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Benitez under pressure?

After defeat to bitter rivals Aston Villa, Birmingham have slumped to the foot of the Premier League with just one point in their opening 3 matches and Rafa Benitez has a job on his hands to turn things around. Benitez was surprisingly upbeat about the performance. "I thought we played well. Created some good chances, but were unlucky not to score more. Eto'o played very good, he was the only difference today."

When asked about his future at the club he was also surprisingly positive. "I have a contract here at Birmingham, and I will be here until it's finished. I am more concerned about the future of Chip Butty. It was a shocking decision to drop Scott Dann from the England squad, and I firmly believe Cameron Jerome should also be playing."

Strangely though, Benitez didn't consider either good enough to get a start for Birmingham today. "I would have liked to play Scott and Cameron from the start, but I have better players. England do not. That's a fact."

Birmingham have another local derby next week when they visit Wolves, and the Blues fans will surely be hoping for a first win of the season for their team, or perhaps they will be calling for chairman Ken Company to replace Benitez before long.

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Sportseye Exclusive from Molineux!

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Here we are at Molineux, just before the training. The new chairman Sergio Five will give us a short interview and we will also get to speak with Mr. McLeish.

- Mr. Five, how do you see your start to the season. The new drafts have given you some talented players and you have also done some dealing as well but the first three games only brought 1 point to Molineux, the draw against Chelsea in the opening week. What is your opinions?

- Well, first of all I'd have to thank the FA for implementing such an immense change in three months time. The Premier League Draft coupled with the European Draft have given many opportunities to the teams that are not as reputable as the big 4 or 6 whatever you want to call. We have seen the likes of Eto'o, Messi, Buffon & Casillas join the EPL to enhance the football reputation whereas the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Robinho returned back. Surely it will be a joy to watch football this season. As for us, we have been given some excellent players but you have to be realistic. For example Maicon, he is one of the best right backs of the game right now and it would have been a magnificent sight to see him play in Molineux but when Man City came calling with a good offer, we couldn't refuse it. Also, our main aim is to build for future as you can see this from the pre-league transfers. I highly regard Ramsey, Fabio, Chung-Yong and Boyata as they will be the new faces of the big game in near future. When we come to the season, the first three games have been a let down to be honest. Drawing Chelsea away is always good but we really don't want to lose games in our home, especially not this year. But this will be even harder given the re-shuffle of the league. We are just three match days in to the league so we can say that this form is to be improved over the course of the season.

- What do you think about your cup runs? You are going to visit Stockport County in Carling Cup Round 2.

- Of course we regard every fixture equal. It won't make a difference to us whether we play Chelsea or Stockport County, hopefully this does not include the score line though. I hope we will cope well in the cups, at least just to play more games to prepare our younger players to the top level of football.

- What do you think about the new show in the TV? Everyone has been talking about it and even England manager Mr. Butty was invited last week.

- As we have stated before, no one in the team is allowed to attend any TV shows before we get the form and play style we would like. The team harmony and blend is far more critical for us at the moment. I also think that Hazel might be a bit tired of running after Gibson, so I am glad to say that we won't be bothering her in the near future. Also I'd like to congratulate Mr. Butty for his job at England helm. He'll clearly bring a fresh air to the English football and as chairmans of the league, we should do whatever we can to help him.

- Thank you for the short interview Mr. Five. And we catch Mr. McLeish when the team is getting on the pitch. Mr. McLeish, a new job, a new place and a new squad to work with. What do you think about the three games you have played and for the season ahead?

- After a good performance at Birmingham, I'm glad to be managing a club this season after the shuffle up. Here at Wolves we have a young and talented squad with some experienced players showing their talents. I can say that I am just as comfortable here when I was at Birmingham. Things are looking great for the moment.

- But you only managed a single point in the first three weeks?

- Well, we still have 35 weeks to play don't we? Also the injury to Ramsey is critical as well. He is a quality player for this league and he will be a leading star in world football. The bad side of the shuffle is now we have to act as a team. The blend is what we are aiming here at the moment. When things get going, you will see us move up as we have the potential. I am also happy for other clubs as there is a good amount of competition in the league right now.

- You are going to training right now but last question. How do you feel about facing Birmingham at Molineux while both teams are searching for their first win?

- That is a happy coincidence but I won't be happy if we can't get a win from the next match. Our fans are waiting for us to win the games and celebrate together. Now I'll have to attend the training so that we can get prepared for the next game.

- Thank you Mr. McLeish. We have the thoughts of the new chairman Sergio Five and newly appointed manager Alex McLeish of Wolves from Molineux. The team has gathered in the pitch for the training and Mr. McLeish has joined them as well. If we have to summarize the general idea, we can say that the Wolves are waiting for the full moon to come. You can see the exclusive news in our Sports News at 20:00. This is Valerie Swain for Sportseye, reporting from Molineux. Have a good day.

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Hi folks. Obviously, don't expect no updates for the next few days. Merry Christmas to you all and your families.

Outrageous!

Only kidding, merry Christmas everyone.

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I'm sorry, I can write one-liner replies but have no patience at all for full blown roleplay press releases all the time. I had no idea I was signing up for that and while I understand that's it's frustrating on your part to write a lot and get no reactions, I find it frankly a bit bizarre and childish that you're blackmailing us for attention.

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I'm sorry, I can write one-liner replies but have no patience at all for full blown roleplay press releases all the time. I had no idea I was signing up for that and while I understand that's it's frustrating on your part to write a lot and get no reactions, I find it frankly a bit bizarre and childish that you're blackmailing us for attention.

I find it bizare that you think that you can have a go at someone who is dedicating their time to do something for your enjoyment. It is also odd that you thought that it woudl be as simple as you writing one line responses to something like this whilst he gives huge detail in his. It is right he should expect some payback in nice long responses. However 15 out of 20 maybe expecting a bit much at christmas

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I'm sorry, I can write one-liner replies but have no patience at all for full blown roleplay press releases all the time. I had no idea I was signing up for that and while I understand that's it's frustrating on your part to write a lot and get no reactions, I find it frankly a bit bizarre and childish that you're blackmailing us for attention.

Fair enough. I find it bizarre that people don't read what they're signing up for - the links to previous versions of this and the fact that the sign up thread mentioned that participation would be required are give aways in my opinion but maybe I'm being thick ... I'm not blackmailing for attention, I wanted the thread to be more than just me writing it all up. Clearly, you're not interested in that.

