Burnley v. Manchester City | PREMIER LEAGUE HIGHLIGHTS | 12/03/19 | NBC Sports



Manchester City responded to their draw over the weekend with a dominant showing at Turf Moor, as they put Burnley to the sword behind a Gabriel Jesus brace and goals from Rodri and Riyad Mahrez. #NBCSports #PremierLeague #ManchesterCity #Burnley

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Burnley v. Manchester City | PREMIER LEAGUE HIGHLIGHTS | 12/03/19 | NBC Sports

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Boycott Frump: Gen-X, Gen-Net and the Power of Lingerie

Gen-X has become Gen-Net, the networked generation. Among the lot of us, we have the power today–right here, right now–to completely transform our culture overnight. Together, we can say «no» to just about anything and make that «no» a reality. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to organize!

First off, let’s say a unified «no» to the current state of women’s fashion. I’ve about had it with women’s clothing that looks like it fell out of the 1950s version of the Stepford Wives handbook. One of the reasons people always think I’m about 10 years younger than I am is that I dress about 10 years younger than I am. I just can’t bring myself to adopt the soccer mom sweater set as an expression of «style.»

I think the real problem here is that there aren’t enough straight men in the fashion industry. Let’s face it, if straight men were in charge of designing women’s clothes, we’d all be wearing lingerie to the grocery store. I’m not saying that’s what I’m hoping for, but it would be a lot better than looking through a hundred June Cleaver outfits for one little red dress.

I know, ladies, I know. You’re concerned that you don’t have the figure for that kind of thing anymore, right? Well I’m convinced that if women’s clothing were designed by straight men, I’d actually be working out every day. And drinking plenty of water. And eating vegetarian meals…

Not only would I have the figure of an 18 year old, but I’d probably live to enjoy it for a hundred and twenty years.

Besides which, men don’t care. Honestly, they don’t. When you think about men making jokes about some girl not looking hot enough, think about where you remember hearing it. Ninety percent of the time, you heard it on television. Is that how we’re judging reality now? By television? Please.

Real men love women. Love us. Every beautiful curvy inch of us. I promise! So turn off the TV and go show off a little. That is, if you can find anything sexy to wear.

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History Behind the Invention of Shin Guards

Shin guards as the name implies are equipments for protecting the shin (the front of the lower leg form below the knee to above the ankle) in the course of a sport. It is used in various games like ice hockey and rugby. These items were made popular by soccer otherwise known as football and base ball.

Soccer is a game played by eleven people in one team, against another team in a rectangular field. Whichever team comes out of the game scoring the highest number of goals wins the game. Because of the nature of the game, players get kicked and injured on different parts of the body with the shin recording the highest amount of kicks and injuries.

Shin guards were therefore, invented for the protection of the shin. They are made of plastic covered with clothes; they carry claps by the side, which the player uses to fit into size with the leg. In most cases, the player covers it with his hose commonly called socks. In the late nineteenth century, Samuel Weller Widdowson solved the problem of constant avoidable and manageable injuries in a game.

He invented the soccer shin guard in Nottingham forest. The team of that town was the first ever to wear shin guards in a soccer game. These products are the only protective covering permitted for players in football soccer game. For base ball, these accessories were invented by roger Phillips Bresnahan.

He was an American base ball player and later manager from 1901 to 1945. Born in the year 1879 in Ohio, Roger played his first game 22 years later in the American league with the Baltimore team. Following closely behind, he played the nationals with New York Giants. After playing virtually every possible position in the game, Bresnahan finally settled for catching.

He eventually rose in his career to become the coach of the St’ Louis Cardinals then he moved to Chicago Cubs and finally to the Detroit tigers. It was at this point that he realized that catchers need protection in the game. Therefore, the invention of these guards for baseball catchers was an execution of his thoughts and dreams.

Aside from these accessories, there is also other protective gear worn by base ball players. They include leather gloves that are padded for catching the ball, protective helmets for batters, protective chest gear and a cage like mask for catchers. Only catchers wear shin guarding items in baseball, unlike in soccer where every player wears it. The use of protective shin guards cannot be fully emphasized.

The shin, apart from the fore head, is the only part in the body without sufficient flesh covering. Injuries at the shin can be very painful and takes a lot of time to heal. A hit at the shin goes directly to the bone and at the moment of the hit destabilizes the player. Protective shin guards have been modified with better synthetic materials to offer protection at the peak and at the same time very light so as not to weight on the player.

