Friday, October 04, 2013

Sir Alex on Charlie Rose, Wilshere Up In Smoke, Europa League, Weekend Previews, Messi's House

We might as well begin our Friday with the Europa League. Everyone's favorite second-tier competition provided Wigan with their first ever win in Europe. Spurs won, Swansea won. There really were not many surprises. Here's a round-up.

On to something much more fun. England's latest hope, Jack Wilshere, was seen smoking. He says it was a prank. He tweeted about it. His gaffer is non too pleased.

Right. Might as well stay in England (and Wales) and look at the weekend ahead. Here are 10 Things To Look Forward To. Sadly, there are no real lovelies on offer, at least on paper. You've got a London Derby with West Ham going up to Tottenham, but Spurs should be able to handle that. Manchester United's trip to Sunderland could be interesting. Everton at Manchester City might be the best on offer. It will be interesting to see how City respond in front of the home crowd after being stomped by the Germans. Arsenal at West Brom should be pretty tight as well. Although, according to Michael Palin (he's hanging with Lawro this week -- see below), it'll be 8-1 to the Brommies. Here's a preview of all that stuff. And some Team News. As we said, some people want to predict what will happen. In addition to Palin, that would be Lawro and Paul Merson.

On to Italy, where we've got a real clash on our hands! Unlike the rather uninspired fixture list in the Premier League (and La Liga -- see below), Serie A gives us Inter vs. Roma domani. And Domenica? How about Juventus vs. Milan and Lazio vs. Fiorentina. Sensazionale!

And in Spain, Real Madrid are under pressure as they head down to Valencia to face Levante. Here's a preview of all the La Liga weekend acción.

La casa futura de Messi?
The Big Interview today is Steve Bruce. The Hull manager speaks on redemption in East Yorkshire, the task ahead of David Moyes, looking like Mrs. Doubtfire, and that club name change.

For some reason there hasn't been any MLS Friday Forecast lately. We miss it. Here are the latest Power Rankings from a few days ago.

We'll conclude today with Sir Alex Ferguson and Charlie Rose. If you've got an hour to spare, here's the whole bloody thing:

Have a great one!


Thursday, October 03, 2013

Bayern Dominate City, United Draw, Tube Map, Americans Abroad

Ja! Manchester City were blown off their own pitch by reigning Champions League Champions Bayern Munich. That Joe Hart sucked made little difference. The gap in class was striking. Guess who made the trip up to the Etihad? Why, Barney Ronay, of course. And John Brewin has Three Things on his mind following the Bayern masterclass.

The other side of Manchester were in action as well. They were out in Ukraine to face Shak. It ended 1-1. Jonathan Wilson has a nice piece comparing the situations of the two Manchester clubs. United = Improved. City = Not Improved.

Other matches included Yank Abroad Sacha Kljestan and his Anderlecht side getting pummeled at home by Olympiakos, Ronaldo and Di Maria bracing themselves in Real's rout of Copenhagan, Juve and Gala drawing, and The Zlatan grabbing two of his own in PSG's victory at home over Benfica. Here's a nice summation of all of yesterday's action. And here's a Podcast in case you're interested. Since Matchday Two is now complete, let's look at Five Things We Learned.

In other "news," The Football Association and London Underground have teamed up to create a reworked Tube map to mark their joint 150th anniversaries. All 367 Tube, Docklands Light Railway and Overground stations have been named after footballers and officials. Here's a link to the whole thing. Enjoy standing in the dark in a packed car for 23 minutes between Teddy Sheringham and Wayne Rooney stations.

That other European tournament takes place today. Here are Five Things to Know about the Europa League. Here are some previews. Spurs, Swansea, and Wigan are all in action.

Let's take a moment to check in on Americans Abroad with the latest installment of Americans Abroad.

Phil McNulty was at the Emirates yesterday. He's a good writer. Let's read.

Let's conclude,


Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Arsenal Bring Sexy Back & Napoli Fans Riot, Chelsea Win & Greenpeace Drops a Banner, Balotelli Crap Penalty, U.S. Open Cup

Napoli fans show their class at the Emirates

Come on. What's wrong with Gazprom?
There's not really any place else to begin this morning other than at Arsenal. The Gunners turned what was supposed to be the clash of the day into a one-sided affair with a display of sublime skill that effectively killed off the match before many of us could got settled in prime viewing mode. Barney Ronay was at the Emirates and Michael Cox has five reasons why Mesut Özil is such a special talent. Prior to the match, some traveling Neapolitans showed their class by attacking Piebury Corner. That ain't right.

Elsewhere, Chelsea won their must win match in Romania with ease (but Torres was hurt), Fabregas scored the goal that allowed Barcelona to beat 10-man Celtic, controversy in Amsterdam as Ajax and Milan drew 1-1 (Balotelli Bullshit Penalty), and Atletico Madrid continued their fine form with a win at Porto. Here's a wrap. And another. And one more. Hah!

