Loughborough College Sport FE Magazine (Jan - Feb 2012)
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Loughborough College Sport FE Magazine (Jan - Feb 2012)
We are going to use Scoop to allow our learners to write blog posts regarding current sporting issues/debates/opinions/stories. We are going to give a platform to our budding journalists to give you THEIR view on the world of sport. Happy reading…
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So who's next for the England job? ·

So who's next for the England job? · | Loughborough College Sport FE Magazine (Jan - Feb 2012) | Scoop.it

By George Crewe (Melbourne)

BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport Year 2

 

After last week’s dispute between the FA and Fabio Capello (which culminated in Capello’s resignation), the FA, as it stands are left without a manager in place with only just over 100 days until the tournament commences. The equation is fairly simple, the FA, the media and all the fans want the next man at the helm to be Harry Redknapp. But, come on, when has anything ever been that simple with the FA in recent years?

 

As I say, the outstanding choice is Redknapp. Undoubtedly he has the right credentials for the job. He’s experienced, knowledgeable, and perhaps most importantly he has great respect from the players, the media and all the fans. As mentioned before though, when is anything ever straight forward with the FA? Redknapp’s Tottenham currently sit third in the Premier League and are almost dead certs for a Champions League spot and still have an outside chance for their first Premier League title.

 

For the reasons above Redknapp may find it a wrench to leave Spurs while they are high flying, and the club stood by him through his supposed tax evasion trial. Hence the reason why there has been some talk of Redknapp taking the job in a part time role. However, the FA and Redknapp may be reluctant to make this decision as it doesn’t allow Harry to concentrate solely on the national job, which can take up more of your time than you may imagine. In an ideal world for Redknapp, Capello would have stayed for the duration of Euro 2012 and Redknapp could have taken the post in the summer leaving Tottenham some time to find a new manager themselves, but obviously that isn’t the case, and Redknapp and the FA need to decide now what the best option is.

 

So, who should the FA turn to if for some reason Redknapp doesn’t take over. Well, if the FA are to keep many people happy and opt for an English manager the options seem pretty limited. There’s Stuart Pearce, the current caretaker boss and Under 21’s manager, though it would be conceivable to say that it would be too much too young for Pearce who would perhaps be better suited for the job in years later after gaining more management experience. The only other real English contender would be Roy Hodgson. He has managed international teams Finland and Switzerland in the past, and that could work in his favour. Although, after an unsuccessful spell in charge of Liverpool last season, his reputation as a higher end manager was somewhat tarnished.

 

Now, who are the options if we are to look overseas? Again, as with the English potential managers, there are not too many foreign managers that could be seriously considered. If the FA were to appoint another foreign manager, they would be looking to someone who is fluent in speaking English and has a sound knowledge of the Premier League. When considering all of these things, perhaps the only candidate would be ‘the special one’ (Jose Mourinho). Though, is he likely to leave Real Madrid who are top of La Liga and in to the last 16 of the knockout stages? The answer to that I believe is no, and like Redknapp, I think he would be more suited to taking the job in the close season.

 

I think it is most likely that Redknapp will be appointed at some point over the next few weeks and perhaps on a part-time basis first of all. Despite the fact that many have called the England job a poisoned chalice in the past, I think whoever is appointed will take great pride, and with Redknapp a proud Englishman, it would be one of the proudest days in his career.

 

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Why Parkour should be in PE lessons...

Why Parkour should be in PE lessons... | Loughborough College Sport FE Magazine (Jan - Feb 2012) | Scoop.it

By Nathan Jones (LA)

BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport Year 1

 

Parkour is an art form designed to get one’s self from A-B in the most efficient way possible.

 

Parkour should be used in PE lessons because as it is the world’s fastest growing sport. It challenges the participants to use both physical and mental components to overcome everyday barriers that they may come across. This involves no rules, just the free desire to move around the obstacles as you please. We’ve all had a past childhood of climbing around our environment so why not continue that through Parkour. This allows us to put our everyday environment to a much better use than just a dumping ground; the possibilities are endless with this sport.

 

It is a great way to bond a new class or group together with energy and excitement to try out something new other than football/rugby that always gets exposure in PE lessons. I’ve been training Parkour / Freerunning for many years now and I’ve met some really amazing people over my time who have inspired me and motivated me to express myself through movement. Since I started, I’ve never looked back.

 

The sport is sure to put a smile on everyone’s face that participates and will also give them a big sense of achievement because it allows them to discover just how much more our bodies are capable of doing. That is the reason I think Parkour should be included in PE sessions in schools.

 

 

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Has the first season of the Women’s superleage been a success?

