Friday, November 02, 2012

Friday. What a Week. Bloody Hell.

Good Grief. 

We've been feverish (literally) all bloody week. Throw in some Clattenburg, some crazy Cup action, 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy), SSN Special Advisor Grant Tennille stepping down from his 17-year + position with a United States Corporate Giant Icon to follow his love of the bean, and we're ready for things to simmer (literally) down a bit.

But, no. We've got loads of great action this weekend, beginning with Arsenal's trip to Old Trafford. Louise Taylor has the Talking Points for the EPL weekend, so let's get those out of the way. Georgina Turner wants to talk about Arsenal. The floor is yours, Georgina.

As a fair amount of SSN regulars support either Arsenal or Manchester United, here's a preview. And another. Check it: RVP turned down a mega-deal at City to join United! How about that? If you care to check out the fare from the USA, head to ESPN2 at 8:45am EDT tomorrow.
Solid Old Man Hair, Something About Mary Hair, Fake Hair
And Liverpool host Newcastle. Now, that should be interesting. Will Demba Ba play? Who knows? That one is on Sunday.

Here's preview for the weekend.

And Lawro want's to tell us what will happen. And so does Mr. Merson. Thanks, guys.

Elsewhere around Europe fixtures that raise a brow include Valencia hosting Atlético Madrid, Juventus vs. Inter Milan (Derby d' Italia!), and Hamburg vs. Bayern Munich.

Returning to more local issues, it would appear that the Galaxy from Los Angeles won their playoff match last night. For some reason there's no Forecast today so...sorry, we suppose? Anyway, the big one tonight is Seattle vs. Real Salt Lake. And then the other teams that are left play tomorrow and Sunday. Here's the official site.

More racism! This time in Austria! Bleh. Let's cheer up by checking in with Martin Tyler.

OK! Let's end this madness. Sid Lowe wants to talk about scoring sensation Radamel "The Tiger" Falcao. When Sid talks, you bloody well listenThe Joy of Six is Penalty Shootouts, here's a lovely little piece of interest: Premier League Goals By Nationality. Norway? Ole Gunnar!

That's your lot! Enjoy the weekend. We'll leave you with an article from the legendary When Saturday ComesOne Livorno fan's lonely journey across Italy.



Thursday, November 01, 2012

Capital One Festival of Goal Insanity, Serie A, Clattenburg Crap

Now that's a bit funny, innit?
OK, so it finally emerged that Clatterburg is accused of saying, "shut it, monkey" to Mikel. The ref claims he did not say that. Look for this to drag on far too long. What a shitstorm. Speaking of shitstorms, at the Chelsea/Manchester United match last night, a Chelsea fan was caught on camera making what certainly appears to be monkey gesture (see below). Pure class, that club. No word if the Chelsea fans attacked their own stewards this time out.
There's our man. Lovely...
There was actual football played, we can certainly tell you that. And it was fantastic, yet again. This time out it was Chelsea who took the win, and like yesterday's Reading/Arsenal insanity, it went to extra time. Henry Winter was there to view all the excitement. His colleague Jim White says the classic drama of Chelsea's 5-4 victory over Manchester United is the perfect antidote to all the poison. Hmmm. Anecdote might be a bit of a strong term to use. It certainly was nice, but this crap is not going away.

Daniel Taylor was also at The Bridge, and you can check out all the highlights here. And don't forget the iconic Richard Williams' report.

There were two other matches in the What's in Your Wallet Cup yesterday. Tottenham lost as Clint Dempsey missed a penalty. And Liverpool lost as Joe Cole had a howler. Here's the draw for the next round. Leeds play Chelsea. Oh, dear. Prepare the in-stadium jail.

Over in Italy, Serie A was in full gear. Paolo Bandini does a wonderful job keeping us in the loop. And we'll throw in a wrap for good measure.

In the City of Chicago, the Fire lost to the Dynamo. We sent SSN's man on the ground in the Windy City Bobbie S. down to Toyota Park to check out the action. Hopefully he'll submit a report if he's not too hungover.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Hah! Hah! Hah!

That's it.



Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Capital One Festival of Goal Insanity, Serie A, USA Women = New Gaffer

Hello. La Gripe has invaded the SSN Headquarters so we'll try to be brief. Did you watch the League Cup match between Reading and Arsenal yesterday? We had it on in the background whilst taking care of other business. And we're pleased as punch that we did. Suffice to say, it was INSANE. Highlights are here. The score? Look up. It would appear that Arsenal won the first set.

The match was so weird that Francis Coquelin and Olivier Giroud threw their shirts to the traveling Arsenal fans because it was 4-4 at the end of regulation and they thought they'd earned a replay. But there are no replays at this stage of the competition. So they had to ask for them back...

Today brings the potential for another entertaining fixture as Chelsea and Manchester United clash again at Stamford Bridge. How many cards will this one produce? Security has been beefed ahead of the game. Here's a preview. You've also got Norwich/Tottenham and Liverpool/Swansea. Not bad for a League Cup Wednesday. Not bad at all.

You want more of the Clattenburg crap? Sure you do. Here. Sam Wallace says Chelsea face a referee backlash if the accusations against Mark Clattenburg are baseless. Daniel Taylor says Chelsea can't afford to be wrong with this one. No shit.

The United States' women's team has a new gaffer. His name is Tom Sermanni. Jeff Carlisle says he's a fine choice. Well, then. Fine.

Problems in the Premier League? Not when foreign cash keeps flooding in. The BBC's David Bond looks at all the money (Thanks, NBC!) being paid to show the game across the globe.

