Friday, September 25, 2009

Vive le Foot!

Ligue 1 offered us 36 goals last weekend -- a huge improvement over the last few weeks.

Lisandro Lopez: "I am not a star."

Auxerre tied St Etienne to a draw last week and seem to gain confidence. Meanwhile, no sign of Grenoble getting a point yet. They will be lucky if they get a goal.

Auxerre – Grenoble 2 - 1

Now this is a match that will deliver. Little Lorient easily beat Nancy but will face a PSG that literally got robbed against Lyon. They are pissed and will give the Merlus their first home defeat. Veteran Lorien midfielder Olivier Monterrubio (FRA) is having a good start with 3 assists and 1 goal already.

Lorient – PSG 0 - 2

Monaco is on a high with an away victory and superb performances by Alejandro Alonso (ARG) and Nene (BRA - 4 goals). St Etienne is still in the relegation zone but is showing improvement.

Monaco – St Etienne 2 - 0

An interesting match between two promoted sides that surprised most of the observers so far. They both brutally fell respectively to OM and Bordeaux last week but Montpellier will use the home advantage.

MontpellierBoulogne 3 - 1

Both teams had crushing defeats but Nancy reacted by eliminating Monaco from the Coupe de la Ligue mid-week so the confidence is on their side.

Nancy – Sochaux 2 - 0

OM finally showed some power and they will show more against a Valenciennes team that dismantled Sochaux away (5-2) last week, but probably not enough.

ValenciennesOM 2 - 2

Lyon got very lucky at Paris with a late offside goal while goalkeeper Lloris literally saved them from a thrashing. They will prove they’re the real deal tomorrow by

Lyon – Toulouse 3 - 1

Lens had a heartbreaking draw in the north vs. a 10 men Lille side while Le Mans’ defense could not stop a strong Toulouse.

Le Mans – Lens 2 - 2

Both teams were expected to be found around the top of the table battling for a European spot but things look pretty bleak especially for Nice (19th) that can’t score goal despite the hopes put into striker Loic Remy (FRA).

Lille – Nice 2 - 1

Possibly the most exciting tie of the weekend between the league leader and the fourth. Rennes scored four goals away at Grenoble while Bordeaux’s bench won away. Asamoah Gyan (GHA) is having a great start with 4 goals already.

BordeauxRennes 3 - 1

6 good results last time around…

The Frenchman!

Americans Abroad: Patient Edu Making Progress

Edu reports that he has recently increased his training work load, but rejoining the full squad practice sessions remains indefinitely ahead.

I owe everything to growing up above a pub, says Arsène Wenger

The Frenchman's parents owned and ran La Croix d'Or in Duttlenheim and the young Wenger would spend hours in the company of the establishment's patrons, who, to paraphrase him, liked a drink and to express passionate opinions on football, invariably at the same time.

England: Premier League Previews & Predictions

Wigan welcome Chelsea, Stoke host Manchester United, Liverpool host Hull, Villa go to Blackburn, Birmingham and Bolton clash, Arsenal head down to Fulham, Tottenham welcome Burnley, Everton visit Pompey and Sunderland welcome Wolves. Manchester City and West Ham play on Monday.

Preview I
Preview II
Preview III

Lawro's Predictions

Italy: Serie A Weekend Preview

AC Milan coach Leonardo believes his side can turn around their stuttering form when they take on promoted side Bari this weekend. Juventus will be bolstered by the return of star players Diego and Alessandro del Piero for Sunday's game against Bologna.


Spain: La Liga Weekend Preview

Atletico Madrid coach Abel Resino has plenty of problems heading into this weekend`s Primera Division clash with Valencia. Real Madrid are at home to promoted Tenerife this weekend and could be boosted by the return of both Pepe and Xabi Alonso after suspension and injury, respectively.


Honduras aims to keep U.S. match at home

Honduras is determined to keep next month's World Cup qualifier against the U.S. on home soil despite the country's political turmoil, a top Honduran soccer official was quoted as saying on Thursday.

Police Confirm Everton's Phil Jagielka Was Robbed By 'Knife-Wielding Thugs'

"Shortly after 8pm on Wednesday, September 23, three men gained entry to a house in Knutsford. The homeowner was threatened with a knife and forced to hand over jewellery and the keys to his Range Rover. Fortunately nobody was hurt during the incident and the car was found abandoned a short distance away.

Germany: Bundesliga Weekend Preview

Hamburg host Bayern, Koeln try to extend their winning streak to three against Leverkusen, and Hertha hope to put their woes behind against Hoffenheim. Clark Whitney previews all the weekend action.