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On Top of the World

Aston Villa manager Chris Hughton is on top of the world after a victory in the second city derby over Birmingham.

" We went out there, executed our gameplan, and added a little Eto'o magic and boom, we are near the top of the league!"

Today was also a banner day for technology at Villa Park. Today both Hughton and the club owner Berg Taur, issued their official twitter handles for fans of the club. We'll have posts from Hughton_The_Villan and Berg_Taur_AV in time.

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Sorry for my lack of participation GCB, just got done with school but now I have wireless, so I should be making alot more impact

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I'm sorry, I can write one-liner replies but have no patience at all for full blown roleplay press releases all the time. I had no idea I was signing up for that and while I understand that's it's frustrating on your part to write a lot and get no reactions, I find it frankly a bit bizarre and childish that you're blackmailing us for attention.

In addition to what the others have already mentioned, does it really take that long to bash out a quick paragraph every so often just to make the experience that bit more immersive and interesting for the rest of us? Takes me 5 mins if I'm not in the mood, if I'm in the mood I can spend a good 10-15 and enjoy it. I find your attitude towards this downright weird, you're essentially saying "GCB, you spent hours of your life editing the database and writing up the reports, why should I spend 5 minutes adding a little of my own ideas to this?".

Poor forumming.

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[video=youtube;qjj3sanBSC0]

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Welcome to Loftus Road for the Carling Cup!

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Tonight sees Round 2 of the Carling Cup as the Premier League clubs that aren’t competing in European competition this season begin their quest for silverware in the Carling Cup. This will be the first trophy won in late February so each of the Premier League teams involved will be looking for a positive result tonight. All thirteen Premier League teams in action tonight will be facing lower league opposition and will be expecting to take their place in Round 3.

We’ll have all the action from around the country later on but for now we will focus on our live action, the tie here at Loftus Road between Neil Warnock’s Queens Park Rangers and Premier League Bolton Wanderers. With Rangers strengthened over the summer and one of the favourites for promotion to the Premier League, most people expect a tough night for Joe Royle’s Trotters side that have made a steady start to the new season with one win, one draw and one defeat so far.

The lovely Hazel is downstairs with the team news ...

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Welcome to the tunnel area where we’ve just received the team news. We’ll start with the QPR side that Neil Warnock has chosen tonight. Paddy Kenny starts in goal, Rangers play a 4-5-1 tonight with Bradley Orr, Matthew Connolly, Fitz Hall and Clint Hill at the back, Martin Rowlands and Mikele Leigertwood will sit in midfield to allow Tommy Smith, Adel Taarabt and Jamie Mackie to support the lone front man, Heidar Helguson. Seven players with Premier League experience and four more on the bench with Radek Cerny, Peter Ramage, Hogan Ephraim and Rob Hulse.

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BOLTON WANDERERS

New manager Joe Royle has chosen a strong 4-4-2 side with no chance of resting any of his big names tonight. Kevin Davies misses out with a heel injury so Rodrigo starts alongside Johan Elmander up front. The starting eleven is as follows:

JAASKELAINEN

STEINSSON

CAHILL

MARCELO

ROBINSON

MILNER

MUAMBA

COHEN

GARDNER

RODRIGO

ELMANDER

SUBS: Doyle, Obadeyi, Blake, Riga, Cuellar, Holden, Taylor

Back to you upstairs, Sid.

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Bolton should dominate this although their qide isn't exactly brimming with superstars. Could be interesting!!

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FIRST HALF

10 mins:

First corner of the match and it goes to the home side. Rowlands will take it from the right for QPR ... Fitz Hall, free header! Just over the bar, great chance for the Hoops to take the lead but they’ve wasted it.

15 mins:

Muamba dispossesses Mackie and hits it long down the right for Bolton towards Rodrigo. Clint Hill to tidy up, he loses out though and Elmander is away. Elmander shoots, saved well by Kenny and Rangers clear the danger.

22 mins:

Milner with the corner for Bolton from the left. He swings it over towards the back post, Marcelo with the header ... off the line by Jamie Mackie! He saved his side there!

24 mins:

Steinsson with a clearance for Bolton that Elmander controls well in the centre circle. He finds Rodrigo who switches play to the left and finds Gardner with space. Gardner gets to the byline and crosses low, back post, MILNER! Tucks it past Kenny and Bolton Wanderers lead here at Loftus Road!

QPR 0-1 Bolton Wanderers

(Milner)

28 mins:

Leigertwood and Connolly combining for QPR as they look to respond quickly. Leigertwood finds Taarabt with space 25 yards from goal. He slides a wonderful ball through for Jamie Mackie ... great tackle though by Steinsson to deny the young forward.

29 mins:

Good play from Robinson and Gardner down the left and Rodrigo is away for Bolton. He draws Connolly towards him before delivering a low ball in to the box and COHEN will get there! He slides it home, Tamir Cohen for Bolton Wanderers!

QPR 0-2 Bolton Wanderers

(Cohen)

32 mins:

Bolton on the left wing again looking for a third goal that would surely seal their place in Round 3 of the Carling Cup. Gardner’s left wing cross is flicked away but Cahill finds Steinsson down the right. He delivers deep and finds Gardner at the back post, heads just wide.

That’s the end of the action in the first half and the referee signals the end of it. A satisfying first 45 minutes for Bolton Wanderers who go in at half time leading by 2-0.

HALF TIME

QPR 0-2 Bolton Wanderers

(Milner, Cohen)

An ill-tempered game so far with six yellow cards but it is Bolton Wanderers who are in front and looking good for a place in the next round. The next goal could be crucial – a third for Bolton would see them secure in Round 3 but a goal for the Super Hoops could leave Bolton looking nervous for the last part of the game. Manager Joe Royle will be desperate to avoid the second scenario!

Let’s catch up with the other action in Round 2 at half time:

LATEST SCORES: CARLING CUP ROUND 2

Birmingham City 2-0 Shrewsbury Town

League 2 Shrews not putting up much of a fight at St. Andrew’s ... An early Lee Bowyer goal and a Nikola Kalinic strike has the Blues 2-09 up.

