Friday, July 02, 2010

Richard Williams: The method in Diego Maradona's madness

Diego Maradona was close to dying in 2004 but now his clever man-management can lead Argentina to a third World Cup.

The Joy of Six: World Cup Refereeing Controversies

Crowds regularly question referees' parentage – here are six World Cup occasions when they may have had a point.

The Mill

Friday's Rumours

Friday MLS Forecast

The Forecast discusses the annual June-July purge before unveiling its Week 14 selections.

Manchester City sign Yaya Toure from Barcelona

The 28-year-old finalised his move to Eastlands this week following the end of his country's involvement in the World Cup.

The signing is City's second of the week following the capture of David Silva from Valencia and unites Toure with his brother Kolo, the club's captain.

2010 FIFA World Cup: Quarterfinal Previews


Netherlands vs. Brazil
(10am EDT)
Preview I
Preview II
Preview III
Team News
Hirshey: It's worthy of a final

Ghana vs. Uruguay (2:30pm EDT)
Preview I
Preview II
Edwards: Black Stars' potential moment of history
Unfancied Uruguay eye history


Germany vs. Argentina (10am EDT)
Preview I
Preview II
Messi vows to win for Oasis

Paraguay vs. Spain (2:30pm EDT)
Preview I
Preview II

Thursday, July 01, 2010

SSN Official Prediction: Argentina vs. Germany

Maradona takes a swing at Desmond Tutu, Oliver Kahn and Jens Lehmann land on the pitch via helicopter, jump out and start tazering Argentine players, Tevez whips out an M-16 A1 with a M-203 grenade launcher a la Tony Montana and fires indiscriminately around the stadium, Heinze and Schweinsteiger endlessly poke each other in the chest saying, "no, YOU started it," Lahm and Agüero try to prove that dwarfs can fight too, Jonás Gutiérrez and Demichelis try to enter the fray but get wrapped up in each others hair, Beckenbauer is roundly ignored while standing at the center circle yelling, "Stop! Stop I say! I am Der Kaiser!", David Hasselhoff staggers in shitfaced and demands to see a menu, and Joachim Löw and Lionel Messi sneak away for a tender moment together amidst the mayhem...

Bill Simmons: Soccer is ready to capture our attention

Am I really posting a 4,500-word soccer column on the same day all hell is breaking loose for the biggest NBA summer ever? You're damn right I am! I'm tired of wondering where LeBron, Wade, Nowitzki and everyone else will land. I'm even more tired of people reporting about things that might happen, could happen or seem likely to happen. Just tell me when they happen. Thanks. In the meantime, let's play 20 Questions with the 2010 World Cup.

Diego Maradona Mocks Bastian Schweinsteiger In A German Accent

'El Pelusa' then faced directly into the camera and in his best imitation of a Teutonic accent posed the question to the German: "What's the matter Schweinsteiger? Are you nervoushh?"

Arsenal unveil environmentally-friendly retro new home kit

Arsene Wenger's side will return to the familiar and popular block red body with a white round neck collar and white sleeves, and every shirt is made entirely from recycled polyester crafted from up to eight plastic water bottles as part of Nike's 'Considered Design' programme.

Jeff Bradley: Previewing the Quarterfinals

We're getting down to the business end of the tournament, with the quarterfinals set to kick off on Friday. Here's everything you need to know about each match.


The former Manchester United star is being lined up for a role as an evil alien alongside Time Lord Matt Smith.

Tim Vickery: When the Dutch led the way

But the really important contest - the one whose repercussions continue to ripple through the game - was the meeting in West Germany in 1974. In what was effectively a semi-final, the Netherlands won 2-0 while a frustrated Brazil, the reigning world champions, resorted to a full repertoire of rugby tackles and body checks.

The Mill

Thursday's Rumours

Sean Ingle: South America boosted by travel, hard work … and luck

South American teams have players based in Europe and a tough qualifying competition but an easy draw never hurts.

Paul Hayward: Ghana primed for one giant leap into World Cup aristocracy

The Black Stars carry Africa's hopes as the World Cup's powerhouses gather their stride towards the final.

Kevin McCarra: Dunga may soon be on a footing with Franz Beckenbauer

Brazil's much-maligned manager has packed a lot into his four years and may be about to graduate with honour.

