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5 Post Euro 2016 Transfers to Capture the Imagination

With the curtain now closed on 2015-16’s league campaign, save for those lucky enough to remain in the play-offs, attention now turns to Euro 2016 and the light relief that comes with a major tournament.

The action on the pitch will also spawn a host of rumours linking players with a move as their exploits inflate their transfer fees. Here are just five players who could be switching to a new club after the final on July 10.

Joe Hart

Former Seasider Hart is England’s number one keeper and the first name on the Manchester City team sheet so why would he be looking for a new challenge ahead of the 2016-17 campaign? The simple answer is the arrival of Pep Guardiola as manager and the host of transfer rumours that are trailing alongside.

Those rumours include talk of a bid for Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Barcelona’s first choice stopper in terms of Champions League Football but a man who has only featured in seven La Liga matches for the Catalan giants. At 24, the former Borussia Monchengladbach keeper needs regular football if he is to be seen as the natural successor to Manuel Neuer and the links with City won’t go away.

If Hart is surplus to requirements, there will be no shortage of interested parties with Liverpool seemingly in most need of a world class stopper to advance their aspirations.

Robert Lewandowksi

Liverpool feature again in the second story as the leading scorer in Euro 2016 qualification continues to be touted around Europe. The link with Anfield is an obvious one when you consider that Lewandowski spent many years under Jurgen Klopp at Dortmund but would he really move unless the Merseysiders win the Europa League and get into the Champions League via the back door?

Present club Bayern can offer all the money and trophies that he desires but if Robert Lewandowski is seeking that new challenge, a stint with Manchester City or possibly Chelsea is more likely.

Gylfi Sigurdsson

After the most incredible Premier League season ever, it will be fascinating to watch Leicester City’s transfer dealings this summer. Claudio Ranieri’s first job is to keep hold of their most vital players – Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez included – but surely the Foxes will look for a new draft to consolidate for 2016-17?

One man being widely touted for a possible move is Swansea’s Gylfi Sigurdsson who will be looking to cause an upset with Iceland this summer. Midfielder Sigurdsson is a threat from set pieces and has a good goal scoring record at both club and international level as Swans Chairman Huw Jenkins is said to be preparing himself for a number of bids.

Isco

One man who seems certain to leave this summer is Real Madrid’s Isco who, despite being an important member of Spain’s qualifying programme, finds himself some way down the pecking order at the Bernabeu.

The club most likely to move are Chelsea who will doubtless back new manager Antonio Conte with a hefty war chest and at 24, Isco is heading to the point in his career when regular game time becomes paramount.

Seamus Coleman

Another former Tangerine to watch at the Euros is Seamus Coleman who was widely linked with a move away from Everton after seven years at the Merseyside club. It’s been a frustrating season due to injury but the 27 year old, who was tipped to be approached by PSG and Chelsea in January, could be a confirmed target for an EPL side after Everton’s poor campaign resulted in the removal of manager Roberto Martinez.

Relegation day

A second relegation in as many years is on the cards, we’ve just gone 1-0 up at Peterborough and Fleetwood are winning 2-0 against Crewe.

Even if it did happen, it’s delaying the inevitable for another season. For more than half the season we’ve been in the bottom 4.

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Last weekend it was good to join in Judgement Day 2, it was amazing to see the sheer numbers of people out in force. Next season it’s going to be even more visible with attendance figure below two or three thousands in the ground and will be interesting to see when the last years accounts do come in – https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/01970661

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Millwall vs Blackpool

Back in 2013 we had started the season on fire. Top of league with our best start ever we visited Millwall on a Tuesday night.

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I attended the match with a colleague and pre match explained the good form and promising players in the tea.

We good well and truly beat. 3-1 with Steve Morrison scoring a belter of a goal.

Since then weve only won 20 games of football in two years and five months.

It’s crazy to think where we are now. But no surprise. I wonder what our situation will be the next time we visit the den.

Millwall V Blackpool

It’s my local game this weekend, a 20 min drive via the Rotherhithe tunnel to the new den or maybe a bike ride if the weather is nice.

I contributed to a blog post previewing  the match over at https://marklitchfieldblog.wordpress.com/the-view-from-the-opposition/march-2016/blackpool-h-050316/ have a read.

Upping your fitness for football

While they may only spend 90 minutes on the pitch, behind every great football match is hours of intensive training. From Premier League superstars to League One legends, every footballer wants to be the best they can be. So how do you do it? Read on to find out what the best of the best focus on during their training sessions.

Strength

Strength is a crucial quality of any footballer. Whether it’s delivering a powerful attack or holding up an unbreakable defence, it’s really important to have a strong core and legs. Targeted training around these areas is vital and circuits are a great way of exercising different muscles, from your hamstrings to your glutes. For some workout inspiration, take a look at MaxiNutrition’s guide to football training drills. It features everything from hamstring pull-ins to dumbbell squats.

