Friday, February 27, 2015

Spurs & Liverpool Out of Europe, More Crowd Trouble, Weekend Previews, League Cup Final, QPR Movie, Sex at the Valley

Ugh. Sorry, folks. There was some snow yesterday, and when it snows in the southern United States, people lose their shit. This loss of shit resulted in schools being closed and SSN Staff refusing to make their way to SSN Headquarters. They are weak and will be disciplined.  Anyway, you probably are well aware of Arsenal doing an Arsenal and completely embarrassing themselves. They lost to Monaco 1 - 3. In the other Champions League match on Wednesday, Atlético Madrid lost in Leverkusen. Now that we're up to speed, let's move on.

In Europe's secondary club competition, winners included Inter, Zenit St. Petersburg, Ajax, Besiktas, Fiorentina, Sevilla, Everton, and Roma. Losers included Tottenham, Liverpool, Celtic, Bilbao, Salzburg, Guingamp, and Feyenoord. Yes, more woe for English clubs in Europe. As you might expect, The Fourth Estate is having a field day (see more from Ronay and White below). Regardless, here's your lot from yesterday's fun:

Fiorentina 2 - 0 Tottenham: James Riach at the Stadio Artemio Franchi
Fiorentina 2 - 0 Tottenham: Three Thoughts
Besiktas 1 - 0 Liverpool: Andy Hunter at Ataturk Stadium
Besiktas 1 - 0 Liverpool: Three Thoughts

Woop!? Are Inter Milan finally turning it all around? Richard Hall investigates. Right. Richard Williams has an article about a film called R’Story. Apparently, it's about QPR fans. Check it out.

Dynamo Kiev fans fight...amongst themselves.

We've not had a The Joy of Six is far too long. Appropriately, ahead of Sunday's What's In Your Wallet Final Clash at Wembley, it's...League Cup Final Goals!

And with that, we'll delve into the action in England and Wales this weekend. The Premier League (Manchester City vs. Liverpool looks tasty) and the League Cup Final are on deck:

League Cup Final: Preview
League Cup Final: Key Battles

What the hell else is going on out there? Well, for one, Dunkin' Donuts executives made a big massive offensive error. Idiots. Charlton Athletic have an interesting way of promoting a pitch rental scheme. Six at the center circle? Uhhh, really? 

On that note...



Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Football Suspended in Greece, Barcelona Beat City, Juventus Edge Dortmund, Cannavaro Sentenced to 10 Months in Prison, Arsenal vs. Monaco, Bayer Leverkusen vs Atlético Madrid, Marina Hyde on Qatar

Stay classy, Feyenoord...

Hey Hey Hey! Hump Day! The two matches yesterday were quite good. Barcelona's total football was a joy to behold, Messi missed a penalty (twice), and Juventus showed some mettle in Turin. Here's all the loot from all of that:

Manchester City 1 - 2 Barcelona: Phil McNulty at the Etihad Stadium
Manchester City 1 - 2 Barcelona: Barney Ronay at the Etihad Stadium
Manchester City 1 - 2 Barcelona: Three Quick Thoughts
Manchester City 1 - 2 Barcelona: Five Talking Points
Juventus 2 - 1 Borussia Dortmund: Report
Juventus 2 - 1 Borussia Dortmund: Three Quick Thoughts

Dude. Don't swim in your pool if the cops tell you not to. Former Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro and his wife did just that, and he's been sentenced to 10 months in the slammer! Yikes!

Looks like SI has something called, "Under The Crest." Grant Wahl is trying to figure out Chelsea's identity. Hmmm. Looks like a stupid piece to try to garner more U.S. interest. You decide.

Oh, Qatar 2022. What a shit show you've become, and you're still years away. The always astute Marina Hyde is the latest to provide some perspective on the insanity.

Two more matches today, peeps. Look to London and Leverkusen for the ties. Here's all your preview information:

Arsenal vs. Monaco: Preview
Arsenal vs. Monaco: Preview II
Bayer Leverkusen vs Atlético Madrid: Preview
Bayer Leverkusen vs Atlético Madrid: Preview II

And finally...they can't even play anymore in Greece. Yes, it's come to that...



Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Manchester City vs. Barcelona, Juventus vs. Borussia Dortmund, Paolo on Parma, Winter World Cup

Oooooo. Manchester City vs. Barcelona. That should be nice, right? Get to that TV at 2:45 EST this afternoon (Fox Sports 1 USA) and soak it all in. Here are some previews of today's Champions League matches:

Manchester City vs. Barcelona: Preview
Manchester City vs. Barcelona: Preview II
Matthew Stanger: Messi back to his best 
Juventus vs. Borussia Dortmund: Preview
Juventus vs. Dortmund: Preview II
Adam Bate: Are Dortmund back?

Over in Italy, Inter Milan beat Zola's Cagliari side 2 - 1. Here are Five Key Points from that island encounter. Napoli also won. Here's a panino.

Scribe Time! Travel the globe! Well, sadly, today it's just Europe...

Where? Italy. Who? Jonathan Jurejko. What? Time is running out for Parma

Where? Germany. Who? Andy Brassell. What? Stuttgart starting to lose hope at the bottom

Where? France. Who? Julien Laurens. What? Wenger's reunion with Monaco dredges up unpleasant memories

Where? Italy. Who? Paolo Bandini. What? Parma’s downfall pains a city and its people 

Oh, this is fabulous: Burnley boss Sean Dyche breaks down Jose Mourinho's 'four moments'. Take that, Jose! Paul Parker's got more on Chelsea here. He (rightly) claims that Chelsea will never be champions off the pitch with The Special One in charge. And how about this? Can we just stop talking about referees altogether? Thank you.

Podcast! This week it's...AC Jimbo is back, back, back - and on today's Football Weekly, he's joined by Barry Glendenning, Paul MacInnes and Nick Ames to laud Liverpool, bravo Burnley and salute Spurs as we look back on the best and worst of the weekend in the Premier League. Plus, we look forward to Manchester City's visit from Barcelona in the Champions League with Sid Lowe, as well as the second legs of the Europa League's round of 32. Finally, we get nostalgic for the Football Italia days as we ponder the fate of poor old' Parma, who find themselves well and truly on the brink.

Bloody hell. In an (failed) attempt to save face, it looks like SPECTRE FIFA will hold it's Qatar World Cup during the "winter." Idiots. Idiots. Idiots. Anyway, Owen Gibson is on hand to off the when, why and what of a winter Qatar tournament. And Dan Roan is wondering if conditions have improved for all the laborers imported by Qatar to make the stupid thing happen.

On most Tuesdays, we visit with Gabriele Marcotti for his musings. This Tuesday is no different. Today, Gab's gabbing about...Barca no longer control their Liga fate; Mourinho's siege mentality; Parma woe.

And finally...The Athens Derby, or, The Eternal Derby, turned chaotic over the weekend. Enjoy the mayhem.



Monday, February 23, 2015

Premier League Madness, Barcelona Lose at Home, Another Goalfest for Bayern, Parma's Problems

Whoa Nellie! Another doozy of a weekend of footy, eh? Barcelona lost at Camp Nou, Matic lost his head at Stamford Bridge and Chelsea lost two points, The Special One went off the tracks on Sky Sports, Joey Barton did an excellent Joey Barton imitation, Bayern Munich scored six goals, Spurs got a late penalty miss/follow-up from Big Daddy Kane to snatch a point from West Ham, Liverpool slid past Southampton in a deluge at St. Mary's, there was too much rain to play the Genoa Derby, and Manchester United lost at Swansea. Attack!

Peter Berlin: EPL Notes
Chelsea 1 - 1 Burnley: Paul Doyle at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea 1 - 1 Burnley: Three Observations
Swansea City 2 - 1 Manchester United: Joe Lovejoy at the Liberty Stadium
Swansea City 2 - 1 Manchester United: Three Observations
Crystal Palace 1 - 2 Arsenal: Jacob Steinberg at Selhurst Park
Crystal Palace 1 - 2 Arsenal: Three Quick Observations
Manchester City 5 - 0 Newcastle: Chris Bevan at the Etihad Stadium
Tottenham 2 - 2 West Ham: Dominic Raynor at White Hart Lane
Tottenham 2 - 2 West Ham: David Hytner at White Hart Lane
Tottenham 2 - 2 West Ham: Three Thoughts

We noted above that Barcelona lost at home this weekend. Here are Five Things We Learned in La Liga, and here's a wee review. More tomorrow from El Sid.

The rain in Italy falls mainly in Genoa...

