Rafael Benitez hits back at Sam Allardyce’s comment


Real Madrid coach Rafael Benitez has responded to a jibe from Sunderland’s Sam Allardyce. The newly appointed Sunderland manager wrote in Big Sam, his autobiography, that the former Liverpool boss had played no role in the Reds’ amazing comeback win in the 2005 Champions League final against AC Milan.

Benitez’s Liverpool team secured a superb victory in the Champions League, recovering from 3-0 down in the Istanbul final against AC Milan to go on to win the match on penalties.

Benitez and Liverpool reached the final again two years later, but this time AC Milan were the winners, beating Liverpool 2-1.

“I don’t blame Benitez for claiming credit — but as managers we know the truth. It’s like when you make a substitution in desperation and it comes off. You get all the credit for your tactical brilliance when it’s often just luck,” Allardyce said.

However, Benitez hit back, telling Spanish radio station Onda Cero, “How many titles has Allardyce won? That tells you all.”

“Do you know who Sam Allardyce is? Do you know how many trophies he has won? Well that’s my answer. It is what happens when someone has a book to sell. His opinion does not have a lot of value,” the former Reds manager added.

Speaking about his current club, Real Madrid, Benitez sought to provide reassurance. Despite a number of rumours, he insisted there are not any problems between Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo, and said that he was confident that his side would go on to win La Liga this season.

Betting on football – how to get the best odds


Punters all over the world can choose a game or sport for them to bet on. Basically, football is one of the most common sports which attract bettors from different countries.

Why? Because football is an international game and millions of followers and players are very inclined to it. Aside from that, punters like to bet on this, for it’s easy to find the odds for football.

Many people including you are thinking of the ways to find the best odds for football. Well, look no further because this guide can definitely help you with that thought.

Here are some tips that would help you come to grips with the basics of football punting:

What to do first?

Before you wager, make sure that you have already done the following things:

1. Know and study football statistics and team forms and performances

2. Follow at least one football league closely

3. Keep a betting log of all bets – with details for a least 50 bets

Always Wager with “Value”

Now that you’re done with the abovementioned tips, start learning the “value.” I know you’re wondering what a value is. This idea happens when you think that the bookmakers’ odds are set at a level which the earning or return outweighs the risk.

Still confused? Worry not, I’ll give you tips to know whether a bet is a value.

Do these:

1. Estimate the winning chance of a side

2. Get the best decimal price for the bet

3. Multiply the % chance of a win against the odds

Any result of 1.00 or higher than this means that your bet has value.

Furthermore, remember not to bet on a team just because you think they will win, unless you’ve also thought of their chance of winning and the price offered. Value is very important before betting.

In addition, always try to calculate your winning opportunity of a bet. And again, check the stats first and make sure that you can statistically work out the winning chance before you place your bet.

Note: You have to understand the odds first before you find the bets with value.

Home and Away Form

This normally happens: Teams win at their home courts. Yes, this is really a fact across almost all professional leagues in the world. Home advantage is definitely real for thousands of players and coaches. This occasion must be checked and noted.

A punter like you must look at the previous match results during the current season and previous season for you to estimate chances of a result. I tell you, forecasting isn’t that easy, that’s why you need to closely monitor and study the said facts.

Other Form Factors

There are other factors affecting the chances of winning on football punting. Feel free to read them for added information.

1. Recent Form – It is better to look at the recent performances of a team, how they’ve managed to win and build confidence, rather than dwelling on their losing sides long time ago. Considering the recent form of the team might give you chance of winning.

2. Injuries / Absences – Check the injuries and absences of the players because they can also have a big impact on the result of your bet. In addition, closely monitor the performance of the goalkeepers, central defenders and players because they are the key to winning. If one of these players is missing, then you’ll have problems.

Lastly, make sure that the team captain is present; a missing captain is a sign of a leaderless side, and you should never wager on a leaderless team.

One last reminder

Basically, a punter like you must never place your bet unless you can determine the prices that you are willing to accept from your bookmaker.

