Friday, April 11, 2008

This Just In

I've found the toilet paper


Please let's bring back Peter Wilt. The romance has been on hold and we've been dying to get back to it!

England: Premier League Weekend Previews

Arsenal's trip on Sunday to the Theater of Dreams to play Manchester United is the big clash of the weekend. Elsewhere, Newcastle travel all the way to the south coast to meet Pompey, Fulham are at Reading, Spurs host Boro, Wigan are at Chelsea and Liverpool host Rovers.


Lawro's Predictions

Italy: Serie A Weekend Preview

A couple of tasty ones on offer this weekend as Fiorentina travel to the San Siro to face leaders Inter and Milan go to Turin to battle with Juventus.


Raúl Out Of Spain's Prelim Euro 2008 Squad

Raúl González will not be going to the European Championships with Spain after being left out of a list of 31 names called upon to have inoculations for the tournament.

The 31 players called up on to have the vaccinations are:

Real Madrid - Iker Casillas, Serio Ramos
Barcelona - Andrés Iniesta, Xavi, Carles Puyol, Bojan Krkic
Real Mallorca - Daniel Güiza, Fernando Navarro
Arsenal - Cesc Fàbregas
Liverpool - Pepe Reina, Álvaro Arbeloa, Xabi Alonso, Fernando Torres
Getafe - Rubén De la Red, Pablo Hernández
Sevilla - Andrés Palop
Real Betis - Juanito
Valencia - Carlos Marchena, Joaquín, David Villa, David Silva, David Albelda,

Atlético de Madrid
- Pablo Ibañez, Mariano Pernía, Antonio López
Villarreal - Marcos Senna, Ángel, Joan Capdevilla
Espanyol - Raúl Tamudo, Luis García, Albert Riera

City Fall for Dummy

Sven-Goran Eriksson thinks there was something fishy about the visit of Ronaldinho's agent to Manchester City
Thaksin falls for Ronaldinho dummy

Gangster Threat

Steven Gerrard's father has revealed how a gangster threatened to shoot the Liverpool and England midfielder but was frightened off by a 'fixer' asked to deal with the problem
Gangster 'threatened to shoot' Steven Gerrard

Luis Figo Interview

The Portugal and Internazionale midfielder speaks less than candidly about Mary J Blige, his watch collection and the laziness of people from Alenta
Luis Figo Interview

ManU Vs ManU

Sir Alex Ferguson's current crop of stars are grabbing the headlines, but how do they compare to the treble-winning Manchester United side of 1999?
Fergie's class of 1999 v Fergie's class of 2008

Chelsea's lack of style

Peter Kenyon, Chelsea's chief executive, questioned his side’s lack of style, while Bruce Buck, the Chelsea chairman, refused to confirm that the Israeli would remain as the club’s first-team coach next season
Avram Grant under threat at Chelsea

Europe: Champions League

The German goalkeeper insists he could have prevented Arsenal from crashing out of the Champions League
I could have saved Arsenal, claims Lehmann

It is coming to something when the biggest danger about facing Barcelona in a European semi-final is complacency
Strife at the Nou Camp means there has never been a better time to take on Barcelona

May 26 1999. A date inscribed across the mind of every Manchester United player as the one to aspire to. Every player, that is, except Owen Hargreaves...
Hargreaves rediscovers European purpose

Those men dreaming of the Champions League final have differing ways of psyching themselves up for combat. Joe Cole plays keepie-uppie. Wayne Rooney smashes a ball against the wall outside the dressing room. Sami Hyypia plugs into his iPod and loses himself in a nu-metal world of Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit
British clubs must savour Champions League

The Barcelona president, Joan Laporta, yesterday appealed to sceptical fans to "replace fear with hope"
Laporta appeals to Barcelona fans to back a club

Michael Essien tells David Hytner why he won't accept another Champions League defeat against Liverpool
Pain of the past fuels Essien's dream


Bayern Munich stood twice on the verge of elimination from the Uefa Cup at the hands of Getafe, but showed fantastic resilience to keep fighting and go through to the semi finals on the away goals rule
Hitzfeld Hails Fantastic Fight Back

