Tuesday, September 23, 2014

What's In Your Wallet?, Quinton Fortune on South Africa 2010, David Conn on Chelsea and Third Party Ownership, Scribes, Mid-Week Euro Action, Great Gattuso Rant

From League Cup debuts to stardom...
A very fine Tuesday to you and yours. We're going to jump right in with our favorite section of the week...Scribes! As you might expect, there's loads of great stuff this week on the heels of all the goals in Spain and the drama in Italy.

We always liked Quinton Fortune as a player. He seemed like a nice guy when he was plying his trade at Atlético Madrid, Manchester United, and Bolton. Anyhoo, he's from South Africa, and he's penned a piece on his nation's state post-2010. Enjoy.

Podcast! On today's Football Weekly we've got own motley crew – Messrs Richardson, Macintosh, Steinberg and Ronay, since you asked – and they're talking goals, goals, goals, because there were a ton of them this weekend. Literally. We start with the shenanigans at the King Power Stadium, where Leicester spanked Manchester United 5-3, before contemplating Liverpool's continuing awfulness at West Ham, and Frank Lampard's non-celebration after rescuing a point for Manchester City against former love Chelsea. Plus, there's a bumper European round-up, including an 8-2 win for Real Madrid, an 83-metre screamer in the Bundesliga, and news from our friend Michiel Jongsma from benefoot.net about the strange goings-on at Alkmaar amid tales of Marco van Basten's poor health.

Tuesday also means Gabriele Marcotti's musings. This week, Gab is gabbing about Pellegrini, Mourinho 'spar' after draw; Real's misleading win; Milan's spirit.

Chelsea. They're a sketchy, club, right? Even if you support them, you have to admit it. Abromovich, right? Well, David Conn has got this going on today: Chelsea stake in third-party ownership leaves Premier League on shaky ground -- TPO has been banned in England since the Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano furore but not, it appears, at Chelsea.

We've got Third Round Capital One Cup action today. Arsenal host Southampton, Liverpool host Boro, and Swansea host Everton, among others. Here's a wee preview.

We've got La Liga action today. Real Madrid host Elche (bless you). Here's a wee preview.

We've got Serie A action today. Empoli host AC Milan. Here's a wee preview.

We've got Bundesliga action today. Giants Bayern Munich host league-leading minnows SC Paderborn, and Werder Bremen host Schalke, among others. Here's a wee preview.

Woop! That's it.



Monday, September 22, 2014

Real Madrid Net Eight, Lampard Goal = Man City & Chelsea Draw, Leicester Shock Man United, Juventus Edge Milan

It simply had to be, right?

Holy Insanity, Batman! What a weekend! You could not have written the script better for Super Frank Lampard as Chelsea's all-time leading goal scorer, on loan to Manchester City from New York City FC, comes on as a late sub and scores the tying goal to deny Chelsea a victory at the Etihad. Similarly, down 1-3 to Manchester United after 62 minutes, few would have predicted a Leicester City Comeback/Manchester United Meltdown that would result in a final score of 5-3 to the home side. Wow. Oh, and Real Madrid put eight past Deportivo de La Coruña, West Ham beat Liverpool, and Crystal Palace won at Everton. Let's get to the reports and analysis, beginning in England.

Peter Berlin: EPL Notes
West Ham 3 - 1 Liverpool: Dominic Fifield at Upton Park
Leicester City 5 - 3 Manchester United: Stuart James at King Power Stadium
Manchester City 1 - 1 Chelsea: Phil McNulty at the Etihad Stadium
Manchester City 1 - 1 Chelsea: Daniel Taylor at the Etihad Stadium

Let's move on to the Continent, shall we? In particular, Spain and Italy. Here are Five Things we learned in La Liga this weekend. Not enough? OK, La Liga and Serie A weekend roundups. More? Fine. Here's some additional Serie A where Juventus won at Milan and Roma cruised past Cagliari. More tomorrow with the Scribes!

There was action in the United States this weekend. What did we learn? We learned at the very least Five Things. Power Rankings? Yes, Jeff Carlisle can provide those.

Not terribly pleased with Pardew...

This is pretty great. A lot of German footy fans are not pleased that Red Bull's RB Leipzig was created simply to market the brand in 2009. Supporter input and influence are not encouraged, and the team operates more or less solely as a marketing wing of Red Bull. This weekend in Berlin, Leipzig were met with 15 minutes of silence from 20,000 Union Berlin fans.

The Guardian is taking a very close look at Jorge Mendes: From Diego Costa to Angel di María, the Portuguese super agent is responsible for the biggest deals in football but is also in apparent breach of Fifa regulations.

Like a rock...not.
Good grief! We'd better terminate things there.



