Olympic Women's Football 1/4 Final Predictions

 


The group stages were definitely entertaining for the women's football in the Olympics with some surprising results and it has set up for the quarter finals to have some interesting match ups. To be honest with the times that have made it through to the next stage I kind of anticipated it as they are what I consider to be the big teams what did surprise me though is the position that some teams finished in but I am glad that happened as it is leading to some better games in my eyes. 

So here are the quarter final games and my predictions (let's see if I can get any of these ones right) 

Team GB vs Australia

I am really looking forward to this game as I think it could actually be very closely contested. Team GB are a side full of experience where as Australia are still a pretty young side who are started to get better and better. I think this could definitely go either way but I think Team GB's experience might just help them progress. Team GB just need to make sure that they keep an eye on the Australian forwards because we all know what Kerr can be like on a good day. I think Carpenter for Australia could end up being a key player though as we know she is capable of stopping attacks from happening and her speed could cause some issues. I am really hoping for a Team GB win but I guess we will have to wait and see. 

Sweden vs Japan

I think this is going to be an interesting game but honestly with how Sweden have been playing lately I can see them being the ones that walk away victorious. Sweden just look like a very strong side and each year they just seem to be proving that with the results on the pitch. On the other hand I feel like Japan are declining and other teams are starting to catch them up in the sport, they didn't look strong against Team GB and Team GB capitalised on that. They are going to have to come out fighting against Sweden o the host will be exiting the competition. It is definitely going to be fun to watch. 

Netherlands vs USA

A repeat of the 2019 World Cup final that I really can't wait for and again this game could go either way. The USA have not looked like the USA that we are used to seeing and everyone is noticing that they just can't seem to get thinks to gel and results to go their way where as the Netherlands just go from strength to strength. With their manager leaving after the tournament I think the Netherlands will want her to leave with a medal so they are going to come out fighting and we have seen how capable they are of getting goals. I really do think that with the way the USA are currently playing we could see the Netherlands through to the next stage and the USA missing out on another medal opportunity but let's hope they end up proving me wrong either way this is going to be a great game to watch. 

Canada vs Brazil 

Finally we have Cananda vs Brazil where we are going to have the chance to see some absolutely fantastic players like Sinclair and Marta. I think we could be in for a treat with this game as both teams are doing really well at the moment and with Brazil's experience and aging team they will be doing their best to get a shot at a medal where as Canada will be wanting to show how they are meant to be up there with the best. Honestly I am really on sure who could progress through this game but I think I am going to have to settle with Canada going through. I guess I am just going to keep an eye on the game to see if I am correct but I do think it is going to be close. 

It is definitely going to be interesting to see who progresses into the next round as I really do think there could be a few upsets if teams aren't careful. Who do you think will be progressing through to the next stage? 

Remember to keep checking back for more Olympic posts for both the men's and women's game. 

Olympic Women's Football Group Round Up

 


Well that group stage flew by for the women's football during the Olympics didn't it. It is safe to say we got to witness some pretty great games too with some shock results and players really not looking their best whilst other players really took their chance to shine and stood out from the crowd. I managed to watch plenty of the games that were shown on the BBC but I still aren't impressed they took the final Team GB off the air when they aren't given enough chances to be broadcast as it is but that is a rant for another day. I am quite impressed with what we saw throughout the groups and for a change my predictions were actually quite accurate. So here is what I predicted, how it ended and a little bit about the groups...

Group E Predictions

Great Britain 

Japan 

Canada

Chile

How It Ended 

Team GB

Canada 

Japan 

Chile 


I am so glad that Team GB topped this group as they got off to a great start against Chile and Ellen White has had a fantastic competition so far. The team have looked really strong and have settled together really well to say it is a small mix of nations not just one usual national team. Home nation Japan didn't really impress me either and it seems like they are starting to struggle against some of the upcoming teams to say they were in finals in 2015 it is safe to say other teams are catching them up. Canada seem to be one of those teams going from strength to strength and I am loving how well they are coming together as a team and showing everyone they are on their tails. I do feel sorry for Chile though as this was always going to be a big test for them as the group is a strong one and unfortunately they just couldn't get the results needed but we are seeing a lot of improvements from them.  


Group  F Prediction

Netherlands 

Brazil 

China 

Zambia


How It Ended 

Netherlands

Brazil

Zambia

China

I didn't actually get to watch any games from this group and I am actually a bit disappointed by this as I really enjoy watching both the Netherlands and Brazil play. I have heard that there were some great games in this group and the opening result from Netherlands vs Zambia just goes to show how good the Netherlands are in my eyes putting so many past a team in a tournament is always a strong sign. Brazil of course qualified for the next round as expected and even with their aging team they just look absolutely fantastic. I do have to say I feel for poor Zambia and China being placed in a group with these two teams but neither showed signs of giving up. 

Group  G predictions 

USA

Australia 

Sweden

New Zealand 


How It Ended 

Sweden 

USA

Australia 

New Zealand

I will admit I though USA would run this group but what a shock they had in their first game with Sweden putting plenty past them and them not being able to reply. Throughout the groups they haven't looked like the side we are used to seeing and honestly other teams must be rubbing their hands together as they might finally be able to cause some upsets. Sweden have shown us all they are not to be taken lightly and they mean business. It is great seeing how Sweden are improving year after year too. Australia are another team showing a lot of potential and with them still being a very young side they are definitely one to watch as I can only see them going further and further in competitions. I do feel for New Zealand though as they were drawn against some of the greatest teams at the moment and they just couldn't get the results needed for them to progress.

So that is the group stage done now it is time for the quarter finals where we are going to be treated to some fantastic games once again. Check back very for our quarter final prediction post and even more Olympic football posts. 

My Thoughts On The Team GB Shirt

 

I remember being disappointed that I never got the 2012 Olympic football shirt as I thought that the design looked absolutely fantastic and to be honest going into this Olympics I was wondering what we was going to end up with and with Adidas doing the kit I was a bit skeptical as they can really be hit or miss these days with some of their designs. To be honest though now I have seen pictures of it I am pleasantly surprised and am actually tempted to purchase one for myself. 

