Tag Archives: BBC

Torres move perfect tonic for Chelsea and Liverpool

So Chelsea finally bagged their main target, a proven European goalscorer, in Spain’s Fernando Torres for a hefty £50 million on the final day of the January transfer window; but, for both the London club and his former employers, Liverpool, it was money well spent.

Torres’ move to the Premier League champions should come as no surprise, what with the former Atletico Madrid man, who left his hometown for Merseyside in search of trophies, yet to win any silverware in a barren four-year spell at Anfield. Add to the equation no Champions League this season (and possibly next as well), a player with Torres’ ability – a European and World Cup winner with Spain – must surely be competing for football’s most coveted prizes.

One former Liverpool teammate of Torres, Luis Garcia, told BBC Five Live in January it was only right Torres and Liverpool should part company: “Torres left Atlético looking for trophies and titles and he has not achieved any of them and maybe it is time to think about it [a move],” adding,” “Liverpool are in a position where they are struggling in the league and maybe with all the changes they have done it is a good moment [to leave].” And, unfortunately, with the sudden downfall at Liverpool these past 12 months, Chelsea’s offer was too good to turn down for their beloved El Nino who took only 84 games to reach 50 goals at Liverpool, the quickest in the club’s history.

The closest Liverpool came to winning their first Premiership trophy was in 2009 when, despite being favourites at one stage towards the end of the season, they were piped to it by Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United by four points. Since then, the departures of two key figures from that team, Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid and Javier Mascherano to Barcelona without being replaced properly, has to many unsurprisingly coincided with Liverpool falling off the forever demanding top four pace, making Torres question where his future should lie.

Chelsea’s gain, however, should not be seen as Liverpool’s loss. Far from it. The London side’s season has not gone according to plan, having looked far beyond their old reliable ways, particularly when they went to the Emirates in December when they were made to look, mainly by Theo Walcott’s pace, well, old. Torres’ arrival will come as a timely boost to boss Carlo Ancelotti and the team’s defence of their title, and will surely add greater potency in front of goal which has been severely lacking, as fans and it appears the club have become frustrated with the bit-part performances of their current strikers Nicolas Anelka and Salomon Kalou. Chelsea currently lie fourth in the league but, with the Spaniard now theirs, the Blues will feel quietly confident of overturning a nine-point margin with leaders Manchester United who they still need to play twice.

Liverpool, on their part, were right in accepting Chelsea chairman Roman Abramovich’s millions simply because Torres needed a new challenge and, right now, so do Liverpool. Failing to finish in the top four last season was a huge blow and has ultimately modified Liverpool’s priority. To get back to where the club feel they belong, they will need new and ambitious blood; the signings of Luis Suarez, the former Ajax star who made the headlines in South Africa for the right and sometimes wrong reasons, and Andy Carroll, a handful of a striker if ever there was one, which were funded by the sale of Torres, will add more hunger and desire to a historic English club that was in danger of going dangerously stale.

The sale of Torres could yet prove the makings of a new and prosperous chapter in Liverpool’s history. Yes, Liverpool still need to add to a squad lacking in numbers and quality, which is why the likes of Aston Villa’s Ashley Young, Stuart Downing and Blackpool’s captain Charlie Adam have all been linked with a summer move to Anfield. With Kenny Dalglish back in charge and doing, it seems, everything right to impress the owners, it is not so fanciful to think that that long awaited Premier League title may come sooner rather than later.

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Who is to blame for Walcott’s omission?

  • Shocked Walcott wishes team ‘best of luck’
  • Martin Keown says Walcott is ‘a one-trick pony’

Arsenal’s Theo Walcott was the surprise omission from England manager Fabio Capello’s final 23-man squad for this summer’s World Cup in South Africa.

However, despite the media’s best efforts to blow up the Italian’s decision, many people in the game saw it coming.

Chris Waddle pretty much called it earlier in the year, when he said Walcott didn’t have a “football brain”.

