"Three Gifts" Is Mary Flinn’s Third Gift of True Love to Her Readers

Who wants to read a book about happily married people? Well, if the author of the book is Mary Flinn, I do. It would be easy to dismiss «Three Gifts» as a romance novel, but it is more than that. Few romance novels tell the story of what happened after the wedding; we’ve all heard jokes about how once they were married, Prince Charming made Cinderella clean the castle and the fairy tale was over. But Mary Flinn isn’t afraid of depicting marriage, and she doesn’t write fairy tale romances. Her lovers may be a step above in how they treat one another, but they serve as a beautiful example of what marriage can be if people truly care for one another and do not let the world and other people, or petty jealousies and fears, interfere with their most important relationship.

The two main characters, Chelsea and Kyle, were first introduced to readers in Flinn’s novel «The One» as high school seniors who fell in love. High school romances don’t always last, and Kyle and Chelsea had their share of problems to overcome, but they succeeded so well that «Three Gifts,» third in the series, opens with them getting married. From that opening scene, readers are taken through the first year of Kyle and Chelsea’s married life as they dream about happiness, worry over finances, deal with family crises, and hope for children.

In these pages, there are marital worries, but there are also tender moments. There are ghosts from the past, such as Kyle’s father’s suicide that keeps rearing its ugly head, but there are also moments of healing connected to those sad memories. Beyond the excitement and romance, Kyle and Chelsea find themselves having to dig down deeper to find the love within them that will carry them through the most difficult times.

And for me, perhaps best of all, there are reappearances by a large supporting cast of characters-friends and loving family members-all of whom feel like my old friends from the previous two books «The One» and «Second Time’s a Charm.» The reader is swallowed up into the warmth of these loving people until he (yes, «he») feels like part of the family. Who says romance novels are only for women? Men would enjoy being part of this world, and male characters like Kyle and his best friend Glen, make a perfect entry point into it. After all, what man wouldn’t want a hot babe like Chelsea-especially when her hotness goes beyond her figure to her kindness, her inner strength, and her willingness to put her relationship before everything else? Kyle is a lucky man. What Flinn depicts is what marriage should be and I hope this book makes her readers aspire to such relationships. For me, the magic and wonder you feel when reading «Three Gifts» can be summed up in one sentence from Kyle’s thoughts, «Knowing he would never be alone again filled him with thankfulness.» We should all be as fortunate as Kyle and Chelsea, not only in their love for one another, but in how that love is supported by all those around them.

It is sad to think «Three Gifts» is the last book about these characters. Flinn has plans to write other books not related to this series, which I look forward to, but I hope one day she will allow us to reenter Kyle and Chelsea’s world again.

Camisetas de fútbol , NBA y NFL baratas de la mejor calidad y de los mejores equipos y selecciones del mundo de Hombre,Mujer y Niños. by Tyler Tichelaar

The History of Aintree Racecourse

Aintree Racecourse is one of the most famous racecourses in the world and is located on the A59 at Ormskirk Road, Aintree (Anglo-Saxon for 'one tree'), in the northern suburbs of Liverpool, just 6 miles from the city center.

The racecourse occupies more than 250 acres and has two left-handed chasing circuits. The rectangular Mildmay Course is the first and was opened in 1953. It is nearly one and a half miles in length, with sharp turns and steeplechase fences.

The Grand National course isn't as sharp as the Mildmay course but is much more demanding which is why it is known as one of the toughest races in the world, one which all horse trainers aspire to gain entry to. The Grand National course is far longer than the Mildmay, at almost two and a quarter miles, and is completely flat, with fences that have a drop on the landing side lower than the take-off side.

William Lynn is the man responsible for bringing racing to the village of Aintree. Lynn was the landlord of the Waterloo Hotel and started racing on the land which he leased from the Earl of Sefton. He started to build the grand stand in 1829 and after five months the first meeting for flat races was held.

Hurdle racing did not begin until 1836, when the first Liverpool Grand Steeplechase was held at Aintree on February 29th. This race is considered by some as being the first ever Grand National and was won by The Duke, ridden by Captain Martin Becher.

However, the more documented Liverpool Grand Steeplechase of 1839 is more commonly identified as the first Grand National, and was won by Lottery, ridden by Jem Mason. The race of 1839 was a four miler, across country, and the rule was that 'no rider to open a gate or ride through a gateway, or more than 100 yards along any road, footpath or driftway'.

The racecourse was handed over to the War Office in 1915, and after the 1940 National it was again requisitioned by the military. Racing resumed in 1946 and in 1949 the racecourse was bought by Messrs Topham Ltd; who had leased the land for almost a century; from the Earl of Sefton for £ 275,000. Mirabel Topham, an enterprising soul, went on to create the Mildmay course and a motor-racing circuit which held the European Grand Prix and five British Grand Prix.