I am absolutely loving the overall design of this shirt with the curved hem of the shirt including the slits as it is something a little different. what I love the most though is the nice big ribbed collar in the navy blue as it just stops the top of the shirt being so plain and makes it stand out a bit too. It doesn't look like a low cut from the image either which is great as lately I have found that some shirt collars are a little too deep for me lately but this one looks perfect. 

The print doesn't actually start until 3/4 of the way down the shirt either which leaves the top free for the Adidas logo and Team GB badge to take centre stage and stand out although the Team GB doesn't look half as big as I thought it would it definitely looks nice and subtle although the Adidas badge does seem to over power it a little bit. These also seems to be a Great Britain flag on the sleeve but you can't quite make it out on the images so I am definitely going to have to take a closer look at this in person before I can say if I am a fan or not. Other than that the sleeves seem to carry on the simplicity of the the top 1/4 of the shirt as it just has the small navy blue piping around the cuffs which I like as it just stops it being all white. 

The actual print of the shirt is fantastic too and certainly stands out, I love how it starts of nice and bold at the bottom whilst fading as it reaches the end, this for me just helps it flow into the plain aspect of the top 1/4 without it cutting off harshly. This just helps combine the shirt instead of it looking disjointed due to a harsh cut off. The print basically looks like a pulled apart Union Jack with the colours of the flag and a few lines making up the print and I think Adidas have done this in a really good quirky way to make the shirt stand out and looks different whilst still capturing the nation it is representing. I definitely like the abstract aspect of the whole design and I think Adidas and Team GB have created a fantastic shirt. 

If you want to purchase a Team GB shirt to show your support for the women's football team it will cost you... 

Men - £64.95
Women - £64.95
Kids - £49.95 

To be honest I think this is going to be the going rate for shirts these days and for a special event such as the Olympics I think it is a pretty reasonable price because how many times do you see Team GB football shirts released... not many as we don't always play football in the Olympics. I will definitely be trying my best to buy one of these shirts as I love it and don't want to miss out like I did in 2012. Let's hope I get my hands on one soon so I can wear it whilst supporting the Women's football. 

Will you be buying a Team GB football shirt? 

First Thoughts On The Manchester United 21/22 Home Shirt

Manchester United have been my second favourite team for as long as I can remember which meant growing up most of the shirts I bought were actually Manchester United ones as they were just easier to purchase. Most birthdays I would end up with one with a players name on the back from my grandparents and I loved receiving them. However, in recent years the price of the latest Manchester United shirts has meant I haven't picked up half as many as I would have liked too. I think this might be chatting though as just like with Bradford City, Manchester United have gone for a retro approach with this years home shirt and Adidas have done it justice. 




The new home shirt has got the DNA of United in the back of the neckline with the words youth, courage and success printed there which although when it is worn isn't going to be seen I think it is a nice little touch. On the back it simply just has a gold devil on the top to showcase the clubs success, fingers crossed that this will inspire those wearing it and we are going to see trophies returning to Old Trafford this season.  They have also gone for ribbed trimming and the 1960's inspired cuffs which I think are a very nice touch in a throw back to the clubs previous success from the days when George Best was playing for the club and they were doing really well. 

To be honest when I first saw the shirt I wasn't too keen as I wasn't sure if the sponsor and Adidas logo would spoil it for me however, after looking at it a few more times it is safe to say I am impressed and I think it is the perfect first shirt for us to have the TeamViewer sponsor on as I don't think it would have looked half as good with the Chevrolet sponsor across the front. At least with the TeamViewer logo it is kept to the 3 simple colours of red, white and the bit of yellow in the badge. The use of just the 3 colours keeps the design nice and simple and to be honest I think that this is one of my favourite shirts of theirs in recent years especially as it seems I am really loving the retro look. 

To me this just looks like a good old Mnachester United shirt and shows that sometimes you don't need to go over the top like some kits have done previously, you can keep it simple and still create a shirt the fans are going to love. I think manufacturers are starting to realise that lately as we aren't seeing as many bold prints this season as we have done over the past few years which is great. 

If you want to be a short sleeved kit it will cost you...  

Baby Kit  £37.95
Mini Kit £44.95
Kids £49.95
Adults £64.95
Women's £64.95



 


They have also released a long sleeved version of this shirt and I think if I do end up purchasing this shirt it will be long sleeved version I go for as it just gives the ultimate retro feel to the shirt especially with it being so simple and having the big white cuffs at the bottom. I would normally avoid long sleeved shirts but this one is really jumping out at me. I can see this one selling really well with it being retro inspired as I think a lot of shirt collectors will have their eyes on it. If you do want a long sleeved version it will set you back...

Kids £54.95
Adults £69.99 (Sports Direct price) 

I think I am going to have to have a look at this shirt in store before making my mind up on which version I want but at the moment I am definitely leaning towards the long sleeved version at the moment. It is just nice to see a nice simple design of shirt after some of the ones we have seen teams come out with in the past few years. Let's hope the retro style inspires the team to play like those from the past and we see United performing well and getting back to winning ways as they definitely have the potential. 

Fingers crossed I get my hands on a new Manchester United shirt in the next few months as it has definitely been a long time coming and it is about time I treated myself to a Manchester United shirt. Keep checking back as I will also be doing a piece on both the away and third shirts when they are finally released. 

What do you think to this seasons Manchester United Shirt? 

The Women's Olympic Football Group Stage Predicitions

 



It feels like we have been waiting forever but at long last the Tokyo Olympics are taking place. As I said in my men's group prediction post I am mainly watching the football throughout the Olympics and I really can't wait as I think that for both the men's and women's football we are going to be in for a treat. There are no restrictions on who can represent the countries in the women's game whereas the men need to be under 24 so we are in for a treat with the worlds best women representing their countries and we know from previous tournaments just how much talent there is to watch. So here is how I think the groups are going to look at the end of the group stage... 


