Friday, October 15, 2010
New England Sports Ventures are set to complete their takeover of Liverpool after the club's co-owners removed the restraining order blocking any sale.
Tom Hicks and George Gillett accepted defeat in their bid to prevent a sale to NESV but say they will pursue £1bn damages, arguing the deal is "illegal".
Whenever an American player heads overseas, the move is fraught with questions. Will he settle in quickly and crack the starting lineup, or will he find himself in purgatory, forgotten, and left to rot on the bench?
Fortunately for Bolton Wanderers and U.S. international midfielder Stuart Holden, getting playing time at a top club hasn't been a problem.
Aston Villa vs. Chelsea: Preview
Manchester United vs. West Brom: Preview
Andy Gray: Everton have fewer problems than Liverpool
Lawro & Kobe's Predictions
Pacesetters Valencia will look to prolong Barcelona's stuttering home form and prove to be genuine title contenders this weekend. That match takes place on Saturday night, along with the local derby between Atletico Madrid and Getafe at the Vicente Calderon and Real Madrid's trip to 10th-placed Malaga.
Koeln – Borussia Dortmund
Bayern Munich – Hannover
Mainz – Hamburg
Schalke – Stuttgart
St Pauli – Nuernberg
Werder Bremen – Freiburg
Wolfsburg – Bayer Leverkusen
Kaiserslautern – Eintracht Frankfurt
Hoffenheim – Borussia Moenchengladbach
The Manchester United forward knew what he was doing by contradicting the manager, but it was not the wisest course.
Off The Ball never rests in its mission to scratch around the underbelly of professional football to find the most bizarre, humorous and inexplicable stories.
This week, Liam Gallagher is accused of stealing Eric Cantona's car door, Japan plan to beam live holographic matches around the world, a voodoo goat is blamed for Egypt's shock defeat and a fan gets a full-chest tattoo of Andres Escobar's shirt.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Two more friendlies, two draws, two goals and precious few answers came from the United States’ efforts over the past week. Yet with two more years to go until the business end of Bob Bradley’s second cycle really begins, the head coach can afford to take his time in clicking things into place ahead of the next World Cup.
Whisper it, in these troubled geopolitical times, but Spain is getting ready to invade China.
The fact that sports economists predict that there is at least $210 million to be gained by the Spanish clubs if they market and sell a properly structured package of television rights to China has been a galvanizing force in the Primera Division.
Spain does not have a coherent sales structure for Primera Division rights in China -- or any other important part of Asia. The problem is that, unlike their major European competitors, Spain's clubs do not sell rights collectively. It's every club for itself, so to speak.
Yossi Benayoun has admitted his surprise and dismay that Chelsea's medical staff "missed" detecting the seriousness of an achilles injury after the Israel international was tonight ruled out for up to six months.
Qualifiers for the World Cup and the European Championship are seen by most Italian fans less as competitive, unmissable affairs than chances to witness the progress towards another inevitably exciting month of June, every two years, when all of that will come to fruition.
One has to ask how all sorts of illegal weapons could enter the stadium in Genoa, and how did the troublemakers manage to slip under the radar of the Serbian security and judicial system and travel as far as Genoa with the intent of causing a major incident?
The first question, related to the Italian hosts, I'd prefer to leave with UEFA's pending investigation.
The battle over the future of Liverpool returns to the high court today after its American owners used a court in Dallas to prevent a sale of the club.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
The FA's money-grubbing imperative is putting the future of England's gifted young players in grave danger.
England need long-term planning to ensure talent is not wasted.
Rooney ought to have found the Montenegro defence easier to penetrate than those of Chelsea, Inter Milan and Barcelona, despite the blanket nature of it.
That he failed again to leave a substantial mark on a game of football, as opposed to the ankles of Elsad Zverotic, for which he was booked, is a consequence of two things; a dearth of talent and the blunt thinking of Capello.
Ruud Krol and Frank de Boer are the only world-class left backs the Dutch have ever had. Few kids ever aspire to become a left back, so in professional football this position is mainly occupied by frustrated left wingers who have been demoted by their coach. The supply is even more restricted as a left-footed orientation is preferred. Now Giovanni van Bronckhorst has retired, there is glaring vacancy in the Dutch team, but maybe a long forgotten name has the answer.
The Dutch hothead, 37, stunned players and staff by grappling with left-back Julian Bennett and shouting: "I'm the boss around here."
Eric Lichaj and Brek Shea made their national team debuts, among the only highlights on a night U.S. coach Bob Bradley changed five starters from Saturday's 2-2 tie against Poland in Chicago.
The U.S. is 4-5-4 this year, in danger of its first losing record in a year since going 5-6-7 in 1997. The Americans complete 2010 play on Nov. 17, when they return to South Africa for an exhibition against Bafana Bafana in Cape Town.