Bill Davies bought the racecourse in 1973 for £ 3 million and in 1975 Ladbrokes saved the Grand National, which was in danger of dying out, by managing and administering it for seven years at a yearly rent of £ 250,000. In 1983 the racecourse was deemed secure when the Jockey Club bought it.

Aintree has come a long way from the days when it could only be accessed by rail or paddle boat. Now, improved rail and network links means that fans can travel by any means to reach the wonderful racecourse. There is even a six acre enclosure for landing by helicopter on site or the alternative option of John Lennon airport twenty minutes drive away, meaning that those both home and abroad can come share in the magnificent Aintree festivities.

Camisetas de fútbol Equipamiento, ropa y calzado deportivo . Compra online ahora con los mejores descuentos. by Darren W Chow

Why Adding Amazon Kindle to Your Leveraged Sales Arsenal Is Wise

If you ever thought about writing an eBook and wanted somewhere to sell it, Amazon kindle is the best place to be. Adding Amazon kindle to your leveraged sales arsenal is like adding whip cream to a nice cup of cappuccino. It’s a beautiful moment, because Amazon is the sweet topping to any finished labor that deserves to be seen by the public. If you haven’t thought about adding your own legacy to the kindle store, maybe it’s time to consider it.

The Power of Amazon behind your Leveraged Sales

Leveraged sales are an important part to any business that is wanting to increase their profits without having to sacrifice their main product line. The little sales add up and are often the best investment for small businesses that desires faster cash intake. Amazon can provide this for your MLM business or other side project. Amazon has the reputation and reliability to host your digital goods and deliver them effectively to potential prospects. Kindle offers an easy platform for you to share your eBooks that millions of people use on a regular basis. This could potentially mean a nice audience for your work.

Setting up on Amazon kindle is not difficult or hard. They do have requirements for the work that you want to publish. Most of them can be done in Word or your favorite word processor. You can do the cover design easily or hire a designer to do it. Before you sign up for an account, look into the requirements for the eBook and other legal stuff. Every sale you earn will also pay Amazon a little bit of something as well. So, look for the transaction fee. You need to calculate in the transaction fee on the base for your leveraged sales product. This will help you determine the final sales price.

Taking your leveraged sales to the next phase

Amazon is only one stop ahead for you. You can move into other channels for your leveraged sales products. You can also publish podcasts and other forms of audio and video and increase your sales revenue. You don’t have to stop with eBooks but you can move into other digital formats and sell them at least on your site and in some cases Amazon. Don’t let your products go to waste, always promote and improve upon them. Create an environment where you are valuable and your prospects will turn to you for further help.

En la tienda online de Camisetas de fútbol tenemos todas las camisetas de tus equipos y selecciones favoritas en tallas para adulto y niño. by David L. Feinstein

The Characteristics of Bad Leadership

Introduction

When the Israelites requested that they wanted a king to rule over them and rejected the theocratic reign of God, God gave them Saul son of Kish as their king. It was God’s decision to continue to rule the Israelites through a human representative. Later, God rejected Saul as unfit to continue to rule the Israelites. Why was Saul’s leadership condemned?

Solomon was one of the many kings who ruled Israel after Saul. He had a long and peaceful reign over Israel. His son Rehoboam succeeded him as king. But shortly after his accession to the throne, the United Kingdom was divided into two and he lost the greater part of the kingdom. What made the United Kingdom divide and disintegrate under king Rehoboam?

After the Death of Joshua and the elders who out-lived him, there was a great problem of leadership in Israel. God raised up judges from time to time to deliver his people from oppression and rule over them. Samson was one of those judges that God raised. The Israelites, whom Samson was raised to deliver on several occasions tried to hand him over to their oppressors. Samson later became a prisoner of the philistines until his death. What happened to this great man that God raised as a deliver?

For a woman to rule a nation like Israel, she must certainly have some great qualities. Therefore one cannot be wrong in saying Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah, who also ruled Israel, had great qualities. However, in the seventh year of her reign the people conspired against her and put her to death by the sword. What was wrong with her leadership that caused her subject to have acted in this way?

The four leaders mentioned failed in their leadership roles. For this reason their leadership has been characterized as bad. However, is it because one fails in leadership that one’s leadership is bad? Failure is an indication that there are certain characteristics of one’s leadership that are not good. These Characteristics, which cause leaders to fail, would now be identified in the leadership of the four leaders. This will be done under the following headings: (a) A reflection on the leadership of five leaders in Bible times ( b) Basic characteristics of their leadership (c) An evaluation of their leadership.