Group E
E1 - Japan 
E2- Canada
E3 - Great Britain 
E4 - Chile

I think group E is definitely going to be a tough one as all 4 teams have a whole lot of potential and we have seen recently just how good they can all be. I think it could be Great Britain who just about top this group as they have the talent on their side and as long as the players from the different nations play together they have the makings of being a very very good team who can prove a threat to other teams. Plus if Kirby can carry over her form from Chelsea last season we are in for a treat. I think hosts Japan might just beat Canada to the 2nd place spot as they are a strong side and the fact they are the home nation they will be out their looking to prove themselves, the only problem is lately they don't seem to have been as good as they have in previous years. I think Canada might take up the third spot but only narrowly miss out on the second one, I have found that Canada have been a bit of a hit and miss team recently so I think the players will be trying to prove themselves but I think Team GB and Japan might just beat them to it. I think the group might just prove too strong for Chile but honestly from what we have seen from them recently I don't think they will go down without a fight and they will make the other teams work for their points. 

Group F

F1 - China

F2 - Brazil

F3 - Zambia

F4 - Netherlands

I honestly think this group is mainly down to two teams, Brazil and the Netherlands however, I think that thanks to the Netherlands recent form and the fact their manager is leaving they are going to come out on top of this group. I think they are going to put in some absolutely solid performances and show us the sam quality we saw from them in the 2019 Women's World Cup. I think Brazil will also put in some brilliant performances but struggle to top the Netherlands as we are seeing Brazil get better and better each competition. China are a team who can really challenge you if they want to so I think they will challenge everyone in their group but just fall short behind the Netherlands and Brazil. Unfortunately I think poor Zambia are going to struggle in this group but I think they are going to try show everyone what they are made of. 

Group G

G1 - Sweden 

G2 - USA 

G3 - Australia 

G4 - New Zealand

Now I really think group G is going to be the toughest one with all 4 sides being strong sides and a point to be proven. Back in 2016 we saw the USA surprisingly knocked out of the Olympics by Sweden so I think that we are going to see a really strong battle between them two in their game. I do believe that we are going to see the USA take the top spot of the group though as there just doesn't seem to be any stopping them and they just look stronger and stronger each game. Vlatko has carried on their winning ways and I think we are going to see a lot of wins for them this summer. I think the battle for second place will be a tough one but honestly I believe that Australia could end up taking it if they play the right team together and use each players strength to their advantage, we are seeing a lot of improvement from the Australian team lately and now is the chance for them to show everyone what they are made of. I think Sweden may just miss out on the second spot but I am sure they will be putting in some fantastic performances as we have seen just what they are capable in previous tournaments such as the World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. Unfortunately I think we are going to see New Zealand at the bottom of the group due to the sheer strength of the other teams in the group but they won't go down without a fight and I can see them really keeping some teams at bay for a very long time. 

So here is how I think the groups are going to look at the end of the group stages...

Group E 

Great Britain 

Japan 

Canada

Chile

Group F

Netherlands 

Brazil 

China 

Zambia

Group G

USA

Australia 

Sweden

New Zealand 

It is safe to say I am really looking forward to watching as many games from the competition as possible but thanks to some very early kick offs I might be having to take my laptop to work with me to catch the majority of the action. Just as long as I get to see plenty of Team GB and USWNT games I am definitely going to be happy. Remember there is going to be plenty of Olympic football content on the blog throughout the competition so remember to keep checking back and checking our social media. 

Who do you think is going to top each group?

The Men's Olympic Football Group Stage Predicitions


After the postponement last year this week we finally see the Tokyo Olympics kick off and whilst I will be watching a lot of different events my main focus as always is going to be the football for both the men and the women as how can it not be the one event I look forward to the most. The best thing about the Olympic football for the men is we see a lot of different players to who we usually see which I think gives us a glimpse into the future of the game. We also get to see countries that we might not usually see which is great as it is just a nice change instead of seeing the same people and teams over and over again. I think we are in for quite a good tournament this time around and coming off the back of an already great summer of football I think we are in for a treat. So here is how I think the groups are going to look at the end of the group stages...


Group A

Japan 

Mexico 

South Africa

France

Group A definitely seems like an interesting one which I think could go either way with France possibly just coming out on top of the group. I think second and third place will be down to Mexico or Japan as I think the home nation will be wanting to prove themselves and I have seen bits of their top league games, there is a lot of potential over there. But I think that Mexico could be a surprise for the second spot as I think they are definitely an under rated nation. Unfortunately though I think it could be South Africa that end up at the bottom of the group just due to the possible strength of the other teams. 

Group B

Korea Republic

Honduras

New Zealand 

Romania

 I think group B could honestly go to anyone, this group is filled with teams I don't know much about in regards to us not really seeing much of these teams or players from them especially young players for me. I don't know why but Korea Republic are standing out in this group for me so I will have to put them down as potential winners of this group. I think that second and third could be between Honduras and New Zealand but new Zealand could surprise me and take away that second place spot but only just beat Honduras to it by the finest of margins. I think this group could just be too much for Romania and they will be sent home but honestly anything could happen and I can't wait to see what does. 

Group C

Argentina

Spain 

Egypt 

Australia 

Group C is going to be a really interesting one as it is made up of some very strong teams where we have seen in the past they can produce some great young talents. I think this could be one of the closest groups throughout the whole competition due to what we have seen in the past. I think Argentina could end up just beating everyone else to the top spot as I think they will have seen the countries Copa America success and be determined to try replicate it. I really wish I could say Australia would finish second but honestly I think that Spain will prove too strong and finish second as again they always seem to have a good selection of youngsters at their disposal. We have seen Australia improving year on year and their leagues have actually become great to watch but I think this group could just be too strong for them. I think this group could just prove a little too strong for Egypt too however, I think they are going to put up a fight to prove themselves. 

