Chelsea FC Champions!

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As some of you may know I am a keen supporter of Chelsea FC and I am so happy that they have won the FA Cup against Liverpool. There were a couple of controversial decisions but it is fair to say that Chelsea dominated so deserved the win.  Goals from Ramires and Drogba were enough to see out threats from Liverpool, even after Carroll lead a fightback.

Hopefully this season will end on an even bigger high if we can beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League final May 19th. I cannot wait for that day! I also hope that Roberto di Matteo can have the full time job.

Does Anybody Want To Win The Premier League?

A shocking weekend in the Barclay’s Premier League after the top four teams all failed to win their matches raises the question if anybody actually wants to win the title this year? Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea all suffered surprise defeats while Tottenham were held to a draw in matches they were guaranteed to win.

Manchester United lost at home to Blackburn 2-3. To make things worse this match was played on Sir Alex Ferguson’s 70th birthday meaning his party celebrations were brought to an abrupt end. Blackburn took the lead after a Yakubu scored a 16th minute penalty and later doubled his tally by thrashing through the defence. Blackburn had a lot of defending to do but could not keep Berbatov out as he scored with a header and again to bring things equal. Youngster Grant Hanley then shocked the world as he scored the winner to send the champions home.

Tottenham drew away at Swansea after Van der Vaart took the lead in the first half. Swansea showed persistence and were even quite dominant throughout the next half hour so they deserved the goal when winger Scott Sinclair blasted in the equaliser.

I hate to say that Chelsea lost at Stamford Bridge to Aston Villa. A bright start led to a Drogba goal but Chelsea’s defence has to be blamed for the defeat. Aston Villa scored one plus to more in the last ten minutes to win the game 1-3.

Finally, Manchester City played Sunderland and were expected to pass their rivals to make it to the top of the table. However, frustration and a lack of concentration meant that nobody was able to score apart from the Sunderland striker JiDong-Won who scored with 10 seconds of play remaining.

What a shocking few days! Who would have ever thought this would happen?! Anyway, most of the clubs are playing again within the next few day and will be hoping to make up for the weekend’s mistakes. Don’t let us down again Chelsea.

At last, Winter has arrived in the Alps!

Snow is finally falling all over the French, Swiss and Italian ski resorts as we speak. This may be a late arrival but goodness me is it needed! After one of the worst recorded November snowfalls in history, we look set to receive a lot this December. The snow cannons can have a well deserved rest as a metre of real snow should be falling over the next week. There is no point denying it – I am honestly excited to go skiing!

50cm has fallen in Val d’Isere so far, with snow forecasted for seven of the eight next days

Everybody will be relieved to know that their ski holidays are now safe. There is certainly going to be enough snow and some may argue that there’s even going to be too much. Low pressure and cold temperatures all over the French Alps are causing a good amount of precipitation.

Unfortunately, I still have to wait until the 14th of December until I can put my ski boots and that will be one good day. First day back to skiing this season will see me racing in Les Deux Alpes for my school. Imagine acing through the giant slalom course with knee high powder. That would be an absolute dream! Maybe I am getting a bit carried away, but today’s and all the forecasted snow is definitely a good sign.

Like if you love snow!

Powder and Parties? Why Val d’Isere is the best place to ski in 2012

If you talk to anyone who has been to Val d’Isere they will usually mention one of two things; the off-piste and the nightlife – not necessarily in that order.

The resort attracts everyone from the rich and famous (Richard Branson is a regular) who can enjoy the 5-star chalets and fine dining, to snowboarders who live and breathe their sport, squeezing into a small apartment with six other like-minded riders. Once people have been here, it is impossible to stop them returning.

The key factor that lures people back is the skiing. You may sometimes get more snow in America but in Val there is access to challenging slopes, awesome off-piste and a good track record for blue-sky skiing.

Of course, the Espace Killy ski area is synonymous with the legendary Jean Claude Killy, one of France’s most famous downhill skiers. Every year Val d’Isere plays host to the Alpine World cup drawing attention to the fast downhill slopes of the resort. It is not unusual to bump into the ‘Herminator’ in the bakery.

Resort at a glance

  • Open from late November to early May
  • 300km of marked and interconnecting pistes
  • 97 ski lifts (11 free)
  • 14 black pistes
  • Two glaciers for summer skiing
  • Two snow parks
  • Runs from 1560m to 3456m
  • 44km of cross-country
  • Too much off-piste to measure
  • Too many bars to visit

LINKS   http://www.valdinet.com/

    Excited for Skiing?

England vs Sweeden 15/11/11

Venue: Wembley  Date: Tuesday 15 November  Kick-off: 20:00 GMT  Coverage: ITV, BBC Sport Website, BBC Radio 5 live

After an impressive victory over Spain last weekend, everybody is wondering if England can keep up their good form when they meet Swede at Wembley tonight. England have not beaten Sweden in twelve matches since 1968, but manager Fabio Capello will be hoping that this can soon change.

He, however, is mindful that Sweden will still provide another stern test and said the following: ‘It is a little country with a small population but it’s always difficult to beat Sweden.’

Capello added that ‘They are really good and play in a very organised way. Everybody knows what they need to do in every moment of the game.’

The England squad is going to be very different tonight, and the question is will England still play defensively? With less to fear from Sweden than Spain, the real test may come from striking the right balance between continuing their solidity while offering a more attacking threat.

Injured Danny Welbeck and Phil Jagielka are out, which means Daniel Sturridge may be handed his first full debut. John Terry is expected to return to captain and Cahill, Zamora and Walker will all play.

 

England’s Tactics http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thefootballtacticsblog/2011/11/the_case_for_capellos_defence.html

England vs Spain 12/11/2011

This afternoon, England are facing a Spanish side unbeaten in their Euro 2012 Qualifiers and I can only see this ending in misery. The last time we beat them was back in 2003 after England just closed in with the penalties. However, things were different then, as the likes of David Villa, Iniesta and all others were only just developing their skills. Today, the Spanish side is so strong that two of the Barclay’s Premier League’s most influential players can only just make the bench; Juan Mata and Fernando Torres. This is not just a shocking fact, but also rather humiliating!

We all know about the racism allegations and other troubles associated with the England team currently, but Fabio Capello and John Terry have assured us that these will not affect the performance. England are likely to adopt a 4-2-3-1 formation with the hope that pace down the wings will be too much for the Spanish defence. The only way that this can be done is if Sturridge and Walcott can unleash onto the passes they are given. Another point of interest is that Manchester United Defender Phil Jones has been pushed up into midfield in hope that his attacking play can open up the field. Capello will hope that he can cope here while also attending defensive duties.

In 2009 England had a comprehensive 2-0 defeat against the Spaniards. Manager Fabio Capello said that ‘We’ll beat them next time’ and I hope that he can keep to his words. I believe that it would almost be a miracle if we can scrape a win against the reigning world champions, but I await in awe for 5.15PM – kickoff.