A reflection on the leadership of five leaders in Bible times

This section is a reflection on the leadership of five leaders whose leadership has been characterized as bad. As mentioned in the introduction each of these leaders have experienced failures in their leadership. But, is it because of a failure that one’s leadership should be characterized as bad? This reflection is the first step in answering the question posed above. The leadership of Saul, Rehoboam, Samson and Athaliah will be briefly discussed focusing on their preparedness or fitness to lead and on their specific areas of failure.

Saul

Saul was the first king of Israel. Saul is chosen by divine guidance. He is a man of humility, consecrated by holy oil and filled with the spiurit.1 It cannot be denied that Saul was prepared for leadership by the assurance of divine support and the special dualities that God gave him as a person. As Joyce Peel rightly pointed out, at the very beginning of his reign Saul proved his ability to lead as he rescued the city of Jabesh from the control of Nahash the Ammonite. The victory over the Ammonites gave Saul acceptance among all the people.

Without disagreeing with Joyce Peel that Saul had good qualities for leadership and was prepared for leadership by the assurance of divine support, Ted Engstrom stated that Saul lacked most of the fine qualities one expects in leadership.2 To substantiate his point, he made reference to an account in second Samuel Chapter five. This account was in reference to a request the people of the northern tribes of Israel made to David, asking him to also be their King. In their appeal to David, Engstrom observed that they said David was the real power in Saul’s government and Saul was only a figurehead. It was David who led Israel out to battle and won victories for the nation. In addition, Engstrom pointed out that the nation that Saul left behind was torn by civil wars.3

In may be true that Saul lacked most of the fine qualities one expects in leadership, but the qualities that he had were good enough for him to succeed. Identifying the areas of Saul’s failures can prove the point that he had what would have made him succeed. According to William J Dumbrell, there were three main areas of failures in Saul’s leadership. The first was when Saul defies Samuel’s orders to wait in Mizpah until he comes to offer sacrifice before the soldiers go to battle. Saul went along and offered the sacrifice though he was not a Levite. The second was, as Dumbrell puts it, his food taboo and his proposed death of Jonathan. Jonathan had eaten some wild honey not knowing that Saul had pronounced a self-determined religious fast, enforced with a curse, until the pursuit of their enemies was over. In addition, Saul’s victorious army was so hungry when they returned that they slaughtered and ate the animals without cooking the meet. In this situation Saul certainly lost control of his followers. The third failure was when he failed to carry out God’s instructions concerning the Amalekites. He was supposed to destroy them and their animals completely, but he spared the king and the best of the animals.4

Saul’s failure must however be seen in its wider context. The issue was that he refuses to acknowledge God’s authority established through the prophet Samuel. Samuel was to provide divine guidance to Saul for him to succeed.

Rehoboam

Rehoboam was the son of king Solomon. One can assume that as one of the king’s sons he would have been very much interested in the kingship. As the king’s son he would also have been groomed for leadership, especially when one considered the fact that under normal circumstances one of the king’s sons had to succeed him. He therefore had potentials that qualify him to lead. However, according to some authors, Rehoboam was not adequately prepared for leadership. William J Dumbrell observed, that Jeroboam, the one time forced labor supervisor in the north, capitalizes upon the ineptness of Solomon’s son Rehoboam and leads the northern ten tribes into succession as the kingdom of Israel.5 Dumbrell’s argument was that if Rehoboam had been adequately prepared for leadership he would not have acted the way he did on that particular occasion. One can gain more insight from the observation of Joyce Peel that Rehoboam was not adequately prepared for leadership. She affirms that Rehoboam, like Absalom, is arrogant. Brought up in Solomon’s palace, he sees royalty in terms of privilege and absolute power. He ignores the advise of older counselors, and encouraged by his arrogant men he returned a harsh answer.6 It can be observed from what Joyce peel said, that the problem of Rehoboam’s unpreparedness for leadership was basically his. It was a matter of his character or conduct. Every person should be personally accountable for his or her character and conduct. King Rehoboam failed in maintaining the United Kingdom left by his father. The incident already cited resulted in the division of the kingdom. Although the division of the kingdom had already been prophesied, Rehoboam’s action should not be overlooked. His failure, one must observe, resulted not only in a political division of the nation, but also in the apostasy of the northern tribes.

Samson

Samson was one of the judges raised to rule Israel before the start of the monarchy. According to Judges 13:15-23, he was the promised son of a barren woman. Even before he was born, God began to make preparations for him as a chosen leader. Samson grew up to be a Nazarite, sworn never to drink or cut his hair. The secret of his phenomenal strength lay in keeping this vow. It should be observed that Samson’s preparation as a spiritual leader was of extreme importance to God. One should take into consideration that it was because of the apostasy of the nation that they were experiencing suppression by their enemies. The enemies during Samson’s time were the philistines, who were controlling most of the land and they had exclusive possession of iron weapons. Maybe for that reason God raised Samson to be exceptionally strong to confront them even without a weapon.

