Friday, December 07, 2007
There have been startling developments in the search for the next England manager.
A report in The Independent this morning claims that the FA have interviewed Fabio Capello for the job. And in a move that will excite many in England, Jose Mourinho has been invited to London for talks about the post.
Not too many mouthwatering clashes this week. Manchester City's trip to Tottenham is of note, while the Aston Villa/Portsmouth match could be attractive. Elsewhere, Bolton and Wigan battle it out at the bottom.
All The Previews
Saturday 9 December (all times local)
20:00 Osasuna - Valencia
22:00 Athletic - Real Madrid
Sunday 10 December
17:00 Almeria - Valladolid
17:00 Villarreal - Betis
17:00 Levante - Recreativo
17:00 Zaragoza - Espanyol
17:00 Racing - Mallorca
17:00 Sevilla - Murcia
19:00 Atletico Madrid - Getafe
21:00 Barcelona - Deportivo
Blackburn v West Ham (1600)
West Ham are showing a bit of a tough streak which will stand them in really good stead for when some of their injured players come back.
But Blackburn at home under Mark Hughes are generally very good. He has a good squad that gets goals from all areas and they will be too strong for the Hammers.
"Moreso, the moment I realized we didn't have the opportunity to win the gold medal, my world came tumbling down. I had nothing to immediately give back to my father. I was wound so tight emotionally, and the moment after the loss I broke.
David Peace's evocative novel juxtaposes Clough's whirlwind reconstruction of Derby County, a club he led to the 1972 title, with his ill-fated attempt to shake up Don Revie's Leeds United team in similar fashion two years later. The bare facts of Clough's 43 days in charge at Elland Road are well-known, but what happened behind closed doors remains unclear; Peace's fictionalised account attempts to fill in the gaps, as cheap booze, truculent players and the ghost of Revie combine to make the surprisingly sensitive protagonist's situation utterly hopeless. A whisky-fugged Clough smashes up his predecessor's desk with an axe; Clough tries desperately to bond with an unresponsive Billy Bremner over whisky; Clough swills so much - yes - whisky that he spends the night on the floor of a hotel bar.
All Six Books
Newcastle fans: "Shearer! Shearer!"
Blackburn fans: "Where did Shearer win the league?"
Banter at Blackburn-Newcastle. (Andy, England).
"Sven, Sven wherever you may be/You are the pride of Man City/You can shag my wife on our settee/If we win a cup at Wem-ber-lee."
Man City fans to Sven. (Jim Hall, Rainow).
"If they released a Titus Bramble bloopers DVD, it would be four hours long."
Adrian Chiles on MOTD2 after Bramble's latest mistake. (Kenny Lomas, England)
Anderlecht look set to face the wrath of UEFA after cigarette lighters and even an iron bar rained down on the pitch in the closing stages with makeshift Spurs defender Didier Zokora being hit on the head.
"I played four years in Belgium so maybe they hate me," said Zokora, a former Genk midfielder.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Brad Friedel, the Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper, has created what he terms football’s first self-help manual, which some may think is timely, given the misfortune that befell Scott Carson against Croatia at Wembley and Paul Robinson before him. In it the American explains how to combat your problems, how goalkeeping explains the world and his hopes for a more ethical future.
Blackburn player places a high value on ethics and a low one on the bling culture
Unstoppable Inter Thrash Lazio
Roma 2 - 0 Cagliari
Taddei brace keeps Roma on pace
Sam Allardyce and Newcastle United may not be heading for imminent divorce after all. Instead this gutsy and increasingly gripping draw against the Premier League leaders could come to be seen as a watershed in their relationship, the night when Allardyce began to win his battle for the hearts and minds of players and supporters.
Marina Hyde on Big Sam
Toon spirit gets Big Sam out of big jam
Everton 1 - 0 Zenit St. Petersburg
Opportunist Cahill profits from Zenit misfortune to send Everton through
It has been so long since Everton last ventured into Europe beyond Christmas that the competition in which they advanced no longer exists. The Cup Winners' Cup triumph of 1985 is the zenith of the club's achievement on the continent but new ground was broken here last night. For the first time in 23 years they can at least dream of emulating Kevin Ratcliffe's Rotterdam glory when winter recedes.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Who: Inter (1st, 31 points) vs Lazio (15th, 14 points)
When: Wednesday 5 December 2007, 20:30 CET
Where: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan
Who: Roma (2nd, 28 points) v Cagliari (18th, 10 points)
When: Wednesday, 5th December 2007, kick-off 20:30
Where: Stadio Olimpico, Roma
Uefa announced on Saturday that it is working with Europol to investigate games which may have been fixed as part of illegal betting activity. The European governing body has received information that 26 games in the Champions League, Uefa Cup and Intertoto Cup may have been fixed since 2005 with Liverpool's 8-0 drubbing of the Turkish club at Anfield - the highest score in Europe's premier competition - among those allegedly involved.
