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Your questions, answered!

Manchester United's Winger Debate

A lot has been said about who will be leaving and who will be brought into Old Trafford when the January transfer market opens next month. Luis Nani the Portuguese star who has been unfortunate with injuries and has also experienced a dent in form of late, looks set to part ways with the club. Reports say that Manchester United are willing to let the 26 year old go which brings the question; who will be brought in?

United look to engage in various battles between both Arsenal and Liverpool for rumoured targets next month as Nani looks to depart. Manchester United could potentially land a swap deal with Theo Walcott coming to Old Trafford with Nani going in the opposite direction. In other reports, United appear to be linked with Crystal Palace starlet Wilfried Zaha. Zaha, despite criticising Arsenal's style of play on Twitter recently, is an Arsenal fan. If Arsenal are interested also, in which they are rumoured to be, Zaha could be swayed to the Emirates. Like Zaha, the problem of boyhood support could ruin the potential signings in January as 23 year old Theo Walcott is also a boyhood Liverpool fan.

Recently, United legend Willie Morgan who was a winger himself suggested Manchester United make a move for Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling who turned 18 last week. Sterling who has impressed this season has said to have had talks with Liverpool in which have broken down as Brendan Rodgers has tried to get the youngster to pledge his future to the club. Again, the problem is the bitter Liverpool and United rivalry. No player has made a straight switch from the two North-West clubs since Phil Chisnall moved from Old Trafford to Anfield way back in 1964.

Another target problem for United is Thomas Ince, son of former Manchester United captain Paul Ince. Ince has been rumoured to be signing for the Red devils for weeks however, the youngster that left Liverpool only last year is said to be ready to give Liverpool another shot and choose Anfield over Old Trafford.

With all four of the English youngsters Sir Alex Ferguson has said to have targeted being Walcott, Zaha, Sterling and Ince, the Red Devils could potentially be left with none of them. If United fail to capture any four of these potential target's signatures, Sir Alex will have to look elsewhere.

Manchester United may have to make a move for Ola John, a Dutch winger in which Man United scouts are said to have been watching. Ola John who supposedly turned down moves to United and Arsenal last year said that “Manchester United and Arsenal wanted me but I think I am still young and can learn a lot at Twente” Now, after a great season with Portuguese giants Benfica, Manchester United could make another move for the hot prospect however must ocne more battle of Arsenal interest.

The Red Devils will have to battle it out between both Liverpool and Arsenal this transfer window to capture targets. It can be argued that United have never really filled the hole on the right wing in which was left by Cristiano Ronaldo's departure back in 2009.

Joey Barton - Faux French

Joey Barton, many of us know him as the professional footballer that is serious, nearly always risky and never fails to get his opinion heard whether it’s good or bad.

But in recent time he hasn’t been in the press much, until now because he has been mocked for conducting a press conference in Marseille in a French accent. Maybe he thought it was time to be in big headlines as it has been quiet for him but in sure this is not the way he wanted to be portrayed.

Barton being branded as a mockery because of the way he talked and journalists have said that it is a performance worthy of classic BBC sitcom ‘Allo ‘Allo! - His neatly trimmed facial hair and expression added to this description.

The man himself has yet to offer an explanation but has branded his ‘French’ accent the ‘’Bartonese’’ in jest to his 1.7 million titter followers. For many views this would probably take them back to the 2008 to the now infamous interview former England boss Steve McClaren gave in 2008 when he spoke English in a Dutch accent.

However Barton has said that this is the only way he would have been understood, let’s face it we find it hard to understand him over here let alone over there, so when faced with a room full of french reporters he has done quite well to try and get his point across even though he doesn’t know a word of the language.

There is a well-founded stereotype that Britons speak louder and more slowly when abroad. But why do we do this? It is because we feel the need to try to fit in so that we can get understood in the context of a foreign countries language.

This is one thing that Barton has portrayed by adapting his speech style to try and get his point across because he is in France, and to make his character more likeable and is usually caused by the subconscious mind.