Thursday, September 18, 2014

Bayern Edge City, Schalke Shock Chelsea, Roma Run Riot On & Off the Pitch, Ole Gunnar Out at Cardiff, Jonathan Wilson on Alejandro Sabella

Due to reader complaints, our usual Schalke fan has been replaced. For today...
Right! Talk around SSN Headquarters yesterday was about how many Chelsea would put past Schalke. Cut to the chase: none of us were correct. No, nobody in the office guessed the game would end 1-1. Elsewhere, Bayern Munich controlled their affair with Manchester City but couldn't score until late. That's all it takes, though. Barcelona knows it. They could only manage one at home against Apoel Nicosia. And it was a Pique header! PSG and Ajax? 1-1. Roma went all nutty on CSKA Moscow to the tune of 6-1, while Porto did them one better with their 6-0 victory over BATE. Also going nutty were the Roma and CSKA supports. Both clubs could be in trouble after violence broke out inside and outside the Stadio Olimpico. Here's the lowdown from last night and the matchday in general:

Bayern Munich 1 - 0 Manchester City: Daniel Taylor at Allianz Arena
Chelsea 1 - 1 Schalke: Dominic Fifield at Stamford Bridge
Roma 5 - 1 CSKA Moscow: Report

Crowd trouble in Rome.
Poor Ye 'Ole Gunnar. Everyone's favorite Norwegian baby-faced assassin lasted less than nine months in charge of Cardiff. He's stepped down. Good effort, though.

Jonathan Wilson is a favorite scribe of ours. Today he's looking to answer this question: Where next for Alejandro Sabella? The manager left his post with Argentina after the World Cup final and is in search of a new gig.

The Europa League is today, but it's so early, we really can't be bothered to provide any previews. We'll take a look tomorrow and see if anything happened of note. OK? Good.

Uhh, Major League Soccer unveiled a new logo. So, you know. Big news.

Hey! That'll do for today.



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dortmund Defeat Shambolic Arsenal, Liverpool Leave it Late to Beat Bulgarian Minnows, Seattle Win U.S. Open Cup, Bayern Munich vs. Manchester City

Is it Hump Day already? Geez. Well, in Champions League action yesterday, Arsenal had a night in Europe to forget as Dortmund easily brushed them off the pitch. They only scored two but it could easily have been five or six. Elsewhere, Real Madrid did score five to cruise past Basel, and Liverpool barely survived a scare at Anfield against Ludogorets Razgrad. Here's your lot from Tuesday's European fixtures:

Borussia Dortmund 2 - 0 Arsenal: Henry Winter at the Westfalenstadion
Borussia Dortmund 2 - 0 Arsenal: Daniel Taylor at the Westfalenstadion
Liverpool 2 - 1 Ludogorets Razgrad: Richard Jolly at Anfield
Liverpool 2 - 1 Ludogorets Razgrad: Paul Wilson at Anfield
Real Madrid 5 - 1 Basel: Sid Lowe at the Bernabéu

Back in the USA, Seattle won the U.S. Open Cup thanks to a Clint Dempsey goal. Bird has Three Thoughts.

Talking Points! Let's look back at the weekend one last time: European football returned this weekend and there were twists and turns in every domestic league. With transfer deadline signings suited up for their new clubs and squads refreshed following the extended international break, there were plenty of movers and shakers in the league tables across Europe.

Chelsea vs. Schalke: Preview
Bayern Munich vs. Manchester City: Preview I
Bayern Munich vs. Manchester City: Preview II

That's it!



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Champions League Begins, Scribes, U.S. Open Cup Final, Keeper’s Water Bottle Spiked With Urine

Hello Hello Hello! What a day we have! So much to get through, so let's roll. Monday Night Football finished 2-2 between Hull City and West Ham. The highlight was the Hammers' new man Enner Valencia's cracker of a strike. Richard Gibson was at the KC Stadium.

The Champions League Group Stage gets going today. Let's begin with some general previews and thoughts ahead of this year's competition prior to diving into this week's action. Here:

Five Key Questions for 2014-15. 

OK! Now that's done, what's up today? Obviously, Arsenal's trip to Dortmund is grabbing the headlines since those two clubs are rather large, it must be said. Oh, and Liverpool host something called Ludogorets Razgrad after five years of Champions League exile. Interesting...

Borussia Dortmund vs. Arsenal: Preview I
Borussia Dortmund vs. Arsenal: Preview II
Liverpool vs. Ludogorets Razgrad: Preview I
Liverpool vs. Ludogorets Razgrad: Preview II
Liverpool vs. Ludogorets Razgrad: Preview III
Real Madrid vs. Basel: Preview

What the hell is going on at Newcastle? Barry Glendenning takes a gander at the chaos at St. James' Park.

