Friday, March 06, 2009

Fun With the Sun: Top 10 Ugly Footballers

Does not even make the top 10!

England: Basement Battle

With 10 games remaining in the season, the drama is increasing at the foot of the table as a host of sides battle to save their Premier League skins. examines the survival chances of the 10 clubs battling relegation in the Premier League.

England: Premier League and FA Cup Weekend Previews & Predictions

It's a fairly quiet weekend. The only Premier League clash sees Tottenham traveling up to the Stadium of Light to face Sunderland. In the FA Cup, Coventry host Chelsea, Manchester United go to Fulham, Arsenal welcome Burnley and Everton host Boro.


Team News

Lawro's Preditions

Milan Agree Beckham Deal

Sky Sports News
sources understand an agreement has been reached for David Beckham to remain with AC Milan until the end of the season, before returning to Los Angeles Galaxy.

Beckham paid $3 Million of his own cash to stay.

Spain: La Liga Weekend Preview

Real Madrid's 10-game winning streak will be tested against crosstown rival Atletico Madrid on Saturday, and Spanish league leader Barcelona will look to rebound against Athletic Bilbao only days after the two clubs reached the Copa del Rey final.

Italy: Serie A Weekend Preview

Italy's top teams will be looking for morale boosting wins in Serie A this weekend ahead of tough midweek matches against English opponents in the Champions League. Italian league leader Inter Milan, mired in controversy and struggling with its form, visits Genoa in its final game before its second leg matchup against Manchester United at Old Trafford in the Champions League. Juventus will be hoping for a boost in the Turin derby before it looks to overturn a 1-0 first leg deficit against Chelsea, while Roma hosts Udinese before taking on Arsenal. Roma is also 1-0 down after the first leg.

Nick Webster: Can Manchester United Win the Quintuple?

A few years ago, World Soccer Magazine listed its greatest teams of all time (which I have listed below).

Like all lists of this kind, it is open to interpretation because every era is different. Trying to compare a national team to a club outfit is also plain ridiculous, as who hasn't got hot for six or seven straight matches. But let's give them credit for trying.

Germany: Bundesliga Weekend Preview

With 12 games to go this season, the Bundesliga title is still very much up for grabs with just four points separating the top five. previews all the weekend action.

Friday March
6 (all times local)
20:30 Schalke 04 – 1.FC Koeln

Saturday March 7
15:30 1899 Hoffenheim – Werder Bremen
15:30 Borussia Moenchengladbach – Hamburger SV
15:30 Bayern Munich – Hannover 96
15:30 Energie Cottbus – Hertha Berlin
15:30 VfL Wolfsburg – Karlsruher SC
15:30 VfB Stuttgart – Borussia Dortmund

Sunday March 8
17:00 Arminia Bielefeld – Eintracht Frankfurt
17:00 Bayer Leverkusen – VfL Bochum

Donovan Returning to Los Angeles

The Galaxy announced Thursday that last season's team MVP will rejoin Los Angeles on March 10, two days after the end of his loan to Germany's Bayern Munich.

Norman Hubbard: Fergie's future fledglings face tough task

It was a glorious victory for youth, heralding the emergence of the next generation and proving a rite of passage for the promising and the precocious. Or was it? Manchester United's Carling Cup final triumph lends itself to different interpretations. Was it a win for the latest batch of Fergie's Fledglings or the Scot's seasoned squad players?

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Cristiano Ronaldo & Steven Taylor Involved In Half-Time Altercation

Ronaldo felt he was clobbered by Taylor, who got only a booking from ref Steve Bennett, and let fly with a verbal blast at the Toon’s style.

He'll obviously be out 4-6 weeks with a face injury like that...

Europe: Cup Action

Germany: Bayern suffer another blow as they lose their Cup crown

Spain: Messi leads Barcelona to Copa del Rey Final and clash with Bilbao

Italy: Sampdoria humiliate Mourinho's out of form Inter

France: Holders Lyon crash out, PSG shocked by third-division side

No cup needed in Bilbao...

