Friday, October 19, 2007
Beasley, who signed with Rangers from Dutch club PSV Eindhoven during the offseason after spending the previous campaign on loan at Manchester City, is gearing up for his first Old Firm game. Nothing he has experienced in his career so far can prepare him fully for the experience, but just living in Glasgow for the past four months has given him a taste of the level of feeling the matches inspire.
The Liverpool Derby is the highlight of the weekend as Liverpool travel to Goodison Park. Elsewhere Manchester United face a tricky trip to Villa while table toppers Arsenal are at home to Bolton.
Fast Eddie's Hot Tips: Goal.com’s exclusive guide to this weekend's Premier League matches for those who like to back informed hunches with a flutter for an extra dash of excitement - and the possibility that the football results will deliver more than three points...
EPL Team News
Aston Villa v Man Utd (1715 BST)
I have seen Villa play on a couple of occasions and they seem to lack a cutting edge, even though they have got some good players.
United, on the other hand, have multiple threats going forward and striker Wayne Rooney seems much happier.
Earlier on they were winning by the odd goal and the hallmark of a good side is when they win without playing particularly well but I think we could have a shock here and feel that Villa might just trip them up.
I want people to stop blaming the manager and have a right good look at what the players are doing. Steve will have asked them to do things and the bottom line is they didn't do them well enough.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Deservedly leading 1-0 through Wayne Rooney’s spectacular first-half goal, England were on course to earn a famous victory at the Luzhniki Stadium and secure qualification for next summer’s finals in Switzerland and Austria with a match to spare. But then a series of lapses of concentration – starting with what McClaren called a “disgraceful” penalty award against Rooney for a foul that appeared to be committed outside the 18-yard area – turned the game on its head.
Georgia 2 - 0 Scotland
Football historians may well remember this depressing night for Scotland in Tbilisi as the Curse of the Maroon Strip. Wearing an unlikely all-maroon garb for purely commercial reasons, Scotland fell to a fledgling Georgia team peppered with teenagers in a gruesome 90 minutes that Alex McLeish, the manager, will want to forget as quickly as possible.
Germany 0 - 3 Czech Republic
Czech Republic secured a place at Euro 2008 when they thumped already-qualified Germany 3-0 in Group D on Wednesday.
France 2 - 0 Lithuania
Thierry Henry broke Michel Platini's national goalscoring record and put France on the brink of Euro 2008 qualification by grabbing a late double against Lithuania in a one-sided Group B clash in Nantes.
Kazakhstan 1 - 2 Portugal
Portugal's Ariza Makukula and Cristiano Ronaldo gave them a 2-1 win over Kazakhstan in their Euro 2008 Group A qualifier on Wednesday. Portugal, who move within a point of group leaders Poland, went ahead in the 84th minute when substitute Makukula headed home Ricardo Quaresma's right-wing cross.
Turkey 0 - 1 Greece
European champions Greece qualified for next year's tournament with a 1-0 away win over Turkey on Wednesday courtesy of a 79th-minute goal from Ioannis Amanatidis.
Wrap of Wednesday's Action Around the World
And Recaps of Each Euro2008 Qualifying Match
Who Needs to Do What
As the American players walked off the field after their 1-0 win over Switzerland Wednesday night, the smiles on their faces said it all. Their five-game losing streak was over. A rare victory in Europe had been achieved, and in the process, several young players gave some tantalizing signs of future success. But what probably put the biggest smile on head coach Bob Bradley's face was the means by which the win was accomplished, because at the heart of the American triumph was a solid defensive effort.
U.S. Player Ratings
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Kevin McCarra: Scotland are once again a formidable team, but let's hope their wonderful run will not end now expectations are high.
"FIFA is confident progress is on track and going the right way," FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke said after a board meeting of the local organizing committee.
Freddy Adu has been mainly a spectator with Benfica since arriving in Europe.
The 18-year-old American transferred to the Portuguese club last summer from Real Salt Lake and has played just 64 minutes over 2 1/2 months, appearing twice as a substitute. Now he's training with the U.S. national team ahead of Wednesday night's exhibition game at Switzerland.
The kiss of death?? -Sanford
The United States faces Switzerland on Wednesday with coach Bob Bradley looking to rediscover the winning touch as he nears one year in charge. Bradley, who took charge of the team on an interim basis in December before getting the job permanently in May, went 10-0-1 in his first 11 games, but has now seen the Stars and Stripes lose five straight since winning the Gold Cup final in July.
2:30 pm Eastern on FSC
Through the middle of summer, the Galaxy found the heat from the giant spotlight trained on Southern California to monitor David Beckham's arrival to be too much for them. As a unit, L.A. wilted. Accusations in the British press that Beckham had joined an outfit that possessed no more quality than a "pub team" were cruel, but by stumbling through a dismal six-game losing streak, coach Frank Yallop's players unintentionally provided their detractors with extra ammunition.
Bolton have parted company with manager Sammy Lee "by mutual consent", having taken just five points from their first nine Premier League games. The club's general manager Frank McParland, who joined Bolton in the summer from Liverpool, has also left.
And he wins the sack race...because Jose doesn't count. -Sanford
And another summary of where we are at this point...
