The 2011/12 seasons are kicking off all round Europe. The Premier League in England starts today and the leagues in Germany and Scotland are already underway. I called together the talents of some of the best writers around to give you a glimpse into their predictions for the season ahead.

Terry Duffelen is one half of the excellent “Bundesliga Show” podcast and the fantastic new website “Bundesliga Lounge” be sure to check it out. Here are Terry’s predictions for new Bundesliga season.

Who do you think is the favourite for the title in your respective league and why?

I’m placing my fiver on FC Bayern Munich for the title. Mainly because they rarely go two seasons without winning it but also because I think they have finally addressed their defensive problems with the recruitment of Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng and Rafinha to their ranks. I think Bayern could win the league by ten points or more.

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In episode 34 of the gibfootballshow podcast Andrew this week is joined by Scott Johnston and Mohamad Moallim.

This weeks topics include the Neil Lennon bomb situation in Scotland followed by a look at the SPL and this weekends Old Firm match up between Celtic and Rangers.

Mohamed runs us through the last three weeks left in the Eredivisie season. Also explains the situation in Ajax since Martin Jol left.

Mohamed then takes some questions from twitter, Andrew gives us an update on how Ligue 1 and the Coupe de France are shaping up and we wish Brent good luck in his bid to become host of World Football Daily.

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gibfootballshow – Episode 34 – Neil Lennon, Celtic v Rangers and the Eredivisie by gibfootballshow


I’d like to welcome the Editor of World Football Columns – Martin Palazzotto to gibfootballshow, Martin is an outsider from a Scottish football point of view, no bias, no conspiracy just a fantastic writer. Here is his take on the Neil Lennon situation.

When I was a kid, like every other, I would go to my father whenever my mother said I couldn’t have something that I wanted.  If he said no too, well, that was what grandparents were for.  I think that’s where the legal appeals process originated.

Like my childhood self, Celtic manager Neil Lennon doesn’t enjoy taking no for an answer.  It’s been two months since the “Hassle at the ‘Castle” but Lennon has refused to give up the fight or his paranoid conspiracy theories regarding Scottish referees.

I mean, everyone has calls go against them but when you’re Celtic, part of the Old Firm, the most storied club in the land and there’s only one other team to worry about, Rangers, who are now chasing you rather than vice versa, thanks to the biggest snowfall the country has seen since Sean Connery first said “Hello Moneypenny” back in 1962, you have to believe you’re getting more than your share of the breaks.

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As Andy from Scotzine told me the other day it seems I have been “pimping” myself out this week. I thought I would put a little collection of links together in case any wandering visitors want to look at some articles.

The first article was done for the superb website The 72 Football in his continuing series of looking at different nations lower leagues, being a big fan of France’s Ligue 1 football I took it upon myself to delve in the deepest depths of the France football system. Hopefully you’ll find what I put together rather interesting.

My next piece was written for in collaboration with David Cartlidge. With Spanish side Valencia CF moving to sign Adil Rami of Lille, David contacted me and asked, with me being a huge Lille and French football fan, would I write a piece about Adil with his strengths and weaknesses. I duly obiligied.

Next on the list was my weekly SPL column for the wonderful World Football Columns. After a short winter break I put a piece together detailing the week’s events in Scotland but also having a look at the current league reconstruction talks that have been taking place. So If you want a little Scottish update, why not have a look. It’s also a great site.

Another piece I wrote this week but has yet to be published is for the superb 1st Eleven. A number of writers were asked to put forward their Team of the Year, before the gala event UEFA will put on to announce theirs. I have been informed at shall be up soon. Keep your eyes peeled.

The offers of work are flooding in (not) but I will be keeping myself busy with the Asian Cup, little reviews each day from that. And maybe a historic Lille piece that I have in mind.

Oh and the podcast.


To kick off the New Year in style, I thought it would be good while some of the bigger leagues in Europe are just returning from their winter break that a special Scottish Football podcast was in order.

I am joined by Grant Russell from STV Sport, Scott Johnston from and Tom Hall from The Scottish Football Blog as we discuss the goings on in the SPL, the Old Firm game, League reconstruction, Transfer news and a bit of good ol fashion banter.

To download the direct feed of the podcast you can click the image below

To subscribe to the podcast and all future episodes, why not click the link below and as if by magic it will appear in your iTunes library


Barely had the dust settled from another round of SPL fixtures when news came in that Celtic had completed the signing of a new midfielder. Freddie Ljungberg the ex-Arsenal and Seattle Sounders player had signed on a free transfer. The timing of the move meant the possibility of a debut in Sunday’s Old Firm game.

