Friday, December 11, 2009

Marcela Mora y Araujo in Argentina

Argentinian club football is beset by problems, but the country's 1978 World Cup-winning captain hopes to fix them as River Plate's newly-elected president.

Thief no more, Daniel Passarella aims to clean up at River Plate.

Liverpool vs. Arsenal: Top 10 Video Moments

Watch YouTube clips of classic matches between Liverpool and Arsenal as two of the heavyweights of English football prepare for Sunday's Premier League contest.

England: Premier League Weekend Previews & Predictions

Liverpool's mouth-watering encounter with Arsenal at Anfield on Sunday is the pick of this weekend's Premier League fixtures. Elsewhere, Aston Villa make the trip to champions Manchester United. Chelsea are aiming to bounce back against Everton, Tottenham Hotspur tackle Wolverhampton Wanderers, Manchester City head to North West neighbours Bolton Wanderers while bottom-of-the-table Portsmouth meet Sunderland.

Preview I
Preview II

Lawro's Predictions

Italy: Serie A Weekend Preview

Juventus will be looking to put their European heartbreak behind them as they take on Bari this weekend. AC Milan will look to keep up the pressure on Inter by winning against Palermo at the San Siro and Roma will go after their fourth straight Serie A win when they take on Sampdoria at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris in Genoa.


Spain: La Liga Weekend Preview

Real Madrid travel to Valencia where they face difficult opponents as they bid to reduce the gap on Barcelona. Barcelona host Espanyol in a local derby and would be confident of claiming their seventh successive home league win.


Germany: Bundesliga Weekend Preview

Werder host Schalke and Dortmund pay a visit to Wolfsburg in this week’s fixtures…

Hertha Berlin – Bayer Leverkusen

Borussia M’gladbach – Hannover
Nuernberg – Hamburg
Freiburg – Koeln
Hoffenheim – Eintracht Frankfurt
Bochum – Bayern Munich
Werder Bremen – Schalke

Mainz – Stuttgart
Wolfsburg – Borussia Dortmund

Fiorentina Striker Adrian Mutu Punches Man During VIP Party Fight

Reports from Florence claim the Romanian was involved in a disturbance on the dancefloor...

Christophe Daum Confirms Fenerbahce Players Are Involved In Sex Scandal

Reports from the country earlier this week suggested that Colin Kazim-Richards, Vederson, Fabio Bilica and Santos organized 'sex-marathons' in a hotel in Istanbul.

Dean Ashton forced to retire at 26

The striker could never fully recover from an ankle injury suffered at England training in August 2006 and West Ham may now seek compensation in the form of a £7 million insurance claim against the Football Association.

Amy Lawrence: Ten questions the Champions League group stage raised

How did Fiorentina more than double Liverpool's points total, who do the English survivors want to play next and were Rangers the worst team?

Relief for Jens Lehmann after his mid-game toilet break

The Stuttgart goalkeeper jumped over the advertising hoardings and looked as if he was relieving himself before being interrupted by a Romanian counter-attack.

The Greatest Goals of the Decade

The decade has witnessed all manner of great goals and sublime strikes. It may be faintly ridiculous to restrict a selection to ten, but such events demand a nice, neat list.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Norman Hubbard: Zola succumbing to second-season syndrome

While some clubs suffer from the mysterious footballing ailment known as 'second-season syndrome', at West Ham it appears to afflict managers. The first year in the top flight brings serene progress, but the next tends to result in a downturn. Glenn Roeder was relegated in his, Alan Pardew dismissed half-way through a second top-flight campaign with demotion appearing to beckon and Alan Curbishley, perhaps aware of the unfortunate precedents, left before he could celebrate a second anniversary at the Boleyn Ground.

Tony Adams to Manage Red Bull?

Arsenal legend Adams, 43, has been scouting for Gunners boss Arsene Wenger since being sacked by Portsmouth in February.

But he is now favourite to replace Juan Carlos Osario, who quit the Big Apple side this summer.

Oliver Kay: Three concerns for Aquilani, Owen's game-plan and the manager of the year is...

My concerns for Aquilani are three-fold. First of all, he is not Xabi Alonso and, in a team where a loss of defensive nous has been the main effect of the Spaniard’s departure to Real Madrid, the immediate priority must be to play safe. Second, some excellent Italian players have struggled to adapt to the physical demands of the Premier League, where the prerequisite for any central midfielder is not to play or even to think, but to run. And third, can Aquilani stay fit long enough?

