Saturday, March 22, 2008

Sunday's big EPL games : some guff, some analysis, some player profiles

Sir Alex Ferguson and Avram Grant have clashed over the issue of players pressurising referees
Sir Alex Ferguson and Avram Grant have clashed over the issue of players pressurising referees
Avram Grant defends Cole and attacks Eboue
Manager was in most positive mood as he assessed the championship run-in and believes his side can still win title
Wenger shoots down talk of Arsenal collapse

Talking tactics: Chelsea v Arsenal
Talking tactics: Manchester United v Liverpool

Player profiles:
Argentinian is proving the best defensive midfield man in the Premier League after a string of impressive performances
Mascherano is new Keane
If Niklas Bendtner fails to make the grade, it certainly won't be through a lack of faith in his own ability [in other words, he's a cocky little twat]
Belief provides the basis for Bendtner's climb
All eyes at Old Trafford will be on two attacking players who could so easily have been playing for their opposing clubs
Ronaldo and Torres become box-office heroes
The Slovakian defender has elbowed Carragher aside to take centre stage at Anfield
Skrtel hits relentless groove after getting off on wrong foot
Sir Alex Ferguson believes his young England striker will have a decisive say on the title race before the season is out
Rooney tipped to find scoring touch

Friday, March 21, 2008

Lawro's predictions

Man Utd v Liverpool

This has got draw written all over it because against all the top teams away, Mr Benitez picks a team to stop the opposition playing.
He'll be banking on Fernando Torres to nick him a goal because I don't think Liverpool will have many chances.
I don't buy this talk that Cristiano Ronaldo can't perform in the big games. I think it's just one of those strange things. He hasn't done it yet but he will do. He's far too good not to. Maybe it will be on Sunday against Liverpool...
Verdict: 1-1
Lawro's Premiership Predictions

Italy: Serie A Weekend Previews

Inter host Juventus in the big clash of the weekend. Elsewhere Fiorentina welcome Lazio, Torino host Milan and Empoli go to Roma.


England: Premier League Previews

See the post below for more specific information on Super Sunday (Manchester United vs. Liverpool and Chelsea vs. Arsenal), but elsewhere Spurs host Pompey, Reading host Birmingham, Fulham travel to Newcastle and Villa host Sunderland on a weekend that could have a massive effects on the outcome of the 2007-2008 campaign.


England: Big Sunday Preview

Rafael Benítez has accused Sir Alex Ferguson of trying to influence the referee ahead of their league clash
Benítez takes swipe at Ferguson

Last year they were six points behind Arsenal, but Chelsea have an opportunity to climb above their London rivals
Joe Cole urges Chelsea to stay focused on title race
Chelsea players question Avram Grant's tactics

Ronny combines an extraordinary mix of pace, strength and skill to embarrass opponents
Ronaldo can be the Best
Nani: Young Man Utd driven by will to win
Alan Hansen's column

England: Meite Reads SSN + Other EPL News

Ivory Coast defender surprised team-mates in midweek by saying he had had enough during half-time at Old Trafford. He'd obviously read yesterday's SSN about Megson being a wanker
Meite faces Bolton exit after work stoppage

Man City owner Thaksin Shinawatra has warned Sven-Goran Eriksson he will have to spend wisely this summer
Thaksin: Eriksson will have to work on tighter budget

The Premier League has blocked Jermain Defoe's potential White Hart Lane reunion with Spurs
Redknapp fuming over rule

FIFA Street 3

EA's latest football offering is fast, furious and well presented, but ultimately only fun in small doses
Fifa Street 3

Capello shows who's boss

Fabio Capello will talk to his England players about discipline in the wake of Ashley's Cole's clash with Alan Hutton and the subsequent dissent displayed to the referee
Capello's crackdown

U.S. Under 23s 3 - 0 Canada Under 23s -- Off to China!

The US under-23 team cruised past their northern neighbors to earn a berth in the 2008 Olympics
US Qualify for Beijing with 3-0 Win over Canada
Jeff Carlisle: Adu headlines a dominating team performance

Quidnunc Ronaldinho?

