Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Inter confirm Benitez dismissal

A club statement read: "Inter Milan and Rafael Benitez can announce that they have reached a mutually satisfactory agreement for the early termination of his contract.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sid Lowe in Spain

The 5-1 win was the kind of brilliant that often goes unnoticed, the kind that destroys the clichés and facile assumptions.

Barcelona were brilliant at Espanyol. But this was another kind of brilliant.

Martin Rogers: Galaxy willing to work with Beckham

The Los Angeles Galaxy hope to reach a compromise with David Beckham over the England midfielder’s wish to return to Europe for a loan during the MLS offseason. Instead of allowing Beckham to embark upon a full loan which would see him play matches for another team, the Galaxy may permit him to train in Europe, like he did with Arsenal in 2007, which should be enough to keep him happy.

The Mill +

Tuesday's Rumours


Americans In The UK: Snow Days

Only Stuart Holden and Jonathan Spector saw action last week as snow ravaged the soccer schedule across the pond.

The Rest

Americans On The Continent: Back in Uniform

It was a landmark day for Charlie Davies as he dressed for Sochaux for the first time since October after his terrible accident.

The Rest

Manchester City striker and Golden Boy award winner Mario Balotelli says 'only Lionel Messi better than me'

"There's only one that is a little stronger than me: Messi," he said. "All the others are behind me. I am delighted to receive the award, but who else would have won if not me?

Paolo Bandini in Italy

'Benítez is out,' proclaims today's Gazzetta dello Sport as Inter hog the headlines despite a Serie A weekend off.

Has Rafael Benítez picked a fight he has no chance of winning at Inter?

Raphael Honigstein in Germany

German football heroically defied the big freeze, while snood-infested, big-girl's-blouse-kind-of-leagues packed it in.

Bayern beat Stuttgart and the cold as Bundesliga delivers goal avalanche. readers' Premier League team of the season so far

Analysis of your player ratings for every league game so far this season ranks Bolton's Stuart Holden as the No1.

Readers' ratings team of the season so far (4-4-2) ...

Richard Kingson (Blackpool); Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United), Leighton Baines (Everton); Samir Nasri (Arsenal), Stuart Holden (Bolton), Luka Modric (Tottenham), Rafael van der Vaart (Tottenham); Johan Elmander (Bolton), Andy Carroll (Newcastle).

England: Monday's Premier League Report

Manchester City
1 - 2

Richard Jolly at City of Manchester Stadium

Phil Ball in Spain

It's true that there's been a lot of focus on Barcelona recently, so I'll try to keep them to a minimum this week. Their 5-1 away win in the Catalan derby, however, warrants an early mention for several reasons - the least significant of which (perhaps) was the fact that they scored five again. It's the fourth occasion in this season's league programme that they've managed 'a little hand', not forgetting the extra three fingers for the eight-goal romp at Almeria.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday Night Football

Manchester City


The Mill +

Monday's Rumours


Georgina Turner on Arsene Wenger

The sacking season is upon us. In the past couple of weeks, Newcastle has fired Chris Hughton and Blackburn Rovers has dismissed Sam Allardyce. It's difficult to believe that at least one more chairman won't mark the turn of the year by pulling the trigger -- Hughton and Allardyce were in mid-table, after all. West Ham's Avram Grant must be nervously running a finger inside his shirt collar.

Arsene Wenger is one manager who will lose no sleep fretting over a call from the office. Wenger, sacked? Unthinkable. So why are there Arsenal fans thinking about just that?

Team USA: January camp a chance to impress

Most of us gaze with only passing interest as U.S. Soccer begins each year with a national team training camp in January -- a month ranking low in domestic soccer happenings.

These January camps may serve a purpose, but they mostly fall into the category of "covering all the bases." It's an opportunity that most national teams don't get, so U.S. coach Bob Bradley happily takes advantage. These camps are all about MLS-based talent, along with talent from Scandinavian leagues on winter break. So the bulk of the ballyhooed difference makers won't be around.

However, maybe we should pay a bit more attention to the 2011 edition, a camp shaping up to be more intriguing than most.

Italy: Serie A Weekend Review

AC Milan saw their lead cut to three points as Napoli and Lazio both took advantage of a slip from the 17-time champions. Juventus failed to join Napoli and Lazio on 33 points as they were pegged back to a 1-1 draw by Chievo.


Spain: La Liga Weekend Review

Angel Di Maria struck 13 minutes from time to sink Sevilla and lift Real Madrid back to within two points of Barcelona. On Saturday, Pedro and David Villa struck a brace apiece as Barcelona brushed aside Espanyol 5-1 in the Catalan derby at Cornella to end their city rivals' perfect home record in the league this season.


Five things we learned from the Premier League this weekend

Why snow makes us pine for orange balls, how Danny Welbeck could help England and why Blackburn may be in trouble.

England: Premier League Weekend Reports

Sunderland 1 - 0 Bolton

Louise Taylor at the Stadium of Light

Blackburn 1 - 1 West Ham
Richard Gibson at Ewood Park

Snowballs stop play and tempers rise during Club Brugge v Anderlecht

Club Brugge fans forced visiting Anderlecht players to return to the dressing room for cover after pelting them with snowballs during the early stages of today's Jupiler League match.

The Fifth Official

Few of us like Mondays but The Fifth Official does, for it brings with it a chance for him to point the finger and laugh. Here he pulls out the pretty, the puzzling and the downright pig-ugly from the past week in football.