Friday, November 09, 2007
Reading v Arsenal (2000 GMT)
I remember watching this fixture last season when Arsenal gave Reading an absolute lesson. It was sensational the way they played their football.
With Reading, they lose a couple of games and you worry they are going to sink and then they come up with a result. I think everyone now recognises that Reading is a real tough place to go and I think they will get a point here.
Prediction: 1-1All The Predictions
Who will meet New England at MLS Cup 2007? Goal.com USA's Pat Walsh takes a look at an intriguing matchup in Houston between one team known for their offense versus a side that hasn't been scored upon over the last three games.
Mourinho, who prior to his dismissal from Chelsea this season had said that he was more "serene" than ever, seems to have flown into a rage when his 11-year-old daughter told him about playground taunts that another boy had made, comparing her with her father. Isabal Simao, headmistress of St Peter's School, said that Mourinho appeared truly embarrassed and later wrote to the boy and the school to apologise for his behaviour. She said: "From what I know, Pedro told Matilde 'Your father is very good and you are ugly'.
The Special One poses with son Zuca and daughter Matilde. Matilde is the one who Pedro thinks is ugly...
Buenos Aires is renowned for being the city with the most stadia in the world, but a disproportionate amount of these are located within the central area known as capital, the city proper as it were. Beyond the confines of the busy centre, a vast expanse of Buenos Aires known as provincia reaches the delta where all rivers run to, marking the closest point to Uruguay amid small islands and wild vegetation.
The 45-year-old Dutchman will succeed Frank Yallop, who quit as coach of the David Beckham-led Galaxy on Monday to return to San Jose for a second stint with the Earthquakes.
Andrea Canales offers her opinion on Ruud arrival in L.A.
Twellman's dangerous play bicycle kick carries the Revolution forward...
New England 1 - 0 Chicago
Elsewhere, Manchester United face Blackburn while Manchester City travel to Portsmouth...
Me and me mates takes a load off, yeah? Innit? -Sanford
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Nürnberg vs. Everton: David Moyes has appealed to ticketless Everton supporters not to jeopardise the club's European position when they descend on the EasyCredit Stadium here tonight. Fewer than half of Everton's estimated travelling support in Germany have an official ticket for their second Uefa Cup group game, in which victory would maintain a place at the Group A summit, and approximately 1,500 were caught out when home tickets purchased directly from the Bundesliga club were unsurprisingly cancelled on Uefa advice.
Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp thinks Europe's top club competition is in danger of losing its way thanks to the league format which, he believes, has made it "boring." The Champions League is "fast replacing the Carling Cup" and the group stages have become "monotonous" and "plodding" in the opinion of Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp.
"There certainly is interest in a high-profile, sexy type of candidate,” Lalas said. “Not simply because this is the Galaxy and this is Los Angeles, but because we are looking to bring in somebody who can do something different."
|F||Man. United||4-0||Dynamo Kyiv||Report »|
|G||Internazionale||4-2||CSKA Moskva||Report »|
That is the question we will get an answer to on Thursday when the red-hot Chicago Fire face the tepid New England Revolution in the Eastern Conference final (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2). Can the Fire, a team that hasn't lost in 10 matches (including the playoffs), be slowed down by a Revs team that didn't win a single game in the month of October before barely knocking off a toothless Red Bulls squad?
Pat Walsh's Preview
A quick scan down the statistics from the major European leagues reveals one thing: Experienced campaigners are no longer ruling the goalscoring charts. With a host of the games younger stars now topping the lists in the various competitions across the continent, gone are the days when relying on experience means the key to a successful season. With that in mind, here's a list, in no particular order, of some of Europe's finest (and youngest) players, based on their early season form.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Even West Ham United are pressing ahead with leaving Upton Park, a stadium that Tottenham supporters will be alarmed to hear they could be temporarily calling home after the club held a meeting with their rivals about a groundshare.
White Hart Lane, London, England
Gabriele Marcotti reports.
The top 10 players
1) David Beckham, 32, LA Galaxy - £112m
2) Michael Owen, 27, Newcastle Utd - £37m
3) Robbie Fowler, 32, Cardiff City - £30m
4) Wayne Rooney, 22, Man Utd - £30m
5) Sol Campbell, 33, Portsmouth - £28m
6) Andriy Shevchenko, 31, Chelsea - £25m
7) Rio Ferdinand, 29, Man Utd - £25m
8) Ryan Giggs, 33, Man Utd - £23m
9) Michael Ballack, 31, Chelsea - £18m
10) Steven Gerrard, 27, Liverpool - £15m
It's almost comforting to have these two going at it again. It's just like old times. Now that The Special One is gone, Fergie and Wenger can get the animosity flowing again. I can't help but scoff at Sir Alex's comments, though. Anderson, Nani, Kuszczak and Tevez ( all purchased this past summer) aren't exactly England's finest. -Sanford
Peter Crouch's display against Besiktas should convince the doubters that his Anfield career is not over.