Blackburn Rovers 0-0 Brentford

A frustrating evening so far for Rovers against League 1 Brentford, goalless at half time.

Blackpool 0-0 Brighton and Hove Albion

Bloomfield Road is also yet to see any goals as Blackpool are frustrated at home to Gus Poyet’s Brighton.

Bristol Rovers 0-0 Wigan Athletic

A tricky test for Wigan at the Memorial Ground tonight. League 1 Bristol Rovers holding them at half time, 0-0.

Charlton Athletic 0-0 Newcastle United

There aren’t many goals around by the looks of it, League 1 Charlton are goalless with Newcastle at half time as well at The Valley.

Coventry City 0-0 Sunderland

Also no goals at the RICOH Arena but Sunderland are facing ten men. Sky Blues’ defender Martin Cranie has been sent off there.

Fulham 2-1 Preston North End

There have been goals at Craven Cottage and plenty of other action. Valon Behrami put the Cottagers in front, Matt James levelled for PNE but Danny Murphy’s penalty made it 2-1 to Fulham. Murphy has since missed a second penalty and North End’s Sean St. Ledger has been sent off as well.

Huddersfield Town 2-1 Everton

Potential shock in the making at the Galpharm Stadium as two Joe Garner goals have given League 1 Huddersfield the lead over Everton. However, an Alex Smithies own goal has got the Toffees back into the game before half time.

Southampton 0-0 Stoke City

We thought that it’d be a tough game for Stoke at St. Mary’s and so it is proving. Still 0-0 there.

Stockport County 0-1 Wolves

Looking good for Wolves at half time as they lead through a Benjani goal. They are also facing ten men after a red card for Matty Mainwaring for County.

West Brom 0-1 Ipswich Town

Lionel Messi not playing tonight at the Hawthorns and the Tractor Boys lead there. Jason Scotland’s early goal giving Championship Ipswich the lead early on.

West Ham 1-1 Norwich City

All square at Upton Park, Norwich in front with a Elliott Ward penalty but Oliver Lee levelling for the Hammers five minutes later.

Join us for the second half live on SPORTS.tv

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SECOND HALF

HALF TIME

QPR 0-2 Bolton Wanderers

(Milner, Cohen)

48 mins:

Leigertwood with a clever ball through on the left for QPR, here is Hogan Ephraim with a chance. He goes for goal but it is well wide ... caught between two minds, neither a shot nor a cross in the end but a wasted opportunity.

54 mins:

Short throw on the left, Ephraim to deliver the cross. In it goes, Helguson gets up, scramble in front of goal, can QPR turn it into the net? No, cleared by Robinson!

58 mins:

Free kick for Bolton, 35 yards out. Milner will touch it to the side for Cahill to hit it ... ooh, just wide from Gary Cahill! What an effort!

60 mins:

Fitz Hall with a glorious ball out to the right hand side for Tommy Smith on halfway ... he runs at Robinson and glides away from the left back. Smith to the byline, he crosses, deflected off Robinson to Rowlands. He lays it back, great chance for Adel Taarabt ... deflected, what a save! Taarabt’s effort looked goalbound, it deflected off a Bolton defender and Jaaskelainen somehow tipped it over the bar!

63 mins:

Free kick for Bolton, Cohen finds Robinson on the left. He knocks the ball down the line for Gardner who controls and looks up. Find Elmander, edge of the area, he turns well and shoots right footed ... ELMANDER scores! Beats Paddy Kenny, near post, and seals Bolton’s place in the next round surely!

QPR 0-3 Bolton Wanderers

(Elmander)

66 mins:

Borrowdale down the left for QPR, finds Leigertwood who squares the ball to Rowlands. He looks up and hits a curler ... just wide from Martin Rowlands.

69 mins:

Gardner with the cross from the left for Bolton, cleared by QPR and Ephraim can lead the counter attack. He finds Borrowdale on the left, Leigertwood now involved. Into Ephraim again, he turns and shoots ... cracking save from Jaaskelainen again!

A scrappy last 20 minutes goes by with no real action as both sides know the outcome now. Bolton Wanderers hold out and secure a place in Round 3 of the Carling Cup!

FULL TIME:

QPR 0-3 Bolton Wanderers

(Milner, Cohen, Elmander)

MAN OF THE MATCH: Ricardo Gardner (Bolton Wanderers)

Involved in all three goals and directly assisting two of them with the final pass or cross. A real thorn in QPR’s side all evening and a deserved winner on the night.

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In the end, a tricky looking tie ended up being a lot more comfortable for Joe Royle and his team than expected. Three good goals showed their Premier League class and they ease their way into Round 3. On this performance, they have to fancy their chances of doing well in the competition and should be targeting to Quarter Finals at least. Easy win for the Trotters and chairman Al Mondo will be very pleased!

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I’m downstairs with beaten QPR manager, Neil Warnock ... Neil, a comfortable night for your opponents?

NW: We never got going all evening, Hazel, we were poor tonight and Bolton saw us off with ease. If you’re going to knock the Premier League teams out of the cups, you can’t pay them too much respect and that’s what we did first half and got punished for it.

Ricardo Gardner was a real threat down the left wasn’t he?

NW: Yeah, he was excellent tonight, we never got to grips with him. Everything good about Bolton came down the left through him and we just stood off him and let him cross the ball. You can’t afford to give a player like him that much time to pick out a cross and we did just that.

And Neil, no complaints about the referee tonight?

NW: Not really. He didn’t have a decision to make really which is probably for the best.

Thanks, Neil. Back to you, Sid.

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Well, QPR failed to scare Bolton Wanderers tonight in the Carling Cup and the Trotters move into Round 3 with a comfortable 3-0 win here at Loftus Road. However, things haven’t gone to plan for some of our other Premier League sides. Let’s find out how they finished up tonight!

FULL TIME SCORES: CARLING CUP ROUND 2

Birmingham City 3-0 Shrewsbury Town

Alex Hleb extended the Blues lead early in the second half to ensure a place in Round 3. However, Winston Reid was sent off late on and will now face a ban.

Blackburn Rovers 1-0 Brentford

Jason Roberts to the rescue for Blackburn as he hits the winner ten minutes from time.

Blackpool 1-0 Brighton and Hove Albion

Record signing Anderson with the goal for Blackpool that sees them through a potential banana skin and into Round 3.

