Friday, September 20, 2013

Manchester Derby, Rome Derby, Day Off

That's all you get today. Office = Closed.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Chelsea Lose, Ask Keown, Europa League

All eyes on He Who Is Special.
Lionel Messi. Remember that guy? Turns out he's still got it. Another three for the little Argentine last night as Barcelona dispatched of Ajax. That wasn't really unexpected. What was unexpected was Basel beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Ouch. The Special One and his benefactor Roman were dealt a tough blow by the Swiss side. Henry Winter was there

Out in Milan, Celtic made a real go of it but came up short, and down in Marseille, Arsenal came away with a win. Stuart James made the trip to Stade Vélodrome. And here are Three Things that we learned.

In the day's most attractive match (at least on paper), Rafa Benitez's Napoli defeated Borussia Dortmund.  It was all too much for Dortmund's gaffer Klopp who was sent off after this meltdown. Here's a wee wrap of all of yesterday's fun.

Right. If the Champions League was yesteryday, that must mean the Europa League is today. Not terribly exciting, is it? Here's a Five-Step Plan to improve that.

Ask Martin Keown. Go ahead, ask him.

And that's about it on this rather quiet Thursday. Take it easy.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Mark Halsey, Champions League, Yid Chants, Ronny's Teeth

How many times have we called Mark Halsey a wanker over the years? Well over 600 times, we're guessing. The guy is a wanker. That's the deal. Anyway, he wrote a book, apparently, and it confirms what we've said all along. He's a wanker. Marina Hyde takes a look.

Right, so the Champions Group stage got off and running yesterday. Bayern Munich win? Check. Manchester United win? Check. Real Madrid win? Check. Manchester City win? Check. PSG win? Check. Juventus win? No. They drew in Copenhagen. Here's a wrap of yesterday's action. Of note: In United's win last night, Wayne Rooney scored his 200th goal. Here's a look back at 10 of his best. Mr. Fake Hair is also the top English goal scorer in Champions League history. Who are the other nine?

David Moyes is already doing things differently than Fergie. Take a look.

Today's matches include Chelsea/Basel, Marseille/Arsenal, Barcelona/Ajax, and Milan/Celtic. A quick poll taken amongst SSN Staff revealed that the match of the day will probably be Napoli/Dortmund.
We're gonna miss you, old friend.

Oh, no. The Prime Minister has gotten involved. David Cameron said yesterday that it is acceptable for Tottenham fans to use the term "Yid" in their chants.

The Buck-Toothed Jheri-Curled One is now just The Jheri-Curled One. Yes, Ronaldinho got his teeth fixed. It's sad, really. We'll miss the old Ronny.

We'll finish up today with an excellent piece by our friend Laurent Dubois. Professor Dubois writes on the World Cup and how it exhibits the best and the worst.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Champions League, Podcast, Weekend Action, Africa Playoffs Set

Tuesday, friends. Tuesday. This Tuesday is a tad more special than most super-boring Tuesdays because the Champions League Group Stage gets underway. More on that later.

Let's blast off with Jimbo and Co. and his Podcast
. It's the best in the business as far as we're concerned. Here's his intro: On today's Football Weekly, AC Jimbo and Barry Glendenning are joined by Barney Ronay and Michael Cox to cogitate and regurgitate all the bits and bobs from the weekend in the Premier League, including a sparkling debut for Mesut Özil for table-topping Arsenal, Everton's defeat of Chelsea, and more points dropped by Manchester City. Next, we gaze ahead to opening fixtures in the Champions League proper. Will David Moyes be found out in his first European night in charge of Manchester United as they welcome Bayer Leverkusen? Maybe ust go and hide in the bushes to watch them train, like this chap at Genoa. Finally, we hear from Sid Lowe about Gareth Bale's first goal for Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo's eye-watering new contract, and why our exiled friend has no love for Status Quo.

We love Marcotti's Monday Musings. They're nice for Mondays. Trouble is, we don't see them until Tuesday. Regardless, this week he's musing on: Ronaldo's deal, Halsey breaks trust, Young's dive, more. OK, muse on, Marcotti.