Has the first season of the Women’s superleage been a success? | Loughborough College Sport FE Magazine (Jan - Feb 2012) | Scoop.it

By Beth Dexter (LA)

BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport Year 1

 

In attempt to develop the women’s game in this country the FA developed the WSL, a league of eight teams consisting of this country’s best female football players. The league started in April last year and as a summer long event lasted until early September, the FA have further also introduced the Continental Cup, a knock out cup competition between the eight league teams with big name sponsors.

 

Arsenal were victorious against Birmingham with the Gunners’ clinching the double and making sure the WSL’s first season finishes on a high. Whilst Arsenal’s success carrying over into the WSL from the Women’s Premier League could be seen as a negative in the push for more competitive action, Arsenal won the league on the last day of the season by three points from Birmingham City this is an example of the increasing quality across a number of the top teams in England.

 

Average attendances have also been up for the league compared to the Women’s Premier League. An average of close to 600 people enjoyed the WSL, 2167 spectators also turned up to see Arsenal crowned winners in the cup final. Some games have also been showed on ESPN and a weekly catch up programme has also been viewed. The FA’s £3million investment also indicates their interest in making the WSL a long-term success and suggests a change in approach after years of the women’s game suffering from a lack of money.

 

Underlying problems in the women’s game still seem to be there. The first game of the season between Chelsea and Birmingham may of brought over 2,500 spectators but was still played on fields and not proper football stadiums, there have also been problems with pitches in these lower league venues, with criticisms from both players and managers about the quality of some pitches that could detract from the potential quality of the football. There are also concerns over the scheduling of the tournament, a summer fixture list could be seen as a way to generate more interest in the sport in the absence of the men’s game but putting other big tournaments on in women’s football effects the league.

 

Whilst some increased interest was drawn to the game by the introduction of the WSL, the WPL continued with very little attention. The loss of the best teams in the country to the WSL could be seen as both good and bad for England’s now second tier in the women’s game. The loss of them takes the quality away from the league but at the same time gives the smaller teams and players a chance to shine against more evenly matched opponents. Despite winning the WPL, Sunderland remain in the same league, something that limits their chances for development. The money and increased attention on the WSL also damages the WPL.

 

As the first WSL season has now drawn to a close and Bristol Academy and Arsenal Ladies head onto the European stage hoping for success, the FA can take many positives from their first successful WSL season. Further attention, money and exposure will need to be generated around the women’s game and across all the leagues to make sure it is a continued success but the FA now have a good platform to hopefully keep developing women’s football in this country.

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Is Paul Scholes Right To Come Back?

Is Paul Scholes Right To Come Back? | Loughborough College Sport FE Magazine (Jan - Feb 2012) | Scoop.it

By Dominic Brennan (Melbourne)

BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport Year 2

 

Recently, the Premier League saw a return of two legends. One being Arsenal hero, and all time record goalscorer, Thierry Henry, and the more notable and surprising one, being Manchester Unite d great, Paul Scholes.

 

Given their recent injury crisis, Scholes was sensationally named on the bench for Manchester United’s huge FA Cup tie against “noisy neighbours” Manchester City.Scholes had announced his decision to retire from the playing side of the game post the unsuccessful Champions League final, in which his side got annihilated by Barcelona. Scholes, however, decided to stay on at the club, after being offered the role of his reserve team manager by Sir Alex Ferguson.

 

So was Paul “Sat Nav” Scholes right to come out of retirement? Was it yet another stroke of genius by Sir Alex Ferguson? Or is it purely down to the fact that he doesn’t “believe” in buying players in the January transfer window? Well, given that during the game against Manchester City, if you look at it statistically, Paul Scholes came on with 20 minutes to go, and made 71 passes, of which 97% were accurate, more than any Manchester City player during the full 90 minutes, it did look like a very good move from Sir Alex.

 

But stats aren’t everything. James Milner made Scholes look every bit his age, when he robbed the veteran of possession, and assisted Kun Aguero’s goal to make the score 3-2, and make for an extremely nervy finale for either side, and especially Scholes.

With youngsters in the likes of Ravel Morrison and Paul Pogba all waiting in the wings for a call-up and their chance to shine, like Scholes was given against Port Vale in an FA Cup tie in 1994, I can’t help but feel as though this is a step back for Manchester United.

 

Paul Scholes was a player straight out of the top drawer maybe the best British player ever, and Sir Alex Ferguson maybe mirrors that in management terms, however what would be the long term benefit from this? When there are young players described as “wonderkids” are not being given a chance, it’s little wonder that English football is looking in trouble for the future.

