Friday, January 23, 2015

FA Cup, Asian Cup, African Nations Cup, Hope Solo

Bloody Hell. Sorry for the absence. Hopefully your hearts have grown fonder. We had no idea how much stuff had accumulated at SSN Headquarters and it simply overwhelmed us. We're (kind of) settled in a temporary facility so we're going to attempt to get a post done while we have a minute. Some of our staff remain on unpaid leave, but we'll do the best we can.

Right! Where to begin? We suppose the FA Cup would be appropriate. We've reached the Fourth Round, friends, and matches such as Rochdale vs. Stoke, Derby vs. Chesterfield, and Aston Villa vs. Bournemouth are poised to ignite! Here are 10 Things To Look Out For. Here are Lawro's and Dion Dublin's predictions. Here's a Preview of the Round Four, which begins this afternoon with Manchester United's trip to Cambridge.

David Trezeguet has retired. Michael Cox takes a look back at the prolific Frenchman's career here.

Over in Asia, the United Arab Emirates stunned defending champs Japan to advance to a semi-final clash with the Aussies (see Cahill's bicycle above). Meanwhile, Iraq beat Iran on penalties. The Iraqis will play South Korea in the other Semi. Here's a wrap. And look! Iranian women can actually attend a match! Fancy that!

Has it really been 20 years since Eric Cantona went all Kung-Fu at Crystal Palace? We are getting old. Here's a look back at that shocking affair.

Barney Ronay's got a good piece out today. He's talking about the financial benefits enjoyed by the London clubs. Here are a nice couple of lines: "The fact is, and I write as someone who has lived here all his life, these days it feels as though nobody really loves or even likes London that much. Not least because London doesn’t actually want to be liked, but presents itself instead as a beautiful, frightening, frictionless economic machine."

The next Freddy Adu is here. His name is Martin Odegaard. He's signed at Real Madrid. Here's all you need to know about the kid.

Serie A? Yes. Lazio/AC Milan and Fiorentina/Roma look good. Here's a Preview of the weekend's schedule.

Das Bundesliga is still hibernating, but Raphael Honigstein is on hand to remind us that Borussia Dortmund are in big trouble. Could they actually go down?

La Liga? Yes. Here are Six Storylines to watch over the next few days in Spain.

Over at the African Nations Cup, Jonathan Wilson's talking about Ghana and their must-win match with Algeria this morning. Their manager is Avram Grant. Oh, dear. That competition is still in the group stage. Kirsten Schlewitz breaks down today's action here.

And finally...more bad news for Hope Solo. It looks like the end for her career. Hopefully she can get some help.



Monday, January 12, 2015

Headquarters Relocation

Happy Monday! 

SSN is relocating to a new facility, and posting will be sporadic in the meantime. We hope to be fully moved in by one week from today.



Friday, January 09, 2015

Lampard Lunacy, Derby della Capitale, Barcelona vs. Atlético Madrid, Napoli vs. Juventus, Manchester United vs. Southampton

Wait. What?

Hey...OH! There goes another one. We've arrived at Friday, and Frank Lampard is sick and tired of the lies and nonsense regarding his FC Bayer New York City Athletic Football Club. You see, it's all really just a "commitment" to play and there's no "loan" and it's just some training thing so he can stay fit for the MLS season. Right? Good Grief.

Let's try and distance ourselves from all of that nonsense with some previews. Here's your lot for the Premier League. 

Over in Italy there are a couple of tasty dishes getting prepared for Sunday. Fancy some Roma vs. Lazio? Hmmm? Or, perhaps you'd prefer a little Napoli vs. Juventus? Yummy!

Back in Spain the biggie is Atlético Madrid at Barcelona. That should be a good one. Here's a Weekend Preview for La Liga.

Ronald Koeman has done a fabulous job of keeping Southampton in the wins despite the loss of key personnel. Daniel Taylor takes a closer look at the Dutch gaffer.

Predictions! Who will finish where in the Premier League? Let's look at the numbers.

Guillem Balague has a piece on just how far Atlético Madrid have come. You should read it.

Have you guys checked out Felipe Anderson? Dude plays for Lazio and he's tearing shit up. Check it.

Hey! That's it. Enjoy the weekend of football.



Thursday, January 08, 2015

Atlético Defeat Real, Transfer Rumors, Harry Kane, Shaq to Inter

El Niño returns.

Right! Off and running today. The Atléticos defeated the Reals in the latest battle for Madrileño supremacy yesterday. The side from the Vicente Calderón walked out 2-0 winners of the Copa del Rey Round of 16 First-Leg clash. As you might hope and expect, Sid Lowe was there and he filed this report. Torres played but didn't do much. Here are Three Points. Here are Three Things We Learned.