Crazy Jens Lehmann Takes a Potty Break During Yesterday's CL Match

The Mill +

Thursday's Rumours


Michael Essien out until February

Michael Essien is unlikely to play again for Chelsea until February after a scan confirmed yesterday that he had torn his right hamstring in Tuesday’s 2-2 Champions League draw with Apoel.

UEFA Champions League: Wednesday Review, Reports, Analysis

The Final 16:
Bordeaux, Manchester United, Chelsea, Porto, CSKA Moscow, AC Milan, Barcelona, Inter Milan,
Lyon, Sevilla, Fiorentina, Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Olympiacos, Stuttgart

The group phase of the UEFA Champions League concluded with Barcelona safely avoiding elimination and Liverpool, Arsenal and Rangers all losing. Group F commanded the most attention and reigning champions Barcelona overcame Dynamo Kiev 2-1 to seal top spot, meaning they will not face any of the three remaining English sides in the next round.

Dynamo Kiev 1 - 2 Barcelona
Late Messi free-kick sends Barca top

Inter Milan 2 - 0 Rubin Kazan
Eto'o and Balotelli send Inter through

Liverpool 1 - 2 Fiorentina
Andy Hunter: More stoppage time woe for Reds

Olympiakos 1 - 0 Arsenal
Jon Carter: Arsenal kids lack cutting edge
Tom Dart: Youngsters acquit themselves well

Best and Worst of the Week

Final Results and What Happens Next

Everton confirm talks to sign U.S. striker Landon Donovan

"Landon is a player David Moyes has identified as someone he would like to bring to the club"

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

UEFA Champions League: Wednesday Previews

Arsenal, Liverpool and Rangers are in action in the UEFA Champions League but all eyes will likely be on Group F as holders Barcelona and Inter Milan both face possible elimination.

Dynamo Kiev vs. Barcelona: Preview
U.S. TV: Setanta @ 2:45pm EST & FSC @ 5pm

Inter Milan vs. Rubin Kazan: Preview
U.S. TV: FSC @ 2:45pm EST

Olympiacos vs. Arsenal: Preview

Top 5 Worst Juventus Performances In Europe

Following last night’s humiliating Champions League exit at the hands of Bayern Munich, Carlo Garganese looks back on the worst five European performances by the Bianconeri from years gone by…

Jonathan Wilson in Eastern Europe

Dan Petrescu's small-town side need to avoid defeat in Stuttgart tonight to reach the last 16.

Unirea Urziceni on brink of Champions League history for Romania.

The Mill +

Wednesday's Rumours


UEFA Champions League: Tuesday Review, Reports, Analysis

Manchester United progressed to the latter stages of the UEFA Champions League as group winners as Michael Owen scored a brilliant hat-trick in Wolfsburg, while elsewhere Chelsea signed off with a disappointing draw at home to Apoel Nicosia and Bayern Munich battered Juventus 4-1 in Turin.

Wolfsburg 1 - 3 Manchester United

Harry Harris: Hat-trick throws Owen England lifeline

Juventus 1 - 4 Bayern Munich
Kris Voakes: Sack Ferrara following Bayern humiliation

Marseille 1 - 3 Real Madrid
Ronaldo Double

Zurich 1 - 1 AC Milan
Ronaldinho rescues Milan

Chelsea 2 - 2 Apoel Nicosia
Phil McNulty: Kakuta shines but lapses still a worry for Chelsea

McCarthy's Musings: Important Decision Looms For Holden

Houston midfielder Stuart Holden has the freedom to choose any destination in the world. In order to remain in the U.S. squad ahead of the World Cup and continue his development, Holden needs to select his next destination with care, according to Kyle McCarthy.

Stu "meets" some fans...

David Moyes sets sights on Landon Donovan for Everton loan

David Moyes hopes to strengthen his injury-plagued Everton squad in the January transfer window with a loan move for the USA forward, Landon Donovan.

Beasley Prepares for Rangers Exit

"It has been frustrating and I'm looking to move away from Rangers,” Beasley told the Glasgow Evening Times. “It's not that I'm not happy with the club, it's just that I want to play. I'm only 27 and I feel like I have another six, seven or eight years left.”

Happier times...

