Happy New Year!

 

happy-new-year-2016-wishes

Hey guys, just a quick post here to wish all our followers, readers and writers, over the years a ‘Happy New Year!’.

2015 Has been a record breaking year for us in terms of views despite only being active for the first half of the year. We hope you have enjoyed the content and coverage we have provided this year.

Our coverage will continue to be less active until further notice, due to other commitments, but occasionally we hope to provide you with a post.

Once again we would like to thank everyone who has been involved with 2UpFront.

‘Happy New Year!’

2UpFront Admin

 

Image Link:http://happynewyearimagesx.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Happy-New-Year-2016-Wishes.jpg

Posted in 2UF, 2UpFront, All Posts

Canaries Slide Into Bottom 3

norwich-vs-everton

Hands on heads as Cameron Jerome missed a golden opportunity to win all 3 points for the Canaries [1]

Following yesterdays results Norwich fell into the bottom 3 for the first time this season.

Alex Neil’s side could of quite easily have found themselves a few goals down in the first half of Saturdays lunch time kick off against Everton. When the half time whistle finally came, the City players were met with a chorus of boos as the left the field and headed for the dressing room.

It was with no real surprise to as Everton had dominated proceedings and capitalised on it when Lukaku scored once again, in his sixth consecutive game to give [2] Everton a very deserved lead.

Clearly Alex Neil got his side going at half time and should be praised for getting them to display a much more promising performance against an Everton side, who look comfortable in the first half.

Alex Neil will be looking to regroup and pick up some crucial points in the upcoming festive season; Manchester United (Away, 19th Dec), Tottenham (Away, 26th Dec) & Aston Villa (Home, 28th Dec). Now could be a good time to play all three sides who all had unfavourable results over the weekend. That being said Norwich do have a tendency to lose these sorts of games, with the evidence being an uninspiring defeat away to Newcastle earlier on in the season.

The game against Manchester United this Saturday (19th) may not be the best time to play the ‘Red Devils’ following a shocking defeat to Bournemouth, which has increased the pressure on Van Gaal. So I would imagine that he will get his side fired up for this match, in an attempt to provoke a response.

The Inspiring thing for Norwich will be the fact that they have only lost once in 5 league games against Tottenham [3] and is a fixture they should feel they can come away with something from.

As for the Villa game, which could be such an important game, the key is not to lose this match, I feel anything they pick up from that game is a positive.

“I think in this window coming up we certainly need to get bodies in to give the squad a hand” Alex Neil – The Sun [4]

With these 3 fixtures aside I’m sure many Norwich fans will be looking forward to the transfer window and hoping that their side look to strengthen in the window. Alex Neil reportedly said in an interview with The Sun that he is looking to strengthen his side in the upcoming window [4].

Do you think Norwich need to strengthen and can Norwich beat the drop, leave your thoughts below now.

You can keep up to date with the latest transfer developments by following us on Twitter or ‘Liking’ us on Facebook.

 

References:

[1] Irish Mirror-
http://www.irishmirror.ie/sport/soccer/match-reports/norwich-1-1-everton-5-6999494

[2] The Guardian-
http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/dec/12/norwich-city-everton-premier-league-match-report

[3] 11V11-
http://www.11v11.com/teams/norwich-city/tab/opposingTeams/opposition/Tottenham%20Hotspur

[4] The Sun-
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/football/premteams/norwich_city/6800248/Norwich-City-looking-to-splash-the-cash-in-Januarys-transfer-window-admits-Alex-Neil.html

 

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Posted in All Posts, Everton, Norwich FC, Premiership

Goal of The Week: 6/11/15

Original Image from FIFA/FA regarding Goal line technology and from FirstPost.com

This weeks goal of the week:

Kei Kamara- Norwich 2-1 Everton- 2013

This weeks ‘Goal of The Week’ comes from a fans favourite at Norwich, that is Kei Kamara. The Sierra Leone striker scored only one solitary goal in the Premier League during his loan spell at Norwich City FC fromSporting Kansas in the January transfer window in 2013. The loan move raised a few eyebrows especially as Norwich’s form was starting to hit a brick wall and ultimately their strong unbeaten run in the final months in 2012 proved hugely beneficial. This goal, displays his great aerial presence which is epitomized by his ability to out jump players, so as a result often won headers.

Although to outsiders it may seem that he didn’t contribute much, especially in terms of goals, which is what most strikers are predominantly judged on. In fact I thought he brought an aura and sense of believe to the club that safety would be well and truly possible, and credit to Chris Hughton for making this deal happen. Kamara has since had a spell at Middlesbrough before finally moving to Columbus Crew in 2015, and to some fans is considered a very likeable former player.

What do make of Kei Kamara’s powerful header? Please leave your comments below.