Lyon - Stuttgart
Barcelona - Rangers
Manchester United - Dynamo Kiev
Sporting Lisbon - Roma
Internazionale - CSKA Moscow
Fenerbahce - PSV Eindhoven
Steaua Bucharest - Sevilla
Slavia Prague - Arsenal
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Went to the Manchester City (called just "City" by the fans) game
against Sunderland last night. I took a taxi to a pub (The Plough) in
some town outside of Chester. There I met D and his buddy, Biddo.
They both showed me their City tattoos. D has two. D and Biddo
have been City fans all their lives. These guys are busy consuming as
much beer as they can before the bus comes. Great quote: "you have to
get pissed to watch City". Not wanting to stand out, I had a couple
of pints. Interesting fact: at the game, you are not allowed to bring
beer out to your seat.
The coach arrives (late), we board (10 pounds) and head towards
. This is a rented tour bus and on it are a friendly
assortment of very devoted City fans. They are of all ages, teenagers
to retirees, mostly men. These guys go to just about every game all
over the country. Recently when City was in the UEFA Cup, D
traveled to all the games around . I expected non-stop singing,
but the bus ride was a fairly sedate affair.
Even though the bus was late, we arrived about 45 minutes before the
8pm kick off, so D and Biddo take me to a pub called The Manchester
which is across the street from the stadium. This place is run by a
well known ex(?) hooligan, who apparently drives a Bentley and is not
to be fucked with. The place was absolutely packed with mostly drunk
large English men. Most with bald or shaved heads, some singing very
loudly. Oasis is cranked on the stereo (apparently Oasis are huge
city fans). Several odes to City are played, including a punk version
of Blue Moon (the official City anthem). It was a volatile
environment, but the strange thing was it wasn't scary or threatening.
D said that it sometimes gets a little unpleasant in there. At
some point a couple of police came in and the energy level went up a
little bit. We left soon after, and as we did we saw that a van full
of police was unloading outside. Not sure if they went in there or
not. We headed to the stadium.
The stadium is a very modern building maybe about five years old. It
is pretty impressive looking all lit up with blue neon. Inside, along
with food and drink vendors there are betting areas where you can bet
on the outcome, who will score, or the score at half-time.
The seats were great, probably about 10 rows back from the field about
1/2 way between the goal and center field. The great thing about the
stadium-- which they got all wrong at the Home Depot Center-- is that
the first row is literally about six inches off of field level. So
you are really very close to the field and you can tell. And what a
field. Really vibrant green with a light mist rising off of it.
In the stadium you could see many empty seats, but as soon as the
music switched to this sort of eerie Tubular Bells sort of soundtrack,
the place quickly filled up. The Who-esqe Premiere League anthem was
played and the players came out. The crowd was on their feet
City actually didn't play that well, but the did score a great goal
and that was all that mattered in the end beating Sunderland 1-0.
Hmmm, might want to work on that celebration, Stevie...
What: UEFA Champions League, Group A
Who: Liverpool (4th 1 point) Beşiktaş JK (3rd 3 points)
When: Tuesday 6th November 2007, (20:45 CET)
Where: Anfield, Liverpool
What: UEFA Champions League-Group D
Who: Shakhtar Donetsk (6 pts., 2nd) vs. AC Milan (6 pts., 1st)
When: Tuesday November 6, 20:45 (CET)
Where: RSC Olympiyskiy Stadium, Donetsk, Ukraine
What: Uefa Champions League Group D
Who: Celtic (4th, 3/9pts) v Benfica (3rd, 3/9pts)
When: Tuesday, November 6, 2007, kick-off 19:45 local (BST)
Where: Celtic Park, Glasgow
What: Champions League, Group C Matchday 4
Who: Olympiakos Piraeus (2nd, 4pts) vs Real Madrid (1st, 7pts)
When: Tuesday 6th November 2007, 2045 CET
Where: Georgios Karaiskákis Stadium, Piraeus, Greece
And Martin Rogers says: Despite more reports citing more sources than you can shake a red card at insisting he had been fired, Arena was adamant he had left on his own terms. But hey, maybe everyone is wrong. Maybe this is all part of Arena's master plan. If he has somehow fooled everyone, then we will surely see him turn up in some high-profile coaching position over the next few months.