Monday Night Football lived up to expectations as John Joe Billy Bob Shelvey had a hand in all four goals of the 2-2 draw between Swansea and Liverpool. It was a fun match, that's for sure. Henry Winter was at the Liberty Stadium. The Reds now top The Table!

O.K. It is Tuesday, after all, and that means the top scribes have filed their reports. Let's begin in Germany, Ja? Raphael Honigstein is over there and he's all over Der Bundesliga. Turns out, although Borussia Dortmund have sold some guys recently, they're still quite good. Quite good. 

They're still blessing the rains down in Africa for some reason. The draw took place to see who would play whom for the right to party in Brazil. Check it.

Dude. Gareth Bale. Real Madrid. Villarreal. You know the gents in Spain are all over it. Phil Ball says this: Bale himself, who continues to look like a vaguely polite schoolboy who has grown inexplicably large overnight, wandered timidly around the pitch looking like he'd lost his satnav. Did you really wonder why we love Phil Ball so? Sticking with Spain, Sid Lowe wants to talk Bilbao. They left the legendary San Mamés last year, but according to Sid, their intoxicating spirit remains despite move next door. 

Over in Italy, Paolo Bandini is on the Serie A scene. He discusses the hilarious story that we posted yesterday regarding Rambo and looks in on all the other weekend action, including the sudden resurgence of Inter Milan.

OK, time to hit the Champions League. It's all kicking off this afternoon, with heavyweights such as defending champs Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Manchester City, Real Madrid, PSG, and Juventus in action. The media are going gaga over it so we'll just toss out some links:

Hey! Don't forget Major League Soccer! Here are some Power Rankings and a Team of the Week. Don't say we don't love you.

We'll finish with some insane-o attacking football from RB Leipzig. Now that's what we call a kick-off!!


Monday, September 16, 2013

Bale Scores, Genoa's Spying Coach, Monday Night Football

We'll begin our week with The World's Most Expensive Footballer. Señor Bale didn't waste much time getting his first Madrid goal. Yes, he scored on his debut. But did he play well? Dominic Fifield made the trip to Villarreal and submitted this report.
So suave...

Back in England, there were no real surprises as Ashley Young took another dive, Fulham were frustrating, DiCanio screamed bloody murder and was sent to the stands, and Torres was worthless in Chelsea's loss to Everton. Here's a review. Best of the Weekend? OK. Speaking of the Everton/Chelsea match, what a great game. The last 30 minutes were enthralling. Phil McNulty was at Goodison Park.

Of course, there are loads of things to discuss. Here are 10 to get you off and running. Oh, and five...thoughts.

Meanwhile, with the Champions League on the horizon, Louise Taylor penned a piece for The Observer on Saturday and said, "Rafael Benítez feels new club Napoli embracing the spirit of Liverpool." It would appear that Rafa is enjoying his new lease on life over in Italy. Hard to fathom it being more difficult than his terrible time at Stamford Bridge.

Did you know that Ricardo Clark plays in Houston? Neither did we. Here's a look back at the weekend's action in Major League Soccer.

"What? Me? Just chillin'..."
A press release from Sampdoria after they nabbed a Genoa coach (above) spying on a training session. Hilarious:

That the derby is a question of nerve, tactics and strategy we already knew, but frankly we could never expect that it could turn into an scene of espionage.
Like Rambo hidden among the branches on the hill, Luca De Pra, Genoa goalkeeping coach and man of noble footballing ancestry, failed to overcome Sampdoria’s intelligence and counter intelligence operations.
However, no prisoners were taken, and no blood was shed. Once tracked down and caught red-handed, the opposing side’s soldier was let free to return to base. You should always forgive your enemies, as nothing annoys them more.

You really can't make this shit up. Perhaps Genoa gained some vital information from the commando mission because they defeated their neighbors with ease. Elsewhere, Inter and Juventus drew, a Balotelli penalty in injury time got a draw for Milan at Torino, and Fiorentina drew. Here's another wrap

In Spain, Madrid drew (see way above) and Barcelona won a thriller against Sevilla. Grab some popcorn: Here's your slideshow.

There is Monday Night Football. Tonight. Monday. Night. It will take place in Wales. Swansea, to be specific. Liverpool will be there. You can check out all the drama at 3pm EDT on NBCSN.

Right. Keep it Tite.