Friday, January 11, 2008

Look Alikes of the Week: Condoleezza Rice & Jermaine Defoe

It's all in the teeth.

Now if we can just get Condi to adopt Jermaine's new doo...

Defoe's Hair

In case you didn't catch the Carling Cup match on Weds., this is what our boy Jermaine is sporting these days. I'm not sure what to make of it. It kind of looks like he is going to attach a wig with a strip of velcro.

English Premier League: Weekend Previews and News

The Premier League Today

Complete Previews

Lawro's Predictions

La Liga Weekend Preview: Round 19

The halfway point of the season fast approaches. Real Madrid are isolated at the top, Levante even moreso at the bottom. But as we learned last season, it's not over until it's over...

Saturday 12 January 2008 (all times local)
20:00 Barcelona - Murcia
22:00 Athletic - Sevilla
Sunday 13 January 2008
17:00 Betis - Getafe
17:00 Valladolid - Recreativo
17:00 Almeria - Espanyol
17:00 Villarreal - Deportivo
17:00 Zaragoza - Mallorca
17:00 Osasuna - Racing
19:00 Levante - Real Madrid
21:00 Atletico Madrid - Valencia

Serie A Weekend Preview: Round 18

Serie A is back after the winter break and looks ahead to all of the action in round 18 of the calendar...

Serie A
Inter Milan1713044328
Catania Calcio1756621-2
AC Milan14446189

Chelsea sign Nicolas Anelka for £15 million

This is big -- Chelsea have suffered without Drogba and I could see them falling further behind over the next month. Anelka scores. Period. -Sanford

Anelka joined Bolton in 2006 from Turkish club Fenerbahce for a club record £8m. He has also played for Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City in the Premier League, Paris Saint-Germain and won the Champions League while at Real Madrid. The move makes him the most expensive footballer in history with combined transfer fees of £85 million, beating the previous record of £77m for Juan Sebastian Veron, the former Argentina midfielder.

The Joy of Six: Great British Grounds

Scott Murray: From north-east Scotland to the south coast, these are my favourite football venues

The Dell -- R.I.P.

I Wasn't Good Enough For Arsenal - Larsson

Ahead of his side's visit to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, Birmingham City midfielder Sebastian Larsson has said he knew he wasn't good enough for Arsenal, but has no regrets at all about leaving the Gunners for St Andrew's.

DeMerit leads Hornets' bid to return to the EPL

"When we were in the Premier League, there wasn't much pressure on us to win because we weren't predicted to win too many times," DeMerit said as he took time out from watching the New York Giants beat Tampa Bay in last weekend's NFL wild-card tussle. "So the fans came in and wanted to enjoy the season and enjoy the big teams that came. Now, we're in the Championship and they think we should be top, and when we're not necessarily playing well at home, they get on our backs."

The Mill

Friday's Rumours

25-year-old Ajax keeper Maarten Stekelenburg will be cursing his luck behind the Spurs' backline, while Fredi Kanoute will be on his way back to North London if his frantic winking, fluttering of eyelashes and blatant come-and-get me pleas float Ramos' boat.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Fire Coaching Search: John Guppy is an Ass

Chicago Fire President and GM John Guppy seems to have compensation-related issues. He lost his hand picked Head Coach, J.C. Osorio, to the Red Bulls partly because they offered him superior pay, and the counter offer was not enough to keep him. Now after a month of interviews his successor of choice, Houston Dynamo assistant Head Coach john Spencer, has turned down the Fire job because Guppy lowballed him:

"It wasn't much more money than I (was making) here with the Dynamo, and I felt that to move my family to another state and all the upheaval and such, I just didn't think it was worth it, so I turned it down.''

Maybe the Gupster lowballed Spencer because he thought he could bring in Big Sam, but frankly I find that doubtful.

John Spencer turns down offer to coach Fire

Allardyce Reign Ends at Newcastle

Oh, Big Sam! We hardly knew ya!

Newcastle have ended Sam Allardyce's managerial reign after eight months.

Shearer and Redknapp distance themselves from the job.

Born: Dudley, 19 Oct 1954
Playing career: Bolton, Sunderland, Millwall, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Coventry, Huddersfield, Preston, West Brom
Managing career: Limerick City, Blackpool, Notts County, Bolton, Newcastle

Born-again Ballack answers Chelsea's call for a new leader

At a crucial time, German is finding the form that first persuaded Blues to sign him

Foh Shizzle...