 

It’s a time for football, Scholes, Manchester United and Sir Alex, to let the past go, and march on to the future, which will no doubt involve Paul Scholes passing on his experience in a coaches role. And if his passing of experience is anywhere near as good as his passing of a ball, it’s a very bright future for the red half of Manchester.

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Do the top 6 need to shop in the January sales?

Do the top 6 need to shop in the January sales? | Loughborough College Sport FE Magazine (Jan - Feb 2012) | Scoop.it

By Ben Tooley (Melbourne)

BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport Year 2

 

The transfer window has once again opened for a month in the Barclays Premier League after an action packed and unpredictable first half of the season, clearly, there is a lot more to come, but what? We have the 2010/2011 premier league champions Manchester United now in the shadow of their rivals Manchester City, A surprise 3rd place Tottenham now contending for the title with Arsenal and Liverpool out of the top four, missing out on champions league football at this stage of the season. Also, we have an inconsistent Chelsea, mirroring their form a decade or so ago. What team needs players?

 

The two Manchester clubs are clearly the favourites to take the title but which one has the upper hand? Some say Manchester United with their experience in tough situations but others now favour Manchester City due to ridiculous amounts of money and the players they can bring in. Personally, City do it for me and in this transfer window, they are looking at bidding for Tottenham ace Gareth Bale. However, Tottenham won’t accept anything less than £150 million pounds and with them also in the title race, letting go of their best players seems like the worst move of all! Paul Scholes has been re assigned in the midfield to help Fergie out for the remainder of the season due to too many injuries in that area of the park. So surely a signing of a midfielder would be a great shout? Rumour has it that Sir Alex has made a bid for Inter Milan star Wesley Sneijder to improve the United squad and for me; this would be a fantastic addition. He will bring flare and mass amounts of technique and skill to the united side.

 

We have Gary Cahill, a centre back from Bolton joining Chelsea to help with their inconsistent defence. To me, this is a wise decision and a good move. They concede too many goals for a team hoping for title contentions. I’m sure many would agree, they also need a quality goal scorer, with Torres out of form for over 40 games, it is time for Stamford Bridge to welcome a player of quality, maybe someone like Demba Ba or Robin Van Persie, two preferences of mine. If Chelsea wants to win the title, they need goals!

 

What is happening with Arsenal and Liverpool? Two clubs who are renowned for their top 4 finishing are out of the Champion’s League hunt half way through the season sitting in 5th and 7th. Both managers need change and personal opinions tell me Arsenal need defenders, Liverpool need attackers. Arsene has brought in old timer Thierry Henry to help bring experience to the young gunners but that hasn’t had much effect. After losing at home to Manchester United, their title hopes are going down the pan and even Champions League football looks unlikely as they are 5 points behind fourth. They can score, but a tighter defence is needed. Maybe a centre back of Chris Samba’s nature will do them some good. And then Liverpool, what are they playing at? 7th in the Premier League, with a £35 million pound signing of Andy Carroll turning stale and Suarez banned for racial abuse, they are in need of attacking genius. Maybe getting a loan striker in till Suarez returns or signing a play like Darren Bent could help? In my opinion, they also need a quality winger, someone who can run at defenders and create something out of half chances. At the rate Liverpool are going, they will be mid table contenders in a few seasons, they need to sort it!

 

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Can team GB medal in Hockey at London 2012?

Can team GB medal in Hockey at London 2012? | Loughborough College Sport FE Magazine (Jan - Feb 2012) | Scoop.it

By Andy Van Woerdan (LA)

BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport Year 1

 

After a superb performance in the Women’s champions trophy in Argentina earlier in the year England’s ladies (where the bulk of the GB squad will be selected from) look in good shape for the Olympic Games. Sadly the ladies lost in the final of the tournament in Argentina against the home nation 1 – 0, but hopefully the training in the warmer climate will have helped to improve the ladies fitness even more and with home support behind them I believe a medal is a definately possibility.

 

Last November, England’s men (again team GB will lend heavily from England for thier squad) came 6th in the champions trophy after losing 1 – 0 to Germany. Since their narrow defeat they have been training hard for their clubs and it has been showing lately, during recent club games England’s men have looked to be on top form, including Ashley Jackson who is England’s drag flicker. He was on form scoring multiple flicks in top corners in the recent indoor tournament.

 

The men’s team will move to South Africa for just over two weeks to train and get used to playing hockey with each other again before returning and having a few last test games in May before the Olympic Games. The dates of the test games are yet to be decided. Hopefully the men can use the home advantage like the women and the extra training sessions is South Africa to secure the a position on the podium.