Ronaldinho returned to training with Barcelona today - behind closed doors, naturally - and will travel to Valencia for next Thursday's Copa del Rey clash at the Mestalla. But, once again, he won't be in the matchday squad. Precisely what is going on with the Brazilian enigma?
The Tragedy Of Ronaldinho

Spain: Valencia Reach Copa del Rey Final

Valencia won a thrilling Copa del Rey semi final, second leg by the odd goal in five as Juanma Mata made himself into a local hero with two goals
Valencia In Final After Thriller

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Megson = Wanker

It annoys the fuck out of me when managers hark on all season about the importance of "getting into Europe", only to then field weakened sides once they get there. A perfect example of football being totally out of touch with the fans. You've waited 15 years to see your team play abroad, paid a fortune for tickets, taken days off work and your manager selects the B team with two trialists on the bench.
Good riddance if Gary Megson loses job

Carra and Clichy

Jamie Carragher is adamant Liverpool manager will revert to trusted methods ahead of three-week make or break fixtures
Benitez may rotate for crucial matches
Arsenal full-back Gael Clichy has said it will be "good fun" to take on Liverpool three times in
one week next month
Liverpool trilogy thrills Arsenal full-back

EPL News

Club unlikely to make high-profile signings during the summer to give their younger players an opportunity to develop
Young players get chance as West Ham try to economise
Aliou Cissé's 2004 transfer from Birmingham to Portsmouth was the subject of the raid at St Andrew's
Police raid centred on Cissé move
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has targeted St Etienne midfielder Loic Perrin to strengthen his squad as doubts continue to surround the future of Mathieu Flamini at the Emirates
Arsenal ponder move for Loic Perrin
Forward smiling again after end to lean times and confidence is high of earning a recall to Fabio Capello's England team
Owen confident of hitting top form
They have not won away in the league for 18 months but Fulham fans are to travel to St James' Park still full of hope
Fulham's dismal run does not deter fans

Martin Rogers: Americans looking ugly so far

The U.S. men’s under-23 national team should accomplish its Olympic qualifying mission by beating Canada on Thursday night, but the memories of its jittery and unconvincing CONCACAF campaign will dampen any bold predictions of success in Beijing.

Americans on the Continent: Passing the Torch

It was a passing of the torch moment, of sorts, as two American centerbacks clashed in Bavaria over the weekend. Mainz’s 19-year-old Nevin Subotic lined up across the field from 1860 Munich’s 34-year-old Greg Berhalter.

Italy: Lazio Edge Roma In Eternal Derby

Lazio 3 - 2 Roma
Lazio win it at the death
Player Ratings

Elsewhere, Inter could only draw at Genoa, Juventus could only draw at Empoli, Sampdoria beat Milan and Fiorentina lost in Naples. Reports

Not a happy man...

England: EPL Midweek Results + Table

Tottenham 4 - 4 Chelsea
Frantic London Derby
Grant under scrutiny once again
Player Ratings

Manchester United 2 - 0 Bolton

Another brace for Ronny
Ronaldo's brilliance masks United's problems

Man Utd3070
Aston Villa3049
Man City3048
West Ham3043

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Birmingham City Raided by The Police

'The club is fully cooperating with the police in their inquiries which relate to an unconnected third party or third parties'
Police raid Birmingham in probe

Inter after Hleb


Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is considering whether to report Inter Milan to Uefa for an alleged approach for midfielder Alexander Hleb. Personally I think Inter are just using Hleb to get closer to his wife, Anastasia Kosenkova, who not only sings for the pop group “Topless”, but was Ukraine's Miss Tourism International 2004.
Inter accused of tapping up Arsenal's Hleb

England: Premier League Midweek Previews

Manchester United manager demands that his players stay focused tonight despite knowing a pivotal weekend awaits.

Manchester United vs. Bolton
Finish line in sight for United
Fergie tries to keep minds focused as Bolton look to complete an unlikely double
Ferguson issues title alert as Chelsea close in

Tottenham vs. Chelsea
Plenty at stake in London derby
Thigh injury keep Anelka sidelined
Spurs prepared for Chelsea revenge bid

From 4-4-2 TO 4X4S

You can always rely on an EPL player for a touch class

It's the list all SSN readers have been waiting for: Premier League footballers' vehicles of choice
Top ten cars of Premier League stars

Italy: Serie A Midweek Preview

The Rome Derby dominates the midweek action. While Lazio's poor campaign has made this match less critical than in past years, it's always an emotional contest. Elsewhere, Inter travel to Genoa, Milan host Sampdoria and Napoli host Fiorentina.


U.S. U-23s: Canada poses threat despite Cinderella status

U-23 Olympic Qualifying Semifinal
U.S. vs. Canada
LP Field, Nashville, Tenn.
9 p.m. ET
ESPN Deportes, ESPN360

Given the Yukon-sized chip the Canadian team carries on its shoulder whenever it plays the Americans, the match should be tougher than expected. The tournament has been fraught with upsets since day one, although the Americans have largely avoided any catastrophes so far. If the U.S. can sidestep one more land mine, a trip to Beijing will be its reward.

England: That sinking feeling

Dale Johnson takes a look at the relegation battle in the EPL.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying

Canada, the Group B second-place representative, will face the United States (2-0-1) on Thursday in Nashville, Tennessee.
Guatemala (2-1-0), which had clinched a berth in the semifinals prior to Sunday’s game, will face Group A second-place finisher Honduras (2-1-0).