Kim Stephenson is a researcher on the impact of accents and says that brits take one of two approaches and either we take the very basic English approach and speak slowly almost like talking to a baby and the other approach which is we try and adopt the sound of the voices around us by talking in English but trying to make it sound french or wherever country you are.

The Mercury Prize reveals a new sensation of 2012

The award now known as the Barclaycard Mercury Prize the prestigious music award that is seen as the Brit award alternative has once again taken place and seen new act Alt-j take the title. A panel of musicians, music executives, journalists and other figures in the music industry throughout the UK and Ireland announced the 12 nominees in July. Alt-J at 6-5 favourites in William Hill took the award, while veteran Richard Hawley who was at 4-1 and second favourite behind Alt-j was beaten. Richard Hawley who is a second time nominee was controversially "robbed" of the award 6 years ago as the Sheffield based Arctic Monkeys scooped the award. Previous winners have included Arctic Monkeys, Primal Scream, Elbow, Franz Ferdinand and Pulp since the award started in 1992.


Things are looking up for British 'alternative indie pop' band after becoming the 20th artist to win the award. Album sales are set to soar after picking up the impressive award and a bright future is ahead. This sets Alt-j up for many more awards and hopefully the band can retain the prize come next year. The only artist to have received the Mercury prize is singer songwriter PJ Harvey who picked up the award in 2001 and ten years later in 2010 and is also the first female solo artist, plus the most nominated act along with Radiohead who have never actually won the award. However, it has also been said that picking up this award early in a career can be a 'curse' and pile too much pressure to become a big name in music.

The band stated they were 'stunned' to receive the award and rather modestly claimed they only had '8.3% chance' of winning the award. The award in past years has been known to reward the outside chances rather than the favourites. Thom Green the drummer of Alt-j told Spotify 'we weren't too surprised (to be nominated), just very relieved. We'd been tipped to win before we'd even been nominated, so the pressure was on.' The band beat the likes of rapper and now actor Plan B (real name Ben Drew), folk singer Ben Howard, The Maccabees and sensation Jessie Ware.

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The FIFA World Player of the Year Award or the FIFA Ballon d'Or?

The FIFA World Player of the Year Award is a prestigious, legendary award where the greatest footballers in the world have received since it was set up in 1991. The likes of Roberto Baggio, Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldinho and Lionel Messi have all won. To win such an award and have your name next to the greats of the last 20 years writes your name in football history forever, so why stop it?

Ronaldo and Messi

The FIFA World Player of the Year Award in 1991 for men and 2001 for women. Throughout the years that the award was active Brazilian players dominated winning 8 out of the 18 possible number 1 positions, one was Ronaldo, the youngest ever footballer to win the title at the age of 20 in 2002. It has also been criticised that players only at European clubs have a chance. The only player who was nominated who did not play for a club within Europe is Juan Roman Riquelme who, at the time was on loan to Argentinean club Boca Juniors from Spanish side Villarreal from the first half of 2007.

In 2010, Sepp Blatter, the 8th and current President of FIFA (Fèdèration Internationale de Football Association) who has often been surrounded by controversy and allegations of corruptions merged the FIFA World Player of the Year Award and France Football's Ballon d'Or. The two years of the award have both gone to Argentine Lionel Messi who arguably is one of the planet's greatest ever players, who will never be able to claim he has won the FIFA World Player of the Year Award more than once despite the Barcelona striker winning the award in 2009 and then the new award, the Ballon d'Or twice in a row in 2010 and 2011. Messi is hugely tipped to win again this year. Cristiano Ronaldo the Portuguese international who won the award with English club Manchester United in 2008 is joint favourite to win the Ballon d'Or this year alongside Leo Messi. Ronaldo and Messi are possibly the greatest players of all time and have been compared to the all time greats such as Pelè and Diego Maradona. The awards in the past few years have been a 'two horse race' between the two players. These two sensations could start to write history and create prestige for the newly formed award. These two great players could singlehandedly make the Ballon d'Or even more special than the FIFA World Player of the Year award and potentially set the benchmark for the next generation of players, but which would you want to win?

