Friday, May 09, 2008

Czech Republic captain Rosicky to miss Euro 2008

Arsenal midfielder and Czech Republic captain Tomas Rosicky has confirmed he will miss next month's European Championships due to a tendon injury.

Brutal piece of news for the Tommy Gun but perhaps with the surgery he'll finally get healthy...and stay healthy.

MLS: D.C. United vs. Chicago Fire Highlights

D.C. United 0 - 2 Chicago Fire

Spain: Guillem Balague Column

It was wonderful to see Roberto Ayala of Zaragoza crying after he scored in the 93rd minute against Deportivo
The crying game

Barca Say 'Yes' to Pep

When Josep Guardiola takes over the reins of the Barcelona first team at the end of June he will do so with very little to lose on the pitch, but so much at stake off it

Profile: Josep Guardiola

Spain: La Liga Weekend Preview

Sunday, 11 May 2008

20:00 Almeria v Recreativo Huelva
20:00 Athletic Bilbao v Racing Santander
20:00 Atletico Madrid v Deportivo La Coruna
20:00 Barcelona v Mallorca
20:00 Levante v Valencia
20:00 Osasuna v Murcia
20:00 Real Betis v Sevilla
20:00 Real Zaragoza v Real Madrid
20:00 Valladolid v Getafe
20:00 Villarreal v Espanyol


Germany: Bundesliga Weekend Preview

The penultimate round of Bundesliga action gets underway this weekend with the title decided, but many more questions unanswered. The race for the CL places has also been sewn up by Werder Bremen and Schalke, but the race for the Uefa Cup places is still anyone’s guess. Hamburg and Stuttgart lead the way but Bayer Leverkusen will be hoping they can make it. Down at the bottom the battle for survival looks set to go right to the wire with nobody mathematically doomed yet

Saturday, 10 May 2008

14:30 Arminia Bielefeld v Borussia Dortmund
14:30 Cottbus v Hamburg
14:30 Hansa Rostock v Bayer Leverkusen
14:30 Hertha Berlin v Nurnberg
14:30 Karlsruhe v VfL Bochum
14:30 MSV Duisburg v Bayern Munich
14:30 Schalke 04 v Eintracht Frankfurt
14:30 Werder Bremen v Hannover 96
14:30 Wolfsburg v VfB Stuttgart


Italy: Serie A Weekend Preview

The leaders could have sealed a third successive scudetto last weekend but a 2-1 derby defeat by AC Milan allowed second-placed AS Roma to close the gap to three points. With two games remaining, Inter still only need one win because their better head-to-head record over Roma would be the deciding factor if they finished level on points.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

14:00 Fiorentina v Parma
14:00 Genoa v Lazio
14:00 Inter Milan v Siena
14:00 Juventus v Catania
14:00 Livorno v Torino
14:00 Napoli v AC Milan
14:00 Palermo v Sampdoria
14:00 Reggina v Empoli
14:00 Roma v Atalanta
14:00 Udinese v Cagliari

Preview 1
Preview 2

England: EPL Final Day Previews + Table

Sunday, 11 May 2008
15:00: Birmingham v Blackburn
15:00: Chelsea v Bolton
15:00: Derby v Reading
15:00: Everton v Newcastle
15:00: Middlesbrough v Man City
15:00: Portsmouth v Fulham
15:00: Sunderland v Arsenal
15:00: Tottenham v Liverpool
15:00: West Ham v Aston Villa
15:00: Wigan v Man Utd

And so it all comes down to this. ManU simply have to win at Wigan to claim the title. The Big Four remain the Big Four and at the other end of the table, Birmingham, Reading and Fulham try to avoid relegation.

Lawro's Final-Day Predictions

Tony Cascarino's football lesson No 10:
Anatomy of last day miracles and mess-ups


Title Race Goes to Final Day

Played Goal Difference
1 Man Utd 37 56 84
2 Chelsea 37 39 84
3 Arsenal 37 42 80
4 Liverpool 37 37 73

5 Everton 37 20 62

6 Aston Villa 37 20 59
7 Blackburn 37 5 58
8 Portsmouth 37 9 57
9 Man City 37 -1 55
10 West Ham 37 -8 48
11 Tottenham 37 7 46
12 Newcastle 37 -18 43
13 Wigan 37 -15 40
14 Middlesbrough 37 -17 39
15 Sunderland 37 -22 39
16 Bolton 37 -18 36
17 Fulham 37 -23 33

18 Reading 37 -29 33
19 Birmingham 37 -19 32
20 Derby 37 -65 11

Could someone get me some water?

