Friday, December 05, 2008

A Bitter End for Keane

Over six years ago Niall Quinn sat in a news conference explaining why Roy Keane had left the Republic of Ireland's squad for the 2002 World Cup. On Thursday, Quinn found himself explaining a second Keane exit, this time announcing the 37-year-old's reign as manager of the north-east club was over after less than two-and-a-half years.

Thierry Henry 'pays wife £8m divorce settlement'

The footballer Thierry Henry has reached a divorce settlement with his ex-wife reported to be worth £8million.

The pair, who have a two-year-old daughter called Tea, met while appearing in television adverts for Renault cars.

Ronaldo admits he was 'within an inch' of signing for Arsenal

Ronaldo also defended himself against accusations of diving. "You know Hercules? He was hefty and muscular but sometimes he fell," he said.

Hercules protects his face from being hit by a soccer ball...

The Joy of Six: Hot Football Funks

From Diego Maradona gaining revenge on the Butcher of Bilbao to Franny Lee KO'ing Norman Hunter, Scott Murray looks at the footballers and managers who lost it big time.

The Mill + ++

Friday's Rumours



Spain: La Liga Preview

A pretty juicy clash this weekend as Barcelona host Valencia. Elsewhere, struggling Real Madrid have a tough match at home against Sevilla while Jozy Altidore and Villarreal host Getafe...


England: Weekend Previews & Predictions

Chelsea go to Bolton, Liverpool are at Ewood Park, Keaneless Sunderland head to Old Trafford, Fulham host Manchester City, Arsenal welcome Wigan, Hull host Boro, Stoke are at St. James' Park, Everton welcome Villa, West Brom welcome Portsmouth, and Spurs head to East London to face West Ham.


The Full English: Refried Beans

Lawro's Predictions

Nick Webster's Predictions

Italy: Serie A Weekend Preview

Sampdoria’s Antonio Cassano and Genoa striker Diego Milito can each claim to be the revelations of Serie A this season even if their clubs have been more inconsistent. The in-form pair will be on opposing sides on Sunday (1930 GMT) in the hotly-contested Genoa derby, a rare occasion for the two famous Italian clubs to snatch back some of the limelight from the dominant trio of Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus.

Squad News

UEFA Cup: Hamburg, Villa, Ajax Qualify From Same Group

Former European Cup winners Hamburg, Aston Villa and Ajax qualified for the knockout round of the UEFA Cup from the same group Thursday— although one of them lost and another didn’t play.

James clanger puts Pompey out of UEFA Cup

Germany: Bundesliga Weekend Preview

With two rounds left until the winter break, the Bundesliga witnesses a David and Goliath clash this week as the mighty Bayern Munich take on minnows - yet league leaders - 1899 Hoffenheim. Elsewhere the teams at the bottom are looking for three points to give themselves some early Christmas cheer. previews all the weekend action...

Work to start on Philly area MLS stadium

Workers are scheduled to break ground on a $115 million soccer stadium just outside Philadelphia.

The current site...seriously.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

A Dubai apartment block is to be named . . . Steven Gerrard Tower

Liverpool skipper Gerrard, 28, said: “I am truly privileged.”

Stevie's is the one on the left...

More important than life and death: the escalating violence in Argentine football

Estimates suggest more than 200 people have died in football- related murders in Argentina -
but why, and what can be done?

Top 10: Worst Premier League Summer Transfers

3. Heurelho Gomes (PSV Eindhoven – Tottenham, £7.8 million)

Gomes has become the latest custodian to fall foul of the goalkeeping graveyard that is White Hart Lane. A regular in the Champions League with former club PSV Eindhoven, Gomes was seen as the experienced, reliable answer to the problem of Paul Robinson, but instead has turned out to be a comedy turn whose fear of crosses is more pronounced than Dracula's. His errors are too numerous mention here but the goal he gifted to Fulham stands out as the worst.

The Other Nine

Mido fury at FA over repeat of racist taunts at Tyne-Tees clash

Chants were directed against the Egyptian striker as he came on as subsitute at the Riverside in Saturday's goalless draw. The FA wrote to the Tyne and Tees clubs last August after a similar outburst from the stands and issued Newcastle with a final warning. But no banning orders have been handed out and the FA has simply promised a new investigation into the repeat incident.

Quotes & Chants of the Week

"I think I still have a couple of his studs in my ankle I can give back to him."
West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola has an early Christmas gift for Keano. He could do with some cheering up.

"Are you Bournemouth in disguise?"
Portsmouth fans while 2-0 up against AC Milan.

"You got your stand from Ikea."
Millwall fans singing to Leyton Orient about their shoddy stand.

Portsmouth Announcer: "Number 22 - Kaka!"
Crowd: "Who?"
Announcer: "Number 80 - Ronaldinho!"
Crowd: "Who?"
At Pompey-AC Milan.

All The Rest

The Mill + ++

Thursday's Rumours



Carling Cup: Holders Spurs and United into Semis

Tottenham maintained its League Cup defense Wednesday by rallying to beat Watford 2-1, while Carlos Tevez scored four times to put Manchester United into the semifinals with a 5-3 victory over Blackburn.

Blackburn fans demand Ince's head

Wednesday's UEFA Cup Round-up

Crowd trouble overshadowed Udinese's passage into the UEFA Cup knockout phase alongside Galatasaray, Standard Liege, FC Twente and Metalist Kharkiv on Wednesday. Udinese became the first Group D team to qualify by beating Dinamo Zagreb 2-1 in a match that was temporarily suspended when visiting Croatian fans launched flares onto the Italian pitch. NEC Nijmegen stopped Spartak Moscow from going through for now by defeating the Russian club 2-1.

