Thursday, November 15, 2012



Amazing day yesterday, someone has put together 12 minutes of Zlatan highlights link, which expain his performance far better than I could.

Gazelec managed a point despite having two players sent off (!), Northern Ireland should have scored four, but made us wait 96 minutes for one , still, at least it came ! 

There is much to like about Gazelec, they have a real go at teams and a shoot on sight policy, even hitting the woodwork late with nine men, when they were still looking for a winner. The playing surface there is terrible (even worse than the one at the Friends Arena !), goodness knows what it will be like by February. LINK  Because ot that and the style of play of the hosts, few visiting teams are going to enjoy trips here and we will definitely be returning to them later in the season.

No selections or previews today, but there will be two emails on Friday, no Ligue 2 this week, so the first at 10.00 UK time, will cover the other Friday matches and also include a look at the MLS Playoff matches taking place over the weekend, the second at 16.00 will focus solely on the Saturday J-League games.

There are some big changes happening over the next six weeks or so, after six and a half years on blogger, GOWI will be moving to it's own domain and that will give us a lot of additional options and will improve the service to subscribers.There should be a soft launch of the new site in a month or so and you should all be able to get an early look at it, before it is officially open. John, who looks after the social media side of things is overseeing all this, not my clumsy keyboard hands and this will give me more time to focus solely on email content.

Talking of emails, next week I am going to be sending two copies of every email, one in the traditional method and at the same time from an email manager, content will be absolutely identical, so you only need to read one, however, if any of you have time later in the week, I would be keen to know if there are any differences in delivery times between the two, I will ask about this towards the end of next week. Again, this should eventually provide an overall improvement in the product and will tie in with a couple of other new and exciting developments which are a little too early to discuss, but which should all be up and active, by the first week in January.

Exciting times, but the content is key and everything we are doing is designed to improve the overall quality of the service.

I know I go on about this, but to get the most from the service you really have to try and read the emails, there is a lot of useful information contained in the previews, the bottom line (red type) is one thing, a couple of dire recent weeks aside, it has been good for the previous seven months, but you miss out on a lot, by focusing solely on that. I talked about the black type "suggestions" last week and then there is the actual content, which, to my mind, is the most valuable of all. A couple of examples, on October 13th, I wrote the following about Bournemouth ahead of the visit from Leyton Orient ....

Oh My ! They said it couldn't happen but it has, Eddie Howe left Championship club Burnley to rejoin the Cherries currently in the League 1 drop zone. Howe left his heart in Dorset and the pull was too great, he is a Dorset lad from a Dorset family , is married to a local girl , only ever really played for Bournemouth ( two games for Portsmouth) and probably spent every month up North regretting his move and now he is going home. He and assistant Jason Tindall will be greeted like Prodigal Son(s), or the launch of the iPhone 5 for younger readers at Dean Court tomorrow and whilst any impact the pair might have will be minimal, the atmosphere inside the stadium will be incredible and will surely lift the team. They have yet to win at home this season, but have scored in all five and managed a draw in four of them, they went on a big run at exactly this stage last season, collecting 30 points from 14 matches from October until early February and a very similar run is far from impossible. They have spent big in 2012, albeit not entirely wisely, funded by their Russian owner, but Howe should get the best out of them and they have been creating chances, they currently lie third in the attempts on goal table and been averaging over three attempts per game more than Orient, who have recovered after a poor start to their own campaign, but have ridden their luck at times. How they beat Brentford last month will remain a mystery and they posted a similarly fortunate win at Walsall 11 days ago, they work hard but are limited and their defence troubles me, they have already lost 18 times in 2012 and I suspect it might be number 19 today. Hosts have had a tough sequence of matches and entertain league leaders Tranmere Rovers next week, before another very difficult road trip to Notts County, the points are easier today and all three would give them and Howe a real platform to build on.

The hosts won that 2-0, but if you look at the lines I have left in black type above , you will see that I was keen on Howe picking his beloved home town club up by the bootlaces and up the table, since then, they have played seven matches, won six, drew the other on the road at Notts County ( who have lost just 1 in 8) and posted a 19-7 goal difference.

I wrote in glowing terms about the offensive options Tony Mowbray had at his disposal at Middlesbrough in late September and they have gone unbeaten through nine matches in October/November , knocking a PL side out of the cup and scoring two or more in six of their eight league starts, moving up from 12th to second in the Championship.

I watched Crystal Palace play Sheffield Wednesday on September 1st and told you that I was "impressed with them" and felt that "they would kick on from there", with "Bolasie and Zaha both running at teams" and Murray back scoring goals.They were in the bottom three then, but are now top of the Championship and unbeaten (9-3-0) since that day.

At times, I get plenty wrong, but it is normally just the timing that is off and I might opt to follow a team a week or two too early, but the basic reasoning is good and there are a LOT of potential winners in the previews between the headline and the red type, the notes are definitely worth reading, especially with the lesser known teams and it is this which separates GOWI from any other service.

Good Luck.


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