Bristol Rovers 0-1 Wigan Athletic

Another Premier League side scraping through 1-0, Wigan thankful to Mirko Vucinic for a late goal that puts them through.

Charlton Athletic 0-0 Newcastle United

Extra time being played at the Valley where it remains goalless. Will it go to penalties?

Coventry City 0-0 Sunderland

Also Extra Time at the RICOH Arena where ten men Coventry held out ... Sunderland are also now down to ten men after a red card for Marcos Angeleri late in the 90 minutes.

Fulham 5-1 Preston North End

Comfortable win in the end for Fulham as they ran out clear winners at the Cottage. Two more for Danny Murphy to seal a hat-trick and a Lisandro Lopez goal makes it 5-1.

Huddersfield Town 3-3 Everton

Amazing game at the Galpharm and it’s still going into Extra Time. 2-1 down at the break, Everton did their chances no good when Shane Duffy was sent off. However, Hallam Hope brought them level on 71 minutes. Jordan Rhodes looked to have won it for the Terriers with a late goal but an injury time Diniyar Bilayetdinov goal has forced the extra 30 minutes.

Southampton 1-1 Stoke City

Extra time at St. Mary’s as well! Rickie Lambert put League 1 Saints in front but the goal was cancelled out by Danny Collins moments later. Who will win that one?

Stockport County 0-1 Wolves

1-0 up against ten men at half time, a professional second half from Wolves with no further goals. They head into Round 3.

West Brom 1-1 Ipswich Town

Marc Antoine Fortune’s goal has given West Brom extra time as well at home to Ipswich. His goal came on 77 minutes.

West Ham 3-1 Norwich City

Second half goals from Holmar Eyjolfsson and Freddie Piquionne mean that West Ham are through into Round 3 of the competition as well.

Eight Premier League sides are into Round 3 but five more are still fighting for their lives as they face Extra Time. Can Newcastle, Sunderland, Everton, Stoke and West Brom get the goal to send them into Round 3? We’ll keep you updated.

***** GOAL ***** GOAL ***** GOAL *****

92 minutes: THE HAWTHORNS

Own goal from West Brom keeper, VICTOR VALDES, and Ipswich Town are back in the lead. Can the Tractor Boys hang on and cause a shock? 1-2

***** GOAL ***** GOAL ***** GOAL *****

93 minutes: GALPHARM STADIUM

After injury time heatbreak, the Galpharm Stadium is rocking one more time as JORDAN RHODES puts League 1 Huddersfield back in front here. 4-3

***** GOAL ***** GOAL ***** GOAL *****

94 minutes: RICOH ARENA

Another lower league side take the lead at the start of extra time, RICHARD WOOD heading home for Coventry City who now lead 1-0.

***** PENALTY ***** PENALTY ***** PENALTY *****

104 minutes: THE HAWTHORNS

Penalty kick here for Ipswich Town ... it will be taken by Grant Leadbitter for Roy Keane’s side. Up he steps ... goal! GRANT LEADBITTER puts Ipswich further in front and now they will surely shock the Baggies! 1-3

EXTRA TIME, HALF TIME

Charlton Athletic 0-0 Newcastle United

Coventry City 1-0 Sunderland

Huddersfield Town 4-3 Everton

Southampton 1-1 Stoke City

West Brom 1-3 Ipswich Town

Join us for the remainder of the action in a moment and the draw for Round 3 of the Carling Cup!

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Welcome back for the second period of extra time in the Carling Cup Round 2. Here were the scores from the first half of extra time in the games still being played:

EXTRA TIME, HALF TIME

Charlton Athletic 0-0 Newcastle United

Coventry City 1-0 Sunderland

Huddersfield Town 4-3 Everton

Southampton 1-1 Stoke City

West Brom 1-3 Ipswich Town

***** GOAL ***** GOAL ***** GOAL *****

107 minutes: RICOH ARENA

Coventry City are heading into Round 3 of the Carling Cup, they now lead 2-0 in extra time. GARY McSHEFFREY has got the important second goal and surely now, the Sky Blues have shocked the Premier League Black Cats!

***** GOAL ***** GOAL ***** GOAL *****

108 minutes: ST. MARY’S

Stoke City have taken the lead and look good now for a place in Round 3. CRAIG GARDNER has got the goal for the Potters ... hang on, chance here! Goal! 3-1 to Stoke now, KENWYNE JONES against the club where he started his career! All over! 1-3

***** GOAL ***** GOAL ***** GOAL *****

114 minutes: RICOH ARENA

Hang on a moment! Sunderland are back in it with 6 minutes remaining ... MICHAEL TURNER rose highest at the corner to head home and it is back to 2-1 to Coventry. Can Sunderland get an equaliser?

***** GOAL ***** GOAL ***** GOAL *****

118 minutes: GALPHARM STADIUM

Huddersfield Town will knock out Premier League Everton here! ANTONY KAY has got their fifth goal of the evening and Everton are now 2 goals down with less than 2 minutes to go. 5-3 to Huddersfield!

***** GOAL ***** GOAL ***** GOAL *****

118 minutes: THE VALLEY

League 1 Charlton have snatched a winner with 2 minutes to go here as well! JOE ANYINSAH has got the goal that will dump Premier League Newcastle out of the Carling Cup!

FULL TIME SCORES: CARLING CUP ROUND 2

Birmingham City 3-0 Shrewsbury Town

Blackburn Rovers 1-0 Brentford

Blackpool 1-0 Brighton and Hove Albion

Bristol Rovers 0-1 Wigan Athletic

Charlton Athletic 1-0 Newcastle United (AET)

Coventry City 2-1 Sunderland (AET)

Fulham 5-1 Preston North End

Huddersfield Town 5-3 Everton (AET)

QPR 0-3 Bolton Wanderers

Southampton 1-3 Stoke City (AET)

Stockport County 0-1 Wolves

West Brom 1-3 Ipswich Town (AET)

West Ham 3-1 Norwich City

PLUS SELECTED OTHERS

Colchester United 2-1 Reading

Leicester City 3-1 Derby County

Nottingham Forest 0-2 Scunthorpe United

Sheffield United 3-1 Sheffield Wednesday

Swansea City 2-1 Leeds United

Now it is time for the Carling Cup Round 3 draw. Sixteen Premier League teams await their fate as the teams playing in Europe enter the competition now. Let’s see what the draw throws up:

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CARLING CUP ROUND 3 DRAW

West Ham United vs. Aston Villa

Chelsea vs. Huddersfield Town

Sheffield United vs. Fulham

Portsmouth vs. Coventry City

Wolves vs. Cardiff City

Burnley vs. Manchester City

Wigan Athletic vs. Birmingham City

Liverpool vs. Arsenal

Watford vs. Scunthorpe United

Bristol City vs. Ipswich Town

Manchester United vs. Blackpool

Stoke City vs. Hull City

Blackburn Rovers vs. Charlton Athletic

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Bolton Wanderers

Swansea City vs. Colchester United

Middlesbrough vs. Leicester City

Thanks for your company tonight. Join us this weekend for the Internationals as England play their first competitive game since their World Cup debacle. New boss, Chip Butty, will be hoping for a winning start against Bulgaria. SPORTS.tv will be there to see if he can get it. Join us for that! Good night!

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On Top of the World

Aston Villa manager Chris Hughton is on top of the world after a victory in the second city derby over Birmingham.

" We went out there, executed our gameplan, and added a little Eto'o magic and boom, we are near the top of the league!"

Today was also a banner day for technology at Villa Park. Today both Hughton and the club owner Berg Taur, issued their official twitter handles for fans of the club. We'll have posts from Hughton_The_Villan and Berg_Taur_AV in time.

Will they really be on Twitter?!!!

I've just started with Twitter so I'm adding whatever I see!

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It is a shame but the league is a priority.

Despite being dumped out of the cup by League 1 Charlton Athletic, Newcastle United Chairman NF is in high spirits for the rest of the season. It is a shame that we have falled early but to be honest it's not too much of problem. The league is and will always be the number one priority. Especially as this is our first season back in the Premiership and all we are looking to do is consolidate our place in the best league in the world. Obviously it would have been nice to have gone on a long cup run and maybe even got to the final but that's life and cup shocks happen every year in football and unfortunately today we were on the end of one. I hope the fans see what we are trying to build here and there will be none of this chopping and changing manager nonsense that was around when Mike Ashley was here. As we all know he was a complete clown and as they say Rome wasn't built in a day. Alan will be mine and the clubs manager for the forseeable future and hopefully the fans will be happy with that. Infact, I know they will as Alan is a legend.

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[video=youtube;qjj3sanBSC0]

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Welcome to Wembley Stadium!

The road to Euro 2012 starts here at Wembley tonight as England look to put their World Cup disappointment behind them and get their Qualification campaign off to a winning start under new manager, Chip Butty. Tonight, they face Bulgaria at Wembley looking to seal three points from their opening contest.

[video=youtube;KctsrtgJvcc]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KctsrtgJvcc&feature=related

Can England put their World Cup agony behind them? Down to Hazel who is with new manager, Chip Butty, and has the team news.

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I am, Sid, Chip Butty is here with me but let me tell you the team news for England first of all ...

England.jpg

ENGLAND

4-4-2 for England this evening and with no Rooney and no Gerrard to call upon, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Adam Johnson are handed the responsibility of filling very big shoes. Glen Johnson’s injury means that Phil Neville is brought back into the frame and starts tonight for England at right back. John Terry and Rio Ferdinand are paired at the centre of the defence and there are starts for James Milner and Peter Crouch as well as Agbonlahor and Johnson. Gareth Barry returns to partner Frank Lampard in the midfield. The full line up is:

HART

NEVILLE

A.COLE

TERRY

FERDINAND

MILNER

A.JOHNSON

BARRY

LAMPARD

CROUCH

AGBONLAHOR

SUBS: Lescott, Jagielka, Rodwell, J.Cole, A.Young, Defoe, Walcott

Here with me is Chip Butty. Thanks for joining us, Gabriel Agbonlahor replaces Wayne Rooney, what is your thinking behind that?

CB: I said when I took over that players would be picked on merit not name. Many people assumed that Defoe would replace Rooney but look at the first few games of the season and you’ll see that Gabby has been hammering home the goals for West Brom as well as assisting several as well. He’s the man in form so I decided he was the man to start tonight.

You’ve brought back Gareth Barry to replace Steven Gerrard and given Adam Johnson a chance to shine on the left. What makes Adam Johnson the starting pick?

CB: I gave Ashley Young a chance against Hungary but he disappointed himself there and that kind of gave me the idea that Johnson needed a chance. But with both Ashley and Joe Cole on the bench, Adam knows that he needs a performance tonight to keep that place.

You dropped Phil Neville from the squad but then recalled him. He starts tonight, how is his confidence?

CB: Phil is a terrific professional. I gave him a chance against Hungary and he – by his own admission – wasn’t at his best. However, I know that Phil will usually give me a top performance, he generally always gives you a seven out of ten. I know I can rely on him tonight against a difficult opponent in Martin Petrov.

Finally, no keeper on the bench. Thoughts?

CB: Statistically, we aren’t likely to need one. I wanted more options. Plus I’m aware that Jagielka can do a decent job in goal if needed.

Confident?

CB: Always ...

Cheers, Chip. Back to you, Sid.

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[video=youtube;eWglfEL2GQw]

FIRST HALF

Bulgaria are in their red strips and line up with a few recognisable names in their starting eleven. Both Petrovs start with Martin up front and Stilian in the midfield. Valeri Bojinov, the Manchester City flop, starts alongside Martin Petrov up front.

1 min:

Popov with the ball in midfield, played forward, could be an early chance for Bojinov ... saved by Hart! Bojinov was offside though, it wouldn’t have counted but an early warning.

3 mins:

Popov again in an advanced position, slides the ball around Ferdinand, Martin Petrov will shoot ... straight at Hart for an easy save. England slow out of the blocks. Lampard lunges in two footed there, this could be problematic for England as well ... yellow card shown, Lampard is a lucky, lucky man.

6 mins:

Phil Neville loses out on the right and Bulgaria can attack with Bojinov. He holds play up down the left and lays it back to Stilian Petrov, 25 yards out, hits the shot ... parried away by Hart and cleared by the relieved Neville.