Over in Italy, no go in Genoa, and although Totti scored for Roma, they fell further behind Juventus. Matches today in Serie A include Napoli vs. Sussudio and Cagliari vs. Inter. More tomorrow with Paolo. He'll also give us more insight into the sad situation at Parma.

Since we're in Europe, how about a European Team of the Week? Lovely. Wait. Massimo Maccarone?!?!

Look! Arsenal play Monaco on Wednesday. Here's a great piece on Arsene Wenger's time in Monaco. What a coincidence.

Back to the EPL for a second: How to replace the near-indispensable Nemanja Matic? Yes, how will Chelsea do it?

That's a nice run for a Monday. We'll see you tomorrow with scribes and Champions League previews.



Friday, February 20, 2015

Europa League Fun, Idiots in Rome, Southampton vs. Liverpool, Tottenham vs. West Ham, Sampdoria vs. Genoa, Winter World Cup 2022

Feyenoord "fans" in Rome...

There goes another one, folks. Snow, frigid temps, ice, all that crap. Makes it easier to watch matches, though, don't it? Sadly, some Feyenoord "supporters" weren't as interested in watching their team face Roma as they were in trashing the Eternal City. Idiots.

Meanwhile, good on Chelsea for responding to what their "fans" did in Paris. It's nice to be able to agree with The Special One every once in a while...

Back to the action on the pitch, though, right? Tottenham vs. Fiorentina was a dandy. End to end stuff with a cracker from Soldado. It finished 1 - 1. James Riach was at White Hart Lane and filed this report. Over at Anfield, Super Mario snatched the ball from Jordan Henderson and converted the penalty kick to give Liverpool the win over Besiktas. Andy Hunter was at Anfield and filed this report. Over in Bern Lukaku grabbed a hat-trick and Everton cruised past Young Boys. We think Mike Whalley was at Stade de Suisse. Regardless, he filed this report. Celtic vs. Inter Milan looked like it was fairly exciting. That finished 3 - 3. Here's a review of all of yesterday's fun.

It all begs the question: Does a run in the Europa League damage a team's chances in the Premier League?

Take a look at this. It would appear that Spurs will be able to build a new stadium now that Archway Sheet Metal Works has had (and lost) its day in court. Will a new ground allow Tottenham to be London's next big power, or will it be West Ham instead? Either way, Jim White thinks Pochettino is the perfect man to lead Spurs into the future.

After a bit of a break on behalf of the FA Cup, the Premier League will resume normal service tomorrow. Here's your prep:

We should tackle the other top leagues in Europe while we're at it. Germany? Ja. Italy? . Spain?

Good Week? Bad Week? Who had which?

And looks like 2022 in Qatar will be in the winter. That'll be interesting. Enjoy the weekend.



Thursday, February 19, 2015

Champions League, Europa League, More on the Paris Racism

Good Day! The matches in Europe yesterday were a bit flat. Real Madrid brushed aside Schalke without much fanfare, while Basel and Porto drew 1 - 1. Here's some info on everything Champions League:

Real Madrid 2 - 0 Schalke: Three Points
Basel 1 - 1 Porto: Three Things We Learned

Liverpool have improved of late. Why? John Brewin takes a look.

David Conn's piece hadn't hit the webs when we focused on the behavior of the idiots in Paris yesterday. He's too good a scribe to leave out. Here. And, look! Old SSN Pal Jeff Bradley (yes, Bob's brother) has an article, as well. He's concerned about the growing U.S. supporter culture and hopeful that fans can maintain some perspective. More? Here: Football and racism: An inconvenient truth.

There's more European action today. It's in the form of Europa League matches. We know, we know, but there are a few decent ties out there. Liverpool host Besiktas, Spurs face Fiorentina, Everton and those Young Boys, Celtic vs. Inter... Here's the lowdown on Europe's secondary competition.

Copa Libertadores is underway down in South America. Here's a wrap of what's happened so far.

Back in Europe, what's up with The Zlatan and PSG? Ace scribe Jonathan Wilson claims they are killing each other's buzz.

OK! That's fine for now.



Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Idiots in Paris, Champions League, Scribes

There's really no other place to begin today but in Paris. Some individuals with two legs attempting to pass as human beings proudly displayed their idiocy. Here's the fallout:

Geez. Anyway, they actually played two games in the Champions League yesterday. They were both draws. Here's your lot.