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The History of the FIFA World Cup Football Trophy

There are many trophies presented for various sporting endeavours today, however one of the most famous of these is the FIFA World Cup. Yet what many people do not realize is that the FIFA World Cup Trophy awarded today has only been in existence since 1974. Prior to this date those nations that were winners of this particular sporting event were presented with the Jules Rimet Trophy instead.

The main reason why a new FIFA trophy was introduced was in 1970 Brazil were awarded the Jules Rimet Trophy outright as they had won this competition three times. As they were presented with this trophy so the FIFA had to arrange for a new trophy to be made to replace it.

The new FIFA World Cup trophy was then presented to the winning Nation in 1974 and this was West Germany who at the time were captained by Franz Beckenbauer. The trophy that they were presented with was designed by Silvio Gazzaniga and produced by Bertoni Milano.

This trophy just like the Jules Rimet one before is very elaborate in design. On the body there are two figures shown holding up the Earth and on its based are engraved «FIFA World Cup» in out pouring letters. The actual trophy is made from 18 carat solid gold and weighs a total of 11lb and measures to a height of 14.4 inches. To ensure that the cup stands correctly the base which measures a width of 5.1 inches has been made from a strong carbonate mineral known as Malachite.

To be able to view the names of the winning nations on this particular trophy it needs to be turned upside down. This is because the names and dates when the trophy was won are engraved on plaques in English on the bottom of the base.

Today there are still enough plaques available to allow a further 9 nations to have their winning details placed on this trophy. It is only after the FIFA World Cup Competition in 2038 will a decision need to be made as to whether this particular trophy should be retired and replaced with a new one.

The biggest difference with this particular FIFA World Cup Trophy is that it is not one that can be won outright as Brazil did with the Jules Rimet Trophy. Today although the winning team are presented with this trophy on the day of their victory they don’t actually get to keep it and instead of provided with a replica.

The main reason for this is that following Italy winning the competition in 2006 after the FIFA World Cup Trophy had been restored it was damaged. A number of days after the trophy had been presented to Italy pictures appeared in newspapers showing a small piece of the Malachite base had broken off. The damage to the trophy was repaired but in order to prevent such a situation in the future the FIFA decided no longer to allow the winning nation to retain the trophy until the next tournament.

The FIFA World Cup Trophy replica that the winning nation now receive is the same size as the original. However, unlike the original these are not made from solid gold but rather they use gold plating instead.

Conspicuous By Their Absence: David Beckham – Romario – Raul – Sunday Oliseh – Roy Keane

It always provokes a reaction from fans of national teams whenever their favourite players’ names are excluded from the squad to play in any match or to participate in a major tournament. Every fan is an expert, an Alex Ferguson who can give you a million reasons why player A should have been included in the squad.

In reality, football is a lot more complex than that. Some players might excel in their clubs because of the position they are being played in and, or because of the formation the club manager adopts often. The national team manager might adopt a different type of formation or they might not have vacancy in their squad to fit the player in a position that would fully maximise his potentials and ultimately lead to team success which in effect is the end game.

A lot more factors go into this of course. Some can easily be explained in a press conference and reasons given understood and appreciated if not accepted. Others could however be shrouded in mystery and attempts at explaining why player A has been dropped, for instance, could give rise to more questions being asked. Nicholas Anelka’s omission from various French squads over the years could easily be explained as him not getting on with the National team handlers and also disciplinary issues.

However, Mario Jardel’s sparse invitations to the national team of Brazil between 1994 and 2002 when he was one of the most prolific strikers in Europe left many questions unanswered. At some point, he was the highest goal scorer in Europe for two seasons in a row between 1998 and 2000. Naturally, people came to their own conclusions. Some said ‘his style of play was too European to fit into the South American samba style that Brazil adopted’. Whatever the reasons, it would be reasonable to assume that a Striker of his calibre should have been given more opportunities to represent his country.

Below, I have compiled a list of five notable names of players who were conspicuous by their absence when squad lists were released, furnished with some background information.

These are David Beckham, Romario, Raul, Sunday Oliseh and Roy Keane.

David Beckham of England (2006): Steve McClaren took over as England manager after the departure of beleaguered coach Sven Goran Eriksson in 2006. As he unveiled his first squad for a friendly against Greece on 16 August 2006, David Beckham’s name was conspicuously missing.