Harry Kane. What's the deal with this guy? He's having quite the season for Spurs, is he not? Richard Jolly wants to know why and he wants to tell us about it. Excellent. Conveniently, James Riach has a look at Ridgeway Rovers, the youth club where it all began for Kane. And a certain Golden Balled-one...

As noted yesterday, Serie A returned to action with aplomb. Paolo Bandini is over there and is ready to bring us up to speed on this week's slate of matches. Grazie, Paolo.

If you read the transfer guff above you'll see that Xherdan Shaqiri has left Bayern Munich to sign with Inter Milan. Why?

Bloody Hell. Barcelona in Crisis!!!!!! The BBC's Lee Roden investigates the Catalan Calamity. Rik Sharma wonders what it all means, and Sid Lowe says it's all about Messi and Enrique. Enough? Good.

That's really about it for this Thursday. See you tomorrow for all the weekend previews.



Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Atlético Madrid vs Real Madrid, Sid Lowe in Spain, Philippe Auclair in France, Juve and Inter Draw, Adebayo Akinfenwa, Barcelona Crisis?!

Adebayo Akinfenwa
Goodness Gracious. Hump Day already. SSN Headquarters suffered an infestation of locusts yesterday and we were forced to shut down operations. But! We are back. Let's roll...

The FA Cup Third Round plodded on yesterday as Everton struck late to claim a 1-1 draw with West Ham. Andy Hunter was at Goodison Park and filed this report. Richard Jolly was also there and has Three Points.

The SSN Staff took in the Wimbledon/Liverpool match the other day. It was fun. Watching Adebayo Akinfenwa made it especially fun. Here's more about that guy. And here's your FA Cup Fourth Round Draw:

Southampton or Ipswich Town v Crystal Palace
Cambridge United v Manchester United
Blackburn Rovers v Swansea City
Chelsea v Millwall or Bradford City
Derby County v Scunthorpe or Chesterfield
Preston NE v Sheffield United
Birmingham City v West Brom
Aston Villa v AFC Bournemouth
Cardiff City v Reading
Liverpool v Bolton Wanderers
Burnley or Tottenham v Leicester City
Brighton & HA v Arsenal
Rochdale v Stoke City
Sunderland v Fulham or Wolves
Doncaster or Bristol City v Everton or West Ham
Manchester City v Middlesbrough

Before we leave the FA Cup, Michael Cox has his tactics on and says we should all stop expecting upsets. Thanks, Debbie Downer!

There were a slew of matches in Italy yesterday as Serie A got back up and running. Here are Five Things We Learned, including the fact that Juventus' killer instinct is dulled. And here's a wee wrap of all the action over there in the big boot.

Bah. We missed our usual Tuesday scribe run so let's play some catch-up. These pieces are too good to miss. Most of the action is in Spain:

There's a big match this afternoon. It The Madrid Derby, this time in the Copa del Rey. Here's a 50/50 Challenge and here's a preview. Hit the telly at 3:00 p.m. EST on beIN Sports USA. Word is Torres is set to start! Oh, the drama! Will The Curse continue?

Woop! We out.



Monday, January 05, 2015

Wimbledon vs. Liverpool, Moyes Beats Barcelona, Real Madrid Lose, Serie A Returns, FA Cup Reviews

A very pleasant Monday to you and yours. Let's get started in Spain, shall we? The acción resumed after the winter break and what acción it was! Real Madrid lost! That's their first defeat in 22 matches. Valencia took them down at the Mestalla. What else? How about this? David Moyes enjoyed his best moment (by far) since his arrival in Spain because his Real Sociedad side beat Barcelona! Well done, Moe. Of course, it probably helped that Messi and Neymar didn't play in the first half, but still, how did he do it?

Elsewhere, 40,000 fans showed up to welcome Fernando Torres back to Atlético Madrid. Here are Five Things We Learned in La Liga. More tomorrow with El Sid.

Vinny Jones and Dennis Wise enjoy some cards on the way to Wembley.

Back in England, the league took a break in order for the FA Cup to get a round in. The Third Round, to be precise. No big surprises. Here are 15 Talking Points from the round. Here are the Heroes & Villains. What else? Amy Lawrence has dubbed Arsenal's Alexis Sánchez as a "bionic mosquito." Nice. We approve. Oh, and Richard Jolly has Three Points from Manchester City's narrow win over Sheffield Wednesday. And here's a wrap is you want more.

The round isn't over, though. There are two matches today. Burnley host Spurs (Burnley fans don't seem terribly excited), and it's a rematch of the 1988 final between Wimbledon and Liverpool. The BBC has a nice rewind to that epic and shocking final, here is a preview, and here are 11 Things You Need To Know.