Group D

Brazil 

Germany 

Cote d'Ivoire 

Saudi Arabia

For group D I think we could see a tough battle for the top spot with Brazil and Germany being the top contenders. I think Brazil will just about win the race though and end up at the top of the table come the end of the group stage. We have seen Brazil being up and down over the years but I think these youngsters will be trying to make an impression especially after seeing their counterparts just miss out on the Copa America. Germany have some brilliant young talent though so we will see a big push from them for that top spot. I honestly can't make my mind up over who will be bottom in this group but honestly I think it could be a case of Cote d'Ivoire finishing third and Saudi Arabia coming in at the bottom of the table. I think just like with Egypt though Saudi Arabia are also going to put up a fight to prove themselves. 

So here is how I think each group could look by the end of the group stages...

Group A

France 

Japan

Mexico 

South Africa 


Group B 

Korea Republic 

New Zealand

Honduras 

Romania


Group C 

Argentina 

Spain 

Australia 

Egypt 


Group D

Brazil 

Germany 

Cote d'Ivoire 

Saudi Arabia


I am actually really looking forward to seeing how the mens competition works out as there is certainly going to be a lot of talent on show with it not being all the big name players for a change, that is why I love the Olympic football we see that upcoming talent rather than those we already see every weekend. 

How do you think the groups are going to finish? Who is progressing and who is going home. 

The Groups For The Men's Olympic Football



The Olympics are very quickly approaching and although there is no Team GB in the men's football competition I will definitely still be watching the tournament as there is bound to be a whole host of young talent on show and who knows who is going to end up really making a name for themselves. What I love about the Olympics is that it gives young talent the chance to take center stage due to the age restrictions and it is nice to see that for this years tournament has increased the age from under 23 to under 24 so that those who have turned 23 during the competitions delay aren't missing out and still get the chance to represent their countries like they should have done before the Covid-19 pandemic halted everything. 

There are plenty of teams in the competition that are bound to have talent on offer and I think we could see some players from other countries really step up and show us what they are made of. Each group should be an exciting one and some groups I don't think I could pick a winner right now but I have a bit of time to decide them as I will be doing my group prediction post a bit closer to the tournament start date just like I am with the women's groups. But for now here is how the groups are looking...

Group A

Japan 

Mexico 

South Africa

France

Hosts Japan have some great competition in their group with Mexico, South Africa and France making up the rest of the the group. I am really looking forward to this group as I think we could end up seeing some very good emerging players especially from France & Japan. 

Group B

Korea Republic

Hondurus

New Zealand 

Romania

Group B is certainly going to be an interesting group that really could end up going to anyone. I think there might be a few surprises to come from this group and I am ready to watch it to see how it all plays out. 

Group C

Argentina

Spain 

Egypt 

Australia 

I think group C is going to be an interesting one as Argentina and Spain always seem to have plenty of upcoming talent for us to watch but Australia seem to have some pretty good players these days and I do think they could be a team to watch alongside Egypt in this group as I think they are going to put up a fight. 

Group D

Brazil 

Germany 

Cote d'Ivoire 

Saudi Arabia

I think group D could definitely be an interesting one with some top quality young players on show. Brazil for me are always a team to watch as they produce some absolutely fantastic players and Germany are always a team to watch for me as they can definitely be hit and miss so it is always interesting to see them play to see what version you are getting. I think Cote d'Ivoire can be a surprise in this group and I think it is going to nice to see Saudi Arabia play too.

It is definitely going to be nice to see different teams in a tournament for a change and younger names instead of all the top stars. I really think it could be anyone's tournament though and a chance for us fans to see some different players and teams for a change. Let's just hope I get the chance to watch plenty of games. Remember throughout the Olympics there will be plenty of blog posts covering both the men's and women's competition so keep checking back or keep and eye on our social media to see new content. 

Who Is Impressing So Far In The NWSL... My current Favourite Players

The NWSL is back in full swing and we have so far seen some very interesting games with some shock outcomes, after the past few seasons who would have thought Orlando Pride would be so high up the table? With the disruption we have seen plenty of movement throughout the league with big names leaving then returning and making almost an immediate impact on the teams they returned to or moved to. We have seen plenty of new talent and other players seem to have found their feet again and are putting in some fantastic performances. I haven't got to watch half as many games as I would have liked thanks to our internet really not liking Twitch but here are the players that have made it to my current favourite NWSL players list...


Rachel Daly 

I don't actually remember the last time Daly didn't make it onto one of my favourites lists as no matter where she has played lately she has given it her all. Daly is one of my favourites as she is not just a goal scorer, she is a play maker too. No matter what position she plays in she always seems to be involved in the build up play to get the team forward and we all know she isn't afraid to make a challenge to stop the opposition attacks. If I was Daly I think I would be fed up of not knowing what position I was going to be in whether it is for club or country but she just seems to get on with it and puts in some fantastic performances no matter where she is. I am a bit gutted I didn't get to see her play in the FAWSL last season as she is one of those players I have only caught glimpses of live so far. 


Sydney Leroux

It is safe to say Leroux has found her form again and it isn't bad to say it isn't actually that long ago she returned from having her second child. Pride desperately needed to find a strike force that worked for them as the past few seasons have been terrible and they have been putting in some poor performances however, they seem to have hit the ground running with the Leroux & Morgan partnership. They work well together and we have seen that with the results Pride are getting. Even without Morgan by her side Leroux is putting in some brilliant performances and her name is popping up on the score sheet plenty of times which is fantastic to see as she is in my eyes one of the most underrated players in the league and she potential deserves a spot back on the national team especially if she carries on playing the way she has been so far this season.  


Ashlyn Harris

To me Harris is one of the best goalkeepers in the league and we have seen her put in fantastic performances time after time. I honestly don't know how she isn't one of the first names down on the USWNT team sheet as she is just that good. Yes like all other goalkeepers she does have her moments of making dodgy decisions however, there are more great moments than bad ones in my eyes. You just have to look at some of the saves she pulls off game after game and how many save of the week nominations she gets to see how well she performances. Harris is also absolutely brilliant at saving penalties too which is always an added benefit for her side as you can have confidence in her if they are ever given. For me just like with Leroux Harris is massively underrated and deserves a whole lot more credit for what she provides her team. 


