Friday, December 19, 2014

Liverpool vs. Arsenal, The Parkers, Roma vs. Milan

There goes another week, folks. Let's jump right in and prep for another few days of footie insanity, shall we? As is customary, we'll begin in the UK...

Liverpool vs. Arsenal: 50-50 Challenge

It's not just this weekend in the Premier League, peeps. It's the next two weeks that'll bring us fixture insanity as the only major European league to NOT take a winter break kicks into high gear. Who is best suited to take advantage of all the matches?

There's a Big Interview to enjoy this Friday. Why, look at that! It's Hot Carl Jenkinson. Take it away, Carl.

It's the end of the year and that means it's time for The Parkers! What the hell are The Parkers, you ask? Graham Parker's end of the year MLS awards. Duh.

Speaking of MLS, it looks like Brek Shea's forgettable time in England will end. He's heading to Orlando. Hope he likes purple...

Spain? Leaders Real Madrid won't play because they're off at that stupid World Cup Championship thingy. It looks like Barcelona host Córdoba, though.  Here's a Weekend Preview.

Over in Italy, Roberto Mancini has to deal with the club that gave him his glory years as Inter face Lazio. James Horncastle takes a closer look here. We posted the Weekend Preview yesterday because there was a match. Juventus won said match to move four points ahead of Roma, who welcome Milan to the Stadio Olimpico domani. Meanwhile, Paolo Bandini is wondering who (after Juve and Roma) will claim that last Champions League spot.

Tim Vickery has a column. How nice. Tim's been silent of late so let's see what's on his radar: Tim Vickery explains why the Club World Cup - barely noticed in Europe - is the highlight of the South American football calendar. Looks great! We're in.

And now...we're out! See youz next week.



Thursday, December 18, 2014

Liverpool to Meet Chelsea in League Cup Semi, Martin Odegaard, D.C. to get a Stadium, Serie A

Now pay up!
The Capital One Cup Semifinals are set. It'll be Chelsea vs. Liverpool and Sheffield United vs. Tottenham. This after Spurs spanked Newcastle (David Hytner was at White Hart Lane) and Liverpool avoided further embarrassment by winning at Bournemouth (Dominic Fifield was at Dean Court). The two ties will take place during the weeks of January 18 and 25. Raheem Sterling's play prompted Liverpool Gaffer Brendan Rodgers to compare him to Alexis Suarez, but Adam Bate thinks it's the Suarez-like qualities that are lacking at Anfield this season.

In the Bundesliga yesterday, Borussia Dortmund couldn't manage to defeat Wolfsburg at home and thus remain in the relegation zone. It's incredible, really. How can a group-winning Champions League side with so much talent be such shit in the league? Michael Cox says it's because they have problems at both ends. Hmmm. Anyway, here's a wrap of yesterday's action in Germany. And here's an article attempting to articulate why The Bundesliga is the most exciting league in the world. Bam! The World!

Great news for footie fans in The District of Columbia: The City Council voted unanimously to allow D.C. United to move forward with a new ground and leave RFK. About time.

Hey! This is fun! Some Premier League clubs charge up to £600 for children to be mascots! Some don't charge anything. How exactly does that all work, anyway?

Things are suddenly going swimmingly for Manchester United, are they not? LVG has the Reds winning again. Here are Five Players he's turned around and made decent again.

Martin Odegaard has got all the big clubs hot and bothered. He's the newest kid phenom. He's from Norway. He's probably going to Bayern Munich. Jonathan Wilson has more.

Geez, Louise. Serie A's weekend begins today! Here's a preview of what's going to happen. Mainly, AC Milan will play Roma and Inter Milan will play Lazio. It's Milan vs. Rome, people!

That'll do it for today. Thank you.



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sheffield United Stun Southampton, Chelsea Cruise, Bayern Buoyant, Gold Cup

It's Hump Day already? Geez. In the Capital One Cup yesterday, Sheffield United pulled a surprise and are headed to the semi-finals after dispatching of slumping Southampton. Richard Gibson was at Bramall Lane and filed this report. In the night's other fixture, Chelsea brushed aside Derby County. Jamie Jackson was at Pride Park and filed this report.

Today? You've got a shaky Liverpool at Bournemouth and Newcastle at Tottenham.

More Thierry Henry? No worries - Jonathan Wilson has you covered.

It's almost 2015 and you know what that means. Time to look back at what the sport gave us over the past year. Truth is, it was quite a lot. Paul Wilson has his 10 Memorable Moments right here.

Midweek matches in the Bundesliga yesterday: Bayern Munich won. Again. They've not lost. Yawn.

Quickie today. We'll finish with the Gold Cup. It's coming this summer to a town near you, including Frisco, Glendale, and Charlotte.



