Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bayern Ravage Roma, Chelsea Crush Maribor, Shakhtar Donetsk Destroy BATE, Sneijder Rules Istanbul, Previews for Today's Champions League Matches

Bayern Munich and The Pope
Is it really Hump Day already? Good Grief. Let's get to it. Europe's top club competition wasn't really much of a competition in a few of the matches yesterday. Bayern at Roma was supposed to be a good one. It finished 7 - 1 in favor of the Germans. Chelsea have a bunch of injuries to deal with. They won 6 - 0. Shakhtar? They beat BATE 7 - 0. That said, there were some good ones. Here's your lot:

CSKA Moscow 2 - 2 Manchester City: Jamie Jackson at the Arena Khimki
CSKA Moscow 2 - 2 Manchester City: Three Points
Bayern Munich 7 - 1 Roma: Three Things We Learned
Barcelona 3 - 1 Ajax: Three Points
Barcelona 3 - 1 Ajax: Three Things We Learned
Chelsea 6 - 0 Maribor: Amy Lawrence at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea 6 - 0 Maribor: Three Points
Chelsea 6 - 0 Maribor: Five Talking Points

Sneijder! Sneijder! Sneijder! We don't normally cover the Istanbul Derby, but, man. Check out the two goals that won it for Galatasaray (and the other Goals of the Week). Fenerbahçe didn't know what hit them.

Bad Goalkeeping Performances? Here are FIVE.

William Gallas has retired after a very successful 19-year career. Amy Lawrence takes a look back at the French defender's tenure.

D.C. United = Worst to First

More matches today, folks! All eyes are on Anfield as Ronny & Co. arrive from Madrid to face Liverpool. Elsewhere, Arsenal are at Anderlecht, Galatasaray host Dortmund, and Juventus go to Olympiakos.

Liverpool vs. Real Madrid: Preview
Liverpool vs. Real Madrid: Preview II
Anderlecht vs. Arsenal: Preview

And finally...Rochdale AFC's grass will look better this season, and it it thanks to some confiscated marijuana lamps.



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

West Brom 2 - 2 Manchester United, Scribes, Champions League, Sunderland Fans Get Their Money Back

What West Brom executive allowed a 12-year-old to take over the official Twitter feed?
Good Day! The match in the West Midlands last night was a fine affair. The hosts were certainly up for it and looked set for three points, but the Red Devils managed to snatch a draw. United goals scored by...Marouane Fellaini and Danny Blind. No. No, we were not expecting those two names on the score sheet. Here's the breakdown:

West Brom 2 - 2 Manchester United: Luke Reddy at The Hawthorns
West Brom 2 - 2 Manchester United: Stuart James at The Hawthorns
West Brom 2 - 2 Manchester United: Five Things
West Brom 2 - 2 Manchester United: Three Points

Scribe Time! It's time to pull a Wide World of Sports and span the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport soccer... the thrill of victory... and the agony of defeat... the human drama of athletic competition...

Where? Spain. Who? Sid Lowe. What? Bilbao suffering from Euro hangover

Where? Portugal. Who? Andy Brassell. What? Porto increase doubts over tiki-taka

Where? Germany. Again? Yes. OK. Who? Raphael Honigstein. What? All is not yet lost for Dortmund

Where? Italy. Who? Paolo Bandini. What? Inter and Milan missing urgency

Woop! Check this out: Best XIs from the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga, plus analysis of the big Champions League fixtures. We'll take it.

Taarabt vs. 'Arry. Here's the latest.

The Big Interview today is...Álvaro Arbeloa! Yes, as you might expect, the Spaniard is relishing his Champions League return to Liverpool after leaving the club for Real Madrid.

The Champions League is back, folks. Get on it:

Champions League Match-Day Three

Roma vs. Bayern Munich: Preview
Rudi Garcia: Emperor of Roma
CSKA Moscow vs. Manchester City: Preview
Chelsea vs. Maribor: Preview
Schalke vs. Sporting Lisbon: Preview

And travel 317 miles to watch your club get destroyed 8-0. At least you get your money back.



