Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Football Weekly, Golden Balls, Juventus vs. Chelsea, Hammers and Potters, Phil, Sid, Rafa, Paolo, Tim

Ahoy! Podcast. Football Weekly: James Richardson's joined by Barry Glendenning, Gregg Bakowski and Twitter's latest arrival, Amy Lawrence. We start with the action at the top of the Premier League, with Arsenal tonking Tottenham and Manchester City hitting top spot after United lost at Norwich. Next, we turn to the Champions League, where Chelsea – fresh from defeat at West Brom – have another tricky fixture at Juventus. Finally, an angry Michael Hann comes in to tell us how dreadful things are under Mark Hughes at QPR, now 4 points adrift at the bottom after losing 3-1 at home to Southampton. All that plus Sid Lowe, breastfeeding, and Snoop Lion (née Dogg) buying into Celtic.

Make it stop...
Monday Night Football: West Ham drew with Stoke in a decent match. We took it in and were not terribly disappointed. Yelling at a television containing images of Sam Allardyce can be quite therapeutic. David Hytner was there. Here's the current table.

David Beckham has announced that he will leave the Galaxy after the MLS Cup match. How will the league cope without its biggest star? Jeff Carlisle thinks about it. Richard Williams reckons Golden Balls has one more gig left in his pants before he leaves the pitch for good. And here's the view from Beckham expert Grant Wahl.

Phil Ball and Sid Lowe are in Spain, don't you know? Phil wants to talk some Benzema. Sid wants you to remember somebody named José Antonio Reyes. Who? Yes, him. He played a big part in the  Seville Derby! Check out his goal after just 12 seconds. Kick-off, back to keeper, keep to Reyes, goal. Oops.

Raphael Honigstein is in Germany where Schalke lost to leave Bayern Munich eight points clear at the top. Done and dusted, then.

Paolo Bandini is in Italy where Sampdoria beat Genoa to claim honors in the Lighthouse Derby. Word is Samp have a bit of young talent. Hmmm.

Right! There are matches today, and a couple of them matter a bit. The biggie is Juventus vs. Chelsea. Torres to be dropped? Di Mateo on his way out? The pressure is on! Richard Williams is already in Turin getting ready for the clash. He's got his mind on Pirlo. Don't we all?

Elsewhere, Manchester United return to "hell" but they'll play a reserve side, and Celtic go to Benfica. Here's a look at all the groups. Ben Lyttleton is correct when he claims the Champions League group stage is approaching a climactic finish. 

Let's finish with Tim Vickery down in Brazil. This week, Tim investigates why the Brazil club matches attract fewer folks than MLS matches. Here are some hints: The calendar is badly organised, the cost of tickets has risen too much, pricing many out of the game, and people of all income levels are preferring to watch the games on TV either at home or in bars. The timing of games does not help - 21:50 at night is too late and in the big cities, 19:30 on a midweek evening is too early. But for all the blame that can be heaped on the organisation and the facilities, the mentality of the fans themselves is also part of the problem.

Right! Off you go!



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