Thursday, December 30, 2010
This year has seen Diego Maradona lead Argentina to the World Cup, Ian Holloway make his debut in the Premier League and Rafael Benitez reinvent himself as a poet.Steven Gerrard misplaces his confidence in new Liverpool signing Joe Cole (August)
"I'm not suited to Bolton or Blackburn. I would be more suited to Inter or Real Madrid. It wouldn't be a problem to me to go and manage those clubs because I would win the double or the league every time" - Sam Allardyce talks up his abilities three months before his dismissal at Blackburn (September)
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Manchester City are in talks with Wolfsburg over the transfer of Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko.
Reports in Germany have suggested that the Premier League outfit are now on the verge of signing the 24-year-old forward for a record Bundesliga fee.
Some Premier League playes have started as they mean to carry on. Top of their particular class at the half-way stage of the season are:
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
True, he was seeking to place himself in a tradition of some of his illustrious compatriots, but even so I always found it a depressing declaration. For what it is worth, my view is that far too much attention is given to these individual awards.
In some collective sports the star can make the team. But football is so fluid that it can only happen the other way round - the great player emerges when the collective balance of the side is correct. The team makes the star - and 2010 provides us with some compelling evidence...
Birmingham host Manchester United, Manchester City go to Villa, Stoke face Fulham, Sunderland welcome Blackpool, Tottenham host Newcastle, West Brom welcome Blackburn and Everton go to West Ham.
Vs. West Ham United, 1-3, (54 minutes)
Dempsey started but was curiously removed after just 54 minutes. The removal of Dempsey sparked chants of “You don’t know what you’re doing” from the supporters, in reference to manager Mark Hughes. The 3-1 loss dropped Fulham into the relegation zone and Hughes’ job is seriously in jeopardy.
Next Match: Tuesday, away to Stoke, and Saturday, away to Tottenham.
As the season approaches the mid-way point, there are plenty of players with reasons to hope the second half goes rather better than the first. With "could do better" by their names in their managers' mid-term reports are:
Monday, December 27, 2010
Citing “irreconcilable differences,” Donovan is seeking spousal support from Kajlich, who appears on CBS’ Rules of Engagement. He is also requesting she pay his attorney’s fees.
Benitez was fired by Inter on Wednesday after a series of disputes came to a head last weekend, when he criticized owner Massimo Moratti in a public rant. Inter sent Benitez a message on Monday to inform him his actions were a breach of contract.
While the storm of acrimony swirled, Benitez took the extraordinary step of uprooting himself from Milan and returning to his former home in Liverpool. Benitez was fired as Liverpool boss at the end of last season, and there is no coincidence about the timing or location of the place he sought sanctuary from the controversy brewing in Italy.
When Michael Essien was growing up, he was told that only “street boys” played football. In Ghana — a country that places huge value on education — the barefoot games, on scraggy, rock-strewn pitches in his hometown were seen as a distraction from the serious business of studying.
The former Arsenal midfielder Freddie Ljungberg is due in Glasgow tonight to hold talks about a possible contract at Celtic. The 33-year-old has been without a club since leaving the Major League Soccer side Chicago Fire in October. Celtic officials have been keen to play down the notion that Ljungberg will be on trial, although he is expected to train with the first-team squad this week.
The Brazilian has replaced Benitez, becoming the 15th coach of the Moratti era: he has signed a contract until June 30, 2012. On December 29 he will preside over his first practice as the head coach of Inter. Moratti: "His arrival is a slap in the face to AC Milan? I would regret it if it were perceived in that way"
West Ham came from behind to beat Fulham as the Cottagers slipped into the drop zone, Tottenham won away to Aston Villa with just 10 men, new Blackburn boss Steve Kean watched his side come unstuck at home to Stoke and Bolton overcame West Brom at the Reebok Stadium.
Aston Villa 1 - 2 Tottenham
Kevin Palmer at Villa Park
Newcastle 1 - 3 Manchester City
Louise Taylor at St. James' Park
Manchester United 2 - 0 Sunderland
Daniel Taylor at Old Trafford
Five Things We Learned
Players and managers hate Christmas, but we, the salivating footy public, love it. While we fill ourselves to the stitching with turkey, roast potatoes and, for the freaks among you, sprouts, all washed down with a concoction of wine, beer and port, the Premier League's finest have to put their chiselled limbs through the trauma of four games in ten days.