Sports World

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sports World

World title could cap extraordinary year for Wade

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 07:59 AM PST

James Wade is the second most successful player in PDC history after the legend that is Phil Taylor, but he has never won the PDC World Championship and victory this time around would cap a remarkable turnaround year for the left-hander.

The 28-year-old was knocked out of the world championship at Alexandra Palace last year in the first round by Austrian unknown star Mensur Suljovic.

After this Wade checked into a rehabilitation clinic and was diagnoses with bipolar and attention deficit disorders, with the darts star bravely going public and revealing his long-running battles with depression during the summer. Those looking at the latest darts betting odds will have been surprised.

The PDC fans were unanimously behind Wade and chanted his name upon his return at the UK Open in Bolton – which he won for second time – and the darts world have continued to support him in tournaments across the world.

Despite all his success, the best Wade has to show at the PDC World Championships is a semi-final appearance in 2009 and there will be many fans hoping the Aldershot flinger can be a success at the Alexandra Palace this time around.

There is no doubting he has the ability to beat anyone – up to and including the mercurial Phil Taylor – in the PDC draw and it can all depend as to how Wade is feeling in himself as to how far he can go in the tournament.

But after such an emotional and extraordinary year in his career there would be few who would complain if Wade finally added a world championship trophy to an already glowing CV.

Colts and the Stanford QB connection

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 07:56 AM PST

After an NFL Draft in 2011 that saw four quarterbacks taken in the first 12 picks of the first round the 2012 draft is shaping up nicelywith four teams that obviously need a first round quarterback pick and,coincidently, four potential franchise quarterbacks with the ability to influence Football betting expected to beavailable. There's just one problem. The Colts, who will have thefirst pick, don't need a franchise quarterback yet, but they are notexpected to pass on the opportunity to select Peyton Manning'seventual successor in Indianapolis.

While technically owning an additional year of eligibility no one isexpecting Stanford's Andrew Luck to return to Palo Alto and insteadthe presumptive No. 1 overall pick will head to Indiana the secondtime that the Colts will have selected a can't miss QB prospect out ofStanford with the top overall pick in the draft. Those that Bet on NFL will remember that the first time, ofcourse, was John Elway who never played a down for the Colts when thefranchise was in Baltimore giving the excuse that he didn't want toplay in a cold weather city. The issue, years later now acknowledged,was that Elway was never going to play for Frank Kush, then the headcoach in Baltimore but previously in college at Arizona State wherehis methods were known to, and disapproved by Elway's father, Jack.

Elway would be traded away to Denver, the Colts receiving offensivelineman Chris Hinton, a 1984 first round draft pick and QB MarkHerrmann, a poor haul in retrospect for a Super Bowl winningquarterback. These days the Executive Vice President of FootballOperations in Denver for the Broncos, Elway has his own QB problemswhere Tim Tebow is winning, but certainly isn't an NFL readyquarterback from a throwing standpoint. It would be a surprise ifDenver doesn't take either Landry Jones from Oklahoma or Matt Barkleyout of USC in the 2012 draft unless Washington, Miami or Seattleaddresses their needs first.

Stars lining up for maiden Thailand Golf Championship

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 06:58 AM PST

The inaugural Thailand Golf Championship takes place next month and already a quality field is assembling to play in Asia's newest golf tournament.

Golfers from around the globe are preparing to descend on the Amata Spring Country Club from December 15-18 to compete for US$1 million and a spot in the 2012 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

A number of European stars will be there as the Thailand Golf Championship takes place a weeks after it climaxes with the Dubai World Championship, meaning the likes of US Open champion Rory McIlroy, British Open winner Darren Clarke and world number three Lee Westwood are already confirmed to take part.

Add to these names such as Charl Schwartzel, Sergio Garcia, Simon Dyson, Japan's Ryo Ishikawa and two-time major winner John Daly and the Thailand Golf Championship is already shaping up to be a terrific competition in its maiden year. Fans of golf betting will know this.

Schwartzel is of course the Masters champion and that means three of this season's four Major winners will be on show in Thailand's capital, and more star names are likely to commit in the coming weeks.