When Samson assumed his leadership role, Joyce Peel described the kind of person he turned out to be: «But Samson was lustful, self-willed and irresponsible.» Peel made references to the two philistine women he married, who infatuated and deceived him. The first one who got the secret of his riddle from him and the second, Delilah, who got the secret of his strength.

The people whom Samson was supposed to lead considered him a failure. On some occasions they tried to hand him over to their enemies because they saw him as the cause for greater suppression. Arthur E. Cundell described the humiliation of this great judge in the hands of his enemies in these words: «The weakened Samson was now easily captured by the philistines. His eyes were gouged out and he was brought down to Gaza, the scene of one of his earlier feasts of strength (16:1-3) and put to work at the tedious task of grinding out corn.»8 Samson’s life, which promised so much, taking into consideration the special abilities God gave him, was blighted and ultimately destroyed by his sensual passions and lack of true separation to the Lord.

Athaliah

The last of the four leaders to be discussed is Attaliah, the mother of Azariah. As already been pointed out, she ruled Israel for six years. Eugene M. Merrill described how she came to leadership in the following quote: «The empty throne of Judah was left by default to Attaliah, Azariah’s wicked Israelite mother.»9 The Biblical record in 2Chronicles 22 shows that she puts to death all those she can find who had right to the throne. Therefore describing her as a wicked woman can be justified. However, to be able to accomplish such a goal she must have had good support. The fact that this woman was able to sit on the throne for six years, show that she had leadership abilities. This is however not to justify the way she used her abilities.

On the seventh year of her reign, the biblical records show that she was overthrown and killed by the very people she was ruling. In just retribution for her blasphemies and murders, she was maneuvered away from God’s house which her sons had ransacked (2Chronicles 24:7) and was slain near the palace.10 This shows that the people she was ruling never accepted her leadership. She had managed to use force and her position as queen mother to stay in power.

Basic characteristics of the leaders and their leaderships

Having briefly reflected on the four leaders and their leadership, it will now be appropriate to discuss the basic characteristics of their leadership. This will be done under three sub-headings:

a) The leader as a person;

b) His or her leadership;

c) The followers.

This is because leadership involves a relationship between these three elements.

a. The Leaders

According to Bob Gordon and David Fardouly, many people fail in leadership because they did not receive a divine call to leadership. A call from God comes with an inner recognition that the individual will be equipped for the task. They said without God, no one would be sufficiently equipped to accomplish any task in God’s kingdom. The individual will only be operating in his or her own strength.11 It is worth noting that two of the leaders being discussed received divine call, but they also failed. Was it because they operated in their own strength? Gordon and Fardouly’s point is that one of the reasons why leaders fail is because they operate in their own strength, which in some cases, may be an indication that they have not been called. In other cases, they may have been called but have turned away from God’s authority and support. Therefore, from what Gordon and Fardouly have said, one of the characteristics of bad leadership is seen in the conduct or character of the leaders who do not recognize their inadequacy and try to do everything by their own strength.

b. Their leadership

In discussing the leadership of the four leaders, two main things have been given primary importance. These are their vision and leadership styles. As John Haggai rightly observed, «a vision has a direct bearing on his leadership style.12 As a starting point, one could ask, what were the4 visions of these leaders? What was Saul’s vision for Israel? Or did Saul really have a vision for Israel? A close examination of the observation of John Maxwell will help one determine whether Saul really have a vision. Maxwell observed that after he tasted success in battle, he mistook his position as king for real leadership. Though he had the title, power and crown of a king, he never moved the monarchy beyond a chairman-based judgeship. He was made a general but he never attracted a large standing army. He created no organized government to preserve his gains. And when God no longer favoured him he though the title of king entitled him to continue leading.13 From these observations one could rightly say that Saul had no vision that he pursued on behalf of Israel. As a result, his style of leadership was mainly seen in his response to Israel’s enemies. During those occasions he demonstrated more of o dictatorial or authoritative kind of leadership.

King Rehoboam on the other hand considered to have achieved his goal when he sat on the throne. One can deduce from his reply to the Israelites who appealed to him to reduce the burden of king Solomon placed on them, that he had no proper vision for the people. It was clear from his reply that his vision was for the people to serve him and make him comfortable. Also, the caliber of the counselors he chose supported the fact that he had no vision for Israel. His vision might have been to sit on the throne until he retires or dies. As a result of his lack of vision, his style of leadership was more of an authoritarian or dictatorial one.

