Friday, April 27, 2007

This week's EPL guesses

Lawro's predictions

Weekend Previews

Here are the quick rundowns on this weekend's action:

Serie A
La Liga
Ligue 1

Arsène dishes out the compliments

Wenger puts feud with Ferguson on hold to laud old foe’s achievements

Woody back to Boro

Middlesbrough bring home favourite son Woodgate

World's top player?

Kaka on his way to being best in the world

Kevin McCarra on Andriy Shevchenko

Shevchenko famine forces Chelsea to be even more miserly

Portuguese men at war

Mourinho labels Ronaldo 'a liar'

Fire old boy Hristo Stoitchkov

The maverick manager. The Bulgarian doesn't do tactics, falls out with players and rants at officials. So why have Celta Vigo put their future in his hands?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thursday's rumours

You can almost hear the guy saying 'No shit? This stunner is really Frank Rijkaard's daughter?'

Citizen Neville gets moor for his money

Red' Nev may be moving to a mansion but the Premiership can rest assured he'll be keeping his Citizen Neville business cards

Lennon leaving...

End of an era as midfield enforcer exits Celtic Park

Pompey on the move

Portsmouth sinking future in stadium built on the sea

Arsenal comings and goings [well, stayings]

Gallas is upsetting people again, so where better than Madrid? :

Gallas set for Madrid after failing to bridge generation gap

But at least Mad Lens looks like staying...

Lehmann prepares to put pen to paper in show of staying power

Analysis from Tony Cascarino

Caution so costly for Liverpool [and the viewer]

Simon Barnes on José and Rafa

Two managers may be worlds apart but they still play the same game [boring us to death]

Advantage Chelsea after predictable boring long ball affair

Omens stacked against Spaniard's side...

Mourinho is left red-faced by 'penalty' claim

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

What Would Your Name Be If You Played For Brazil?

Sanford = GEA in a roundabout way...

Thanks to Patrick Buckley, a.k.a. Bucklinhosa Peres, for sending this my way. -Sanford

Alan Ball Dead at 61

The midfielder won 72 caps for his country in a 10-year England career and starred for both Everton and Arsenal.

John May Remembers:

Alan Ball may have been modest in size but on the pitch he had the ability and attitude to leave opponents in his wake:

Dida Gifts United a Win as Kaka and Rooney Strike Twice

Manchester United 3 - 2 AC Milan
Richard Jolly at Old Trafford:

Richard Williams' Verdict:
Kaka and Ronaldo did not let down an expectant public as their goals and glitz lit up Old Trafford.

Lawro's Euro Verdict:
Man Utd might find it a bit easier to contain Kaka in Milan.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Prem Talking Points: The Relegation Equation

Talk about a sting in the tail. For a long time it looked as if Manchester United would walk away with the Premiership title, while West Ham and Charlton would quietly accept a grim future in The Championship. Not so. Chelsea have closed to within three points of United, while the two London clubs have every chance of avoiding the drop.

A mature Convey looks to take the next step

Those early days, the baby face and pimples, the mop of hair and the uncertainty surrounding the much-hyped player, all seem so long ago. It's an image that Bobby Convey, now 23, still has difficulty shedding. With the Gold Cup and Copa America on tap for the national team this summer, it was supposed be a busy season for Convey who had hoped to be a part of the team, but a long-term knee injury and subsequent surgery has forced him to the sidelines. With his club team Reading guaranteed of staying in the Premiership, it was a decision he made with management's blessing to go under the knife, in the hope that he'd be ready for the start of next season.

James Richardson in Italy

Inter have finally won their first proper title in 18 years, and it would be a churlish soul who tried to belittle the achievement. Facili o Assegnati, Sempre Meglio dei Vostri Rubati. Whether they're easy or won by default they're still better than your stolen ones, according to the new slogan of Inter fans.

The Word From Spain

Phil Ball:

The interesting thing about Leo Messi's goal last week against Getafe was the consensus. The greatest goal ever, or perhaps the second greatest ever? The only sign of rebellion came from Getafe's manager Bernd Schuster, who complained that one of his defenders/midfielders should have brought him down - a rather depressing comment from a man who practised a more advanced aesthetic himself when a player, and exactly the same comment made by Argentines in 1986 after Maradona's uncannily similar goal.

