Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Di Matteo Gets Di Sack

You're not surprised, are you? Chelsea lost in Turin last night and it would seem Roman has had enough of his latest gaffer. You're fired, Roberto. So what now? Guardiola? Benítez? Why would anyone want that job? Here's a nice rundown of sacked Chelsea managers. And Phil McNulty on the issue at hand.

OK, what else happened? Shak won their match so it does look like Chelsea will exit the Champions League sooner rather than later. Shak used a heavy dose of unsportsmanlike conduct to get their win, however. Check out this goal. Not in the spirit of football, indeed.

Celtic lost at Benfica, Manchester United Light lost at Galatasaray, and Messi scored twice (yawn) as Barcelona cruised. Here's the latest group update.

Today we've got Manchester City vs. Real Madrid (Ronny Returns to Manchester!), Arsenal vs. Montpelier, Ajax vs. Dortmund, and AC Milan vs. Anderlecht. And a couple more. There's absolutely no reason you should be working this afternoon. Take the time to watch some footie. It's a Thanksgiving tradition.

Thierry Henry might come back to Arsenal yet again. Here, check it out if you wish.

And that's really all that's happening today. Apart from the Champions League and Chelsea, it's all a bit quiet. Let's end with Martin Samuel. He's wondering if Luis Suarez can really be Player of the Year.



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!



Monday, November 19, 2012

Weekend Review, MNF, Snoop Wants Celtic Scarf, Gazza in Italy, MLS, Chelsea Crisis?, Pirlo

Well, that was quite the weekend, huh? Where else to start but the Emirates Stadium? You simply knew Adebayor would score when he was listed on the team sheet for Spurs. What you didn't know, was that he would continue his now alarmingly common penchant for violence in a manner that would push the self destruct button for his team. Arsenal had their usual poor start and Spurs looked ready to dominate the proceedings until Ade struck. His best performance for the Gunners? Depends on your perspective, we suppose... Daniel Taylor was there.  Jonny Boyle looks back at the tactics. We told you Friday to expect goals. Turns out there were seven.

Elsewhere Manchester United lost at Delia Smith's house which allowed Manchester City to go top after their romp against Villa, Chelsea also lost on the road (crisis??!!???!!), and Luis Suarez led Liverpool  to victory. Five things we learned. Ten talking points.

L.A. Galaxy are going back to the MLS Cup Final again. They defeated Seattle on aggregate and will now face Houston Dynamo in a couple of weeks. Where is that match, you ask? At the Home Depot Center -- the Galaxy's stadium. 

And you don't stop. And you don't quit. Cheuh.
OK. Europe. Italy. Inter are angry about their draw with Catania, Fiorentina continued their good form thanks to Liverpool outcast Aquilani, Juve and Lazio drew, and Napoli and AC Milan drew. More tomorrow from Paolo. In Spain, as you might expect, Barcelona and Real Madrid both cruised to wins. The only shocker was that while Real scored five, Ronaldo didn't get any of them. And...Messi scored twice. More tomorrow from Sid and Phil.

Snoop Doggy Dog uh ogg. One, two, three and to the four. The biggest footy fan in the world of rap wants a piece of that icky icky Celtic shit. Read about it.

If you have any desire to see Tony Pulis and Sam Allardyce at the same time, you're in luck. Check out Monday Night Football this afternoon. West Ham host Stoke City. 

Let's recall an era when Britain fell in love with Italian football and Italy fell in love with the madcap antics of Paul Gascoigne, shall we?

And then we're left with Andrea Pirlo. The Daily Mail has an exclusive. We now know Pirlo's favorite English player is Wayne Rooney. His top teammate? It has to be Maldini.

That's your Monday! Relax, it's a short week.