The easiest way for you to evaluate your own odds is to primarily focus on the price for the draw between any two football teams that you care to name. Lastly, don’t bet more than you can afford to lose, or you’ll see yourself broke in the next few days or weeks.

Compare your odds

Rest assured that you can now compare all the football odds with the help of oddschecker. This site gives you detailed information on which odds you can use as you place your bet. Oddschecker also provides you lots of previous football matches which can help you make good betting decisions.

Calculate your odds

As usual, freebetcalc is an awesome site that helps you calculate your odds and check all your bets. Freebetcalc is a Bets Calculator that will definitely offer you risk-free bets. Come on, this is at your advantage, so check it out soon!

What’s next?

Make sure to take note of the list that I’ve provided you. These basics of football punting can absolutely help you to win and earn a big pot. Most importantly, remember to find the best odds before you wager. Good luck!

Is the transfer of Northampton’s youngest player close to reality?

Ivan Toney

Fact: Young elite players will always be sought after by many prestigious clubs. This proves that these football clubs are after young ones who can make contribute to the development of their squads.

It’s been months since the rumor about the transfer of Northampton Town’s youngest player has made headlines. The fans of the Cobblers are waiting for the updates regarding the issue. According to the recent reports, the sought-after Ivan Toney is already in the North East and currently undergoing medical tests before signing with Premier League side Newcastle United.

Of course, this update is ahead of his final move from Chris Wilder’s club. But it seems that the rumored transfer will really push through and Northampton Town doesn’t mind it all. Well, this isn’t shocking because the Cobblers knew that Toney has sell-on potentials and that many clubs would sooner or later have an interest in the young forward.

Reportedly, former England boss Steve McClaren is looking to offer the 19-year-old forward, who had 53 appearances with the Cobblers since hs debut in 2012, a deal worth 400,000 plus add ons.

Toney was left out of the Cobblers’ recent pre-season friendly match with Brackley Town due to his rumored transfer to the Magpies.

Speaking to the Northampton Chronicle after the 3-0 victory over Brackley, Wilder said, “There’s been some interest from Championship and Premier League clubs and we took the decision not to involve Ivan.”

Aside from the Magpies, Wolverhampton Wanderers have also been after the Northampton forward, but the McCLaren’s club appeared to have won the race for Toney’s signature. Toney’s move from Northampton seems really controversial. If he’s already having medical in the North East ahead of his move from Wilder’s squad, it seems that the deal between him and the Magpies is really close to reality.

I can’t blame the Newcastle for this young guy has a great potential and he can indeed help any squad in its development, just like theMagpies. With his age, skills and aggressiveness, it’s guaranteed that he’d be an ace player for the Newcastle.

Will he have a bright future with the Premier League side? Well, let’s wait and see.

“Have a competitive attitude!” Boss Wilder tells Cobblers

Northampton Town

The plays were okay, but definitely not enough!

These were the thoughts of the ever active boss of Northampton Town regarding his team play.

Manager Chris Wilder wanted his players to have a “competitive attitude” ahead of the new season.

The Cobblers have just finished a training camp in Sussex, where they played pre-season matches against Worthing and Isthmian League as well as Premier Division outfit Burgess Hill Town, securing a 5-2 win and 0-0 draw.

Wilder told BBC Radio Northampton that the team players were really disappointed with Saturday’s result, because their rival Derby County had just beaten them in a 1-0 victory at Sixfields Stadium, with 2,542 spectators.

I could imagine Wilder’s great frustration with his team’s loss during the previous match against the Rams. His goal to win was not achieved as the Cobblers were not too aggressive and competent in their pre-season game at Sixfields.

The Rams were the first visitors to Sixfields in this pre-season campaign, with Birmingham City in Northampton next Tuesday.

Unfortunately, Johnny Russell’s second goal of pre-season gave Derby County victory over the Cobblers. Northampton’s competitive attitude during the game didn’t make them edge past Paul Clement’s squad.

Moving forward, the 47-year-old boss stressed that he wanted his men to do well in everything they do, either in training or in matches. He also added that their only goal is to win their next pre-season match, especially now that they’re defeated by the Rams.