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Corporate Awards Ceremonies

Awards Ceremonies no matter what type need to be amazing for everyone involved, it is a fantastic ceremony to celebrate the outstanding effort and achievements of employees. Professional Awards ceremonies can be achieved with many different budgets however some companies may prefer to have a more low key awards ceremony at work or in a restaurant.

It is now common for businesses to have a calendar date for recognition events, gala dinner productions and full blown awards ceremonies. Not only does an awards ceremony celebrate people achievements but it brings people together where they can let loose and have a good time.

Team up with a creative department in which you trust and can discuss ideas with. They will be able to create a theme that runs through the room for the entire night as well as creating a stunning set up on stage. Fantastic video and audio production can be incorporated into your ceremony if you would like to really push the boat out.

It is even possible to have further entertainment at your ceremony after the awards have taken place. Finish off the night with a comedian, magician, mind reader or band to really complete the night and make it one to remember.

You will need to consider the types of awards you would like to give out at your ceremony and how much you would like to spend on them. There are many different types of awards that you can choose from. Bespoke awards can be tailored to suit the individual needs and requirements of your company, simply speak to a supplier and discuss exactly what you would like from material to colour.

Glass awards come in many different shapes, sizes and even colours. Glass awards can be made using different methods to create different effects; these include glass blowing, casting and fusing. Glass awards look fantastic and are something you can keep for a lifetime.

Metal awards are generally made from stainless steel and gold metal. The great thing about metal awards is the level of detail that can be put on them to create a stunning and visual piece of art. Metal can be sculptured into all sorts of different designs to create something anyone would be proud to receive.

Plaques are great for displaying large pieces of information that stand out for everyone to see. Plaques come in a range of materials including glass, mahogany and rosewood. You can even have a bespoke plaque to meet all of your needs and requirements.

It doesn't have to be trophies and plaques however that are given out at awards ceremonies. You may want to opt for corporate gifts such as pens and clocks or go for the traditional certificate. Whatever you choose to do remember to make your night count!

Top 10 Weirdest Awards

Awards take place all over the world for all sorts of reasons including film awards, music awards, corporate awards and sports awards plus much more. There are also funny and weird awards that take place for entertainment purposes such as in a business or in a school. I have researched some of the weirdest legitimate awards that are out there and have listed them for you below.

Stinky Shoe Award

The stinky shoe award originates from a trainer contest that began in 1975. It was brought about to aid a local sports shop sell shoes. The event however was so popular that it became a national event in 1988 when a company called Odor-Eaters assumed sponsorship of the event. The contest that takes place every year can be entered by children between the ages of 5 and 15. Their trainers are then judged by the odour panel according to the state of the sole, tongue, heel, toe, laces, Velcro, eyelets/grommets, overall condition and the smell of the trainer.

Bad Sex in Fiction Award

Since 1993 Literary Review has been presenting a Bad Sex in Fiction Award to the author who wrote the worst sex scene in a book. The award sets out to represent sex in the 1950's with a naked woman spread over an open book. Rhoda Koenig a literary critic and Auberon Waugh editor of the literary review originally established the award.

Stella Award

This award is given to those who file outrageous lawsuits; it was named after a woman named Stella Liebeck who sued McDonalds in 1992. Stella spilt her coffee on her lap causing third degree burns and claimed that McDonalds served extremely hot coffee that was undrinkable. Stella received $2.9 million in damages which was reduced to $640,000.

Darwin Award

The Darwin award was named after the evolutionary theorist Charles Darwin. It is an honour award that is given to people for accidently removing themselves from the gene pool. This can either be by death or through sterilization in a brainless way. An example of a Darwin award is jumping out of a plane without wearing a parachute to film some skydivers.

Shorty Awards

The Shorty Awards belongs to Twitter awarding those who can write the weirdest short content. The content has to 140 characters or less in order to compete. The award originated in 2008 and was hosted by CNN anchor Rick Sanchez with special guests Gary Vaynerchuk and MC Hammer.

The Ernie Awards

The Ernie award is an Australian award that is given to individuals and companies who make sexist remarks or do something that is sexist. The Award is named after Ernie Ecob a former Australian Union Secretary who was well known for his sexist remarks. Every year 400 women attend a dinner and listen to sexist remarks that have been nominated. The remark that gets the loudest booing from the crowd wins.