What is more likely, though, is that he will emerge with microphone in hand, ready to let rip with a stream of acidic comments from the sanctity of the television commentary booth. There, he will have the license to sound off all he likes and it won't matter.
I spent some time contemplating the option to write about someone or something completely immune to curses of any kind (such as Bayern Munich) or something that by definition doesn't worry about jinxes (such as statistics). Then it hit me. Why not write a column about people, if that's what they are, you WANT to put a curse on? And who would that be? Easy. Mascots. God, I hate mascots. In any sport, in any country. I'm willing to make an exception for the Phillie Phanatic, just because he's so thoroughly over the top and not even any recognizable being.
Last Wednesday, attendance at some of the midweek Serie A matches was so low all you could see from television highlights were empty sections. Only 670 fans bothered to buy a ticket for Siena's home match v Catania, which made for a cringeworthy 8,000 crowd once you add in season ticket holders in the small, town-centre ground, while Reggina-Livorno did not sound exotic enough to lure more than 857 souls away from their dinner tables. Juventus-Inter, though, was not one of those reruns, but it quickly gained the status of classic, as one of the best matches, if not the best match, of the season so far. The media anticipation had been so massive for a while that you had the feeling that the round of midweek matches was almost seen as a nuisance because it would obviously require newspapers and TV shows to momentarily focus on them instead of carrying on with the hype.
San Mames, Bilbao, España
Monday, November 05, 2007
Eintracht Frankfurt's draw at Bayern got Bundesliga statisticians all excited, even if the match somehow ended scoreless. Raphael Honigstein reports.
Keeper's crazy saving leads Bayern up the garden path
Italy's biggest game of the season so far showed that while Inter are favourites for the Scudetto there's life in the Old Lady yet. Paolo Bandini reports.
Juventus make their point in engrossing Derby D'Italia
Well Chris Hutchings can't really complain. He was given a fair amount of time to prove himself as a top flight manager - a whole 12 EPL games. Moreover, he had a terrible start to the season, only winning 2 out of his first 3 games. And you should be expected to win your home games against minnows like Chelsea. Wigan's chairman, Daven Whelan, always seemed a bit of a loud-mouthed wanker, but in past he had backed his managers. Not any more.
Hutchings out as Wigan's patience ends
Barca and Villarreal move closer to Real, Bayern let the chasing pack gain some ground, Milan misfire at home again and Nancy lets her hair down in France...
Barca and Villarreal close in on Real at the top
Frustration for Ancelotti as Milan's home fire fails to spark
Mancini Laments Step Backwards
Raul And Sergio Ramos Remonstrate Over Sevilla
Bayern squander chances
Nancy celebrate her anniversary
According to Steve Davis at soccernet at playoff time, the little things really are the big things. So in that spirit, here are 10 things you may have missed during a dandy first round, during which both No. 1 seeds went down:
10 things about the first round
Sunday, November 04, 2007
The highly anticipated top of the table clash may have failed to deliver in the first half, but things certainly picked up in the second. Arsenal probably deserved more than a point against Liverpool last week, but against ManU, a team far better equipped at exploiting space, they were perhaps a touch lucky. ManU, who seem to get stronger by the game, will be kicking themselves.
It's difficult to assess Arsenal. As against Pool, Adebayor looked light up front [he is only 23 in fairness], and as Bobbie said on the blog a couple of days ago, Rosicky is a passenger at the moment. Wenger will be looking forward to the return of RVP. Patrick Barclay points out below that Arsenal also look weak in the air. That said, there's a real steal to the Gooners - coming back from behind against Liverpool and ManU in the space of a week is no mean feat. Despite people writing them off at the start of the season they're top of the league, beating the weaker teams, taking points from their rivals, but still have areas where they can improve. Hardly the worst situation in which to be.
Performance wise ManU have really turned things round from the beginning of the season. Hargreaves is excellent at protecting their defence, Rooney is on top form, and being able to bring on player like Saha is a real bonus. They have a variety of player which enables them to change style and tactics as needed, and are understandably the bookies favourites to win the league.
Arsenal's young pupils pass United's examination
Arsenal were stronger at the end but United look to have the greater staying power
Defence's aerial weakness a barrier to Arsenal
What a shocker to see Fergie blame the referee after the match. His complaint about a possible foul on Evra before the Arsenal is a joke - it took place months before the goal. A great manager, but ever the miserable twat.
Fergie fumes at referee, home fans - and own players
Anderson's midfield performance against Arsenal suggests he can be the cornerstone of Alex Ferguson's exciting new generation. Meanwhile Hargreaves believes Arsenal aren't the only team playing beautiful football.
Anderson wields a small spanner in finely tuned works
Hargreaves gives short shrift to Arsenal's beautiful game