Friday, July 07, 2006

Italy vs. France for the World Cup;_ylt=AqaWQcfA5wXEiq06ipsKV_Umw7YF?slug=ap-wcupfinal&prov=ap&type=lgns

Germany's Podolski wins young player award

I'm quite confident that if Messi or Tevez had seen more action they would have won the award. Podolski benefited from great service and loads of time on the pitch. He did play well, though, so I can't say he doesn't deserve it...

Preview: Germany aiming to finish on a high

Fifa revamp rankings system

Oh man, this is a long time coming. I got so sick and tired of my friends, non-friends, and strangers saying, "but isn't the U.S. ranked, like, fourth or something?" This system has been obvious crap for so long - I've not put any articles about it in The News since at least the last century...

Beckenbauer calls for summit to stop play-acting

Yes, yes, yes, yes! Please, Mr. Kaiser, save us from the madness!!

Sampdoria agree one-year deal with Vieri

Certainly a better idea than sitting on Milan's bench, but I would be surprised if he gets more than four goals this campaign. Stick a fork in him, he's done...

Drama, delirium and distraction -- that's Italia

Ferguson expecting Ruud to report for pre-season

If I were Ruud I'd get the hell out of there. He was benched for the latter part of 2006, and regardless of why, he's got to find a place where he's a lock to start week in and week out. There are too many teams out there where he can do that. Sir Alex has already shown he doesn't want him so he should leave now.

Norman Hubbard on Portugal

He's for!

Alex Chick on Portugal

He's against!!

Alan Hansen's column

Website warns tourists off 2010 World Cup

This is interesting. One thing that was discussed quite a bit while I was in Germany: If it is going so well here in 2006, how poorly will it go in South Africa in 2010? Most of my discussions were not based on any factors of local violence, but rather on the questionable infrastructure in SA, and the country's ability to handle a massive influx of football fans. I've never been there, but I spoke with many who have had personal experiences with organizational difficulties whilst traveling in South Africa. Of course, I've said that I think the lack of violence in Germany can be directly related to how smooth the authorites handled the masses. If trains are running frequently and on time, people are patient. If there are plenty of calm Polizei on hand when throngs decend on stadiums, the throngs remain calm...,,1815122,00.html

Nike finishes off the pace,,1814859,00.html

Lippi the liberator banishes the myth,,1814852,00.html

Europe's old order defends its ramparts,,1814854,00.html

What is football anyway?

A big letdown, technically and sartorially,,1814853,00.html

Wigan look to smash record with £5.5m move for Heskey

Oh boy. This'll be fun to watch this coming autumn. 5.5 million pounds for a non-scoring forward! Paul Jewell impressed last year but this is bizarre. Heskey belongs in the Championship...,,1814636,00.html

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Zidane and France seize their final chance,,1813696,00.html

Scowling Scolari blames referee

It was always unlikely that Portugal would leave this World Cup quietly and so it proved last night as Cristiano Ronaldo and coach Luiz Felipe Scolari laid the blame for their semi-final defeat at the feet of the Uraguayan referee Jorge Larrionda,,1813748,00.html

Backlash begins for Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo left the World Cup in tears after Portugal's semi-final defeat against France - and it is not a wild stab in the dark to suggest sympathy was in very short supply.

Black Forest to Berlin

It was a few weeks I'll never forget and I filmed loads of it. Here's some of the footage but don't worry, this is nothing like a wedding video. I mean, would you have him at the reception?,,1813666,00.html

Zidane checkmates fellow grand master Figo

This World Cup, which was expected to provide a festival of youth, has turned into a celebration of experience. While Kaka faded, Lionel Messi was deprived of his rightful chance and Wayne Rooney simply self-destructed, the old men grabbed the stage for a final parade of their talents. On Tuesday night the crowning goal of a wonderful match in Dortmund was scored, with the most characteristic of touches, by Alessandro Del Piero, who had previously wandered through the tournament like the ghost of his former self. And before last night's semi-final the teams were led out by two more of the great figures of the modern European game, preparing to do battle for the right to one final night of imperishable glory.,,1813749,00.html

Nanjing pensioners react badly to Brazil exit

An elderly Chinese man went on a rampage in Nanjing after Brazil's defeat to France in the World Cup quarter-finals last weekend. The man ran amok in a city square hitting people with a stick and shouting" "The Brazilians lost! There is nothing worth watching! I don't want to watch any more games!"

Gabriele Marcotti column

Every time the World Cup rolls around, we look for the "Big Trend." We lapse into the most facile kind of deductive reasoning and conclude that 64 games every four summers provide some kind of accurate assessment of the state of the game. Usually these these theories come from people who don't follow the sport week in, week out, but rather drop in every so often to make bold, sweeping statements.;_ylt=AtMNOv_XTZJni9i5mMCpolAmw7YF?slug=cnnsi-thebigpicture&prov=cnnsi&type=lgns

Transfer Updates: Hislop lands major role in Dallas

Shaka Hislop will return to the United States to end his career after signing for FC Dallas from West Ham United. The 37-year-old graduated from Howard University in Washington in 1992 and played for Baltimore Blast before joining Reading and spending 14 years in English football.,,1813599,00.html

Euro 2008 to scrap personalised ticket checks

Thursday's gossip column

'I made contact with Henry,' admits Carvalho

Roberto Gotta on Italy

Fábregas tempted as Real come knocking,,1812701,00.html

What the papers say,,1813882,00.html

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Germany 0-2 Italy: Azzurri's late, late show

Beers and fears lead to tears by teatime,,1812631,00.html

Zidane shows the wisdom of a last waltz

A couple of weeks before Raymond Domenech's squad arrived in Germany, a former member of France's technical staff painted a gloomy picture of their preparations. "The trouble is that once the old players came back in," he said, "they started to make all the decisions - who's in the squad, who's in the team, what time of day they train, what sort of training they do. Everything, really. And that's not a good idea.",,1812670,00.html

A dull old game

USA: Blame it on Europe

It wouldn't be the first time Alexi Lalas has been a voice crying out in the proverbial wilderness of U.S. soccer, but unlike many, the former national team defender and current Los Angeles Galaxy general manager doesn't think that Major League Soccer is to blame for the U.S. team's World Cup disappointment.

