Friday, October 17, 2008

Look Alikes of the Week: Venus Williams & Bacary Sagna

Is Bacary the long-lost Williams brother???

Bolton Wanderers offer fans beer in bid to boost Blackburn crowd

Bolton Wanderers will be offering free beer to their fans before their match against Blackburn in a bid to increase attendance levels at the Reebok Stadium.

It says a lot that not even all the Old Slapper I could drink would make me want to watch Bolton and Blackburn play...

England: Steel City Sharpens Up for Derby Game

Talk in Sheffield is of nothing but Sunday's derby where league position, form and logic go out the window.

Frings Mulls Quitting German Team

Midfielder Torsten Frings is considering quitting Germany's national team after being left on the bench in the last two World Cup qualifying games. "I've been thinking a lot recently and retirement has been going on through my mind," the 31-year-old Werder Bremen midfielder told Friday's edition of Bild newspaper.

Frings would like to spend more time with his friends...

Ban Lifted: Liverpool get go-ahead for Atletico

The governing body of European football said its appeals body "decided to grant the request for suspension of the sanctions" against Atletico, due to "the organisational and logistical difficulties related to relocating" the Liverpool match to another venue at short notice.

Spain: La Liga Weekend Preview

Tomorrow's Madrid Derby at the Calderon leads the fixture list in Spain...

Italy: Serie A Weekend Preview

The big match of the weekend in Italy pits Inter vs. Roma at the Olympic Stadium. Roma hope to have Totti healthy enough to participate...


England: Premier Weekend Previews & Predictions

Thanks heavens the international lull is over and we can get back to the business at hand. Boro host Chelsea in the early match tomorrow while Arsenal welcome Everton to the Emirates, Villa host Pompey, Bolton and Blackburn meet at the Reebok, Roy Keane takes his men to Craven Cottage to face Fulham, Wigan are at Anfield and Manchester United welcome West Brom to Old Trafford. On Sunday, surprise high-fliers Hull host Zola's West Ham and the bottom two clash as Spurs take on Stoke.

Loads of teams are faced with injuries sustained by players on international duty...

Preview One

Preview Two

Lawro's Predictions

Nick Webster's Predictions

Argentina coach Basile quits after Chile loss

Alfio Basile has resigned as coach of Argentina, the country's football association have confirmed.

Basile Jumping before being pushed

Marcela Mora y Araujo:
What Now For Argentina?

He now has more time for this activity...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Quotes & Chants & Announcements & Jokes of the Week

Spurs Joke of the Week:
"What's the difference between Spurs and a triangle? A triangle has three points."

"You can only bring in kids from a certain radius and a lot of our radius is in the water. Any good fish out there?"
Sunderland boss Roy Keane carps on about the geographical restrictions placed on him.


Freshly Squeezed Oranjes: New Dutch Talent

With Oranje being plagued by injuries at the moment, question marks surround Holland's chances of challenging for the 2010 World Cup. Now's the time, then, to have a look at the youngsters capable of claiming an Oranje spot in the (near) future....

Ricky van Wolfswinkel

FA Probe Into Norwich-Derby Match

The Football Association is looking into match-fixing allegations relating to the Championship match between Norwich City and Derby on 4 October.

MLS Receives Seven Bids For New Franchises

A total of seven cities submitted official bids to MLS, which will make it’s decision in the coming weeks on who will become it’s 17th and 18th franchises. The teams will follow in the footsteps of soon-to-be Seattle and Philadelphia teams.

Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas criticises Arsene Wenger's reliance on youth

Cesc Fabregas has expressed his doubts on Arsene Wenger's youth policy, suggesting it has jeopardised chances of winning the Premier League title.

Top 10: Football Hate Figures

4. Luis Figo

It was the ultimate betrayal. In the fanatical world of El Clasico, Barcelona and Real Madrid, Figo's move to from the Nou Camp to the Bernabeu was one of football's most controversial transfers. It was not just the sight of their former darling wearing the white of Madrid.

Perhaps the greatest pain for Barca fans was having to accept that Madrid now held the power and money in Spanish football. When Figo first returned to the Nou Camp the whistles that greeted his arrival on the field were louder than a jumbo jet taking off. Two years later he was back and among the objects thrown at him was a pig's head. Lovely.

The Other Nine

UEFA: Portugal woe, Dutch and England march on

Portugal's stuttering form continued as a goalless draw at home to 10-man Albania on Wednesday left them in third place in Group One.

Belarus 1 - 3 England
Rooney double sets England on fire
England remain work in progress

Belgium 1 - 2 Spain
Late Villa header wins it but Torres hurt

Ireland 1 - 0 Cyrus

Keane goal wins it

Italy 2 - 1 Montenegro
Italy scrape past minnows

Germany 1 - 0 Wales
Wales at breaking point

Norway 0 - 1 Netherlands
Van Bommel goal enough for Orange

CONMEBOL: Argentina lose, Brazil booed off

Argentina were outplayed and beaten 1-0 by a Chilean team led by their former coach Marcelo Bielsa in the World Cup qualifiers on Wednesday while Brazil continued their astonishing run of goalless draws at home.

She's sad because her man can't score...

CONCACAF: Jamaica and T&T win, Sven's men are held

Jamaica followed up Saturday's shock 1-0 home win over Mexico with a repeat performance against Honduras on Wednesday to stay in the hunt for a place in the final round of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers.

T&T 2 - 1 USA
American youngsters show inexperience
Veterans lead T&T
Player Ratings

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

WAGs: The Past, Present and Future

WAGs are under threat like never before. First the credit crunch brought their conspicuous consumption under the spotlight, now Rio Ferdinand has blamed them for English football's demise. So can the WAG survive?