16 mins:

Barry with the corner for England from the left. Cleared easily by Bulgaria and they can launch another counter attack here with Bojinov again. The striker down the left goes for the cross, mis-hits it ... but Hart has to backpedal and tip it over the bar for a corner!

19 mins:

Gabby Agbonlahor wins the ball on halfway. The West Brom striker runs at the Bulgarian defence who look worried, they’re backing off him, it’s Agbonlahor to shoot ... good stop by Mihaylov.

24 mins:

Bulgarian free kick played short, Stilian Petrov lays it to Popov who has time here to look up, 25 yards out, goes for the curler but it goes wide and doesn’t worry Joe Hart.

27 mins:

Ashley Cole with the throw in to Agbonlahor, back to Cole, he crosses towards Crouch ... Milner jumps in there and heads just over the bar.

34 mins:

Milner goes down on the right, no foul given and the ball is cleared by Bulgaria. Mistake from Phil Neville allows Bojinov to escape on the left again, he crosses the ball into the area ... prodded home and Bulgaria lead at Wembley! It’s MARTIN PETROV who has forced it home and the England players look shocked.

England 0-1 Bulgaria

(M.Petrov)

38 mins:

Ball forward from Frank Lampard towards Peter Crouch who controls well and plays it wide for Agbonlahor on the left. His cross is a little early and it goes right over the area to Milner ... he fires the ball in low, LAMPARD! England are level! Frank Lampard turns the cross home and the relief around Wembley can be heard!

England 1-1 Bulgaria

(Lampard)

43 mins:

Phil Neville with the throw to Crouch who loses the ball and Popov has time to look up. He finds Bojinov, another good chance for Bulgaria ... side netting! England are living dangerously still ...

2 minutes stoppage time are played and the half time whistle is blown with the sides level.

HALF TIME

England 1-1 Bulgaria

(Lampard; M.Petrov)

A poor first half from England and they are very fortunate to have eleven players on the pitch and to be level at half time. Frank Lampard should have been sent off but wasn’t and was the man who got the equaliser from England’s only bit of quality so far. Chip Butty will be far from impressed; lets hope he reads them the riot act at half time.

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SECOND HALF

HALF TIME

England 1-1 Bulgaria

(Lampard; M.Petrov)

Two changes for England at half time as the players come out with their ears ringing from their half time team talk. Phil Neville has gone off – maybe that is the end of his international career? – as has Adam Johnson and they have been replaced by Phil Jagielka and Ashley Young as England look to make a better showing in the second half.

57 mins:

At least there are no chances for Bulgaria now even if England aren’t creating. England switch to 433 with Barry going off and Jermain Defoe replacing him.

67 mins:

Stilian Petrov with a free kick for Bulgaria, into the box, Bojinov gets the header ... over the bar.

70 mins:

Lampard out to Ashley Cole on the left hand side. Looking for the cross, back to Lampard, now to the right and Jagielka. He crosses into the middle and Crouch with the header ... superb save from Mihaylov, great play from England at last!

90 mins:

Four minutes stoppage time as England seek the goal. Jagielka with the throw but won by a Bulgarian head again. Crouch pulls Angelov back, referee gives the free kick. Second yellow card for Crouch and he is sent off.

Peter Crouch sent off for England (Second yellow card)

90+4 mins:

Ashley Young with a great tackle and Jermain Defoe can attack down the left. He comes inside, finds Lampard ... great ball, James Milner, chance to win the game ... saved by the keeper again and England throw away a golden chance to win the game.

90+5 mins:

Agbonlahor battles well and wins the ball, he switches it to the right and Ashley Young ... he’s got a run at goal from the halfway line, Ashley Young shoots ... blocked by the keeper again.

The final whistle is blown and England are roundly jeered by their home fans. The dejected players walk off having deserved all they got despite throwing away two great late chances to win it.

FULL TIME:

England 1-1 Bulgaria

(Lampard, Crouch sent off; M.Petrov)

MAN OF THE MATCH: Frank Lampard (England)

Lucky to escape a first half red card but Lampard got England out of trouble with the goal and was the man most likely to provide a winner. Gutsy performance and the rest of the side need to match his levels in Switzerland next week.

SidSmash.png

England will be disappointed with their performance and are now under pressure to go and win in Switzerland next week. The morale of the team was clearly low and the reaction of the fans won’t help to lift it. Peter Crouch will miss the Switzerand game to add to England’s woes and the side badly misses the quality of Rooney and Gerrard.

HazelHarrison.png

I’m here with the England captain, John Terry, down here in the tunnel. A disappointing night, John?

JT: Very. We didn’t deserve to win and we’ve got to accept that we weren’t good enough tonight. The fans pay their money and expect to see much better from us.

Were there any positives tonight?

JT: We played awful but we didn’t lose the game so I guess that is a small positive. We have to go to Switzerland now next week and show that we are much, much better than we showed tonight.

Do you think Peter Crouch deserved his red card?

JT: Two yellow cards, the second was debatable but you have to accept them. Frank has admitted that he was lucky first half to escape so these things even themselves out.

Thanks for your time, John. Back to you, Sid!

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God, I'm worse than Capello!

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So England disappoint us again, a new manager cannot bring a new change in fortune. We follow Chip Butty and his England team now to Switzerland where they will be hoping to get their first win of the Euro 2012 qualifiers. Join us there. Goodnight!

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Would the uploaded goals be of interest to people?

I've just figured out how to do it properly and such. I've put the link on the end of the SPORTS.tv coverage of the England - Bulgaria game.

Thoughts?

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Good idea GCB. But only if it is not going to cause you too much work uploading goals for every game.

or would it just be the live games and England games?

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Good idea GCB. But only if it is not going to cause you too much work uploading goals for every game.

or would it just be the live games and England games?

The upload process doesn't take long and I just edit the information. I wouldn't put every goal of every game there either. Just the live games.

And maybe

as well ...

Ricardo Fuller for Stoke City in their 4-2 defeat at Newcastle United (made it 2-1 to Newcastle at the time)

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Wolves through to 3rd Round with a proper display. Cardiff City should be managable and we should cruise further. Have to say though, Chip Butty needs to get some results in the near future or people may turn their backs on him :) Goals are just fine btw Andy, it's a good addition if it is not a big hassle to show'em up for the important matches. Waiting for a league match or two for more coverage from Molineux so I can have some things to write about :)

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Wolves through to 3rd Round with a proper display. Cardiff City should be managable and we should cruise further. Have to say though, Chip Butty needs to get some results in the near future or people may turn their backs on him :) Goals are just fine btw Andy, it's a good addition if it is not a big hassle to show'em up for the important matches. Waiting for a league match or two for more coverage from Molineux so I can have some things to write about :)

It's not a big hassle and I think it'll add more to the thread.

