Friday, September 05, 2008

Cascarino's Friday column: where will it all end with these foreign takeovers?

I was driving with my missus on the Cote d’Azur and we were having one of those typical conversations about property – if only we’d bought in this area at this time, and so on. She told me that a Russian has recently paid 500 million Euros for a house in the south of France. How ridiculous. Who would pay that?

Old foes Armenia and Turkey put faith in football diplomacy

The first tentative steps towards healing generations of bitterness between Turkey and Armenia will take place in a football stadium in Yerevan tomorrow when the two nations meet in a World Cup qualifier watched by their respective presidents.

I had no choice but to walk, says bitter Keegan

One of the most protracted, and painful, farewells in football was confirmed last night when Kevin Keegan finally resigned as the manager of Newcastle United. An increasingly acrimonious three-day stand-off between Keegan and Mike Ashley concluded with the club's billionaire owner refusing to be backed into a corner by the former England coach's demands before forcing him to walk out.

After the shenanigans at Newcastle this week, it is advisable to steer clear of any manic Geordies no matter the sacrifice

Which one is the Newcastle owner, then?

Keeper Scores Wonder Goal

Brazilian keeper scores from inside his own box...

A Few Looks at 2010 World Cup Qualifying

New-look European sides open World Cup campaigns

Dunga in firing line as Brazil face Chile + South American Wrap

The situation in Africa

WC Qualification Special: Europe's Just Starting? Asia's Almost Finished...

This weekend sees teams all over Europe start their journey towards South Africa. In Asia however, we have been at it for almost a year and over 30 nations have seen dreams of 2010 already extinguished. Ten remain and they are about to start fighting it out for the four and a half places available at the global footy fest.

UAE fans show their colors...

Robinho's biggest challenge: the home front

Back home in Brazil, though, the reaction has been more muted, in spite of yet another of their compatriots' arrivals to play in the country still known as 'The Mother of Football'. More Brazilians are represented in the English top flight than any other foreign nationality, but even the latest addition to that list seems a little underwhelmed by his move.

Muted, indeed...

2010 World Cup Qualifying: Cuba vs. United States

U.S. vs. Cuba
Sept. 6
Havana, Cuba
8 p.m. ET, ESPN Classic

U.S. vs. Trinidad & Tobago

Sept. 10
Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Ill.
8 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Cuba cautiously optimistic

U.S expects hostile reception in Cuba

Martin Rogers Column

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Quotes of the Week

"The story of me being locked in the toilet by Tiago is true. It's a shame it got out, as this was something I told a friend in confidence. In any case, Alessandro Del Piero responded to the noise of me punching the door and offered to break it down."

Juventus president Giovanni Cobolli Gigli on Tiago's reaction after the Serie A club tried to encourage him to sign for Everton or Monaco.

All the Fun

Martin Samuel: Profits of doom haunt rivals of super-rich Manchester City

Come on, be honest, there is a part, even within the most optimistic Manchester City supporter, that thinks we are all going to wake up tomorrow and it will turn out to be that bloke from the News of the World again. There is no Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment, no al-Nahyan royal family and Dr Sulaiman al-Fahim turns out to be an undercover reporter with a tin of cherry blossom, two white sheets, a JCloth and an accent borrowed straight from It Ain't Half Hot Mum.

Barcelona fans turning against Thierry Henry

After being forced to face countless challenges in his first year with Barcelona, French forward Thierry Henry will now have to confront a fresh battle: the “culés.”

"Shushing" not enough these days for Henry, apparently...

Bilic leads race for West Ham job after angry Curbishley quits

Harry Redknapp will resist the lure of an emotional return to West Ham United. The Portsmouth manager fears he would suffer the same constraints that prompted Alan Curbishley to resign yesterday. That has left the Croatia coach, Slaven Bilic, as the favourite to take up the reins at Upton Park.

Paul Doyle:
Curbishley's departure a sign of the times

From Gravesend to England for Jimmy Bullard

The Fulham midfield player is widely regarded as the Barclays Premier League's court jester, a likeable individual whose infectious sense of fun is best demonstrated by the occasion when he treated the Real Madrid squad to an impromptu performance of Old MacDonald Had a Farm during a chance encounter in the bar of an Austrian hotel during a pre-season tour.

That's Jimmy there, second from the left, back in his Hollywood days...

Raphael Honigstein in Germany

Allegations of fixed Bundesliga matches have surfaced after a weekend of thrilling attacking football.

Solid Schalke and a glut of goals overshadowed by new betting scandal.

English Debate: The Changing Premier League Landscape

Graham Lister considers this week‘s dramatic events in the English top-flight…

U.S. Open Cup: D.C. United 2 - 1 Charleston Battery

With their 2-1 victory over ULS-1 team Charleston Battery, the D.C. United added another trophy to the cabinet, winning their second Dewar Cup, twelve years after the first success.

World Cup Qualifiers: More Than a Game

The World Cup is by far the biggest sporting spectacle on earth. It is the one competition that draws a record audience every time it comes around, nothing else can match the atmosphere. But before the main event, the build up of the qualifiers has its own fair share of drama, thrills and bragging rights.

There are multiple matches throughout the month of September, and beyond, that have larger implications for the participating countries than just the qualifier itself. Here are a couple of matches this weekend that mean more than just the eventual score line.

