Tag Archives: Premiership

demba ba BBC-One-Muslim-Premier-League

The Muslim Premier League

demba ba BBC-One-Muslim-Premier-LeagueI have just watched The Muslim Premier League, a 30 minute BBC sports/religion programme about Muslims playing professional football in the English Premier league (available on iPlayer until Tuesday 16th), which reminded me of a shorter piece that Football Focus ran on Christians (and those of other faiths) in football in 2007.

On the whole it was a reasonable news documentary, attempting to be sympathetic to the faith of Muslim footballers coming into the UK. (There are no British Muslims currently playing in the premier league, all come in from abroad). The makers interviewed a few current players including Demba Ba and Ali Al Habsi, a couple of managers including Sam Allardyce and Arsene Wenger, as well as the Liverpool club doctor who is a Muslim. There was a general bemoaning that there are not more home-grown Muslims in the Premiership, and discussion surrounding the keeping of Ramadan. One overall thesis to come out of the programme is that the world of football is more diverse and more accepting than society at large – it has to be due to the diversity of players.

But one disappointment about the programme was in its emphasis in what the faith consists of. Although the programme was generally sympathetic, I can’t help thinking that they have concentrated on those things that Muslims are ‘not’ to do. I’m no expert on Islam but the programme mentioned the ‘issues’ that Muslim players bring to a culture in which drinking and gambling is (was?) a key component. Fasting at Ramadan (30 days, dawn until dusk, no food or fluid) is also a problem as players, understandably, have to be in peak physical condition. Now, not drinking or gambling, and fasting in order to bring yourself closer to God are all good things and Christians too are instructed to avoid drink in excess, warned of gambling, and encouraged to fast regularly. However, surely there are some more positives from Islam that they could have included in the programme? For example, how does their faith help them day-to-day as a footballer? The programme failed to address this.

Overall, the 2007 excerpt from Football Focus (below)was a much more rounded piece of documentary film making.

Premiership Predictions 2011-12

It’s time again to take a guess on who will finish where. Last season I did pretty well at predicting the top six, but got two of the there relegation places wrong. This year

Champions: Man Utd – their squad strengthening has given them an extra edge over the others.

Runners Up: Man City – if they can keep their team spirit together all season.

Champions League Place: Chelsea.

There will be an almighty battle for fourth from Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs, But I predict that Liverpool will gett the final champions league spot, with Arsenal edging out Spurs for the Europa league place.

Newcastle will finish 11th.

Relegated: Swansea, QPR and Blackburn. Norwich will just escape.

The Championship is less open this year than last with some strong teams coming down from the Premiership.

Promoted: West Ham, Blackpool and Middlesbrough

 

Premier League Predictions 2010-11 – how did I do?

With the Premier League decided today, how were my predictions this season?

Champions: Manchester United

Runners up: Chelsea

Champions League positions: Arsenal and Manchester City

Top four were all correct although I got the third and fourth places the wrong way round

Europa League: Liverpool and Spurs

Positions correct but again the wrong way round (I thought fifth and sixth both qualified)

Relegation: Blackpool, West Brom, Wolves

Wolves survived by the skin of their teeth, Blackpool peaked to soon then couldn’t turn the season around despite playing attractive football. West Brom were always heading out of trouble as soon as Roy Hodgson arrived. West Ham surprised me at being consistently dismal all season whilst Birmingham lost their form after the Carling Cup win to slip out. I can’t say i’m disappointed to see the back of Birmingham. This morning I would have liked Wigan or Blackburn to join them and I’m glad Wolves stayed up.

Newcastle will finish 12th.

Bang on the money (thanks to a poor second half performance against West Brom with us losing a 3-0 lead on the last day)

The Championship is more open this season than it has been for a long time. There’s no obvious big teams to go up like there were last season. I’m going for Cardiff, Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest to go up.

League One – Charlton, Southampton and Sheff Wed. I don’t think my former town of Plymouth will be able to make it.

It’s fair to say my predictions for these divisions were way off. Cardiff and Forest went close but Norwich, QPR and either Reading or Swansea will join the premiership next year. I wasn’t expecting Plymouth to do quite so badly, but the 10 point deduction was the thing that really relegated them.

Premiership predictions

So, I was fairly close last year here’s my predictions for the upcoming season:

Champions: Manchester United

Runners up: Chelsea

Champions League positions: Arsenal and Manchester City

Europa League: Liverpool and Spurs

Relegation: Blackpool, West Brom, Wolves

Newcastle will finish 12th.

The Championship is more open this season than it has been for a long time. There’s no obvios big teams to go up like there were last season. I’m going for Cardiff, Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest to go up.

League One – Charlton, Southampton and Sheff Wed. I don’t think my former town of Plymouth will be able to make it.

premiership predicitions

Here were my predictions for the prizes this season (made 2 weeks into the season)

A bit late, but here goes:

Champions: Chelsea (unfortunately)

Champions League places (rather uncontroversially): Man Utd, Arsenal, Liverpool

Europa League: Tottenham, Man City

Relegation: Portsmouth, Hull, Wolves. (Bolton narrowly escaping)

Championship Promotion: Cardiff, West Brom, Newcastle (hopefully)

I’m still on course for the title and two of the champions league places, and for the Europa league places. Looks like I got Wolves and Burnley wrong but the rest right. Championship promotion is still on course with Cardiff in the playoffs. Not bad predictions in the end then!

The soap opera of football.

“It’s a soap opera and has been for a couple of years, and will continue to be in the Championship or whatever it’s called,” he said.

“It’ll be interesting to see the Toon Army (Newcastle’s followers) at Doncaster or wherever. I’m still a fan – sad but true.”

via BBC NEWS | Wales | Music lesson plea by star Sting.

Rock star Sting, when asked about Newcastle United’s relegation from the Premiership.