Walter Smith’s men barged their way into the last four of the Uefa Cup with a stunning win
Imperious Rangers soar to new heights

nit St Petersburg trainer Dick Advocaat has hailed his side’s qualification for the Uefa Cup semi-final as a historic moment following their 4-2 aggregate win over Bayer Leverkusen
Advocaat Hails Zenit History Makers

Adrian Mutu struck twice for Fiorentina in a 2-0 away win at PSV Eindhoven on Thursday which sent the Italian side into the UEFA Cup semi-finals
Mutu double sends Fiorentina into UEFA Cup semis

England: Premier League News

Premier Shorts: Today in the EPL

The Tottenham manager is aiming to break into the top four, but has asked for a substantial transfer kitty to do so
I need to spend big, says Ramos

The Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate is considering the unusual step of withdrawing the role of captain
Southgate may end defunct role of captain

The Bolton Wanderers manager says he will not be distracted by speculation about his future at the Reebok Stadium
Megson focused on beating relegation

Birmingham release statement saying co-owner and managing director have done nothing wrong after corruption arrest
Sullivan and Brady deny wrongdoing

A player guilty of a dangerous challenge could receive a six-match ban if the FA's plans go ahead
Six-match bans on agenda to punish malicious tackles

Chelsea have reignited their interest in Spanish striker David Villa and are willing to part with as much as €30m to bring him to Stamford Bridge this summer
Chelsea Tracking €30m Villa

Liverpool Lunacy Continues

Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry has defiantly refused to stand down, despite co-owner Tom Hicks demanding his resignation
Parry fights Hicks' order to quit Liverpool

Tom Hicks must never be allowed to board the ferry across the Mersey because he would only rock the boat. Just when Rick Parry attempts to keep the good ship Liverpool steady through another storm, Hicks lumbers on and threatens to capsize it. Madness.
Anfield fiasco: Tom Hicks could sink Liverpool

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Umbro Advertisement

A big cheers to Davis for this one...

The Boys from Brazil

To millions of fans around the world, they were, quite simply, the greatest group of players ever assembled. And when Paul Joseph set out to track down every member of Brazil's 1970 World Cup team, it was to become the 40,000-mile adventure of a lifetime
The boys from Brazil: On the trail of football's dream team

Arsenal Dissection

There's no doubt Arsene Wenger is an outstanding manager, but like many outstanding people he's vain; and for me, Arsenal's Achilles heel is Wenger's vanity.

There's a degree of logic in his not wanting to solve their lack of depth by spending big money: our policy is based on attracting the best young players, they won't come if they don't see youth getting a chance, and by buying a top player I'd be denying that chance. This holds true, but surely only up to a point. We're talking about buying a couple of top players not 10, and couldn't a top star also attract younger players as much as put them off [as Bergkamp did]? I said at the beginning of the season I couldn't believe Arsenal didn't buy Ribery. Wenger obviously liked him, but just couldn't spend the cash. At times you feel Wenger isn't satisfied with simply winning things, he has to win things with a team that cost next to nothing, a team he discovered, a team he moulded in ever aspect.

Arsenal are so entertaining it seems churlish to criticise Wenger. The positives far outweigh the negatives, especially compared to other teams; Chelsea spend millions only to bore the tits off everyone, something 10 times worse than all of Arsenal's faults. It's just that Arsenal and Wenger can be so bloody infuriating. Take Philippe Senderos. Senderos is shite. He's a good payer for Switzerland or in Europe, where the pace is slower, but against English teams he's consistently crap. Everyone knows this, so Wenger must too. So why doesn't he replace him? There are plenty of examples of this, not just in terms of players, but tactical decisions, player tiredness, giving older players longer contracts, dangerous tackles, etc. Things the whole world sees one way, but Wenger sees another. Most people would applaud Wenger selling Senderos for a profit and paying top dollar for a top defender, but you get the feeling Wenger would see it as admitting he'd made a mistake. Perhaps he needs to swallow a bit of pride to move the Gunners forward.