The dangerous newcomers to the international party

Jonathan Wilson:

Montenegro might be ranked 143rd in the world but they shouldn't be underestimated

Read family fun in Montenegro...

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Mafia may be behind Napoli hooligans, say police

The hooliganism that marred Napoli's Serie A opener at AS Roma last weekend may have been orchestrated by the Naples Mafia, Italy's police chief Antonio Manganelli said on Wednesday.

Manchester City plan £135m bid for Cristiano Ronaldo

Manchester City's new billionaire owners are planning a world-record £135m bid for Cristiano Ronaldo in the January transfer window before turning their sights to, among others, Fernando Torres of Liverpool and Cesc Fábregas of Arsenal.

Norman Hubbard: EPL Transfer Window Movers and Shakers


Louis Saha, Marouane Fellaini, Lars Jacobsen, Carlo Nash, Segundo Castillo (loan)
Out: Andrew Johnson, Lee Carsley, Stefan Wessels
Spent: £16.5M
Received: £10.5M

After a summer of extreme inactivity, David Moyes went on the equivalent of a desperate dash round the shops on Christmas Eve. His first signing - Lars Jacobsen - came in the last week of the window and at a time when Moyes appeared to have a troop of boy scouts on the bench. Selling Andrew Johnson for less than originally intended added to the agony for the blue half of Merseyside; at least the pay-as-you-play element of his replacement Louis Saha's recruitment could prove cheap, though if Manchester United make 25p a season from the injury-prone striker, Everton are unlikely to benefit from many goals. Some of Moyes' targets - including Joao Moutinho and Wagner Love - promised much; the reality of the lesser-known Marouane Fellaini, at a seemingly inflated £15 million, is more of a mystery.


Newcastle claim Keegan remains in charge after he misses training again

Despite a statement from Newcastle insisting that Kevin Keegan remains their manager, the chances of him remaining at St James's Park appeared to shrivel further this morning when he did not turn up for training for the second successive day.

Americans in England: Scarce Showing

It was a shallow week for the Americans in England overall and with the international break on the horizon; the fray of players didn’t exactly set the world on the fire.

Americans On The Continent: Something Rotten In Denmark

It wasn’t a good week for American centerback Danny Califf, as he did more to hurt his Danish club than help.

U.S. Open Cup Final: Charleston looking to make history

U.S. Open Cup Final
D.C. United vs. Charleston
RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.
7:30 p.m. ET

Lamar Hunt

Sid Lowe in Spain

The story of Mario Martínez Rubio - who is paid 75 times less than Samuel Eto'o - is the perfect metaphor for his team's defeat of Barcelona.

Mario makes Barça pay as Numancia provide a heartwarming shock.

Phil Ball in Spain

First Day Fumbles

Roberto Gotta in Italy

Disputes, riots and shocks -
Serie A returns

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Transfer Mayhem

At long last, The Window has closed and we can all relax until January. United finally signed the sad Spur Berbatov and the new owners at City have made themselves known by snaring "I'm only thinking of Chelsea" Robinho from the clutches of...Chelsea. Tottenham got their striker in the form of Pavlyuchenko (the next Rebrov?) and also picked up a fine defender in Corluka from City. Arsenal picked up Nobody McNoone from FC Nowhere. Liverpool let Finnan go to Espanol and signed Reira in return. Ricardo Queresma completed his deal to Inter Milan and Everton actually signed a player, spending 15 million on Marouane Fellaini.

Here are a few articles that outline all the fun:

Top 10

Phil McNulty sums it all up

Tim Vickery on Robinho's move to Manchester City

Barney Ronay on Berbatov's move to Manchester United

Rangers Defeat Celtic, Neil Lennon Attacked

The former Celtic captain and club's current coach, Neil Lennon, was knocked unconscious and hospitalised by a street attack just hours after Rangers' Old Firm victory on Sunday.

Rangers Fans

Keegan 'set to leave Newcastle'

After making his unhappiness with the club's failure to sign three or four major targets this summer known, speculation mounted about Keegan's future this morning when bookmakers stopped taking bets on whether he would be the first manager to be sacked this season.

Spain: La Liga Roundups, Debate and Team of the Week

A shock start to action in Spain where both Barcelona and Real Madrid lost on the opening weekend...

Sunday Roundup

Saturday Roundup


Team of the Week

Italy: Serie A Reports

Draws were the main item on offer in Italy as Fiorentina and Juve finished 1-1, Inter and Sampdoria were 1-1 and Roma and Napoli finished 1-1. Elsewhere Bologna stunned Milan at the San Siro.


Napoli fans take over train and clash with police

US midfielder Bradley signs with Moenchengladbach

Borussia Moenchengladbach signed United States midfielder Michael Bradley from Dutch club SC Heerenveen to a four-year contract on Monday.

Martin Rogers:

German engineering good for U.S.'s Bradley

England: Premier League Reports, Reflections & Team of the Week



Team of the Week

Richard Jolly at the KC Stadium

If there is one phrase a manager who has just lost 5-0 does not want to hear - and assuredly, there are many - Steve Bruce probably managed it.

Hull City 0 - 5 Wigan Athletic

The Insider at Stamford Bridge

Tottenham fans can be thankful they have a manager in place to cover up the glaring flaws in their club's make-up.

Chelsea 1 - 1 Tottenham