Friday, January 15, 2010

Jozy Altidore Plans Trip to Haiti

Altidore, whose parents moved to the U.S. from Haiti 35 years ago, has more than a dozen family members -- uncles, aunts, nephews and nieces -- unaccounted for.

Africa: An Entertaining Start to the Nations Cup

Anyone fancying a flutter on an African team to do the unthinkable and win this year's World Cup may be thinking twice about dipping into their pocket after the first round of matches in the Nations Cup.

So far, little Malawi - the tournament's rank outsiders - have managed to muster more points than the combined tally earned by World Cup finalists Algeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Nigeria.

Raphael Honigstein in Germany

Bayern Munich should be refreshed after their winter holiday and, despite Dubai TV's efforts, can clinch the title.

Laughter a mixed medicine as German clubs return from break.

This is the first image that comes up when you Google "German TV..."

The Mill +

Friday's Rumours


African Cup of Nations Preview: Ivory Coast vs. Ghana

Ghana belatedly kick-off their African Nations Cup campaign against Ivory Coast in Cabinda and coach Milovan Rajevac is expecting no easy ride in what is certainly the pick of the first-round games.

England: Premier League Heroes: Gary Speed: Marathon Man

When the word longevity is uttered in football conversation, images of Paolo Maldini and Ryan Giggs are probably the first to be conjured. But for 18 top-flight years, Gary Speed plied his trade at the highest level of English football, earning himself a reputation as one of the Premier League's most consistent performers and one of the game's model professionals, as well as setting the goal and appearance benchmarks for Welsh compatriot Giggs to reach.

England: Premier League Previews, Predictions & Table

After last week's snow fiasco, a full programme of Premier League fixtures is scheduled this weekend, starting with Stoke City versus Liverpool. Five 3pm kick-offs take place on Saturday, with Manchester United and Chelsea both involved, Roberto Mancini faces his first real test as Manchester City manager while on Sunday Owen Coyle's Bolton Wanderers and Arsenal conclude the action.

Preview I
Preview II

Lawro's Predictions

Played Points
Manchester United2144
Manchester City2038
Tottenham Hotspur2037
Aston Villa2035
Stoke City2024
Blackburn Rovers2121
Wolverhampton Wanderers2019
Wigan Athletic1919
West Ham United2018
Bolton Wanderers1818
Hull City2018

Italy: Serie A Weekend Preview + Table

The Nerazzurri go into Saturday's game at Bari on the back of three consecutive wins while Milan host rock-bottom Siena 24 hours later looking to make it three wins in a row in the league.

Juventus travel to Verona to face Chievo looking to replicate the form they displayed in their midweek 3-0 triumph over Napoli in the Coppa Italia.


AC Milan1811431237
AS Roma19955632
Chievo Verona19739-124

Spain: La Liga Weekend Preview + Table

Barcelona get an immediate chance to avenge their Copa del Rey defeat to Sevilla when they play them at the Nou Camp this weekend. In contrast, whereas Barca are now out of the cup, they are still sitting pretty in La Liga with a two-point lead over Real Madrid at the top of the table.


Real Madrid1713222941
Deportivo La Coruña17944431
Sevilla FC179351130
Athletic Bilbao17836127
Sporting Gijon17665124
Atlético Madrid17557-120
Racing Santander17548-519
Real Zaragoza173410-1913

Germany: Bundesliga Weekend Preview

Bayern Munich - Hoffenheim

Bayer Leverkusen – Mainz
Borussia M’gladbach – Bochum
Eintracht Frankfurt – Werder Bremen
Hamburg – Freiburg
Hannover – Hertha Berlin
Stuttgart – Wolfsburg

Schalke – Nuernberg
Koeln – Borussia Dortmund

The Bundesliga resumes after a long winter break…

English League Cup Semi-Final Report: Blackburn 0 - 1 Aston Villa

Ice-cool James Milner keeps Villa on right path with winner at Blackburn Rovers.


The Joy of Six: League Cup Semi-Finals

From a Valentine's Day massacre to Bobby Moore saving a penalty, here are half a dozen memorable clashes.

African Cup of Nations: Thursday's Reports

Angola 2-0 Malawi:
Black Antelopes Extinguish Harmless Flames

Mali 0-1 Algeria: Fennecs Ground Eagles To Keep Qualification Hopes Alive

Rafael Benítez given a temporary reprieve at Liverpool but loses star trio

The manager's task of delivering the top-four finish that would save his job was made more difficult when Steven Gerrard, Yossi Benayoun and Fernando Torres all returned to the treatment table, the latter with a withering attack on the club's owners.