Oliver Petersen muses on the increasing relevance of, and demand for, the best of the best in the position of defensive midfielder...
High Price To Carry The Water

South America: Copa Libertadores

River Plate coach Diego Simeone told reporters that he is solely responsible for the side's recent dip in form after watching his team crash out of the Copa Libertadores at the hands of San Lorenzo on Thursday
Simeone Takes Responsibility

South Africa's new coach Joel Santana had a nightmare farewell to Flamengo when his side blew a two-goal first-leg lead at home to America and were knocked out of the Libertadores Cup on Wednesday
Santana's nightmare send-off as Flamengo go out

Boca Juniors defeated Cruzeiro 2-1 in front of over 70,000 fans in Belo Horizonte, and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Copa Libertadores after a 4-2 aggregate victory
Boca Advance After Beating Cruzeiro

England: Manchester United or Chelsea?

Dave Whelan is worried Wigan will be swamped by 20,000 ticketless United fans for Sunday's title decider
Wigan fear United army invasion

If the title goes down to the wire, Man Utd midfielder Owen Hargreaves is ready to call on his own experience
Bayern time helps Man Utd

When the final whistle blows on the Barclays Premier League season on Sunday and the first battle between Chelsea and Manchester United is settled, the psychological effects will reach far into their Champions League final preparation
United have still got psychological edge

Manchester United yesterday included statements from captain Gary Neville and coach Mike Phelan in evidence to the Football Association that accuses a member of Chelsea's staff of racially abusing Patrice Evra
Neville leads accusations against Chelsea

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech has stressed the importance of ending the season with a trophy to avoid a demoralising end to the season as Arsenal have just endured...
Let's Not End Up Like Arsenal, Says Cech

Lampard Vs Ballack

I'm not totally convinced by this article which argues playing Ballack and Lampard together doesn't work. True Ballack's form improved while Lampard was sidelined and both would rather player the role of attacking midfielder, but did the author not see the CL semi against Liverpool?

Matt Monaghan looks at the relationship between Chelsea duo Frank Lampard and Michael Ballack...
Frank Lampard & Michael Ballack: Together/Apart

North America: MLS

Chicago were the victors for their third consecutive game, extending D.C. United's woes with a 2-0 win. The back-to-back Supporters' Shield winners lost for the fourth time in five games and had the unveiling of their new shirt sponsor, Volkswagen, ruined
Chicago Extends United's Misery's Greg Lalas believes that the veteran Fulham striker should reconsider his international retirment and play for Bob Bradley. In his latest column, Lalas also looks closer at first-place Columbus
The 3-5-2: McComeback

U.S. midfielder DaMarcus Beasley is preparing to return to Glasgow Rangers after being sidelined for six months with a knee injury
Beasley set for return

England: News

Premier Shorts: Today in the EPL

Signing of Luka Modric shows that League Cup winners are aiming to compete with elite
Keane spells out Tottenham's ambition
Tottenham make plans for life without striker Berbatov

Summer transfer targets top agenda for manager, owner and Dennis Wise, as meeting aims to clarify management structure
Ashley rebukes Keegan over negative comments

Sven-Goran Eriksson has stalled on Benfica's job offer in the hope of replacing Avram Grant
Eriksson holds out for Chelsea job
Benfica confident Eriksson on his way

Arsenal are preparing to enter the race to sign Gareth Barry as well as Roma's Alberto Aquilani
Wenger joins fight for Barry
Hleb will jump ship to sign for Inter, says agent

Doubt over club's ownership leaves Rafael Benítez planning a clear-out of players before start of summer spending spree
Bargain buys hard to find at Liverpool

Fulham's players have been promised a raucous celebration should they avoid relegation but the manager is more refined
Hodgson has only survival on his mind

Euroland: News

Frank Rijkaard will leave Barcelona at the end of the season, leaving a former club captain, Pep Guardiola, to take over as coach, the club president Joan Laporta announced yesterday
Rijkaard exit confirmed

After giving Real a guard of honour, Barça followed up with a display so complete in its patheticness that it summed up their season
Madrid take the pasillo out of Barça

The European Parliament dealt another blow to Fifa president Sepp Blatter's controversial plans to curb the number of foreigners in the game by voting against the proposals yesterday
Blow for Blatter as EU rejects '6+5' plan to limit foreign players

AC Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso would fit in perfectly at Bayern Munich, club president Franz Beckenbauer has said
Beckenbauer eyes Gattuso for Bayern

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Moscow alert for Champions League final fans

England supporters who experienced trouble in Moscow last October yesterday warned Chelsea and Manchester United fans not to parade their colours en route to the Luzhniki Stadium on May 21, urging them to travel in small groups, to arrive early and beware local traffic and particularly local Ultras.