Friday, September 25
Nuernberg - Bochum

Saturday, September 26
Dortmund - Schalke
Koeln - Leverkusen
Wolfsburg - Hannover
Bremen - Mainz
Frankfurt - Stuttgart
Hamburg - Bayern

Sunday, September 27
Freiburg - M’gladbach
Hoffenheim - Hertha Berlin

Friday MLS Forecast

The Forecast reflects on the meaning of Brian Ching's new deal before tackling the Week 28 schedule.

Calcio Debate: Juventus-Inter Scudetto Race Could Go To The Final Day Of The Season

Last night’s big clash at Marassi may have ended in a thrilling and controversial 2-2 draw, but Carlo Garganese saw a great Juventus side ready to fight tooth and nail for Inter’s Scudetto…

Genoa vs. Juventus Match Report

Genoa's ground...

Premier League Heroes: Gianfranco Zola: Sardinian Superstar

One of the most popular figures ever to have graced the Premier League, Gianfranco Zola was a magician with the ball at his feet, able to conjure moments of artistry that captured the imagination of English football fans during his seven years at Chelsea.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Top 25 Football Websites

Telegraph Sport takes a look at the 25 best football websites for videos, pictures, statistics, news, blogs and gossip.

Uhh, no.

Paolo Bandini in Italy

Seven goals in five games have confirmed Udinese's forward as one of Serie A's most consistent scorers.

Antonio Di Natale provides that festive feeling as Udinese see off Milan.

Martin Tyler's Column

Every week he will be here to offer you statistical gems to make your day, impress your mates and, on occasion, to settle the odd bet.

Sky Sports' voice of football and his back-up team of experts are here to answer your questions and queries on all things statistical and historical from the beautiful game.

Number of goalscorers for each Premier League club (own goals not included):

10 goalscorers: Arsenal
7 goalscorers: Chelsea, Man Utd, Tottenham
6 goalscorers: Liverpool
5 goalscorers: Man City, Wolves
4 goalscorers: Aston Villa, Blackburn, Bolton, Burnley, Everton, Fulham, Hull City, West Ham
3 goalscorers: Birmingham, Stoke City, Sunderland, Wigan
2 goalscorers: Portsmouth

Spain: La Liga Review

Real Madrid
drew level with Barcelona at the top of the table following a 2-0 victory over Villarreal, while Valencia and Athletic Bilbao suffered their first defeats of the season.


Italy: Serie A Wednesday Review

Reigning champions Inter Milan climbed to the top of the Serie A table after a comfortable 3-1 win over Napoli at the San Siro. E
arly pacesetters Sampdoria came unstuck for the first time this season as a strong Fiorentina side condemned them to a 2-0 defeat.


Top 10: Short Stays

Following Sol Campbell's exit from Notts County,'s Chris Burton takes a look at a few other short-lived stints.

Everyone is entitled to change their mind from time to time, whatever walk of life you operate in.

Professional football is no exception, with players every now and again deciding that they have made a rather dubious decision regarding their choice of club.

England: Carling Cup Wrap

City, United, Chelsea, Villa, Everton win...


2010 World Cup Mock U.S. Roster

World Cup qualifying is in full flow, and coach Bob Bradley continues to evaluate players. ESPNsoccernet projects whom we think Bradley will choose as his 23-man U.S. roster for the 2010 World Cup. Players are ranked from top to bottom in terms of how certain a lock they appear to be for the roster and their current perceived pecking order.

As befitting standard squad composition, we've chosen three goalkeepers, eight defenders, eight midfielders and four forwards.

Uhhh, no.

Argentina's Struggling Rivalry

Big-name players not achieving their potential; directors who are widely seen as bad for the team and for football by the fans; famous reputations being decidedly unfulfilled; managers whose positions seem less tenable by the day. It's the Argentine national team, isn't it?

For once, no.

The start of the 2009 Torneo Apertura has been an unmitigated disaster for great rivals River Plate and Boca Juniors, the two towering giants of the Argentine club game.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Quotes & Chants of the Week

"Sometimes you have a noisy neighbour and have to live with it. You can't do anything about them if they keep on making noise but what we can do, as we showed today, is you can get on with your life, put your television on and turn it up a bit louder."
Sir Alex Ferguson refuses to switch off where Man City are concerned.

"Maybe it was a good joke."
Hughes has a theory on why Sir Alex and fourth official Alan Wiley were having a laugh on the touchline during the time added on to the added-on time.