Samson was no different from Rehoboam. According to Joyce Peel, Samson was lustful, self-willed and irresponsible.14 Samson was never seen in any constructive leadership role in Israel. His attacks on Israel’s enemies were purely based on personal revenge. He was however supposed to subdue the nation’s enemies because of their suppression of the nation. The life he lived showed that he had no clear vision for the nation. So his style of leadership was more of an authoritarian or dictatorial one.

Like the others, queen Athaliah did not have a vision for Israel. She came to power in a palace coup and her only goal was to stay in power. The only way she was able to do that was by exercising a dictatorial style of leadership. Leaders like Athaliah demand total obedience from their subjects.

c. Their followers

Some of the Characteristics of bad leadership can be identified with the followers. One must take into consideration Anthony D’souza’s statement that leadership involves an inter-relationship between three elements:

a) The quality skills and needs of the leader

b) The needs and expectations of the group

c) The demands or requirements of the situation.15

On several occasion Saul’s men abandoned him in battle. On other occasions he forced them to do what he wanted. For instance, when he declared a fast until Israel completed the pursuit of their enemies. This caused the soldiers to sin in the end, by eating meat with blood or in other words, meat that was eaten raw and not cooked.

In the case of Rehoboam, the greater number of Israelites rejected his leadership and revolted against him. Samson’s situation was even worse. His followers were willing to hand him over to their enemies. They saw him as the cause of their problems. Athaliah’s followers revolted against her and killed her. None of these leaders chose their successor. In fact with the exception of Rehoboam they all died gruesome deaths. Rehoboam escaped such death, by buying peace from Shishak who was planning to invade Jerusalem. Rehoboam bought peace by giving him the treasures in the temple in Jerusalem.

Conclusion

In the introduction the following question was posed: ‘Is it because someone failed that his/her leadership should be characterized as bad?’ In attempting to answer this question, which forms the thesis of this chapter, the leadership of four leaders in the Bible has been examined. These leaders – Saul, Rehoboam, Samson and Athaliah, were selected because their leadership had been characterized as bad. The goal of the evaluation was to identity the main characteristics of their leadership in order to determine what was common to all and then compare these characteristics with those of good leadership.

END NOTES

1Joyce Peel, A Journey Trough the Old Testament: The Story of God’s Relationship with Man, Woman and the World (Oxford: The Bible Reading Fellowship, 1993), p. 66.

2Ted W. Engstrom, The Making of a Christian Leader: How to Dvelop Management and Human Relations Skills (Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1976), p. 30.

3Ibid, p. 30.

4William J. Dumbrell, The Faith of Israel: It’s Expression in the Book of the Old Testament (Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1992), p. 80.

5William J. Dumbrell, The Faith of Israel: It’s Expression in the Book of the Old Testament (Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1992), p. 87.

6Joyce Peel, A Journey Trough the Old Testament: The Story of God’s Relationship with Man, Woman and the World (Oxford: The Bible Reading Fellowship, 1993), p. 66.

7Joyce Peel, A Journey Trough the Old Testament: The Story of God’s Relationship with Man, Woman and the World (Oxford: The Bible Reading Fellowship, 1993), p. 62.

8Author E. Cundell, Judges and Ruth: Tyndele Old Testament Commentaries (Illinois: Inter-varsity Press, 1968), p. 179.

9Eugene H. Merrill, 2 Chronicles: The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Colorado: Chariot Victor Publishing, 1985), p. 636.

10John J. Davis and John C. Whitcomb, Israel: A Commentary on Joshua – 2 Kings (Michigan: Baker Book House, 1970), p. 438.

11Bob Gordon and David Fardouly, Master Builder: Developing Life and Leadership in the Body of Christ (Kent: Sovereign World, 1990), p. 6.

12John Haggai, Lead On! Leadership that Endures in a Changing World (Dallas: Word Publishing, 1986), p. 16.

13John Maxwell, The 21 Most Powerful Minutes in a Leaders Day in a Leader’s Day: Revitalize Your Spirit and Empower Your Leadership, (Nashville Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000), p. 4.

14Joyce Peel, A Journey Through The Old Testament: A Story Of God’s Relationship With Man. Woman and The World (Oxford): The Bible Reading Fellowship, 1993), p. 62.

15Anthony D’souza, Being A Leader (Achimota: African Christian Press, 1990)

p. 811.

Tu tienda especializada de Camisetas de fútbol retro y vintage. Compra Camisetas de fútbol antiguas, replicas auténticas. Moda clásica. by Leopold A. Foullah

England Expects a Decent Strikeforce

England take on Slovakia in a friendly on Saturday (17.00, Setanta Sports 1) then the Ukraine in a World Cup Qualifier on Wednesday (20.00, ITV1).