Outcry in Argentina as Rosario president threatens to kill team

Usandizaga, who is also a politician, was unwittingly caught on film earlier this month as he vented his spleen in front of the club's supporters. "Central are going to get out of this situation," he said. "We are going to move forward. We are going to kill the players, coaching staff and anyone else."

Usandizaga makes his point...

WAGS Made Us a Circus, says Rio

'People worried more about what they wore than the football'

Richard Williams' take

2010 World Cup Qualifying: Wednesday's Brazil & Argentina Previews

The squad was then driven for three hours over mountain roads to Merida, arriving at the airport at around midnight, only to be told that their plane was still in Caracas. After a long delay during which they were served ham sandwiches and fizzy drinks in plastic cups, the squad were flown to Maracaibo and then on to Rio.

Brazil: Robinho hits the beach
Brazil face Colombia in Rio

Argentina go to Chile

2010 World Cup Qualifying: Wednesday's UEFA Previews

Coach Fabio Capello
must rejig his defence as England head to Belarus for Wednesday's World Cup qualifier with John Terry and Ashley Cole both out of action while Germany have doubts over Michael Ballack in their fixture against Wales.

France to halt games when anthem is booed

Any football match in France before which the country's national anthem is booed will now be "immediately stopped", French Sports Minister Roselyne Bachelot said Wednesday after meeting with President Nicolas Sarkozy. The dramatic move followed the booing of "La Marseillaise" during France's 3-1 friendly win over Tunisia at the Stade de France in Paris on Tuesday.

2010 World Cup Qualifying: U.S. to Field Youthful Lineup Against T&T

United States vs Trinidad and Tobago
World Cup 2010 qualifying, CONCACAF semifinal round, Group 1
8 pm ET, Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Hasely Crawford Stadium; Port of Spain, Trinidad
ESPN and Galavision
Preview One
Preview Two

Barcelona to Bid for Miami MLS Franchise

The giant Catalan club will announce details of their plan to form a new MLS side in Miami on Wednesday, when the deadline expires for applications for two new expansion teams to be added for the 2011 season.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Martin Rogers Column

Rogers takes a look back at the action over the past few days...

Rush: 'I'd wanted to stay at Chester'

The Liverpool legend reflects on his tentative Anfield start and how a formidable pairing with Kenny Dalglish blossomed in the 1980s.

Kevin McCarra: Beckham waits in wings for chance of another international cameo

David Beckham's willingness to play only bit-parts for England encapsulates his career-long determination.

Gullit: Americans Are Afraid Of Soccer And Beckham Can’t Change That

The Dutch former World and European player of the year speaks out about soccer in the United States two months after resigning as head coach of David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy, claiming that the beautiful game will never reach the heights of the other major sports.

Paolo Bandini in Italy

Fighting and fascist salutes have forced Italy's football federation to ban their supporters from away games but exclusions alone won't solve their problems.

Sofia trouble overshadows young Azzurri's point well made.

Atletico Hit by Stadium Ban

Atletico Madrid have been hit with a stadium ban for their next two home Champions League fixtures as UEFA handed out their heaviest punishment so far for racism.

Raphael Honigstein in Germany

Hapless at club level, but a hero for the national team, Lukas Podolski again provided the spark as Germany beat Russia.

Clown prince Podolski enjoys shining night.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Tim Vickery in South America

The boy from Bolivia shows Colombia the way.

Finding football's soul at Dagenham & Redbridge

The home of the Daggers would not win any awards for design or comfort, offers a level of corporate hospitality that is hardly worthy of the name and has terraces on three sides, with both ends open to the elements, but I found the whole experience incredibly refreshing.

Richard Williams: Three tweaks of his tactics bring Capello no closer to a midfield solution

Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard survived Fabio Capello's tactical shifts but still struggled to dominate proceedings.

Senegal fans riot after World Cup qualifying exit

The Senegalese supporters then blocked a major highway outside the stadium with burning tyres, rubbish and rocks, and black smoke filled the sky.

World Cup Qualifying: Spain marches on, England rallies after fans jeer

European champion Spain won 3-0 at Estonia to extend its unbeaten streak to 25 games, and England outplayed Kazakhstan 5-1 in another World Cup qualifying game Saturday after being booed off the field at halftime by its fans. Struggling France rallied from two goals down to tie Romania 2-2 and preserve coach Raymond Domenech’s job, and Germany edged Russia 2-1 to stay in first place in its group.


English Debate: The Trouble With Tottenham

Among the more surprising aspects of the Premier League season so far is how, in sharply contrasting ways, Hull City and Tottenham Hotspur have defied expectations. Hull sit proudly in third place while few predicted that Spurs - even if the pre-season hype was typically overblown - would be rooted to the foot of the table after seven games, without a win or, it seems, much of a clue.

South American qualifiers marred by more trouble

Brazil complained of hostile treatment in Venezuela and three players were sent off in Ecuador’s win over Chile on Sunday to complete a stormy weekend in South American World Cup qualifying.

World Cup Qualifier: Jamaica Stump Mexico For Three Points

Ricardo Fuller’s beautiful strike gave the Reggae Boyz an impressive win against CONCACAF powerhouse Mexico in front of a boisterous crowd in Kingston.

U.S. routs an overmatched Cuban team

While some young faces stepped onto the field and excited U.S. national team fans with skill and promise on Saturday night, it was the U.S. team's veterans who delivered the decisive performances in the Americans' 6-1 thrashing of Cuba at RFK Stadium.

U.S. almost perfect against Cuba

Phil Ball in Spain

Records, records and more records. Spain continue to break them with almost tedious regularity, but I'm sure you don't want a whole article on them. A brief mention then - after Spain dispatched poor Estonia in Tallin on Saturday night, in front of 7,500 spectators. What's the big sport in Estonia then? I'm going there next week so I'll ask the taxi drivers. It can't be football.