Suwat Liptapanlop, vice-president of the Thailand Olympic Committee, has stated Amata Spring Country Club was not affected by recent floods in the country and indeed the new golf tournament can provide some much-needed relief for the nation. People looking to bet on golf will know this.

"Confirmation that all the world-class professional golfers are still committed to the Thailand Golf Championship is a good sign and a reassuring vote of confidence for Thailand and the event," said Suwat.

The Thailand Golf Championship is the final event of the golfing year and it is only a fortnight before  the European Tour's 2012 campaign begins, at the Africa Open in South Africa on January 6th, where Louis Oosthuizen is the defending champion.

Stevenson expects season to be cancelled

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 06:42 AM PST

Dallas Mavericks guard DeShawn Stevenson does not think the ongoing dispute between the NBA player and owners will be resolved and believes the 2011-12 season will have to be cancelled.

The Mavericks have still not received their championship rings following last season's success and Stevenson is thoroughly fed up with the five-month lockout.

He said: "For me, personally, I don't think there will be a season. Right now there is just a lot of bad blood and the owners keep putting offers out that we're rejecting. So we're not going anywhere."

Stevenson has also criticised the executive director of the players' former union, Billy Hunter, adding: "I feel like he is doing a horrible job because basically now the owners know our hand. The media knows our hand. The owners know our hand."

Stevenson also believes that the Mavericks have not been given the credit they deserve for upsetting the form-book and beating Miami Heat in last season's Finals. People placing an NBA bet should remember this.

Meanwhile, Dallas' representative for the Players Association, Jason Terry, believes the players were correct to reject the latest offer from the owners earlier this month but thinks an agreement will eventually be reached.

Terry is of the opinion that if the players had accepted the offer, the Mavericks would be in danger of losing several of their star players who are currently free agents, including Stevenson, center Tyson Chandler, guard Jose Juan Barea and forwards Caron Butler, Brian Cardinal and Peja Stojakovic.

"Look at our roster," Terry said. "Free agency is going to hit us hard. We don't know what our team is going to look like."

Can Liverpool claim the FA Cup trophy in the 2011/12 season?

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 05:48 AM PST

Liverpool, the once so mighty football club, have severely depleted in quality over the past few seasons. Kenny Dalglish – Liverpool's current manager – has bought quite badly and has not acquired the greatest results.

His worst buy has to be England international Andy Carroll. He bought Carroll from Newcastle for an astronomical fee thought to be in and around the region of £35 million; a shocking figure for a player of Carroll's caliber.

Liverpool's encounter in the FA Cup in the 2010/11 season did not bode well for the Merseyside club. Bitter rivals Manchester United beat them 1-0 in the Third Round after Welsh international Ryan Giggs scored from the spot in the first minute of play.

It must have been a heartbreaking affair for the loyal Liverpool fans. The last time Liverpool managed to claim the prestigious FA Cup trophy was back in 2006 where they defeated London club West Ham 3-1 with an enticing penalty shootout.

At the present time, Liverpool's best player has to be the Argentinian international Luis Suarez. Dalglish paid a fee of £22.8 million for the talented Argentinian, which is an absolute steal for a man of such class. Suarez is most certainly a player that opposing managers will be wary of in the FA Cup. People placing an in-play FA Cup bet should remember this.

So, in answer to the question in the title – 'Can Liverpool claim the FA Cup trophy in the 2011/12 season?' – the answer to this particular question would have to be no.

This is mostly being due to the fact that Dalglish's squad lacks the quality needed to overcome the likes of: Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal Chelsea, and Tottenham.

The Reds definitely need an influx of at least 3 players to match the aforementioned teams.

The first task that Dalglish should undertake is the task of sorting out his shoddy defense. The second thing he should accomplish is the task of bringing in an attacking player that's going to score them goals on a regular basis whether it be in the FA Cup or any other competition for that matter.

Chelsea to be hit by ACN absentees

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 05:12 AM PST

Chelsea will be among the biggest suffers in January when several of their star players leave for the African Cup of Nations in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas will be without the services of Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou and Michael Essien during the tournament. However, he will retain the services of John Obi Mikel this year as Nigeria failed to qualify for the finals in 2012.