Quotes & Chants of the Week

Manchester City fans singing to the tune of Pink Floyd's "The wall":
"We don't need no Phil Scolari,
"We don't need Mourinho,
"Hey! Thaksin! Leave our Sven alone!"

Blackburn Rovers fans singing to the tune of "Santa Claus is coming to town":
"You better watch out,
"You better beware,
"He's good on the ground and he's good in the air,
"Santa Cruz is coming to town."

All the Fun

The Rise of Sergio "El Kun" Aguero

...when the striker first entered the cauldron of Argentine football for Buenos Aires club Independiente at the age of only 15 years and 35 days in 2003, he broke a much-vaunted record previously held by one of the greatest players ever to kick a ball.

Diego Armando Maradona.

England News

West Ham offer Fredrik Ljungberg £3m to tear up contract
Hammers keen to reduce wage bill

Sven meets with Benfica officials
City boss prepares for his next position

Keane releases Sunderland quartet

Cole, Harte, Varga out

Wenger pleads with players to stay
Is Hleb to follow Flamini to Milan?

'I just longed for the train to hit me'

Warren Aspinall, 40, did not enjoy great fame or fortune, but the former England Youth midfield player did collect some impressive signing-on payments and, on two occasions, commanded record transfer fees as his career took him to Everton, Aston Villa and Portsmouth. “I've worked it out that I've done at least £1 million gambling over my career,” Aspinall said.

For Davies, nothing exists beyond Sunday

The Fulham midfielder says the relegation decider at Portsmouth will be the biggest game of his career.

Italy: Pele and Cruz send Inter to Italian Cup final

Lazio 0 - 2 Inter Milan

The Serie A leaders will go in search of a second league and cup double in three years and a third cup triumph in four attempts after prevailing 2-0 on aggregate following last month’s goalless first leg.

How long will this man be around?

Spain: Real Win Clasico + Midweek Reports

Real Madrid 4 - 1 Barcelona
Barca crushed

Wednesday Reports

Barcelona squad heckled at the airport

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Volkswagen Sponsor D.C. United

Volkswagen will also be prominently featured through a variety of other club and in-stadium marketing components. United will debut the new uniforms on national television Thursday night when the club hosts the Chicago Fire. Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. ET at RFK Stadium.

McBride: Still Work To Do

Fulham captain Brian McBride insists there is no room for complacency on the final day of the season against Portsmouth.

Spain: Real set to parade football Liga trophy as Barca visit

Real Madrid are set to rub salt into the wounds of arch rivals by parading their 31st Spanish league trophy when they host Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium on Wednesday.

Real fans waited until the early hours to celebrate with the players at Cibeles fountain on Sunday night after Real retained the title with a thrilling late 2-1 victory over Osasuna.

England: Norman Hubbard on the Championship

The scribe takes a look back at the year in England's second division.

North America: MLS

DC's old sign was designed by Albert Speer

I've been asking myself one question all week: what's wrong with DC United? Despite snapping up someone called Marcelo Gallardo during the off-season their start has still been shite. Lucky Pat Walsh from has been asking himself the very the same question...
DC not looking United

England: EPL Comment

The Arsenal manager may need a radical rethink to avoid the 'nearly men' label, writes Dominic Field
Exodus threatens Wenger masterplan

Wenger has created a problem ouut of nothing by mishandling the Flamini situation, and sent a very dangerous message to the rest of the team, says Abhishek Thakur
Fans must blame Wenger, not Flamini

Give Gullitt, Vialli, Ranieri and Mourinho credit for Blues' current success
Kevin McCarra: Chelsea helped by ghost of Mourinho

Uncertainty has gone but sell-out crowds show Premier League is special, writes Tim Rich
That's entertainment!