Here is the England squad in full (since the withdrawal of Ledley King):

Goalkeepers: David James (Portsmouth), Robert Green (West Ham United), Ben Foster (Manchester United) Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Joleon Lescott (Everton), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), John Terry (Chelsea), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Glen Johnson (Portsmouth), Matthew Upson (West Ham United), Ledley King (Tottenham Hotspur). Midfielders: Gareth Barry (Aston Villa), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough), David Beckham (AC Milan), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City), Aaron Lennon (Tottenham Hotspur), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool). Forwards: Carlton Cole (West Ham United), Peter Crouch (Portsmouth), Emile Heskey (Aston Villa), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United).

Our weakness is our strikeforce. Carlton Cole? Really? Heskey is an able foil, Crouch an impact sub… and Rooney is yet to find his best position or arguably form for his country. That is a severe paucity of options. Where are the world class English forwards? They are not abroad; are they being overlooked in the Premiership? Let’s have a look at the top scoring Englishmen…

Steven Gerrard 13

Peter Crouch 11

Kevin Davies 11

Gabriel Agbonlahor 10

Darren Bent 10

Frank Lampard 10

Carlton Cole 9

Jermain Defoe 9

Wayne Rooney 9

Michael Owen 8

Matthew Taylor 8

Andrew Johnson 7

Jason Roberts 7

Marlon King 6

James Beattie 5

Of these, those not included are Davies, Agbonlahor, Bent, Defoe, Owen, Taylor, Johnson, Roberts, King and Beattie. Let’s have a look at them…

Kevin Davies – What does he offer that Emile Heskey doesn’t? Well, goals, for a start. Heskey is arguably a better link man, better at providing and laying on chances – but Davies is good at holding the ball up, a real pain in the arse for defenders, and is scoring goals. He suffers from playing for Bolton; perhaps he would get more of a chance at a more fashionable club?

Gabriel Agbonlahor – He was included for the last game against Spain, as well as several other of Capello’s squads. However, he is on a long barren streak at the moment, and probably deserves his demotion to the U21s.

Darren Bent – Going by Capello’s maxim (which he seems to have abandoned in the case of Ben Foster) players will not play for England without playing regularly for their club. And as Bent is far from first choice at Spurs, he will suffer. His total of 10 goals is impressive for a bit part player, but his all round game is just not good enough for international football.

Jermaine Defoe – Injured – but assured of a role if fit. Who would have envisaged a time when Defoe was so sorely missed?

Michael Owen – Capello clearly doesn’t fancy him – and he’s not fully fit. And he’s lost most of his pace. But for my money he is still the best finisher England have, and should be in the squad. If he’s fit, who else would you rather throw on with twenty minutes remaining and needing to nick a goal?

Matthew Taylor – He is a midfielder. Which says a lot for the English strikers.

Andrew Johnson – There is perhaps a case here, but 7 goals in 26 appearances is hardly setting the world on fire. He is essentially a poor man’s Defoe (or Owen) and is different to our other strikers – just not good enough!

Jason Roberts, Marlon King, James Beattie – They are simply not international class. All big, bustling strikers they are already behind the likes of Davies and Cole who themselves are short of international class.

So there we are – we just don’t have any good strikers. It’s not Capello’s fault – aside from possibly Owen, and only when he’s fit, it’s difficult to make a case for anyone who’s been excluded.

At the back we look extremely strong – if a player with the quality of Jonathan Woodgate does not make it you know you have strength in depth. Likewise in midfield, where although the perennial Gerrard/Lampard debate is yet to be resolved they are both indisputably great players, and are ably supported/backed up by Barry and Carrick in the middle. Wide you have a multitude of options right, with SWP, Lennon, Walcott, Beckham, and Gerrard – one of whom may play left.

But Capello must have a big headache up top. It’s likely he will play Gerrard off Rooney, which is potentially exciting – but other than that combination (and that will obviously remove Gerrard’s dynamism from the midfield) there is little to whet the appetite. Heskey and Cole? No thanks.

Oh how we long for the days of Shearer, Sheringham, Owen, Fowler, Ferdinand, Wright, Collymore, Le Tissier, Cole – at one stage they were all available for England selection. That seems incomprehensible now; with that embarrassment of riches Carlton Cole would be seeking a second nationality.

Fortunately the likes of Slovakia and the Ukraine should not expose our lack of striking options – but we need to find a potent pairing in time for WC 2010.

Las Camisetas de fútbol de adidas se encuentran entre las preferidas de muchos equipos. Descubre por qué visitando nuestra colección en la web. by Matthew Rowe

Football (Soccer) Betting Strategy – Discover Winning by Betting on The Lower Leagues

Most punters like to wager on top flight football especially the English Premier League (EPL). Millions of dollars are wagered on every match.

