He sets up the opener for Joleon Lescott with a pinpoint cross only for Samir Nasri to equalise. Gerrard was later named in the UEFA team of the tournament.

Wayne Rooney – 10 Years At The Top

It was a very fitting scenario as Wayne Rooney headed back to his root to celebrate 10 years as a Premier League when Manchester United took on Everton at Goodison Park last night.

It was there where Manchester United’s no.10 made his Premier League bow as a precocious 16-year-old in a 2-2 draw with Tottenham, lasting 66 minutes and setting up Mark Pembridge for Everton’s first goal. Since his debut, Rooney has appeared 444 for his club (Everton and Manchester United combined) and has scored 199 goals. The England star has also been capped 76 times by the Three Lions and has found the back of the net 29 times.

Here, IntoTheTopCorner picks out a great moment from each of the last 10 seasons.

2002-2003 – DEBUT AND A STUNNER

Rooney announced himself on to the biggest stage with this famous last-minute strike against Arsenal, which ended the then Champions – Arsenal’s 30-match unbeaten run and made him the youngest Premier League goalscorer.  Aged just 16, it came two months after his senior debut in a 2-2 draw with Tottenham and dynamited any efforts by Everton to keep their bright talent under wraps. The secret was out and a star was born.

2003-2004 – ENGLAND DEBUT, FIRST GOAL AND FINAL SEASON

It didn’t take long for England to come calling and Sven Goran Eriksson handed Rooney, his first cap in the friendly defeat against Australia. Rooney became youngest ever player to play for England. Another record went to Rooney in the same year, as he became the youngest ever goalscorer for the Three Lions at 17 years and 317 days against Macedonia. With England’s biggest clubs chasing his signature, it would be Rooney’s last season at Everton. He scored nine goals in 2003-2004.

2004-2005 – UNITED’S NEW SIGNING AND DREAM DEBUT

In the summer of 2004, Rooney turned down a new three-year, £14,000-a-week contract with Everton and Manchester United stepped in. Rooney, 18, was on his way to Old Trafford for £25.6m, the highest fee paid for a player under 20. He had a dream debut at the Theatre of Dreams, scoring a hat-trick in a Champions League tie with Fenerbahce. United endured a poor season, finishing third in the league – their lowest ever Premier League finish – and were dumped out of Europe by AC Milan. But Rooney’s goals offered optimism for the future.

2005-2006 – FIRST SILVERWARE

Rooney finished 2004-2005 as the PFA Young Player of the Year, but the following year was largely one of disappointment as United remained a team in transition. He won his first trophy – the League Cup – after scoring twice in a 4-0 win over Wigan, but United were a long way short of Chelsea in the league and crashed out of Europe in the group stages. But despite a broken metatarsal which curtailed his season, Rooney managed an impressive 16 goals in the season.

2006-2007 – LEAGUE CHAMPION

After a disappointing World Cup in Germany, United bounced back the following season, with Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo providing the spark in another great Alex Ferguson side. He scored 14 league goals and was rewarded with a winner’s medal as United ended Chelsea’s brief spell of dominance. They were also a force in Europe, but were destined to fall just short. Rooney’s two goals in the first leg of the semi-final with Milan gave United a narrow 3-2 advantage, only for the Italians to walk the second leg 3-0.

2007-2008 – BEST IN THE WORLD

United dominated in the Premier League and the Champions League, with the partnership between Rooney and Ronaldo flourishing with almost each and every game. Rooney finished the season with 18 goals, 12 of them in the league and six in other competitions.

2008-2009 – LEAGUE CHAMPION AGAIN AND 20 GOAL MAN

United again went on to win the Premier League title in 2009, their third in a row, but a second consecutive European success was beyond them as Barcelona won the Champions League final in Rome. Rooney hit 20 goals across all competitions, including 12 in the league once more.

2009-2010 – UNITED’S MAIN MAN

This campaign was Rooney’s best yet – he scored 34 goals in all competitions, including 26 in the league and five in Europe – though United would end up with just the League Cup. He was at his brilliant best in United’s demolition of AC Milan in the Champions League second round. In the San Siro, he scored two brilliantly-placed headers as United won 3-2.Another two followed to settle the tie at Old Trafford in a 4-0 rout – a header and a great finish in a one-on-one. He also scored in the Allianz Arena against Bayern Munich in the next round but an ankle injury ruined his – and United’s – hopes of silverware.

2010-2011 – UPS AND DOWN

Rooney returned to action after a poor World Cup with England and stunned the football world in October by saying he wanted to leave United. After a lot of negotiations and compromises, the club persuaded him to sign a new five-year contract on significantly better wages. His future assured, Rooney finally settled into the season – his goals guiding United to a 19th title and the Champions League final, where they were again second best to Barcelona. Arguably the greatest Rooney moment came with a bicycle kick against Manchester City, a goal that won the Best Goal of 20 Season Award.

2011-2012 – AT THE PEAK

Rooney started the season as he wanted to, with a goal on the opening day. It was the first of 27 in the Premier League and 35 in all as he discovered the finest form of his career. In a blistering start to the season, United were goal crazy and Rooney was exceptional in the 8-2 win against Arsenal, scoring two free-kicks and a penalty. But the season didn’t go his own way – United failed to win a trophy and went through the trauma of City snatching the title with the last kick of the season.