As you'd expect there are a fair few assessments of Arsenal/Wenger in today's papers. I know a majority of SSN readers are Arsenal fans, so I've posted most of them. Take yer pick...

A season that promised rich returns has lost interest as Arsenal have run out of reserves. Sam Wallace examines the harsh truths that have devalued their manager's admirable economic policies
Wenger's men sunk by failure to splash out

The morning after the nightmare before found Arsenal contemplating a brutal reality yesterday. They do not need a change of manager but they do need a change of managerial philosophy. Arsene Wenger must learn to buy big and win ugly.
Arsenal must change their philosophy

Arsenal's manager may have to change tack and buy in proven, and costly, talent.
House that Wenger built faces summer rebuilding

The Arsenal manager will leave no stone unturned as he examines where it all went wrong for a team who promised so much
Wenger begins post mortem with plenty to ponder

Who should Arsene Wenger have bought?


Rangers manager banks on a winning mentality in Lisbon
Walter Smith praises Rangers' players

Should Bayern crash out of the Uefa Cup tonight to Getafe, then veteran keeper Oliver Kahn will have played his last match in European football. The legendary keeper however is confident this will not be the case
Kahn Keen For European Adventure To Continue

Coach Cesare Prandelli and defender Tomas Ujfalusi talked about Fiorentina's match tonight against PSV in the Uefa Cup quarterfinals
Prandelli And Ujfalusi Optimistic Ahead Of PSV Clash

Three Espanyol fans have been given three-year sentences for serious public disorder offences
Prison for three Espanyol fans after 2004 derby violence

Boavista players intend to strike if the club does not pay wages that are two months late
Boavista players threaten strike over unpaid wages

English Premier League: News

Premier Shorts: Today in the EPL

Birmingham have asked for their shares to be temporarily suspended, 'pending an announcement'
Inquiry into corruption leads to two arrests

Blackburn and England winger has admitted he used to place up to 100 bets daily
David Bentley had to fight gambling addiction

Tottenham are exploring the option of building a brand new stadium adjacent to White Hart Lane
Spurs consider White Hart Lane exit for 55,000-seat stadium

Petr Cech will not be the first keeper to wear added facial protection on the pitch
Headware Dilemma

Out-of-favour striker Andriy Voronin has made himself Public Enemy No 1 on Merseyside after criticising the standard of living in Britain and in particular the city of Liverpool
Voronin bemoans life at Liverpool
And here's Mr. Class himself out for a stroll with his wife. Nothing quite like Ukraine-style...

Champions League: Young Guns Special

Amid the darkness that appears to have descended over the Emirates Stadium in recent weeks, a chink of light has been provided by Theo Walcott
Theo Walcott: A light at end of Arsenal's tunnel

Champions League victory over Arsenal and euphoria at Anfield make it a special experience for Liverpool's Spanish striker
Torres basks in 'biggest night of career'

Babel slowly making an impact at liverpool
Dropped, wins penalty and scores – a crazy evening for Babel

Champions League: Last Night's Games

Carlos Tevez secures win but only after a missed penalty by Roma as Gary Neville returned
Tevez strike allows Neville an easy return

A French Old Trafford legend was in the stands to watch two English midfielders display their contrasting talents
Hargreaves leaves Cantona with a lasting impression

Yaya Toure scored as troubled Barcelona progressed to the semi-finals
Puyol to miss United tie as Barcelona fight talk of crisis

Barcelona striker Thierry Henry and coach Frank Rijkaard have said Manchester United will not be favourites heading into their Champions League semi-final contest
Barcelona play down Man Utd 'favourites' tag

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Champions League: Tonight's Games

Manchester United manager urges his side to finish job against AS Roma in the Champions League quarter-final
Attack the best form of defence for Ferguson
Talking tactics: Manchester United v Roma

The Camp Nou might not feel as cosy as Barcelona would like it to be tonight when they host Schalke in the return leg of the Champions League quarter-finals
Rijkaard urges fans to show 'unity' in the Nou Camp