Why is there the tendency to focus on elite football?

Because the punters believe they have better knowledge and thus greater confidence. They like the winning consistency of the big clubs. However, the odds for such consistent winners are often low and without value.

It can pay dividends to concentrate on the lower leagues. Let me share with you an interesting incident. On 21st Feb. 2009, there was a match between English non-league side Weymouth and Rushden & Diamonds. Weymouth was trashed 9-0. But Weymouth fans laughed all the way to the bank. The bookmakers paid out more than one million English Pounds in one of the biggest betting coups in non-league history.

What went wrong for the bookmakers?

In the lower leagues, the punters have an edge if they are able to obtain the latest team news faster than the bookmakers. In this incident, Weymouth fans found out «before the bookmakers» that Weymouth’s first team, which had not been paid at all this year because of the club’s debts, went on strike after discovering that there was no medical insurance for the game. The club had no choice but to field its inexperienced youth team. In this match, the bookmakers were caught with their pants down.

Those punters who are prepared to spend the same amount of time applying the same research criteria in the lower divisions can profit immensely. The following four reasons will convince you :

1) Smaller Squad

Most lower division teams do not have huge squads and cannot replace their star players easily with players of the same quality. Injury or suspension of certain key players can upset the performance of the whole team.

2) No Powerhouses

Unlike the elite league like EPL, for the lower divisions, there are no powerhouses who dominate the league for multiple seasons. There are no so-called Big Four. This gives the lower leagues a more level playing field and creates more opportunities for value betting.

3) Better Odds

Manchester United is the reigning EPL champion and the odds for any of its Home games are hardly worth making a bet. However, the equivalent leading league favourite in a lower division could get as much as three times the odds with an almost equal probability chance of winning. During the season, lots of such instances will crop up which the punters can capitalise on.

4) Same Punting Options

With the growth of online betting, lower division football now has the same type of markets and punting options as the top tier football. However, the bookmakers tend to dedicate most of their time on the top flight leagues. For the lower divisions, there is a tendency for them to make more mistakes when setting the prices. There is value to be spotted.

Conclusion

Betting on the lower leagues is an area waiting to be exploited. If the punter is diligent in doing his homework, it is not difficult to acquire a betting edge. The above incident is a classic example. So, it all depends on :

* How knowledgeable you are OR

* How misinformed the bookmakers/public opinions are

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Coimbatore – The Manchester of Tamil Nadu

Coimbatore is one of the most industrialized cities of Tamil Nadu. It is famous for its motor pump sets and textile mills. There are many popular textile mills located here and so it is often called Manchester of Tamil Nadu. People come to Coimbatore for educational purposes, business purposes and medical treatments. There are many world class hospitals located here with all modern facilities. All these things give Coimbatore a cosmopolitan outlook. But still the people of this city are very simple and traditional with down to earth personalities.

People flock to Coimbatore for job purposes also. The information technology industry is one of the fastest growing industries here next to Chennai in Tamil Nadu state. Though Tamil is the mother tongue of the people living here, all the educated people speak English also. So this could be said more as a place of industrial importance than that of tourism.

The six major arterial roads and three national highways make reaching Coimbatore through road an easy affair. There is an airport here located at Neelambur that is about seven kilometers from the city and it is connected with many Indian cities such as Chennai, Hyderabad, New Delhi and Mumbai. The Coimbatore railway junction is one of the most important stations of Tamil Nadu and is connected by trains from all major railway stations of India.

Though people visit here mostly for business purposes, it is undeniable fact that there are some nearby attractions also that attract tourists from other parts of India. There are numerous holy places in and around the city that brings people of spiritual interest to here. Some of the famous temples located here are Lord Ganesha Temple at Puliakulam where there is Asia’s biggest statue of Lord Ganesha, Velliengiri Hills, Eachanaari Vinayaga Temple, Anjeneyar Kovil, Dhyanalinga Yogic Temple, etc. G. D. Naidu Museum and 100 year old Athar Jamad Masjid are other attractions.

There are many theme parks located in close proximity to Coimbatore that offer whole day fun such as Kovai Kondattam, Maharaja Water Theme Park and Black Thunder. Kovai Kondattam is located on the way to Siruvani Dam, Mahajara Water Theme Park is situated near Neelambur in Avinashi Road and Black Thunder is located near Metupalayam in the foothills of Nilgiri Mountains. To enjoy all these things and to know more about them you need to refer to a good Coimbatore travel guide.

When you visit Coimbatore, do not forget to taste the sweet tasting Siruvani water and enjoy the South Indian thali at the famous Coimbatore restaurants. Annapoorna vegetarian restaurant has its branches all over the city and is known for its great tastes. Similarly you can dine at Anjappar, Sampoorna, Aaryaas and Thalappas restaurants.

