4 February 2014

Jack McInroy is on The Fighting Cock podcast this week

This week I appeared on the Fighting Cock podcast discussing the games against Manchester City and Hull City, debating whether Levy and/or ENIC need to go and previewing the Everton game.

Visit The Fighting Cock website or click below to listen:

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London Football Legends Awards 2014



London Football Legends Awards 2014
London’s footballing heroes will be recognised at the annual London Football Legends Awards this March.  Roy Hodgson and Tony Carr are among those who will receive awards for their outstanding contribution to the sport.  The winners of the four remaining awards, to be presented at a charity dinner at the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel, London in aid of Willow on March 6 2014 in London, will be announced on the night.

Nominees for the awards have been selected by an expert judging panel comprising; talkSPORT presenters, Paul Hawksbee & Andy Jacobs; Evening Standard chief football correspondent, James Olley; sports broadcaster, Jim Rosenthal; Sky Sports commentator, Dickie Davis; Arsenal & Scotland legend, Bob Wilson and Spurs & England legend, Martin Chivers.

England manager, Roy Hogdson, will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award and Tony Carr, the Willow Award (which recognises a legends’ contribution off the pitch) awarded for his coaching career with the West Ham youth team.  Both are expected to attend the event to accept their awards.

The nominees for the four remaining awards are:

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION
TO A LONDON CLUB
Alan Curbishley / Charlton
Ron Harris / Chelsea
Jim Cannon / Crystal Palace
Pat Rice / Arsenal
Harry Redknapp / West Ham
Mark Bright / Crystal Palace
George Cohen / Fulham

LONDON GOALKEEPING AWARD
Phil Parkes / QPR
Mervyn Day / West Ham
David Seaman / Arsenal
Pat Jennings / Spurs
John Jackson / Crystal Palace
Peter Bonnetti / Chelsea


PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2013/2014
Per Mertesacker / Arsenal
Aaron Ramsey / Arsenal
Eden Hazard / Chelsea
Hugo Lloris / Tottenham
Jussi Jaaskelainen / West Ham
Mile Jedinak / Crystal Palace
Dave Mooney / Leyton Orient
LONDON CLUB AWARD
RECENTLY RETIRED PLAYER (WITHIN THE LAST FIVE YEARS)
Roberto Di Matteo / Chelsea
Ledley King / Spurs
Chris Powell / Charlton
Gianfranco Zola / Chelsea


Sir Geoff Hurst, Roy Hodgson, Jimmy Greaves, Glenn Hoddle and Sir Trevor Brooking are among the legends expected to attend the London Football Legends Awards Dinner.  All attending legends from the six London Premier League Clubs will take part in a Q&A session on the night.

The London Football Legends Awards Dinner will raise much needed funds for Willow – a national charity that provides unique and positive Special Days for seriously ill 16 to 40 year olds.  Willow was founded by former Arsenal goalkeeper and sports presenter, Bob Wilson and his wife, Megs and in memory of their daughter, Anna, who died of cancer aged just 31.  To date Willow has fulfilled more than 10,000 Special Days for young people living with life-threatening conditions such as cancer, cystic fibrosis, motor neurone disease, muscular dystrophy, organ failure and Huntington’s.

Standard tickets to the London Football Legends Awards Dinner include pre-dinner drinks and a three course dinner, cost £160 per person.  Tables of ten are available for £1,500, a Legends table (for ten guests plus a legend) cost £2,500 and a VIP Premier Package for £5,000. 

For more information and booking visit www.willowfoundation.org.uk/FootballLegends or telephone Willow on 01707 259777.