Northampton, who finished 12 in League Two last season, will host another Championship side, Birmingham City, on Tuesday night and most of the Northampton squad will be available for the upcoming clashes after coming through the training camp unscathed.

Assistant manager Alan Knill also said that the club’s preparations were coming along nicely with the Cobblers aiming for better performance after a 12th place finish in League Two in 2014/15.

With their current standing at the pre-season matches, it seems that the competitive attitude among Wilder’s men is not yet present. Maybe Northampton Town need another boost to win their next game. After all, they’re aiming for a better season this year.

What should Cobblers do then? They have to show that competitive attitude on Tuesday in order to bounce back from their previous loss with the Rams. Well, good luck, Cobblers!

Cobblers’ youngest player, still playing with the team?

Ivan Toney

Yes, Toney is still with the Northampton Town!

Amidst the speculations over his transfer, Ivan Toney still started for the Cobblers last night in their 5-2 pre-season friendly victory at Worthing.

The 19-year-old forward, who has been strongly linked with a 300,000 move to the Premier League Toon, was left out of Northampton’s opening friendly with Sileby Rangers on Sunday but returned tonight for the Worthing match which is part of the club’s south coast tour.

Described as an “excellent and hard-working talent” by his Cobblers manager Chris Wilder, Toney played the first 45 minutes as boss Chris Wilder changed his entire side at half-time against the Isthmian League Division One South part-timers.

The Cobblers boss does not believe speculations, saying that Toney’s future has affected the 19-year-old forward’s performances, and states that the youngster was “excellent” in Northampton’s 5-2 victory over Worthing on Tuesday.

Wilder also used the game to look at three trialists with former Yeovil strikers Gozie Ugwu and Sam Hoskins and ex-AFC Telford defender Rod McDonald all featuring.

Ugwu opened the scoring after five minutes but was replaced just four minutes later by Hoskins. Worthing leveled through Ben Pope, before Ricky Holmes and Hoskins netted to give the Cobblers a 3-1 half time lead.

Before the break, Holmes saw a penalty saved after Jason Taylor was tripped in the area.

In the second half, Marc Richards made it 4-1 before Omar Bugil converted from the spot for Worthing. Joel Byrom completed the scoring for Northampton just over ten minutes from time.

The Cobblers will conclude their Brighton-based tour with a clash at Burgess Hill Town on Saturday. The question is, will Toney still be a part of the team’s next match? Or he will be with the Premier League side Newcastle United soon? Well, only Wilder and Magpies boss Steve McClaren can decide about that. It only shows that the future of Toney is still in the hands of these two managers.

Anyway, talks are still ongoing between The Magpies and Northampton, with a fee in the region of 300,000 likely to be agreed for the Cobblers youngest player.

If the transactions go in favor of McClaren’s squad, this very young forward will be lucky! Why? Because he will be joining the Newcastle in their pre-season this weekend. This sounds a good opportunity for him.

I can’t blame Magpies for targeting Toney because he has this significant sell-on potential for their team. Anyway, whichever club he chooses to sign with, the future of this young Northampton forward will surely be bright!

Goalkeeper reunites with former club – find out who!

Oxford United

Who would have thought that Ryan Clarke would team up again with his former Oxford United boss Chris Wilder? Who would have thought that this 33-year-old goalkeeper would end up with Northampton Town? At last, Clarke has decided to join the giant team of Wilder on a two-year deal.

When Clarke’s contract with Oxford United ended, he immediately made his move to Sixfields Stadium where he would be reunited with his ex-boss. Well, he seemed thrilled to be working with Wilder again.

You may not know it, but the UK national started his career with Bristol Rovers where he spent six years at the Memorial Stadium, but just made 23 appearances there. He also spent time away on loan at Southend United, Kidderminster Harriers, and Forest Green Rovers before his release in the summer of 2006.

From Memorial Stadium, he transferred to Salisbury City for which he made 41 appearances in a three-year spell, which included a season long loan at Northwich Victoria before his release at the end of the 2008-2009 season.