England's fear of crossing borders

Most, if not all, of the England squad will eventually return home to once again prepare for another season of toil in the familiar surroundings of the Premier League.

Rooney will head to Manchester United's Carrington training ground, a mere 30-odd miles from his hometown of Liverpool, while John Terry will don Chelsea's colours, the club whose youth team he joined from West Ham in 1995.

And therein lies the national team's problem, according to Chris Waddle.

Roy Hodgson leaves Fulham to become Liverpool manager

Roy Hodgson has been named Liverpool's new manager after signing a three-year contract with the Anfield club.

"This is the biggest job in club football and I'm honoured to be taking on Britain's most successful football club," Hodgson told the club's website.

Back in his Inter days with Paul Ince...

Tyler staying with ESPN for 2014

"I'm not an evangelist. I believe in the game. It's not for me to tell people who don't believe. I'm not trying to change nonbelievers," he said. "I do think there is a fear of football, which is ridiculous. In a country as vast and as wonderful as yours, there is room for so much more sports than you have. ... We think we have over 100 full-time football teams in our country, on our little island, and because you don't have any relegation, you don't have the wherewithal for small towns to come in and become big towns."

Javier Aguirre Resigns As Mexico Coach

After three days of uncertainty since his side’s exit, Aguirre has confirmed at a press conference in Mexico City on Wednesday that he will be stepping down from his post, meaning the talented Mexican squad will now have its fifth coach in as many years.

Nigerian team suspended for poor play

The president of Nigeria has suspended the national soccer team from international competition for two years after a poor showing at the World Cup.

The Super Eagles haven't won a World Cup match since 1998, going out with two losses and a draw in 2002 and failing to qualify for Germany 2006.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan...

Nigerian Football Hits New Low

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan must be a brave man. I've travelled to 80-odd countries and nowhere have I ever found such seething energy as in Nigeria - an electricity which translates into both rampant passion and expectation when applied to football.

While covering the 2000 Africa Cup of Nations, I'll never forget the outrage of Nigerian fans who - infuriated by the hosts' failure to beat group rivals Congo - smashed the team bus and were only prevented from accessing the dressing rooms by volleys of tear gas.

Germans: Argentina shows no respect

Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger accuses World Cup quarterfinals rival Argentina of showing no respect for opponents and referees, and urges his teammates not to be provoked.

Schweinsteiger also accused Argentine fans of taking the places of others in the stadiums and refusing to move. It was not clear where he got his evidence from.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Henry Winter: Fabio Capello's five-star failures can have few complaints

The England fan would be stunned by the great lengths and immense expense the FA went to in feeding, tending and trying to amuse the players. It's not just the supporters who should feel let down. It's the FA.

Thomas Muller slams England 'alpha male' culture

''England have so many top stars in their squad that they will always be part and parcel of the international football scene,'' reflected Muller.

''But there are so many 'alpha males'. It is difficult to have so many 'alpha males' and have them row in the same direction"

''You don't only need only chiefs, you also need a few Indians"

''You need people who are ready and willing to do the hard work."

Garth Crooks' team of the last 16

We're down to the final eight now but it's still unclear who is likely to come out on top. Brazil and Argentina have looked good but so have the Netherlands, Spain and Germany.

Here's my Team of the Round of 16:

Phil McNulty: Hodgson perfect for Liverpool

As Roy Hodgson attempted to give his nomadic career new direction with a spell in the United Arab Emirates earlier this decade, the notion of Liverpool and England fighting for his services seemed a distant prospect.

The Mill

Wednesday's Rumours

Amy Lawrence: Cristiano Ronaldo's exit confirms curse of the Nike ad

A goalless second-round showing from poster boy Cristiano Ronaldo makes him the latest to fall short of the pre-tournament hype.

Experiment with mass import of foreign expertise has run its course

Fabio Capello and his Italian cabal has the FA considering the insanity of blocking the road to English coaches.

FIFA drops refs who made biggest mistakes

The World Cup’s worst referees were sent packing on Tuesday as soccer’s governing body tried to cut down on the glaring errors that have plagued the tournament.

