Friday, November 21, 2008

The Joy of Six: Great Footballing Injustices

From Fenwick's folly to the Matthews match, we pick half a dozen kicks in the teeth from the footballing gods.

Arsenal's William Gallas moves closer to exit and launches fresh attack on France players

William Gallas could be handed his wish of a move back to France sooner than expected following an attack on his Arsenal team-mates.

Arsenal fans call for Gallas exit

Marcela Mora y Araujo in Argentina

Argentina's football writers were in upbeat mood during the post mortem of Diego Maradona's first match in charge.

A sense of relief is fully reflected in the press.

Pants! Burgers! Booze! Bonking! Superstitious fans will try them all

A new study has revealed that almost two million adult football fans have pre-match rituals designed to bring their teams luck.

Dogs on Couch = Goal

Marcus Hahnemann Interview

After being relegated from to the English Championship, American Abroad Marcus Hahnemann is eager to help Reading back to the top flight. The goalkeeper spoke with Soccer 365 about the season, being relegated, his place with the U.S. national team and more.

England: Premier League Weekend Previews, Predictions and Team News

Chelsea host Newcastle, Liverpool face Fulham, Bolton go to Boro, Arsenal go to Manchester City, Portsmouth host Hull, Stoke welcome West Brom, Manchester United go to Villa Park, Spurs host Blackburn, West Ham go up to Sunderland and Wigan welcome Everton...

Lawro's Predictions

Team News

More Team News

Spain: La Liga Weekend Preview

Real Madrid hoping to stop the rot...

Italy: Serie A Weekend Preview

Juventus' trip to the San Siro to face Inter is the clash of the weekend as former Chelsea managers Mourinho and Ranieri meet again...

Germany: Bundesliga Weekend Preview

Following Germany’s midweek clash with England, it’s back to Bundesliga action with some tasty games on offer. The Nord-derby is on Sunday between HSV and Werder, while Leverkusen, Hoffenheim and Bayern will be battling for top-spot on Saturday. previews all the weekend action.

Friday 21st November (all times local)
20:30 Karlsruhe – Borussia Dortmund

Saturday 22nd November
15:30 Bayern Munich – Energie Cottbus
15:30 Schalke – Bor.Mönchengladbach
15:30 Wolfsburg - Stuttgart
15:30 Eintracht Frankfurt - Hannover
15:30 VfL Bochum – Hertha Berlin
15:30 Arminia Bielefeld – Bayer Leverkusen
15:30 1.FC Köln – 1899 Hoffenheim

Sunday 23rd November
17:00 Hamburg – Werder Bremen

Ives: Favored Crew meet surprising Red Bulls

By all accounts, the 2008 MLS Cup Final should be a mismatch, with the dynamic and dangerous Columbus Crew taking on the short-handed and overachieving New York Red Bulls.

MLS Cup Final
New York vs. Columbus
Home Depot Center, Carson, Calif.
3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

England: Relegation rivals facing see-saw battle

But while the price of demotion to the Championship is huge, only the boldest would stake much money on identifying the three teams to suffer. It could be West Brom, Tottenham and Blackburn, the current occupants of the relegation zone, but there is just as much chance that it will end up being Stoke, Wigan and Newcastle, the three clubs immediately above them. West Ham, Bolton and Sunderland form an equally plausible trio and, while Hull's reward for a stellar start is sixth place, they are not safe yet.

The Target Man: Amazing Adventures of Zenga

The Spiderman’s two years in Major League Soccer hinted at the firm intensity and odd hijinks that were to come later, says’s Greg Lalas.

Wanna moon the goalkeeper, anyone?

On that day: Scoring at the wrong time

A voracious appetite for birds, booze and drugs rarely complements a fruitful footballing career but Frank McAvennie, a striker who once scored goals as freely as he partied, made a genuine effort to marry the two.

William Gallas launches attack on Arsenal youngsters

William Gallas, the Arsenal captain, has launched a scathing attack on the club's young players, accusing them of lacking the stomach for a fight.

