Friday, October 29, 2010

Jarvis close to call up

Fabio Capello could use England's upcoming friendly against France to have a look at Wolves' exciting winger Matt Jarvis. The 24-year-old has caught the eye for Wolves this season and has been tipped by many to earn his first cap. The winger produced a supreme display during his side's narrow Carling Cup loss to Manchester United, prompting the travelling fans to call for their man to play for England.

Wolves' manager Mick McCarthy has made his feelings on the matter quite clear.

"I don't think there are many better wingers around. When the fans chant for him to play for England, they're not far away," he said.

"I sat next to Fabio Capello's assistant Franco Baldini at Stoke on Sunday and he spoke highly of him."

Although there are plenty of pacey, skilful wingers available to Capello, Jarvis offers something the others lack - a good end product. Aaron Lennon and Shaun Wright-Phillips can beat people all day with their incredible speed and trickery, but they lack the final quality ball needed from wide men.

Quality delivery was seriously lacking at the World Cup in the summer. In recent years English wingers have had a tendency to overlook the basics and focus not on crossing but on the amount of step-overs they can perform. As the Betfair specialists point out, someone who can consistently get the ball in the danger areas will always be a valuable member of any squad and especially England.
Jarvis looks to be the full package so far but the former Gillingham youngster has only played one season in England's top flight and will need to keep his level of performance up if he is to fulfil his potential.

Another thing Jarvis will need to avoid is having his head turned by a big club when they inevitably come calling. At 24 Jarvis needs to be playing regularly if he is to reach the top of his game. If Wolves go down, which the Premier League tips suggest they could, then Jarvis would have to move, especially if he was part of the England set-up.

However, he'll need to pick his club wisely if he is to play on a regular basis.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Martinez welcomes old friends

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez will welcome his old club Swansea to the DW Stadium when his new side Wigan host the Championship club in their Carling Cup fourth round tie this week.

The travelling Swansea fans will be sure to give Martinez a rough time, the Spanish managers move to Wigan was seen as low blow to the club who gave him the chance to cut his managerial teeth.

Those who bet on carling cup matches believe that this is sure to be a close match with both sides experiencing contrasting fortunes in their league campaigns. Wigan are down in 15th in the Premier League after a poor start to the season. The Latics have improved recently though and are unbeaten in four league games, although they’ve only picked up a solitary win during that time.

Swansea have bounced back from the disappointment of narrowly missing out on last year’s play-off, and are riding high in the Championship in third place. Brendan Rodgers has got his players playing a similar attractive passing game that the Swans played under Martinez and has proved an instant hit with the Welsh side’s fans.

They proved their promotion credentials again at the weekend, beating a vastly improved Leicester side 2-0, Scott Sinclair once again demonstrating his exciting potential by scoring his 10th of the season, following on loan Marvin Emnes’s opener.

With Wigan’s defence looking far from formidable this season, something which is bound to affect their odds to win carling cup silverware, Sinclair’s raw pace could prove to be a major deciding factor in this tie.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wilshere sending off keeps youngster grounded

Although Arsene Wenger will have been sorely disappointed to see his young star receive a red card for a lunging, reckless tackle in the Gunners' recent game against Birmingham at the Emirates, Fabio Capello may well have been delighted to see Jack Wilshere taught a valuable lesson at club level in the hope that he can avoid getting hot headed during a crucial international match for his country.

The English youngster is one of a handful of young talents widely expected to move on to bigger and better things in the near future but Capello knows that young players badly need to be protected from themselves and also from those seeking to undermine them in the tabloid press. If you needed any proof of this, take a look at the recent reports regarding Andy Carroll, a man who has gone from hero to zero in a matter of days following his court appearance and subsequent reports in the media.

Players such as Arsenal's Kieran Gibbs have been more successful at staying out of the public eye but Stuart Pearce will know that he needs to keep his group of highly talented under-21 players under firm control if they are to fulfil their potential at the top level of international football. Anyone who has placed a football bet on England winning Euro 2012 will hope he can succeed.

Capello is likely to give youth a chance in upcoming international fixtures and the England camp will be desperate, in light of the negative World Cup press, to show the world that it is able to invest in, and look after, young talent, with many foreign commentators believing that the Premier League and English football in general is obsessed with attracting mega-rich individuals capable of buying immediate success.

With players such as Wilshere and Carroll starting to become highly valued regulars at their clubs, the chances for young talent to shine in the Premier League seem to be increasing. Let's just hope England's chances of success continue to increase along with these opportunities.

Meanwhile, the Notts Forrest betting suggests the side could still make a push for promotion.

They club got off to a slow start, but has now started to turn things around.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Gargano dismisses Liverpool's Euro chances

Walter Gargano, midfielder for Italian side Napoli, has revealed that he is not in the slightest bit scared of Liverpool ahead of the game between the two sides next Thursday in the Europa League.

Rewind a couple of years and the thought of a second rate team from elsewhere in Europe dismissing Liverpool in such a manner would be unthinkable; this is, after all, a side that won the Champions League not so many years ago and had serious Premier League title ambitions a couple of seasons back. Now, though, the controversial attitude of Gargano is in fact entirely understandable.

Those who bet on UEFA Europa League note that the days in which Liverpool were a European powerhouse to be feared far and wide in European competition seem like ancient history, with the Reds currently occupying an unwanted spot in the Premier League relegation zone and preparing amid off the pitch instability for a crucial derby against rivals Everton on Sunday.

A defeat in that fixture, even a narrow one, would provide the worst kind of preparation for Liverpool's Europa League fixture next week, which is surely going to be a tough one, with the Reds coming up against the team that, according to Gargano, are "not scared" of the Merseyside club and in fact have dreams of winning the Europa League this season.

The Italian side have enjoyed a fairly decent start to their domestic campaign this year, sitting level on points alongside Inter Milan and AC Milan in the Serie A table and just two points behind current leaders Lazio.

The current odds to win Europa League don't exactly make Napoli massive favourites for glory in the competition this season but that doesn't mean that they should be written off; just think back to Fulham's travels through the competition last year and you'll realise that even the smallest club is capable of making a big splash against all the odds.