"I remember getting beaten at Bolton last year and looking at the bench. I think two of them were asleep with hats pulled down and blankets over them. I said 'I'm sorry to drag you up here, I know it's f****** cold and you could be at home with the missus with a cup of tea. It's hard for 30 grand a week to watch a game!'"
Harry Redknapp on the hard life of the modern-day footballer.

"I'm never quite sure how far to go with praising young kids because the next thing you will see him probably driving a Mercedes and he'll have his socks over his knees and four earrings in and a Walt Disney hat."
Norwich boss Paul Lambert on his young midfielder Korey Smith.

"I guess it was written on the wall."
Sky commentator when Grafite scored his second for Wolfsburg v CSKA Moscow.

"Hey! Chelsea! Leave those kids alone!"
Villa fans to the tune of Another Brick in the Wall (following the transfer ban for allegedly illegally inducing French teenager Gael Kakuta).

"U-N-I. T-E-D.
United fans are from Surrey,
With a nick-nack paddy whack, give a dog a bone,
Manchester is not your home!"
Heard in the Park Lane end at White Hart Lane in honour of our 'northern' guests.

The Rest

'Racism' mars Stoke win as El Hadji Diouf makes bananas claim

The Blackburn Rovers striker El Hadji Diouf last night claimed that Everton fans threw bananas at him on Sunday as fresh allegations of racism marred Stoke City's Carling Cup win over Blackpool.

The Blackpool manager Ian Holloway said that his substitute, Jason Euell, was racially abused by a Stoke supporter during last night's game at the Britannia Stadium. In a separate incident, Diouf said he had been targeted during Sunday's 3-0 defeat at Everton, after which he was accused of racially abusing a ball-boy.

Notts County confirm Sol Campbell has walked away 'by mutual consent'

Peter Trembling, the County chairman, had been making attempts to broker a peace deal with the former Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur defender, who turned 35 last week, but it is thought Campbell was unhappy with the club’s progress over improving training facilities and the playing squad. Trembling confirmed the news and wished Campbell well with the remainder of his career.

England: Wednesday's Carling Cup Previews


Aston Villa - Cardiff
Chelsea - Queens Park Rangers
Hull - Everton
Preston - Tottenham
Manchester United - Wolves
Manchester City - Fulham


Spain: La Liga Wednesday Preview


Atletico Madrid v Almeria
Espanyol v Malaga
Real Valladolid v Osasuna
Villarreal v Real Madrid
Xerez v Deportivo Coruna
Tenerife v Athletic Bilbao
Getafe v Valencia


Italy: Serie A Wednesday Preview

Sampdoria coach Luigi Del Neri has heaped praise on talisman Antonio Cassano after seeing his side go top of Serie A.

Champions Inter Milan welcome Napoli to the San Siro, AC Milan go to Udinese, Roma and Palermo clash in Sicily and Lazio square off with Parma in the Eternal City. Bari host Cagliari, Livorno are away to Bologna and Siena take on Chievo.

Argentina Return To Monumental Stadium For Peru World Cup Qualifier

The executive committee of the Argentine Football Association (AFA) confirmed that the Argentine national team will return to playing at River Plate's Monumental stadium for next month's 2010 World Cup match with Peru.

Under-20 World Cup: The Next Kings of Egypt

The 17th FIFA Under-20 World Cup begins in Egypt on Thursday as 24 countries compete for the right to be named the best youth side on the planet. Hoping to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Diego Maradona, Marco van Basten and Luis Figo who all made an impression in previous tournaments, 504 young hopefuls have gathered in Egypt in an attempt to showcase their talent to the watching world, and no small amount of scouts.

Roman Soldier: 2001 Roma Scudetto Winners - Where Are They Now?

Eight years have passed since that memorable June 17 and only Totti is still gracing the Olimpico pitch. But what about the other Gladiators? In his weekly Wednesday column's 'Roman Soldier', Vince Masiello, reveals all...

Tommasi is in China...

Spain: Tuesday's La Liga Reports

Sevilla 2-0 Mallorca:

Squillaci & Perotti Score As Hosts Down Barralets

Racing Santander 1-4 Barcelona:

Blaugrana Ease Past Verdiblancos

England: Carling Cup Wrap

Liverpool and Arsenal win, Burnley lose...


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

2009 Homeless World Cup Tee Shirt - Limited Edition

The Homeless World Cup is an organization working to change the lives of homeless soccer players across the world.

The Homeless World Cup is a street soccer event, which is fast and entertaining. Each match, officiated by a referee, lasts for 14 minutes, that’s 7 minutes each way with a one minute break for half –time. The standard of the players and the teams vary greatly.