McClaren made it clear he was ‘out for change’ and that Beckham – for the moment at least – ‘wasn’t part of the change.’ McClaren hinted he favoured wingers with pace who could run at defenders, move with the ball and cause different kinds of problems.

Beckham would however make a return to the England squad when qualification for Euro 2008 was in jeopardy. It was his sublime cross that in fact picked out Peter Crouch who chested and volleyed to make it 2:2 against Croatia in the final qualifying match at Wembley Stadium on 21 November 2007. He had come in as a substitute for Shaun Wright-Phillips. England would however lose 2:3 and miss out on the tournament with the coach being criticized – among other reasons – for not playing Beckham from the start; he was promptly sacked.

David Beckham’s contributions at Manchester United had marked him out as a future star and he was first called up to the England squad on 1 September 1996 to play against Moldova. He however became somewhat of a public enemy number one when he petulantly got himself sent off against bitter rivals Argentina at the second round of the World cup in France 1998. He was seen kicking Argentine player Simeone while lying on the floor; he was shown his marching orders. England would later lose on penalties with Beckham apparently taking the bulk of the blame from an angry British press and a hurting public.

Time is a great healer and in time, Beckham started to warm his place back into the hearts of the British press and the English public. He started turning out consistent and occasional brilliant performances for both club and country. He played a pivotal role in the Manchester United squad that historically won the treble of the FA cup, Premier League and Champions league in the 1998-99 season. He scored United’s last goal in the last game of that season against Tottenham Hotspurs and also delivered both corner kicks that led to United’s remarkable comeback against Bayern Munich at the Champions league final to win 2:1 after trailing at 0:1 up until 90 minutes.

His redemption for England was complete when his ‘bend it like Beckham’s’ fabulously taken free kick against Greece on 6 October 2001 ensured that the English flag would be flown at the FIFA World Cup in Japan and South Korea 2002. England needed at least a draw in their final group match to qualify for the mundial but were losing 1:2 at Old Trafford Manchester, much to the frustration of their fans. At about 91 minutes, Teddy Sheringham – who had made it 1:1 for England earlier – was judged to have been fouled from outside the 18 yard box. Up stepped Mr. David Beckham who courageously volunteered to take the resulting free-kick and curled it neatly behind the wall into the net. The Greek goalkeeper, Nikopolidis Antonis, was reduced to a mere spectator as he could only watch the ball lodge into the back of the net. The whole stadium erupted in scenes of joy and jubilation that would have been equally felt by fans watching from television screens in Pubs up and down the country and those watching on telly in the comfort of their homes.

His marriage to Victoria Adams of popular British female pop group Spice Girls on 4 July 1999 has created a global brand – via their celebrity lifestyle, public persona, business interests and marriage longevity which is thus far blessed with four children – which has brought immense pride to the nation.

David Beckham is at the twilights of his career and now plays his club football for California outfit LA Galaxy in the United States. He has hinted that he would love to play for team GB (Great Britain) at next year’s summer Olympics to be held in London, England; he would be 37 years old by then. Beckham should temper his ambitions of wanting to win a major tournament with England with the reality that he doesn’t really ‘bend it like Beckham’ as he used to.

Romario (full name: Romario de Souza Faria) of Brazil (1998 and 2002): Named as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers by FIFA, few would forget how Romario inspired Brazil to win the 1994 FIFA world cup in the United States. He scored five goals in that tournament and won the World Cup golden ball.

Despite his immense skills and breathtaking goals, his name would be conspicuously missing from Brazil’s squads to participate in the 1998 and 2002 FIFA World Cup tournaments.

Medical reasons were given for his exclusion from the team to participate at the France ’98 world cup. He had been prolific for Brazil leading up to the tournament. In February 1998, he scored one goal each against Guatemala and El Salvador respectively. He cried in a press conference on 02 June 1998 held in Lesigny, France and fans were visibly upset when talking about the fact he would not be at the mundial. «This is very sad for me, a big disappointment,» he said. «This is a very difficult moment in my life. From now on, I will start to give value to other things. I just want to thank the national team for having given me the chance to become what I am.» He broke down and wept several times before been led away to a standing ovation.