The Mill ++

Wednesday's Rumours
In The Star there's excitable talk of Martin O'Neill planning a "£15m Spurs swoop", which could probably get him most of the first-team squad at the moment. He also fancies a punt on Reading's Kevin Doyle.


Carling Cup Semi-Final First Leg Report

Arsenal 1 - 1 Tottenham
Spurs left frustrated again
Arsenal Injury Crisis

Juande Ramos' decision to drop Paul Robinson against Arsenal was a massive vote of no confidence

This was another match that proved that Berbatov is simply heads and shoulders above his teammates. The Bulgarian oozed class and if anyone else in a Spurs jersey had matched his skill they would have rolled over the Young Gunners. -Sanford

FC Dallas signs Davino to two-year deal

FC Dallas signed Club America defender Duilio Davino to a two-year contract on Wednesday, a move team officials expect will shore up their defense and appeal to their Hispanic fan base.

Savage: Sunderland have blown survival chance

'It's well known that Sunderland put in a bid for me but I never really felt that they were too keen. 'If I was them, I would have gone the whole hog to get me because I'm the type of player who can keep a team in the Premier League.

Uli Hesse-Lichtenberger in Germany

The way things are going right now, Germany could buck this trend of moaning about fixture congestion and tired legs prior to Euro 2008 - by worrying about players who haven't seen enough action.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Carling Cup Semi-Final, First Leg Preview

What: Carling Cup Semi-Final, First Leg
Who: Arsenal (1st, EPL, 50/63 pts) v Tottenham (12th, EPL, 24/63 pts)
When: Wednesday, 9 January, Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Where: Emirates Stadium, Ashburton Grove, North London

Spurs - without a win against their hated neighbours this century - last tasted victory on 6th November, 1999, at White Hart Lane.

Benítez Begs For More Time

Rafael Benítez has made an impassioned plea to Liverpool's American owners to allow him to continue as manager, despite their reservations about the team's progress. George Gillett and Tom Hicks were having talks last night with the chief executive Rick Parry amid growing speculation that Benítez does not figure in their plans beyond the end of the season, but the man who brought the European Cup back to Anfield insists he wants to stay.

The Mill(s) ++

Wednesday's Rumours


Sven: I Want Mancini Now

MLS snub bid for striker Twellman

Major League Soccer chiefs have turned down an offer - thought to be from Preston - for American striker Taylor Twellman.

Not appearing at a Tesco or Sainsbury near you...

Carling Cup Semi-Final First Leg Report

Chelsea 2 - 1 Everton
Lescott lets Chelsea off the hook after Mikel's reckless red lunge

Chelsea escape cannot hide striker shortcomings

The Sanitisation of Football

With its crisp image of shiny new stadia, superstar international players and wall-to-wall television coverage, the modern game is barely recognisable from that of 20 years ago.

Roberto Gotta in Italy

You may have heard the words 'slow news day' used in connection with the appearance of news that, in a regular situation, would not find its way past the editor's desk. Reading a paper brimming with those empty shells of news is excruciating, but just try to imagine a stretch of 21 days filled with the printed equivalent of hot air.

The slowest of slow news days

Goalkeeper Hope Solo chosen for US women's roster

Goalkeeper Hope Solo is back on the U.S. women's roster and headed back to China.

Solo was dropped from the team after last year's World Cup semifinal, when she was benched for the Americans' 4-0 loss to Brazil in favor of veteran Briana Scurry. Her strong criticism of then-coach Greg Ryan led to her being suspended from the squad for the third-place game and sent home separate from the team.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Rams close in on triple raid

Derby have agreed a fee with Blackburn for the former Wales midfielder Robbie Savage, who is expected to meet Derby officials this afternoon to discuss terms. Also joining the Pride Park influx is the former Newcastle winger Laurent Robert and Tottenham outcast Hossam Ghaly, who are poised to wrap up moves.

Wanker, wanker, wanker.

Say it ain’t so. The beloved Rams are going to sign Grade-A Prick Robbie Savage. I like Derby County. My pal Alec was born in that “God-Awful Place, “ as he so eloquently describes his home locale. And their mascot is Rammy. And they’ve got a great history. What’s not to like? But this might be a step too far. Robbie Savage, for all his energy, persistence and dogged determination, is a jerk on the pitch and too often resorts to dirty tactics to try and gain an advantage. How can I root for the Rams with that twat in their side? Toss in Laurent Robert and any chance Derby had of a Fair Play Award just went out the window. Who's next? Lee Bowyer? -Sanford

Carling Cup Semi-Final Preview: Chelsea vs. Everton

Phil Neville insists leading Everton out at Wembley for the Carling Cup final would be the greatest achievement of his career.

