Friday, March 02, 2007

Mark E. Smith reading the classified results.

It doesn't get much more surreal than this. Maybe some of you, like myself, grew up listening to The Fall, so you'll know that their legendary frontman Mark E. Smith has always been a touch different. But reading out the classified results? The novelty does wear off after The Championship but the interview at the end of the clip is pretty funny.

Arsene keeps on throwing those toys out of his pram...

Sanford's Premiership Predictions

Here's what I think'll transpire this weekend on the pitches of England. We'll see how I do come Monday.

And yes, that's me, by the way. Just getting stretched and limber before the big match. -Sanford

Liverpool vs. Manchester United

I like the home club here. Liverpool are on a high and their Portugal problems only seem to have brought them together. United were lucky to get their win at Fulham last week and I think it’s high time Liverpool won this heated rivalry.


Arsenal vs. Reading

The Gunners are in disarray with injuries and suspensions after their Cup dreams ended abruptly on two fronts. With one eye on Tuesday’s visit by PSV, Reading could become the first team to win at The Emirates. I don’t think they’ll do it, though. Look for a draw here with Arsenal coming back yet again to share the spoils.


Fulham vs. Aston Villa

The Cottagers were desperately unlike not get a victory versus United, let alone a draw. Their home form has been exceptional, and on their day they can play a brand of football that flows with the same ease as some of their London neighbors. I don’t see Villa getting much out of this contest. After last week, Chris Coleman will have his charges up for it with demands for three points. And they’ll get them.


Manchester City vs. Wigan

Citeh have found goals lacking of late but I think they’ll do the business here. Psycho has no desire to get any closer to the relegation battle and playing at home, he’ll be treating this as a must-win contest. Wigan are up and down and I don’t have any confidence in their form away from the JJB.


Newcastle vs. Middlesbrough

One never knows what Newcastle squad will grace St. James’ Park. They’ve been so hot and so cold that it’s tough to pick them as winners on any given weekend. Meanwhile, Southgate has got Yakubu and Viduka linking well and that hot tandem will be enough to claim something from this quick trip up north.


Sheffield United vs. Everton

This has a draw written all over it. Arteta will make something happen, Andy Johnson will score, but in the end, United will scrap for a point at home. They’re getting comfortable with the fact that they can stay up, and I don’t expect them to blow it.


Watford vs. Charlton

A massive fixture to say the least. Charlton ran all over their London foe last weekend -- could we see a letdown on their trip to Vicarage Road? Even if we do, I still fancy them here. For Watford there remains but one question: where will the goals come from?


Portsmouth vs. Chelsea

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Pompey will get something here. Chelsea suffered greatly in the Carling Cup Final and without Terry will be prone to problems in the back. You'd think The Blues won the World Cup the way they celebrated the League Cup. I think they let off too much steam. Pompey have not had a big home win in a while and although that won’t change here, they’ll claim a deserved point.


Bolton vs. Blackburn

I give fuck all about this match.


West Ham vs. Tottenham

This week’s London Derby could prove to be quite interesting. A few weeks back you’d have to bet on the Hammers to take advantage of Tottenham’s poor travels and get a result. But Spurs have bucked up and suddenly look a side worthy of a strong finish. Meanwhile, Alan Curbishly must be wondering why he came out retirement in East London. West Ham are a mess and it’ll continue to show at Upton Park come Sunday.


Bellamy blames red, red wine for Riise row

Craig Bellamy has admitted he 'lost it' with team-mate John Arne Riise during Liverpool's Portugal break when it was alleged he brandished a golf club at the Anfield defender.

You know, funny doesn't really take much for Craig Bellamy to "lose it." - Sanford

An American in Fulham

Mike was on holiday with some friends in London in 2003 when he first saw the football club that was to change his life: Fulham.

Jay DeMerit Column

Defending is one of those thankless jobs sometimes. Forwards can miss 10 easy chances in a row, but score the winner in the dying minutes and get all the credit. For a defender, to see a zero in the opposition's box score at the end of the game is just as gratifying as being the goal scorer. At some points this season, we've had to set up shop in our own half of the field, defend till the death and try to hold on. But lately, we've stuck to our guns and started to pick up some crucial wins that just might keep us in the fight for survival in the Premiership.