Monday, October 20, 2014

Southampton 8 - 0 Sunderland, Juventus Draw, Barcelona & Real Madrid Win, Monday Night Football

That was quite the weekend, was it not? Southampton scored eight against poor Sunderland. Aguero scored four against Spurs. Ronaldo scored two against Levante. Inter and Napoli drew. Juventus did not win. Late drama between QPR and Liverpool. And...loads more. Let's dive in, beginning in the Premier League...

Manchester City 4 - 1 Tottenham: Daniel Taylor at the Etihad Stadium
Crystal Palace 1 - 2 Chelsea: Three Points
Arsenal 2 - 2 Hull City: Amy Lawrence at the Emirates Stadium
Southampton 8 - 0 Sunderland: Paul Doyle at St. Mary's
Newcastle 1 - 0 Leicester City: Iain Macintosh at St. James' Park
QPR 2 - 3 Liverpool: Jonathan Jurejko at Loftus Road
QPR 2 - 3 Liverpool: Three Points

Over in Italy, leaders Juventus were held at Sussudio, Roma crushed Chievo, and Milan rode Honda's heroics to a win at Verona. Here's all you need to know. More tomorrow with Paolo.

España? Barcelona scored three in 15 minutes to win and Real Madrid had little trouble against Levante. Here's all you need to know + Five Things We Learned in La Liga. More tomorrow with Sid.

There are a bunch of strikers in the Premier League who are either new to the league, or are simply playing with new teams. Jacob Steinberg takes a look at who is providing the best value for the money.

Back Stateside, it's advantage Seattle as the Sounders came back to claim a draw against the assGalaxy. Bird's got more on that here. And check out the Five Things We Learned from the action in MLS this weekend. Wait! Here's a Sixth Things We Learned: Boys II Men sang a tribute song for Landycakes...

Sweet! Monday Night Football is a good one. West Brom vs. Manchester United. Here's a preview. Here's another. 3:00 p.m. EDT on NBCSN.



Friday, October 17, 2014

Internationals Are Over

Hello, Friday! Woop! We can finally resume normal service and enjoy some club football this weekend. Manchester City host Spurs, Chelsea return to Selhurst Park to try to avenge their loss, Arsenal have no defenders (again), and Manchester United face a tricky trip to The Hawthorns. In Spain, Real Madrid go to Valencia to face Levante and league leaders Barcelona host Eibar. Here's your schedule and preview for La Liga.

In Italy, league leaders Juventus travel to Sussudio, Roma host Chievo, Fiorentina welcome Lazio, and Inter host Napoli. Here's your schedule and preview for Serie A.

Can't wait for tomorrow? Head over to beIN Sports USA at 2:30pm EDT this afternoon and catch some League Uhhhhhhh action between Lens and PSG.

Back to England. Here's your lot:

Top Tenner? Yes, please. This week it's Instant Premier League Impacts. Oh, Fabrizio Ravanelli...

This is good: The German judge overseeing Fifa’s investigation into the controversial bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups has insisted that the report cannot be published in full for legal reasons, but promised an overview of the main findings by the middle of next month.

Back Stateside, the MLS playoff race is heating up! Or hotting up, as they say not Stateside. Anyhoo, here's a preview. assGalaxy vs. Sounders looks tasty. It's Lando's final regular season home match.

Curious about who would make a list of the 10 Most Coveted Youngsters in Europe? So are we...




Thursday, October 16, 2014

More Serbia/Albania Fallout, Sid Lowe and Many Others on 10 Years of Messi, Jonathan Wilson on Nigeria, Adriano to Le Favre?!, Gentleman Ultra's Alternative Serie A Guide To Napoli

Can we call it a comeback?