Look who's back. Back again. Serie A. Lazio and Samp clash today and everyone else joins the party domani. We really enjoy it when those lazy continental leagues decide to end their holidays and get back on the pitch...

Oh, look at this. What a surprise. Stevie G will join the assGalaxy. Shocking. Grant Wahl's got the exclusive from Commish Garber. Wonder what Bobbie BS thinks about that? We love us some MLS here at SSN Headquarters! Yes, yes we do...

Daniel Taylor has a solid piece on Margaret Thatcher and her government's attempt to address hooliganism and racism in football. Oh, dear.

That just might do it for this first day of the week. Keep it tite.



Friday, January 02, 2015

Spurs Spank Chelsea, Gerrard to Leave Liverpool, More on Zelalem, FA Cup Previews, La Liga Returns, Andy Carroll's House

Happy New Year and Happy Friday!

There's nothing like a New Year's Day of footie to get things rolling around SSN Headquarters. The Big Result from yesterday was this: Tottenham 5 - 3 Chelsea. Elsewhere, Lamps lifted City to victory over Sunderland, United and Stoke drew, Southampton and Szczęsny defeated Arsenal, Liverpool and Leicester drew, and Everton lost again. Let's examine...

Tottenham 5 - 3 Chelsea: Dominic Fifield at White Hart Lane
Tottenham 5 - 3 Chelsea: Barney Ronay at White Hart Lane
Stoke City 1 - 1 Manchester United: Stuart James at the Britannia Stadium
Manchester City 3 - 2 Sunderland: Five Talking Points
Southampton 2 - 0 Arsenal: David Hytner at St. Mary's

As noted in the subject line, Stevie G has decided it's time to leave the club he's been with since 1934 so he can spend more time listening to Phil Collins. The Liverpool icon will depart at the end of the season. Daniel Taylor thinks it's the right move. As do we. Here are his Five Best Moments as Liverpool player. The "United Piledriver" sticks out for the Editor because he saw the shot on a big screen in a pub in Highbury. An odd memory...

It was reported earlier in the week that Gedion Zelalem is an American citizen and will likely join the U.S. Men's National Team. Let's take a closer look at this lad with Nick Ames, shall we?

No surprise here: Andy Carroll has no taste.

Nice use of LinkedIn...

It was also reported earlier in the week that Fernando Torres is returning to Atlético Madrid. Top scribe Richard Williams looks at Torres' "strange journey from storm-force striker to bargaining chip." Meanwhile, Top scribe Sid Lowe says that getting Torres back together with his old captain Diego Simeone could result in something special.

Sticking with La Liga, here's a Preview for the weekend. Their winter break is over!

It's FA Cup time as the Third Round gets underway tomorrow. Here are Ten Things to Look Out For. And a Preview. And...another Preview.

Grant Wahl says City keeping Lampard from NYC ain't right. Agreed.

And finally, Ronaldhino won New Year's Eve.



Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Gedion Zelalem is an American, Liverpool Swamp Swansea, The Mill Returns, Pardew Back to Palace, Torres Back to Atlético Madrid, West Brom Sack Irvine

Danny Rose gets in the spirit...
Right! We gave all the SSN Staff plenty of days off for Christmas, including those who do not celebrate the holiday. It didn't seem fair to exclude them, frankly. Anyway, we're back (at least for a day or so) to get caught up on things. Last night, Liverpool cruised past Swansea thanks to Adam Lallallalanna's two goals, one of which was assisted nicely by Lukasz Fabianski. Poor Pole. Andy Hunter was at Anfield and filed this report. Richard Jolly was also present and left with Three Points.

Alan Pardew has left Newcastle, but not in the manner most expected a few months ago. He's about to take the job at Palace now that Neil Warnock is no longer the gaffer at Selhurst Park. Pardew played at Palace from 1987-1991. So who's next in line to hang with Mike Ashley at St. James', then? Not a terribly enticing post, is it? No. It's not. Meanwhile, West Brom have sacked Alan Irvine after just seven months, and Tony Pubis and Tim Sherwood are on the shortlist to take over at The Hawthorns.

Another guy who's going back to his old club is Fernando Torres. He's is going back to Atlético Madrid. Will it re-start his career? There's nowhere to go but up, sadly. Spanish expert Sid Lowe thinks it might actually head that way for El Niño. We sure hope so. 

Southampton fans get in the spirit...

We've reached the midpoint of the Premier League campaign. Thanks to Phil McNulty as he offers his team-by-team analysis on how it's all gone thus far. And to Ian Darke, as well.