Ali Riley 

Riley is one of those players who has been around for a long time but has got no where near the amount of credit she deserves as she is an absolutely fantastic player. Ali is a play maker who is definitely not afraid to get stuck in and put 100% into each game. Riley is a real asset to any team she is on and I really do believe she is one of the biggest reasons we have seen a turn around in the Pride's results this year. There just seems to be something about her and her performances that lift those around her and get the best out of them. I think as the season progresses we are going to see more and more influential performances from Riley that will keep Pride up there in the top half of the table. 


Becky Sauerbrunn 

 Sauerbrunn for me is still one of the best defenders in the league and at 36 years old she doesn't even show signs of slowing down which is amazing because if it was the men's game she would have retired by now yet she is still putting in absolutely fantastic performances. I will actually be quite upset when she does eventually retire though as the game will definitely be losing one of its best defending talents but she has certainly taught those who she has played with and against a lot to inspire a new generation. Sauerbrunn really impresses me as 90% of the tackles she makes are perfectly timed and she really isn't afraid to get stuck in even if sometimes it means pulling off a risky challenge some people would back out but Becky just heads straight in there and keeps her head to get the best result possible. Her knowledge of the game and outcomes on the field is amazing and a lot of other defenders could really learn a lot from her. 

As I said I haven't got to watch half as many games as I would have liked to due to our internet speed and Twitch not running 90% of the time due to this. However, from the games I have seen and the highlights I have seen on social media, these players are the ones that have stood out to me the most. By the end of the season this list will probably have changed a few times but check back at the end of the season as I will be sure to do a post all about my overall favourites. Who are some of your favourites in the NWSL at the moment?

Bradford City 2021/22 Home Shirt


The day finally arrived on Monday and we finally got our first look at the new Bradford City shirt and it didn't disappoint, well especially not for me as we have gone for something different. We have gone retro taking inspiration from the shirt 40 years ago and it has been done so well. For me Avec Sport are a fantastic kit supplier and looking back I don't think I have ever actually been disappointed by any of the shirts they have done for us. So here is a look at the shirt a bit closer...


The shirt has definitely taken on a more retro feel to take us back 40 years and Avec have captured the feel of the shirt really well. We have opted to move away from our familiar all over claret and amber shirt this season which I think makes a nice change as it just mixes things up a bit, it does make you wonder what our away and third shirts are going to look like colour wise, I know that I can't wait to find out though. 

The white on the shirt gives it a nice clean and classic look whilst the claret and amber across the shoulders gives it that true Bradford City feel whilst not ruined that clean look. I think this shirt could have gone numerous ways but the stripes across the shoulders is definitely the best way to go especially with the claret being the more prominent colour of the two. I love the Avec logo being in the claret colour too as it just flows with the rest of the shirt. To be honest sponsors that take up a lot of space on shirts aren't the one for me however, I have never had an issue with the JCT600 sponsorship as it just seems to work really well on all our shirts and Avec incorporate it into their designs perfectly. The fact it is claret fits in with the club and the rest of the shirt. 


The back of the shirt is kept nice and simple too and fingers crossed the names and numbers are going to stand out perfectly instead of us struggling to see them like we did at some points last season. I love how the shoulder detail rolls over onto the back with the block of claret and small amber stripe underneath that. Again the Mitton Group sponsor is worked into the design really well as it stands out but doesn't stand out too much. The only other thing on the back of the shirt is the black ribbon to remember those we sadly lost in the fire which it is nice to see we are keeping on our shirts. 


On the side of the shirt we have a lovely claret mesh panel which is subtle but just adds a bit more colour to the shirt. From the front you can barely see it but it is definitely a nice addition. We have then added something a bit more up to date to the retro shirt... the Avec logo taping on the sleeve. I absolutely loved this on last seasons shirt and honestly I don't think it ruins the look at all as I think it merges the past with the future. 

I usually wait until my birthday for the latest shirt but honestly I don't think I can wait until September for it. If like me you want to purchase this shirt or any other bits it will cost you... 

Shirt - £37.50 - £49.95
Shorts - £18.00 to £22.00
Socks - £8.50 to £11.00
Infant kit - £27.95 

£49.95 seems expensive for a Bradford City shirt especially if you are buying a few but with it being Avec you are really getting what you pay for as I have never had any issues with them in the past. 


We also got a first look at our goalkeeper kit and now to be honest I am never really interested in goalkeeper kits but this one has caught my eye and even Liam is tempted by it. Granted when I first saw it I thought Hornby looked more like a referee than a goalkeeper but after seeing other pictures of it my mind has really been changed. 


The shirt is a nice blend of black and white with the white details really standing out. It has a slightly hidden chevron design on the actual fabric which just adds something a little different too it which I really like as you have to go look for it really as it is nice and subtle but stops the shirt just being plain black. The white Avec logo and JCT600 logo look great too and really stand out alongside the clubs badge. The white around the neck also looks nice too, at first I thought it looked a bit random but after seeing it a few times it is a nice bit of added detail. 


The chevron design is carried over onto the back of the shirt so it is safe to say it all flows nicely as the design is so continuous. We have the white Mitton Group sponsor on the back which fits nicely at the top of the shirt and instead of the black ribbon like on the outfield players home shirt we have a white ribbon to remember those lost in the fire which I think looks perfect as it definitely stands out and is noticeable, in fact it is more noticeable than it is on the outfield players home shirt. 


Just like with the outfield players shirt we have the mesh panel on the side which is in the white detailing. You can see this a little more from the front but it works well as it just looks like it is meant to be there and wasn't just an after thought. As you can see from the image above it flows really nicely with the Avec taping on the sleeves too which uses the same white theme and looks perfect. 

This might actually be the first goal keeper shirt I actually purchase for myself as it is safe to say I am finding it to be a nice shirt and I am looking forward to seeing the other goal keeper shirt options for the season. Again if like me you fancy picking up this shirt for yourself it will cost you... 

Shirt - £37.50 - £49.95
Shorts - £18.00 to £22.00
Socks - £8.50 to £11.00

Avec have once again smashed it in my eyes for this home shirt and I am looking forward to picking one up for myself and seeing the team wearing the shirt throughout the season. Now lets hope we get to see the away and third shirts soon. 