Harry Harris: Jose interested

Top Six Contenders for Rafa's Job

Ives: Union, Fire and Red Bulls earn plaudits at the SuperDraft

For a first draft, the Philadelphia Union handled the 2010 MLS draft like veterans.

The expansion team -- and host of the draft -- delivered a class filled with promise and potential, loading up on teenage prospects as well as college veterans.

Philadelphia got the ball rolling on its standout draft by pulling off a pair of pre-draft deals to land the No. 6 and No. 7 picks in the first round. With three of the first seven selections, the Union landed three young prospects who could end up being the cream of the 2010 crop.

Philadelphia was just one of three Eastern Conference teams to do well on draft day. Chicago and New York also walked away with impressive hauls that should help the East put up a better fight after finishing second best to the West in 2009.

Here is a closer look at how all 16 MLS teams did on draft day:

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Norman Hubbard: Ferguson Growing Old Gracelessly

By far the most decorated and long-serving of his contemporaries, an Old Trafford great has garnered ever more accolades for his longevity, his quality and his dignity. His ability to excel at an age when others have retired has been rightly praised, his attitude described as an example to others. Enough about Ryan Giggs, though: Sir Alex Ferguson differs from his greatest servant. Indeed, having taught the winger for more than two decades, he could learn from him now.

Copa del Rey: Holders Barcelona Out

Sevilla 0-1 Barcelona:
Lone Xavi Strike Not Enough As Andalucians Progress On Away Goals Rule

Calcio Debate: Too Many Young Italian Stars Are Being Destroyed By Serie A Clubs's Subhankar Mondal explores the several young Italian players who are struggling to get games for their respective clubs and says that this is only going to harm the national team....

Friend died in my arms during bus ambush, says Emmanuel Adebayor

"It is very difficult because our press officer, who was my personal press officer, died in my hands," he said. "Until now that is the worst image I have had in my life. I always hear people say [you think] somebody is going to die in your hands and at the end that person survives. But I had the press officer in my hands to his last respiration and he passed away in my hands, so you can imagine it is very difficult.

Yes, he attended a Togo team meeting yesterday wearing an Arsenal shirt...

The Mill + ++

Thursday's Rumours



World Cup 2010: Outrage over stab vest sales

The stab vests, which were launched in England last week, shield "the vital inner body parts from stabs, cuts, slashes and blows from sharp, edged or spiked weapons", and is being marketed to football fans around the world.

Meanwhile, the company claims that crime rate is high in South Africa, and the Protektorvest will offer effective protection from potential attacks.

"We are getting lots of interest in this from around the world. It is quite amazing. Of course people think it is a bit crazy, but South Africa is famous for knife crime'', said Sascha Cutura, co-founder of Protektorvest. ''I can imagine that the organisers of the World Cup say it is safe, but fans want to do what they can.

FA Cup Third Round Replay: Liverpool hit new low as Reading triumph at Anfield

Reading 1 - 2 Liverpool: This time there is no one else to blame but the players and manager of Liverpool FC.

Phil McNulty: Clock is ticking for Rafa

Kevin McCarra: There may be even more trouble ahead

Harry Harris: Loss must spell end for Rafa

African Cup of Nations: Wednesday's Reports

Cameroon 0–1 Gabon: Panthers Tame Indomitable Lions

Tunisia 1-1 Zambia: Score Draw Keeps Group D Wide Open

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Top 10: Returning Stars

In football, as in life, players are often told 'not to go back'. However in some cases over the years certain players have proved exceptions to the rule.

More on Sol Campbell's Arsenal Return

Phil McNulty: Campbell deal makes perfect sense

Barney Ronay: Sol Campbell is Mr. Right Now

James Dall: The Pros and Cons

Maradona's Attacking Multitudes

The rotation of strikers at a club has always been a problem. How do you keep them happy, while at the same time ensuring that your team performs to its full potential? A domestic squad will usually have at least four goalscorers, but when it comes to choosing your international frontline, there's a lot more to be considered. This is the conundrum facing Diego Maradona as he attempts to select a potent forward line. The legendary No.10 used 43 different players at some stage during the qualifying campaign, but he will have to trim that number to 23 by June 10.

The Mill +

Wednesday's Rumours


Burnley confirm appointment of Brian Laws on two-and-a-half year deal

Laws, a former Burnley player, had been a free agent after being sacked by Sheffield Wednesday last month.

Quotes & Chants of the Week

"One of my friends, one of the few I have lately, told me, 'you're like Rocky'.I'm full of punches and blood but I say to my opponents, 'you don't hurt me, hit harder because you're not hurting me'. There's nothing that can knock me out, my mother used to hit me harder."
Under-fire Juventus coach Ciro Ferrara after watching his side lose four of their last five games.