Wednesday's World Cup round-up

Uruguay's success has been enjoyed by the the people of the gritty mining city of Kimberley, where the quarter-finalists set up base camp high on South Africa's central plains at the launch of their campaign. So much so that the Uruguayan Football Association plans to develop the links forged by setting up coaching schemes in the area and inviting the best youngsters to Uruguay.

Disputed plays at 2010 World Cup

Disputed plays have always been a part of the World Cup, but the blatant missed calls—and the impact they’ve had—have led FIFA president Sepp Blatter to announce that soccer’s governing body will reconsider the use of high-tech solutions to help referees.

A look at the plays that have sparked controversy in South Africa:

2010 FIFA World Cup: Tuesday's Action

Japan 0 - 0 Paraguay (3-5 Penalties)

Sean Ingle at Loftus Versfeld Stadium


Spain 1 - 0 Portugal

Daniel Taylor at Green Point Stadium


Spanish media hail Villa

Chris Bevan: Spain move up a gear
Dan Wetzel: Ronaldo deserves boos

Ronaldo broken man after defeat

Manchester City agree deal for David Silva

Manchester City are set to sign Spanish international winger David Silva from Valencia for an undisclosed fee.

City have agreed a five-year deal with the 24-year-old, who will complete a medical and sign for the club once his involvement in the World Cup is over.

What have I done?!

Blatter open to technology

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has apologised to the Football Association over Frank Lampard's "goal" for England against Germany and said FIFA "will naturally take on board the discussion on technology and will have the first opportunity to discuss this in July at the business meeting of the International FA Board''.

So many highs, so few lows

As we edge toward the World Cup quarterfinals, now seems like a perfect time to take a breath, put down our vuvuzelas and discuss what we've seen so far in this tournament.

It certainly hasn't lacked in excitement, drama or foolishness. So here's a look at the best and worst stories so far of the World Cup.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Why the Dutch aren't buying the Holland hype

World Cup 2010 is a marketing bonanza but if only the safety-first Holland team played a little more … Dutch

England: Price of Failure

A "MEGA Sale on England" was launched yesterday as stores, supermarkets and pubs counted the £1.2billion cost of World Cup failure. Shirts were sold at £3 while £32 car kits of flags, key rings and stickers cost £2.

England: Fallout

England return weary and humiliated

Richard Williams: Ten things Capello got wrong
Henry Winter: Ten ways to save English football

Roy Keane: England players get away with murder

Phil McNulty: What went wrong?
Kevin McCarra: Is there a better option?

Mick McCarthy: Not as good as sum of their parts

Paul Hayward: England re-enact a drama of a failure

Best and Worst Quotes

United States: Fallout

Missed Opportunity
Consistent to the Death

Wahl: Expectations met but missed opportunity
Rogers: Bradley's future in doubt
Carlisle: What is the future?
Davis: Lineup choices questionable

Team scatters, ponders what might have been


2010 FIFA World Cup: Seven players who've impressed

With the tournament now past the halfway point, several first-time participants have made considerable waves. Below are the gentlemen who have impressed the most.

Roy Hodgson poised to become new Liverpool manager

Roy Hodgson is set to be appointed Liverpool's new manager by Thursday, BBC Sport understands.

The Mill

Tuesday's Rumours

2010 FIFA World Cup: Tuesday's Previews

Spain vs. Portugal
Preview I
Preview II
Richard Williams: Torres & Ronaldo seek fullfillment
Phil Minshull: Spain debates Torres dilemma
Sid Lowe: Torres turning into Spanish Heskey

Paraguay vs. Japan

Preview I
Preview II

2010 FIFA World Cup: Monday's Action

Netherlands 2 - 1 Slovakia

Daniel Taylor at Moses Mabhida Stadium

Brazil 3 - 0 Chile
Paul Wilson at Ellis Park
Sean Ingle: Fabiano keeps on scoring
Paul Fletcher: Robinho proves his worth

2010 FIFA World Cup: The Rest of the Weekend Action

Uruguay 2 - 1 South Korea

Daniel Taylor at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium

Argentina 3 - 1 Mexico
Paul Wilson at Soccer City

2010 FIFA World Cup: Germany 4 - 1 England

Kevin McCarra at Free State Stadium


Five reasons why England were embarrassed

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