Okay. So, we’ve got over the shock of Walcott being left out. The real question lies in why has the 21-year-old – who Capello crowned “one of our most important players” back in March – not progressed since his move from Southampton to the Gunners back in 2006?

Who’s to blame?

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown told BBC 5live he believes Walcott has plenty to work on if he is to fulfill his full potential:

“He has become a bit of a one-trick pony in terms of going for the line. People just double up on him.

“When he has got time and space then he finds it a problem and he has got to sort that out with his game.

Keown, who made 42 appearances for England, feels the youngster’s loss of form is partly down to his current club manager Arsene Wenger:

“Under Capello it seemed as if he has been getting it right in the main, under Wenger, no, there has been a problem, whether or not that is the coaches’ fault, it has to be the players, he has just not played enough games.

I would have to agree with Keown’s observations. I’d also like to add that Walcott has suffered a number of serious injuries in the last couple of seasons. Exhibit A, B and C.

Wenger should be partly blamed for Walcott’s poor performances on the pitch, simply for playing him out of position.

The striker – yes striker not winger – has played on the right and left side of Arsenal’s midfield and has even played at right-back on the odd occasion as a substitute.

He has largely been used to help balance the team out as opposed to playing to his true strengths.

Support

When the Arsenal manager signed him, he said Walcott would eventually lead the line up front.

Well, after four years and now an omission from England’s World Cup squad, I think it’s time Walcott played in his best position and where he prefers to.

After surfing the web in search of support for Theo Walcott, this is all I could find.

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Channel 4 Clinch Pioneering Online Deal

British Sitcom Peep Show Stars David Mitchell and Robert Webb

British Sitcom Peep Show Stars David Mitchell and Robert Webb

(Courtesy of c4peepshow)

CHANNEL 4 have this week signed a revolutionary deal with YouTube, that will allow the video sharing website to broadcast full length TV shows online.

The three-year deal sees YouTube move away from only screening short clips to offering viewers full-length episodes for the very first time.

C4 shows such as Skins, Peep Show and Teachers, will all be available to watch via YouTube for free.

Jon Gisby, director of Future Media and Technology at Channel 4, believes the partnership will allow C4 to generate more viewers and, therefore, stay ahead of its’ competitors.

“Our strategy has always been to get our content on as many digital platforms as makes sense.

“It is still a rapidly evolving market…the only way to stay ahead is to roll up our sleeves and get on with it.”

YouTube will broadcast delayed coverage of C4 episodes soon after airing 50 hours a week and provide 3,000 hours of archive programming, featuring shows such as Brass Eye and Derren Brown.

As the agreement is non-exclusive, C4 will continue to show their TV shows via 4oD or from their website.

The UK broadcaster is also free to set up any deals with other third-party online services as part of the agreement.

The rise of online viewing

Online TV viewing in the UK has seen a meteoric rise, according to Screen Digest, thanks to improved online streaming.

Screen Digest say 7.5 hours in 2005 rocketed to an estimated 410m in 2009 of online viewing.

They also forecast more than 750m hours of TV will be watched on a laptop in 4 years’ time.

The BBC’s iPlayer video-on-demand service, launched in 2007, has proved immensely popular with millions of users tuning in online each month to catch up on shows they’ve missed due to hectic lifestyles.

The BBC is now looking to make the service accessible worldwide, on a pay-per view basis.

Sky have their own Skyplayer, as do ITV, along with the option to view all their channels live via the web.

Financial clout

YouTube is the largest video site on the web, with an estimated 100 million viewers per day, accounting for 65% of UK online viewing.

Channel 4 chief executive, Andy Duncan, hopes introducing YouTube as one of its broadcasting platforms, will allow them to push for greater revenue through advertisement deals.

“Channel 4 was the first broadcaster anywhere in the world to make all its commissioned content available online and we’ve consistently pioneered in this field,” Duncan explained.

“Making our programmes directly accessible to YouTube’s 20 million UK users will financially benefit both Channel 4 and our independent production partners and help bolster our investment in quality British content.”

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