Qualifying round - Match kick-offs are listed in Central European Time:
|17/10||Grp E||Russia||17:00||England||More »|
|17/10||Grp B||Ukraine||18:00||Faroe Islands||More »|
|17/10||Grp C||Malta||19:30||Moldova||More »|
|17/10||Grp D||Republic of Ireland||20:30||Cyprus||More »|
|17/10||Grp F||Liechtenstein||20:00||Iceland||More »|
|17/10||Grp F||Denmark||20:00||Latvia||More »|
|17/10||Grp A||Kazakhstan||16:00||Portugal||More »|
|17/10||Grp E||F.Y.R. Macedonia||20:00||Andorra||More »|
|17/10||Grp D||San Marino||20:15||Wales||More »|
|17/10||Grp G||Luxembourg||20:15||Romania||More »|
|17/10||Grp G||Netherlands||20:30||Slovenia||More »|
|17/10||Grp C||Turkey||19:30||Greece||More »|
|17/10||Grp C||Bosnia-Herzegovina||20:30||Norway||More »|
|17/10||Grp F||Sweden||20:30||Northern Ireland||More »|
|17/10||Grp D||Germany||20:45||Czech Republic||More »|
|17/10||Grp A||Belgium||20:45||Armenia||More »|
|17/10||Grp G||Albania||20:45||Bulgaria||More »|
|17/10||Grp A||Azerbaijan||18:00||Serbia||More »|
|17/10||Grp B||Georgia||18:00||Scotland||More »|
|17/10||Grp B||France||21:00||Lithuania||More »|
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
"Getting into the quarter-finals wouldn't be a sensation, it would be a world-sensation," said Hickersberger. The head of the ÖFB (the Austrian FA), Friedrich Stickler is a bungling know-it-all but the malaise is no one's fault in particular. They simply don't have any decent players. The eminently useful Paul Scharner (Wigan) and Emanuel Pogatetz (Middlesbrough) are both banned from the team following critical remarks about a lack of professionalism.
Sure is purty, though! -Sanford
If you enjoy football it's always worth watching some kids' stuff. Because my 12 year-old son is now playing for a club in the feeder leagues in the north of Spain (each region runs competitive leagues from the age of 10, sponsored by a combination of municipal councils and the biggest local clubs) I get to see quite a lot of games. The great thing is that you often see aspects of the game in miniature that can lead you on to insights about the adult professional game.
All The Losers
Legendary Alabama football coach Paul 'Bear' Bryant used to conduct part of his practices perched high above the pitch, watching proceedings from a privileged position, one of the many he enjoyed as arguably the best-known person in the state of Alabama. Nothing sent his players into a state of frenzied terror more than hearing his booming voice amplified by a loudspeaker or, worse still, frantic footsteps as he flew down the ladder to tear into them for whatever misdeed the unfortunate souls had committed.
I think he's going to talk about the Italian National Team soon... -Sanford
Argentina come into the clash as the overwhelming favourites, not only because of their impressive record against the Venezuelans, but because their football is at a completely different level. On Saturday against Chile they didn’t perform to their full capability, but still were able to pick up a comfortable 2-0 victory.
It's quite possible that both the Fire and Galaxy earn postseason berths. That scenario is now real because Kansas City keeps sliding. Curt Onalfo's men started with such a flourish but are just 2-7-2 since July. That's only eight points from a possible 33, leaving the Wizards with one foot on the proverbial banana peel.
Wednesday, October 17
Switzerland vs. USA
2:30 pm Eastern
TV: Fox Soccer Channel
As England head to Russia for their crucial Euro2008 qualifier they could do worse than take heed of former manager Graham Taylor's interest in the fortunes of a previous visitor to Moscow. Taylor, a hugely unfortunate, though not particularly good England boss, is fond of quoting Napoleon Bonaparte, who himself preferred lucky generals to good ones; but Napoloeon's luck famously ran out in Moscow with the onset of the Russian winter. The question here is will Steve McClaren's?
Monday, October 15, 2007
Brazil struggled to an uninspiring goalless draw away to Colombia in their opening match of the 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign on Sunday.
Mali players Frederic Kanoute and Mamady Sidibe were both injured during crowd disturbances following their 2-0 win away to Togo in an African Nations Cup match, L'Equipe has reported.
Mali duo left bloodied after crowd attacks
L'Equipe: CAN 2008 - Graves incidents à Lomé
The constant abuse aimed at the Chelsea midfielder is doing him and England no favours, says Daniel Taylor:
Lampard falls victim to the mocking culture
And according to Henry Winter, it's all water off a duck's back:
Fickle England fans fail to ruffle Frank
"There were other clubs that showed interest, but none were so serious like Derby who came to me. Billy Davies called me himself and talked to me. I felt like they were the team that really wanted me the most and that influenced me also"
Feilhaber: I feel my football can still grow a lot
It's off to Russia for England and their crunch match in the group. There's problems for McClaren with the pitch, injuries and a cold front. No problems for the Ruskies though, they've got Guus Hiddink telling them what's what.
Cole injury forces McClaren into reshuffle for Moscow
Guus Hiddink lays smokescreen in plot for Russia’s revenge
O'Connor warns England over 'nightmare' pitch
There are some people who just seem to get along with everyone, gradually gathering more friends as they travel through life. Luis Aragones ain't one of them. Spain’s head coach has triggered a controversy over his decision not to pick the national team’s record goalscorer.
Aragones talks himself into Raul row
Sid Lowe, however, thinks Aragones is spot on to give Raul the cold shoulder:
Raúl-rage pays off for Aragonés