Endurance

90 minutes of intense play can takes its toll on even the fittest player. Anything short of giving your best for the entire match can lead to mistakes that can ultimately give the other team an edge. Endurance training helps you avoid this, as it works to improve your overall fitness. As you train, your muscles will learn to use oxygen more efficiently, helping you to stay active for longer. There are a number of ways you can build your endurance levels, including continuous and interval training. For more information about how you can do it, view the following guide to endurance training.

Speed

Of course, if you’re going to beat your rival to the ball or give yourself a head start on route to the goal, you’ll need speed. Speed and strength go hand in hand: strong, powerful legs will help you push off the ground and accelerate faster. For this reason, many aspects of speed training overlap with strength training. In addition, there are a number of drills you can perform to help you get faster. Shuttles that can help you maintain your speed while changing direction or position should not be overlooked.

Walsall 1 – 1 Blackpool FT

A late show today but the team showed some grit and determination to grab a point. Walsall had the ball for long periods of the match and did create a multitude of chances, only a couple of great saves from Colin Doyle kept the score down.

With just one goal in it there was always a chance of grabbing something out of the game, loanee Uche Ikpeazu’s (more on him in a second) freekick was deflected into the path of Danny Philliskirk who slotted home into the empty net. The scenes of the players celebrating the goal were great to see with all the players galloping to the fans…

Unfortunately that feeling can only last for the moment.. with the underlying problems at the club. Again not good to see a fan being ejected with a banner early on.

A quick mention about Uche Ikpeazu who came on today after making a loan move from Watford. The young lad is huge, about 6’4 an really strong. A little raw, similar to the style of a young Danny Shittu. In his 25 mins he showed directing attacking intent, but also a bit like Babi on ice.

A draw away at Walsall is a good point, but still one point above the relegation zone it’s going to be tight.

Walsall vs Blackpool

Two games in a month…. Christ I must be mad. A slightly different look Blackpool to the one that was unbelievably poor at Burton.

At the end of every January we seem to have a different side. This time the signing appear on paper to be better than the players we had but again time is needed for them to gel.

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Walsall like Burton have had a good start to the season currently once place behind Burton in second place. Tom Bradshaw the main man with 11 goals. But goals have come from all areas of the pitch.

Nearly Blackpool boss Shaun O’Driscoll is in charge and will be looking to get Saddlers up to the championship for a possible “grounds you can see from the M6” Derby with Aston Villa who look blind for relegation.

Burton 1 – 0 Blackpool FT

It’s not often you can predict the outcome of a match on how the players return from the half-time brea, but today you could.

With Burton a man down following a stupid couple of bookings for Weir, they were out a couple of minutes before Blackpool, warming up and looking ready for kickoff.

The Pool meanwhile almost spilt onto the pitch, a couple trotting, some walking, others chatting and not looking interesting.

It was only with 15 mins to go with Norris being able to get onto the ball when we started to put a bit of effort in and manage some efforts on goal.

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The start of the second half Burton could have scored as many as four goals with it being open season on Doyle’s goal. Burton were the team employing the tactics of a side with a man advantage, spreading the ball and allowing their fullbacks to join the attack.

It’s not clear if Mcdonald told the team to sit back, Burton were always going to come onto us all we needed to do was keep the ball, start to move Burton from side to side.

We had a couple of chances at the end, if we had grabbed a point it would have been very unfair on Burton.

Full time was met by a very strange stand off with Tom Aldred and some of the Pool fans. He was wasnt happy with the chats from the away fans. Aldred had played better than most but the boos and chants were deserved for some players… especially Andy Little who looked like he was nursing a hangover…

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I don’t expect it to get any better in the New Year, loan signing will return more will arrive but it will be more of the same until something bigger changes. Not good.

Burton 0 – 0 Blackpool HT

Half time and we are still in it with Burton down to ten men.

Weir picked up two bookings within a couple minutes of each other. First a really poor sliding tackle and the second a cynical block of Cullen.

We nearly took the lead when Bright Samuel shot was tipped over. Apart from that it was pretty much all Burton who were easily able to open us up but really lacked any cutting edge in the front two.

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Little upfront for us looked like he was still nursing a New Year hangover very poor from the loan man, hopefully his loan won’t be renewed but we are lacking attacking options upfront.

Doyle did well shot stopping, tipping round the post a low shot but looked a rusty kicking from both goalkicks and out of his hands.

Burton will look to hit us on the break which they threatened to do a couple of times. I just wonder if we have the ability to move the ball around enough to take advantage of the extra man in the second half.