Barcelona have been rocked by more revelations about a split in the squad as a senior director opted to reveal the rifts that are causing problems on the eve of the Champions League quarter final against Schalke
Barça Director Spills Beans On Squad Splits

Champions League: Last Night's Games

Arsène Wenger has criticised the ref and his defence for defeat against Liverpool
Wenger says 'dodgy' penalty handed victory to Liverpool

Just like the good old early Abramovich days at Stamford Bridge. A raucous European night and, on the final whistle, a rendition of "Kalinka", that popular Russian folk tune about a Slavic goddess and juniper berries that Chelsea used to play because they thought it pleased the club's owner
Ballack lives up to billing but Chelsea fail to shine

Sir Alex Ferguson and Fabio Capello were treated to a game far removed from the one they used to play
Modern-day classic leaves old school out of breath

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Champions League: Chelsea vs. Fenerbahce

On the whole I'm one of those who dislike two teams from the same country matching up in the CL. But a Milan derby or Real vs. Barca wouldn't be too bad, so I guess it depends on the teams. Arsenal vs. Chelsea would be an okay semi, but do we really need to see Liverpool and Chelsea again? Hell no. A Fener win would not only mean a bit of colour in the next round, it might also see the end of Avram Grant. In terms of results the criticism he's received has been over the top; nevertheless Chelsea are now a really dull team with a really with a really dull manager. What's the point of spending millions on a team if they're only going to send you to sleep? TS.

Czech Republic keeper needs 50 stitches after facial injury at training on the eve of first-team coach's biggest match
Blow for Grant as Cech ruled out for season

Grant's carefully planned but poorly considered interview was the latest result of the unholy pact between sport and PR
The medium is the massage

Colin Kazim-Richards struggled to get into Sheffield United's team a year ago but is now poised to send Chelsea out of the Champions League
Colin Kazim-Richards aims to conquer Chelsea

Champions League: Liverpool/Arsenal III

You wouldn't bet against the third and final installment of Liverpool vs. Arsenal having a bit of a LOTR: Return of the King feeling. It's easy to see another 1:1, so while exciting it could could drag on a bit at the end. If it does go to extra time I suppose you'd have to fancy Liverpool, but penalties would be nice. TS.

Tonight's showdown is make or break for both Arsene Wenger and Rafael Benitez
Benitez out to explode myth of Wenger's team building

Reds' keeper has been hailed for his brilliance but Arsenal's is more of a Spaniard in the works, writes Kevin McCarra
Reina reigns supreme but Almunia only catches flak

Ex-manager Howe asssess the key match-ups ahead of tonight's game
Don Howe's key clashes

Quotes & Chants of the Week

"Allow me to grieve for the result in a dignified way and get out of here before I say something that makes me look like an idiot."
Fulham boss Roy Hodgson after the 3-1 defeat by Sunderland.

"When we find ourselves in times of trouble,
Kevin Keegan comes to me.
Speaking words of wisdom, Geremi!
Geremi, Geremi, Geremi, Geremi.
There will be an answer.
Newcastle fans to the tune of The Beatles' Let It Be.

All the Fun

Alan Hansen's Column

It is certainly advantage Liverpool after the 1-1 draw at The Emirates but they must avoid falling into the trap of setting their sights on the goalless game that will send them into the last four.

My feeling is that Liverpool, backed by a fervent Anfield crowd, will be too strong for Arsenal but there are certain psychological forces that could be at work and there may be twists and turns ahead.

Americans on the Continent: Goal for Gooch, Adu can't make the bench USA's Zac Lee Rigg runs down the happenings of the American players in Europe.

Seattle Sounders FC Wins Out in Name Contest

In a surprise twist, Seattle’s new Major League Soccer club will be named Seattle Sounders FC, after a write-in campaign against the three pre-selected choices – Seattle Alliance, Seattle Republic and Seattle FC – won out during a recent four-day election.