When are Wolves due on the SPORTS.tv live game?

EDIT: Quite soon, actually

SPORTS.tv LIVE GAMES

AUGUST

14: Liverpool vs. Everton

21: Man. United vs. Arsenal

28: Birmingham vs. Aston Villa

SEPTEMBER

11: Man. City vs. Chelsea

18: West Brom vs. Wolves

25: Fulham vs. Bolton

OCTOBER

2: Blackpool vs. Stoke

16: West Ham vs. Newcastle

23: Wigan vs. Blackburn

30: Blackpool vs. Man. City

NOVEMBER

6: Tottenham vs. Arsenal

9: Man. City vs. Man. United

13: Arsenal vs. Chelsea

20: Chelsea vs. Man. United

27: Arsenal vs. Liverpool

DECEMBER

4: Liverpool vs. Man. United

11: West Ham vs. Tottenham

18: Everton vs. Blackburn

26: Newcastle vs. Sunderland

28: Sunderland vs. Birmingham

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Live From Anfield

To Answer Evertons Chairmans preach there is only one Colour on Merseyside that anyone Cares about and that is Red one the team start to gel and get Buffon Back We will be Firing on all cylinders and you also had to resort to dirty tactics in kicking Gerrard around the pitch to manage a Draw i am sure Sir Gerrard was There the game would of been Different.

And GCB Sort England Out will you :)

Hope this is alright gotta rush at work tonight and the damn place dont have wireless haha.

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Will they really be on Twitter?!!!

I've just started with Twitter so I'm adding whatever I see!

Thinking about it, just gotta sign up for the e-mails to register them. Should be fun.

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AUGUST 2010

SidSmash.png

Welcome to our monthly round-up of action from the Premier League!

The transfer window is now closed and fastened shut so we’ll bring you up to date with the latest deals. We’ll bring you up to date with the awards for the Premier League in August 2010 as well as an update on the Championship as well.

MANAGER OF THE MONTH: Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United)

Yet another award for Sir Alex as he leads his United side to the summit of the Premier League after three games. However, many will point to the late comeback at home to Arsenal and suggest that United were ten minutes away from a bad start to the season – small margins play a massive part in the Premier League. In August, United played four games:

UNITED 3-0 Chelsea (Community Shield)

Wigan 1-1 UNITED (Premier League)

UNITED 2-1 Arsenal (Premier League)

UNITED 5-0 West Ham (Premier League)

2nd: Chris Hughton (Aston Villa)

3rd: Alan Shearer (Newcastle United)

PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Roque Santa Cruz (West Brom)

The Paraguayan striker takes the award after a blistering start to the season at West Brom since his draft move from Manchester City in the summer. Striking up a fierce partnership with Gabby Agbonlahor, Santa Cruz has scored 5 goals in 3 games and leads the goalscoring charts.

2nd: Samir Nasri (Arsenal)

3rd: Samuel Eto’o (Aston Villa)

YOUNG PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Jack Rodwell (Everton)

Everton’s young midfielder takes the award for the Young Player of the Month after three good performances for Everton as well as making his England debut under Chip Butty. The youngster will be hoping to build on this in September and force his way further into the England frame.

2nd: Theo Walcott (Arsenal)

3rd: Jeffrey Bruma (Chelsea)

GOAL OF THE MONTH: Ricardo Fuller (Newcastle United vs. STOKE CITY)

[video=youtube;qwkHKz2PJv8]

At 2-0 down at St. James’ Park, Fuller picked up the ball from Ryan Shawcross in the middle of the Newcastle half, beat two men and fired home to give Stoke hope. Unfortunately, despite pulling back to 2-2, the Potters went on to lose the game 4-2.

2nd: Karim Benzema (Liverpool vs. EVERTON)

3rd: David Villa (FULHAM vs. Blackpool)

LATEST TRANSFER DEALS

Jose Maria Callejon (23 year old AMC/ST): Espanyol to West Brom (loan)

Emiliano Martinez (18 year old GK): Independiente to Arsenal (£500K)

PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE

[b]| Pos   | Inf   | Team        |       | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|[/b] 
| 1st   |       | Man Utd     |       | 3     | 2     | 1     | 0     | 8     | 2     | +6    | 7     | 
[b]| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| [/b]
| 2nd   |       | Aston Villa |       | 3     | 2     | 1     | 0     | 9     | 4     | +5    | 7     | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3rd   |       | West Brom   |       | 3     | 2     | 1     | 0     | 7     | 2     | +5    | 7     | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4th   |       | Newcastle   |       | 3     | 2     | 1     | 0     | 8     | 5     | +3    | 7     | 
[b]| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| [/b]
| 5th   |       | Everton     |       | 3     | 1     | 2     | 0     | 4     | 2     | +2    | 5     | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 6th   |       | Man City    |       | 3     | 1     | 2     | 0     | 2     | 1     | +1    | 5     | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 7th   |       | Chelsea     |       | 3     | 1     | 2     | 0     | 1     | 0     | +1    | 5     | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 8th   |       | Arsenal     |       | 3     | 1     | 1     | 1     | 5     | 2     | +3    | 4     | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 9th   |       | Fulham      |       | 3     | 1     | 1     | 1     | 4     | 3     | +1    | 4     | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 10th  |       | Stoke       |       | 3     | 1     | 1     | 1     | 4     | 5     | -1    | 4     | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 11th  |       | Liverpool   |       | 3     | 1     | 1     | 1     | 4     | 6     | -2    | 4     | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 12th  |       | Bolton      |       | 3     | 1     | 1     | 1     | 2     | 4     | -2    | 4     | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 13th  |       | Tottenham   |       | 3     | 1     | 0     | 2     | 3     | 4     | -1    | 3     | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 14th  |       | Wigan       |       | 3     | 0     | 2     | 1     | 2     | 4     | -2    | 2     | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 15th  |       | Sunderland  |       | 3     | 0     | 2     | 1     | 4     | 7     | -3    | 2     | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 16th  |       | Blackpool   |       | 3     | 0     | 2     | 1     | 2     | 5     | -3    | 2     | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 17th  |       | West Ham    |       | 3     | 0     | 2     | 1     | 0     | 5     | -5    | 2     | 
[b]| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| [/b]
| 18th  |       | Blackburn   |       | 3     | 0     | 1     | 2     | 4     | 6     | -2    | 1     | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 19th  |       | Wolves      |       | 3     | 0     | 1     | 2     | 2     | 4     | -2    | 1     | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 20th  |       | Birmingham  |       | 3     | 0     | 1     | 2     | 2     | 6     | -4    | 1     | 
[b]| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|[/b]