The U.S. Open Cup Final is also today (7:30 pm EDT on GolTV). Here's all you need to know about that illustrious competition and a preview of the match itself featuring Seattle vs. Philly. Sticking with the U.S., Bird has his MLS honors from the weekend and Jeff Carlisle has his weekend review and Power Rankings.

Would it make a difference?
Scribe Time! In-depth analysis of the action around the globe. Sadly, just Europe this week. For some reason nobody is writing about South America.

Where? Germany. Who? Adam Bate. What? Kagawa is back where he belongs

Where? Spain. Who? Guillem Balague. What? Madrid need to be more adaptable and show intensity

Where? Germany. Who? Raphael Honigstein. What? Hamburg in a familiar position while Schalke’s crisis deepens

It is Tuesday, so that means it is also time for Marcotti's musings. This week, Gabriele is gabbing about Real Madrid's self-inflicted issues, Man Utd's evolution, and Barca's bright start.

And finally...there's this: Swiss Football Shaken By Truly Disgusting Scandal After Goalkeeper’s Water Bottle Spiked With Urine.



Monday, September 15, 2014

No More Gus Johnson, Real Madrid 1-2 Atlético Madrid, Arsenal 2-2 Manchester City, Inter Milan 7-0 Sassuolo, Liverpool 0-1 Aston Villa, Parma 4-5 AC Milan, Big Interview = Thomas Müller, Monday Night Football

Where's Waldo Welbeck?
All right! We were pretty excited going into the weekend because it looked pretty damn good on paper. Isn't lovely when the paper is correct? An enthralling draw at the Emirates, Chelsea's attacking machine, Atlético's win over Real, Inter's annihilation again of Sass, Manchester United's new boys changing the mood, Parma and AC Milan in a thriller, there was so much great action. Perhaps the greatest action, however, was Gus Johnson's decision to step down as Fox Sports' lead soccer announcer. While we understand and sympathize with the difficulties in his personal life, we also don't care for his presence on our televisions during soccer matches. Now, let's move on to the Premier League and all the fallout from the weekend:

Arsenal 2 - 2 Manchester City: Daniel Taylor at the Emirates Stadium
Arsenal 2 - 2 Manchester City: Phil McNulty at the Emirates Stadium
Chelsea 4 - 2 Swansea City: Dominic Fifield at Stamford Bridge
Liverpool 0 - 1 Aston Villa: Chris Bevan at Anfield
Manchester United 4 - 0 QPR: Five Talking Points

No shortage of drama in Spain, where Atlético Madrid went to the Bernabéu and beat Real. Was Sid Lowe there? Duh. Here's his report. And here's a wee weekend review. We'll have more on Spain from El Sid tomorrow.


No shortage of drama in Italy, where Inter Milan pasted Sussudio Sassuolo yet again (!) and AC Milan edged Parma in a thriller. Here's a wee weekend review. We'll have more on Italy with Paolo Bandini tomorrow.

Oooo. We've got a Big Interview to begin the week. It's Raphael Honigstein asking the questions and it's Thomas Müller providing the answers.

The complete package (ahem) for Diego...
As if all that excitement from the weekend wasn't enough, there's Monday Night Football to enjoy today! Yes, indeed. Big Sam and his boys head up to Hull to face Mrs. Doubtfire and his Tigers of Hull. Here'a preview. Want to watch? Great! Go to NBCSN at 3pm EDT and you'll be all set.

And finally...Thomas Vermaelen can't park his car.



Friday, September 12, 2014

Real Madrid vs. Atlético Madrid, Arsenal vs. Manchester City, Chelsea vs. Swansea, This Weekend In Europe, Top Tenner, The Joy of Six, The Gentleman Ultra

Rainbow laces outside Arsenal Station...
And there goes another (LONG) one, folks! Finally, finally, the weekend has arrived and with it a plethora of wonderful watching opportunity. Loads to get through today, so let's jump off in England, shall we?

50-50 Challenge: Arsenal vs. Manchester City
Chelsea or Swansea: Who will win?

PODCAST! Praise be, proper football is back, and on today's Football Weekly Extraaaaaa, AC Jimbo has Barry Glendenning, Jonathan Wilson and Simon Burnton to bring out the bunting. We preview all the big games this weekend, including Arsenal v Manchester City, Aston Villa's trip to Liverpool and the top of the table clash between Chelsea and Swansea. Next, we head to the Championship, where leaders Nottingham Forest host Derby, and a number of former players are talking themselves up as potential managers of Leeds. Well, someone has to. Finally, we wave goodbye to those pesky European Championship qualifiers by hearing from Stefán Snær Ágústsson about why Iceland may just be the team to watch on the road to France 2016 - and why you can't call your children Harriet or Duncan in Reykjavik.

