Friday, August 28, 2009
Chelsea forward Nicolas Anelka has the football world on tenter hooks with the imminent release of his audacious autobiography ‘It’s not me. It’s everyone else.’ Which critics are are already labelling ’shocking’ and ‘compelling.’
I am utterly convinced that Yohann Gourcuff is the star of tomorrow and that
Lyon had the most luck with Group C because they are in my opinion superior to La Viola, and
Call it delusion or naiveté but I believe all three French teams will make it to the last 16 judged by the impressive debut by Lyon and
An interesting rumor this week sees the possible loan of LA Galaxy striker London Donovan (
As for Ligue 1 this will be a formidable weekend with the Sunday clash between the Champion and Marseille:
Auxerre got spanked by
Lens is a pleasant surprise and they are now getting the points that will keep them away from the relegation zone come springtime. They might be able to resist the assaults of
Those teams of the West both disappointed and I see
Nice got atomized by a Lyon on fire in Week 3 and they will retaliate against a
One thing for sure is that one of those teams (if not both) will take their first point this Saturday. French institution St Etienne welcomed yet another gaucho striker Gonzalo Bergessio (ARG) and he will come handy at Geoffroy Guichard.
St Etienne –
Sochaux – Monaco 1 - 1
Lisandro Lopez (ARG) is simply frightening and the emergence of Miralem Pjanic (BOS) in midfield announces the new Lyon a lot faster than predicted. Juninho and Benzema have already been replaced…Meanwhile Nancy surprisingly fell to
If Marseille is the number one pretender to the title then this is quite simply the match they are not allowed to lose. It will be physical and
I hit 50% correct predictions last week and I’m not sure I will do better this weekend.
Finally Raymond Domenech selected 23 players for the
All eyes will be on Old Trafford Saturday as Manchester United welcome Arsenal. Elsewhere, Chelsea host Burnley, Liverpool go to Bolton, Stoke and Sunderland clash, Spurs host Birmingham, Wolves welcome Hull, West Ham go to Blackburn, Pompey host Manchester City, Everton welcome Wigan and Fulham face Villa in Birmingham.
Phil McNulty: Arsenal's revival faces ManU test
Barcelona, who last weekend completed a 5-1 aggregate win over Athletic Bilbao to add the Spanish Super Cup to their growing list of trophies under Guardiola, start their title defence at home to Sporting Gijon.
That match takes place on Monday night as Barca are in action in the European Super Cup against Shakhtar tomorrow night.
Greatness in football can be identified and categorised in any number of ways. Medals, statistics and individual awards all shed light on a player's standing in the game while some achieve recognition via a less tangible appreciation of the magical qualities that made them so memorable. Sometimes, though, a simple quote will suffice.
When: Saturday 29 August, 2:45 EDT
Where: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan
U.S. TV: Fox Soccer Channel
Why the Milan Derby is so special
In an unusually early Milan derby, the pressure will be on Inter to avoid a defeat that would send them five points below their rivals...
Lyon have pulled off a master stroke selling Karim Benzema for £35m and buying this unheralded hero for half that figure.
My buddy Pedro in Lisbon has been singing López's praises for a while now. Nothing against Lyon, but it is surprising that he wasn't snatched up by a "bigger" club. You were right, Pedro. You were right. -Sanford
Just to offer a little perspective...
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Bayern Munich (Germany)
Maccabi Haifa (Israel)
Manchester United (England)
CSKA Moscow (Russia)
AC Milan (Italy)
Real Madrid (Spain)
Atlético Madrid (Spain)
Debreceni VSC (Hungary)
Inter Milan (Italy)
Dynamo Kiev (Ukraine)
Rubin Kazan (Russia)
Unirea Urziceni (Romania)
AZ Alkmaar (Holland)
Standard Liege (Belgium)
I played for Millwall in 1987 when we beat West Ham United 2-1 at Upton Park in the Simod Cup. I don’t remember the sound of the crowd, or the referee’s whistle; just the sirens as police cars and ambulances circled the stadium.
With the striker on board, the Serie A champions finally look equipped to make an impact in Europe this season.
European football's governing body is to investigate an alleged dive by Arsenal's Eduardo during the Champions League 3-1 qualifier win over Celtic.
West Ham United will need to prove to the Football Association they did everything possible to prevent the ugly crowd scenes that marred Tuesday's Carling Cup tie against Millwall to stave off the possibility either of being forced to play behind closed doors or cast from the competition.
As Rafael Benitez flounders in a mire of his own making, it's easy to picture a happier scene being played out not a million miles away from Anfield.
The big guns, such as Barcelona, Manchester United, and Chelsea, had long since qualified for this round already. But the play-offs brought qualification to the likes of Arsenal and Lyon, who had to negotiate the non-champions round.
But there are some unsung sides among the top table, too. Debrecen of Hungary qualify via the play-off for champions route, while Russia's Rubin Kazan are automatically placed in the groups.
APOEL Nicosia booked their place in the group stages of the Champions League for the first time with a 3-1 win at home to FC Copenhagen.