Weekend Previews for the Top Divisions in England, Italy, Spain, and Germany

English Premiership:
Old Foes Face Off At Anfield -- Liverpool versus Manchester United tops the bill in an intriguing set of weekend fixtures that could have a major bearing both at the top and bottom of the Premiership.

Serie A:
Inter Milan aim for quick return to winning ways.

La Liga:
Barcelona's visit to Sevilla highlights the weekend's fixture list.

Slumping Schalke must face an improving Hamburg.

Lawro's Premiership Predictions

Not surprisingly, Lawro fancies a draw between Liverpool and Manchester United...

Red Star worried by Partizan's purple patch

The gap between the big Belgrade rivals is being rapidly bridged and a refereeing dispute could close it even further.

Great in Europe, now Benítez must close gap at home

With Liverpool trailing 16 points behind Manchester United, Rafael Benítez cannot afford to pick a team with one eye on Barcelona.

Arsenal's season of promise could soon turn to dust

Arsenal must beat PSV on Wednesday to save a season that looked so promising just a week ago.

West Ham braced for departure of players

Jermain Defoe was vilified for requesting a transfer within 24 hours of West Ham United’s relegation in 2003, but considering what has become of the club this season, who could blame several senior players for following suit this time?

Davies plots promotion course for shaky Derby

After three successive losses, Billy Davies is attempting to take the pressure off his faltering Derby County side by insisting that tonight’s match at home to Colchester United will not make or break the club’s drive for the Barclays Premiership.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Sevilla coach Juande Ramos is knocked out cold

Richard Jolly at Ewood Park

FA Cup Replay: Blackburn 1 - 0 Arsenal

Serie A Report: Udinese Halt Inter's Run With San Siro Draw + Serie A Table

Italian Serie A Table

TeamsPlayedGoal DifferencePts

Casey Admits MLS Frustration

Copa del Rey: Betis-Sevilla Suspended As Coach Is Knocked Unconscious

More problems in Seville...

More fallout from the Carling Cup Final

Wenger vents fury after more cup woe:

Lampard denies being punched in cup brawl:

Tickets Go On Sale for Euro 2008 Finals

Violence and merger overshadow new China season

Violence on the pitch and the multi-million dollar merger of Shanghai's two top clubs have dominated the run-up to this weekend's start of the fourth Chinese Super League (CSL) season.

Newcastle's Emre faces fresh racism probe

Wednesday's Italian Serie A match reports

Draws for Fiorentina, Roma, Milan...

Sid Lowe on the violence in Sevilla

Real Betis's president insists the incident that saw Juande Ramos knocked unconscious by a bottle from the stands was a one-off. He is wrong.

James Richardson in Italy

Inter's hot streak came to an end last night but it'll be a cold day in hell before anyone in Serie A catches them.

Quinn reaches out to Sunderland supporters

Sunderland's chairman Niall Quinn has written to 7,000 disaffected former season-ticket holders and will begin a series of large-scale meetings with them at a social club in Washington from Tuesday. Although they had more than 36,000 at the Stadium of Light for last Saturday's visit of Derby County - more than double the attendance at Blackburn v Portsmouth the following day - Quinn argues that Sunderland need to have 40,000-plus crowds if they are to prove themselves "a big club".,,2023823,00.html

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Two Hilarious Ads

Before the match Argentina was looking for revenge.

The didn't get it. Brazil won 3 - 1.
Somehow, I just can't see these being posted on any walls in our free society...-Sanford
Thanks to Tobias Luetke at Too Biased for these gems.

FA Cup: United survive stirring Reading fightback

Having appeared to give themselves the rest of the night off with three goals in the first five minutes, this turned into a fixture that must have felt like unending torment before Manchester United at last staggered on to an FA Cup quarter-final at Middlesbrough. The sight of their crossbar twanging in stoppage-time from the effects of a Brynjar Gunnarsson volley had to be endured as Reading nearly equalised in this replay.,,2023052,00.html

Boro scrape through after latest shoot-out drama

For Middlesbrough, Manchester United await. An FA Cup run which has already demanded three replays was extended into the quarter-finals last night, the visitors' porous defence spared by West Bromwich Albion's profligacy in normal time and their own indecisive attacking failing to break down the hosts' 10 men during the extra period. But, steered by a manager who has long exorcised his personal demons when it comes to penalties, there was a sense of inevitability that Boro would prevail in the shoot-out.,,2023102,00.html

