Friday, September 19, 2008

Top 10 Chelsea Financial Flops

No 6: Damien Duff

Eyebrows were raised when Chelsea paid Blackburn £17m for Duff in 2003 but he initially looked good value on the opposite wing to Arjen Robben. Yet, injuries hampered the Irishman’s development and, three years after his arrival, the Blues sent him to Newcastle — who else? — for just £5m.

The Other Nine

Subotic's stunning start captures Loew's attention

A string of good performances on his first Bundesliga season and three goals in four games has brought Borussia Dortmund teenager Neven Subotic to the attention of Germany coach Joachim Loew.

Under FIFA rules, Subotic can currently only play for the US, Bosnia-Herzegovina or Croatia, his country of ethnicity, but the German Football Federation (DFB) - and Loew - are keeping an eye on him.

England: Premier League Previews and Predictions

Chelsea's clash with Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Sunday is the key match of the weekend. Elsewhere Portsmouth travel to Man City, Liverpool host Stoke, Arsenal are at Bolton, Hull host Everton and Spurs get Wigan at White Hart Lane.


Team News

Ruud Gullit:
Chelsea are a great team but they are in transition

Phil McNulty:
Ferguson will relish Chelsea battle

Nick Webster's Predictions

Lawro's Predictions

Spain: La Liga Weekend Previews

The Sevilla Derby is the prime fixture of the weekend in Spain. Elsewhere Real Madrid are at Racing Santandar and Barcelona go to Gijon.

Preview One

Preview Two

Germany: Bundesliga Weekend Previews

The clash between Bayern Munich and Werder Bremen highlights the fixture list in Germany. Elsewhere Hamburg play Wolfsburg, Borussia Mönchengladbach host Hertha Berlin and Leverkusen host Hannover.

Preview One

Preview Two

Italy: Serie A Weekend Previews

Lazio head to the San Siro to face Milan in the weekend's marquee fixture. Elsewhere Inter go to Torino, Udinese host Napoli, Fiorentina welcome Bologna and Roma try to rebound from their embarrassment against Cluj at home against Reggina...

Preview One

Preview Two

AC Milan, Tottenham open UEFA Cup bids with wins

Seven-time European champion AC Milan began a rare foray into the UEFA Cup confidently Thursday, and Tottenham secured its first win of the season in the first leg of the opening round.

Both teams have endured torrid starts to their league campaigns, but Milan beat FC Zurich 3-1 and Spurs secured a slender 2-1 advantage over Wisla Krakow.

Violence-plagued Napoli got a 3-2 victory over Benfica despite a bottle thrown onto the pitch in southern Italy, while Udinese won 2-0 at Borussia Dortmund. It was an easier night for Italian rival Sampdoria, which routed FBK Kaunas 5-0.


Dortmund manager Juergen Klopp at last night's loss to Udinese. Did he forget there was a match and have to come straight to the venue from the Franz Ferdinand show?

Arsenal Welcome Kroenke on Board

Arsenal have welcomed American billionaire Stan Kroenke onto their board as a non-executive director as they attempt to stave off a potential takeover from Uzbek oligarch Alisher Usmanov.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Juande Ramos shuffles Tottenham pack and pleads for patience

It must feel like one step forward and two steps back for Juande Ramos, the Tottenham Hotspur head coach, since the Carling Cup final triumph over Chelsea in February. With only four victories in 18 competitive matches, and none this season, the North London club will try to use the Uefa Cup to kick-start their campaign.

Bayern Munich - An Early Bird's Review

With Bayern Munich’s first Champions League match out of the way, Peter Herrnreiter thought it appropriate to lay out the team’s outlook for the 2008/09 campaign.

Pavlyuchenko Is In Awe Of English Atmosphere

"Everything was unusual for me," he told Izvestia daily newspaper. "It's a different kind of football, with a different speed... I immediately realised that English football is much faster than in Russia. Our opponents didn't give me enough time to get to the ball properly."

Sounds to me like Spurs might have scored another Rebrov...

Ex-England Star Barnes to Manage Jamaica

Former Liverpool and England star John Barnes was named Wednesday as the new manager of Jamaica. The move comes after the dismissal of Brazilian Rene Simoes as the Jamaica Football Federation's technical director as a result of the team losing two World Cup qualifiers in four days—against Mexico and Honduras.

A real blow for reality TV...

Hull will back legal action over Fagan fracture

Hull City forward Craig Fagan will have his club’s full support if he takes legal action against Newcastle United’s Danny Guthrie for the tackle that broke his leg on Saturday, the club’s chairman said.

Champions League: Manchester United held as Juventus and Real win

Goal-shy Manchester United kicked off their Champions League title defence with a tepid 0-0 home draw against Villarreal in their opening Group E match on Wednesday. Former champions Juventus celebrated their return to Europe’s top flight with a 1-0 win over Zenit St Petersburg while Real Madrid strolled to a 2-0 home win over Belarus first-timers BATE Borisov.