No China for Mexico
End of the Road for Sanchez?

Woo Hoo! The glory days. Hugo leads El Tri to third at Copa America 2007...

Quotes and Chants of the Week

"I haven't seen so many grown men hugging and kissing since I watched Brokeback Mountain with the missus."
Tom Ross on Birmingham's BRMB radio, as Portsmouth did some team bonding at half-time in the game with Aston Villa.

"Oh Moses, whoah oh-oh,
Oh Moses, whoah oh-oh.
He comes from Norbury.
He parted the Red Sea."
Crystal Palace fans to striker Victor Moses after his goal against West Brom.

All the Fun

Americans in England: McBride Lifts Cottagers USA's Matthew Braine runs down the happenings of the American players in England this past week.

David James Column: It's time for the whole game to stub out my filthy habit

As a former 20-a-day man for 15 years, I know better than most that there's no place for smoking in football.

Zizou fires one up prior to Portugal at Germany 2006

England: Birmingham 1 - 1 Newcastle

Watched by the England manager, Fabio Capello, Owen struck his seventh goal of a troubled season to secure Newcastle the point that should help to restore a modicum of stability to St James' Park.

Keegan relieved after classy Owen shows level best

Phil Ball Not in Spain

Phil is sitting on a sofa in West London so he does a little comparison between the English Premier League and Spain's La Liga.

¡Viva España!

Norman Hubbard: The Old Fashioned Strike Partnership is in Danger of Extinction

For more than three decades, the two job descriptions remained unchanged. One required big, aggressive players able to head the ball, the other called for a quicker, shorter and sharper partner. Their job was to score goals and English football's dependence on 4-4-2 rendered them a protected species. Employment, throughout their playing career, was guaranteed.

Death of the Double Act

Bear Stearns to take down Spurs?

Billionaire reassures Daniel Levy that loss on investment will not force him to sell up
Tottenham come through £500m crisis

Italy: Rested Roma

With Luciano Spalletti able to draw on his strongest Roma squad yet, the Giallorossi could yet pip Inter to the title
Rested and relaxed Roma keep scudetto race alive

Germany: Bayern Stumble

It seemed like an out-dated term, until Bayern's ineptitude brought the word used to describe arrogance back into the German language. Herr Honigstein reports:
Bayern pay for the return of pomadig

Spain: La Liga Title Remains Unwanted

Real Madrid have lost eight times in 2008, yet they remain seven points clear of a plodding Barça side and the rest of the chasing pack. Señor Lowe reports:
Does anyone want to win the worst La Liga in memory?

Monday, March 17, 2008

One Dead, Hundreds Arrested In Argentina Fan Violence

The sixth round of the Argentine Clausura championship was marred by violence this weekend, with a Velez Sarsfield fan being shot dead on Saturday and a Boca Juniors supporter being stabbed a day later...

Americans in Europe You Might Not Have Heard Of USA looks beyond the likes of Freddy Adu, Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard and Brian McBride to give some love to the unknown Yanks also making a living in Europe.

5. Andrew Giallombardo (Southampton FC) -- The soon-to-be-19-year-old midfielder out of New York signed with Saints in 2006 after being discovered while in Europe with the U.S. Under-18 National Team.

U-23s: Late Gaven penalty gives U.S. the win

The win ensured that the U.S. finished atop the standings in Group A of first round CONCACAF Olympic qualifying action.

Galarcep: A few players stand out

Eddie Gaven played well...

England: Have Everton blown it? Will Arsenal clinch 4th spot?

Everton's hopes of a Champions League place suffered a blow thanks to Brian McBride's goal
McBride the miracle worker gives Fulham a glimpse of the possible
Controversial decisions by the assistant referee aided City, as Nedum Onuoha's first goal for the club secured victory
City's luck inflates Keane’s anger
Arsenal look tired:
Gareth Southgate exposes frail Arsenal
Derby play well but Ronaldo still scores:
Foster saves United from disgrace
Wigan played with ten men from the fifth minute, but Megson's team were unable to find a way through
Bolton struggle in Anelka's absence
Avram Grant's men continued their unimposing title pursuit with a mediocre, but fruitful victory
John Terry strikes form as Chelsea edge closer
Richard Jolly at the Stadium of Light
The Spaniard helped his side overcome early hiccup to win their seventh successive game in all competitions
Torres hitting heights as season gets serious
The home side deserved the points, but were helped by Scott Carson, who had a game to forget
Harry Redknapp's men show pedigree


Two in-form young Spaniards will be crucial in deciding which club goes into the semi-finals of the Champions League
Duel of the matadors

Spain: La Liga Briefs

Real Madrid lose but Barcelona can only draw...


Italy: Serie A Briefs

Roma beat Milan and Inter maintain six-point lead...