Americans Abroad: Johnson Finding His Form

Cardiff City striker Eddie Johnson was named Man of the Match for the Bluebirds after their 3-1 win over Barnsley on Tuesday and appears to finally be on the right track for the Championship side.

England: Wednesday's Premier League Reports + Table

Newcastle United 1 - 2 Manchester United
Manchester United recover from Van der Sar's blunder

Manchester City 2 - 0 Aston Villa
Elano sparkles as Villa start to stumble

Tottenham 4 - 0 Middlesbrough
Spurs players buzzing if not boozing

Fulham 0 - 1 Hull City
Manucho on target as Hull get back to winning ways

Blackburn Rovers 0 - 0 Everton
Everton unable to take quantum leap

Wigan Athletic 0 - 1 West Ham
Carlton Cole keeps West Ham's European ambitions burning

Stoke City 2 - 0 Bolton Wanderers
There's no place like home for Stoke

Team GP W D L Pts
1. 27 20 5 2 65
2. 28 17 7 4 58
3. 28 16 10 2 58
4. 28 15 7 6 52
5. 28 13 10 5 49
6. 28 12 9 7 45
7. 28 11 6 11 39
8. 28 10 5 13 35
9. 28 9 8 11 35
10. 27 8 10 9 34
11. 28 10 3 15 33
12. 28 8 8 12 32
13. 27 8 7 12 31
14. 27 8 7 12 31
15. 28 7 8 13 29
16. 28 6 10 12 28
17. 27 7 7 13 28
18. 27 6 9 12 27
19. 28 6 8 14 26
20. 28 6 4 18 22

Ashley Cole Arrested for Drunk & Disorderly

Cole allegedly launched a foul-mouthed rant at cops as he left The Collection, in west London, with John Terry and Michael Mancienne.

Ives: Seattle promises offensive fireworks in debut season

There is no question that Sigi Schmid has more attacking options than almost any previous MLS expansion team, but it can certainly be argued that this approach has left Seattle a bit thin in the back.

Ronaldo gets black eye in media frenzy on return

Former World Player of the Year Ronaldo made his long-awaited return from injury on Wednesday, but it was marred by a post-match media scrum which left the player nursing a black eye.

Oliver Kay replies: the final word on 'untouchable' Arsene Wenger

On Monday, Oliver Kay posed the question whether the magic had faded for Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, given their four trophyless seasons.

You had your say, now The Times Football Correspondent replies...

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Raphael Honigstein in Germany

Wolfsburg's tea-drinking supremo Felix Magath is making his mark on and off the pitch as well as with the disciplinary panel.

Magath's endless appeal overshadowed as Wolfsburg make title case.

England: Wednesday's Premier League Previews & Predictions

Newcastle United vs. Manchester United
Wednesday, 4th March 19:45 GMT
St. James’ Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

After placing another trophy on the Old Trafford sideboard at the weekend, Fergie's squad get back to the serious business of earning enough points to retain the Premier League title. Struggling Newcastle United will be doing their utmost to avoid becoming whipping-boys in their own backyard.

Manchester City vs. Aston Villa
Wednesday, 4th March, 19:45 GMT, City of Manchester Stadium, Eastlands, Manchester
Two clubs with giant aspirations do battle at Eastlands.

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Middlesbrough
Wednesday, 4th March, 19:45 GMT, White Hart Lane, London
Tottenham Hotspur and Middlesbrough are at the wrong end of the Premier League table, but victory for either of these sides could mean significant progress.

Fulham vs. Hull City
Wednesday, 4th March, 20:00 GMT. Craven Cottage, London
Fulham look to continue their chase for European football against a struggling Hull side.

Wigan vs. West Ham
Wednesday, 4th March, 19.45 GMT. JJB Stadium, Wigan.
West Ham welcome Wigan Athletic to Upton Park, sitting just one point and one place above Steve Bruce’s men.