Wait, I'm sorry. Who doesn't have the stomach for a fight...?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Jamie Trecker: Playoff soccer doesn't resonate with MLS fans

How can anyone take a league that would crown a sub .500 team champion seriously?

This situation plays up the silliness that are the MLS playoffs. A thirty-game regular season is thrown out the window, in favor of this compressed, unnecessary four-game sprint.

Is this really how a major league wants decide its championship?

Bayern take U.S. striker Donovan on loan

Bayern Munich will sign U.S. international forward Landon Donovan on a loan deal running from Jan 1 to at least the middle of March and possibly until the end of the season, the Bundesliga club said on Thursday.

Brazil’s Ronaldo Considering Retirement

Brazilian striker Ronaldo may retire from soccer following his latest serious knee injury, the 32-year-old said on Wednesday.

Quotes & Chants of the Week

"I think City will come out on top."
Lawro's prediction for Hull City v Man City.

"I'm not sure I'm better than Steven - but I'm definitely thinner than Frank."
Jimmy Bullard reacts to the Fulham faithful's song about him. ( Jimmy Bullard, Bullard, he's better than Steve Gerrard, he's thinner than Frank Lampard, Jim Bullard, Bullard ).

"Too fat and you can't get up!"
QPR fans to Burnley's heavyweight keeper Brian Jensen as he sat on the pitch getting treatment.

"Are you Chelsea in disguise?"
Burnley supporters at Loftus Road after completing a west London double.

All the Fun

Walcott ruled out after surgery

Arsenal winger Theo Walcott has undergone surgery on his dislocated right shoulder and will be sidelined for at least three months.

Wednesday's International Action

Diego Maradona enjoyed a winning start as Argentina coach with victory over Scotland on Wednesday while Marcello Lippi equalled a world record in charge of Italy. Brazil routed Portugal and England beat Germany. ROUNDUP

Richard Jolly at Hampton Park
Diego sets the rhythm for first tango in Glasgow

Brazil 6 - 2 Portugal

Germany 1 - 2 England

Republic of Ireland 2 - 3 Poland

Denmark 0 - 1 Wales

Netherlands 3 - 1 Sweden

CONCACAF 2010 World Cup Qualifying: U.S. 2 - 0 Guatemala

Kenny Cooper’s second half strike and Freddy Adu’s first international goal sealed the deal as the United States eased past Guatemala on Wednesday night in Colorado.

Youngsters spice up U.S. attack against Guatemala

Looked like another weak-ass crowd to see The Nats, this time in Denver...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wednesday's International Friendly Preview

Loads of games that don't mean jack and will injure your favorite club players... Preview

Austria vs. Turkey Preview
Brazil vs. Portugal Preview
Denmark vs. Wales Preview
France vs. Uruguay Preview
Germany vs. England Preview
Greece vs. Italy Preview
Netherlands vs. Sweden Preview
Rep. of Ireland vs. Poland Preview
Scotland vs. Argentina Preview
S. Africa vs. Cameroon Preview
Spain vs. Chile Preview
Switzerland vs. Finland
Ukraine vs. Norway
Serbia vs. Bulgaria
Colombia vs. Nigeria
Cyprus vs. Belarus
N. Ireland vs. Hungary
Romania vs. Georgia

Portugal play Brazil...

Argentina '86: Where are they now?

Telegraph Sport catches up with Diego Maradona's team-mates from their 1986 World Cup triumph.

Uruguayan championship suspended after riot

The Uruguayan championship was suspended on Monday after fans fought a vicious battle on the pitch following the top-of-the-table match between Danubio and Nacional at the weekend.

River Plate Fans Hijack City Bus

Sixty fans of Argentina’s River Plate soccer team were being held by police Monday after hijacking a bus and demanding the driver to go faster so they could get to the game on time. It was the second soccer-related bus hijacking in less than a week.

England v Germany all-time greats: where are they now?

