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Day: May 19, 2012

Match of the Weekend 1 – The Championship Playoff Final: West Ham United 2 Blackpool 1

West Ham United are back in the Premier League, after Ricardo Vaz Te’s late strike gave them victory over a doggedBlackpoolside. In a match that inevitably gets linked with the £90million that the club will earn from being in the Premier League for  a season (and the parachute payments should the winning team last just one season), it was a match that the Sky hype machine almost manage to bill as the most important game of the season, but the second most important of the day. In terms of quality, it wasn’t one of the greatest Playoff finals, butBlackpooland West Ham served up yet another exciting game, and one that will sit comfortably among the Championship’s end of season finale.   It was a game that, started as it would play out. West Ham spent most of the early exchanges showing their hand in terms of their main game plan. They looked to get Ricardo Vaz Te behind the defence, and try and spring it from a cross out wide, a tactic the Hammers try three times in the first ten minutes, yet each time, the Portugese forward is clearly offside, The Plan B looks to be pushing the midfield forward, so that any loose balls are met hard and fast, and Matt Taylor shows this tactic’s potential by charging into the box to claim a second ball from...

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Queens Park Rangers Beat The Premier League Drop: Why It Matters

At 15.45 last Sunday it was all pretty much over. Despite a valiant park-the-bus effort, my beloved Queens Park Rangers were a goal down at Manchester City. And, horror of horrors, Bolton had come from a goal behind to lead at Stoke. At Stoke! But no-one ever comes from behind at the Britannia. The superhoops were as good as down. It felt horrible, like a thump in the soul. That ghastly chant the Chelsea fans had sung at Stamford Bridge a few weeks earlier – “We’re going to Germany, you’re going to Barnsley” rung true in my head. Make no mistake; at half-time on Survival Sunday, we were staring down the barrel of the gun of relegation waiting for some trotter (probably Kevin Davies) to pull the trigger. The conversation amongst my Loftus Road comrades and I turned to dark issues we’d tried not to raise in the preceding weeks. So, Adel Taarabt’s gone, who else do you reckon will jump ship in the summer? Do we have what it takes to bounce straight back up from the Championship? I think someone even said perhaps a season in the Championship could do us good, help us re-build etc etc. To be frank, I wasn’t really listening. I was mulling the prospect of another Tuesday night trip to Oakwell, another 15 years outside the Big Time, another 15 years of...

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