The Blues are struggling for form in the Premier League and are already 10 points behind leaders Manchester City. Drogba's absence could allow Fernando Torres the opportunity to try and stamp a claim for a regular starting place in the side. The £50 million signing from Liverpool has struggled for goals and form since joining Stamford Bridge and has had to share his opportunities in the side with Drogba, Nicolas Anelka and Daniel Sturridge. Those following the in-play African Cup of Nations betting should remember this.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will be delighted that Cameroon surprisingly haven't made the African Cup of Nations next year. The Frenchman will keep hold of his influential midfielder Alex Song who is usually on international duty when the tournament comes around.  Wenger will however, lose Emmanuel Frimpong, Gervinho and Maroune Chamakh for the games, which could leave him pretty short in the striking options. He will be hoping that in-form Dutchman Robin van Persie stays injury free otherwise he may look to add a forward in the January transfer window.
Chamakh has not been a regular in Wenger's side this season after struggling to repeat the success he had in his first campaign at the Emirates Stadium since joining from Bordeaux.

Warnock boosted by SWP news

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 04:44 AM PST

Neil Warnock has been handed a welcome boost after learning that Shaun Wright-Phillips didn't break his foot during QPR's defeat to Norwich last week. The winger left Carrow Road on crutches after the 2-1 loss, with initial fears that the former Chelsea man had suffered a break now alleviated.

Wright-Phillips has been an ever-present in the QPR side since his summer move from Manchester City, and his presence in the team will be integral to the club's hopes this season.  People following the best football odds should remember this.

There is now hope that the Wright-Phillips could yet recover in time to face West Brom this weekend, as the newly promoted side look to bounce back from the Norwich defeat.

Warnock revealed his summer signing had avoided serious injury, admitting he could make the squad for the West Brom game at Loftus Road.

"Shaun is undergoing extensive treatment this week," he said.

"Fortunately there's no break, and we haven't written him off just yet for Saturday's game with West Brom."

If Rangers are to have any hope of avoiding the drop this season, then home victories against sides like West Brom are going to be essential. Warnock's men have at times looked a little out of their league, however, there has been more than enough evidence that there is enough quality throughout the squad to achieve their objectives this season. With Warnock, anything is possible during this campaign. 

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Video: Joe Hart sings Wonderwall at Manchester City’s training ground

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 12:18 AM PST

Stop crying your Hart out Probably the best keeper in the Premier League? Check. England’s number one? Check. Great singer? Not so much. Keeper Joe Hart treated the City TV cameras to his rendition of the Oasis classic Wonderwall, complete with his own monkey swagger actions. And this wasn’t some staged singing contest: he’s in [...]

Remembering Gary Speed

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 12:13 AM PST

The OTP Podcast team pay tribute As you will hear in this week’s show, the OTP Podcast team is first to admit that the fundamentally irreverent tone of our show is not an appropriate platform to discuss at length the shocking death of Gary Speed. Despite our limited coverage and acknowledgment that a discussion of [...]

OTP Podcast: Episode 15 – League Of His Own

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 12:08 AM PST

Pulling with Steve Bruce Ep.15 League Of His Own by Off The Post on Mixcloud This week, despite a chunk of Premier League games achieving grindingly mediocre status, the Pod has polished up a few moments that made it less offensive to the senses. Get ready to discover why Gareth Barry's sharpness is primarily down [...]

Engraver puts the names of all England World Cup goalscorers on the bottom of a stud!

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 12:03 AM PST

This is insane Master engraver Graham Short has come up with a unique way of personalising football boots, albeit we can’t see it taking off. The miniature engraving expert has etched the names of every England player to find the net at a World Cup from 1950-2010 into the bottom of a metal stud. If [...]

Video: Marek Hamsik and his penalty / staircase celebration FAIL (Napoli v Juventus)

Posted: 29 Nov 2011 11:48 PM PST

Celebrating a disallowed goal is always a bit embarrassing, but Napoli star Marek Hamsik can rarely have been left more red-faced than after this bizarre sequence of events during last night’s match with Juventus. Hamsik stepped up to take a spot-kick for his side after Andrea Pirlo had tripped Ezequiel Lavezzi in the box. He [...]

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