 

To get further information on Team GB at London 2012 follow the links:

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/other_sports/hockey/default.stm

 

http://www.youtube.com/user/EnglandHockeyTV?ob=0

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The going's on in League One...

The going's on in League One... | Loughborough College Sport FE Magazine (Jan - Feb 2012) | Scoop.it

By Liam Start (LA)

BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport Year 1

 

Fight for the Crown

 

Expectations are always high at the start of a new season and the prospect of a good campaign and a high finish is something all clubs wish for. However only one can win the tile, two will get automatic and the following teams have to battle for the playoffs. But their goal is the same…. Promotion !

 

Charlton are the run away team currently. They’ve had a terrific year so far and look likely to continue with there success on the pitch. They started the season brightly with a 3-0 win on opening day which put them joint top. This set the tone for what was to come. Although they dropped to their lowest league position of 3rd after 4 games, before they bounced back to top spot in style just 3 games later. And they haven't looked back, remaining top of the league since 10th of September. Having won 20 of their 31 league games while only losing 2 of them, I can say their certainly a fine force to be reckoned with. Charlton appear to have the trophy in the bag, but the question is who can stop them.


Chasing the leaders hard and making themselves a nonsense in their attempts to spoil the Charlton’s party plans are the two Sheffield teams. Both look strong and reasonable challengers if they can hit good form and kick on in the last stages of the season. Having similar seasons in the way of results, they’ll be hoping to out do the other for the valuable automatic promotion place in the form of 2nd. Also contending for the much loved automatic promotion spots are Huddersfield and MK Dons.


These two teams aren't to far off the pace of those just above them, and could catch them quite quickly. Huddersfield will be hoping to recreate the form which sore them set a record for the most league games without loss, to be apart of that challenge. MK Dons look set for the playoffs as do those above them. Others who will be looking to secure a playoff spot are Stevenage, Carlisle, Brentford and Notts County. All these teams have had fairly good seasons, a couple started well and have dropped down a peg or two and some had an average start but have picked up good points and climbed the ladder. Both Stevenage and Notts County have recently appointed new managers and will hope they bond quickly with the team in order to get important results to make themselves contenders.

 

Those going for a late playoff push will hoping those above them slip up and leave the gap wide open. We look set for a fierce battle at the top as we get to the business end of the season. Can Charlton hold on to top spot? Who’ll get automatic promotion? And how will the Playoffs shape up? Only time will tell as the Promotion Race continues….

 

The Relegation Battle....

 

At the other end of the table it the dreaded drop! Its every teams nightmare to be faced with challenge of staying in the league, but someone has to go.

 

Currently sat rock bottom of the league is Wycombe Wanderers. They have been down and around the wrong end of the table for nearly all of the season. Their league form isn't good either having lost their last 3 games and with teams just above them having games in hand the gap to safety is likely to be extended. Chesterfield lay just one place above Wycombe and having been promoted to the division last season look likely to return to the lowest tier of league football. Having some tough games coming up against strong sides, they’ll be hoping for others to slip up around them. On the bright side, Chesterfield do have a trip to Wembley for the JPT Final, they’ll be hoping for a win to put a gloss on there otherwise painful season.


Rochdale and Scunthorpe make up the bottom four. Scunthorpe who dropped to league one from the championship last season, were expecting a quick return but fortunes have gone the other way and they look like they might be heading for back to back relegations.


The teams just outside the relegation places are Walsall, Exeter and Yeovil. But are all unbelievably close to the danger zone. No one is safe yet and there’s everything to play for, as they pray that they’ll be above the lethal dotted line come the final day of the season.

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Should darts be an Olympic sport?

Should darts be an Olympic sport? | Loughborough College Sport FE Magazine (Jan - Feb 2012) | Scoop.it

By George Crewe (Melbourne)

BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport Year 2

 

As one of the most rapidly increasing popular sports continues to grow is it time that we took darts more seriously and made a case for it being included in the Olympic Games?

 

The sport has boomed massively in recent years due to a combination of factors. Firstly, there has been the introduction of Barry Hearn who has added a different dimension to the game. He made the game more glamorous. The introduction of music and attractive women accompanying the players’ walk on to the oche and music being played in the arena between sets. All of these factors and more made the game more engaging for fans, and began to enhance the experience further for darts fans.

Then combined with this you have players who have been around for years like; Phil Taylor, Adrian Lewis, Wayne Mardle, etc. These players are also key to engaging fans in the game, and their characters entertain the crowd beyond just the game itself.

Though why do these things contribute to the fact darts should be considered as an Olympic sport? I think the biggest comparison you can draw is archery. When you think about, archery is very similar to darts in the sense it is the performers using their hand eye co-ordination in trying to hit a target a certain distance away from them.