Sid Lowe:

Strange but true: Real, somehow, are going to win the league
. Never mind their myriad shortcomings; Real Madrid have been let off the hook so many times that their rivals will surely end up paying for it.

Essien arrested on drink-driving charge

The 24-year-old, who is suspended for tomorrow's Champions League semi-final first leg clash with Liverpool, had been driving his black Range Rover, according to reports.

If you can't play, might as well drink!! -Sanford

Jose escapes UEFA in laundry trolley

Aki Riihilahti

Premiership presence ruining it for Germans — but not for Aki

Self-interest makes it hard to look beyond all-English final

Hugh McIlvanney in The Times

The voice of sport says: Time to believe the hype

Arsenal Chaos

Sue Mott : Upmarket Arsenal warrant Royal takeover
Matt Scott : Candidates queue up to fill Wenger's vacancy

Gabrielle Marcotti in The Times

England on high with tall order: The big target man still has a role at international level

Ex-player to buy Man City

Ranson launches £90m bid

Champions League Semi: Manchester United vs. Milan

Tue Apr 24 02:30PM Eastern
Length: 2 hr 30 min LIVE
UEFA Champions League - Semifinal - 1st Leg
Manchester United (England) vs AC Milan (Italy)

Kevin McCarra : It's just as well United are so gung-ho
Don Howe: United's forwards are free to run riot
Oliver Kay : Maldini gives Ronaldo high five but has no fears over marking him

Champions League Semi: Chelsea vs. Liverpool

Wed Apr 25 02:30PM Eastern
Length: 2 hr 30 min LIVE
UEFA Champions League - Semifinal - 1st Leg
Chelsea (England) vs Liverpool (England)

Dominic Fifield : Alonso fired up for final push by Mourinho's sniping
Bill Edgar : Drogba could be direct line for blues’ success
Martin Smith : Away advantage for Cech

Zizou To Play With Fire?

This comes from The Daily Mirror, otherwise known as Britain's most reliable newspaper, so you can bank on it being 100% true. Bob, start planning your tailgating.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Bayern plumb new depths as Santa Cruz hits the rocks

Having elevated apathy and meekness to an art form, no one has epitomised the champions' sad demise quite like Roque Santa Cruz.

Owen One Week Away

Michael Owen was at St James' Park yesterday but he did not get stripped. However, the Newcastle manager Glenn Roeder said Owen is on course to play at Reading next Monday. "We'll know by the middle to end of next week if he'll be fit," Roeder said of Owen. "I wouldn't rule it out.",,2063385,00.html

Mourinho hits at United penalty luck

Kenyon's talks with Klinsmann in LA also agitate Chelsea's manager, reports Michael Walker:,,2063383,00.html

MLS Roundup

Quick links to this past weekend's Major League Soccer action:

Dallas 3 Colorado 1
Chivas 4 RSL 0
Chicago 2 KC 1
Energy Drinks 1 Houston 0
Columbus 2 New England 2

I had the pleasure of attending Saturday's Fire/'Zards matchup. The game could easily have ended 1-0. The Fire's second goal was a penalty which happened just on the edge of the box and could have been called either way. The 'Zards goal came on a dive/makeup call by newboy Carlos Marinelli, another over-the-hill "Next Maradonna".

Results and Reports from Italy, England, Spain and Germany

Serie A:
Marco Materazzi scored twice, once from the penalty spot, as Inter Milan won 2-1 at Siena to clinch their second successive Serie A title with five games to spare.

Paolo Guerrero scored seven minutes from time to give Hamburg SV a 2-2 draw at home to struggling Mainz in the Bundesliga on Sunday.

Watford relegated, ManU and Chelsea draw.

La Liga:
Leaders Barcelona were beaten 2-0 by Villarreal on Sunday to blow the title race wide open.

The Insider at White Hart Lane

Tottenham 2 - 2 Arsenal
Jenas strike snatches late draw...