Coming from a player who picked up six Premier League titles, three FA Cup winners' medals and a Champions League winners' gong at Manchester United, that says a lot.

The Toffees skipper, who will lead the side out at Chelsea, is driven by the desire to add a winners' medal he does not have to his impressive collection.

Neville, 31 later this month, said: ``This is the only winners medal I have not got. I have two losers medals and normally I give my medals to my father.

Fasteddy's Hot Tips for Both Semis

Martin Rogers: Parkhurst Shows Commitment to Team USA

Michael Parkhurst's honeymoon has featured a rainy field instead of a sunny beach, twice-daily workouts instead of rest and relaxation and the company of 22 sweaty men instead of his new bride, Sam. The New England Revolution defender got hitched during the Major League Soccer postseason, but he had to forgo the traditional post-marital getaway after being called into Bob Bradley's U.S. national team training camp.

La Liga Team Of The Week: Round 18


Ivan de la Pena (Espanyol): Ernesto Valverde sent out an attacking eleven to take on Villarreal, with the former Barcelona man handed the duty of pulling the strings. From start to finish, everything went through him, and the only downside was that he did not get himself a goal for his efforts, being denied by the bar.

The Rest of the Team

Capello must resist the Beckham charm offensive

Giving the LA Galaxy midfielder his 100th cap against Switzerland would be a backward step for England's new manager.

Sid Lowe in Spain

Paco Chaparro might have revitalised Real Betis with his unique brand of motivation, but they've still got a long way to go.

The Mill (s) ++

Tuesday's Rumours


Norman Hubbard: Big Sam Must Go

Though below par, results are not sufficiently poor to justify his dismissal, but the feeling that Allardyce's position is untenable is increasing. He is not a bad manager, but Newcastle verge on being unmanageable and the current incumbent is spectacularly ill-suited to a club he does not understand.

Phil Ball in Spain

In the Christian calendar Sunday was Epiphany, a word that has taken on a wider meaning over the centuries, and which as a normal noun means something like 'revelation' or 'deep understanding'.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Cheeky Chelsea Mascot

Fa Cup Fourth-Round Draw: Non-league Havant in possible trip to Liverpool

Non-leaguers Havant and Waterlooville might have a trip to Anfield against Liverpool should both win their FA Cup third round replays, following the fourth round draw on Monday. Havant are the lowest-ranked team left in the competition and held English League One leaders Swansea 1-1 at the weekend and are at home to the Welsh side in a replay next week, while Rafael Benitez's side must overcome Luton to reach the last 32.

FA Cup 4th Rd Draw:

Arsenal v Stoke, Newcastle/Coventry v Walsall/ Millwall, Oldham v Huddersfield, Swindon/ Barnet v Fulham/ Bristol Rovers, Wigan v Chelsea, Luton/ Liverpool v Swansea/ Havant & W, Southend v Barnsley Southampton v Norwich/ Bury, Manchester United v Tottenham/ Reading Portsmouth v Plymouth, Derby/ Sheffield Wednesday v Preston, Watford v Wolverhampton, Peterborough v Charlton/ West Brom, Sheffield United v West Ham/ Man City, Mansfield v Middlesbrough, Tranmere/ Hereford v Cardiff

The Mill

Monday's Rumours

La Liga Weekend Wrap

The champions maintain their seven-point gap at the top...

FA Cup Reports

Derby, Fulham Held; Arsenal Through
Luton 1 - 1 Liverpool


Aston Villa 0 - 2 Manchester United
Rooney the new super-sub

Everton 0 - 1 Oldham

Oldham's reward for dumping Everton? £75 each

Blackburn 1 - 4 Coventry City
Alarmingly poor Rovers

Chelsea 1 - 0 Queen's Park Rangers
Own-goal settles it

West Ham 0 - 0 Manchester City
Keepers impress

Figo move doesn't make sense for Galaxy

We have heard about Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane and David Beckham (the only one to come true) and now we have Luis Figo as the latest alumnus of Real Madrid's failed "Galacticos" experiment to be tied to a move to the United States.

Richard Jolly at Turf Moor

Burnley 0 - 2 Arsenal
Deadly Eduardo is born to be mild

The Insider at White Hart Lane

Tottenham 2 - 2 Reading
Berbatov a class above toiling Tottenham