Friday, June 03, 2011
Good Day SSNers!!
Sid Lowe in Spain with The Sids, previews for the weekend's Euro 2012 qualifiers, the U.S. host Spain in Foxboro tomorrow, more on FIFA, Jonathan Wilson in Eastern Europe, Friedel goes to Spurs, Mark Hughes leaves Fulham but does not go to Villa, Dale Johnson is Off The Ball, Barcelona sign 10-year-old American and much more!!
Sir Alex Ferguson banks on Michael Owen to pass on wealth of experience to Manchester United young guns
Eyebrows were raised at Manchester United’s decision to hand Michael Owen a new one-year contract earlier this week, but the former England forward can credit Sir Alex Ferguson’s admiration of AC Milan for his extended stay at Old Trafford.
From an amazing managerial achievement to perhaps the greatest assist ever, it's time for the annual end-of-season Spanish football awards.
It's the Sids 2011! The complete review of the past La Liga season.
Gillette Stadium; Foxborough, MA.
June 4, 2011, 4:30 p.m. EDT
ESPN & Univision
Reigning World Cup champions Spain will bring a star-studded squad that includes six players from Champions League winners Barcelona into a Saturday friendly against the United States.
Nearly 58,000 tickets have been sold for what will serve as a top-flight tuneup for the Americans ahead of the Gold Cup, the North American championship tournament that begins on Sunday. The host US men open Tuesday against Canada.U.S. vs. Spain Friendly May Not Be the Best Warm-Up for the Gold Cup
Germany will need to stay cool under pressure when they make an end-of-season push for a perfect six wins out of six in Euro 2012 qualifying against Austria on Friday. Runners-up to Spain in 2008, the Germans are one of several heavyweight teams in action following the season finale in major domestic leagues. In Group G, joint leaders England and Montenegro have home matches on Saturday against Switzerland and Bulgaria, while in Group D France are looking to avenge September's 1-0 home defeat by Belarus in Minsk on Friday.
Belarus vs. France: Preview
England vs. Switzerland: Preview
Macedonia vs. Ireland: Preview
Italy vs. Estonia: Preview
Three pivotal Euro 2012 clashes
Having been suspended from international competition in April, Bosnia-Herzegovina are back and stronger than before.
Bosnia-Herzegovina's united return to international football.
Mark Hughes will not be the new Aston Villa manager and has been left without a club after walking out on Fulham on Thursday night. The Welshman had been the favourite to succeed Gérard Houllier but Villa, unimpressed with the course of events that culminated in Hughes activating a break clause in his contract and leaving Fulham, have turned their attention elsewhere. Martin Jol and Steve McClaren are at the top of Villa's shortlist.
Hughes nursed an acute sense of injustice, shared by many observers inside and outside City, and public humiliation when he took charge of the 4-3 win against Sunderland in December 2009 with the word already out that his time was up as soon as the final whistle sounded.
The 47-year-old is walking away from Fulham with that same trajectory on an upward curve after a season in which he heard demands for his dismissal at Craven Cottage before a strong conclusion rebuilt his reputation and earned a place in the Europa League via the Fair Play standings.
Hughes, in a statement met with heavy cynicism, insisted his decision to activate a break clause in his two-year contract had not been prompted by the intervention of "an outside party" after Gerard Houllier left Aston Villa on health grounds only 24 hours earlier.
United States goalkeeper Brad Friedel has agreed to join Tottenham.
It is understood that the 40-year-old, whose contract with Aston Villa was due to expire at the end of this month, has signed a two-year contract.
8) His mouth has a habit of getting Grondona in trouble. He courted controversy when, in response to question about referee standards in Argentina, he stated, "I do not believe a Jew can ever be a referee at this level. It's hard work and, you know, Jews don't like hard work."
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, Jack Wilshere wants to get in the face of the referees, Mario Balotelli takes the scenic route, a suicidal koala helps a Spanish club sell season tickets, Barca shake that booty and we preview the Dr Nicolas Leoz Cup.
Thursday, June 02, 2011
Good Day SSNers!!
Beppe Signori among those arrested in Italian match-fixing probe, Alan Smith picks a World XI to beat Barcelona, Top 10 UEFA Champions League goals ever, The Big Interview is Darren Bent, Tim Vickery provides some perspective on the FIFA situation, Yank Abroad Marcus Hahnemann let go by Wolves, Jon Carter rewinds to 1985 and the post-Heysel reforms, Fabregas and Van Persie go see the Mets, The Mill is working around the clock on transfer rumors and much more!!
Prosecutors said they had "important and irrefutable" evidence that the 16 were involved in manipulating results in 18 mostly Serie B (second division) and lower league matches in the season that has just come to an end, adding that Atalanta and Siena's promotion to the top flight may be in danger.