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Thierry Henry Retires from Football, DaMarcus Beasley Retires from the USMNT, Scribes, Capital One Cup

Hello, Hello, Hello. Thierry Henry has retired from playing out favorite sport. Long Live The King, as they say. He certainly brought a lot of joy to several SSN Staff over the years. Here are some facts and remembrances...

So, Thierry Henry got all. We all get old. Even DaMarcus Beasley gets old. The Editor had the pleasure of taking in The Kid's first professional soccer game for the Chicago Fire back in 1974. And...he's decided to terminated his tenure with the National Team. We love you, Kid! Keep playing in MLS until you're 45, please.

What the hell happened in La Liga this weekend? At least Five Things, you can be sure of that!

Capital One Cup, people! The Final Eight! Derby County vs. Chelsea! Sheffield United vs. Southampton! There is also midweek action in the Bundesliga. Kirsten tells us what to watch here.

Scribe time, yo! On Tuesday we travel the world to bring you the best insight from foreign dudes and dudettes. Check it:

Where? Spain. Who? Sid Lowe. What? Spanish football has become fragmented and flat.

Where? Italy. Who? James Horncastle. What? Jeremy Menez is finally fulfilling his potential at new club AC Milan.

Where? Germany. Who? Raphael Honigstein. What? Wolfsburg v Borussia Dortmund the centrepiece of ‘Englische woche’.

Everton expectedly eased past QPR yesterday. Ross Barkley was particularly impressive. Richard Jolly has Three Points from Goodison Park.

Podcast! This week...AC Jimbo is joined by Barry Glendenning, Raphael Honigstein and Barney Ronay to round up the weekend's football action. After Manchester United comfortably beat Liverpool at Old Trafford, the pod debate whether United are now in the title race, and ask: where next for Brendan Rodgers? They also look at the rest of the Premier League news, including the diving at Chelsea and another win for Burnley. There's full reaction to the Champions League draw, which throws up a rematch of Manchester City v Barcelona and PSG v Chelsea. Plus there's your posts, World's Strongest Man chat and Barney's strange hotel experience in Ukraine.

Another Tuesday tradition is Marcotti's Musings. This week, Gabriele is gabbing about Man Utd-Liverpool reflections, Barca's blip, Bayern march on, Juve slip again.

What's up with Liverpool? Phil McNulty looks at how the club has gone "from ruthless to toothless in nine months."

Speaking of Liverpool, how are things going for Suarez since his move away? Graham Hunter says The Cannibal s the latest Barcelona forward signing to settle slowly.

And finally...we'll finish with a Top Tenner. Thierry Henry Moments.



Monday, December 15, 2014

Champions League Draw, Manchester United Defeat Liverpool, Monday Night Football

A very pleasant Monday to you! The Champions League Final 16 Draw was this morning. Here's how it ended up:

You'd have to say that Chelsea/PSG is the most alluring on paper. And City/Barcelona could excite if City can get their act together. Also, cue all those funny photos/videos of Wenger from his Monaco days. Michael Cox is on hand to let us know where the ties will be won and lost. Cheers, Michael.

Back to the action on the pitch over the weekend and we've got to go directly to Manchester United's victory over Liverpool. United were not particularly good; it was more that Liverpool were so poor. Sterling in particular should have scored a few, and Super Mario was not super. To be fair, De Gea had another fine afternoon, but none of his saves were particularly astounding. He was always where he needed to be. Let's get to the EPL action!

Manchester United 3 - 0 Liverpool: Daniel Taylor at Old Trafford
Manchester United 3 - 0 Liverpool: Phil McNulty at Old Trafford
Manchester United 3 - 0 Liverpool: Paul Wilson at Old Trafford
Manchester United 3 - 0 Liverpool: Three Points
Manchester United 3 - 0 Liverpool: Five Talking Points

Chelsea 2 - 0 Hull City: 'Swan Lake', 'disgraceful' or not a dive?
Chelsea 2 - 0 Hull City: Three Points
Arsenal 4 - 1 Newcastle: Barney Ronay at the Emirates Stadium

So, a bunch of diving incidents this weekend. It's the foreigners, right? Wrong.

Over in Spain, Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao drew in a Basque Derby (Sid Lowe was at The Anoeta and filed this report), Real Madrid cruised, but Barcelona couldn't score and drew 0 - 0 at Getafe, and Atletico Madrid suffered their first home league defeat in 28 matches!  Here's a review courtesy of a Nigerian newspaper. More mañana with Sid.

In Italy, Roma moved within a point of Juventus at the top thanks to a road win in Genoa and a draw by Juve against Samp. Here's a Weekend Review. More domani with Paolo.

There is more action to take in today if you are so inclined. 'Arry and QPR head up to Liverpool to face Everton. Here's a preview. Go to NBCSN at 3:00 p.m. EST to enjoy.

Football on Friday? It's a rarity but that's set to change. Money, Money Money.

That'll get us up to speed. More insight and focus tomorrow.