CHAMPIONSHIP

After 5 games in the nPower Championship, it is Hull City who are leading the charge for a return to the Premier League with 4 wins in their opening 5 games. They are joined by unbeaten Burnley in second, also relegated last season, whilst Portsmouth – the third side relegated – are struggling down in 19th place at the moment. Scunthorpe United are the surprise package in the Play Off places and are joined by Leeds United looking for a return to the big time, unbeaten Preston North End, Cardiff City and Leicester City in the upper echelons. At the bottom, Doncaster Rovers, Bristol City and Reading are in the drop zone at this early stage of the season.

UPCOMING LIVE GAMES ON SPORTS.tv

3: England vs. Bulgaria (Euro 2012 Qualifier)

7: Switzerland vs. England (Euro 2012 Qualifier)

11: Manchester City vs. Chelsea (Premier League)

15: AC Milan vs. Tottenham Hotspur (Champions League)

18: West Brom vs. Wolves (Premier League)

22: West Ham vs. Aston Villa (Carling Cup R3)

25: Fulham vs. Bolton Wanderers (Premier League)

29: Roma vs. Arsenal (Champions League)

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Bad luck with England so far GCB, seems like a tricky one to get going. Out of interest, what other save(s) are you actually playing on FM11 at the moment?

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Would the uploaded goals be of interest to people?

I've just figured out how to do it properly and such. I've put the link on the end of the SPORTS.tv coverage of the England - Bulgaria game.

Thoughts?

yeah iv been uploading the goals on my Singapore Challenge :)

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Bad luck with England so far GCB, seems like a tricky one to get going. Out of interest, what other save(s) are you actually playing on FM11 at the moment?

This one isn't really a game I'm 'playing' - I take charge of England once in a while.

I'm doing the Ultimate Gaffer thing (Hereford) - get over to it and join us!

And I have a Sheffield United save that I've been playing recently. Unfortunately work will get in the way soon though ... so I'll have to leave it up to real life and Micky Adams :)

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This one isn't really a game I'm 'playing' - I take charge of England once in a while.

I'm doing the Ultimate Gaffer thing (Hereford) - get over to it and join us!

And I have a Sheffield United save that I've been playing recently. Unfortunately work will get in the way soon though ... so I'll have to leave it up to real life and Micky Adams :)

I'm currently attempting to finally win a trophy with Messina, 17 seasons in :D my first proper attempt at the Big Euro Nation challenge.

If I complete that, I'm torn between having a go at Gundo's, and having a journeyman save. If I choose the latter, I may well do it within the rules of the Ultimate Gaffer thread so I can have some people to share pain with :)

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Sorry for being a dick the other day, was in a bad mood.

Can't believe we lost to Ipswich, and at home, wtf.

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DailyMirror.jpg

BUTTY’S BOYS ROLLED OVER BY SWISS!

Euro2012.jpg

SWITZERLAND 2-0 ENGLAND

Simon Says reports from Berne, Switzerland

Chip Butty’s start as England manager lurched from bad to worse last night as his team were beaten 2-0 by Switzerland to leave the nation’s Euro 2012 qualifying hopes hanging in the balance. Second half goals from Alexander Frei and Eren Derdiyok condemned Butty’s side to an embarrassing defeat and already there are major worries amongst the England fans about whether the new manager can change the fortunes of the national team.

England started the game with Phil Jagielka, Jack Rodwell, Ashley Young and Jermain Defoe coming into the side that started against Bulgaria at Wembley last Friday night. Phil Neville was unsurprisingly dropped, Peter Crouch was suspended and Adam Johnson and Gabriel Agbonlahor didn’t do enough against Bulgaria to keep their places. England started brightly and could have gone in front in the first minute, good possession football leading to a 25-yard effort from Lampard that was saved well. However, the hapless Neville was soon on the pitch after an injury to Rio Ferdinand and immediately, the Swiss began to make inroads on the left.

There was a let off for Joe Hart on 32 minutes as he fumbled a shot from Barnetta and Grichting pounced to score but the goal was ruled out for offside – correctly. Frei headed over from a left wing cross before England’s best chance of the first half. Rodwell and Lampard combined brilliantly and set up Jermain Defoe who stinging drive smashed against the crossbar and was cleared to safety. 2 minutes stoppage time was played and England reached half time goalless despite Ferdinand’s injury.

However, the second half was only a few minutes old when Switzerland delighted the 30,000 crowd with their first goal. Derdiyok and Barnetta combined on the left, Barnetta slid the ball to Frei who looked offside and he beat Hart easily to make it 1-0. The call for offside was tight with John Terry particularly incensed by the decision. England responded by bringing on Darren Bent and Agbonlahor for Young and Milner as they went to a 4-3-3 formation in search of an equaliser. However, Derdiyok had a golden chance to then extend the Swiss lead but he blazed wide when through on Hart’s goal.

England then began to show that they had quality as they created several good chances. In the space of 4 minutes, both Bent and Agbonlahor were sent through on goal but both hit their shots straight at the keeper and England were punished with 20 minutes left. Barnetta swung over a corner, Joe Hart dallied and Derdiyok rose at the far post to head in from a tight angle. Agbonlahor went through again and drove wide before England had penalty claims waved away after Benaglio’s challenge on Bent. It was not to be England’s night though and the full time whistle meant that Butty’s England lost for the first time and still haven’t won.

Hart, Jagielka, Terry ©, Ferdinand (Neville, 25), A.Cole, Milner (Agbonlahor, 49), Barry, Lampard, Rodwell, A.Young (Bent, 49), Defoe

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