You have wide choice of good hotels to stay in Coimbatore. If your choice is budget hotels then you can find many of them near railway station, bus stand and Ukkadam. They are very affordable and will give you good value for your money. If you are looking for the right choice of Coimbatore restaurants and Coimbatore hotels then you have to refer a good Coimbatore travel guide.

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Messi Vs Ronaldo

It is the question in every football fan’s mind. It is one of the most mind boggling queries of all time. As a matter of fact, it is right up there with, «Is the world coming to an end in 2012?» But sadly, it is a question that sorely misses a unanimous answer. The question is «Who is a better football player, Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi? When the great football team giants like the Barcelona and the Real Madrid collide, the real battle takes place between its respective titans- Messi and Ronaldo. To come nearer to an accurate answer, one must take a closer look at the lives, accomplishments, statistics and setbacks of both the players.

Let us start with the Portuguese forward and the Real Madrid player- Ronaldo. He hails from a small town, south of Portugal and became an accomplished football player by the time he turned a teenager. He has previously played with the other Premier League heavy weights such as Liverpool and the Manchester United. He constantly strived and pushed himself to the limits to live up to his idols such as David Beckham and George Best. He has amassed an astounding number of titles and awards in his time, which include PFA Player of the year, World Soccer Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year.

Messi, in all manner of speaking, is Ronaldo’s Argentinian counterpart. He is Barcelon’s defender and the captain of the Argentina national team. He was the winner of the prestigious Ballon d’Or in 2009. Lional Messi’s profile is cluttered with plaudits the likes of which include, FIFA World Player of the Year, FIFA Ballon d’Or and the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. He also has an Olympic gold to show for his victory in 2008 Beijing Olympics. In 2005, Messi was the top scorer of the FIFA World Youth Championship.

When compared to Ronaldo, Lionel Messi’s statistics are not even a bit further behind. They stand neck to neck when it comes to skills, goals scored, remuneration and worldwide stardom. In 2009, Cristiano Ronaldo became the world’s most expensive player when he signed with Real Madrid for a fee of Dollar 131 million. That record was beaten by Messi when he recently renewed his contract with Barcelona at Euro 27.5 million. This has caused Ronaldo a great deal of frustration who in turn has retorted with threats that he would leave Real Madrid, unless and until he is compensated handsomely.

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Manchester United Football Club

There is no way of talking about English football without a mention of Manchester United. This is the most decorated and successful professional football club based in Greater Manchester to the North-West of England. The club was formed way back in 1878 under the name Newton Heath LYR Football Club and acquired its current name in 1902. Nicknamed the Red Devils, the club moved to their current Old Trafford home in 1910.

The club’s first real taste of glory was when they won the Division One title in 1908, then won the FA Cup the following year before reclaiming the Division One title in 1911. But the successful history for which the club is mostly famously known for did not start until 1945 when Matt Busby was appointed manager. The success was not immediate but by 1957, the club had championship triumphs thrice. The ‘Busby Babes’ as they were called due to the youthfulness of the side were fast evolving into a force to be reckoned with in English professional football. It was also in 1957 that the Red Devils became the very first English club to compete in the European Cup, the predecessor of the now lucrative UEFA Champions League.

In 1958, however, disaster struck when eight players died in a plane crash as the team was flying home from a European club tie. Coming from a quarter-final triumph over Red Star Belgrade, the plane carrying the team and journalists crashed on take-off after refueling in Munich, Germany. Busby, who survived the crash, had to rebuild the team which he did and in 1963 they won the FA Cup against many odds. They followed that with league triumphs in 1965 and 1967. Glory on the European front came in 1968 when the Red Devils won the European Cup. The victory came over none other than the then Portuguese giants Benfica.

When Matt Busby resigned in 1969, the club underwent a very difficult period. A flurry of successive managers could not save the Mancunians from being relegated in 1974 though they went back to the top flight the following season. 1977 saw them beat Liverpool to win the FA Cup under Tommy Docherty but the success of Sir Matt Busby was not anywhere in sight. Success in the league continued to elude them though they won the FA cup twice in the mid-80s under Ron Atkinson.

The current United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, was appointed in 1986 and his successes are only comparable Sir Busby’s. Despite a slow start, he won the FA cup in 1990 and followed that up with European triumphs in the Cup Winners Cup and the European Super Cup. His real success, however, was from 1993 when United won the now renamed English Premier League and as of 2010, they had won the league a record 11 times and UEFA Champions League twice in 1999 and 2008.

Among the notable players to have played for United include George Best, Bobby Charlton, Dennis Law, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Ryan Giggs, who is the most decorated player in English football.

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