For more information about the Willow Foundation visit www.willowfoundation.org.uk

6 November 2013

New record for Roma

Roma continued their perfect start after defeating Chievo Verona 1-0 at Stadio Olimpico. With this win, the Romans set a new record for winning the first ten games of the season. The past mark was form Juventus, who won nine in a row in 2005-06 with Italian coach Fabio Capello. 
Despite their great start, the Giallorossi are not favorites to win the Serie A title according the sports betting dime website. Juventus, who is tied with Napoli in second place with 25 points, is still the top candidate to get the Scudetto for third straight year. 
Roma got his fifth win at home with Marco Borriello’s goal to stay in first place with 30 points. The main key to their success has been their defense; they have allowed only one goal seven weeks ago against Parma at Enni Tardini Stadium. They have also the top attack so far, with 24 goals.
The red team has won the title three times, but the last time was on the 2000-01 season, when they finished with 75 points, only two away from Juventus. In that tournament they had the best offence scoring 68 goals and receiving 33. 
Francesco Totti, who was the top scorer of the Italian league in 2006 with 26 goals, lost his second consecutive game because he is still recovering from an injury, but French coach Rudi Garcia hopes he can be back on November 25th, when they host Cagliari at Olimpico. Totti has scored three goals this year. 
Last season, Roma ended in sixth place with 62 points, but their defense was one of the worst of the tournament. They allowed 56 goals; only Internaziole, Siena (57) and Pescara (84) have more.
The next four games (Torino, Sassuolo, Cagliari and Atalanta) are not a big challenge for Roma, so they can get to the game at home against Fiorentina on December 8th with 14 straight wins, what could be an impressive achievement.

22 October 2013

Five innovations that helped to transform the beautiful game

Five innovations that helped to transform the beautiful game

Ever since its formative years when the sport was still being fine-tuned, football has changed dramatically for players, club owners, broadcasters and fans alike. A number of tweaks have occurred throughout the decades, but some have had a lasting impact which will be remembered for years to come. Here are five of the most notable:

The offside rule
Introduced almost as soon as the Football Association was formed, the offside rule was invented to stop attacking players gaining an unfair advantage, making ‘goal-hanging’ illegal. The offside rule has been chopped and changed numerous times, most recently in 2005 to try and make it less punitive for attackers, resulting in more exciting matches.

The passback rule
Nearly a century after the offside rule was brought in, the passback rule followed to try and introduce some kind of balance. It bars goalkeepers from being able to catch a ball from an airborne pass or throw-in, but has proven hard to understand for players and fans.

Synthetic grass
Used for some football pitches back in the 1980s, the technology behind it has changed considerably for the better. Artificial grass surfaces are now in use throughout colder countries like Russia – the national stadium even has one.

A spokesperson from Hitechturf.co.uk opined: “Technology in artificial grass has come a long way since the late 80's and artificial grass pitches are now manufactured from polyethylene rather than nylon; this has meant that these new turfs have been approved by FIFA and UEFA.”

All-seater stadia
Another relatively recent development, all-seater football grounds weren’t a common sight in the sport until the mid-1990’s in the wake of the Taylor Report, which suggested that all stadia should just have seats instead of open terraces. They became more widespread as a response to concerns about the safety of terracing.

Goal-line technology
Introduced for the current Premier League season, it has already received praise from clubs, fans and pundits. It was given the green light to try and help put contentious decisions over whether or not the ball has gone over the line into the net firmly in the past.

27 July 2013

Paulinho: Did Tottenham really need the £17m Brazil ace?


After falling short yet again in the race for lucrative Champions League qualification last season, Tottenham fans are determined to see their side break into the top four this time round. They will be hoping for a few new arrivals, principally up front where goals have been limited, while they will also pray that Gareth Bale decides to stay for at least another season.

To date, two new faces have arrived at White Hart Lane. Winger Nacer Chadli, a Belgium international, has joined from Dutch side FC Twente for around £7m, but their biggest signing so far has been the £17m Brazil holding midfielder Paulinho from Corinthians. Paulinho had reportedly attracted interest from the likes of Real Madrid, but his signature is a coup of sorts.

Samba solidity?

Before joining, Tottenham’s options in defensive midfield were limited – they have an ageing Scott Parker, the injury-prone Sandro and the limited Tom Huddlestone to choose from, and the latter is likely to leave this summer. Paulinho could, if he plays to his full potential, offer the back four some insurance and allow the likes of Moussa Dembele and Chadli to go further forward.