Ig Nobel Prize

This award is presented to those who have the dumbest scientific achievements. Ten prizes are given out to those who are able to make people laugh and then make them think. The awards ceremony is organised by the scientific humour magazine and are presented by Nobel Laureates in a ceremony held at Harvard University's Sanders Theatre. The winners during the ceremony are given the opportunity to explain to the audience their achievement. An example of a winner is Brian Witcombe who carried out some research on sword swallowing and its side effects. He came to the conclusion that you would get a sore throat.

Golden Raspberry Award

This is an award for the worst movie made. The ceremony originated in 1980 and began so small that it took place in a living room alcove. The Golden Raspberry awards also known as the Razzies have categories such as worst picture, actress and actor to worst remake, prequel and screen couple. The trophy is a giant golden raspberry situated on the top of a film reel. The Razzies may have started off small but it is now covered on the television, radio and by the papers.

The Foot in Mouth Award

This is an award given to a public figure after making a dumb comment; it is awarded by the British Plain English Campaign every year. An example of a foot in mouth award went to Naomi Campbell "I love England, especially the food. There's nothing I like more than a lovely bowl of pasta."

Weird Ass Picture Book Awards

This is an award for books that make you go "Huhhhhh?" The book is judged on its story, illustration and cover art. The winning book has to achieve outstanding weirdness in its illustration and text. This award originated in 2008.


Awards are given to individuals or groups of people as a sign of recognition towards their hard work and excellence in a particular field. Awards come in the form of trophies, tiles, medals, certificates, pins, ribbons, plaques and badges. They can be metal and glass awards, crystal awards and glass awards etc.

An award can be given by anybody who chooses to do so. It is more common however for awards to be given out by large business organisations, small businesses, schools, sports clubs, etc. Famous awards ceremonies consist of the Brit Awards, Soap Awards and bravery awards.

Business organisations:

A business may choose to give out awards to those who have excelled in certain areas of their work, for example a person may have dramatically improved on an area they were struggling in. Other awards may include silly awards such as best dressed, worst dressed, funniest person etc.


Schools often hand out award for pieces of work, projects and silly awards. Academic awards are also received here such as GCSE results.

Sports clubs:

Awards are handed out to individuals in sport for their own personal achievements as well as team achievements for winning games.

Brit awards:

The Brit awards are the British Phonographic Industry's annual pop music awards. They began in 1977 and have since continued. Certain pop acts are nominated to be put forward for an award and one is chosen to be the overall winner. The Brit Award is broadcast live on national television.

Soap awards:

The soap awards began in 1999 and now take place every year in May. Different soaps are nominated for an award and an overall winner is chosen. It is broadcast live on national television every year. The soaps that are nominated for awards are Coronation Street, EastEnders, Doctors, Emmerdale, Hollyoaks, Brookside, Family Affairs, Nigh and Day and Crossroads.

Bravery award:

Award like these take place on charity shows such as Children In Need to show the courage and bravery some children endure at such a young age. Other bravery awards are given out to those in the forces for bravery, sacrifice and encouragement.

Awards are very personal to the receiver and can mean an awful lot to that individual. It is important to take into account peoples achievements so that they feel accepted and that their efforts have been noticed.

How things are taking shape ahead of another Premier League title race

As the 2012/2013 Premier League season rapidly gets nearer we can all look forward to another whirlwind campaign of drama, spectacle, awards and trophies. So just what can we expect from a season that promises to be one of the all time greats? Following a campaign that ended in the most dramatic fashion imaginable, here are just some of the stories you should be keeping a close eye on this time around.

Obviously, all eyes will be on 2011/2012 league champions Manchester City. They secured the title on goal difference, in the dying moments of last season after a significant financial investment. However, this summer has yet to see any action in the transfer market. Will last seasons squad prove their worth once more or will they need to bring in new blood to help defend the title as their rivals look to buy big? Will the pressure to maintain their standard be a factor or will the pressure be off now that they have secured their first league title since 1968? Also, with trophies and awards in mind, may they turn their focus to the Champions League this season?