For years Arsène Wenger has been saying that size does not matter, but it appears that six seasons without a trophy may have changed his mind as he on Wednesday admitted that one of his priorities this summer will be to sign tall players.
The impossible job, stopping Barcelona? Well, not quite seeing as they’ve been beaten six times this season. But what you do have to say is that if Pep Guardiola’s side play like they did on Saturday evening, you must do everything perfectly.
Luka gets the call...
Well, in a way he has, with a trip to New York. But despite spending all season together and working in close quarters every day of the week, the Dutchman has decided to take his captain Cesc Fabregas on holiday with him.
Brazilian journalists who flew to London for the Champions League final were struck by the importance given in the English press to the recent scandals surrounding FIFA. The story is not playing anything like as big back home.
European cynics might argue that this has something to do with a certain South American tolerance of corruption. South American cynics, meanwhile, put the whole frenzy down to an infantile English reaction at not being awarded the 2018 World Cup.
It has taken five years but Darren Bent has gone from feeling out of place with England to becoming the focal point of the attack.
'I remember Beckham coming up to me. I was shaking'
"With his enthusiasm and personality, not to mention some very different hobbies and interests, Marcus was a great character to have around the place and hugely influential in the dressing room."
On June 2, 1985, UEFA took action against English clubs, banning them from European competition after the riot at Brussels' Heysel stadium during the European Cup final between Liverpool and Juventus in which 39 people died. The repercussions of the tragedy saw stringent changes in the way hooligans were dealt with and formed the basis for a framework of measures to ensure nothing similar would ever happen again.
There is a temptation to think that some people are suckers for punishment. Having been dismissed by such luminaries as the unpredictable Mike Ashley and the much-ridiculed Venky's, Sam Allardyce has forsaken the frying pan in favour of the fire by accepting the West Ham job.
Wednesday, June 01, 2011
The Honigsteins 2011: Bundesliga end-of-season awards
Thierry Henry 'suffering' watching Arsenal collapse but hopes Arsene Wenger stays in charge.
In an exclusive interview with Goal.com US Latino, the Gunners' record goalscorer is unsure whether he'll move into coaching, and targets winning titles with the Red Bulls.
But this Freddy Adu matter -- now that was one wicked curve ball. Heck, even Bradley said so. As the coach discussed his Gold Cup roster last week, someone asked what he considered the biggest shocker. Even Bradley seemed amused, laughing a little and immediately naming Adu's selection. You'd swear the man surprised even himself.
What can we expect from each?
Sam Allardyce has taken over as manager of West Ham, following the club's relegation to the Championship.
The ex-Blackburn, Newcastle and Bolton boss replaces Avram Grant, who was sacked after the Hammers' relegation.
Twat. Have fun in the Championship...
Sepp Blatter has announced that all 208 FIFA member associations will vote on World Cup hosts in the future after it was confirmed he would continue as the president of world football's governing body.
John Brewin: Reform the only way forward
Delegates Attack England
David Conn: Even Grace Jones struggles to make executive committee members get up and dance at their congress
James Lawton: Money is Blatter's oxygen and only sponsors can cut supply
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Throughout the campaign, which ended with Barcelona securing a third straight league title, Spanish football expert Guillem Balague has been on hand to answer your queries and questions.
The time has now come for Guillem to select his team of the season.
Wilshere believes Arsenal need to become “more aware and more aggressive on the pitch’’. Always mindful of showing respect to referees, Wilshere wants the players to get their point over to officials if they feel aggrieved.
“Not so much keep going on at the ref, but just let them know,’’ he explains. “You see the players at Man United and they are great at it. They are round the ref.”
During an at times fractious press conference at Fifa's Zurich headquarters, Blatter said: "Crisis? What is a crisis? Football is not in a crisis. We are not in a crisis, we are only in some difficulties and these will be solved within our family."
The conference, that followed a meeting of Fifa's Executive Committee, ended with an angry Blatter exiting the room as a German journalist shouted questions after the 75-year-old Swiss.
The Bandinis 2011: An utterly exhaustive review of the Serie A season.
The former man in charge didn’t exactly get the job done. With only one league win in 2011, running a nine game winless streak, and a current record of 1-4-6, he was bound to get the boot.
Per today’s official announced club statement, local fan-favorite and technical director, Frank Klopas will serve as an interim head coach.
What’s so special about Klopas?
Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has retired from playing professional football at the age of 36, but will join the club's coaching staff. Scholes, who has spent his entire career at Old Trafford, becomes the latest of Fergie's Fledglings to call it a day after Gary Neville hung up his boots in February.
Scholes lauded by players and coaches around the world.
Jon Carter: Who Can Replace Scholes?
Phil McNulty: Scholes will be sadly missed.