In case yesterday wasn't enough for you football-loving fools, today we've got David Moyes and his very hot seat in Ukraine to face Shakhtar Donetsk (Jonathan Wilson says watch out!), San Pellegrino vs. Pep in Manchester, and Copenhagen in Madrid to face a Gareth Bale-Less Real. Here is today's preview.

Did you know that the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final was last night? The 100th final? Neither did we. D.C. United won the thing by upsetting Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto. Here are some thoughts on the matter.

Let's stay Stateside and take a look at the USMNT's Hot List. Hot? Aron Johannsson. Not? Michael Bradley.

balo by 11MYM

The fix was in,


Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Champions League, Podcast, Scribes, Zlatan's Burger

Even Chuck Norris couldn't fit it in his mouth? Uh, that's what she said?
Whew! Let's get this party started, right? So much to tackle today. Where to start? The Podcast would make the most sense, right? Here we go: AC Jimbo has Iain Macintosh, James Horncastle and proper journalist Owen Gibson in the Football Weekly pod to pontificate on a weekend of Manchester-flavoured misery, with both United and City losing in pretty ropey fashion. Can the Red Devils and the Citizens bounce back in the Champions League, with tricky ties away at Shakhtar and at home to Bayern Munich respectively? Shirely not. Elsewhere in the Premier League, Arsenal continued their impressive start, Luis Suárez scored a brace for Liverpool - which is appropriate considering he was suspended for etc etc - and Fernando Torres showed his nasty side as Chelsea drew with Spurs. Sid Lowe and Rafa Honigstein help us muddle through the rest of the European fixtures, and we get mighty excited by Steve McClaren's imminent appointment by Derby County.

There five goals at Goodison Park last night. Newcastle were atrociously poor (Tim Howard got an assist!) but somehow managed to only lose 3-2. Saj Chowdhury was in Liverpool.

Marcotti has been musing again. His thoughts are thus: Carlo Ancelotti prepared for Real Madrid hot seat, Moyes' media mix-up, Zlatan vs. everyone.

Sticking with The Zlatan for a moment, he now has his own Burger. Yes, it's called "Le Zlatan" and it's massive. And it costs €29.90 ($40.50). Yikes! Kind of breaks the stereotype of Parisian cuisine, no?

OK. Back to the matters at hand. The Champions League returns today. Steaua Bucuresti host Chelsea. Arsenal host Napoli. Ajax host Milan. Celtic host Barcelona. Here are myriad preparatory offerings:

Major League Soccer is designed for parity. Which can be good. But it can also suck. Ives looks back at the weekend in the U.S. league.

Scribes! Your Tuesday opportunity to take a look back at what went down of note around the world over the weekend. We've had a chance to digest everything, so let's dig in again:

We mentioned yesterday that Gervinho is playing well at Roma. Just how did he get his groove back?

Let's terminate today's post with something from Amy Lawrence. Amy's talking some Higuaín. Gonzalo is thriving at Napoli on the back of the Maradona factor. You see, the Argentine opted for Napoli, the club synonymous with his hero, and is already regarded as one of Serie A's best.

Do it,


Monday, September 30, 2013

EPL Upheaval, Atlético Beat Real, Monday Night Football

¡Dame la cara, Jan!
A Happy Monday to you! Sky is calling it "Shock Saturday" and rightly so. Why? Manchester United lost at Old Trafford to West Brom. Did you see that coming? Neither did we. Manchester City lost at Aston Villa. A bit easier to digest, surely, but still a surprise. That's the first time both Manchester squads have lost on the same day since 2008. Wow. Could this be the most exciting Premier League season ever?! Ahem.

Elsewhere, it was honors even at White Hart Lane as Spurs and Chelsea drew 1-1 and Torres saw red. The Spanish striker had his best match in years, but let things get a bit over the top when he unveiled his newest move on Jan Vertonghen. It's called The Claw. Torres could be out for a while.

Here's a review of all the weekend action, followed by the usual (and critical) reports & features:

Good match, Steve. I'm going to go barf now...
It's Monday and there is football at night. Tonight. Hence, Monday Night Football. This week's offering is unbeaten Everton at home against Newcastle. It all begins at 3pm EDT and you can catch it on NBCSN.

The Madrid Derby was on Saturday and Atlético Beat Real, 0-1 at the Bernabéu.
Guillem Balague offers his take on the match, along with a word on Messi's injury. Here's a review of the key action in La Liga.

Over in Italy, Roma stayed perfect by demolishing Bologna 5-0 (Gervinho keeps scoring) Juve edged Torino in their derby ("ouch," says Tevez), and Inter drew at Cagliari. Here's a wrap.

We'll finish back in the USA with MLS: Five things we learned in Week 31.

Boo. Yaa.