Next door neighbors, Manchester United will be looking for revenge. Winning 12 of the last 20 league titles sets a precedent for success and last season ended in bitter last minute heartache. Without any silverware to show for their efforts last season, Sir Alex Ferguson will be extra focused on remedying such an unfamiliar situation. Watching them attempt to wrestle back the title from their lifelong rivals will surely promise unmissable drama.

And what of the other teams traditionally found at the top end of the table? Well there is a lot riding on a number of high profile signings and transfer deals. As time goes on trophies and awards matter, and Arsenal's trophy drought is now seven years and counting. Not since lifting the FA Cup in 2005 have they experienced silverware, and it is starting to show with a number of their biggest names exiting the club for a better chance elsewhere. With Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas moving on last summer, Arsene Wenger's ability to hold on to key man Robin Van Persie this summer could be crucial to their season. While his contract runs through the current season, the current club captain has announced that he will not be renewing beyond that, fueling expectations and a biding war among the top league spenders.

More high profile transfer action can be found at Chelsea. The current FA Cup and Champions League winners will be looking to build on their successful cup campaign last year with a solid league title push. To do so they have been the first team to really break the bank over the summer, bringing in hotly tipped Eden Hazard along with Marko Martin in a new look, and highly priced midfield. Chelsea have reportedly paid around £32 million in addition to a mammoth wage bill in order to land potentially the most sought after young player in the world, following months of hype, rumour and speculation. However for all their spending, they still have the loss of the talismanic Didier Drogba to contend with. After leaving for Chinese outfit Shangai Shenhua last season, can Chelsea continue to challenge without one of their most prolific and memorable players?

Along with managerial changes at Tottenham and Liverpool, the 2012/2013 season could certainly throw up surprises. So, in the race for trophies and awards, we could well see one of the most closely fought campaigns of recent years.

The bottom of the top

Interesting fact 1. 205 countries competed in the London 2012 Olympic games - even though there are only 196 countries in the world! (and even this figure is disputed) Do some research and find out why (clue it’s to do with the National Olympic Committee and territories) Second interesting fact: 3 ‘Countries’� which did not compete this year: South Sudan, Kosovo and The Vatican. Maybe they were having their own fun elsewhere�

79 countries won medals. Of course we know of China, the UK, USA et al, but let’s take a look at some of the forgotten ones; after all it’s about taking part, not winning, right? The last to be picked at school sports day with a bronze each were: Kuwait, Tajikistan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Hong Kong and Afghanistan.

Since 2010, Kuwait had been barred from receiving funding, Olympic meetings and the 2012 Games itself due to the Kuwaiti Government’s excessive interference with the election processes of some sporting organisations. This was lifted in July, however, and allowed 11 competitors to take part in athletics, shooting, swimming and table tennis. Fehaid Al-Deehani� took home his second bronze in the trap shooting event - the only medals ever won by Kuwait. Hope he goes home a hero, and tell his Government to stop ‘medalling.’

Tajikistan fielded 16 competitors in 7 sports, with Mavzuna Chorieva punching her way to bronze in the female lightweight boxing. As the saying goes: ‘don’t mess with a Tajikistan chick.’ The saying in my head anyway.

Trailing USA (who took the silver) and his Algerian neighbour, Moroccan Abdalaati Iguider ran off with the bronze. This was half a second slower than in Beijing though, in which he came fifth. Maybe that North African heat helps with middle distance running..

Like Kuwait, Saudi Arabia was a late entrant to the 2012 games, until they finally bowed to pressure and allowed women to compete. It was the men who took home a bronze though, in the team jumping equestrian.� At least it was a nice fortnight’s holiday for those ladies�

Another Middle Eastern Country and another late entrant - Bahrain (just what is going on down there?!) saw 12 competitors take part in athletics, shooting and swimming. Interesting fact 3: Of those 12, only 2 were actually born in Bahrain. The others were naturalised from Kenya, Ethiopia and the United States - with made up names to sound more Arabian! Bigging up the women, it was the Bahrainian / Ethiopian Maryam Yusuf Jamal who paddled off with the women’s 1500m in swimming. You go, girl!