You can keep up to date with the latest transfer developments by following us on Twitter or ‘Liking’ us on Facebook.
Original image credit: FIFA/FA/FirstPost.com
Video credit: YouTube channel

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Posted in All Posts, Everton, Goal Of The Week, Middlesbrough, Norwich FC, Premiership

Goal Of The Week: 30/10/15

Original Image from FIFA/FA regarding Goal line technology and from FirstPost.com

This weeks goal of the week:

David Nudgent- Andorra 0-3 England- 2007

To make up for last weeks ‘Goal Of The Week’ absence we have a very special goal which was scored on the international stage by one of England most prolific goal scorers, who managed a ratio of a goal a game for his country. I of course, am talking about the one and only DavId Nudgent, who in the video scores his one and only goal for England during his time at Preston. He showed his true goal scoring ability, by being in the right place at the right time, he was able to dispatch a shot which had been fumbled towards the goal and was close to going over the line, into an empty net.

Since then, he has moved to the likes of Portsmouth, Burnley and Leicester. This summer (2015) he completed a move from Leicester City to Middlesbrough for an undisclosed fee. He still remains on the single England cap and one goal to his name, but maybe one day he may get the nod for a return to continue his fine goal to game ratio for England

What do make of David Nudgent’s cool, composed finish? Please leave your comments below.

You can keep up to date with the latest transfer developments by following us on Twitter or ‘Liking’ us on Facebook.
Original image credit: FIFA/FA/FirstPost.com
Video credit: YouTube channel

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Posted in All Posts, Burnley, Championship News, England, Goal Of The Week, International, Leicester FC, Middlesbrough, Portsmouth, Premiership

Match Report: Fulham 1-1 Leeds (21/10/15)

Fulham and Leeds share the points in entertaining affair at the Cottage.

On Wednesday night I sat amongst the Fulham faithful within one of Craven Cottage’s one tier stands, to watch the match unfold. After a entertaining opening to the game, there was nothing to separate the two sides until ‘fans favourite’ Moussa Dembele slotted the ball past Silvestri completing a well worked solo effort which saw him round a few of the Leeds defenders before dispatching accordingly. This remained the difference up until the half time whistle to rap up a positive first half for the Cottagers.

Aside from the entertainment on the pitch, there was one very opinionated spectator within my vicinity that seemed to be carrying out some sort of personal vendetta against the set of match officials. who would disagree every decision that didn’t go Fulham’s way even when the ball would clearly come off one of the Fulham players. One notable moment was when the Fulham fanatic gestured and displayed his dismay that, the Assistant Referee had not given a decision in favour of Fulham despite this being from a poor prolonged Fulham cross which flew over everyone to go out for a goal kick. This for me showed how ‘rose tinted’ we as fans can be when supporting our team.

It took Leeds till the 64th minute to finally compromise the Fulham defence, which was no more than they deserved given that Steve Evans’s side had just started to turn their tempo up a notch. Chris Woods converted a penalty following a handball from Dembele. His penalty only just beat Joe Lewis, who credit to him did have a decent game and managed to get a hand to Woods’s strike, but it just wasn’t enough. As you can expect, the Fulham spectator was not very happy with the decision and adjudged it wrong despite being the complete opposite end to the incident.

The conclusion of the match saw good chances squandered at both ends, but neither were able to show that clinical edge needed to get to the right end of the Championship.

“we should be winning these types of games comfortably because we have a strong enough squad, and it seems to be more a case that the manager isn’t capable of tactically managing them well enough?” – Jake, Fulham fan.

Steve Evans will no doubt be pleased to have started his managerial campaign with Leeds with a good foundation and will be looking to build on this in future matches. As for Fulham they had a much better showing than the last home match I was at against Wolves. Dembele is building himself a good name and certainly the Cottagers will be hoping that he can propel Fulham back to the top end of the Championship.

I would like to add the Leeds away support was very good, they were vocal and contributed to a very good atmosphere.

Image credit: http://images.performgroup.com/di/library/leeds_united/d9/48/chris-wood-vs-fulham_1e8eqwe9d4veo1bwvg8mvqx2gn.jpg?t=-1944618928 [LeedsUnited.com]

You can keep up to date with the latest transfer developments by following us on Twitter or ‘Liking’ us on Facebook.

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Posted in All Posts, Championship News, Fulham FC, Leeds, Match Reports

Goal Of The Week: 16/10/15

Original Image from FIFA/FA regarding Goal line technology and from FirstPost.com

This weeks goal of the week:

Shane Long- Republic of Ireland 1-0 Germany- 2015

This goal may not have meant a lot in the grand scheme of things as Republic of Ireland (ROI) ended up in a play-off position which they need to win in order to qualify for Euro 2016. Yet this goal by forward Shane Long, sent the ROI fans into delirium, and you have to say it was very well deserved, given the character of the performances by the ROI players. Wes Hoolahan, Jon Walters and of course Shane Long to name a few who had stand out performances against the 2014 World Cup winners, Germany.

Poland put on hold all hopes of ROI qualifying for next years Euros, their fate will now be decided in the play-offs in which they will be glad that Holland failed to qualify for a play-off. It certainly would be good to see as many home nations as possible at this Euros.

Can Ireland do it, and how would you sum up this Shane Long goal? Please leave your comments below.