Eduardo's controversial penalty helped Arsenal secure another shot at the £30m jackpot of the Champions League with a comfortable 3-1 win on the night - 5-1 on aggregate - over Celtic at Emirates Stadium.
Eduardo taints demolition job
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
For a time at Upton Park last night it was as if football had been transported back to the 1980s, as supporters of West Ham United and Millwall re-enacted a time when the match was only a backdrop to rioting.
Italy’s top flight Serie A clubs confirmed they will split from the second division Serie B sides in an attempt to make up ground on England’s Premier League and Spain’s La Liga.
The move is based on the English clubs’ 1992 breakaway which transformed the sport and made the Premier League the richest in the world.
Another ‘Battle of Britain’ recommences with the Gunners holding a two goal advantage and looking red hot favourites to qualify.
Kick-Off: Wednesday 26 August 19.45 BST
Emirates Stadium, London
U.S. TV: Fox Soccer Channel
Wednesday 26 August, 20:45 CET
Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence, Italia
It promises to be a fascinating campaign in the top division in Spain as Real Madrid have purchased a new wave of Galácticos and Barcelona have shipped Eto'o to Inter in exchange for Swedish hitman Ibrahimović.
Jozy Altidore scored his first Hull goal as the Tigers claimed a place in the third round of the Carling Cup with a 3-1 win over Southend.
The USA striker marked his first start by doubling a much-changed Hull side's lead after a brilliant opener from debutant Tom Cairney at the KC Stadium.
French club Olympique Lyon and Atletico Madrid of Spain booked their places in Thursday’s draw for the Champions League group stages with convincing playoff wins on Tuesday.
A man has been stabbed in the chest during "large-scale trouble" involving hundreds of fans at West Ham's Carling Cup match against Millwall.
Fights broke out at 1800 BST and were still raging five hours later. A 44-year-old man is stable after being stabbed in Priory Road at 2025 BST.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said missiles had been thrown at officers but none were injured.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Atletico Madrid will seek to take a temporary, yet lucrative step, out of the huge shadow cast by neighbours Real on Tuesday by completing a qualifying round win over Greek side Panathinaikos to take their place in the Champions League group stage.
Debrecen (HUN) v Levski Sofia (BUL) (Debrecen lead 2-1)
Anderlecht (BEL) v Lyon (FRA) (Lyon lead 5-1)
Maccabi Haifa (ISR) v FC Salzburg (AUT) (Haifa lead 2-1)
FC Zurich (SUI) v FK Ventspils (LAT) (Zurich lead 3-0)
Atletico Madrid (ESP) v Panathinaikos (GRE) (Atletico lead 3-2)
Arsenal (ENG) v Celtic (SCO) (Arsenal lead 2-0)
Fiorentina (ITA) v Sporting Lisbon (POR) (First leg 2-2)
Apoel Nicosia (CYP) v FC Copenhagen (DEN) 1 (Copenhagen lead 1-0)
Olympiakos (GRE) v Sheriff (MDA) (Olympiakos lead 2-0)
VfB Stuttgart (GER) v Timisoara (ROM) (Stuttgart lead 2-0)
Goal.com looks at the players who could have done better from the first round of the Serie A calendar...
A few month's back on Radio 5's World Football Phone-In (Friday night/Saturday morning, normally between 2.30 am and 4am if you care to join us), the excellent analyst of European football, Andy Brassell, was talking about the first Champions League game he attended in Italy.
He had a shock. An English team was involved, but the match stewards could not speak English. In my wanderings around South America, however, I would get a similar shock if I saw such a thing as a steward.
Rafael Benitez marched briskly through Anfield's main entrance nearly two hours after defeat to Aston Villa and moved to reassure a concerned Liverpool supporter with the words: "We keep going."
Defeat to Bundesliga's new boys consigned Louis van Gaal's side to their worst start since 1966 and scathing criticism.
Mainz's unsung heroes put Bayern's poor start under further scrutiny.
Adrian Mutu has a £14.6m debt to Chelsea hanging over his head, but this weekend Fiorentina reaped the benefits.
Mutu finds peace only on the pitch as Serie A kicks off.
After receiving the all clear following an H1N1 swine flu scare, American international Steve Cherundolo reprised his normal starting role in Hannover’s road win over FC Nurnberg.
World Cup qualifying is in full flow, and coach Bob Bradley continues to evaluate players. ESPNsoccernet projects whom we think Bradley will choose as his 23-man U.S. roster for the 2010 World Cup. Players are ranked from top to bottom in terms of how certain a lock they appear to be for the roster and their current perceived pecking order. As befitting standard squad composition, we've chosen three goalkeepers, eight defenders, eight midfielders and four forwards.
One of the more honourable aims of journalism is to speak for the weak, the disenfranchised, those forgotten on the fringes. Which, I guess, means for a certain Bayern Munich player.
Monday, August 24, 2009
The Blackburn Rovers manager is not a man who invites sympathy. In fact, seeing him hard done by is one of the great sights on Match of the Day.
The United States striker made a solid debut for Hull City, setting up the game-winning goal for Kamel Ghilas just seconds after coming on as a substitute in Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers. However, the EPL rarely hands success on a plate to wide-eyed youngsters like the 19-year-old Altidore.