Friday, January 04, 2013

More on Milan and Racism, FA Cup, SWP

We've got to stick with Kevin Prince-Boateng's and AC Milan's actions in the friendly against Pro Patria. Thankfully, more media are picking up on the story and giving it the attention it deserves and requires. James Horncastle has a good look and includes some interesting quotes from prominent footballers.

The transfer window remains open. Demba Ba now plays for Chelsea. Joe Cole has returned to West Ham where he began his career way back in 1999. Newcastle picked up French International Defender Mathieu Debuchy. Roger Espinoza has traded Kansas City for Wigan. And that's really about it thus far. Here's The Mill and here's your Plus One.

Grant Wahl has something odd called "Ambition Rankings" for Major League Soccer clubs. Check it out and decide what it's all about.

Shaun Wright-Phillips returned to the headlines with his winner for QPR against Chelsea on Wednesday. Barney Ronay is wondering if SWP is perhaps pound-for-pound the most disappointing English footballer ever. Ronay also thinks SWP (now 31) peaked when he was 23 (he did). Theo Walcott and Daniel Sturridge are now 23. Cue scary music.

Ready to party like it's 1999...
Here's some sad news that you don't care about: Sergio Aguero and Diego Maradona's daughter are breaking up. We told you you wouldn't care...

The English FA Cup resumes tomorrow. The Third Round. The romance, the memories, the intrigue. Minnows vs. Giants. Yes, it's Cup football time and it's the one that really matters. This is the FA Cup, damnit! Not the What's in Your Wallet Cup! Let's bust out of the gates with THE ULTIMATE GUIDE. And here's another little preview

And this: Gary Neville picks his best XI from first half of Premier League season and his top three goals.

Enough of the UK, though. Spain is the place, really. Graham Hunter has Five Spanish Stories for 2013. Oddly enough, The Sun Also Rises is not one of them.

Finally, kudos to West Ham's Matt Jarvis for sticking his neck out against homophobia in football.



Thursday, January 03, 2013

Mancini & Balotelli Fisticuffs, Racism in Italy, QPR beat Chelsea

It's always nice to wake up to some training ground fisticuffs. It's really not a big deal -- this sort of thing happens all the time. But, when it involves Super Mario and Mancini, the media are going to jump all over it. Regardless, it's pretty funny. Can you imagine having to deal with Balotelli day in and day out? No wonder Mancini is at his wits' end.

Do you know what's not nice to see when you wake up? This shit. Good for Boateng and Milan for bailing on the match and getting the hell out of there. And props to Boateng for kicking the ball at the fans and making it obvious who the culprits were.

Transfers. Right. Ba to Chelsea is basically done. Sturridge to Liverpool is done. What else? Sadly, nothing concrete. Here's The Mill and your Plus One.

Luis Suarez. He's simply so easy to loath for so many reasons. The man can play, though. He was absolutely stunning yesterday as Liverpool brushed aside Sunderland 3-0. Richard Jolly was at Anfield. There were two other matches in the EPL yesterday. One of the results was Chelsea 0 - 1 Queens Park Rangers. Yes, you read that correctly. QPR cruised down to Stamford Bridge and beat Chelsea. To make matters worse for Chelsea, it was old boy Shaun Wright-Phillips who scored the winner. Quite the result, that. David Hytner was there.

Elsewhere, Everton won at Newcastle thanks to an absolute cracker of goal from Leighton Baines. It finished 2-1 in favor of the visitors. Michael Walker was there.

Points on which to talk.

Grant Wahl's Planet Futbol takes a look at MLS Commish Don Garber's response to FIFA Head Cunt Sepp Blatter's comments about MLS. Take a look.

Let's finish with our old pal Gabrielle Marcotti. He looks at the RVP to Manchester United move. There were a lot of skeptics when it went down. And there were a lot of reasons to be skeptical. So far, however, it's been a golden move for Sir Alex.



Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Transfer Window Open, USA, EPL, Pato

Hello! Hopefully your introduction to 2013 went well. SSN wishes the best to you and yours for a footie-tastic new year.