Steve Davis: Firing Blanks
England left Wembley with the jeers of their own fans ringing in their ears as they failed to score at the rebuilt stadium for the first time and had their 11-match winning streak on home soil ended by Montenegro. Fernando Llorente's late winner for Spain sealed a 3-2 win and broke Scotland hearts after they had come back from two goals down at Hampden Park. Holland made it four wins from four in qualifying, with a handsome 4-1 win over Group E rivals Sweden. France strengthened their hold on Group D with a 2-0 win over struggling Luxembourg in Metz.
The High Court has ruled in favour of Royal Bank of Scotland and against Liverpool co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, meaning the takeover agreed by the board with New England Sports Ventures (NESV) can go through as planned.
Barney Ronay at The High Court
Ivan the Terrible...?
Italy's Euro 2012 Group C qualifier against Serbia was abandoned by UEFA after just six minutes had been played due to crowd disturbances. The game at Genoa's Luigi Ferraris stadium was delayed for 35 minutes after a section of Serbian fans threw fire crackers and flares in the direction of the north stand where Italian supporters were seated, and onto the pitch.
After a manhunt lasting half the night, Ivan was found in the baggage compartment of the last coach to leave Genoa. He was the leader of the troubles last night in Genoa, cutting the fence around the pitch and leading the hooligans live on TV.
Video of the arrest
UEFA probes Serbian fan violence
Serbia apologize for trouble
Three possible reasons for their actions
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Liverpool’s proposed takeover by the owners of the Boston Red Sox is uncertain after a Singapore businessman raised his offer for the Premier League club on Tuesday and lawyers representing the current owners said a third group is also making a bid.
The 1960 European Championship final squad of Yugoslavia featured players from four of today's FIFA eligible nations. Those are Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia and Bosnia - Herzegovina. There was also representation from Kosovo, which is not formally recognised by FIFA.
What follows is not intended as a politically charged discussion. It is an examination of the football talent currently available to nations in the Yugosphere. The pretext is simple; to ponder the best XI of internationals in the region.
Jonathan Wilson: Montenegro can win at Wembley
Jeremy Wilson: Lowdown on Montenegro
Steve Archibald: Scots must capitalize on Xavi absence
This would be a fine candidate for a "Really?! with Seth and Amy" segment...
Davies was with Sochaux teammate Jacques Faty when they were pulled over in the early hours of Oct. 3 after being clocked at 125 mph in France's Jura region. Faty and Davies have both said Faty was driving, but they switched positions because Faty thought his license was still suspended from a previous speeding infraction.
At 3.30pm on October 22, 1977, Cologne forward Yasuhiro Okudera attempted to separate Duisburg's Herbert Bussers from the ball. It was the first minute of Okudera's first Bundesliga game and it would have been his first touch of the ball in a competitive game in Germany. If he had made proper contact with the ball, that is.
Monday, October 11, 2010
The League Managers Association has criticised Danny Murphy for his comments about Sam Allardyce, Tony Pulis and Mick McCarthy, in which the Fulham captain accused the trio of encouraging reckless tackling.
Few of us like Mondays but The Fifth Official does, for it brings with it a chance for him to point the finger and laugh. Here he pulls out the pretty, the puzzling and the downright pig-ugly from the past week in football.
Oguchi Onyewu's goal and Jermaine Jones' assist in his first game in an American uniform weren't enough for the United States, which had to settle for a 2-2 draw in an exhibition against Poland on Saturday night after giving up leads in each half. Jakub Blaszczykowski scored on a deflected pass in the 73rd minute for Poland, winless in seven consecutive matches as it prepares for the 2012 European Championship.
Davis: U.S. flaws on display vs. Poland
Carlisle: Player Ratings
Winners & Losers
Germany continued their impressive start to qualifying for Euro 2012 with a win over Turkey, while Austria overcame Azerbaijan and Belgium defeated 10-man Kazakhstan.
Republic of Ireland produced an impressive last-gasp comeback but were unable to overthrow Russia in a 3-2 defeat at Dublin's Aviva Stadium. Armenia claimed their first win in Euro 2012 qualifying Group B by impressively defeating Slovakia, while Macedonia were too strong for Andorra.
Italy remained on course to qualify for Euro 2012 after their goalless draw against Northern Ireland left them top of Group C.
Two goals in the final seven minutes helped France secure a vital home victory against Romania to go top of Euro qualifying group D. Albania go top of Group D after 1-1 draw with Bosnia.
Hungary produced a comprehensive 8-0 thumping of San Marino, while Holland saw off Moldova 1-0 in Euro 2012 qualifying Group E.
There were victories for Georgia and Greece in Group F of Euro 2012 qualifying, while Malta and Latvia see their hopes fading.
Portugal kick-started their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign with a 3-1 triumph over Denmark, while Norway beat Cyprus 2-1.