As Bayern Munich stretched their lead at the top of the table to nine points departing manager Ottmar Hitzfeld has thrown down the gauntlet to his successor Jürgen Klinsmann
Hitzfeld: Klinsmann Will Be Judged Against My Achievements

Michel Platini indicated that he would consider giving Cardiff City a Uefa Cup wildcard entry if they won the FA Cup
Platini backs Uefa place for Cardiff if they win Cup

The Italian World Cup-winning defender Marco Materazzi won a formal public apology from the Daily Star newspaper yesterday over its claim that he racially abused Zinedine Zidane
Materazzi in damages victory

Real Madrid and Juventus will be taking part in the annual Emirates Cup later this year, a pre-season friendly tournament held in London and hosted by Arsenal
Madrid, Juve And Hamburg To Feature In Emirates Cup

England: Premier League News

Premier Shorts: Today in the EPL

With three strikers out for Portsmouth, David Nugent is keen to show his value against West Ham tonight
Defoe's absence offers Nugent chance to prove his worth

Aston Villa manager has urged his players to learn from the examples of Manchester United's Rooney and Ronaldo
Martin O'Neill urges Villa to look and learn

Roy Hodgson is likely to become the director of football, which will facilitate the appointment of the former Hibernian manager
Fulham set to bring in Collins as manager

"One candidate is believed to be Samson Siasia who is currently the coach of the Nigerian under-23 team..."
Megson future in doubt as Bolton look to Nigeria

Everton midfield player believes battle to qualify for next season's Champions League could go to final day of the season
Osman: Fight for fourth will go to the wire

When Gareth Southgate was appointed manager at the Riverside, everyone thought Middlesbrough were getting Iain Duncan Smith and yet it seems they have got Winston Churchill
Gareth Southgate grows at Middlesbrough

Champions League: Tomorrow's Games

A scan on Rio Ferdinand's foot showed no broken metatarsal as was feared, but it is not known how long he will be out
Ferdinand fears allayed as Piqué is primed for Roma

Francesco Totti has been left out of Roma's squad for tomorrow's Champions League quarter-final second leg at Manchester United
Francesco Totti out of Roma v Man United

Misfiring Schalke striker Kevin Kuranyi will be in the starting line-up on Wednesday, much to the chagrin of fellow centre-forward Sören Larsen
Larsen Furious As Kuranyi Guaranteed Barca Start

Former Barca star Johan Cruyff thinks the club still have a chance of taking the Spanish league crown, but believes they will not take Champions League glory if they repeat their domestic mistakes in a likely semi-final with Manchester United
Cruyff: Barça Cannot Afford Mistakes Against Man Utd

Monday, April 07, 2008

Spidey alive in Naples

Sixteen years on from his 'They've killed Spiderman' rendition, Walter Zenga is back with a vengeance. Signor Bandini reports...
Napoli caught in the glare of Spiderman's mischievous smile

Germans living in the past

There's disquiet in Bundesliga stands as the enthusiasm of the Ultras threatens to spill over. Herr Honigstein reports...
Are German fans really turning against modern football?

Santander race on

For the first time in 70 years there's a reason to watch Racing, even if their bid for a Champions League spot blew up this weekend. Señor Lowe reports...
Santander are finally at the races

Spanish Debate: A Very Spanish Run-In

Only in Spain could the league leaders stumble to a draw and actually increase their lead at the top of the Liga. Ewan Macdonald looks at the run-in still to come...

2007/2008 Spanish Primera División
Real Madrid3121736635
Atlético Madrid31161055317
Racing Santander311498505
Sevilla FC31151334818

Americans in England: Two Steps Back USA's Matthew Braine wraps up the week that was for the Americans in the EPL.