Also looking back is Jonathan Wilson. He's got some tactical reviews. First: Three at the back is back in fashion. Second: Tiki-taka’s exile and counter-counters.

Where Are They Now? Stars of the 2014 World Cup and how they are doing with their clubs. It's all very interesting...

Regular readers of the blog will know that Uli Hesse is in Germany. Uli claims that there are issues looming for Germany's footballing landscape. Sounds ominous!

There's no avoiding it, folks. The Transfer Window opens once again in a few days. With said window ajar, the flood of rumors will cascade unabated. Here we go:

Ronaldo gets in the spirit...
One team having an unusually tough time of it lately is Everton. Nick Miller takes a closer look at the problems at Goodison Park

Good news for the Yanks. Gedion Zelalem is now an American citizen. This dude has potential, people!

We're going to cut it off there. We'll see who makes it into SSN Headquarters tomorrow. 



Friday, December 19, 2014

Liverpool vs. Arsenal, The Parkers, Roma vs. Milan

There goes another week, folks. Let's jump right in and prep for another few days of footie insanity, shall we? As is customary, we'll begin in the UK...

Liverpool vs. Arsenal: 50-50 Challenge

It's not just this weekend in the Premier League, peeps. It's the next two weeks that'll bring us fixture insanity as the only major European league to NOT take a winter break kicks into high gear. Who is best suited to take advantage of all the matches?

There's a Big Interview to enjoy this Friday. Why, look at that! It's Hot Carl Jenkinson. Take it away, Carl.

It's the end of the year and that means it's time for The Parkers! What the hell are The Parkers, you ask? Graham Parker's end of the year MLS awards. Duh.

Speaking of MLS, it looks like Brek Shea's forgettable time in England will end. He's heading to Orlando. Hope he likes purple...

Spain? Leaders Real Madrid won't play because they're off at that stupid World Cup Championship thingy. It looks like Barcelona host Córdoba, though.  Here's a Weekend Preview.

Over in Italy, Roberto Mancini has to deal with the club that gave him his glory years as Inter face Lazio. James Horncastle takes a closer look here. We posted the Weekend Preview yesterday because there was a match. Juventus won said match to move four points ahead of Roma, who welcome Milan to the Stadio Olimpico domani. Meanwhile, Paolo Bandini is wondering who (after Juve and Roma) will claim that last Champions League spot.

Tim Vickery has a column. How nice. Tim's been silent of late so let's see what's on his radar: Tim Vickery explains why the Club World Cup - barely noticed in Europe - is the highlight of the South American football calendar. Looks great! We're in.

And now...we're out! See youz next week.



Thursday, December 18, 2014

Liverpool to Meet Chelsea in League Cup Semi, Martin Odegaard, D.C. to get a Stadium, Serie A

Now pay up!
The Capital One Cup Semifinals are set. It'll be Chelsea vs. Liverpool and Sheffield United vs. Tottenham. This after Spurs spanked Newcastle (David Hytner was at White Hart Lane) and Liverpool avoided further embarrassment by winning at Bournemouth (Dominic Fifield was at Dean Court). The two ties will take place during the weeks of January 18 and 25. Raheem Sterling's play prompted Liverpool Gaffer Brendan Rodgers to compare him to Alexis Suarez, but Adam Bate thinks it's the Suarez-like qualities that are lacking at Anfield this season.

In the Bundesliga yesterday, Borussia Dortmund couldn't manage to defeat Wolfsburg at home and thus remain in the relegation zone. It's incredible, really. How can a group-winning Champions League side with so much talent be such shit in the league? Michael Cox says it's because they have problems at both ends. Hmmm. Anyway, here's a wrap of yesterday's action in Germany. And here's an article attempting to articulate why The Bundesliga is the most exciting league in the world. Bam! The World!

Great news for footie fans in The District of Columbia: The City Council voted unanimously to allow D.C. United to move forward with a new ground and leave RFK. About time.

Hey! This is fun! Some Premier League clubs charge up to £600 for children to be mascots! Some don't charge anything. How exactly does that all work, anyway?

Things are suddenly going swimmingly for Manchester United, are they not? LVG has the Reds winning again. Here are Five Players he's turned around and made decent again.

Martin Odegaard has got all the big clubs hot and bothered. He's the newest kid phenom. He's from Norway. He's probably going to Bayern Munich. Jonathan Wilson has more.

Geez, Louise. Serie A's weekend begins today! Here's a preview of what's going to happen. Mainly, AC Milan will play Roma and Inter Milan will play Lazio. It's Milan vs. Rome, people!

That'll do it for today. Thank you.