Gooch scored for Standard Liege...

Donovan's Bayern Loan Length Released

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge claims that the loan deal for the Los Angeles Galaxy's Landon Donovan is currently set to end before the start of the 2009 MLS Season.

Sunderland Manager Keane Quits Club

Roy Keane has resigned as Sunderland manager following a dreadful run of form that has plunged the club into the Premier League's relegation zone.

Paul Doyle:
Was Keane just a train wreck waiting to happen at Sunderland?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The 50 Worst Famous Football Fans

From Sylvester Stallone's fondness for Everton to the soft spot that Adolf Hitler had for Schalke 04 and Osama bin Laden's connection with Arsenal, Kaveh Solhekol lists the famous fans you really don't want behind your team.

Americans in the UK: MK Dynamite

Clint Dempsey, Fulham
vs. Aston Villa

Dempsey played a good game on Saturday, playing aggressively while also trying his best to hold his spot in the starting XI. He nearly opened the scoring for the London club as his 20-yard effort had to be tip over the bar by fellow American, Brad Friedel. Dempsey’s tenacity was almost too much early on as he was booked with a yellow card after a clumsy challenge on Barry. However, a point against a formidable side was important as Fulham extended their unbeaten run to four games running and seven of their last eight.
Up Next: Saturday, home to Manchester City.

The Rest

Americans On The Continent: Jozy Jubilation

Jozy Altidore picked up a rare La Liga start for Villarreal. The 19-year-old striker has been eased into the squad since making his 7 digit move to Spain from Red Bull New York, but is starting to perform as he torments Recreativo Huelva.

And Michael Bradley scored an own goal...

Phil Holland: Counting the cost of a pint

Beer and football; two pleasures inextricably linked, but at a time when fans are tightening their belts and trying to cut down on frivolous spending it seems that the evil, money-grabbing football clubs in the Premier League are conducting a booze shakedown.

Premier League pints

Chelsea - £4
Arsenal - £3.50
Manchester City - £.3.50
West Ham - £.3.50
Fulham - £.3.50
Tottenham Hotspur - £.3.30
Sunderland - £.3.20
West Bromwich - £.3.20
Newcastle - £.3.20
Aston Villa - £.3.20
Everton - £.3.20
Manchester United - £.3.00
Liverpool - £.3.00
Stoke - £.3.00
Hull - £.3.00
Blackburn - £.3.00
Portsmouth - £.3.00
Bolton - £.2.90
Middlesbrough - £.2.80
Wigan - £.2.70

The Mill + ++

The transfer window opens next month. Prepare for speculation galore...

Wednesday's Rumours



Uli Hesse-Lichtenberger in Germany

I spent the larger part of Monday evening reading an article in a monthly magazine and then checking the reactions across various message boards. The magazine's cover, almost solely devoted to this one story, depicts your classic prohibition sign, with the diagonal line crossing a megaphone. Below that are the words "Silence, please!" and then: "How ultras are ruining the atmosphere on German fan stands."

Keane has lost the plot, says Dunphy

Sunderland manager accused of stumbling around 'in a fog'

Sid Lowe in Spain

Fans may be on the verge of forgiving derided coach Víctor Muñoz for his lack of glamour after he masterminded victory over Real Madrid.

Muñoz keeps his chin up as Getafe enjoy last laugh over dysfunctional Real.

England: Carling Cup Reports

Burnley 2 - 0 Arsenal

Young guns crash out
What now for the kids?
Richard Jolly at Turf Moor

Stoke 0 - 1 Derby

Rams on the brink of Wembley

Beware the pink boots, Caldwell...

Paolo Bandini in Italy

The Zebrette's Champions League hopes are fading, but Pasquale Marino may not have the resources to lift Udinese back into the European places.

Slender Udinese need to fatten up after Christmas.

Raphael Honigstein in Germany

Schalke's supporters have turned on sporting director Andreas Müller as their expensively-assembled team continues to fall short of expectations.

Müller in the firing line as Schalke's furious fans look for someone to blame.

Our favorite Schalke fan photo...he's furious.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

England: Premier League Catch Up + Table

Weekend Reports

Ferguson forecasts fight to the finish

Liverpool top, but for how long?

Adebayor reveals Arsenal's Achilles Heel

Fans taunt Mido again

Premier League Table
Club Played Points
Man Utd1428
Aston Villa1525
West Ham1518
Man City1517
West Brom1511

Liverpool blow chance to lay down title marker

Gianfranco Zola handed Chelsea a multitude of reasons to revere him as their greatest ever player. Last night he gave them cause to toast his move into management as West Ham restricted Liverpool's rise to the top at an angst-ridden Anfield. Reaching the summit has rarely been greeted with such bewilderment in these parts.

Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham

Phil Ball in Spain

Quite a decent week for Barcelona, to quote a phrase. A 2-5 win in Lisbon in midweek followed by a 0-3 result in the Sánchez Pizjuan in Sevilla - never an easy place to visit - means that all is tickety-boo on the Catalan front. Messi even had time to lift his shirt and show us his flat tummy after his first goal, which was a little nod to the commentary team of La Sexta TV channel, who had suggested a while ago that he might have been a little overweight. Fat or thin, there's no stopping him, or his team at the moment.

Richard Jolly at the City of Manchester Stadium

Manchester City 0 - 1 Manchester United
A Derby Day to Forget for Ronaldo

Monday, December 01, 2008

Still on Holiday

I'm taking a relaxing Thanksgiving holiday. Back on Tuesday. And thanks to The English Pub in Naples, Florida, for their hospitality (and fine cask Fullers ESB ) during the Chelsea/Arsenal match. -Sanford