Wenger says sorry for Arsenal's part in cup final brawl

Arsène Wenger has apologised for his team's part in the Carling Cup fracas and says they have a responsibility to behave impeccably on the field of play. The Arsenal manager raced on to the pitch alongside his Chelsea counterpart Jose Mourinho as they attempted to break up the mêlée which spoiled a memorable final at the Millennium Stadium.,,2022880,00.html

Hughes has no hard feelings towards Fábregas after spat

Mark Hughes has insisted there is no lingering animosity with Cesc Fábregas - a mismatch, if ever there was one - going into tonight's FA Cup fifth-round replay between Blackburn Rovers and Arsenal at Ewood Park. Hughes has accepted Fábregas's apology before a tie in which the Blackburn manager hopes to put his theory to the test that Arsène Wenger's players "take defeat poorly".

Fowler weighs up Major League Soccer move

Liverpool striker has been in talks with New England coach and former team-mate Steve Nicol.,,2023313,00.html

Michael Owen Set to Return This Season

Uncle Sam wary about Beckham

Michael Wilbon, of the Washington Postand ESPN’s Pardon The Interruption, another discussion programme, remembers the previous attempt to import world stars. “They tried this already,” he said. “I covered the NASL in the early 1980s, with Pelé, with Johan Cruyff, with Franz Beckenbauer — the best players ever, maybe. I saw 76,000 fans at Giants Stadium, and RFK Stadium [in Washington, DC] getting 54,000 people to watch Cruyff against the New York Cosmos — and then what happened? The league went out of business. And Beckham is not as good a player as any of those guys.

Serie A Preview: Inter vs. Udinese

Inter try to come full circle as they face the last team not to lose to them.

Francesc Fabregas: From Barcelona to Barnet: how a rising star learnt his trade

On and off the pitch, Arsenal’s teenage midfield general had to adapt to a different culture at a rapid rate, but, as Gabriele Marcotti and Guillem Balague discover, he took everything in his stride.

Wednesday's rumours

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Gilardino's Dive

Pure class, Alberto. Pure class. Bene. -Sanford

Phil Ball in Spain

It's an odd affair as derbis (derbies) go, Atlético v Real Madrid. Even though - as in all major cities - the socio-cultural divisions between the two principal football teams are well defined, the encounter is nevertheless unique in being overshadowed by another much stronger rivalry, in this case the one that has existed since time immemorial between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Uli Hesse-Lichtenberger in Germany

Uli's pulling for a Schalke title...

Who is right? Gerrard or Benitez?

His ideas can confounded others, but Rafael Benitez is not easily dissuaded from them, no matter how many and how vocal the opponents they attract. Steven Gerrard may be about to discover that.

EPL: Battle at the bottom

It's getting towards the business end of the season and for the clubs at the business end of the table, there's a lot at stake. Paul Jewell's recent rant over referees' decisions was grounded in an element of truth. The difference between a £50million stay in the Premiership and a less lucrative stint in the Championship really could hinge on a single decision.

Who will go down? The concerned parties are West Ham, Wigan, Sheffield United, Watford, Manchester City and Charlton...

Zidane unlikely to land in MLS

FA Cup Preview: Reading vs. Manchester United

Who: Reading (6th in Premiership) vs. Manchester United (1st in Premiership)
When: 20.05pm local, Tuesday, 27th February, 2007
Where: Madejski Stadium, Reading

Capello, Emerson, Mijatovic And The Bernabéu Pact

In the wake of the hubbub created by Samuel Eto’o’s refusal to go on as a substitute for the last few minutes of the Racing Santander match at Camp Nou, Real Madrid have their own hot potato to juggle. Emerson is the player who defied the Coach this time – but how and why?

Mid-Week Serie A Preview

AC Milan face a major obstacle in their drive for a place in next season's Champions League when they travel south to play Palermo on Wednesday (kickoff 1400 GMT).

Tuesday's Rumours

Today's tell-all can't understand why everybody is so surprised to learn that John Terry has an exceptionally thick head.,,2022490,00.html

Jol joins the applause for a devil with an angel's face

Tottenham's striker Dimitar Berbatov has dazzled his manager as well as the supporters this season.