The policy of the Homeless World Cup is to be as inclusive as possible whilst keeping the true magic of competitive sport alive. Different qualifying or elimination stages are played throughout the week so that everyone ends up playing for a cup no matter what the ability of the team is. The better teams play for the top trophy, next best for the second trophy and so on. All players receive a medal. has a great promotion in progress where revenue from T-shirt purchases will be donated to the Homeless World Cup. Get one now!

Revealed: Manchester United get more injury time when they need it

Sir Alex Ferguson likes to boast that his Manchester United team score more late goals than any other side in the world. Others argue that they get a bit of extra help from referees. It has now emerged that the Premier League champions do, as suspected, benefit from an imbalance in the amount of stoppage time that is added to their matches.

England: Carling Cup Previews

Arsenal vs. West Brom

Leeds vs. Liverpool

Bolton vs. West Ham

Spain: La Liga Midweek Previews

Sevilla vs. Real Mallorca

Racing Santandar vs. Barcelona

Italy: Serie A Worst Team Of The Week looks at those who performed poorly in the fourth round of action...

Americans In The UK: Howard, Everton Back On Track

Tim Howard recorded two clean sheets last week to help Everton get out of the Premiership gutter and gain a leg up in the Europa League.

Americans On The Continent: Bretagne Blowout

After squeaking out a 1-0 win over St. Etienne last week, Carlos Bocanegra and Rennes demolished strugglers Grenoble 4-0 in French Ligue 1 action.

Freddy Adu was not in the squad of 18 for Belenenses, but had this to say via his Twitter page: “Not in the 18 against Academica BUT dont worry spoke with the coach and all is good.Wants to take it slow for first couple games.StepBYstep”

World in motion: Craig Bellamy is deeply misunderstood

His inability to handle the red mist is legendary, but his professionalism with a project in Africa tells a different story.

Jens Lehmann dropped by Stuttgart for attending beer festival

Lehmann committed an error to gift Cologne their second goal at the weekend when he raced out of his area only to lose possession and allow Wilfried Sanou to shoot into an empty net from 45 yards out.

Paolo Bandini in Italy

With a squad renowned for dining out en masse, Luigi Del Neri seems to have developed a side who are hungry on the field too.

Sampdoria give rivals food for thought with flying start to Serie A season.

The team settles into its pre-game meal...

Sid Lowe in Spain

Villarreal found out just how imposing Athletic Bilbao and their in-form forward can be at San Mamés on Sunday.

'Hurricane' Athletic blowing hot with Fernando Llorente flying high.

Phil Ball in Spain

In the season of the widely predicted two-horse race, a lion is making a go of jumping the early fences in style. I refer of course to Athletic Bilbao, who have managed to take all nine points so far on offer, as have the two more celebrated racehorses immediately above them.

Raphael Honigstein in Germany

After a title tilt last season, Hertha BSC now prop up the Bundesliga. What has gone wrong?

Rock-bottom Hertha shame Berlin as Bochum lose patience with Koller.

Initial descent...

Uli Hesse-Lichtenberger in Germany

The annual pre-season guide published by kicker magazine lists every Bundesliga club's trophies. Even Mainz has an entry under the heading "Titles", namely: 1982 German Amateur Champions. (An honour handed out between 1950 and 1998.) Currently, there are only three teams in the top flight for which kicker does not list a single title. They are 1899 Hoffenheim, SC Freiburg and VfL Bochum. And following Saturday's home defeat at the hands of the 1982 German Amateur Champions, all the signs are Bochum still won't have a title when kicker publishes its next pre-season guide.

Maybe they'll even no longer be a Bundesliga club.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Russia: Good for a Chuckle

Much More on the Manchester Derby

Hughes fumes over extra-time add ons

Phil McNulty:
Ferguson revels in classic win

Bellamy faces police and FA inquires after run-in with United fan

Lee Dixon:
Fantastic derby, awful defending

Owen wipes Tevez from United history books

Monday MLS Breakdown: Spoiling for a Playoff Fight

In the midst of a tightly packed playoff race, the four teams adrift at the bottom of the league could play a vital role in determining which sides reach the postseason. Kyle McCarthy examines the role of the spoiler and surveys the remaining fixtures before tackling the Week 27 happenings.

Teams of the Week in Serie A & Bundesliga

Serie A Team of the Week

Bundesliga Team of the Week

Germany: Bundesliga Weekend Roundups



Spain: La Liga Weekend Reviews



Italy: Serie A Round-Up

Sampdoria maintained their 100 per cent record, while Inter Milan and AC Milan secured victories.