Editors Blogs

A Fresh Start, An Ugly Fight, and a British Win! – Blog #15

A Fresh Start, An Ugly Fight, and a British Win! – Blog #15

Welcome to 2016/17! by Kai Chappell, Sports Editor

Hello and welcome back to the Blog. We took a break throughout the European Championships and we are now ready for pre-season in the football world. This week, we have no results, but I’m here to summarise the biggest news from the local sports scene that you may have missed.

And here’s a reminder – we are LIVE from King George’s Park for the Get Active Wandsworth Festival this Saturday 9th July from 12pm-5pm. Come and join us!

Iceland were the giant-killers who knocked England out.

Iceland were the giant-killers who knocked England out.

Also in this blog, you’ll see a preview for our first live game of the season, Steve Zetter, our deputy Sports Editor, writes about the violence in Euro 2016, whilst Lewis Reece, our Assistant Sports Editor, tells us all about Michael Bisping’s brilliant victory in UFC.

Get in touch with your views: you can do so by emailing kai@wandsworthradio.com; on Twitter it is @WRSportsOfficial; and on Facebook it is just, ‘Wandsworth Radio’.

Enjoy the blog!

 

The Transfer Window – Week 1 by Kai Chappell, Sports EditortW

The Transfer Window is now officially open! We’ve had news from lots of our local clubs and each week, we will round up and review some of these transfers, out of 10 (1 being that we predict an absolute flop, 10 being a star signing).

I’ll start with one that isn’t local…

1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – PSG to Manchester United, Free

Ibrahimovic joins on a free transfer after retiring from International Football.

Ibrahimovic joins on a free transfer after retiring from International Football.

Rating: 8

It was finally confirmed this week that Zlatan would join Jose Mourinho at Manchester United. I personally thought this was a fantastic transfer for Zlatan, but his form at Euro 2016 made it questionable. I know he was slightly injured towards the end of 2015-16, but you’d also expect a goal or two from him at such a major tournament, especially after how he hyped himself up. He’s here to light up the Premier League and I really hope he does it, but it also means Marcus Rashford’s development is stunted, as there is another striker to compete with. Is it too late for Zlatan, though?

 

2. Michy Batshuayi – Marseille to Chelsea, £33m

Rating: 7

The £33m Belgian claims he was persuaded by Eden Hazard.

The £33m Belgian claims he was persuaded by Eden Hazard.

Who were Chelsea’s star strikers last season? Diego Costa rarely shone for them, and behind him strikers were not given the biggest chance. With Batshuayi’s transfer, we would hope that there would be another star in the squad. However, it also paves the way for a Costa exit – you don’t spend £33m on a benchwarmer. His goal scoring record is great, so why waste it? The 22-year-old has his whole career ahead of him, and Conte needs to give him a chance to prove his worth.

 

Townsend has previously played for England.

Townsend has previously played for England.

3. Andros Townsend, Newcastle to Crystal Palace, £13m

Rating: 8.5

I’ve always been a fan of Andros Townsend and am delighted that he is going to Crystal Palace. Their FA Cup run last season proved that they can go far, and it also gives Townsend a chance to really revive his career. He hasn’t competed for an England place since being at Newcastle and, under Alan Pardew’s management, I’d like to see him bagging himself a few more England caps.

 

McNaughton was sent off on his West Ham debut.

McNaughton was sent off on his West Ham debut.

4. Callum McNaughton, Dartford to Hampton and Richmond, Undisclosed

Rating: 5

I’m not sure. McNaughton had a bright future when he made his debut for West Ham back in 2012, but since then it has rather petered away. Fantastic for him that he now has an opportunity to rejuvinate his footballing career, but the Beveree side should be looking at getting players in on loan from higher divisions to ensure that, rather than “Let’s stay in this division”, their mentality is instead, “Let’s go and get promoted”.

 

The former Leeds man joins on a free transfer. Image Copyright AFC Wimbledon.

The former Leeds man joins on a free transfer. Image Copyright AFC Wimbledon.

5. Dominic Poleon: Oldham to AFC Wimbledon, Free

Rating: 9

A former Chelsea man, Poleon joins aged 22 and looking to push on as a player in the early stages of his career, and with AFC Wimbledon losing Adebayo Akinfenwa, a replacement was needed with pace and strength, and so this signing is fantastic. I’m sure that he and Lyle Taylor will be battling for that first choice striker spot, and I look forward to becoming an AFC Wimbledon fan this season!

 

On August 1, we will have a full round-up of our local transfers. Watch this space!

 

zetterThe Not-So-Beautiful Game: Why the Euros had a real dampener by Steve Zetter, Deputy Sports Editor

Once again, during Euro 2016, we found our Beautiful Game being hijacked by single-minded, drunken ‘Neanderthal’ men.