The manager now knows that his dream of competing with the best in the Barclays Premier League is doomed to failure, claims Martin Samuels
Keegan confronts grim reality at Newcastle

Football's claim to have gone green is really a red herring, writes Jim White
When green is red

A certain cynicism usually descends whenever footballers' charitable projects are mentioned. When it does contribute to society, the gesture is frequently dismissed as a publicity stunt, reports James Mariner
Football's charitable status: Philanthropists in the EPL

Euroland: Gabriele Marcotti Column

All across Europe last season's domestic league winners are all successfully defending their titles again this season
Usual suspects claim Europe’s top titles

Euroland: News

The "special one" is not the chosen one. Barcelona have decided not to appoint Jose Mourinho as their first-team coach for next season despite him being the overwhelming choice of the club's supporters
'Special one' snubbed by Barcelona despite fans' backing

Bordeaux's late charge has sparked an irritable reaction in Lyon's voluble president
Aulas cries conspiracy as Lyon wobble

Real want Arsenal talisman at the Bernabeu to form a new Spanish backbone
Fabregas on Real agenda
Don't you dare

The former Tottenham Hotspur coach is close to accepting a two-year contract to replace Huub Stevens as Hamburg coach
Jol ready to accept new challenge

Rangers chairman Sir David Murray has criticised the SPL's refusal to extend the season
Murray attacks SPL inaction

England: EPL News

Premier Shorts: Today in the EPL

After missing out in January, Spurs will make another attempt to sign Portsmouth midfielder Lassana Diarra
Tottenham confident of claiming Diarra

Patrik Berger will not play for Aston Villa again after encouraging Gareth Barry to join Liverpool
O'Neill ends Berger's Villa career

Manchester City approach Portugal coach to replace Sven-Goran Eriksson but owner wants decision before Euro 2008 finals
Scolari's £3.2m offer

German rewarded for crucial goals with a two-year extension, as Avram Grant views him as essential to plans for next season
Deal puts Ballack at Chelsea's heart

Doubts persist that the Liverpool co-owner can raise the funds to build the new 71,000-seat stadium in Stanley Park
Hicks under pressure to show his money
Light goes green for new Liverpool stadium

South American, African and other non-European footballers who cannot speak English will be barred from joining Premier League clubs from the autumn under the new points-based immigration system detailed by ministers yesterday
Premier footballers will have to speak English

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A score on and off the field

Martin Rogers on Golden Balls scoring goals

Eredivisie Play-Offs: Pérez Double Sees Ajax Through

Michael Bradley sent off after 39 minutes as Heerenveen fall in Amersterdam

Americans in England

Eddie Lewis, Derby CountyVs. Blackburn (72 minutes, 0 goals)

The Rams officially clinched the worst point total for any team in Premier League history as they fell to Rovers on Saturday. Derby now sit on 11 points, and even with a win next week, would only have 14, one off Sunderland’s mark of 15 points from two years ago. Lewis had a rather ineffective game as Derby squandered an early lead and eventually fell 3-1 at Ewood Park.

All the Yanks

Phil Ball in Spain

In the end it was all fairly dramatic, as the rain poured down from the dark Pamplona sky. The owner of the bar where I decided to watch the second half of the Osasuna v Real Madrid game is from Navarre, and he adorns the walls of his hostelry with team photos of Osasunas past and present.

England: Did you have a nice time shopping?

As the season comes to a close, Glenn Moore selects the EPL signings who have proved a shrewd investment and those who broke the bank and their club's heart
Good buys bad buys

England: Newcastle 0 Chelsea 2

Avram Grant believes the Barclay's Premier League title is within his side's grasp after their 2-0 win over Newcastle United
Chelsea hold out for final twist

Michael Ballack's economy of physical effort enables him to shine when it comes to ball retention and distribution
White Ferrari finds top gear as United look nervously back

Euroland: News

Reports in Spain are claiming that the Barcelona board have decided on former skipper Josep Guardiola to take over from Frank Rijkaard, and that he will be officially unveiled as head coach on May 19...
Guardiola new Barca coach?

The AC Milan forward has described his altercation in a Rio de Janeiro motel as the "biggest mistake of his life"
Ronaldo 'ashamed' by scandal

Russia has agreed to allow fans with European Cup final tickets entry to the country without a visa
New visa deal for Moscow final is just the ticket for fans

Et tu, Brute?