Blackburn vs. Everton
Wednesday, 4th March, 20.00 GMT. Ewood Park, Blackburn
Everton set sights on a top-four finish.

Stoke vs. Bolton
Wednesday, 4th March, 20.00 GMT. Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent
Stoke look to build on dramatic comeback at Villa Park

Lawro's Predictions
Nick Webster's Predictions

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo should stop ‘theatrics’, says Luka Modric

Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric has criticised Cristiano Ronaldo over his “theatrics” on the pitch following the Manchester United winger’s yellow card for diving in their Carling Cup final victory at Wembley.

Quotes & Chants of the Week

"The referee tonight is Turkish, that's a new language for Craig Bellamy to argue in."
ITV commentators in the second leg of Man City v Copenhagen.

"I was fortunate enough to play with Robbie Williams back at White Hart Lane."
Les Ferdinand has a slip of the tongue when talking about Robbie KEANE.

"Is he going to shoot? Of course not, it's Arsenal."
John Motson commentating on Samir Nasri's lack of shooting prowess.

"Why is Corluka taking the penalty? He's a defender. It should be Bentley because he's the dead ball expert."
Paul Merson in the Carling Cup final. Corluka scored and 'dead ball expert' Bentley missed.

The Rest

Alan Smith: Should Arsene Wenger be sacked?

A large section of Arsenal supporters are split on whether the club should back or even sack manager Arsene Wenger after the club's stuttering run. Telegraph Sport's Alan Smith, a former Gunners striker, addresses the main criticisms in the questions from a selection of Arsenal fans.

Are Arsenal going backwards under Arsène Wenger?

Two former Arsenal midfielders discuss whether Arsène Wenger's emphasis on youth and the team's lack of midfield depth are holding the Gunners back.

Man arrested after knife attack on Fletcher family

A man was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of threatening at knifepoint the fiancee of Darren Fletcher, the Manchester United midfielder, and burgling the footballer's house.

Don't mess with the Fletchers...Jessica will get you every time...

FC Barcelona plan for Miami MLS team dumped

Miami is no longer a candidate for a Major League Soccer expansion team after FC Barcelona and the league agreed the poor economic conditions made it unfeasible to launch an MLS team there in 2010.0

Sonny and Rico digest the distressing news...

England: Tuesday's Premier League Reports

Portsmouth 0 - 1 Chelsea
Chelsea embrace new work ethic

West Bromwich Albion 1 - 3 Arsenal

Bendtner pounces on errors to end goal famine
Player Ratings

Liverpool 2 - 0 Sunderland

Ngog helps to ease Anfield tension
Player Ratings

Richard Jolly at Anfield

Liverpool 2 - 0 Sunderland

Let the inquest begin

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Martin Rogers: The 10 Missteps in Beckham’s American Journey

If a fit, hungry and determined Beckham had suited up in Galaxy colors instead of a hobbling and exhausted wreck with his focus on an England national team recall, then the club would surely have performed far better than its miserable efforts the past two seasons.

Yet the 33-year-old cannot be held solely responsible. The Galaxy’s mismanagement – and certain actions by his team of advisors – all contributed toward the collapse of Beckham’s American Dream.

Here we pinpoint the 10 critical mistakes that ensured his move to the United States would end in failure.

David Beckham talks at 'critical stage' according to AC Milan's Adriano Galliani

Galliani is hopeful that the club will be successful in convincing Los Angeles Galaxy, Beckham's club, and Major League Soccer, to allow the former England captain to extend his loan deal until June.

Tim Vickery in South America

High summer in Rio, the kind of weather where you work up a sweat sitting in the shade sipping a fruit juice. And at 4.00 in the afternoon, in blazing sunshine, a local final was kicking off, traditional Botafogo against little Resende.