The story went that medical tests revealed he had muscular lesion on the back of his lower leg and that this might – or might not – heal in time for or during the tournament. The decision was taken by the national team handlers for him to be dropped, much to the dismay of vast majority of Brazilians. Brazil would reach the final eventually losing to host France in a one-sided final which ended 3:0.

Indiscipline is thought to be the reason for dropping the 36 year old Romario from the squad that represented Brazil at the 2002 world cup held in Japan and Korea. He had in fact been in consistent form for club and country leading up to the tournament. He netted four goals against Venezuela in a world cup qualifying and had netted three against Venezuela a month earlier in 2000. He had formed a formidable partnership with the legendary Ronaldo. Brazil would in his absence go on to win the tournament, beating a gallant German side 2:0.

Just like four years earlier, Brazilians had been massively disappointed by his exclusion. The coach, Phil Scolari vigorously defended his decision to leave the player out. He maintained that he had faith in the strikers he had selected, that it was him and not 170 million Brazilian fans that was the coach of the National team, and win or lose, he was ready to face the consequences of his decisions.

Romario remains a legend of Brazilian football having won the FIFA World Cup in 1994; the Confederation Cup in 1997; and the Copa America in 1989 and 1997 respectively with the national team. He remains a household name in football circles worldwide. He is into politics these days.

Raul ( full name: Raul Gonzalez): After having scored 23 goals in all competitions for Real Madrid in the 2007 – 2008 season and played a role in qualifying Spain for Euro 2008, one could be forgiven to assume that – injury permitting – Raul would automatically make the squad for the tournament. This assumption would have been misplaced as Raul’s name was conspicuously missing from the final squad.

A lethal striker, Raul scored 44 goals for Spain between 1990 and 2006 and currently holds the record as Spain’s most capped outfield player with about 102 appearances thus far. As talented as he is however, he unfortunately belongs to a generation of Spanish players that were seen as perennial underachievers in major tournaments, often displaying a gap between potentials and performance. For instance, a lot was expected of him and his teammates at the 1998 FIFA world cup in France. They however crashed out of the first round winning only one match. In Euro 2000 co-hosted by Belgium and the Netherlands, Spain reached the quarter finals but lost 1:2 to World cup champions France with Raul missing a last minute penalty that, if scored, would have forced the match to extra time. Raul along with Fernando Morientes and Joan Capdevila were part of the talented but hapless Spanish squad that failed to progress beyond the group stages at the Euro 2004 tournament held in Portugal.

A new generation of Spanish players have now emerged that have effectively shed the image of the past. This so-called golden generation includes players like Fernando Torres, David Villa, Cesc Fabregas and Xabi Alonso. They have already won the European Championship (Euro 2008) and the FIFA World Cup (South Africa 2010) both tournaments which Raul was eligible but ignored. Loss of form is thought to be the reason he was excluded from the squads to participate in both tournaments.

It would appear the emergence of promising young players like, Alvaro Negredo of Sevilla and Pedro Rodriguez of Barcelona continues to account for Raul’s exclusion from the national team. The likes of Torres and Villa were preferred to him between 2008 and 2010. It is then reasonable to conclude that Luis Aragones and Vicente Del Bosque – two national team Managers who have recently overlooked him – wanted a break from the past, seeking a fresh new perspective and outlook for the Spanish national team, after all, one cannot continue to do the same thing the same way and expect to get a different result.

Raul who to his credit has never been issued a red card in his career thus far presently plays for German club Schalke 04. He remains a prolific striker and has already scored 3 hat- tricks in club he joined less than two years ago. He remains the record goal scorer in the EUFA champions league with 71 goals.

At the age of 34, a return to the Spanish national team is not beyond the realms of possibilities. However, with each passing day and the emergence of young, bright, energetic and talented Spanish strikers, these possibilities appear to become more and more remote.

Sunday Oliseh of Nigeria (2002): Shakira – South American music sensation – said in one of her songs that her ‘hips don’t lie’. Well, Sunday Oliseh’s feet were not lying when his right foot released a ferocious shot from outside the 18 yard box that drilled home a 3:2 lead and victory for Nigeria against Spain at the FIFA World Cup France 1998. Feet as well don’t lie.

Incidentally, that goal would be Oliseh’s last World Cup goal and France 1998 his last World cup appearance for his country. Despite being available for selection to participate at the World cup in 2002 to be held in Japan and South Korea, his name was conspicuously missing when Nigeria’s squad to participate in the tournament was released.