Euro 2020 Final Round Up & Thoughts On Competition

 


The month has flown by and the Euros are now over. After an extra years wait it was always bound to be a tournament fans jumped straight into as anticipation was just growing and growing due to the delay. It was safe to say us England fans weren't sure what to expect due to how we have performed in previous competitions and the heartbreak we always seem to endure. It was safe to say though our performances had been brilliant and we finally brought hope and excitement to the nation which hasn't had much to cheer about lately just like the rest of the world.

Honestly I never expected to see England in the final of a major tournament in my lifetime as it has always felt we were cursed to fall just before we got there so to be able to experience them in the final was fantastic, let's just hope we don't have to wait as long next time for us to reach another (next year in the World Cup would be very nice). I think we were definitely going into this as the underdogs thanks to Italy's unbeaten run but honestly I was hopeful, some of the performances we had put in previously showed just how much we were capable of. 

England started off well getting Italy on the back foot and really pushing them, we saw how we could draw in their defence and create space straight away which led to Shaw scoring in under 4 minutes giving us the lead. Honestly Shaw is my player of the tournament as he seems to have been everywhere, defending really well, creating assists, linking up well with others and really getting us in some threatening positions. It was great to see how well he worked alongside Sterling too and this could be a great link up for years to come for England if they both stay fit and at the top of the game. I am really glad he finished off the competition with a goal for himself as he definitely deserved one.

I honestly don't think Italy looked their best throughout the game and in fact I think they looked scared of England for the majority of the first half. However, that definitely all changed in the second half and Italy has the upper hand whilst England looked shaky, I don't know what was said in the changing rooms at half time but it definitely worked in Italy's favour and totally changed the way England played. Italy got their goal in the form of a very scrappy one from a corner and to be honest England should have done better defensively to keep it out but it went in and we had to suffer through extra time. 

My nerves have never been as bad as they were for extra time as England looked poor and Italy were looking like they could go on and win the game if they really wanted to but we some how kept it at 1-1 and end up going to penalties... an outcome I had been dreading since we found out we were in the final. There were a few questionable decisions throughout the whole game though that could have really changed the outcome as should Italy have ended the game with all 11 players on the pitch? The pull back on Saka was absolutely ridiculous and clearly stopped him making what could have been a dangerous break. Then we had the 'stamp' on Grealish studs were shown and there was just no need, we have seen players sent off for a lot less recently. As soon as the game went to penalties I think everyone just knew Italy had won it and it is unfortunate as I don't think they really deserved to win like that. When it came to the penalties I don't think Southgate did it right either as I don't think he used the right players and leaving it all down to young Saka was too much, it should have been someone with more big game experience as this moment is always going to be in the back of his mind now but good on him for stepping up and taking it. It is easy to sit on your sofa and say how did a player miss that but when you are in that moment on the pitch with the whole nation on your back it is going to be totally different so credit should be given where it is due as it was the young ones who stepped up to that pressure and it just unfortunately didn't pay off for them but it took a lot to step up in the first place and face that pressure. 

I think throughout the whole of the game England were tactically behind, we took too long to get on the attack and we took far too long to make the changes that were needed which could have won us the game or at least had us looking a whole lot stronger.  We should have added pace in the first half of extra time by bring on Rashford and Sancho as that speed would have troubled Italy and with plenty of them having yellow cards it would really have piled on the pressure. Plus I don't think it is fair how Rashford and Sancho have barely played all month and got brought on just for the pressure of penalties, get them on sooner and give them chance to impact the game and actually get focused on what is happening first. I can't even being to imagine the pressure they were facing. 

Saka should honestly hold his head high as this was his first big tournament and he has shown us all the potential he possesses and the fact he is only 19 years old just lets us know he can only rise up from the occasion and become a better player from it. In fact the whole team can hold their heads high and be proud of the past month as they have got further than any other male England team since 66 and shown we are a force to be reckoned with. WE have shown just how much talent we have and to be honest with us being so young I think this could be a team we see for many more years and we have sent out a warning to other teams. The team managed to unite a nation and give us something to look forward to for a full month not just a few weeks and they brought the love of football back to people who were slowly drifting away. They have also inspired another generation to go out and kick the ball about either with friends or as part of a team which is brilliant to see and something that I hope to see for years to come. 

Overall the tournament was fantastic all month round with plenty of joy and excitement brought to the nations competing after such a long time of heartache and uncertainty due to the ongoing pandemic. We have seen some fantastic results that definitely have shocked everyone, like watching Switzerland come back to knock France out of the competition which I don't think anyone expected and at the start of the month who would have thought England would have been in the final? I know I definitely didn't. It has been a great tournament as nothing has been a given and results have been all over the place which I love as I hate it when you can call every game before kick off and it is always good to see underdogs doing well.  We have also seen a few nasty injuries and incidents which shocked the world... we had Castagne from Belgium with the nasty eye socket injury which could have potentially ended his career if it has been a few inches away from its final position. Then we saw the awful incident with Eriksen in the very early stages of the competition but what was great to see if he is making a full recovery and how the world of football came together to show support for not only him but his Danish team mates too, it was nice to see this touching moment from the football community. Denmark then had a great tournament and you could tell they were playing to prove themselves without Eriksen whilst also trying to win it for him.

It has been a nice change for a tournament not to be all about the big names too as it has actually been the smaller more unknown players who have stood out from the crowd and put in the best performances which is great as it has definitely brought a lot more players to our attention that we might not have possibly heard of previously. It is safe to say if these players manage to stay injury free then the future of football is in very good hands as there is a lot of potential on show. 

Seeing fans back in the stadium has been great too as it has definitely been missed due to the pandemic, granted stadiums weren't at full capacity like we wished they had been but it has just given us an extra glimpse of hope that things are slowly but surely returning to some normality. We have seen communities come together and a nation united now we just need to keep that up and put the same amount of support back into our local clubs at all levels as the new seasons begin as those clubs are going to need all the help they can get whilst recovering from the pandemic and we have shown as a nation just how good our support can be so it is time to show that locally too. Plus we have the Women from Team GB to cheer on before any of the seasons start and we have a really strong chance of bring back a medal from that competition too. 