In May 2009, the 6-foot-3-Clarke signed a deal with Oxford United and later on hailed as number one by his then-manager Wilder. In in his first season at Kassam Stadium, he was named the club’s player of the year. He was the regular United goalkeeper for most of last season, and played in their 3-1 win at Sixfields in October. Actually, Clarke was the U’s longest-serving player; he made 264 appearances since joining from Northwitch Victoria in 2009.

However, he was not in Oxford manager Michael Appleton’s plans and was deemed surplus to requirements at the Kassam Stadium despite having 12 months remaining on his contract.

In this case, Cobblers boss Wilder has moved quickly to snap up the shot-stopper Clarke. The newly-signed goalkeeper will soon compete with ex-Leicester man Adam Smith for the first-choice goalkeeper spot at Sixfields.

With the acquisitions of both keepers, the Cobblers manager Wilder seems delighted and content. Surely, Clarke and Smith will be great assets to Northampton Town. Wilder won’t regret in signing the two unstoppable players that could make the team join the next playoffs.

Now that they’re reunited, Clarke and Wilder will definitely have time to catch up and work with each other again. The question is, Will Ryan be hailed as Northampton Town’s MVP of the year for 2015-2016? Well, he might be if he really strive harder and do better.

Will Northampton boss still chase Luke Prosser despite the Southend United’s rejection of their bid?

Southend United

A player is somewhat lucky when he receives an awesome offer from a big football club like Northampton Town. That happened to Southend United defender Luke Prosser.

The British player apparently received an offer from Northampton boss Chris Wilder but the bid from the League Two side had been turned down by Prosser’s manager Phil Brown.

The 56-year-old manager, who has extended Prosser’s contract for another year, is very keen for the defender to stay at Roots Hall.

But Wilder has insisted that the Cobblers are still interested in bringing the 27-year-old player to Sixfields Stadium despite Brown’s rejection of the bid.

Of course, Wilder really wants to bring the central defender to his squad to tighten up a defense that leaked goals last season. Aside from that, the Northampton boss also wants Prosser to play alongside his former Southend United teammate Ryan Cresswell.

The combination of the two defenders in the field will surely give the Cobblers a good defense this new season. This is what Wilder looks forward to if Luke considers joining the Northampton Club.

As of now, Wilder is still waiting for the final decision of Phil’s squad. According to the Shrimpers boss, he’d keep the Cobblers manager informed about the status of Prosser in the Southend United. The club will look at Luke’s situation again during pre-season and if the six-foot-three defender is unhappy, then they will have another chat about his status. If things become favorable to Wilder, he will soon acquire the prospect who has made 148 appearances for the Shrimpers since signing in the summer of 2010.

Chris Wilder seems a persistent and determined boss, so there’s no doubt he’s going to pursue Prosser. By the looks of it, the manager will keep working on that until Southend defender inks with his squad. After all, Luke’s skills as a player fits the criteria that the Cobblers are looking for. I hope everything between Northampton and Prosser will be settled soon. This good defender really needs a big break, and who knows, maybe he can have that when he joins Wilder’s club.

Northampton Town welcomes Ex-Derby County defender – who is he?


It looks like the 47-year-old Northampton Town boss is really determined to make his team rock in the next playoffs!

True to his words, the Cobblers boss Chris Wilder signed in Josh Lelan, former central defender of Derby County, for a 12-month-contract.

The 20-year-old England-born player has inked deal with the League Two Cobblers after his contract with the Rams expired.

“I have joined for the new challenge. I know Northampton is a big club and I need to get some league games under my belt.”

The Northampton Town central defender joined the Rams’ youth system at the age of 15, but failed to play a first-team game for the Championship side.

Lelan, who’s previously with Derby County before being released at the end of the season, made four appearances in a loan spell with Gateshead in 2013/2014, followed by 6 appearances in a temporary switch to Swindon Town in 2014/2015.

According to Wilder, Lelan comes highly recommended from their contracts and they are pleased to welcome him to Sixfields.