Thursday, yo, and everyone's still talking about what went down in Belgrade on Tuesday. The Albanian FA claims Serbian police attacked their players after the match was abandoned. UEFA are attempting to wipe off the egg they got on their face when they scheduled the match by hitting both associations with seven charges between them. For Serbia? “...the setting off/throwing of fireworks and missiles, crowd disturbance, pitch invasion by supporters, insufficient organisation and use of a laser pointer.” For Albania? “...refusing to play” and “display of an illicit banner.” Refusing to play? Really?! Refusing to play?! Good Lord.

Speaking of The Lord, thank Him, Her, It, That, Nothing, or Whatever for the return of club football this weekend. And thank Amy Lawrence for her Best and Worst of the Season So Far in the Premier League.

Don't thank anyone for Juventus' sexist move with the unveiling of their new "reporter." Good grief.

Do thank Le Havre for considering bringing Adriano back to action. We miss the guy!

Lo Stadio San Paolo, Napoli, Italia

The Gentleman Ultra is back! We're graced with a guide to Napoli. Grazie, Gentleman!

Did you hear that The Diving German basically said that MLS doesn't provide as competitive an environment for top players as some European leagues? Well, duh. For some reason, MLS Commish Donny Garber is all upset. Too bad. Dem's the facts.

No comment.
Jonathan Wilson is a favorite scribe of ours. Today, he's looking at the state of football in Nigeria. Their manager has just been sacked after a chaotic few months since the World Cup.

Wait. What? Sid Lowe has a piece, too? Sweet. What's it about? It is 10 years since Messi’s first-team debut, but when he arrived at the Camp Nou, aged 13, securing a contract was not simple. But, wait! There's more! Sid also has 10 Magic Messi Moments. Great! Want more Messi? Here you go! Want more more Messi? Here you go go! Want more more more Messi? Here you go go go!

The African Cup of Nations is in trouble. Morocco are set to host but they've bailed due to Ebola fears. Not good.

In that note...



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Serbia vs. Albania Insanity, Ireland Draw With Germany, USA 1-1 Honduras

Yes, it's come to this.
Holy Christ. We thought we'd take some days off, but the shit hit the fan in Belgrade, Ireland grabbed a late draw with Germany, and the United States drew with Honduras. So, we're back. Let's hit it and quit it, beginning in Serbia...

Serbia vs. Albania: Abandoned

Now, then. There were a few matches that were actually completed. Played in full. We'll stick with Europe for the moment.

Germany 1 - 1 Republic of Ireland: Alan Smith at Stadion Gelsenkirchen
Poland 2 - 2 Scotland: Ewan Murray at the National Stadium

The U.S. of A. were in action down in Boca last night. Yes, the friendly confines of Florida Atlantic University's ground dished up a draw. BUT! Jozy Altidore scored. So, there's that. Check it:

USA 1 - 1 Honduras: Brian Strauss: Three Thoughts From FAU Stadium
USA 1 - 1 Honduras: Kevin McCauley: Three Things We Learned 

Our sentiments exactly...

This is interesting. Over 1,000 English fans flock to Dortmund for each of the their home matches. But, why? Cheaper? Better atmosphere? Oh.

Major League Soccer. The playoffs are coming up! Power Rankings? Bird's got 'em here.

And, finally: Dumbass.



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Taking A Few Days Off

It's tough, no doubt. But, we'll get through it. There are still qualifying matches being played by teams that will or will not (most that should, will) make it to Euro 2016. There are still friendlies being played around the world by teams filled with players who would rather not be playing for their country. And there are players playing for their country who are getting hurt.  With that said, we're going to keep things quiet for a while. We'll return when the time is right.



Friday, October 10, 2014

Spain Lose Again, The Joy of Six, Roy Keane Is Still Talking, The End of the Line for Landycakes

We'll miss you...

There goes another week, Peeps. The big news from yesterday was Spain's loss to Slovakia. It was their fourth defeat in six matches and their first qualifying defeat since 2006! As you would expect, Sid Lowe is all over it. And all over it even more. Gracias, El Sid!

