Friday, June 10, 2011
It is a football club with no players and no stadium, and it hasn't played a match for more than 25 years. But the New York Cosmos – the team once described as "the nexus of soccer and showbiz" – has announced its first fixture since 1984, at Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium on 5 August.
Stars join NY Cosmos relaunch
This past week has shown the ever-increasing trend of paying big money for young talent. So competitions such as the U21 Euros, which start this weekend, have become more and more important to the top clubs. Understandably so, as there will be a fair amount of quality on show. Dane Christian Eriksson will go into the tournament as the star player - he plays for Ajax, has has seven senior caps, and is the target of most top teams. But Spain will start as favourites with a squad boasting Mata, Krkic, Capel and Jeffren. ManU fans could see the future defensive mainstay of their team if Alex Ferguson signs David De Gea, as Phil Jones and Chris Smalling will be lining up for England. Personally, I think Dean Sturridge will do some damage.
Sky's U21 Euros preview pt1
Sky's U21 Euros preview pt2
The Daily Mail's preview
Jordan Henderson is determined to emulate Steven Gerrard after Liverpool finally completed his £20 million signing. Top of his list is Gerrard's excellence for causing bar fights for which others take the blame while he gets away scott free.
Henderson: I can learn from Gerrard at Liverpol.
Those with a heart conditions should perhaps move on to the next article. Seeing Gary Neville at a Chicago White Sox game is painful enough, seeing his first pitch only rubs salt into the wounds.
Red Nev was in the US to prmote ManU's pre-season tour where the team will take on MLS club Chicago Fire. SSN blogger Bobbie BS already has his front row tickets and is working tirelessly on the abuse he will throw at Fergie, Giggs and Fred the Red, the club's mascot.
Off pitch! Neville's ceremonial throw at Sox game
More allegations of cash delivered for votes in the FIFA election scandal emerged today, this time from Surinam. Meanwhile CONCACAF super villain Jack Warner is laying face down on his bed with his fingers in his ears prenending that he can't hear the bribery investigators knocking on his door.
Having dropped to fifth choice in the striking rotation and with Barca actively shopping for reinforcements at the front it appears that former future superstar Bojan Krkic is headed for the exit at the Nou Camp. Presumably this means that if he has success further afield we can expect to hear Xavi and Pique dribbling on about his Barcelona DNA in 12 months time.
A love story with an unhappy ending - why it all went wrong for Bojan Krkic at Barcelona
The Wizz managed to survive the sending off of their albino lab rat keeper Jimmy Nielsen to hang on to a 0-0 victory. Yes I know 0-0 is normally considered a draw but as the Fire now have 8 draws and haven't won since their home opener I'm now counting any non-win outcome as a defeat. Besides Lance Armstrong was at Livestrong and made it through the whole match without being arrested for massive doping fraud so this one officially goes down as a PR victory despite not taking all of the points.
Livestrong Sporting Park Debut in Pictures
Lots going on in the Gold Cup yesterday- Chuck Blazar's nefarious plotting continued unabated as Mexico lost 5 players to a doping scandal and then scored a goal to honor each of them against El Salvador, while Costa Rica kept pace with a 5 goal win of their own. Surely the suspended Mexico players will be vindicated as they've turned to the classic "tainted meat" excuse which Alberto Contador successfully used while appealing his recent doping ban to the Spanish cycling federation.
Five test positive, cut from Mexico Gold Cup team
Cuba 0-5 Mexico
Costa Rica 5-0 Cuba
When Arsene Wenger promised to be busy in the transfer market fans thought it'd be buying players, not battling against the dismemberment of their team. While top clubs have been snapping up top young talent, including Gunners target Phil Jones, Wenger has been trying to stop the departures of Fabregas, Nasri and Clichy. His supporters may argue the off-season is only two weeks old, giving a club renowned for doing things quietly plenty of time to reinforce. Maybe, but why has the club allowed this situation come about? How the hell did they let Clichy and above all Nasri run into the last year of their contracts? With Fabregas leaving for Barca at some stage, the one piece of knowledge comforting Gooners was that they had a replacement in Nasri.
Other clubs don't let this happen. When contracts drift into their last year clubs lose their position of strength. Arsenal should have either tied up Nasri's contract or reluctantly sold him on for a very high figure. He may now go to rivals ManU for a little as £8 million, or be simply flirting in order to increase his wages - either way, Arsenal lose.
All this reaffirms the impression that the motto 'In Arsene We Trust' has gone a little too far. Since David Dein left the club there's been no counterpoint to the manager. Many would argue he too readily surrounds himself with yes men. Arsenal's known weakness is at the back, but defensive coach Pat Rice's contract was renewed recently. In fairness, board members have been in a difficult situation because Wenger brings so much to a club, especially one going through a transitional phase. But perhaps they were a touch too preoccupied with selling their shares.
Fans will be hoping Kroenke's arrival will sort things out. But it remains to be seen if they've sold to the right guy. When Wenger finally leaves, or even before then, the club may regret not going for the dodgy guy with mountains of cash to spend.