Major League Soccer playoffs begin tonight in Chicago. Grant Wahl wants to make some predictions, including KC to win the whole shebang.

There are domestic cup competitions going on in Spain and Germany, but we don't have the time to worry about that. Barcelona won their match, OK? Iniesta scored. Great. However, in Italy, there is Serie A midweek action. Yesterday, AC Milan went down by two goals to Palermo before scraping to a draw. Here's a report. Everyone else plays today. Here's a preview.




Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Clattenburg Chaos Continues, More Superclásico, Americans Abroad

We promised yesterday that we'd look back more extensively at the River Plate/Boca Juniors match from the weekend. Jonathan Wilson was at Estadio Monumental. Tim Vickery? We're not sure he was actually at the match, but he's in South America and has his opinion.

Morgan and Leroux do their best Maroney and Douglas.
It's Tuesday and that means we keep an eye on the top scribes around the top leagues. Phil Ball is in Spain (Golden Oldies!) . So is Sid Lowe (Bilbao's crisis deepens!) . Rafa Honigstein is in Germany (Leverkusen win at Bayern Munich!). Paolo Bandini is in Italy (poor officiating!).

Geez, Louise. This Mark Clatterburg racism charge thingy is just too weird. What did he say? Did he say anything? Louise Taylor looks at his history. This is the completely worthless youtube clip that's making the rounds. Thanks! All sorted. Anyway, here's what all the papers say. As usual, Henry Winter has a sound take on the situation. And the cops are getting involved. He denies, it of course.

OK, enough of all that rubbish. Do Americans play in Europe? You bet they do.

What's in your wallet? The Capital One Cup resumes today. There are some decent matches but the big one is tomorrow when Manchester United and Chelsea play again at Stamford Bridge. Nice. We'll look  at that more closely tomorrow. For now, James Lawton says this: Chelsea v Manchester United horrors typical of a game diving into the gutter.

The United States women have some funny Halloween costumes. We like Wambach's Top Gun the best.

Sticking in the U.S., we'll finish today with another look at the Major League Soccer playoffs. Break it down like this.

Wait! Football Weekly! That means all of this: It's controversy all the way on today's Football Weekly, and not just because Barney Ronay's in the pod on particularly pugnacious form. Also keeping James Richardson company in near-Earth orbit are Amy Lawrence and Gregg Bakowski, and we begin by discussing the goals, red cards and more in Manchester United's victory over Chelsea. Next up, it's the Merseyside derby – a game similarly replete with incident – as well as Arsenal's 1-0 win over QPR, which was only marginally less dramatic than the club's AGM, and the rest of the drama from the Premier League. Finally, we round up the action from around Europe, hear from Sid Lowe in a taxi and – definitely worth waiting for – there's Barney's zinger about Walter Zenga.



Monday, October 29, 2012

Great Games, Ref Racism?, NYTimes Terry, EPL on TV in the USA to NBC, Superclásico

Happy Monday, folks. The New York Times has a long piece on John Terry. It a pretty solid summation of the clown. Have a go, if you'd like.

As if all the racism insanity isn't enough, we get to cruise out of the weekend on the wings of the accusation that Mark Clattenburg used racist language toward some Chelsea players. We're at a loss for words. What the hell is going on? Here's a piece on the accusation, and Phil McNulty's view.

Now he has to respond to that accusation AND the fact that he made some terrible decisions that enabled Manchester United to take the match 2-3 against a Chelsea side that finished with nine men. Exactly why Manchester United get everything gifted to them is something we've yet to understand. Yet there is was again at Stamford Bridge. With momentum swinging Chelsea's way, the ref and his assistants intervened to make sure the Reds ran out winners. Henry Winter was there, and as he put it, the match was "sublime, grubby, and surreal." Yes, Ivanovic had to go. Torres did not. And The Little Pea got the winner from an offside position. All that said, it was a blast to view, and all of us at SSN Headquarters thoroughly enjoyed the spectacle. Daniel Taylor was there. And Richard Williams. As was my buddy Ryan. Wanker. His photo from The Bridge is above.

Normally we'd be satisfied with one epic encounter on the weekend but we were treated to two. It was a hell of a Sunday. The Merseyside Derby rocked. Is it just us or has this match been dull of late? No matter, this one had everything, including another glaring mistake from a linesman, this one on Suarez's last-minute winner that was incorrectly called off for offside. This match even had Phil Neville booked for diving. Phil Neville! It was hilarious, is has to be said. Suarez did have a goal that stood and his celebration of a mock dive in front of the Liverpool faithful was funny. It really was. Andy Hunter was there. As was Richard JollyIt ended in a draw.

Here are 10 Talking Points (we do not agree with Rob Smyth). And Daniel Taylor on Arsenal's issues, if you care to read about things about which you've already read...

Hey! NBC. Yes, NBC will be broadcasting the Premier League in the U.S. beginning in 2013/14. No more FOX or ESPN. Things are getting interesting...

Major League Soccer. Our league. The regular season if over. The playoffs await. Here's The Breakdown. 

Spain: Barca, Atl. Madrid, Real Madrid win. Messi, Ronaldo (yawn) score. That's a wrap.
Italy: Juve, Napoli, Inter, AC Milan win but there was more ref controversy. That's a wrap.

The Superclásico in Buenos Aires took place this weekend as well. Sam Kelly had a nice preview. And here's a post view. Apparently pigs flew at Estadio Monumental. We'll get Tim Vickery's view tomorrow.

Sid Lowe has a lovely column on Málaga. Thanks, Sid!

Right! That's your lot for Monday.