Haven't gotten your fill of Roy Keane? Have no fear. Word on the street is...Keano thinks José Mourinho is disgraceful. So, there you have it.

Argentina vs. Brazil. It's never a friendly, right? For money some reason they are playing this one in Beijing. Smog alert! Tune in tomorrow (8:05am EDT on beIN Sports USA), and try to watch through the haze. Kaká is back in the Brazilian side for the first time in like, 17 years or something. Here's some additional info for that one.

Perfect conditions in Beijing for the big Brazil/Argentina clash...

The Joy of Six is...Rabonas! Yes, From the father of the trick to Angel di María (via David Dunn), we celebrate half a dozen players indulging themselves. di María! Woop!

Landon Donovan. He's a complex man in a simple game. So says that Rog guy, anyway. So, Lando gets his weird send-off tonight in Hartford (7pm EDT on ESPN). Here are some articles:

USA vs. Ecuador: Preview
USA vs. Ecuador: Preview II

Amy Lawrence is talking Serie A! How odd. She usually sticks to the English topics. Here's her headline: Italy’s ambition grows to resurrect glory days for Serie A clubs. Cool!

Paolo Bandini is talking MLS! How odd. He usually sticks to the Italian topics. Here's his headline: Thierry Henry v Jermain Defoe – a rivalry that travelled from north London to North America. Cool!

Enjoy the weekend!



Thursday, October 09, 2014

England vs. San Marino! Slovakia vs. Spain! Moldova vs. Austria!

Oh, dear. It truly is an international break and the reality of it all is beginning to sink in. Ugh. Well, let's see what we can make out of it all. OK, it looks like Jonathan Wilson has found something attractive. It's Romania vs. Hungary and something about Satan. That match isn't until Saturday, though. What else? You want a preview for the England match? No. You want 10 Things To Look Out For? Done. The Best of the Crap? Fine. A schedule? Really? OK. Geez. Enough of that, already.

Roy Keane. He's been keeping us in stitches with his new book. John Brewin has read it and calls it, "fascinating." We do say...

Jozy Altidore. Suffice to say, things have not gone well for the Yank Abroad at the Stadium of Light. And he wants out. January is coming...

Landon Donovan. His last USA match is tomorrow night against Ecuador up in Hartford. Grant Wahl goes RAPID FIRE! with the retiring SoCal bruh. Speaking of Lando, his assGalaxy are heading toward an epic battle with Seattle. At least, according to this article.

International minnows' professions at San Marino, Andorra and Faroe Islands. "Unemployed" for the win. Good stuff.

That's it! Enjoy the quiet.



Wednesday, October 08, 2014

More Fun With Roy Keane, More Racism, Mesut Özil Out 10-12 Weeks

How is it Hump Day already? It can't be possible, but it is. Well, we're into an international break (first victim? Mesut Özil!) so things are slow. Filling the gap, however, is good old Roy Keane. More of his book has been released and the quotes just keep coming. Enjoy!

The Suarez Selfie...

Tottenham sold Gareth Bale to Real Madrid for a lot of dough. They used said dough to buy a lot of players. Andy Glockner writes that some of those players purchased are beginning to prove their worth.

Bloody Hell. We missed this at the weekend but apparently Wellington faced a racially motivated onslaught in Romania. Thankfully, there appears to be some sanity in all of this as the person who threw the banana has apologized and hi and Wellington publicly addressed the issue. Hopefully someone will learn something from all of this crap. Christ.

How about a nice story? Carlton Palmer. Remember him? Decent midfielder for Wednesday and Leeds? Made the England squad at some point. He's currently teaching in Shanghai and doing quite well. Very nice.

For the most part, international football sucks. Paul Parker has some ideas to improve the game.

And of the all-time favorites here at SSN Headquarters, Gabriel Batistuta, was inducted into the Fiorentina Hall of Fame. Batigol!!