The renewal of a great footballing rivalry between England and germany in Wednesday's Berlin friendly brings back memories of some of international football's greatest encounters. Here, we re-live five epics and focus on the key men who helped shaped the game's history.

Boca Star Accused Of Robbery

Boca Juniors striker, Lucas Viatri, will have to attend court after apparently being involved in a violent robbery at the beginning of the year...

The rise of a club beyond its history and dreams

Hull City's first experience of the top division is down to shrewd business, civic pride and happy timing.

Richard Williams on the Return of a Scottish Hero

The people of Glasgow have been staring at the former golden boy of world football this week as though he were a mythical beast capable of changing shape at will.


Marcela Mora y Araujo: Does Diego still have the touch of a leader?

Maradona's appointment as Argentina manager has captured the world's attention, but can he inspire his new players like he used to inspire his team-mates?

The amount of fantastic Maradona photos is staggering...

Premier League Managers: The Good, The Bad & The Lucky

With Premier League managers quietly bemoaning what most of them see as the unwanted intrusion of another round of midweek internationals, considers how each of the English top-flight bosses has fared so far this season – which is already a third of the way through…

Walcott injury leaves Capello under fresh fire

Theo Walcott has become the latest casualty of a friendly international already denounced as meaningless by some Premier League managers after the Arsenal winger dislocated his right shoulder in training last night. The youngster will play no part against Germany tonight and, if the injury requires surgery, will face up to 10 weeks out of the game.

CONCACAF WCQ Preview: Matchday 6

On Wednesday, Group 1 and Group 2 still have plenty to play for during the final matches of the semifinal round in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.

Preview: Honduras vs. Mexico

U.S. looking to end Guatemala's World Cup dream

At first glance, the United States' World Cup qualifier on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET, ESPN Classic) against Guatemala appears to be a game in which finding motivation could be difficult. The Americans already booked their passage to next year's hexagonal and can afford to experiment without pressure. But if you dig beneath the surface, you'll find several reasons for the U.S. team to bring the requisite intensity needed to secure victory.

As Bob Bradley expands his choice of players to some unlikely names,'s Noah Davis argues this can only help the team.


Uli Hesse-Lichtenberger in Germany

On Saturday, Bayern failed to hold on to a two-goal lead for the third time this season. As amazing as this is, the last weeks have been so successful for the Munich giants that there's now little of the hoopla which surrounded every Bayern game in August and September.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Italian soccer strategy gets a racy look

Catania, a team in the country’s top division, unveiled the new look while taking a free kick. The players lined up in a wall and dropped their shorts in an effort to block the goalkeeper’s vision.

Moritz Volz Column

Christmas hamper:
five top nicknames

1, Diomansy Kamara Known as “Joe” because it’s a lot easier than saying Diomansy.

2, Patrick Vieira Or “Halifax”, at Arsenal, after the guy from the building society TV ads. He didn’t like it very much.

3, Neil Pointon The former Manchester City and Everton defender was dubbed “Dissa”. Think about it . . .

4, Fitz Hall The QPR defender was given the name “One Size” when he was at Oldham. One Size Fitz Hall. Total genius.

One Size...

5, Kiki Musampa Responded to the name of “Chris” at Manchester City. Chris Musampa. Oh yes.


Maradona, a slum and the birth of a legend

Argentina have appointed as their coach a former cocaine addict who prefers to watch football matches waving his shirt over his head rather than thinking logically in a dugout. A man who has enough trouble organising his own life, never mind meeting the needs of a squad. He once kept his biographer waiting 24 hours in an hotel lobby (the writer never budged from the sofa). And he twice invited me to Buenos Aires for an interview and did not show up.

This is a man who would not do a commercial for Viagra, unlike Pelé, but would make sure he was in attractive company and then swallow the whole packet.

A man who does everything to excess, be it bad timekeeping, feuds, drugs, sublime skills; and whose international coaching regime, which begins against Scotland in Glasgow tomorrow evening, is surely doomed as a result.

