Friday, January 18, 2013

Adkins Sacked, Subbuteo Streaker, Wahl Interviews Klinsmann, The Joy of Six

Nigel Adkins has been sacked as manager of Southampton and replaced by former Espanyol boss Mauricio Pochettino, the club have announced. And that's how we'll begin our Friday. Not sure you could expect much more from Southampton. They're not in a relegation spot at the moment. We'll see how this Pochettino fares. If nothing else, it's an excuse to bring back The Donald.

Grant Wahl talks to United States National Team gaffer Jurgen Klinsmann. Jurgen says he and Donovan have been texting but Landycakes won't meet him for coffee. Too bad.

Let's jump to The Joy of Six. Derby County is Mrs. SSN's favorite team. This Friday, they're featured in something called Nottingham Forest v Derby County memories. One memory includes a nipple bite from Stuart Pearce. Have at it.

Eduardo Alvarez is looking forward to the weekend in La Liga. Pep's departure still dominates the headlines but there are matches to be played. Barcelona will be in San Sebastian (we bet Phil Ball will take in the match) and Real Madrid will try to get back on track with a tough trip to Valencia. Atlético Madrid vs. Levante could be interesting, too.

Over in Italy there are a few juicy fixtures on tap. Roma host Inter Milan and Fiorentina welcome Napoli to, well, Florence. Elsewhere, leaders Juve host Udinese. Here's full preview of the weekend menu.

Happy Birthday Pablo Zabaleta
It's snowing a bunch over in England so there might be some fixture cancelations. Let's hope not. Here's a preview of the action. Once again, Sunday brings the best fare, with Arsenal at Chelsea and Manchester United at Tottenham. The Editor has had the "pleasure" of attending the Chelsea vs. Arsenal fixture a few times over the years at Stamford Bridge and at Highbury. In fact, he's still haunted by a Drogba goal in front of the Shed End in 2010 and THAT Wayne Bridge goal in the Champions League Quarter-Final Second-Leg in 2004. The Editor was not at the match in 2011 when Cunt Terry "slipped" and Arsenal won. The Editor will not be at the match on Sunday. Hmmmm. 

Finally today, thanks to our Ligue 1 expert JD, we all get to bid for this:



Thursday, January 17, 2013

Delinquency, Pep to Bayern, Cosmos

Sorry. We failed in our obligation or duty there for a couple of days. What a week! Ugh. Right. Before we move forward, let's move back. Back to Kompany's red card from Sunday. It was overturned by the FA. People seem pleased. The "Art of Tackling" is saved. We think it should have stood. Thankfully, the ever-astute Paul Wilson agrees. What if Wilshire had broken a leg?

Pep. Pep, Pep, Pep. So, he's off to Bayern Munich. An interesting move, we have to say. A smart one, as well. No oligarchs running that club like a little toy. No sheiks throwing oil money to get results. Our favorite German expert Raphael Honigstein weighs in. Meanwhile, in Spain, Sid Lowe says the media are freaking out. Since they are always freaking out down there, perhaps they are now freaking out more so. Check it.

We missed Phil Ball on Tuesday. Sad, we know. Especially since he's taking a look at every team in La Liga and taking the time to give us his mid-term report. We could not be more thankful for Phil.

Shakira and Pique
Right. What else? In a couple of FA Cup replays yesterday, Jack Wilshire scored to propel Arsenal over Swansea and into the Fourth Round, while up at Old Trafford, someone named Wayne Rooney scored to send United into the Fourth Round. In League action, Chelsea had to play to make up for the match they missed on their regrettable and forgettable trip to Japan for the Club World Galaxy Earth Championship that ended in a loss. Yesterday, The Blues played Southampton, went up 2-0, and then allowed Southampton to tie things up and claim a draw. The noose tightens around Rafa's neck. David Hytner was at Stamford Bridge.

Luis Suarez admits that he fell. Or dived. Or dove. Rodgers is angry. Cue stupid scene on Being Liverpool.

The New York Cosmos. The history. The tradition. The cocaine. The fun at Studio 54. Like it or not, they're back, and they're back with a bang. They've announced plans for a new stadium out at Belmont Park. They're not even in MLS. And MLS wants its own team on Long Island. Grant Wahl says the Cosmos are increasingly looking like a competitor and not a prospective member of Major League Soccer. Interesting. Very interesting. Jeff Carlisle also takes a look. And if you've not yet seen this, you should.

Transfers! Here's The Mill and here's your Plus One. We're still waiting for that big January move. Perhaps we already got it with Guardiola's bounce to Bayern. Hopefully there will be something bombastic to come. Oh, did you know Rivaldo is still playing?

We'll leave you with some beautiful pictures from Simon Harsent.



Monday, January 14, 2013

The Fifth Official, Weekend Action, Serie A, Hygiene Report

Happy Monday. We hope. The Fifth Official is here to "point the finger and laugh". Stoke's Jonathan Walters gets the treatment for his two own-goals against Chelsea. And, as always, The Fifth Official has his/her usual go at Arsenal.

We'll stay in England and talk about yesterday's action. Liverpool looked decent enough at times but you always knew United would run out winners. Suarez really never got going and although Sturridge scored thanks to De Gea, the new Liverpool striker fluffed his lines when presented with a chance to even things up a bit later. Henry Winter was at Old Trafford.

Over at the Emirates, everyone was talking about the high price of tickets. London is expensive. Very expensive. Is this news to anyone? On the pitch, the match was settled in the ninth minute thanks to Laurent Koscielny's tackle of Eden Dzeko. Was the Arsenal defender playing rugby? Attempting to save Dzeko from getting hit by a car? Regardless, Mike Dean made the right call. He also made the right call later when he sent off Kompany for his tackle on Wilshire. The City captain went in with two feet off the ground. Letter of the law = Red Card. Did he get the ball? Yes. Does it matter? No. Two feet off the ground = Red Card. End of story. Alan Hansen can bitch about it all he wants, the wanker. The fact is that the game has changed and (for better or worse) things like this rule have been implemented to protect players. Dominic Fifield was at the Emirates. Michael Cox talks tactics.

On Saturday, QPR and Spurs finished 0-0, Everton and Swansea finished 0-0, Norwich and Newcastle finished 0-0, and Chelsea won at Stoke 4-0. Here's a closer look at the results. And here's a full review. 

Unlike in Spain (Barcelona won, Real Madrid drew, more tomorrow from Phil and Sid), there is still a race for the title. Juventus now lead by only three after they were held by Parma. Lazio and Napoli are chasing the Old Lady and remain close after they both won. Here's a wrap and here's a table.

In terms of transfers, it's pretty quiet. Here's The Mill and here's your Plus One.

Rats at Old Trafford? Pink chicken at Swansea? Here's your Hygiene Report!

And that'll do it for this Monday. We'll go in depth tomorrow with our favorite scribes and hope the transfer action heats up. Until then...