Despite fielding 42 competitors in 13 events, Hong Kong secured only one medal: Lee Wai Sze pedaled off in the women’s keirin cycling - the event where the person cheats in front by attaching an engine to their bike.

And finally, Afghanistan. Not sure what this country has been up to the past few years, practicing fighting perhaps?� - As it was Rohullah Nikpai who secured a medal in that traditional Afghan sport � Taekwondo. Like Fehaid Al � Deehani, this was his second bronze Olympic medal, although in Beijing it was 58kg Taekwondo, whereas this time it was 68kg. maybe he hasn’t been fighting hard enough and putting weight on instead?

Here’s to Rio, and better luck next time winner-losers!

Team GB close in on record Beijing medal tally

With a full six days left to go, Team GB are already within touching distance of bettering their monumental medal haul of the 2008 games. They are also on course to make this Olympics the most successful in over 100 years, all while on home soil.
In the world of sport, trophies and awards are a final validation of years of hard work, dedication and sacrifice, and each athlete has played their part in making this one of the most memorable and celebrated tournament of all time.

Currently with a total 40 medals, including 18 golds, Team GB stand 3rd in the overall medal count, only trailing global powerhouses China and the United States. Four years ago in Beijing, Great Britain claimed an impressive 19 golds, and now we stand only 1 behind that tally with many opportunities still to come.

Despite a relatively disappointing showing in the swimming and diving trophies, the weekend saw a flurry of incoming medals right across the board. This included a legendary night of athletics on ‘Super Saturday’ in which Mo Farrah and Greg Rutherford clinched stunning gold medals in the Men’s 10,000m and the Long Jump, and Jessica Ennis more than lived up to her huge expectations with a stunning record-breaking Heptathlon victory. Tears were shed and the crowds went wild as the trio proudly held their glistening gold metal awards for the world to see, marking one of the most memorable nights for British Sport in memory.

Throughout the weekend the medals continued to roll in. Andy Murray stunned audiences with a surprising gold in the men’s Tennis and there were more boating/sailing awards to be had with Ben Ainslie becoming the most successful Olympic sailor of all time with four successive golds. There were other noteworthy successes in gymnastics and cycling.

Seemingly inspired by the sudden gold rush, Monday saw yet another fruitful day in events where we perhaps held less hope. The mens Equestrian team took gold against the Netherlands and Beth Tweddle became the oldest Brit to secure a gymnastics medal with a Bronze in the uneven bars.

With many more athletes through their heats and well positioned to challenge in the finals, it could still be a very strong final week. They are certainly on course as of now to make London 2012 the most successful Olympics for more than a century.

Going for Gold at London 2012

With the Olympics just around the corner, everyone has their eyes on the prize. The gold medal. One of the most prestigious sporting awards an athlete can receive.

Every Olympic Games, the design for the medal is different. The host city is responsible for designing and creating the medals. The medals to be used at this year#39;s London Olympics were revealed last year in Trafalgar Square. They follow the same traditional design with a Greek goddess, the Olympic rings, the coliseum in Athens, an amphora, horse drawn chariot, the number of the Olympiad, the year and the name of the host city. Each host city is allowed to add additional design as well.

There are certain specifications that must be met also. The medals must be a minimum of 60mm in diameter and 3mm thick. The gold and silver medal must also contain a certain percentage of that metal too. The gold medals must contain at least 6g of gold and the silver medals must be at least 92.5% silver.

This year's medal are the largest ones to date and alongside the traditional design also feature the River Thames. On the back there is a 'pick up sticks' image which represents all the athletes pulling together and portrays a sense on energy. They are 85mm in diameter, 7mm thick and weigh 375g.

Since the 1986 Olympic Games, Team GB has accrued 715 medal, 207 of which were gold, 255 silver and 253 bronze. We have the 4th biggest number of medals behind the USA, the Soviet Union and Germany.

Olympic Gold Medal

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