Tag Archives: Football

New Everton Boss Rafael Benitez Ready to Fight for Merseyside Club

Rafael BenitezBy Sophie Kreimer

New Everton manager Rafael Benitez has said he is not worried by the prospect of becoming the head coach of Merseyside club Everton and insisted remarks made about the Goodison side while Liverpool boss was made a very long time ago.

The Spanish tactician became the first former Liverpool boss to become the manager of Everton when signing a three-year contract, while he is only the second boss after William Edward Barclay to have both sides on his resume, and he was one of Betfair’s risk free offer for the summer before signing for Everton.

There were few oppositions to the appointment of the former Chelsea and Liverpool manager, with Police at Merseyside investigating, after a threatening banner that reads “We know where you live, don’t sign“, but the Spaniard said he has experienced a positive response near his home at Merseyside.

To be fair, the Evertonians around my place are quite happy and very supportive. Even the Liverpudlians accepted it was an opportunity for me to come back to the Premier League,” the tactician said in his first press conference as manager of Everton last Wednesday.

About the banners – we can talk about one, two people. You never know. It’s better to think about positives, how a lot of people were encouraging me to do well.  Football is quite emotional and everybody will have their opinions. For me, it’s a challenge, a chance to do well in the Premier League and show everyone we can compete.

I was convinced when I decided to say yes, or even decided to start talking. It’s not something I’m scared of, it’s the opposite. I want to win, I want to do well. That is to be competitive for me, to be ambitious.

The new Everton boss managed Merseyside giants Liverpool between 2004-2010 Premier League seasons, and during his time at Liverpool, the 61-year-old tactician described Everton as a small club after a derby game back in 2007.

Asked during the presser about making this comment, Rafael Benitez said: “It depends on the context. It was a long time ago. You are fighting for your club and that is what I will do now. I will fight for Everton.  I will try to do my best every single game. I am really pleased this club is getting bigger and bigger.

The Spanish tactician confirmed Duncan Ferguson will be one of his assistants alongside Francisco de Miguel Moreno. Antonio Gomez, a midfielder in Rafael Benitez’s Real Madrid youth side, will be Rafael’s first-team coach as well as a senior analyst.

Benitez added, “Duncan is an Everton legend and has a great experience. He will be vital for us with his coaching expertise and understanding of the players.

During Wednesday’s press conference, Benitez was also asked about his summer transfer targets, but would not be drawn on naming any player when KalidouKoulibalyand Denzel Dumfries were named.

Benitez said: “The reality is that when you go to any club the manager has an important opinion, but you have to work in the context that you have a director of football, the board, and financial restrictions.  I’m quite happy with the commitment of the lads, they’re training really well. I think we can improve things, and if we can add players that are good for us, that’s the objective.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons


What Does Playing Blackjack Have in Common with Playing Football?

Playing Blackjack in a CasinoBy Robert Bell.

It isn’t entirely unknown for a football player to become a professional card player when they retire from the game. Evan Mathis, Calais Campbell, and Antoine Winfield are a few of the former players who started playing poker seriously.

There are fewer obvious examples of NFL players turning to blackjack. Yet, there are some very good reasons why they could find plenty of similarities between the games.  

Ability to Memorize Plays

One of the things that most impress some sports fans is how football players can remember so many complicated plays. It isn’t just about remembering the plays, though. They also need to recall them instantly in the heat of the moment and in a highly pressurized situation.

Of course, something similar occurs at the blackjack table. When your hand is dealt, you need to instantly decide whether to hit or stand. If you can memorize all of the different possibilities and recall them during the game, then you have a far greater chance of winning regularly.

Determination to Win

Everyone who reaches a good level in a sport as demanding as football has to show an intense will to win. There is simply no way to achieve success in this game without having the determination to keep going even when the odds are stacked against you.

Blackjack may seem like a laid-back game to outsiders. However, the best players have that same, fierce desire to win every hand. They will also feel bitterly disappointed with themselves if they make a mistake that causes them to lose.

Football Fans Can Play Blackjack Too

It isn’t just the guys out on the field who have got an advantage when it comes to playing blackjack. Just by watching NFL games, you could be picking up some valuable tips that help you at the card table later on.

For instance, if you work out the best football odds to place a bet then you are used to considering the possibilities of different outcomes and how much to wager on them. You will also be used to mentally working out figures quickly and accurately. All of this can really help when you play blackjack.

High Level of Self-Control and Discipline

Football players need to take care of their bodies if they are going to enjoy a long, successful career at the top of the sport. Young athletes who gain a football scholarship in the USA can expect to practice with their team for up to 30 hours each week. Away from the action, they need to live as healthy a life as possible.

Blackjack players also need to put in the hours to learn the game. Once the cards are dealt, they will need to show self-control and discipline in order to stick to their game plan even when something unexpected happens.  

Knowing When to Take Risks

If we look at some of the greatest plays in the history of football, some of them involved taking risks. Often, when a team is trailing and time is short, something out of the ordinary is called for. However, a great player knows when to take a risk and when to stick to the plan.

Equally, a lot of blackjack playing is about sticking to a pre-planned strategy. Yet, there may be times when an experienced card player realizes that it is worth taking a risk for the chance of the rewards it could bring.

To sum up, while they look very different at first glance, it is clear that there are some interesting similarities between football and blackjack. Perhaps it is the ideal combination of games for certain people, since they both involve wise techniques and approaches.