How many goals is enough? Two is normally enough to win most games. But you can never have too many goals. Goals are one of those things that we can't get enough of.
For midfielders, 10 goals a season is always seen as a good haul. If you can reach double figures from that far back on the pitch, you’ll be doing well. For strikers, 20 is the magic number. 20 goals in one season; that’s the mark of a good striker.
Shane Long once scored 20 goals in one season. He scored 25, in fact. It was while playing for Reading in 2010/11, when the team went as far as the Championship play-off final, only to be beaten by Swansea.
Long was the man. His form contradicted all that had gone before, and it seemed that the striker had become what he’d never before threatened to be: the 20-goal-a-season-man.
West Bromwich Albion had been watching. And one game into the following season, they’d seen enough. The club paid Reading £4.5m for his services and the hope that he’d score enough goals to keep them in the Premier League. While the team achieved survival, Long’s eight goals were not deemed to be enough. And this would become something of a theme at West Brom.
By January this year, the club had become frustrated with Long. Odemwingie’s career had taken a turn for the bizarre. Lukaku was now at Everton via Chelsea. This was the forward’s year to finally step up. The club had been patient for his first two seasons in the Premier League. Now they wanted goals.
And Long dutifully obliged with three.
Three goals? That wasn’t enough. That wasn’t even nearly enough. When Hull City expressed their interest, West Brom were more than willing to listen, and by the end of Jan ... MORE
It may come as a surprise to some people that David Moyes’ first season as Manchester United manager has not been a successful one.
At the time of his appointment there were sections of United fans, as well as neutrals, who really felt that if Sir Alex Ferguson thought he was good enough to continue the club’s domestic dominance, then he must be the right appointment.
But, as we approach the end of his first season in charge and consider the amount of unwanted records Moyes has broken and the fact they are in real danger of not even playing in the Europa League this season, let alone the Champions League, questions are quite rightly being asked of Ferguson’s judgment.
Moyes enjoyed an 11-year spell at Everton that included Champions League qualification in 2005 and an FA Cup final in 2009, but that’s all he was able to celebrate during his time at Goodison Park, although his achievements were pretty remarkable when you consider the shoestring budget he was forced to work with.
Fergie’s surprise retirement at the end of last season caught everyone off guard, but there’s no arguing with the fact it was the right time for the great man to bow out.
His trophy-hauling career at United gave him ‘untouchable’ status at Old Trafford. He couldn’t do anything wrong and everyone trusted his decisions. Even his decision to appoint Moyes as his successor was given the nod by fans and fellow professionals alike.
But now his judgment is finally being questioned following Moyes’ dramatic failings in his first season in charge.
Can the untouchable Fergie be blamed for this and what exactly can he be blamed for? After all, he must have known that his title winning side of last ... MORE
Jack Collison’s recent loan move to Wigan Athletic has had many West Ham fans scratching their heads with confusion as they see yet another promising youngster leave the club for first team football.
It has been a regular occurrence ever since Harry Redknapp left the club as manager in 2001, with a host of the club’s homegrown talent being sold on or frozen out soon afterwards.
West Ham is a club famed for its ‘Academy of Football’ and the Claret and Blue trio of Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters practically won England the World Cup at Wembley in 1966. Moore was captain, while Hurst and Peters were the goal scorers in a 4-2 victory over West Germany.
But now, almost 50 years on, West Ham can only watch on as the player they nurtured and brought through the academy go on to win Premier League titles, Champions Leagues and countless domestic trophies with some of the biggest clubs in England.
The likes of Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Michael Carrick, Jermain Defoe and Glen Johnson have all gone on to win major trophies and enjoy extensive international careers since leaving Upton Park. They were all spotted and trained by Tony Carr who, it could be argued, deserves a lot more credit for the work he has done for English football, let alone West Ham, than he already has.
Even players like Sol Campbell, John Terry and Kieron Richardson passed through West Ham’s academy before beginning their professional careers elsewhere. That’s how much of an impact West Ham ha ... MORE
Much has been made of Manchester United’s first season without Sir Alex Ferguson and how new boss David Moyes does not have the required ‘minerals’ to continue his trophy hauling success.
There are several theories behind United’s average season, most of which point towards a so called ‘transitional period’ in the Old Trafford’s recent history.
The Red Devils faithful will feel extremely aggrieved the current goings on at the club, but it’s worth pointing out to them that they are not the only club in the top-flight going through something of a shift in fortune. And what about the Premier League as a whole? As seasons go, it could be suggested the entire division is going through a transitional stage.
Look at Liverpool, for instance. For years the Anfield club has struggled to consistently challenge for the Premier League title and, as a result, has seen their top four residency snatched away from them.
But now, under Brendan Rodgers who has brought new ideas and an attacking approach to the club, they have a real chance of not only securing Champions League football for the first time in five years, but also ending a 24-year wait for a top-flight league crown.
Of course, Liverpool enjoyed a similar kind of season in 2008/2009, finishing second and just four points off league winners United, but there appears to be more of a long-term strength built into the club under Rodgers.
The same can be said of Chelsea under Jose Mourinho’s second spell at Stamford Bridge. The Blues had struggled over the last couple of years to mount a real title challenge, but this season they look like they could win their first title since 2010.