Would you look at this? Barcelona will drop their regular home kit in exchange for Catalan colors against Athletic Bilbao tomorrow. That's a first. What else is on tap in La Liga? Here are some previews:
Madrid Derby: Preview
Champions vs. Champions: Real Madrid vs. Atlético Madrid

Top Tenner is...Memorable Player Debuts! Good stuff. The Joy of Six is...Football Streaks! Good stuff.

Woo Hoo! The Gentleman Ultra is back! This time, his Serie A Alternative Guide is...AC Milan! Enjoy! Also, please enjoy this Serie A Weekend Preview.

They are still playing top flight football in this country, don't you know? Here are Five Things To Look Out For in MLS. And here's a preview for the weekend's Stateside action.

Key TV
Arsenal vs. Manchester City - 7:45am EDT - NBCSN
Chelsea vs. Swansea City - 10am EDT - NBCSN
Barcelona vs. Athletic Bilbao - 10am EDT - beIN Sports USA
Boldmere St. Michaels vs Bedworth United - 10am EDT - None
Real Madrid vs Atlético Madrid - 2pm EDT - beIN Sports USA

Manchester United vs. Queens Park Rangers - 11am EDT - NBCSN
Parma vs. AC Milan - 2:45pm EDT - beIN Sports USA

That'll do it, folks! Enjoy the action. 



Thursday, September 11, 2014

Five Best Soccer Mascots, Almost Weekend Previews

Alex Song arrives for training at West Ham...


Yesterday's post discussed the problems Spurs are having with their new stadium plans. So, what exactly are their options in terms of stadia when they can't play at home? Miguel Delaney breaks it down like this.

God, it's slow. We don't really want to get into previews for the weekend today. A lot can change in 24 hours. That said, here are some nice and easy vids for La Liga (Who will win the Madrid Derby?!), Serie A (Fernando Torres in Milan!), and Ligue Uhhhhhhh (Can Lyon stop the rot against Monaco?!). Speaking of Torres, you better believe Milan have high hopes for their new boy. Can he turn back the clock and find his form? Speaking of the Madrid Derby, here are Five Classic Madrid Derby Moments. How convenient is that?

God it's slow. The Five Best Soccer Mascots? Sure. Why not?

Napoli's third jersey: Feel the denim

Yank Abroad Brek Shea has been loaned (by Stoke) to Birmingham City. Good luck to him. May he actually see some playing time.

One dude who is looking ahead to the weekend is Richard Jolly. He's got his eyes on the Arsenal/Man City clash and considers the attacking options for both sides.

That'll do until tomorrow when we can really dig into the weekend's fixtures.



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tottenham Stadium Delay, Euro 2016 Wrap-Up, Suárez To Play El Clásico, Amy Lawrence On Acclimation, Tim Vickery On Uruguay's Next Generation

It's Hump Day, peeps! And that means the international break is OVER! Good riddance. Let's get back to some proper footie, shall we? OK, before we do that, we probably should look back at what we learned, what happened, yadda yadda. Here are 10 Talking Points from the week's action. And, just what have we learned? Besides the fact that The Czechs beat The Dutch, that is.

Spelling is hard...
Tottenham want a new ground. They need a new ground. They won't have a new ground for a while. To make matters worse for Spurs fans, it looks delays also mean their side will have to play a season away from home.

Tim Vickery is a favorite of ours. He's been submitting articles about South American soccer from his base in Rio for years. Today, he's taking a look at Uruguay's next generation. José María Giménez, anyone?

Amy Lawrence is also a favorite of ours. Today, she examines the difficulties foreign players often have when adapting to life in England. In her piece, David Ginola talks about moving from Paris to Newcastle: "On my first day in Newcastle I went for a drive around town with my wife and said, 'This is where we are going to live.' I realised what an enormous step I had taken when my wife started crying in my arms in the car."

Michael Cox is a tactics man. Today, he's looking ahead to Saturday and Sunday (aren't we all?) and wondering how Falcao, Welbeck, and Ben Arfa will fit into their new sides. Tactically speaking, of course.

Good luck with that one, Liverpool brass.

October 25th, people. That's the day of the next Clásico. It'll be in Madrid and a certain Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz will be available to dig into the action. Step up to the plate, as it were. Sample the local fare. Chew the fat with his new Barcelona teammates. What fun for him. Let's hope he can step away for a moment mentally and digest the enormity of the occasion. Cough. It'll be at 12pm EST on beIN Sports USA. Now you know.

And finally...no Messi for you!