 

Darts’ viewing figures also support the case for it being an Olympic sport. This year’s world championships earned a whopping £1.5m in gate receipts alone, and it has been said those tickets could have been sold twice over had there been room to allow this.

So what could potentially be stopping the inclusion of darts in the Olympics? Well, it could be the fact that darts has always had the tag of being a ‘pub game’ as oppose to an actual sport. Audiences at live matches are often seen drinking alcohol, and as the Olympics are trying to create a legacy and promote healthy lifestyle perhaps this doesn’t intertwine with that idea.

 

The other potential barrier is when you look at the different nationalities that do play the sport. In the professional game the majority of players are from Great Britain. This could lead to the argument there would be a lack of competition between different nations at an Olympic games and it wouldn’t be very entertaining to watch.

Overall, I don’t believe darts would work as a Olympic sport. This is because I don’t believe that same atmosphere would be able to be created at an Olympic games, because there would be more restrictions to how the crowd and the players behaved in an Olympic environment. Despite that, I would never say never, and don’t be too surprised if one day the cries of ‘180’ are common practice at an Olympic Games.

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Who’s for the drop?

Who’s for the drop? | Loughborough College Sport FE Magazine (Jan - Feb 2012) | Scoop.it

By Bradley Dewick (Melbourne)

BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport Year 2

 

One of the major talking points each season is whose going to break into the top 4. But I’m going to look at the other end of the spectrum and look at who’s going to get relegated. There are a number of teams this season flirting with the relegation zone but there are two for sure in my opinion that don’t have enough quality to beat the drop.

Blackburn Rovers, a team chasing Europe only a few years ago and having some real talent among their team. However things at Ewood Park are not how they used to be. After the dismissal of Sam Allardyce and their appointment of Steve Keane, results have been few and far between. Big players have left the club and the team is full of dead wood. Players such as Chris Samba and Olson are also set to leave the club, maybe they have realised the drop is almost certain for Rovers. Blackburn used to play with creative counter attacking football and they embraced players with flair such as David Bentley and Roque Santa Cruz.

 

Ewood Park used to be a tough place to go to but this season Blackburn have only won 3 home games all season. However I believe the problem lies beyond the players, if the club are to get back on track they need to invest in a new manager, a respected manager that’s been in this kind of situation before and will gain the respect of the fans and the players, maybe someone along the lines of Alan Curbishley.

Blackburn then need to have a major clear out and start again players such as David Dunn and Jason Roberts have expired their shelf life and I don’t believe giving them key roles within the team is the right way to take the club. Under all the deadwood, Blackburn do have some good Premier League players, such as Olson, Samba, Yakubu and Robinson. These are players that are important for Blackburn’s future and could change their fortunes around. However I still believe Blackburn doesn’t have enough to beat the drop.

 

Another club that is almost certain to beat the drop is Wigan, Wigan are by far the worst team in the Premiership they play the worst football and have players unfit for League One. Martinez was a well-respected manager at Swansea but he is way out of his depth managing in the Premier League as are a lot of managers after Paul Jewell’s reign had ended it has been a downward spiral for Wigan since then, top players have left the club such as Jimmy Bullard and Leighton Baines but they were never replaced and this is the downfall for many teams and makes the difference between good and a bad teams.

 

David Moyes is a prime example of a top class manager on a low budget that keeps rebuilding his team each year despite losing big players. However Wigan being in the situation that they are in, seems they have no escapes and no financial backing to beat the drop. Players like Connor Salmon aren’t good enough to play in the Premier League and they need to invest a lot of money in January to even have a chance of serving.

My third and final place to get relegated is a tough one as there isn’t another stand out team flirting with the relegation zone that looks destined to get relegated. Mick McCarthy has a decent team at Wolves and has some real quality amongst his team, his team play good football, but have been narrowly defeated in many of their games this season, due to rather poor decisions and silly errors.

 

QPR another team near the relegation zone have got wealthy owners and have just appointed Sparky (Mark Hughes), Sparky is a top manager who knows his stuff and since his appointment he's managed to change the attitude around the camp and results have improved of late.

 

Bolton are surprisingly finding themselves in a relation battle this year as they seem to be missing big players such as fans favourite Jussi Jaaskelainen , his replacement Bogdan has been a shambles and is not fit to play professional football, the departure of Gary Cahill is another big blow for Bolton and replacing him with 7million is going to be difficult. I think that the third and final relegation stop will go down to the wire and it’s hard to call as were only half way through the season, but I’m going to stick my neck out and go with Bolton. I know one thing for sure is that we're in for another relegation dog fight.

 

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