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Southampton’s Three Lions

Southampton have been going from strength to strength this seasons and have really blossomed under manager Mauricio Pochettino, and the performances of Southampton’s three England internationals Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez. With England selection for the Brazil World Cup lurking around the corner, it seems the trio have picked the perfect time to get into fine form. While they stake their claim for a place in Roy Hodgson’s squad, their performances have meant Southampton have lost a game since January 1 and have rocketed up the table to 9th position. The three seemed to have really gelled this season, and they each bring different qualities to the team. Adam Lallana provides flair and natural ability, can play perfect passes seamlessly and can even chip in with a goal or two whenever his team are in need of one. He has proved himself against some of the biggest teams in the Premier League and was the man of the match against Chelsea earlier in the season. He has stepped in to the playmaker role at Southampton and has an heir of David Beckham about him. As well as this, at only 25  he has a bright future ahead of him in the England game. You can expect him to be on the plane to Brazil, and although he may not start very often, he will provide flair and possibly a goal if England are in need. Now on to the Saints man up top, Rickie Lambert. Having made it up the leagues throughout the career, he only made it in to the Premier League when he was 30, he has continued his fine goal scoring record in the BPL. This has led to Lambert being called up to the England squad and has comfortably led the line for England on a few occasions. In only 4 appearances, he has put away two goals, capping a very good start. However, he is now 31 and cannot be seen as a long term England partner for Wayne Rooney. Although Rickie has not had a as impressive season as last, he has still been critical for Southampton and is their second top scorer this season. He has a knack for being in the right place at the right time and has a pin- point shot in front of goal. He sounds like the perfect striker, however he takes after Matt Le Tissier, and can at times, be lazy and not get back to help his team when they are in need. However good I believe Lambert to be, I do not think he will be on the plane to Brazil as I don’t think he warrants a place in the squad. Although he can score a goal, he can’t do much else. Also, England have better options in my opinions, such as Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck, Andy Carroll and even Danny Ings. Finally we come to Jay Rodriguez who I believe to be the star of the Southampton team at this moment in time. After signing from Burnley last season for a hefty fee, he did not live up to the expectation. However, this season he has looked like a different player, notching up 10 goals from the left wing, as well as featuring in most of the Saints games. He possesses great pace, very high work rates and a lethal right foot. He is in my mind the best left midfielder England could offer as it stands, only to be rivaled by Adam Johnson and Wilfred Zaha. I rate him very highly as a player and at only 25, the only way is up for the boy from Burnley. If he continues the fine spell of form he is in, Roy Hodgson would have to be stupid not to take him. I think he would fit perfectly in at Manchester United, and I, as a Manchester United fan, would be overjoyed if he were to join our club. I really do rate him, and believe he could go on to be one of England and Southampton’s greatest ever players.

Southampton's Three Lions

Southampton’s Three Lions

Transfers and Deadline Day

So some may think that this season’s January transfers and deadline day were boring events. However, they were quite the contrary. Although not many transfers took place, the ones that did should help to re-shape the Premier League entirely, making Match of the Day an even better watch, late on Saturday and Sunday evenings.

Going in alphabetical order of club names we have Arsenal, buying Kim Kallstrom, a Swedish defensive midfielder that was drafted in on loan to fill in for the injuries to Aaron Ramsey. However, rumour has it that Kim Kallstrom had injured himself in the first training with Arsenal. Oh the irony. Poor poor Arsene.

Next we have Aston Villa, with the signing of Chelsea left back Ryan Bertrand on loan and Norwich front man Grant Holt on loan too. Both of these players have had experience in the Premier League, with varying levels of success. It will be interesting to see how they do at Villa and whether they will be signed permanently at the end of their loan.

Moving on to Cardiff, with the Manchester Untied winger Wilfred Zaha on loan, surely it will add a new lease of life to the Welsh side, and prevent Vincent Tan from sacking another manager. Good luck Mr. Solskjaer.

I am a Chelsea fan, have been since I was six. So you can imagine how distraught I wasn’t when Jose Mourinho decided to let Juan Mata go to Manchester United. He had never been part of the Chelsea team and the two did not get along. All of the Chelsea fans angry at Mourinho are just simply over reacting. Its better that Mata gets to play games rather than becoming a bench warmer. So now that’s out of my system, lets move on to the players that came into the squad. Namanja Matic, an ex-Chelsea player, bought for at least 20 million more than we had bought him for previously, Kurt Zouma, a French defender which had been targeted by many clubs, but Chelsea managed to get the last offer on him. Finally Mohammed Salah, a winger/striker from Basel, who had impressed Chelsea and its staff in previous clashes. All three of these players indicate to me that Mourinho wants to have an eclectic selection of talented footballers at his disposal. Not a bad plan if I’m honest.

Next we move to Crystal Palace, with the major deal being Tom Ince, a player that Palace’s relatively new boss Tony Pulis has had on his ‘radar’ for over two years now. He is on loan to Palace from Blackpool and something tells me that he won’t be leaving Palace after that.

Everton, the Merseyside underdogs, although in the last couple of seasons under David Moyes they have proven to be a very solid team, have had Manchester United knocking on their door about England left back Leighton Baines for about 18 months, especially as Moyes took over Man United only a couple of months ago. However it never came into fruition and Moyesy lost his chance. Everton however, have signed an experienced Irish winger called Aiden McGeady, who previously played for Spartak Moscow. Perhaps he is the final piece in the puzzle for Everton to become a top 5 side.

Missing out a couple of letters, we arrive at Hull, with the addition of both Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic. Obviously Steve Bruce was looking for a couple of good strikers, and it looks like he’s done the job. The flair and pace of Long combined with strength and solidarity in Jelavic could prove to be lethal.

Liverpool did not get anyone, despite the interest in Yehven Konoplyanka, Ian Ayre did not manage to get the deal done in time, much to the disappointment of the Liverpool fans. You’ve got Sturridge and Suarez, you don’t need anyone else.

Manchester City got no one either, as they pulled out of the deal to sign Mangala from Porto at the last minute. But Aguero and Negredo and Dzeko and… Need I say more?

Obviously Manchester United got Mata. Already talked about that one.

Newcastle lost one of their best players Yohan Cabaye to PSG. Although Newcastle are strong, one gets the feeling they won’t quite be the same without Yohan, he’s just kind of, the bringer-togetherer. Yes those are now words.

Again skipping a couple of letters we move to Stoke, who signed lots of people. Hooray for Stoke. Stephen Ireland, John Guidetti and Peter Odemwingie all feature in their list of transfers. All three look promising for Stoke, however the relationship between them and the club probably will not last, and the only reason they agreed to go there was to get games. Who doesn’t like a good game?

Finally, probably the most interesting part of this whole article: West Ham. Sam Allerdyce went to town with the signings, including  striker Marco Borriello, midfielder Antonio Nocerino and left-back Pablo Armero, all from the Italian league. Perhaps big Sam wants some home-cooked authentic pasta. However the key players returning from injury could stir up some trouble within the club, with players being played and not being played. Or perhaps the complete opposite and West Ham win the league. Either way I would like to see one of them happen.

Welcome to The Face Of Football

Hi there,

This is The Face of Football’s first post and we thought we would use this time to tell you what’s going to go on. This page is run by two aspiring journalists, Jake and Sam, and we are looking for experience. Articles will be posted daily on all Barclays Premier League news, which we will analyse as well as a weekly segment which will be posted every Tuesday evening. For now this will be Barclays Premier League Team of the Week in our opinions. As for breaking news, we leave that to the big boys. For now, please enjoy this journey with us, remember to follow and like and we thank you in advance for all the support and views.