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Who’s hot, who’s not


Sam Allardyce: “Out-tacticed” is an early contender for word of 2014 from the 19th century strategist. The so often surly West Ham manager was this week too good for his opposite number, Chelsea’s José Mourinho. The Portuguese complained bitterly about the Hammer’s tactics of “parking the bus” in an effort to (successfully) gain a 0-0 draw. Anyone for sour grapes?

Valencia FC:  No doubt all the reports on Valencia’s impressive win at the Camp Nou on Saturday will concentrate on Barcelona’s defeat.

Nevertheless, Los Che should take some credit – especially for their second goal which incredibly was scored with a header from 5″4 Pablo Piatti.

It put Valencia 2-1 up just after half-time and came following 19 passes with Valencia looking really comfortable and being afforded tons of space. The goal however was sublime in its creation and finish, leaving Valencia well in contention for a Champions League berth.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle: Trailing 2-1 to Hearts in the Scottish semi-final and down to nine men following two red cards, Callie scored a dramatic injury time equaliser to force extra time and an eventual penalty shoot out which they won.



Chico Flores:  Now this doesn’t happen very often. As far as we know, this is the first time a Premier League footballer has posted evidence online to argue against popular opinion on an incident.

Andy Carroll’s sending off during West Ham’s 2-0 win over Swansea was thought to be harsh on the England striker.

Late on Saturday night, Flores posted a Vine on Twitter, showing a different angle than the one doing the rounds, suggesting Andy Carroll did swing an elbow at him. If Carroll did catch the Spaniard though then it looked more like the top of his head rather than his face that was hit and if that it was not particularly forcefully. Undoubtedly an extreme over reaction from Flores.

Robin van Persie:   Rumour has it that the Dutchman could possibly return to Arsenal, but this does not seem to be going down well with Gooners.

The Mail’s Rob Shepherd positions himself as the man with the inside knowledge as he types the bizarre story that Robin van Persie may quit Manchester United to return to Arsenal this summer.

The story, which comes the day after United lost 2-1 away at Stoke in another terrible weekend for the reigning champions, feeds off of assumptions of mistrust and bad blood between David Moyes and his world-class Dutch centre-forward. Social networking sites have however been buzzing with Arsenal’s fans angst at a possible return of the 30 year-old to the Emirates.

Jim White:  I watched very little of the Sky Sports transfer deadline day countdown, but I guarantee that Jim White went on with some irritating antics during Sky Sport‘s hyperbole and hyperventilation fest.

Pundit Arena, James Clancy.


About James Clancy

A qualified Irish journalist and photographer with an interest in an eclectic mix of sports. James Clancy has written for a variety of sports media outlets.His knowledge is dominated by (but certainly not limited to) Irish and British football issues, rugby, and GAA; contemporary, nostalgic, current affairs and quirky.