PSG 1 - 1 Chelsea: Three Observations
PSG 1 - 1 Chelsea: Five Talking Points
PSG 1 - 1 Chelsea: Five Things We Learned
Shakhtar Donetsk 0 - 0 Bayern Munich: Report
Shakhtar Donetsk's 0-0 Bayern Munich: Three Quick Thoughts

European play continues today with Schalke vs. Real Madrid and Basel vs. Porto.

We were closed yesterday and missed Scribes. We know it's already Wednesday, but these guys are too good to pass up.

Where? Brazil. Who? Tim Vickery. What? All eyes on Sao Paulo as 2015 Libertadores groups kick off

Where? Italy. Who? James Horncastle. What? Inter's Mancini returning club's sense of historical importance

Falcao. He's been rather shit at United, no? Chris Bevan is wondering if his time is already up. Sticking with United, Wayne Rooney is purported to have apologized for his dive the other night. What a guy.

That'll do. Back on the horse.



Tuesday, February 17, 2015

We're Closed

Unbelievable. We get a dusting of snow, a little ice, and nobody shows up at SSN Headquarters. It's a big day, too! Scribes, the Champions League returns, Rooney dives again, and much more!

Oh, well. We'll try tomorrow.


Monday, February 16, 2015

Bayern Hit Eight, Atlético Madrid Lose, FA Cup, The Zlatan Tats, Cologne "Fans"

Happy Monday! No huge upsets in the FA Cup over the weekend. Bradford continued their fine run, but considering the opposition was Sunderland, it's not too surprising. In Spain, Atlético Madrid fell off the pace after a loss at Celta Vigo. City rivals Real were victorious against Deportivo La Coruña, but didn't look particularly impressive. Meanwhile, Messi went nuts again, and Barcelona slotted five past Levante. In Germany, Borussia Dortmund are out of the Drop Zone after a win, and in Italy, well, blah. Juventus and Roma both drew, Milan were poor, you know the scenario. Let's get to it.

Crystal Palace 1 - 2 Liverpool: Three Observations
Derby County 1 - 2 Reading: Richard Rae at the iPro Stadium
Aston Villa 2 - 1 Leicester City: Stuart James at Villa Park
Arsenal 2 - 0 Middlesbrough: Amy Lawrence at the Emirates Stadium
Arsenal 2 - 0 Middlesbrough: Three Observations

We haven't done The Big Interview in a while. Frankly, there haven't been too many subjects of interest. Not so this week. It's everyone's favorite Patrick Stewart look-a-like, Arjen Robben. Sticking with German football, Kirsten Schlewitz has this love letter to the Bundesliga. She likes goals, apparently.

Spain. We need a bit more on that. Here are Three Things about Real Madrid's win, and here are Five Things We Learned in La Liga this weekend. More tomorrow with El Sid.

How weird is this? Bizarre scenes at Borussia Moenchengladbach's stadium. Idiots.

More oddness, this time courtesy of SSN Favorite, The Zlatan. He scored against Caen and removed his shirt to reveal several tattoos. Here's the story.

There's one more FA Cup match this week. It goes down tonight. Preston North End vs. Manchester United. Here's your preview.

That"s your lot to start the week. Scribes and Champions League tomorrow!



Friday, February 13, 2015

The FA Cup Fifth Round, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, Cairo Massacre

Put that one in the books. Another week is gone and we're lucky enough to have some matches to view this weekend. It's nice when there is stuff happening during the week, though. There were some good ones on Tuesday and Wednesday. Anyhoo, let's jump into it, beginning with the next round of the FA Cup.

Why is the Premier League so popular? Many reasons, really. Richard Williams writes that one of them is the promise of drama in the technical area.

The battle for the Champions League is tight this year. Michael Cox looks at each competing club's chances for the coveted third and fourth spots.

Bundesliga? Preview. La Liga? Preview. Serie A? Preview

Football's rich owners are destroying the game. Duh.

We noted earlier in the week that football and violence had tragically come together yet again, this time with multiple deaths in Egypt. Today, The Guardian's Patrick Kingsley reports from Cairo with additional information and background.

Action will resume in Argentina soon. Sam Kelly is on it, thankfully. There have been some format changes. More Superclásicos!

We've always had a soft spot for Xabi Alonso. He seems like a good guy and plays the game in a very attractive manner. That's why, today, we'll link to his dream Champions League XI.

And finally...there was this nice little piece in The Atlantic recently about how Messi and Ronaldo are the greatest soccer players in history. No argument here.