The move seemed to divide the Celtic fans straight down the middle, on one side you will find fans filled with optimism. Ki Sung-Yeung will miss a few weeks on international duty and Ljungberg could be the player to help a stuttering Celtic midfield break down the opposition and add that little bit of experience.

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I have spent my afternoon watching the first half of the Total Larsson DVD. If it isn’t obvious it’s a DVD that shows you nearly every goal Henrik Larsson scored for Helsingborg, Feyenoord, Celtic, Barcelona and Manchester United. It is an absolute pleasure to watch the man in his prime.

Something occurred to me while enjoying some of his best goals and I feel very very lucky. Although I had already been to Celtic Park on many an occasion I finally purchased my first season ticket in the same season that for a measly £650,000 Celtic secured the signature of Henrik Larsson from Dutch giants Feyenoord.

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Twelve SPL clubs will meet on the 20th of December to decide the future of Scottish football. The plans are to create a two-tier SPL of 10 teams each. Included in the reconstruction are the return of play-offs, an earlier start to the season and a winter break.

Out with the two leagues of ten the other teams in the country would be regionalised, which is probably the best thing being proposed in the current plans.

Talks of change have been ongoing for years now and people always find it hard to agree on what is best for Scottish football to move forward. Things need to change if the league is to move forward, moving from 10 teams from 12 is surely a step backward, the league has tried 10 teams before and the quality was pretty much the same as it is now. What’s changed really?

It would make more sense to increase the size of the top division and come inline with other divisions around Europe. Moving to 16 or 18 teams would mean less games, the winter break would be easier to incorporate and it would surely freshen up the league in a few different ways.

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Over the next 24 hours you will hear all the stereotypical clichés in football “form goes out the window” “it’s a battle of who wants it more” etc etc. This is a very arcyic view of modern day football, with the lush playing surfaces and players in peak physical condition it is no longer a “battle of the fittest” it’s a tactical battle played under extreme pressure, and no match in Britain if not the world comes close to the pressure of an Old Firm derby.

In a way you can throw form out the window as both teams have 100% records. Rangers have a slight edge in the goals scored column, but Celtic even that up with fewer goals conceded. This will be manager Neil Lennon’s second Old Firm in charge although last season’s meant very little as the title was already gone. Lennon is likely to pick seven players for their Old Firm debuts this could put a little advantage the way of Walter Smith’s side, all of Walter’s predicted starting line-up have played in an Old Firm game before and of course Walter himself has an amazing record in this fixture.

Rangers will most likely line up with five in the midfield 4-5-1 would possibly be Smith’s preferred formation for this fixture, leaving Kenny Miller to run the line on his own preferring to pack the midfield and hit Celtic on the counter attack. Celtic’s formation of late has been a fluid 4-4-2 with Antony Stokes playing wide right his instincts push him far forward leaving Wilson exposed at times down the Celtic right. This game will be won in midfield, it would be very surprising if Lennon picked Ki Sung-Yung and Joe Ledley in the centre of midfield putting them against McCulloch, Davis and Edu would be a very tough ask. More likely the Mexican Efrain Juarez will return to the centre and his stamina and hard working ethics combined with his ability on the ball would give the Celtic midfield more dig and bite and someone who can put their foot on the ball and control the play.

Samaras as he always does will drop back into the midfield looking for the ball, this will occupy McCulloch, leaving Maloney, Stokes and Hooper to take on the Rangers back four. Leaving Samaras time to create chances could be lethal for Rangers, although he is a very frustrating player to watch and many chances go to waste the Greek has unquestionable talent and eventually he will make you pay, it will be Lee McCulloch’s job to keep him under wraps.

In recent weeks Rangers have shown great ability to break forward at pace, Naismith, Miller and either Lafferty or Weiss will again look to capitalise on any loose balls Celtic may gift them and charge forward look to expose the weaknesses of Loovens and Mastrojovic at the back, the duo are untouchable in the air but can be susceptible against pace. Miller will play on the shoulder of the last defender looking for any sniff of a chance and how would he love to score a goal back at Celtic Park, giving the form he is in the odds will be short to see his name on the scoresheet.

Don’t let the tabloids fool you, tactics matter in every game, this match will be full of interesting battles at both ends of the pitch, the team that wins the majority of these battles will win the match.