Well the lure of dirty lucre was too much for Mattieu Flamini, who joined Milan yesterday. It will hardly have come as a shock to Wenger as the midfielder joined Arsenal from Marseilles in similar circumstances. In terms of the type of player Flamini is Wenger shouldn't find it too difficult to find a replacement, but his going could have a destabilising effect. Both Wenger and Diarra could be regretting that move to Portsmouth this morning. Possible replacements? I quite like Michael Johnson at Man City, though maybe he doesn't cover the ground as much as a Flamini or a Hargreaves. The Guardian is suggesting Gattuso, which would be more of a like-for-like replacement.

Loss of key midfielder might prompt a rethink in Arsene Wenger's transfer policy
Wenger faces a summer of rebuilding
Hleb wants to follow Flamini out of Arsenal

Italy: Paolo Bandini Column

Defeat for the Viola at Cagliari has cost them a Champions League spot, with Milan gleefully taking full advantage. Signor Bandini reports...
Milan get on their bike in race for fourth

Germany: Raphael Honigstein Column

Unsettling their greatest asset would be a bigger own goal for Nürnberg fans than Jan Koller dividing his loyalties for a couple of minutes. Herr Honigstein reports...
Koller caught out by divided loyalties

Spain: Sid Lowe Column

Madrid finally got their La Liga title party started, but only just. Señor Lowe reports...
Madrid get the party started ... just

England: EPL News

Premier Shorts: Today in the EPL

Supporters' union in talks with private-equity company about being represented should buyout of American owners go ahead
DIC promises fans place on Liverpool board

Liverpool are winning the battle to sign Gareth Barry with the player himself having made the decision to sign for Rafael Benitez's club this summer rather than agree a new contract at Aston Villa
Barry to reject record pay deal and join Benitez

Former England international Paul Gascoigne is in hospital following an incident at a hotel in London
Gascoigne in hospital after hotel incident
Gascoigne's tears a tragedy foretold

Stephen Warnock, Martin Olsson and Matt Derbyshire all agree new deals that will keep them at Ewood Park until 2012
Blackburn trio sign new contracts

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Roberto Gotta in Italy

Gotta reports from the San Siro where Milan beat city rivals Inter

Monday, May 05, 2008

MLS Weeked Wrap Up

Another exciting weekend in MLS has come to a close. It's still early and the only thing we know for sure is that it sure seems like every team is capable both of winning big and tripping over its own dick.

New England keeps losing players when they play the Fire and can claim that they've yet to play a fairly contested match, but it's hard to argue with the fact that the Fire crushed the Revs, and John Thorrington is the player of the week. Payback since last year's Revolution playoff win currently stands at 7-0.

Real Salt Lake has thus far proven that they can play anybody as long as they get to do it at home on their crappy plastic football field, but they couldn't stop Goldenballs from saving LA's bacon on a couple of nicely struck balls from distance.

DC United shipped out two-time MLS MVP Christian Gomez last winter and used the DP they got in return to bring in Marcello Gallardo. Last night Gomez had something to say about it.

Chivas, Dynamo battle to draw.

The Crew Just Keep Winning.

Columbus sits atop this week's ESPN MLS Power Rankings

England: News and Preview

Newcastle vs. Chelsea
Cech promises to keep the pressure on United

Dempsey signs new Fulham deal
Deuce to stay at The Cottage until 2010

Stoke City promoted
Stoke are back in the top flight for the first time since 1985

West Bromwich Albion promoted
WBA win the Championship

Leicester City relegated
Foxes in freefall

Gazza in hospital
Incident at a hotel has fallen star back in bed

England: EPL Reports + Table

Manchester United 4 - 1 West Ham
Richard Jolly at Old Trafford

Fulham 2 - 0 Birmingham City
McBride on target as Fulham revival continues

Liverpool 1 - 0 Manchester City
Sven headed out of Eastlands

Arsenal 1 - 0 Everton
Exodus impending?

Aston Villa 0 - 2 Wigan
Euro charge in shambles

Reading 0 - 1 Tottenham
Losing control

English Premier League Table
Man Utd3784
Aston Villa3759
Man City3755
West Ham3748

Portugal: Liga 1

Benfica coach Fernando Chalana played down the poor display and result against Estrela da Amadora, saying that reaching the second place is still possible
Chalana: Second Place Is Still Possible

France: Ligue 1

Olympique Lyon missed a chance to close in on a seventh consecutive Ligue 1 title when they were held to a goalless draw at mid-table Nice on Saturday
Lyon fail to wrap up title after Nice draw

A Pierre Ducasse thunderbolt sealed a fantastic win for Bordeaux to keep the side's title hopes alive
Bordeaux comeback keeps Ligue alive