I wish I wasn't ending the post as I am but England's defeat has gone to show once again why more action needs to be to kick racism out of the game. If those penalties that were missed went in everyone would be calling the players heroes today but as they were missed the comments they are receiving are absolutely disgraceful and aren't needed. Those players stepped up and did there jobs but unfortunately things didn't go their way, yes you might have an opinion but keep it to yourself there is no need to send it to those players who are feeling bad enough, we should be trying to lift them back up and get them on track to get back to winning ways. Those 'fans' sending abuse aren't fans at all and it is time we got rid of them from the beautiful game, social media needs to step up and do more to combat it and fans need to learn there is no place for it.

The Euro's might be over but there is plenty more football to come and we will be covering as much as possible over the coming months before the actual seasons start as this year it just seems like football never stops... but that definitely isn't a bad thing. 

EURO 2020 Final Predictions

Well it has been the quickest month in what feels like forever thanks to the Euros taking place, why is it that when you have waited for ages and are enjoying something it just ends up flying by and being over before you know it. This years final is certainly going to be extra special though as England are finally making an appearance. After far too many years of hurt they have finally broken what felt like a curse and they will be taking on Italy in the final. 

It is definitely going to be an interesting night with England seemingly going into the game as underdogs due to Italy's amazing run of form under the watchful eye of Mancini who has got the Italians playing as they used to and to be honest if not better than previously. England might be underdogs but they are also finally showing us what they are capable and us fans are being filled with hope rather than dread every time big games get underway.  They have put in some fantastic performances throughout the competition so far and have only conceded one goal so far so let's hope we can keep it like that. 

I think it is safe to say that to get the best result possible Southgate is going to have to put out his fittest and strongest side, tired legs are going to be worn out quickly against the Italians and we don't want to be caught out tracking back etc. Italy have picked up a few injuries throughout the competition but England seem to have managed to stay relatively injury free minus the few knocks they have picked up and they still seem to have the full squad at their dispersal so Southgate can switch up any positions that may need it and really give us that edge. England seem to be a much younger side than the Italians especially when it comes to defence so pace is definitely going to be something we need to use to put them under some real pressure as if we tire them out we are more likely to be able to breakthrough. We have seen in earlier games how our pace has worked to our advantage so we definitely need to be using it rather than sitting back which I have a feeling we could end up doing. 

Something I have noticed throughout the tournament is that the Italians go down pretty easily and try their best to get set pieces even if the challenge or lack of doesn't warrant it. The England defence definitely needs to watch out for this and need to try not to be drawn in as quite a few players could easily end up with a booking or two as we know they have tempers and can be easily drawn in and be on the receiving end of unfair decisions. I think the Italians could easily end up targeting the likes of Maguire and Rice as they know that their tempers could get the better of them. 

Just like Spain did the other day England need to make sure they have Immobile & Insigne blocked off and under control as they could easily be two of the Italians biggest threats. If England can keep these two at bay I think we could see Italy struggle to create chances as in my eyes they are two of their biggest play makers. 

The final for me is easily a game that could go either way with either team taking home the win as it is all going to be who can keep their nerves at bay and get off to the strongest start as I think that is going to be crucial in who settles into the game best and take every chance given, wasted chances could be really crucial in this game so lets hope England keep the wasted chances to a minimum and make the most of their time in front of goal. 

England might have the home field advantage with the game being played in Wembley but with the form both teams have been in I think this is going to be either sides biggest test of the whole competition with us fans in for a real treat it could very easily go either way and I think everyone is going to be on the edge of their seats come 8pm. 

Can England finally bring some joy to the country after the disruption of the pandemic and all the previous years of footballing hurt we have had to endure? Either way it is safe to say the nation is proud of this team and we have had a glimpse of their potential going into the world cup next year where due to the age of the players we are likely to be heading in with a very similar team to face not just Europe but the world.

It is safe to say the nerves are definitely building already but I can not wait for that whistle to blow and the game to begin. After so many years of disappointment fingers crossed things can turn around and football finally comes home. 

This definitely feels like a once in a life time opportunity for an England fan so I am definitely making the most of it. Just please England bring it home and don't put me through the pain of penalties as I really don't feel like I could cope. 

Is it coming home or going to Rome?

Euro 2020 Semi Final Round Up

 


The nerves are definitely starting to kick in now as we are very quickly approaching the final of Euro 2020, the past month seems to have flown by and the competition is very close to being wrapped up for another 4 years. It seems like no round this competition has let us fans down and each one has provided us with some great games. The semi finals certainly weren't any different and we saw two great games over two nights and we saw some very hopeful performances. So here is a quick round up of the semi final games where we actually predicted the right winners but just not the correct scores...

Italy 1-1 Spain - Italy win on penalties

This game was definitely a whole lot closer than I expected and to be honest I thought Spain were going to end up coming out the other side as finalists and not Italy. To say Spain were the underdogs going into the game they pushed Italy and made them look weak in some areas which no other team has really been able to do. It was nice to see Italy been challenged though as it showed there was a potential to break through and beat them which we hadn't really seen before Tuesday night. You can tell Italy wasn't used to the pushing too as they looked scared and I don't believe they played half as good as they have done during other games in the tournament, cracks started to show and weaknesses could finally be seen. One thing that drove me mad was how easily Italy seemed to go down, the slightest touch that was it and they go actively looking for anyway they can gain a free kick etc and to be honest we haven't just seen it in the semis but we have seen it from them in all their games so England need to watch out for that in the final. 

As I say I was really shocked with the result as I thought Spain were the better side and they did really well blocking Immobile and Insigne out of the game and really limiting the chances Italy had. It is just a shame that Spain took such poor penalties as they just didn't seem confident in themselves at all when taking them but then again if they took all their chances during normal time extra time and penalties might not even have been needed. 