Let's begin with the United States. It's a big year for the Yanks. We've got to qualify for Brazil. Jeff Carlisle knows his shit when it comes to this sort of subject. Here he looks at the Top 10 Storylines for 2013. Bring on the Hexagonal!!

Right. Matches in the EPL yesterday. There were some. And there really were not any shocking results. You had Man City winning easily against Stoke at home, Man United winning easily at Wigan, Tottenham breaking down some Reading resistance to win (Dempsey scored off a deflection), Arsenal drawing at Southampton (awful, awful match of soccer), and West Ham winning at home. Here's a Round-Up.

Today the menu is a bit meh: Liverpool host Sunderland, Everton at Newcastle, and a London Derby at Stamford Bridge where Chelsea host 'Arry and QPR. Speaking of QPR, do they have any chance of avoiding relegation? Jonathan Wilson takes a look.

In terms of what 2013 will bring to the English Premier League, Barney Ronay has a few thoughts. Where will Pep manage? Where will Bale play?

But, it IS January and that means the Transfer Window is wide open and The Mill is back from vacation at long last. Nothing major has gone down. Yet. Let's hope for some action. We've still got Sturridge to Liverpool and Ba to Chelsea as the two likely moves. Thierry Henry will not be returning to Arsenal. Here's your Plus One.

Pato + Unhappy Marriage = Shit Form?

Remember Alexandre Pato? Of course you do. The kid was supposed to be the next major Brazilian export. He had three solid seasons with Milan, but he's faded considerably and now looks like he's headed home. What went wrong? Tom Vickery fills us in. 

Diving has been getting a lot of press of late. Here's some more from Paul Wilson.

Meanwhile, in Spain, readers of Marca voted Song and Modric the worst signings of the season. So...OK.

Let's finish with The Hof at Manchester City...



Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year (plus a tad of weekend action and a pair of cunts)

The transfer window opens tomorrow. Things about to get all crazy up in here. The biggest story currently involves Dembe Ba and his potential move to Chelsea. Word is it was all but done but now it's hit a snag. We'll see how that plays out.

Best Goals of 2012? Yes. Bring it.

Over the weekend, there were no real surprises. Frank Lampard scored twice to help Chelsea beat Everton. RVP scored again for Manchester United in their win. Arsenal let in three soft goals against Newcastle but grabbed seven for themselves (Walcott with three) to get the win. Tottenham came back to win at Sunderland. Aston Villa let in three more goals at home against Wigan and lost 0-3. West Ham lost at Reading and Manchester City won a thriller at Norwich after Nasri (cunt) was sent packing.

We've got a whole other set of EPL matches mañana. None of the clashes are particularly exciting on paper but at least we've got footie to watch on New Years Day. No complaints here.

Buh By...

Speaking of cunts, Sepp Blatter has spoken. This time the idiot said this: "There is no very strong professional league (in the U.S.)," Blatter said. "They have just the MLS but they have no professional leagues which are recognized by the American society." Hey Sepp! Piss off!

We'll throw in The Podcast today. Here it is:

And so, 2012 comes to an end, and on the final Football Weekly of the year, James Richardson has Jacob Steinberg and watch-botherer John Ashdown in the pod to reflect the highs and lows of the Premier League weekend - including Liverpool's trouncing of QPR and Theo Walcott's humdinger of a hat-trick as Arsenal beat Newcastle 7-3. Amy Lawrence was at the Emirates to see it and shares her thoughts. Other items up for discussion include Samir Nasri's headbutt as Manchester City came away from Norwich with a 4-3 win, Chelsea seemingly not that bothered about Frank Lampard, and Aston Villa's continuing slump. Finally, we throw some love towards the lower leagues, giving some props to the return of tiki-taka's Alex McLeish and the sacking of Henning Berg at Blackburn.

We're going to leave it at that for today. We'll return to (fairly) normal service tomorrow. Enjoy the end of '12.