However, for such a hefty fee, would Tottenham have been better off signing someone to go up front instead? The only out-and-out striker they have who can be labelled as reliable at Spurs is Jermain Defoe, and he tends to be injured quite frequently. Christian Benteke is allegedly being chased, but his arrival may depend on the future of Bale.

Bale out?

He’s the club’s talisman, and is the only reason why Tottenham have any European football to look forward to this coming season. However, some of Europe’s biggest clubs are interested including Manchester United and Real Madrid, both of which are looking for a marquee name to make their rivals shudder.

Bale is likely to stay with Tottenham according to Ladbrokes but for those you are looking to make money,  Real Madrid could well be Bale’s next club,  Especially with Madrid and co. offering Champions League football and greater opportunities to win major honours, it seems like a move to pastures new will happen eventually.

20 May 2013

MUTV continue to hire racist Ron Atkinson - my correspondence with Manchester United


I sent Manchester United an email a month ago about Ron Atkinson's appearances on MUTV. They've just replied. 

From: Jack McInroy
Sent: 23 April 2013 13:28

To: mutv@manutd.co.uk 

Subject: Ron Atkinson on MUTV
  
Dear Sir/Madam

Yesterday was a glorious one Manchester United Football Club. The club clinched a record 20th title, but I can’t help feeling that for anyone watching MUTV's coverage the day was tarnished by the presence of Ron Atkinson. I am curious why Manchester United Football Club/MUTV think it is in any way acceptable to hire Atkinson as a pundit. 

Ron Atkinson was fired from ITV in 2004 when he referred to Marcel Desailly as a 'f**king lazy nigger'. I'm sure this is not news to you.
Plenty of people live with a degree of prejudice, much of which is deeply ingrained by their upbringing and living in a society where for many years racist attitudes and language were accepted, even encouraged.

Ron Atkinson said this in 2004, a time when the derogatory use of the word 'nigger' had been universally accepted as offensive and socially unacceptable for decades.

Atkinson's outburst shows that he believes that black people are inherently lazy and unintelligent and not worthy of anything other than offensive language. It is not unusual for people to have racist thoughts, express racism in the privacy of their own home and espouse ignorant casual racism, but in this case, a man in the presence of others in the workplace, called someone the most hate-loaded word in the English language. Not only that, but he thought of a sentence and two adjectives to put in front of it before saying it, showing it was not a slip of the tongue. There can be no doubt it's a word he uses regularly when the microphones are off.

Atkinson apologised, in the process suggesting he was some kind of civil rights pioneer for picking non-white players to for his teams. He said the incident was 'an aberration', and that he isn't a racist man, but the apology cannot be accepted until he admits that the opposite is true - he is a racist man. Until he is openly ashamed of what he is (or was) as well as what he said and there is evidence he is a reformed character, he must not be forgiven.

Since the incident he has been broadcast and/or employed by Sky, William Hill, Channel Four, Swindon Town FC and most unsettling of all, the BBC. The fact that these companies have chosen to hire Atkinson after his vile statement is no excuse for Manchester United to follow suit.
What type of message do you think this sends out about Manchester United and MUTV’s attitude towards racism? I'll tell you - it says that club allegiances and viewing figures are more important to Manchester United than the feelings, rights and progress of ethnic minorities.

What would someone have to say to be vetoed from presenting on MUTV?

"F**king lazy nigger". If you are a decent human being reading those words will give you a feeling of unease deep in your stomach. Those are the ones he consciously uttered. Is this the type of person you're happy to have on the club's payroll?

Yours faithfully

Jack McInroy


From: mutv@manutd.co.uk 


Sent: 20 May 2013 10:51

To: Jack McInroy

Subject: RE: Ron Atkinson on MUTV

Dear Mr McInroy

Thank you very much for your email.  We take our viewers opinions very seriously.

We currently use Ron Atkinson as a studio guest when he is relevant and as the last Manager here before Sir Alex, and as an experienced television pundit, we consider him a valid option for our programming.

No-one would ever condone what he did but equally we don’t think any reasonable person would condemn him to a life in exile for a mistake for which he has expressed sincere regret and that he has paid for many years.

Yours sincerely
Stefano Bozzi

Head of Programmes, MUTV
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