Old, white, Italian men can jump...

Dynamo Kiev 1 - 1 Arsenal

Kiev tried to destroy Walcott, fumes Wenger

Real Madrid cruised to victory over 10-man BATE Borisov on Wednesday night in a Champions League Group H game that was easier for the Spanish champions than the 2-0 scoreline suggested.

Lyon scored twice in the final 17 minutes to deny Fiorentina all three points in a pulsating Champions League Group F clash at the Stade Gerland on Wednesday.

A second-half goal from Alessandro Del Piero was enough for Juventus to see off the challenge of Zenit St Petersburg in their Champions League Group H opener.

Manchester United 0 - 0 Villarreal
Ferguson's sights set beyond Villarreal

Celtic 0 - 0 Aalborg
Celtic booed as perfect record ended by Rioch's Danes

Richard Jolley at Old Trafford

The line between confidence and arrogance can be a fine one. Cristiano Ronaldo can seem it cross it as often as he centres a football from the flanks, but his sense of self-importance can be justified. 'When I play the fans will love me again,' he had said. He was right.

Respect For Ronaldo On United Return

Wenger Has Eyes For American Wunderkind

Charles Renken may be only 14 years old, but Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has expressed interest in signing the American teen-sensation.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mr. Metrosexual Frank Lampard Celebrates Chelsea Victory

It was more than just a glow of victory that brightened Frank Lampard's face during a party at London's Funky Buddha last night.

Did someone fall asleep in the tanning bed...?

Champions League: Wednesday Previews

Manchester United vs. Villarreal
Ferguson Backs Ronaldo to Win Over the Fans
Pires Delight at Champions League Chance

Dynamo Kiev vs. Arsenal
Arsenal Take Cold Comfort From Kiev Memories

Lyon vs. Fiorentina

Juventus vs. Zenit St. Petersburg
Del Piero to Return

Champions League: Absurd Goal By Fernandinho

Shakhtar Donetsk against Basel...

Champions League: Liverpool, Barcelona Win as Newcomers Stun Europe

European heavyweights Liverpool, FC Barcelona, Chelsea and Inter Milan opened their Champions League campaigns with victories Tuesday. But the most striking results on the first night of the group stage came from the competition’s newcomers on the road, with Romanian team CFR Cluj upsetting AS Roma 2-1 and Anorthosis Famagusta of Cyprus holding Werder Bremen 0-0.

The Special One prepares to slap Ibra...

Two wonder strikes from Argentine midfielder Juan Culio was enough to cause an upset on Matchday One of the Champions League as CFR Cluj stunned Serie A giants AS Roma.

Sergio 'Kun' Agüero introduced himself to the Champions League in superb fashion by scoring the very first goal of this year's tournament and adding a second en route to a famous Atleti win over a hapless PSV side...

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was in inspirational form, creating both goals for Mancini and Adriano, as Inter defeated a spirited Panathinaikos side 2-0 in Athens in the opening game of Champions League Group B.

Marseilles 1 - 2 Liverpool
Gerrard Double

Chelsea 4 - 0 Bordeaux
Stroll at the Bridge

Henry hits back at criticism of Barcelona form

Report: Congo soccer riot over 'witchcraft' leaves 13 dead

Accusations that a soccer player was using witchcraft during a match in eastern Congo sparked a riot that killed 13 people, a U.N.-funded radio station reported Monday.

U.S. offense needs to develop more sophistication


This U.S. team is steamrolling foes right now. But wiping out Barbados and defeating Guatemala, Cuba and Trinidad & Tobago is not a good measure of the team's progress.

Ferguson rages after Terry is given go-ahead to face United

Sir Alex Ferguson has angrily accused the Premier League head of referees, Keith Hackett, of showing favouritism to Chelsea after John Terry was let off the red card he was shown at Manchester City on Saturday and the official who brandished it, Mark Halsey, was banished to League Two.

Tough at the top for Dunga and Basile

Don't say it too loudly if you're on holiday in either country, but at the moment the national football teams of great rivals Brazil and Argentina have a little more in common than they'd like to admit. The most recent round of qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup featured a few surprises, but none more so than disappointing draws on Wednesday night for both South American giants. Both managers - Dunga of Brazil and Alfio Basile of Argentina - have a lot to answer for.

Jonathan Wilson in the Ukraine

Arsenal beware: after the death of the club's best ever manager, the new man in charge has breathed new life into Dynamo.

Semin steps out of Lobanovskyi shadow to kick-start Kyiv

Uli Hesse-Lichtenberger in Germany

Being a football writer is not the glamorous job it's made out to be.

Most of the time we just sit at a desk rather morosely, drink way too much coffee and surf the internet to find something useful. Just like everyone else, really.