Oliseh had played a pivotal role in qualifying Nigeria for the mundial in 2002. He was solid in his defensive midfield role as his country qualified from a group the included legendary George Weah’s Liberia and bitter West African rivals Ghana. Nigeria amassed 16 points to narrowly edge out Liberia on 15 points. Several big name players including Finidi George and Victor Ikpeba would – along with Oliseh – however be excluded from Nigeria’s World cup squad.

Oliseh had become a darling of Nigerian football, loved and adored at home; well known and respected abroad. He played his first game for the Super Eagles of Nigeria on 24 July 1993 in an African Cup of Nations qualifying match against Ethiopia played Lagos Nigeria. For almost 10 years, he made the defensive midfield position in the national team his private property from where he dictated play and shelled out passes. He was both a creative and a destructive defensive midfielder; creating chances for his team mates with clever short and long range passes on one hand and nipping opponents attacking moves from the bud on the other hand often with neat and timely tackles. He was quite simply a joy to watch.

In 1998, he prematurely retired from international football but was persuaded by pleas from the press, millions of Nigerian fans and the NFA (Nigerian Football Association) to ‘please come back!’ He rescinded and led Nigeria to second place at the African Cup of Nations held jointly by Nigeria and Ghana in 2000.

Indiscipline was the reason given for his exclusion from the squad to participate at the World Cup in Japan and Korea in 2002. It was reported that Oliseh – along with other senior members of the squad including Finidi George – had a dispute with Nigerian football officials which unduly distracted the team from performing well at the African cup of Nations held earlier the same year in Mali. This is thought may have contributed to the team’s overall poor showing at the tournament. They however came third. The dispute was over unpaid allowances and air ticket refunds.

Festus Onigbinde who was appointed coach after the African Cup of Nations immediately dropped Oliseh from the provisional 35 man squad released in preparations for the World Cup. There were signs he might be recalled for the tournament proper but this never happened. He retired from international football soon afterwards and this time, it was for good.

In his absence, the Super Eagles of Nigeria crashed out of the tournament at the first round, losing their first two matches to Argentina and Sweden respectively and played out a rather boring goalless draw against England in their final group match.

Oliseh retired from football in January 2006 and now maintains his own website named http://www.sundayoliseh.tv from where he shares his knowledge of football with the world. He recently commented on Nigeria’s failure to qualify for the African cup of Nations in 2012 hinting that this ‘sends out the wrong signals about Nigeria’s place in African football.’

Roy Keane of Republic of Ireland (2002): Not in a long time had Irish football had a larger than life character like Roy Keane. He had played a pivotal part in the midfield in qualifying Ireland for the FIFA world cup in 2002 but his name was conspicuously missing from the Irish squad to participate in the tournament.

Ireland had qualified for the 2002 mundial quite impressively from a group that included European heavyweights Portugal and The Netherlands. They in fact went through the entire qualifying stage undefeated and only came second behind Portugal by virtue of goals difference. Keane had been solid in the heart of the Irish midfield often with ‘man of the match’ performances. He also scored 3 goals in the qualifying campaign.

He however missed the tournament due to a rift between him and the FAI (Football Association of Ireland). He was disappointed at what he saw as Ireland’s inadequate preparations for the World Cup. He was unhappy about the travel arrangements, the training pitch, training facilities and late arrival of the squad’s training equipments among others. It all came to a head when the coach, Mick McCarthy decided to have a word with Keane – in front of other team members – about a recent interview he had given to The Irish Times expressing his views about the Irish team’s preparations. Keane used that opportunity to tell the coach exactly what he felt about him. He said that Mick McCarthy was ‘a liar,’ that he ‘never rated him as a player and that he did not rate him as a coach’ either. He ranted and swore for about ten minutes as he told the coach to ‘stick it up his bullocks,’ according to sources. One player present had described Keane’s tirade as fierce and earth shattering to its recipient.

The Coach moved swiftly and announced shortly after in a press conference the Keane had been dismissed from the Squad. In his absence, the Republic of Ireland would reach the second round only to lose 3:2 on penalties to Spain after the match had ended 1:1 after extra time.