James Richardson in Italy

Hats off to P45-flourishing Cagliari owner Massimo Cellino, who's just fired his 26th lieutenant, Colomba, in 14 seasons.

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Insider at Craven Cottage

Fulham 1-2 Manchester United: Fulham can't make McBride's goal a winner...

Carling Cup Final: Chelsea 2 - 1 Arsenal

John Terry Gets Rocked

I have never, ever, ever, seen someone get kicked like this... -Sanford

Reports From Weekend Matches in England, Italy, Spain and Germany

English Premier League:
Watford win, ManU nick one from Fulham, West Ham embarrassed at The Valley...;_ylt=ApAElGtGaG6IiAmIKW4IVHImw7YF?slug=reu-englandreports&prov=reuters&type=lgns

Italian Serie A:
Internazionale have now won 17 in a row...

La Liga:
Valencia held, controversial draw in the Madrid Derby...

Hamburg out of the relegation zone, Bremen held, Bayen win...

Crowd trouble in Belgrade and Madrid

Thirteen injured and 27 arrested after Belgrade derby:

Wenger braced for FA charges over brawl

Arsene Wenger admitted the mass brawl at the end of the Carling Cup final had taken the shine off a decent contest - and accepted repercussions looked inevitable.

Lupoli heads for home

Striker will end loan at Derby in summer for move to Fiorentina.,,2021851,00.html



ALMUNIA: Left exposed, and therefore blameless, for both goals. Considering the melée, thank goodness Lehmann wasn't playing. 6.
HOYTE: Tidy. Improving every game - though Robben caused problems later on. 6.
SENDEROS: Drogba's bitch yet again. Too flatfooted, too cumbersome. Wenger was right to play the kids, though had Gallas played Arsenal would have won. 3.
TOURE: Played well in defence, bringing the ball out intelligently. Sadly lost the plot completely and let his team down. Not what you want from your captain. 5.
TRAORE: Unfortunately one positional mistake, which left Drogba open for Ballack's chip, marred a mature performance from the 17 yr old. 6.
WALCOTT: His best performance for the Gunners. Started and finished his goal brilliantly. Real signs that he could live up to the hype. 8.
FABREGAS: Sublime, as always, when playing football. Also quite good at proving soccer players fight like 80 yr old drag queens. 7.
DENILSON: Exquisite control, passing and dribbling. Increasingly out-muscled as the game progressed [understandable considering his age and opponents]. 8.
DIABY: A Wenger/Vieira love child? Although he strayed out of position at times, leaving Traore exposed, gave real drive to the Arsenal midfield. 8.
ALIADIERE: Poor and pretty anonymous. 4.
BAPTISTA: Forced one good save but otherwise lacked finesse. Great to see the kids, but Arsenal missed Henry. 5.
EBOUE: Looked at fault for Che winner and v. lucky not to get red card for hitting Bridge. 3.
HLEB: Regular readers know my views on Hleb, yesterday did nothing to change them. 4.
ADEBAYOR: Perhaps unlucky to be sent off [mistaken identity?]. 4.


CECH: Excellent, as ever. 7.
DIARRA: Lucky not to have conceded a pen, lucky not to have received two yellows. Overwhelmed. 5.
CARVALHO: Nullified Arsenal's strikers with a polished display. 8.
TERRY: Hard as nails - allegedly his head lead to Diaby's injury. Before the drama he looked out of sorts and off the pace. 5.
BRIDGE: Troubled throughout by threat of Walcott who he never had under control but never let run riot. 6.
MAKELELE: One of his worst games for Chelsea, allowing Fabregas and Denilson far too much time and space. 5.
ESSIEN: Seemed to play 20 different positions but looked pretty good in all of them. 7.
LAMPARD: Conceded initiative to Arsenal's midfield in the first half but gradually more of a force as the game went on. Good at prissy, playground 'fighting'. 6.
BALLACK: Showed glimpses of his class, especially for Chelsea's first goal, but otherwise another lackadaisical display from the German. 6.
SHEVCHENKO: According to reports he was finally finding his form. Not on this showing. 5.
DROGBA: The difference between the teams. Thanks to him Chelsea took their chances. Must wish he could play against Senderos every week. 9.

After yesterday's chaos, Wembley's return can't come soon enough

Getting to the Carling Cup final was an absolute nightmare, but the journey back was even worse.