Saturday, December 26, 2009

England: Premier League Weekend Preview

Roberto Mancini makes his bow as Manchester City manager on Boxing Day then 24 hours later Arsenal host Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium. Elsewhere on this festive weekend of footballing action, bottom two teams West Ham United and Portsmouth go head-to-head, league leaders Chelsea make the trip to Birmingham City, out-of-form Liverpool lock horns with in-form Wolverhampton Wanderers while Fulham meet London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Enjoying the Holidays

And some much needed time off. Still not much going on in the world so it's fine time to relax. Some big matches this weekend that I'll preview at some point.
Until then...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Travel Day

Not much going on out there anyway. A good day to take off...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Mill +

Tuesday's Rumours


Sid Lowe in Spain

Real Madrid's 6-0 thrashing of Real Zaragoza showed the team in fine form as the Spanish season reached the halfway mark.

Real Madrid finally win and convince but Barcelona still lead the way.

Raphael Honigstein in Germany

The perennial runners-up dubbed Neverkusen have broken the mould but have a lot to do to still be top in May.

Autumn champions Leverkusen are still tipped for a fall.

Paolo Bandini in Italy

The under-fire coach has vowed to fight on despite the 2-1 home defeat to Catania – Juve's fifth loss in six matches.

Big chill hits Serie A but Ciro Ferrara refuses to be frozen out at Juventus.

Americans In The UK: Beasley On The Rise

Beasley scored twice last week, pacing Rangers to a double shot of victories.

The Rest

Americans On The Continent: Bad Break

Michael Bradley and Steve Cherundolo were unable to end 2009 with a victory as their respective sides both fell 3-2 over the weekend in the last matches before the winter break.

The Rest

Arsène Wenger fears US tourist trap for Arsenal

The biggest single shareholder, Stan Kroenke, is exerting the kind of influence over the club that suggests his full ownership will only be a matter of time, and the American wants Arsenal stateside next summer.

Carlisle: Europe no longer a straightforward decision for MLS players

"Should I stay or should I go?" is a question usually reserved for people in rocky relationships or legendary punk rock bands. But with the World Cup now a scant six months away, it's an issue facing several members of the U.S. men's national team, especially those MLS performers currently pondering moves to overseas clubs.

Dominic Raynor: Ten Best Players of the Decade

Whittling the best footballers of the decade down to just ten representatives was something of an arduous, if enjoyable, task here at Soccernet towers. But, following plenty of arguments, rolling of eyes and whistles of disbelief we eventually settled on the final ten...

Phil Ball Not in Spain

Do you want to hear about Brent Cross Shopping Centre in London, on a snowy Monday afternoon? Didn't think you did. But it's part the reason for the late delivery of this week's La Liga piece. It never fails to amaze me in England, but the appearance of a few snowflakes seems to convert the county into a collective hissy-fit, as if it had never seen the stuff before. Whilst in Scandinavia all functions smoothly at 20 below, and in any other European country with a vaguely organized infrastructure life goes on without a shrug, in England the whole thing comes to a neurotic halt. Bizarre. It makes Spain look like a pillar of organization.

Monday, December 21, 2009

More on Man City

Gabriele Marcotti: Mancini brings temper and talent

"Betrayed" Hughes to get nice pay-out

Oliver Kay: Ruthless Arab owners still among best of lot

Lost confidence after seven straight draws

Richard Williams: Mancini brings winning habit

The Mill +

Monday's Rumours


Five things we learned from the Premier League this weekend

Who's a canny manager then? Avram Grant, Mick McCarthy, Roy Hodgson and Steve Bruce all pass muster while on the pitch Michael Owen continues to miss his targets.

Kris Boyd backs DaMarcus Beasley to make World Cup squad

DaMarcus Beasley could play himself into a World Cup encounter with England this summer and save his Rangers career at the same time, according to his Ibrox team-mate, Kris Boyd, who watched the United States player score his second goal in two games.

Monday MLS Breakdown: A Snowy Weekend Reminder for Sepp Blatter

FIFA president Sepp Blatter believes MLS should eventually transition to the European calendar. This weekend's Nor'easter is just one example of why Blatter is off the mark, according to Kyle McCarthy.

Spain: La Liga Weekend Reviews

Real Madrid kept up the pressure at the top of the table, while third-placed Sevilla slumped to a surprise home defeat.

Malaga boosted their survival hopes with a shock victory over Real Mallorca while Espanyol overcame fellow strugglers Almeria.

Italy: Serie A Weekend Review + Team of the Week

League leaders Inter Milan claimed the spoils at home to struggling Lazio to open up an eight-point lead at the Serie A summit.

Elsewhere, Juventus suffered a shock home defeat at the hands of Catania, Roma climbed above Parma and Livorno triumphed against Sampdoria.


Team of the Week

England: Premier League Weekend Review + Table

The Manchester City axe that fell on manager Mark Hughes helped detract from another shocking result for Liverpool and a heavy defeat suffered by the Premier League champions Manchester United.


Pos Team Played Points
1 Chelsea 18 41
2 Manchester United 18 37
3 Arsenal 17 35
4 Aston Villa 18 35
5 Tottenham Hotspur 18 33
6 Manchester City 17 29
7 Birmingham City 18 28
8 Liverpool 18 27
9 Fulham 17 26
10 Sunderland 18 21
11 Stoke City 17 21
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers 18 19
13 Blackburn Rovers 18 19
14 Burnley 18 19
15 Everton 17 18
16 Wigan Athletic 17 18
17 Hull City 18 17
18 Bolton Wanderers 16 16
19 West Ham United 18 15
20 Portsmouth 18 14

England: Premier League Special Reports

Fulham 3 - 0 Manchester United
Williams: No quick fix for broken defense

West Ham 1 - 1 Chelsea
McCarra: A tale of two penalties

Blackburn 0 - 2 Tottenham
Jolly: Typical Tottenham change the record

Arsenal 3 - 0 Hull City

Palmer: Gunners show much needed grit

Sparky's dream ends as Hughes is axed by Manchester City

In a statement issued by the League Managers' Association he said: "Notwithstanding media coverage to the contrary I was given no forewarning as to the club's decision.

"Given the speed with which my successor's appointment was announced it would appear the club had made its decision some considerable time ago.

"I am extremely disappointed not to have been given the opportunity to see through my plans at the club.