Roy Keane is a Manchester United and an Irish football legend. He had contributed to Ireland’s fine FIFA World cup participation at USA in 1994 as they reached and were eliminated at the second round by an industrious Dutch side after having impressively beaten tournament favourites – Italy – 1:0 at the group stages. Their second round elimination notwithstanding, they received heroes welcome at the homecoming celebration held at Phoenix Park in Dublin from patriotic and delighted Irish Fans with Irish flags been waved joyfully in the air. Roy Keane was singled out for his immense contributions although he thought there was not much to celebrate about as the team had – in his words -‘achieved little’.

He made about 480 appearances for Manchester for just over a decade. A powerful central/defensive midfielder, his style of play was uncompromising. He would usually approach any match like a soldier going to war. From his position, he was able to dictate the tempo and pattern of play, not shy lounge into tackles to disrupt opponents attacking initiatives and would often beseech his teammates to push forward and never give up. His winning mentality endeared him to his coach Sir Alex Ferguson.

He famously revealed in his autobiography how he deliberately set out to hurt another player – Alf -Inge Haaland – after nursing grudge against him for about four years. «I had waited long enough» he said. «I hit him f******g hard». He received a further fine from the English Football Authorities for his confession.

Roy Keane has taken to a career in coaching after retiring from football in 2006. He currently manages Ipswich Town.

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The Top 10 Football Teams in London

There is much to see for those who are interested in football in London. Just to clarify for any readers of this article from outside the UK, football means the ‘beautiful game’, what is commonly referred to as Soccer around the world.

London has a proud tradition of famous football teams with much competition between them to be the top club. There are generally four or five London teams in the Premier League and there are many commentators who believe that this is one of the biggest obstacles to any one of them winning the league. A ‘local derby’ between two London football teams could produce an electric atmosphere and turn current form on its head they are so well contested.

Premier League tickets are sometimes difficult to obtain, but a bit of persistence often gets results. There are a number of ticket agencies that can get them for a price.

In the last decade, both Arsenal and Chelsea have each won the illustrious Premier League title twice and reached the final of the European Cup.

Here are some details about the top 10 football clubs in London and to avoid any accusations of being partisan, they are listed in alphabetical order:-

Arsenal

The Gunners, Arsenal have played in the top division of English football in consecutive seasons since the 1919-20 season. They have been champions on 13 occasions and achieved a unique record for modern times in 2003-04 season when they went the whole season without being beaten.

Arsenal have won the much coveted ‘double’ (league and cup winners in the same season) three times, in 1971, 1998 and 2002

In recent years they have moved to a new venue, The Emirates Stadium, with a 60,000 capacity. The Arsenal Museum is well worth a visit and is open every day.

Brentford

The Bees, Brentford Football Club are currently playing in Football League I. They were founded in 1889 and play their home games at Griffin Park their home stadium since 1904. Brentford’s most successful spell came during the 1930s, when they achieved consecutive top six finishes in the First Division.

Since the War, they have spent most of their time in the third and fourth tiers of English football. Brentford have been FA Cup quarter-finalists on four occasions, and have twice been Football League Trophy runners-up.

Charlton Athletic

The Addicks, Charlton Athletic have seen better days. There halcyon days were in the 1930s and 40s. In recent years they have struggled after being relegated from the Premier League in 2005 and then from the Championship in 2008.

They play at The Valley just south of the River Thames in Greenwich. The club was founded in 1905.

Historically, Charlton’s most successful period was the 1930s, when the club’s highest league finishes were recorded, including runners-up of the league in 1937, and after World War II, when the club reached the FA Cup final twice, winning in 1947.

Chelsea

The Pensioners or the Blues, Chelsea Football Club was founded in 1905, and play in the Premier League. Chelsea have been champions three times (1955, 2005, 2006), and have won the FA Cup five times, the League Cup four times and the UEFA Cup Winners Cup twice. They reached the UEFA Champions League Final in 2008

Chelsea play at Stamford Bridge in West London and their ground capacity is 42,000.The Chelsea Museum is open most days and is well worth a visit for those interested in museums and football history.

Crystal Palace

The Eagles, Crystal Palace Football Club was formed in 1905. The team plays its home matches at Selhurst Park, where it has been based since 1924. The club is currently competing in the second tier, The Championship.

Crystal Palace’s most recent successful period began in 1988-89, when the club finished third in the Second Division and were promoted to the First Division. Reaching the 1990 FA Cup Final only to lose the replay against Manchester United and finishing 3rd in the First Division in 1990-91.