We got a touch of this – from a small minority of idiots, still hanking over their past so-called ‘glory’ days – following Millwall’s loss at the Sky Bet Football League 1 play-offs at the end of this season.

And that was not the only incident.

I’m sure in this country we still get incidents, and for some reason the press and media are not publicising (in detail)

Millwall fans clashed with many others during their visit to Wembley

Millwall fans clashed with many others during their visit to Wembley

the events as much as they did in the 70s and 80s. This is a good thing and by not acknowledging these self-proclaimed ‘Supermen’, (which in itself is an insult to real men and DC Comics), at the end of the day they just fade into obscurity.

This was a far cry from the 70s. I can remember prior to a Chelsea v Arsenal game, the opposing fans invaded the pitch to meet at the half way line to kick the hell out of one another, and that was the pre-match entertainment before a ball was even kicked.

These days pre-arranged, via new technology, organised gangs flood to infest the beautiful game once more with their prehistoric behaviours and narrow-minded racist views justifying their actions, together with the opportunity to perform in front of the world is just too good to miss.

This, together with the help of elected officials from political and the relevant so-called ‘Sport Association’, politics also takes the opportunity for one-up-manship with each group claiming the higher moral ground instead of dealing with this disease head on.

Try and deal with the problem and the same people are defending the idiots with the human rights argument. Doesn’t that mean you have to be human to have rights? They clearly don’t qualify.

This isn’t a social or colour or creed problem, it’s an idiot problem. Until elected officials deal directly with the issue it will continue to rumble on.

These are the actions of drunken idiots with miniature manhood’s who feel the need to prove that they are men but to whom? Only other micro-membered idiots who would acknowledge such actions.

As for UEFA and FIFA, these associations seem to be the biggest joke of all: always too busy to point the finger elsewhere.

“Russia has been given a suspended disqualification from the tournament”

Really? A ‘suspended disqualification’?

Their history in dealing out punishment is laughable, previous infringements resulting in poultry fines or ridiculously short or non-hurting bans to these indiscriminate Football Associations do nothing to protect the game. In fact, the top ruling officials have been found wanting themselves involved in lies, deceit and bribery.

Violence has been a huge issue, with Russian fans particularly troublesome.

Violence has been a huge issue, with Russian fans particularly troublesome.

They always end up pointing the finger at the English, no matter what. Yes, deserving due to the drunken behaviour of the chosen few, and we should be made to suffer for not stamping this out, but there’s always two sides in a battle, and following a lengthy ban in Europe for the catastrophe at Heysel Stadium in Brussels, Belgium, on 29 May 1985, where is something like this nowadays?

Thirty-nine people died and 600 were injured when fans were crushed against a wall that then collapsed during the European Cup final between Liverpool and Juventus, after crowd trouble culminated in a surge by Liverpool supporters towards the Italian team’s fans

It resulted in all English clubs being banned from Europe for five years deservedly but fails to issue similar ban to the Italians. A large group of Juventus fans fought the police with rocks, bottles and stones for two hours. One Juventus fan was also seen firing a starting gun at Belgian police.

Some British newspapers have reported that Russian “firms” issued threats to England fans well before the 2016 tournament.

The stadium attacks were planned and perpetrated by “well-trained” Russian hooligans, according to Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin.

England, Russia and France supporters have been involved in the most serious incidents – although they are only a tiny number of thousands of peaceful fans at Euro 2016.

Confusing and sometimes conflicting reports mean blame is difficult to definitively give.

Accounts suggest the initial confrontations started when England fans reacted to unprovoked attacks by groups of local youths, which were exacerbated by alcohol. French police then stepped in and deployed tear gas.

Blame for the incident at the end of the match between England and Russia – in which a group appeared to rush at English supporters – has been squarely placed on a number of Russian supporters.

At the end of the day, they are all mindless idiots no matter what nationality and until the real supporters stand up

Initially the main fear was a terror attack, but Euro 2016 has been hit by other things. (Photo: 2015 Paris Attacks)

Initially the main fear was a terror attack, but Euro 2016 has been hit by other things. (Photo: 2015 Paris Attacks)

and force the pertinent so called elected officials, to deal with the issue directly, this disease will linger and fester on.

Igor Lebedev, a Russian Football Union (RFU) official and MP from the populist Liberal Democrat Party, tweeted that there was “nothing wrong with fans fighting”. He told them to “keep up the good work”.

Meanwhile, radio journalist and former RFU spokesman Andrei Malosolov wrote a lengthy blog post on the “Russian fans’ victory at Marseille port”, praising the ultras’ fitness levels and “stylish” look, as well as their ability to fight.