Fabio Capello proves his point over Steven Gerrard fitness row

The tension between Fabio Capello and Rafael Benítez grew last night, with the Liverpool manager bewildered by his England counterpart's insistence that Steven Gerrard make a six-hour round trip to prove that he was not fit enough to play for his country in tomorrow's friendly match against Germany.

England's hotel in Hertfordshire...

Ben Lyttleton in France

Why some neat work from a ball-boy helped Karim Benzema and co reinforce their position as the dominant force in France.

Lyon get by with a little help from a little friend.

Sid Lowe in Spain

If Real Madrid think that sacking Bernd Schuster is the solution to all their ills, they are sadly mistaken.

It's not all Schuster's fault.

Raphael Honigstein in Germany

With few star names and innocuous progress, Hertha have been ignored by most of Germany this season. Not any more, however.

Moody, inconsistent and 'experiencing the danger of megalomania': the rise and rise of Hertha Berlin.

Americans in the UK: Friedel Eyes Top Four

Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Friedel led the way this weekend as the American contingent in the UK had a strong week.

Eddie Johnson, Cardiff

Johnson had his best game of the season on Saturday, as his aggressiveness paid dividends for Cardiff. Johnson, starting once again, won not one, but two penalties for the Bluebirds, one of which was converted into a goal. The speedy striker looked confident and was forceful on the pitch, resulting in a very productive affair. Cardiff won 2-1 over Crystal Palace.

Americans On The Continent: Bradley's Big Goal

In M'gladbach's huge game against Bayern Munich, American Michael Bradley netted a huge game-tying goal to snap Munich's five-game winning streak.

Carlos Bocanegra, Rennes (France)
vs. Monaco, 2-1, 90 minutes
Carlos Bocanegra and his Rennes teammates again put in a solid defensive display against Monaco, only giving up a penalty in the 72nd minute and securing a 2-1 victory against the visiting Monegasque side courtesy of goals from Moussa Sow and Jimmy Briand on either side of halftime.
Next up: Away to Bordeaux, Saturday, November 22

Phil Ball in Spain


White Crisis

Schuster keeps his job...for now...

Cassano's Book Should Be Fun

To summarize, I had a few other adventures. Let’s say that between the 600 and 700 women I’ve been with, around 20 were from the show business world“). And then: “Many times I played great games right after having sex. Go look at Roma-Juve 4-0. I had sex at six in the morning that Sunday, with one of the many ‘friends’ I had at that time.

One of Antonio's "friends"...

Paolo Bandini in Italy

Julio Baptista may not have slept with 700 women like Antonio Cassano but he scored when it mattered in the Rome derby.

Baptista keeps his cool as Roma finally ignite.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The land of God: Argentina manager Diego Maradona touches down in Scotland

Diego Maradona touched down in Scotland on Sunday, sparking a media frenzy.

The BBC's view

MLS: New York defeats RSL 1-0

Red Bull New York defeated Real Salt Lake to lift the Western Conference title in MLS Playoff action. Red Bull will face the Crew in the MLS Final.

Crowd Troubles Tarnish Roman Derby

Violence took place inside and outside Rome’s Stadio Olimpico earlier tonight, as Roma and Lazio squared off in the Derby della Capitale.

Twenty U.S. Nats against Guatemala

Freddy Adu and Jozy Altidore highlight the 20-man squad Bob Bradley named to battle Guatemala on Wednesday, November 20th.

Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Troy Perkins (Valerenga IF), Matt Pickens (out of contract)

DEFENDERS (6): Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Sean Franklin (Los Angeles Galaxy), Cory Gibbs (Colorado Rapids), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Drew Moor (FC Dallas), Michael Parkhurst (New England Revolution)

MIDFIELDERS (5): Freddy Adu (AS Monaco), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids), John Thorrington (Chicago Fire)

FORWARDS (6): Jozy Altidore (Villarreal), Davy Arnaud (Kansas City Wizards), Conor Casey (Colorado Rapids), Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas), Chris Rolfe (Chicago Fire)