But sometimes you do exactly that - sitting and surfing, I mean - and suddenly there's glamour by association, so to speak.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

2008 - 2009 UEFA Champions League: Tuesday Previews

Chelsea and Barcelona take centre stage on Tuesday when the Champions League group stage kicks off with eight matches.

The Spanish Challenge:

Ewan Macdonald looks at the prospects of the four Spanish teams in the UEFA Champions League as Matchday 1 of the Group Stage fast approaches...

The Italian Challenge:
Anthony Sormani looks at the prospects of all the four Italian clubs in the UEFA Champions League as Matchday 1 of the Group Stages fast approaches...

The English Challenge:
Graham Lister looks at the prospects of the four English teams in the UEFA Champions League as Matchday 1 of the Group Stage fast approaches...

Kevin McCarra:
English clubs have established themselves as leaders of the European scene, but the Premier League is not unstoppable.

Andy Hunt:
Benítez calmly plots a repeat in Marseille after riding last season's storm

Dominic Fifield:
Scolari confident as Chelsea set out on Roman's road to the holy grail

Fox Soccer Channel Gets Rated in U.S.

The Fox Soccer Channel will be rated by Nielsen starting next month, measuring how many people tune in across the United States to games of the English Premier League and Italy’s Serie A.

Mr. Nielsen -- coming soon to your house...

Sid Lowe in Spain

Just when you thought it was safe to get into La Liga again, the authorities did their best to ruin everything with another false start.

Action resumes after coitus interruptus but climax seems a long way off.

Paolo Bandini in Italy

Davide Ballardini may have won his first match in charge of the Rosanero, but the rest of his tenure under Maurizio Zamparini is unlikely to be so straightforward.

Palermo impress but victory isn't always enough for their manager-eater

Zamparini shushes his critics...

Americans On The Continent: Jozy Makes Sparkling Debut

Jozy Altidore’s meteoric rise continued this week as his pre-season form for Villarreal earned him a full 45 minutes against Deportivo.

Aaron West reports...

Raphael Honigstein in Germany

Martin Jol's erratic side hit top spot in Germany while a Madonna gig gave Kaiserslautern's lucky stars a night in the spotlight.

Hamburg shake off inhibitions to frolic at the top

My favorite supermarket aisle in Hamburg...

Phil Ball in Spain

The game at Old Trafford on Wednesday between Manchester United and Villarreal should be interesting from various perspectives. All week there seems to have been a collective paranoia floating around the Spanish scene that the English Premier League is taking over the Galactic Federation and that all Star Wars from now in will be heavily weighted in English favour.

EPL Report + Table

Tottenham 1 - 2 Aston Villa

Spurs Rock Bottom

Brad celebrates the win at White Hart Lane...

Club Played Points
Aston Villa47
Man City46
West Ham46
Man Utd34
West Brom44

Monday, September 15, 2008

I'm selling up, says emotional Ashley

Mike Ashley last night planted a "For Sale" sign outside St James' Park with apparent reluctance but the club's owner is not about to offload Newcastle United at a knockdown price.

Americans In The UK: Where Is The Love?

What gives? Brad Friedel and Tim Howard are the only two Americans getting regular time in England. At least the pair of Yanks at Rangers are showing well.

Agbonlahor Gets Three Girls Pregnant At Once

LIGHTNING hat-trick star Gabriel Agbonlahor has scored ANOTHER astonishing treble—cheating on THREE lovers at once and getting them ALL pregnant.

And...he scores...

Italy: Serie A Weekend Roundup

It's "crisis" time at Milan as they lose again, Fiorentina lose to Napoli, Inter manage to scrape past Catania at the San Siro and Palermo defeat Roma 3 - 1.


Spain: La Liga Weekend Roundup + Team of the Week

Real Madrid win 4-3 over Numancia and Barcelona can only manage a draw...


Team of the Week

England: EPL Weekend Reports

Liverpool ended their miserable run against Manchester United after an odd own-goal from Wes Brown and a late score from sub Ryan Babel gave them a 2-1 victory at Anfield. Elsewhere, Robinho scored on his Citey debut but Chelsea rallied to win 3-1 despite a harsh red card on John Terry. Arsenal won 4-0 over Blackburn as Adebayor netted a hat trick, Hull heaped more misery on Newcastle, Tim Cahill made a timely return to give Everton the win over Stoke and Fulham beat Bolton at Craven Cottage. Spurs and Villa play today.


United's concerns go deeper than just bad results
Liverpool 2 - 1 Manchester United

Zola sees tough task ahead
West Brom 3 - 2 West Ham

Defoe and Diarra lead Pompey
Portsmouth 2 - 1 Middlesbrough

Richard Jolly at Ewood Park

Walcott Continues Rapid Progress

Blackburn 0 - 4 Arsenal

The Insider at The City of Manchester Stadium

Chelsea Spoil Robinho Party

Manchester City 1 - 3 Chelsea