After seamlessly slotting into the Arsenal back-line, Bacary Sagna is keen to display his qualities at the club.
There's suddenly a sense of deja-vu about the top of the Premier League....
Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Steve Davis: Pro soccer works best in this country when it targets 20- and 30-somethings and ethnic audiences, influencers whose presence can create true happenings around game nights (over disparate cultures, no less). When it becomes "the thing to do," families and suburban singles will follow. That's the way our culture works.
We should cherish Maldini while we can, whether against Celtic this evening or during his remaining Serie A and Champions League appearances in his farewell season. Football will not see Maldini's like again, says Henry Winter.
Cherish Milan's Paolo Maldini while we can
Gordon Strachan has a point to make against the European champions
Manchester United 2 Fulham 0: Ronaldo missed out on being European Footballer of the Year but he was crowned King of Old Trafford.
No marks for Rob Styles as two-goal Cristiano Ronaldo suffers for reputation
Richard Jolly at the Theater of Dreams
Germany are worried what Luka Modric may do to them at Euro 2008, given how well diminutive, foreign geniuses are faring in the Bundesliga. Herr Honigstein reports.
Franck, Diego and Rafael make Germans wary of Luka
Monday, December 03, 2007
Barcelona would do well to remember that they aren't the only football team in Catalunya. Señor Lowe reports.
Espanyol hold Barça to claim a share in Catalanism
Ancash were leading 2-1 when Viafara, who had scored their second goal, used his buttocks to bring a pass under control. This infuriated Universitario players who interpreted it as a mockery of their team.
1956 - Stanley Matthews (England) 1957 - Alfredo di Stefano (Spain) 1958 - Raymond Kopa (France) 1959 - Alfredo di Stefano (Spain) 1960 - Luis Suarez (Spain) 1961 - Omar Sivori (Italy) 1962 - Josef Masopust (Czechoslovakia) 1963 - Lev Yashin (Soviet Union) 1964 - Denis Law (Scotland) 1965 - Eusebio (Portugal) 1966 - Bobby Charlton (England) 1967 - Florian Albert (Hungary) 1968 - George Best (Northern Ireland) 1969 - Gianni Rivera (Italy) 1970 - Gerd Mueller (West Germany) 1971 - Johan Cruyff (Netherlands) 1972 - Franz Beckenbauer (Germany) 1973 - Johan Cruyff (Netherlands) 1974 - Johan Cruyff (Netherlands) 1975 - Oleg Blokhin (Soviet Union) 1976 - Franz Beckenbauer (West Germany) 1977 - Allan Simonsen (Denmark) 1978 - Kevin Keegan (England) 1979 - Kevin Keegan (England) 1980 - Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (West Germany) 1981 - Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (West Germany) 1982 - Paolo Rossi (Italy) 1983 - Michel Platini (France) 1984 - Michel Platini (France) 1985 - Michel Platini (France) 1986 - Igor Belanov (Soviet Union) 1987 - Ruud Gullit (Netherlands) 1988 - Marco van Basten (Netherlands) 1989 - Marco van Basten (Netherlands) 1990 - Lothar Matthaeus (Germany) 1991 - Jean-Pierre Papin (France) 1992 - Marco van Basten (Netherlands) 1993 - Roberto Baggio (Italy) 1994 - Hristo Stoichkov (Bulgaria) 1995 - George Weah (Liberia) 1996 - Matthias Sammer (Germany) 1997 - Ronaldo (Brazil) 1998 - Zinedine Zidane (France) 1999 - Rivaldo (Brazil) 2000 - Luis Figo (Portugal) 2001 - Michael Owen (England) 2002 - Ronaldo (Brazil) 2003 - Pavel Nedved (Czech Republic) 2004 - Andriy Shevchenko (Ukraine) 2005 - Ronaldinho (Brazil) 2006 - Fabio Cannavaro (Italy) 2007 - Kaka (Brazil)
Off the pitch Napoli, Juventus, Genoa, Inter and Lazio away fans were banned from attending matches. The bans will continue until ID cards are introduced later this month. Atalanta's north stand is closed until March. On the pitch Inter beat Fiorentina to remain unbeaten while Juventus and Milan failed to score.
R. Mehdi's Reports
Tottenham 2 - 3 Birmingham
Gunners pass another test
Aston Villa 1 - 2 Arsenal
Injury-time goal wins it for Black Cats
Sunderland 1 - 0 Derby County
Torres shines as Reds cruise
Liverpool 4 - 0 Bolton
Bentley brace heaps pressure on Big Sam
Blackburn 3 - 1 Newcastle
Things aren't going so well for Newcastle these days...
Southgate starts to blame McClaren
Reading 1 - 1 Middlesbrough
Wigan 1 - 1 Manchester City
Pompey hold Everton
Portsmouth 0 - 0 Everton