The most worrying thing is that FIFA in its wisdom (if that’s what you’d call alleged lies, deceit, and bribery) has placed the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

What next for the beautiful game? We just have to wait until 2018 to see.

 

LRECounting the British Champions – Bisping becomes the first British Champion in UFC by Lewis Reece, Assistant Sports Editor and Chief MMA Reporter

 

“I always knew I could do it. I quit work when we had two children and we were broke at the time but my wife had faith in me that I could do this. I used to sleep in my car. People don’t know the journey I’ve been on and now here I am and I’m champion of the world.” The words from an emotional Bisping after obtaining the title and achieving something most people never thought he would in his memorable ten year run in the biggest mixed martial arts organisation in the World.

 

The most high profile British fighter in MMA has had many highs and lows in his long career, but though it all never once had that shot at the strap until June 4th of this year. He’d had his unofficial number one contender bouts more than a few times but unfortunately came up short, but in London at UFC Fight Night: Silva vs. Bisping on 27th February earlier this year he managed to win via unanimous decision against the man many consider the greatest

Bisping's victory is a record for British sport.

Bisping’s victory is a record for British sport.

MMA competitor of all-time Anderson Silva. So when Chris Weidman had to pull out of a title fight with the former Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold, Bisping as the logical choice stepped up with two weeks to go and accepted the huge opportunity.

 

It’s also worth noting how much these two men can’t stand each other, their rivalry was very well known and made for excellent media appearances in the build up to their first fight back at UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Bisping in November 2014 where Rockhold managed to submit Bisping in the second round on his road to becoming champion. Bisping didn’t just want to become champion to cap off a tremendous career and fulfil his potential, he wanted to prove to everyone who discounted him before their title clash that he was better than Rockhold. The British fighter was a big underdog considering the first fight and Luke’s strong run in the company, many pundits and other fighters in the Middleweight division had already presumed Bisping would fall short and were predicting who Rockhold could defend against later this year. But he promised it was his “Destiny” to win the belt and proved them all wrong with a shocking TKO win in just 3 minutes in the very first round at UFC 199.

 

45-year-old Henderson may fight Bisping again.

45-year-old Henderson may fight Bisping again.

As for what’s next for the new UFC Middleweight Champion there are already quite a few names in the mix to face him later this year. The Brit has already stated he would love to defend the belt in his hometown of Manchester, and that he would like to rectify his loss against MMA legend Dan Henderson from way back at UFC 100 in 2009. After Hendo’s impressive KO victory against Hector Lombard (also at UFC 199) the choice would make sense. Many fans also believe the Brazilian Jacaré Souza would be the best pick after an impressive run over the last few years. But for me personally I would love to see one of the all-time UFC greats Georges St-Pierre fight for the belt. He’s heavily rumoured lately that he’s ready for his return, and as an extra bite to the rumoured contest both he and Bisping are joint with 19 wins in the UFC so whoever comes out on top will hold the all-time coveted record of most wins in the organisation. So whoever’s next for the brand new Champion, it should certainly be interesting.

 

2016-17 – Off with the Borough by Kai Chappell, Sports Editor

We will cover several games this season, live and pre-recorded on Wandsworth Radio.

We will cover several games this season, live and pre-recorded on Wandsworth Radio.

Our new Sports Reporter Chris Reidy and I, on the Saturday 23 July 2016, will be on the long-haul train journey up to Manchester to cover the first game of the season, Salford City vs Hampton and Richmond Borough. Salford, part-owned by ex-footballers Phil and Gary Neville, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, as well as Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim, rose to fame in October 2015 after the BBC programme “Class of 92: Out of their League”. Promoted to the National League North last season, the Ammies had a very successful FA Cup campaign, and are looking to get to the Championship within 15 years. The 3rd place finish last season meant that they also were able to tie players down for 2016-17, with 17 names including former Hartlepool man James Poole and former Fleetwood man Craig Dootson just some of the star names in the squad.

As for Borough, they are looking to get up to the next tier of English football. They were promoted from the Ryman National League last season after storming to the title and are not looking to stop there. This season they have added to their squad, including Kingstonian star Harold Odametey, and will look to climb the National League South and

Odametey signed for HRBFC after a good season with Kingstonian.

Odametey signed for HRBFC after a good season with Kingstonian.

this will be the first chance for Alan Dowson’s side to prove to us that they are worthy of their place in this division and give us a chance to predict where they’ll finish in the league.

We will have all the team news, goal updates and shocks, as well as post match interviews, live from Moor Lane from 3pm. Join us live on Wandsworth Radio as Steve and Harry will be in studio too, so it’s quite a packed show!

This is our first game of a very packed season! We’re looking forward to our second game, which is to be confirmed in due course…

July 6th, 2016

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