You can keep up to date with the latest transfer developments by following us on Twitter or ‘Liking’ us on Facebook.
Original image credit: FIFA/FA/FirstPost.com
Video credit: YouTube channel

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Posted in All Posts, Euro 2016, European News, Goal Of The Week, International

Are Football Video Games Worthy Anymore?

So just at the back end of last month both PES (Pro Evo Soccer) & FIFA were both released worldwide. The demos for both games showed a massive change in the direction of the on-pitch gameplay, with PES opting to express a fast, fluid and arcadey style whereas FIFA surprised their fanbase with a remarkably slowed down, tactically structured and rigid approach.

Interestingly you would associate each of the descriptions above with the past editions and flavours of their counterparts. As PES has been more of slowed down, passing focused game since its PS2 days, FIFA had focused on fun and ‘pick up and play’.

We’ve been given two solid foobtall games this year in terms of on-pitch gameplay, with either offering a style every football fan can enjoy. But, a widely frustrating matter is the lack of depth and attention to gameplay off the field. Let’s consider the amount of happenings that go in the footballing world i.e the career journeys of players, player character, managerial styles, training, rest days, transfers, the press, controversy and punditry, there is a whole box of pieces to the footballing puzzle.

So, we need to ask ourselves why none of these happenings are implemented in the football video games, bare in mind that the games are still using basic ideas present since 2010 or so. Both PES & FIFA fail to capitalize on this year after year and showing nothing but simplistic game modes with a lack of depth.

Millions around the world buy video games as a source of entertainment and just like films and books, some tell stories.

Throughout the late 90s and 21st century we have bared witness to some of the most in-depth, interactive and cultural games of all time. Titles include Resident Evil, the Grand Theft Auto series, Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham series, Assassins Creed and newer titles such as Heavy Rain, The Last of US and and Until Dawn. These are games with miles of depth, interactive stories which received major praise and positive reception, seemingly making games have worth and cultural value in today’s age.

My point is, I believe it’s time for football games to push the creative envelope and give the people their moneys worth.

Both Konami and EA have made small but lightly important advances in the next gen versions of their games. For instance the inclusion of a football world on FIFA, showing fixtures, results, top scorers and headlines. I can’t forget the game FIFA Street which created a down to earth edge that could have been brought into the main series itself. PES are using the fox engine which is a massive push for realism in their series. Player faces look lifelike and they’ve began to use player build scans for an even more realistic edge. But game modes are becoming a bore, they showcase similar features that I have already seen in 2006.

Let’s face it nothing magnificent has changed apart from on-pitch gameplay, presentation and graphics and it is a bore to the more dedicated and passionate football gamers like myself. Nothing has expanded in the core game modes, no not the money making scheme that is ultimate team but modes such as manager mode, player career mode and online pro clubs. These modes have become less and less engaging with a few minuscule changes here and there, most recently the player training in FIFA which is a massive borrow from PES 6 (2006), almost 10 years ago. These game modes need to become more appealing and they can do this by including hours of dynamic narrative, an open world simillar to but smaller than GTA, a relatable story here and there and more customization ability including custom kits and stadiums. The possibilities are endless yet we pretend that we get our £40-£50 worth out of the games.

It is becoming more and more clear that EA and Konami want to attract mindless kids through their main online modes Ultimate Team and MyClub which have become repetitive but are massive money draws. I mean, what really is the ultimate team? People will spend real life money to get an awesome team, on top of the money spent on the game!. For me, this is not what sports video games should be about, they should have worth and cultural value and for gamers to be able to relate. How can they gain cultural value you may ask? Well let’s see how NBA 2K16 played things out this year..

The player career mode named ‘MyCareer’ features a story written and directed by director Spike Lee, yep a filmmaker involved with a sports game. In the mode you begin at high school (choose between 3) in which you play 3 games during this stint on your career before making a decision to which university you go to.. From there you play a few games and then you are guided by an agent to enter the NBA draft. Now when you get into the NBA a narrative pans out in which we see our player making decisions about his career and the family, friends and relationships that surround him. I wont say much more more due to spoilers. After your 1st season you are then set and ready to make decisions, things such as when to spend your off-days (training or chill), entering MyPark (a street basketball mode) and choosing endorsements and connections. All these elements blend in to make the culture that is NBA, believe it or not.

This game mode alone puts football games to shame considering its detail and i appeal to Konami and EA that this style of sports game is the way forward for both series’.

As I stated earlier, there is a whole lot more to football off the field. Having an open world engaging the player to make decisions. Just look at the depth of Football Manager, player and team training, press conferences, board meetings, the press, editing and so much more in terms of managing. Just imagine if this sort of depth was exported into console footy games… But we are being blinded people, there isnt any worth in the games, so I am calling for a revolution and a day where I can stand and say that this football game was worth my money. I am passionate about football games, i want them to include depth, be more interactive and include a solid, accurate narrative based on real life player/manager stories.

It’s hard for me to say this but, the cultural value of the football video game is decreasing and is in the hands of the casual gamer which I and many people all over the world are not!

Thank you for reading, please make a stand and express your frustration to the game developers. You don’t ask, you don’t get.

Posted in Football Gaming
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