United move in for Nasri
Liverpool offer Arsenal £5m for Clichy
Pique: Fabregas must quit Arsenal
Hot on the heals of the Donny Dog affair comes more boob-related scandal in the world of football. To celebrate this month's FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany, the country's version of Playboy decided to help promote Frauenfussball with a photo shoot of some of the national team's younger players. Unsurprisingly they aren't wearing much, and the Deutscher Fussball Bund, who had no knowledge of it, isn't best pleased. ' We didn't ask the DFB - we went direct to the ladies,' said Playboy event manager Nina van Splunter [no, I didn't make up her name]. According to model Kristina Gessat, who plays for Gütersloh, 'the message is, look, we are normal - and lovely - girls'. Sepp Blatter, who once stated women should wear 'more feminine uniforms', is probably over the moon.
The video link is in German, but everything is pretty self-explanatory:
So sexy sind unsere Nationalspielerinnen
Thursday, June 09, 2011
This heady story of dogs, boobs and soccer has not just caused a storm in the usually peaceful world of Doncaster football, but also, unknown to avid SSN readers, wreaked havoc on this very blog. The mascot sought to tear the down the very fabric of your beloved soccer journal. Fortunately the blog's controller was on hand to make mincemeat of the pesky blighter and the devastation she brought with her.
Anyway, it seems mother-of-three Tracy Chandler will be reinstated as Donny Dog after she was sacked by the Championship side for posing in her underwear in a racy photo-shoot.
Donny Dog is back! The saucy football mascot gets her job back
Eager to partner with Livestrong, which funds cancer research and supports cancer survivors such as Armstrong himself, Sporting Kansas City agreed in March to donate $7.5 million to the foundation over the next six years.
That was before a report on "60 Minutes'' last month that again raised allegations of performance-enhancing drug use against the seven-time Tour de France winner. Former teammate Tyler Hamilton, like Floyd Landis a year before, accused Armstrong's U.S. Postal teams of systematic drug use.
28. Nottingham Forest 1977-80
In separate interviews around Forest’s two victorious European Cup finals, Brian Clough called winning scorers Trevor Francis and John Robertson a “cunt” and a “little fat lad” respectively. It was that very unique management that brought the very unique achievement of taking a provincial club from the second division to the top of the first and successive European Cups in four years.
But the scale of Clough’s achievement shouldn’t be confused with Forest’s exact quality though. Clough created a winning team but not a wondrous one. Like many of the great teams who had come from relatively moderate clubs, they were necessarily disciplined and driven to the Nth degree. Their defence, underpinned by Peter Shilton, was statistically the fourth best in English history and one of the meanest in Europe. That did result in some resounding performances – most of all the 2-0 win over defending champions Liverpool in the 1978-79 opening round and the 3-1 victory away to Dynamo Berlin.
But the success did take its toll on the team. In 1980, they finished as low as fifth in the English league. And, within months, that unique style of Clough’s had seen him fall out with co-manager Peter Taylor to call time on a pragmatic but prized team.
Trophies won: European Cup 1979, 1980; English league 1978; English league cup 1978, 1979
Managers: Brian Clough
Best XI: Shilton, Anderson, Clark, Lloyd, Burns; McGovern, Francis, Gemmill, Robertson, Woodcock, Birtles
On the way out...
Wednesday, June 08, 2011
Last night Brazil gave Ronaldo a final runout in the national strip. Not surprisingly Nike's sleek performance cut was less than flattering.
Bryan Robson's managerial career is a case study in doing things backwards. Rather than following the time-honored tradition of starting at a small club and working up towards the big jobs he started out in charge of Middlesbrough in the Premier League and each subsequent job has been a step down the ladder. His latest reverse-triumph sees him resigning from the Thailand job.
USA Tops Canada 2-0
The conspiracies are coming thick and fast here in North America. First Chuck Blazer, Lyndon Larouche and the Knights of Malta have conspired to make FIFA's corrupt, bribe-taking members to look bad. But more importantly Nike has forced CONCACAF to again stage a farce of a cup competition in order to sell Mexico shirts and force American soccer consumers to feign interest in a seemingly endless clash of the minnows. Why not just let Mexico play the US in a one off instead of wasting a month of everyone's time? Tuesday's action saw another chapter in the continent's most one-sided rivalry and a classic Gold Cup yawner between a French colony (in 2011!!!) and two tiny strips of land on either side of a canal.
U.S. scores convincing win over Canada
Canada's top playmakers did not show up against the U.S. team in Detroit
Panama 3-2 Guadeloupe: Jovial brace not enough as the Marea Roja claim three points
While Liverpool's attention was elsewhere, Manchester United have got in first by snapping up the very highly rated Phil Jones from Blackburn. Chelsea have taken time off looking for a manager and moved closer to replacing Drogba with Anderlecht teenager Lukaka. Meanwhile Arsenal, not wanting to be left behind, and determined to back up their claims of doing things differently this summer by spending some money, have, er, bought some unknown Finnish teenager.
Charismatic Hiddick's successful spell at Chelsea in 2009 convinced Abramovich that he is the man who can finally bring European glory to SW6. But the Russian will have to pay a fair amount to get him. Al-fayed however, has already got his man, but Arnie thinks he needs a bit of assistance from an old mucker.
Why Chelsea are so keen to get Hiddink?
Hiddink pursuit comes down to money
Flatterer Fayed gets his man at last as Jol takes over at Fulham
Jol wants Hughton's help