"We've got three points today, and that's better than one point."
Nigel Adkins being interviewed after Scunthorpe's 4-1 away win against Derby.

"He's lucky to only get one red."
Robbie Earle commenting on El Hadji Diouf's horror tackle for Blackburn against Aston Villa.

"That's why you're going down!"
Arsenal fans to West Ham kid who put his penalty wide during half-time entertainment at Upton Park.

"Stand up if you're top of the league."
Leeds fans at Old Trafford.

"Fergie time! Fergie time!"
Leeds fans when the injury time was announced at Man Utd.

The Rest

Juventus, a rather sick and tired old lady

Following a two-hour emergency team meeting on Tuesday, Ciro Ferrara remains as coach of Juventus for now.

But win or lose Wednesday's Coppa Italia match against Napoli, a game that brings together the only two clubs he ever played for as a professional, his days would appear to be numbered.

African Cup of Nations: Tuesday's Reports & Analysis

Egypt 3–1 Nigeria:
Pharaohs Come Back To Defeat Super Eagles

Benin 2–2 Mozambique: The Mambas Come From Behind To Earn A Vital Draw

The African Cup of Nations really isn't going so well

Uli Hesse in Germany

Almost exactly 30 years ago, in January 1980, a man known by two names died at only 38 years of age. There were many facets to his unusual life, and so he's remembered for many things, depending on who you ask. The world of sports, however, primarily remembers him for having taken Germany's most famous football photo of all time.

Not the photograph in question...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sol Campbell confirms plans for Arsenal return

Sol Campbell has confirmed to ESPN Soccernet that he intends to re-sign for Arsenal until the end of the season and play for the reserves at West Ham on Tuesday night.

Fox Cable Networks to Launch New Network Fox Soccer Plus

Fox Soccer Plus, a new network intended to complement Fox Soccer Channel and complete the ultimate soccer fan experience, is scheduled to launch in fan-friendly high definition on Monday, March 1, 2010, it was announced today by David Nathanson, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Fox Soccer Channel. The channel will draw its exclusive match content from prominent soccer competitions, such as England’s Barclays Premier League, UEFA Champions League, England’s FA Cup, and Italy’s Serie A. Fox Soccer Plus will be offered to video providers across the country and be available to viewers as a premium service.

Sid Lowe in Spain

He's technically gifted, good-looking and, after two goals against Sevilla, the 18-year-old 'marvel' has the Spanish drooling.

Introducing La Liga's next superstar ... Racing Santander's Sergio Canales.

Glazer family takes £20m in fees and loans from Manchester United

Manchester United's owners, who loaded the club with more than £700m in borrowings to fund their purchase, have taken £10m out of the club in "management and administration fees" and have personally borrowed a further £10m in the past year, it has emerged.

How the Glazer family have milked debt-ridden United for millions.

United are currently training in Qatar...

Americans On The Continent: Making Moves Pt. II

As winter break draws to a close, one American leaves Portugal as another arrives.

Americans In The UK: Freeze Out

Although most games were postponed over the weekend, one new American made an immediate impact in England.

The Mill + ++

Tuesday's Rumours



African Cup of Nations: Monday's Reports & Analysis

Ivory Coast 0-0 Burkina Faso: Elephants Share Goalless Draw With Stallions
Malawi 3-0 Algeria: Malawi Hat-Trick Takes Algeria By Surprise

The big names suffered a humbling on their maiden voyages in the Africa Cup of Nations.'s Peter Staunton reflects on Monday's action...

England: Manchester City 4 - 1 Blackburn Rovers + EPL Table

Richard Jolly: Mancini's ideal start continues
Daniel Taylor: Tevez brilliant as City go fourth

January 12, 2010 P Pts
Manchester United2144
Manchester City2038
Tottenham Hotspur2037
Aston Villa2035
Stoke City2024
Blackburn Rovers2121
Wolverhampton Wanderers2019
Wigan Athletic1919
West Ham United2018
Bolton Wanderers1818
Hull City2018

Paolo Bandini in Italy

After last night's 3-0 home defeat to Milan, it looks like Juve coach Ciro Ferrara's days are numbered.

Ferrara faces the music after Milan lead Juventus a merry dance.

Phil Ball in Spain

Lots of people (and newspapers) have been talking about Pep Guardiola this week, mainly because last week's home draw with Villarreal was followed up by a home defeat in the King's Cup to Sevilla, prompting the wunderkind of football management to announce to the press that he was fallible after all.