Sam Kelly in Argentina

Estudiantes' style of play, back in the late 1960s, came in stark contrast to the aesthetic-obsessed style of the Argentine league of decades previous, expressed in the almost mythical phrase La Nuestra (our style). Estudiantes' style was anti-fútbol, and that shouldn't need a translation. It was often incendiary. If an opposing player's daughter had just been taken gravely ill, Estudiantes would know about it and would use the knowledge to wind him up on the pitch. Today's scrapes down the backs of legs or sly tugs on shirts at corners would have been laughed at - elbows were used and even pins when the referee wasn't looking. With few, if any, TV cameras present, no holds were barred.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

UEFA Champions League: Tuesday Previews

Some of Europe's heavyweights are facing the prospect of crashing out of the Champions League in the final round of games in Groups A to D. guides you through the final round of matches and the significance they hold for Europe's most prestigious club competition.

Sid Lowe in Spain

Real Mallorca are badly run, financially constricted and have a shoddy team. Yet somehow their manager is getting results.

Mallorca's managerial magic keeps boardroom bedlam at bay.

Quotes & Chants of the Week

"I can shake hands with who I want."
Arsene Wenger defends his decision not to touch gloves with Mark Hughes following Arsenal's 3-0 League Cup defeat to Manchester City.

"Bobby Moore was a national hero...they are all legends and that's what we would emulate. If we did...well, the West Ham fans might even forgive me everything! Maybe they'd claim me back as one of their own."
Lampard on the possibility of a Hammers love-in if England win the World Cup.

"I've a mate who for the past three years has taken his pals to the USA for a golf tournament against American pals. They have had a great time - the golf was great and the lads got on well. They took the wives this year and it was a disaster. All the wives had an argument and I think it's been cancelled for next year."
Harry Redknapp on why he's glad the WAGs won't be out in force at the World Cup.

"This is not a must-win game for Portsmouth, it's a game they must win."
5 live Commentator during the build up to Portsmouth v Burnley (isn't that a must win game, then?)

Barnet fans: "1-0 to the Barnet boys!"
Bournemouth fans: "1-0 to the referee!"
Barnet fans: "Referee, referee referee...sign him up, sign him up, sign him up!!"

The Rest

The Mill +

Tuesday's Rumours


Americans On The Continent: Stingy Defense

Steve Cherundolo, Hannover 96 (Germany)
Vs. Bayer Leverkusen, 0-0, 90 minutes

Steve Cherundolo and Hannover gladly shared the spoils with league leaders Bayer Leverkusen Saturday as they drew 0-0. Cherundolo returned from injury to play 90 minutes in his normal right back slot.

The Rest

Americans In The UK: PK Hero Howard Rescues Everton

DaMarcus Beasley, Rangers

Beasley played the final 28 minutes on Saturday and drew a penalty just four minutes into his stint when he was brought down in the box. Kenny Miller converted the spot kick as Rangers padded their lead and went on to win 3-1. This is encouraging playing time for Beasley and the fact that he made a big impact is even better going forward.

The Rest

Fernando Duarte in Brazil

Brazil's most popular club lift the curse of Rio football and revel in a redemption day.

Resurgent Flamengo roll back the years to secure Brazilian title.

Raphael Honigstein in Germany

The man who started as the players' friend and a nice guy could not and would not transform himself into a believable hard man.

'The talented Mr Babbel' another victim of direct democracy, Bundesliga-style.

Paolo Bandini in Italy

Observers hoping for a genuine title race in Italy now know that Inter will not have this Scudetto sewn up by Christmas.

Derby weekend lights up with fireworks on and off the field.

Phil Ball in Spain

Okay - I know sherry doesn't go off, but give me a break. It's just taken half an hour to come up with that 'sherry's corked' headline. Getting more to the point: What is worse? To be bottom of the first division or to be top of the second? You might well answer that it depends on the stage of the season, but that does not seem to be the way that supporters in general see it.

Monday, December 07, 2009

World Cup Stadiums

World Cup 2010:
The 10 stadiums of the Fifa World Cup 2010 in South Africa.


Manchester United

United had hoped Vidic would have recovered from the flu bug that kept him out of Saturday's win at West Ham. However, the Serbian was absent as his team-mates checked in for the short flight to Germany. United's list of injured defenders includes the captain Gary Neville and Wes Brown, who both limped off at Upton Park, plus the longer-term casualties Rio Ferdinand, John O'Shea and Jonny Evans. With the Da Silva brothers, Fábio and Rafael, also sidelined, the only senior orthodox defender Ferguson has in his squad is the left-back Patrice Evra.