Campbell wants points deducted for fans' abuse

Sol Campbell has called on football's authorities to deduct points from clubs whose supporters are found guilty of ­indecent and racist chanting. The ­Portsmouth captain, speaking in an interview with the Guardian, has long been the target of abuse from Tottenham Hotspur fans, who have never forgiven him for leaving them for Arsenal in 2001, and was subjected to vile chants during Portsmouth's 2–0 Premier League win over Tottenham at Fratton Park last September.

England: Tuesday's Premier League Previews + Predictions

Portsmouth vs. Chelsea

Tuesday, 3 March, Kick-off 19:45 GMT.
Fratton Park, Portsmouth
Second-placed Chelsea travel to the south coast to take on Portsmouth searching for a further win that will keep their title hopes alive...

Liverpool vs. Sunderland
Tuesday, 3 March, Kick-off 20:00 GMT.
Anfield, Liverpool

The Reds' title hopes are all but dashed, and they take on a Black Cats outfit eager to put more space between them and the bottom three...

West Bromwich Albion vs. Arsenal

Tuesday, 3 March, Kick-off: 1945 GMT
The Hawthorns, West Bromwich

The two sides who meet at The Hawthorns are both desperate for a win to change the negative course of their respective seasons...

Lawro's Predictions

Nick Webster's Predictions

Sid Lowe in Spain

After losing a thriller to Atlético, the pressure is building on Barça. There is, unexpectedly, a title race in Spain.

Madrid hopes soar as gap at the top narrows.

Paolo Bandini in Italy

Inter's unlikely game-saver against Roma stole the headlines in Italy and rewarded his determined efforts behind the scenes.

Crespo creeps back into the limelight to rescue Inter.

Americans in the UK: Dempsey’s Cup Triumph

The Fulham winger scored the equalizing goal in Tuesday’s FA Cup win and helped weather an Arsenal storm on Saturday to keep the Cottagers on pace for a top half finish.

The Rest

Americans On The Continent: Happy Returns

After an extended injury layoff, Steve Cherundolo made his return to the Hannover 96 starting lineup to help his side secure a vital three points and shutout. With the 1-0 win against Bayer Leverkusen, Die Roten clings to its hopes of staying in the German Bundesliga.

The Rest

Eduardo Alvarez in Spain

Eduardo tries to pinpoint the reason for Barcelona's current dip in form...

Monday, March 02, 2009

So, will anybody stop the English?

Spanish and Italian failings may well leave the European Cup door open for a dark horse from outside the Mediterranean.

England: EPL Review + Team of the Week

Liverpool lose at Boro, Chelsea edge Wigan, Villa allow late Stoke comeback, Arsenal "enjoy" their fourth consecutive clean sheet, Manchester City lose, Hull's slide continues, Everton handle West Brom and Bolton edge Newcastle...

Team of the Week

The Big Interview: Didier Drogba

Loathed by opposing fans (and some of his own) for his arrogance, Didier Drogba admits he has made mistakes. But is his new-found humility what's needed to turn around his own and Chelsea's fortunes?

It's not you, it's me.

Germany: Bundesliga Weekend Wrap + Team of the Week

Landon Donovan sat on the bench as Bayern Munich failed to score against 10-man Werder Bremen and fell to fifth place. Elsewhere, Veronin scored his fourth goal in four games to send Hertha Berlin back to the top of the table.


Team of the Week

Italy: Serie A Weekend Roundups

Juventus edges Napoli while Lazio win to keep Bologna near the foot of the table.

Leaders Inter need a late goal from Hernan Crespo to draw 3-3 with Roma, while AC Milan fell to Sampdoria and Fiorentina could only muster a draw.

Spain: La Liga Weekend Roundups

Raul scores again as Real Madrid defeat Espanyol and move within four points of leaders Barcelona.

Kun Aguero notches his second in the 69th minutes as Atletico defeat Barcelona 4-3.

Carling Cup Final: Manchester United 0 - 0 Tottenham

United win 4-1 on penalty kicks

Spurs suffer Wembley woe