England 2-1 Denmark (After extra time)

It is safe to say that like many others I was very nervous for the build up to this game and those nervous only build up as the game got underway and progressed as England just didn't seem to be doing themselves any favours. There seemed to be a few players for England who had a shaky start and didn't fill me with confidence but Denmark also started the game really well which obviously didn't help, England did settle into the game eventually though and once they were settled they certainly were the biggest threat and Denmark started slipping away due to the constant pressure and roles were reversed with Denmark playing a lot of the game looking nervous and on the back foot. It was Denmark who initially took the lead though with what was an absolutely fantastic goal however, when it went in I did have to ask Liam if he thought the Danish players seemed a bit too close to the English which obviously they aren't allowed to do, plus it seemed like a very soft free kick to be given to start off with granted it was a very very good goal though.

Sterling once again had another great game and he did well to put pressure on to force the own goal that got England back to the game. He then ended up getting us the penalty that won us the game in extra time, now there has been a lot of controversy from a lot of fans of other nations saying we cheated and we shouldn't have had a penalty but the fact VAR was used and after various looks at various angles it was still given there was clearly some contact to warrant the penalty to be given, plus Denmark were lucky a lot more weren't given over the course of the game as England definitely had plenty of claims that could easily have been called. I am glad Kane managed to put away the rebound as my nerves were through the roof for extra time let alone if we had gone to penalties like the other semi final. One thing that really drove me mad during the game though was definitely England heading to the corner, I hate when teams do this as not only is it boring but it is also pretty risky all it takes is the opposition stealing the ball and breaking and you are on the back foot. Poor Foden was breaking into the box and could have possibly got us another 3 or 4 goals if we had pushed for more instead of going to the corner so I definitely feel for him as you could tell he just wanted to be on that score sheet. When that final blew though I don't think I have ever felt so relived... the curse has been broken and the mens team are finally back in a major final and hopefully they can bring it home. 

So that is our quick round up of the semi finals of the competition, I really can't wait for the final but at the same time nerves are definitely starting to kick in. Want to see our predictions for the final? Well check back tomorrow before the big game kicks off at 8pm... I think we are going to be in for a treat. What did you think to the semi final games?

It Is Another New Era For Bradford City


 

For a long time Bradford City seemed to be one of the few teams who would stick with a manager through thick and thin and we were settled but in recent years things have certainly changed and we seem to be going through managers far too quickly, it is almost like we really can't wait to get rid of them and make more changes instead of working on weaknesses and changing things around. It seemed like the owners didn't have a clue and no-one at the club actually wanted to progress which just frustrated us fans. The changing of managers always came after the closure of transfer windows too which didn't help as the new manager was coming into a team picked by the previous one that never seemed to fit their playing style and we saw those negatives on the pitch far too often alongside players been shut out of the match day squad. 

When McCall left and Trueman & Sellars took over results started to change for the better and we went from a team battling to survive relegation to being on the edge of the play offs within just a few months, granted our form dipped and we ended up missing out on the play offs but what we saw from the team was passion and a desire to be on the pitch, something we haven't seen for a while at Bradford now. Trueman and Sellars seemed to have something good going on and they had players wanting to play for them which is just the lift we needed which is why I was so shocked they stepped down from their roles at the end of the season. I know it was always only going to be temporary however, I thought we would have tried to continue what we had instead of hanging yet again but it wasn't meant to be and a new manager was announced. 

We seemed to be waiting a long time for the new manager announcement even though us fans knew who it was going to be way before due to numerous rumours and leaks. The reason we had to wait was a pretty good one though as new manager Derek Adams was busy leading Morecambe to promotion to League 1, something we hope he can replicate this season with Bradford City. Honestly I was very surprised that the signing of Adams went through as I was sure after the promotion he was going to stick with Morecambe but it went through and he is now in charge of us and fingers crossed he can enjoy the same success and stick with us for plenty of seasons to get us to where we belong once again instead of us being stuck in League 2. 

Adams has the potential to do big things at Bradford and he clearly has the backing of the club which is definitely needed after previous seasons so it is going to be interesting to see the results on the pitch. The best part of him signing preseason is that the transfer window is open so he can build a team he wants and by the signings we have seen already we can see he is aiming in the right direction and the club are clearly liking his vision for the future, we aren't just seeing loan after loan and we are bringing in people in positions that have been lacking quality it is definitely going to be great to see the team linking up on the pitch as there is a lot of potential there for a huge promotion push. Trueman has also been appointed as Adam's assistant which I think is a good move as he has an understanding of the players left from last season and he seems to have good knowledge of the game in League 2, he also seems to be able to manage the younger players really well so I am sure he is going to be influential in helping the youngsters of the squad develop into first team players.

I am really hoping that Adams is our only manager this season as I think the clubs only way out of League 2 is going to be consistency not only on the pitch but with players and management too. We need someone who is going to stick with us through the ups and downs and show some passion and drive to get us the results the club deserves. Granted the success wont happen overnight fans need to have patience to see form improve and if we don't get out of the league this year once people are settled and gelled we stand more of a chance, yes it would be great to be writing about being promoted at the end of the season but it will also be great just to write about an improvement from the team and looking like we are a solid team who have a push in them for the season ahead. 

The club finally seems like it is heading back in the right direction after a rough few years not only with the pandemic but with issues with owners and players etc. As a fan it is fantastic to see everything looking hopefully for a change and fingers crossed it is going to be a season of cheering rather than not wanting to waste time going to see poor performances week in week out like previously, it got to the stage where I wanted to stay home instead of going to games so I am hoping that this season I am waking up on game days raring too go and honestly from what we have seen since the end of the season I think this is the case and things are going to get better. Both on and off the pitch things seem to be heading in the best direction possible, we are seeing new signings, positive attitudes, great season ticket sales and stadium improvements at long last and Ryan Sparks has definitely had a big part in getting all this done for club as since his appointment we have seen so many positive steps and like we are getting our club back to how it should be for the first time since we were taken over. 

We are definitely on track for getting our Bradford City back now just get me back to Valley Parade for the new season. What do you think to Adams appointment? Are you hopeful or still on the fence?