David Bentley Profile

Blackburn and England's David Bentley on Beckham, David Cameron and his strange obsession with plug sockets
The secret life of a footballer

Champions League: Early Talk

The Sunday Telegraph's Patrick Barclay assesses this week's Champions League games while Stewart Robson talks tactics ahead of the Liverpool vs. Arsenal return leg
Arsenal must risk all for a repeat of '89
Jose Reina targeted as Liverpool's weakest link

Benítez has recent history on his side for Anfield return - and that crowd too
Fábregas warns of Liverpool's 12th man - the fans

If Fenerbahce get past Chelsea on Tuesday they will return home as national heroes
Shock victory unites Turkey

A Change of Tactics


Gabriele Marcotti sees a change in tactics as the tried and trusted 4-4-2 formation is slowly becoming a thing of the past
4-4-2 exits through the evolving door



Barcelona failed yet again to close the gap at the top of the table and could finally have allowed Real Madrid to escape and claim their second consecutive title
Wasteful Barcelona Fail Again

Arjen Robben is finally beginning to pay back some of the £24m Real Madrid invested in him last summer. He brilliantly made the goal that helped the champions to another precious point in their battle to retain the title
Real title defence boosted by Robben's mazy magic

Porto claimed their third successive Portuguese league title in stylish fashion on Saturday after crushing Estrela Amadora 6-0 at home
Porto clinch third successive title in style

Patrick Vieira and Mario Balotelli gave Inter a 2-0 win at Atalanta to restore their four-point lead at the top
Inter beat Atalanta to regain four-point lead
Genoa fan stabbed after defeat at Roma

Girondins Bordeaux take a major step towards direct qualification for Europe
Bordeaux close in on Champions League

England: Premier League News

Outspoken Sunderland manager Roy Keane has reopened old wounds with former club Manchester United by accusing them of betraying him
Roy Keane accuses Man Utd of betrayal

Manchester City are lining up a speculative move to bring former World Player of the Year, Ronaldinho, to Eastlands
City target Ronaldinho to swap Barça for Eastlands

The England striker has given the strongest indication yet that he plans to leave Liverpool at the end of the season
Crouch is ready to fly from Anfield

Arsene Wenger has admitted that his Arsenal squad is looking a little thin as the season wears on, but has defended his transfer policy and youth focus
Wenger Defends Transfer Policy

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly From Last Weekend

England: FA Cup Semis

Joe Ledley's sumptuous volley was enough to take Cardiff to their first FA Cup final since 1927
Wheel of fortune turns for Cardiff

Harry Redknapp showed his tactical acumen as Kanu's goal earned him a return trip to Wembley
Redknapp is so much more than ’Appy ’Arry

David James: It will be strange playing in another Cup final - particularly so, given that we haven't yet dominated a match in the competition
A dream return to Wembley - but not quite the way I expected

Russell Kempson sampled the atmosphere as two of football's less-fashionable clubs came face to face at Wembley Stadium
‘Venue of Legends’ welcomes mere mortals

England: Premier League -- Sunday's Games

Manchester United showed a rare frailty and Boro's Brazilian striker was the one to profit
Ferguson’s men dig deep in snow as Alves lifts gloom

David Pleat: Gareth Southgate is rapidly demonstrating that he boasts the qualities to thrive at the top level
Southgate's bold approach betrays a quick-developing tactical brain

David Moyes's side played the way Derby have for the majority of this season: fearful and lethargic
Osman strike slices through the torpor

England: Premier League -- Saturday's Games

The much-heralded renaissance since the second coming of Kevin Keegan could be about to begin
Keegans dreams of new castle built on gold

Arsene Wenger's side have played some of the best football in England, but are likely to end empty-handed
Arsene Wenger must look at the bigger picture

The Blues narrowed the deficit by which they trail Manchester United to just two points
Avram Grant rues Jose Mourinho meddling

The winger was almost unplayable as Martin O’Neill's side reawakened their European ambitions
Ashley Young delivers in roaming role

Martin Taylor got a warm welcome on his return to action, but he had a day he will want to forget
Dean shows red again for X-rated chop

Blackburn manager looks to Europe while Ramos must be counting the days until he can shake up his Spurs squad
Mark Hughes dreams of Blackburn in Europe

The Fulham boss must instill belief in his players after they were brushed aside by Sunderland
Cottage looks dilapidated as Hodgson squanders inheritance

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Zico Interview

The Brazilian legend who masterminded Fenerbahce's taming of Chelsea in the Champions League is preaching the same ideals he followed as a player; and his commitment to attacking football will not be compromised
Zico still a man of style