“Josh is mobile and athletic and he can fill in other positions as well,” said boss Chris Wilder.

Aside from that, the Cobblers boss also praised Lelan for having good pedigree and a good grounding with Derby.

Lelan is definitely on a fresh start with Northampton Town and it seems that he is ready to take new challenges that may come along his way as the central defender of the team. In fact, he is vocal in saying he wants to get some league games under his belt. With his youth and skills, Lelan can really contribute to the team’s goal this upcoming season.

Along with the team’s new contract signing like Lelan’s and the recent appointment of club’s backroom staff, the Cobblers assure their fans that they are going to create a new NFL history soon! That sounds promising.

After all, their fans are counting on them to do just that.


Cobblers’ update: Former Preston North End defender is Chris Wilder’s newest recruit

Image from www.flickr.com/photos/ingythewingy/

Northampton Town boss Chris Wilder is really committed to strengthening his team with their third new signing ahead of the 2015-2016 season.

Now, former Preston North End defender David Buchanan has joined the high-caliber roster of the Cobblers.

The 29-year old player was released by the Lilywhites following their promotion to the Sky Bet Championship. Buchanan played more than 30 games in the Lilywhite’s league one promotion campaign last term, but an injury in January made him lose his place in the team. And now the Rochdale-born player was told this week that Preston would not be renewing his contract.

Luckily, Buchanan, professional that he is, has moved on quickly and has accepted the fact that such things really happen in football. He was unveiled at Sixfields on Thursday and revealed how the move to Northampton came about.

“It has all happened really quickly. I have worked with the manager and Alan Knill before at Bury, and when I knew they were interested, I came and had a conversation with them, and it has progressed from there,” said the former 2011-2012 Tranmere’s player of the year.

Wilder believes that Buchanan, a determined tenacious full-back, can really help the team tighten up defensively. The boss roots for the guy as he has worked with Buchanan before and he knows what a good player he is.

Buchanan is with Bury midfielder Nicky Adams and former AFC Wimbledon winger Alfie Potter in joining the Cobblers this summer.

Now he has to show what he’s got so as not to disappoint the whole team. After all, the trust that the Cobblers have given him should not be wasted.

Let’s see if he can really kick on next year and get Northampton out of league two. For sure, the Cobblers fans will watch his moves in the field. So stay tune for Buchanan’s contributions to Northampton Town this summer!

Adams signs three-year deal with Northampton Town

Image from www.flickr.com/photos/lcfcian1/

Northampton Town have signed Bury midfielder Nicholas William ‘Nickey’ Adams on a three-year deal, just a week after being transfer-listed by The Shakers.

The 28-year-old former Shakers midfielder was shocked after finding himself on the transfer-list despite playing 44 times, 35 of which were starts. With David Flitcroft’s idea of looking to go in a different direction, Adams switched to the Cobblers, agreeing to move on a free transfer.

The deal makes the midfielder reunites with ex-Shakers boss Alan Knill, who is the assistant manager at Sixfields, and Northampton Town manager Chris Wilder, who’s also on the Bury staff in 2008.

Cobblers assistant Alan Knill managed Bury when Adams came through the youth set-up between 2005-08 as the Welshman went on to make 94 first-team appearances before being sold to Leicester, and going on to play for Brentford, Rochdale and Rotherham United before returning to Bury.

Adams said that it took only a few days for the Cobblers’ GM Wilder to request a meeting with him. The 28-year-old Boltonian becomes Wilder’s second summer signing following the arrival of Alfie Potter on Wednesday.

“As soon as Northampton came in for me, I wanted to go and speak and when I came down here and spoke to the gaffer and looked around the place, I could see that it is an ambitious club and that’s what I want to be a part of,” said Adams.

Adams has previously played for Leicester City, Rotherham United, Brentford, Rochdale and Crawley Town. With Adams’ prior experiences, his new team expect much of him. For all we know, he could help the Cobblers to get into the finals in the next League.

Now Adams must prove his former club wrong, that it’s really their loss to transfer him to another club. Will he be able to step up to the plate? Let’s wait and see.

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