Friday, September 29, 2006

It's time to play: Who is the uglier footballer?

Cobi Jones

OR Ivan Campo??

Here are a few of the things I'm thinking about at the moment

As September comes to a close I thought I’d share some thoughts…

In the English Premier League, I’ve been surprised by a few developments. Mainly, what’s wrong with Spurs? We knew their defense would be suspect with King’s injury but it is their offensive woes that have been most surprising. Obviously the big signing Berbatov got hurt before he had time to settle but it seems like the loss of Carrick in the midfield has really led to a loss of focus. Davids remains The Pit Bull in terms of pressuring opponents but gives the ball away far too often and does not employ the keen passing sense that Carrick was known for. And neither Keene nor Defoe has really gotten off the mark. Speaking of Carrick, he’s been a big bust so far. Again, it’s gotta be a question of getting used to things but unlike Berbatov he didn’t move from another league. I’m willing to give Carrick the benefit of the doubt for a bit longer but he’s really got to prove his worth, and fast. I think that hefty pricetag is weighing on him. One player I don’t worry about finding his form is Wayne Rooney. It’s just a matter of time before he’s back to his best.

Over in East London Hammers’ fans must be wondering if they are in some sort of bizarre nightmare. Just weeks ago Alan Pardew had his lads firing on all cylinders and playing some attractive, attacking football. Bobby Zamora was lighting things up and Reo-Coker was being named in the same breath as Gerrard and Lampard. Enter Los Dos Argentinos. It’s the perfect example of how important team chemistry is to success. These two are obviously top internationals that any club team in the world would love to have. But they’ve really thrown West Ham for a loop. All the flow is gone, the chemistry up in smoke and some of the Upton Park faithful are beginning to wish for a return to the way it used to be.

Over on the other side of town, Chelsea is experiencing their own type of unease. Sure they’re top of the table, but teams know they can be beat and that loss to Boro has had massive repercussions. As long as Drogba continues to show top form they’ll be fine, but there are plenty of other clubs that can play (or at least think they can play) with the Blues at this point – something that has not been the case the last few years. You get the feeling that the race will be tight at the top well into the winter months.

Here’s something I thought I’d never say: I miss Juventus. I miss rooting against them. I miss cursing them. Simply, I miss their presence in Serie A. It seems like a fake division now. The only regular aspect of play in Italy these days is Inter’s lack of direction, ambition, and stability. Nothing new there. Why, oh why, did they sign Ibra? He’s simply a mess and only makes a negative impact.

OK, that’s it for now. I just wanted to get some ideas off my chest and I finally found the time to do it. I’ve got many more but I’ll save them for next week. Oh, and congrats to the Chicago Fire on their U.S. Open Cup triumph. Way to stick it to the AssGalaxy! -Sanford

Schalke, Hertha, Brondby, OM out of UEFA Cup

Palermo 3-0 West Ham: Sicilian massacre

Fire's youngsters set the tone

More on U.S. Open Cup Champ Chicago Fire...

Gabriele Marcotti column

Marcotti compares Bayern Munich and Inter Milan...;_ylt=Aogjosgba4Lvqm4NNJufDLAmw7YF?slug=cnnsi-astudyincontras&prov=cnnsi&type=lgns

La Liga Weekend Preview: Torres out to rewrite recent Madrid derby history

Kevin Nolan column

The Bolton captain speaks in his regular BBC piece...

EPL Weekend Preview

Jose to keep faith in Sheva...

Serie A Weekend Preview

Inconsistent Inter aim to steady ship at Cagliari...

Lawro's Premiership Predictions

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Who wins in a battle between Goleo and the Two Nameless Twins?

Nameless twins? How bizarre. But what else would you expect? The twins look a little psycho while Goleo is just a big softy-wofty. My money is on The Twins.

See an earlier post from today for the article. -Sanford

Wednesday's Champions League Wrap

Wins for Chelsea and Liverpool, Barca held, and Inter lose their cool...

Poor Mid-week Results For Italian Teams

Chicago Fire win fourth U.S. Open Cup title

Big congrats to the Fire who played some very attractive soccer last night en route to a deserved victory...

Italian media hit out at 'crazy' Inter

Uefa Cup: Pardew Primes Hammers For Sicilian Job

And Hammer fans are already getting into "the mood" in Sicily...

Barca's Eto'o to have exploratory surgery on right knee

Looks like he'll be out for a few months...;_ylt=AufheDDFtTs27lNYBSIxehsmw7YF?slug=reu-etoo&prov=reuters&type=lgns

Nameless twins chosen as Euro 2008 mascots

Reading set to swoop for US prodigy Adu

Blatter vows to end 'tragedy' of World Cup final penalties,,1882520,00.html

Lee Dixon on Wenger's 10 years at Arsenal

The former Arsenal defender looks back...

Rooney out of touch and feeling the pressure

Where's his mojo gone?

Experience in Europe helps Wenger's fledglings find their wings

The Fiver

Guardian Unlimited's tea-time take on the world of football...,,415657,00.html

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Champions League: Goals for Real Madrid, vengeance for Manchester United

Arsenal 2-0 Porto: Gunners resurgence continues

Benfica 0-1 Manchester United

U.S. Open Cup Final: Sarachan wary of the Galaxy

The Chicago Fire host the L.A. Galaxy tonight in the final of the U.S. Open Cup...

Champions’ League Matchday 2: Groups A-D Preview

Inter/Bayern Munich, Barcelona/Bremen, and Valencia/Roma top the list of Wednesday's offerings...

Tim Howard Interview

Wednesday's rumours

Freddy Adu to Reading??,,1882126,00.html

Sport Safari: Arsenal's Emirates Stadium

Paolo Bandini checks out the sights and sounds of the Emirates...

The Fiver: Fighting Talk and Florists,,415657,00.html

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Phil Ball in Spain

Portsmouth 0-1 Bolton: Nolan boosts Trotters + EPL Table

English Premiership Table

Man Utd613
Aston Villa612
Man City67
West Ham65
Sheff Utd62

Tuesday Champions League Preview

Dario Silva Not Out Of The Woods Yet

Silva has his leg amputated...

Premiership Team of the Week

Primera Liga Team of The Week

Wenger marks 10 momentous years at Arsenal

Serie A Team of the Week

James Richardson in Italy

Paul Doyle on the Champions League System

Richard Williams column

Williams thinks Rafa needs to pick a side and stick with it...