Capello set to be named as new Real manager

Domenech unconcerned by Portugal's 'diving'

France coach Raymond Domenech tried to soften the tone ahead of tonight's World Cup semi-final with Portugal after defender William Gallas had predicted Luiz Felipe Scolari's side would use every trick in the book against Les Bleus.

Arsenal and Bolton in race for Saviola signature

Germany mourns the death of a dream

France: Winning over the critics

Their cheating hearts

Summer romances are often ephemeral in their nature. You commit yourself recklessly to a relationship with strangers in a foreign land, willingly seduced by their exotic swagger and charm, blind to any faults that may lurk beneath the surface. As quickly as this love has blossomed, however, it dies on the vine. Inevitably you catch them cheating. A lot.

Monday, July 03, 2006

One for Four Ain't Too Bad

So my predictions were poooooor, as the Scots would say. Although, with the exception of Ukraine and Italy, I don't think I was far off.

Let's begin with Argentina. Things were going swimmingly until they dropped Riquelme for Cambiasso. That's taking off your most creative midfield general and replacing him with a defensive midfielder whose passing skills are questionable. Why not bring in Aimar? It has worked well in the past. Or Messi - he's proved he can play anywhere in the midfield or up front. Anyway, things went down hill from there and Argentina blew it and proved they are bad losers with their post-game cryfest and brawl. They win the 2006 Whine World Cup. And they piss me off because I didn't get to see Messi play again. Stupid. I was happy to see Lehman maiking those saves, though. We need his head on straight come August when Arsenal get back in action.

Italy. I don't want to talk about Italy. Yeah, they were way better than Ukraine but they can go to hell. Italy and Argentina should get together for an evening of whining and diving.

And England. Oh, England. How can Frank Lampard rule the EPL and then be such complete crap for his country? Rooney getting sent off wasn't the problem - he should not have started by himself up top. He was too isolated. I really thought they would get it together for this one but it just didn't happen. You've got to blame Sven. Thankfully he's on his way out. I'm just glad I didn't drop 500 Euro on a ticket to that disaster in Gelsinkirchen. What a joke.

France and Brazil. Yes, yes, yes. I actually called this one. And I'm damn pleased. Brazil did not deserve to be in the game - they had not played well and had enjoyed plenty of preferential treatment from the refs. Ronaldhino looked like he should have been playing for England - he would have fit in well. And it was a vintage masterclass from Zizou and co. All in all, a pleasure to behold.

Germany 1 - Argentina 1,,1810142,00.html

Italy 3 - 0 Ukraine,,1810356,00.html

England 0 - 0 Portugal,,1810822,00.html

Brazil 0 - 1 France,,1811268,00.html

Ronaldinho drowns in a sea of Brazilian mediocrity;_ylt=AuQwd4Pf_WS3HJQUD_pyRqomw7YF?slug=reu-worldbrazil&prov=reuters&type=lgns

Surprise teams in final four no surprise;_ylt=AvrtUBoiFnKnoK9ABkbl27Qmw7YF?slug=ap-wcup-semifinalssurprises&prov=ap&type=lgns

Lehmann's research gives England a lesson about penalties,,1811299,00.html

Ronaldo smiles as England bawl him out over Rooney

Steven Gerrard described him as "bang out of order", Frank Lampard questioned his understanding of sportsmanship and Alan Shearer suggested Wayne Rooney would "stick one on him", but Cristiano Ronaldo was in no mood for making apologies last night. The Manchester United winger seemed untroubled by the complaints about his underhand tactics in Saturday's quarter-final, smiling broadly and shrugging his shoulders before reiterating that he does not expect to be playing in England next season.,,1811389,00.html

England got what they deserved

Complacent to the last, Eriksson and his spoilt players failed to achieve the momentum that better sides have displayed.

Blatter angry about Berlin brawl

Tottenham complete Zokora signing

Uli Hesse-Lichtenberger on Germany/Argentina

The end of the world

It came in adversity, not through planning or training, but England finally located their inner strength. Reduced to 10 men, their true spirit emerged, coursing through the bravest of performances for the final hour in Gelsenkirchen.

The beautiful lame

In a country where managers tend to be either neanderthal sergeant majors who openly champion negative football or weak-willed officials there just to follow the orders of their chairmen, Brazil manager Carlos Alberto Parreira is a rare beast: an intelligent coach who has studied the game at all its levels both inside and outside Brazil, and a man who is both sophisticated and polite.

But right now, it is hard to feel sympathy for him.

The sword is mightier than Le Pen

Need a great French performance? Call Jean-Marie Le Pen. In 1998, the odious National Front leader's criticism of the team's ethnic mix proved an unlikely source of inspiration when they won the tournament.

He was at it again before Saturday's quarter-final, claiming that French society 'cannot recognise itself' in the national team. Les Bleus responded by battering Brazil with the best and most unexpected display of the World Cup.