Wenger went into the match with a squad ravaged by injury. William Gallas (hamstring), Emmanuel Eboué (muscle), Armand Traoré (hamstring) and Andrey Arshavin (ankle) all picked up knocks during the match while Eduardo (thigh) was a late withdrawal from the squad. Gael Clichy (back), Abou Diaby (calf) and Nicklas Bendtner (groin) missed the win and are all doubts for next weekend's game with Liverpool while Johan Djourou (knee), Kieran Gibbs (foot) and Robin van Persie (ankle) are long-term absentees.

Tough World Cup draw for African challengers

A heavy dose of reality crashed down upon African hopes of a maiden Fifa World Cup title after Friday's draw pitched the continent's most-fancied teams in challenging groups.

In the build-up to the Cape Town draw, where locals flooded the city centre for the most colourful of street parties, most of the talk centred upon Ghana and Ivory Coast spearheading Africa's unlikely quest.

But now the tables have turned after the Black Stars landed in among Germany, Australia and Serbia (Group D) while the Ivorians face Brazil, Portugal and North Korea (Group G).

Steve Davis: U.S. lucks into an ideal draw for 2010

A seismic shift in attitude toward next summer's World Cup is utterly palpable among U.S. soccer supporters.

As the day began, U.S. fans had reason to expect the worst. A history of nasty draws and a recent crop of up-and-down performances had churned up a certain bitter cynicism.

By the end of Friday's prolonged-but-stirring proceedings from South Africa, "overwhelming joy" had routed "dread" as the prevailing sentiment among U.S. supporters, who now have every reason to believe their side can slip into the second round next summer.

Arsene Wenger interview: the full transcript of Matthew Syed's interview

The Arsenal manager gave an in-depth interview to the Sports Journalist of the Year and Martin Samuel, of The Daily Mail, at Great Ormond Street Hospital this week.

Here's their fascinating discussion in full.

The Mill +

Monday's Rumours


Tony Pulis and James Beattie come to blows after Emirates dressing room row

The alleged argument is believed to have started after Pulis ordered the players to report for training today, prompting Beattie to object after it had previously been agreed that the first team would not be required to come in until Tuesday because they were due to go out in London last night for their Christmas party.

Calcio Debate: Mario Balotelli Should Leave Serie A

Let’s make something very clear right from the start of this editorial – Juventus fans who jeer Mario Balotelli are not racist. And nor are the large majority of supporters throughout Italy who abuse the 19-year-old.

The foreign media, and particularly England’s notorious SKY Sports, have been quick to pick up on this ongoing drama and I don’t need to tell you how they have presented it. The simple truth, though, is that Balotelli is targeted because of his repulsive attitude problem.

Italy: Serie A Weekend Reports, Review & Team of the Week

Juventus 2 - 1 Inter Milan
A second half Claudio Marchisio wonder goal proved the difference in a hotly contested encounter at the Stadio Olimpico.

AC Milan 3 - 0 Sampdoria
Rampant rossoneri crush sorry Samp

Roma got the better of local rivals Lazio, Fiorentina closed on the UEFA Champions League places as Siena secured victory over fellow Serie A strugglers Catania.

Team of the Week

Spain: La Liga Weekend Reviews

Zlatan Ibrahimovic continued to impress in Barcelona colours as he took his Primera Liga goal tally into double figures during the 3-1 dismissal of Deportivo, while Cristiano Ronaldo saw red as Real Madrid also won.

Valencia moved up to third in La Liga after a battling win at Athletic Bilbao, while nine-man Villarreal overcame Getafe at home.

England: Premier League Weekend Review

Arsenal returned to winning ways, Tottenham Hotspur threw away a two-goal lead, Portsmouth and Wolverhampton Wanderers claimed invaluable victories and Liverpool stuttered once more.


England: Premier League Special Reports

Manchester City 2 - 1 Chelsea
Richard Jolly: City set a marker for success
Paul Wilson: Ancelotti's masterplan falls short

Everton 2 - 2 Tottenham
Harry Harris: Tottenham stars on trial
Andy Hunter: Howard the Hero

Fulham 1 - 0 Sunderland
Dominic Fiefield: Zamora silences critics