Since then Palace have been relegated from and promoted to the FA Premier League on a number of occasions, their most recent relegation from the top flight was in the 2004-05 season. This is all despite the club being almost bankrupt in July 2000.

Fulham

The Cottagers, Fulham Football Club was founded in 1879, they celebrated their 125th anniversary in 2004, and are in the top tier of English football, the Premier League. Fulham are the oldest professional football team in London.

In 2009, Fulham had their highest-ever finish in the Premier League, coming 7th to qualify for Europe.

The club has produced many great British footballers including Johnny Haynes, George Cohen, Bobby Robson, Rodney Marsh and Alan Mullery and Jim Langley. They play at the historic Craven Cottage, their home since 1896, a riverside ground on the banks of the River Thames in Fulham.

Queens Park Rangers

The Hoops or just QPR, Queens Park Rangers Football Club based in Shepherd’s Bush, West London. They currently play in the Football League Championship, and their honours include winning the League Cup in 1967, and being runners-up in the old First Division in 1975-76 and FA Cup in 1982.

Queens Park Rangers Football Club was founded in 1882, and its traditional colours are blue and white. Owing to its proximity to other West London clubs, QPR maintains long-standing rivalries with several other clubs in the area, the most notable of these being Chelsea, Brentford and Fulham with whom they contest what are known as West London derbies.

In 2007 QPR was taken over by Italian tycoon Flavio Briatore and rank among the top 10 richest sporting clubs in the world. Other major shareholders include Lakshmi Mittal & F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone. So watch this space!

Tottenham Hotspurs

The famous ‘Spurs’ side of 1961, is still reckoned by many football enthusiasts, to be one of the best football teams in English football history. They achieved the ‘double’ which had not been achieved at that time since Aston Villa won it in 1897.

This has given recent Spurs’ teams a lot to live up to. But Spurs have a long tradition of playing good football so there are many exciting matches at White Hart Lane especially with their close North London rivals, Arsenal.

In 1963, Spurs became the first British club to win a major European trophy – the European Cup Winners’ Cup. In the 1970s, they won the Football League Cup on two occasions and were the inaugural winners of the UEFA Cup in 1972. In the 1980s, Spurs won several trophies: the FA Cup twice, FA Community Shield and the UEFA Cup 1983-84. In the 1990s, they won the FA Cup and the Football League Cup and in 2008, they beat Chelsea in the final of the Football League Cup. This victory means that Tottenham have won a trophy in each of the last six decades – an achievement only matched by Manchester United.

Spurs have planned a new stadium to be completed by 2012 and it is expected to be one of the best stadiums in the UK.

Watford

The Hornets, Watford Football Club based in Watford, Hertfordshire. They play in the Championship. The club was founded in 1881, and played at several grounds before moving to a permanent location at Vicarage Road in 1922, where they remain to this day. Since 1997, they have shared the stadium with Saracens Rugby Club. Watford have a long-standing rivalry with Luton Town.

The club is best known for two spells under the management of former England manager Graham Taylor. The first lasted from 1977 to 1987, when the club rose to the old First Division from the Fourth Division. Once in the highest division of English football, Watford finished second in the league in 1983, reached the FA Cup final in 1984 and competed in the UEFA Cup in the 1984-85 season.

The second period spanned from 1997 to 2001, when Taylor took the club from the renamed Second Division to the Premier League in successive seasons. Taylor is currently a non-executive director of the club, and honorary life president alongside Sir Elton John who owned the club during both of these eras and has continued a long association with the club.

West Ham United

The Hammers, West Ham United Football Club have play at Upton Park (Boleyn Ground), in East London since 1904 having been formed in 1895.

They featured in the first FA Cup Final to be held at Wembley in 1923 against Bolton Wanderers. The club have won the FA Cup three times: in 1964, 1975 and 1980. They have also been runners-up twice, in 1923 and 2006.

In 1965, they won the European Cup Winners Cup, and in 1999 they won the InterToto Cup.

Their players are considered an important factor behind England’s triumph in the 1966 World Cup, as England’s captain at the time was West Ham’s Bobby Moore, and both goalscorers Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters were West Ham players.

West Ham currently compete in the Premier League, their highest finish in the Premier League was 5th in 1998-99.

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