Friday, December 06, 2013

WORLD CUP DRAW plus other stuff

And...there goes another week. With the termination of this week of work comes the draw for World Cup 2014 in Brazil. Yes, it's finally here after 824 qualifiers 905 days. We all know the seeding system is a joke, but we have to deal with it. Deal with it.

Every outlet has some sort of live thingy for you to follow all the fun that begins at 11:30am EST. We prefer Barry Glendenning (done) and Scott Murray (in progress) so we'll link to their coverage here. Now then...

Once the hoopla in Costa do Sauipe settles there will be the minor matter of matches to address. This weekend, there are a few of note. For instance, the champion of the United States' top domestic league will be crowned. Sporting KC and Real Salt Lake will duke it out in KC. The match begins at 4pm EST and can be enjoyed on ESPN. Preview? Yes. You want team news? Fine.

Manchester United's midweek travails were well documented. They need to get back on the horse tomorrow against Newcastle United. That's the early Premier League match. It'll be interesting to see how the Old Trafford faithful welcome Moe. Elsewhere, Liverpool host West Ham, Spurs go to Sunderland, and Stoke host Chelsea. Sunday sees a nice one as Arsenal host Everton. Here's your gift basket for all the weekend pageantry:

In Spain, they are all trying to get ahold of the King's Cup. And there is a general lack of interest in said activity around SSN Headquarters. Hence, we move on to Italy.

Italy! Roma vs. Fiorentina is the biggie of Round 15. Sadly, that doesn't take place until Sunday. However, if you need a quick Serie A fix, you can get it this afternoon as Juventus host Bologna in a rare Friday kick-off. Here's your comprehensive preview.

Sadly, that's really all there is today. Wait. There's this as well: Bosnia and Herzegovina unite behind their World Cup-bound football heroes.

That's it. Enjoy the draw.



Thursday, December 05, 2013

Midweek Fallout, Gattuso Says No Place For Women In Football, Platini Wants Sin-Bin, Suarez Masterclass

What now?
We said yesterday that the most attractive Wednesday EPL fixture on paper was Manchester United vs. Everton. Moe Syzlak facing his old club for the first time. And so it proved. When managing Everton, Moe David Moyes never won at Old Trafford. Never. That was over the course of 46 league games and 11 years. New manager Roberto Martínez did it the first time he tried. Ouch. While it was a great night for the traveling supporters, there is growing unrest at United. Here's your fallout:

Elsewhere, the top five clubs all won their fixtures. That's currently Arsenal (Bendtner scored!), Chelsea (Jozy scored!), Manchester City, Liverpool (Suarez scored four times, including a super-goal!)...and...see above...Everton. Here's your lot on that front:

Are you a woman? Do you like football? Sorry, there is no place for you, according to former Italian international Gennaro Gattuso. He says there is no place for women in football. So. OK.

This is interesting. Apparently Tottenham are combatting a fan group trying to improve the atmosphere at White Hart Lane.

There is no place for women in football.
Would you like your football to be more like hockey? Go to the penalty box for a spell if you've been naughty? Former France and Juventus legend and current UEFA nutcase Michel Platini thinks a sin-bin would be a good idea. Oh, dear.

Act like you know. This shit's all real.



Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Bad Juventus Children, Palace Win, Midweek Previews, World Cup, Ronaldo Museum

You lost.
And...a pleasant Humpday to all of you! Isn't it extra pleasant when there is a bevy of footie to enjoy? We'll get to that in a minute. Let's begin in Italy...

So this is pretty hilarious. Juventus fans were banned from gathering behind the goal where the ultras usually do their thing. Presumably they were calling the folks from Naples dirty and poor and all that good stuff. Anywho, the powers that be at The Old Lady decided it would be a good idea to let kids sit behind the goal instead. Not a good idea.

OK, back to the matter at hand. We've got a full slate (not quite -- Palace won their first home match since Pubis took over last night) of Premier League matches to enjoy. Too bad your editor will be on a plane while they are taking place. Not to worry, though. The SSN staff is well trained and will provide regular updates. The most attractive fixture on paper is Manchester United vs. Everton. Moe Syzlak faces his old club for the first time since stepping behind the big bar that is Old Trafford. Elsewhere, Chelsea travel to Sunderland, City go to West Brom, Arsenal host Hull, Spurs head down to Fulham, and Swansea welcome Newcastle. Here's your lot:

Right. So, the World Cup draw is coming up on Friday. Everything will be set and ready to go. Hah! Here's what you need to know, according to the BBC. Grant Wahl is already down there awaiting Friday's action (ESPN2, 11:30 a.m. EST). If you're going and you want to follow the U.S., get ready to log some miles.
He scores when he wants! Which is once every few months, apparently...
The Big Interview. It's huge. Massive. It's Phil Neville! How exciting. United is hosting Everton so it's topical. We'll give it a go.

Cristiano Ronaldo is opening a museum. The Cristiano Ronaldo Museum. Good.

SSN Regulars will know that we're not terribly taken by the international game. Sure, the World Cup can provide some fun but it's just become so commercialized and corrupt and absurd thanks to the fine folks at SPECTRE FIFA. Daniel Harris thinks this World Cup will be different. Better. Stronger. Faster. Sensational? We'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

The hottest new boy band. Just wait till you see their synched dance moves.
We out. Keep it tite. Get to a TV if you can.



Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Podcast, Euro League Review, Midweek Action, Scribes, John Terry's Dad

Oi! Bloody Hell. We've got loads to work through on this most glorious Tuesday. We'll kick things off with a look at all the best of the best of the European leagues. That means The Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, the Bundesliga, and League Uhhhhhhhhhhh. And there's a bit in here about Newcastle's fine form.

Let's maintain that momentum with Gab's Monday Musings. Today, (yesterday?), Gab gabbed about Barca's bad week, Bale, Prem spending outrage, Rooney's form, and...more.

Back to Bale for a second. We said yesterday he had a perfect hat-trick. Sid Lowe was at the Bern-a-bay-you and we do like our Sid. Read.

There is a London Derby today! Oh. It's Crystal Palace vs. West Ham. Hmmm. So, that means it's Tony Pubis' first home match in charge of Palace? Well, here's a preview regardless.

Let's talk Major League Soccer for a moment. The season is almost complete. Here are some 2013 awards, surprises, Turkeys, and more.

Oozing class: John Terry's dad Ted heads to court

PODCAST!! Check it: On today's Football Weekly, the right and very reverend AC Jimbo is joined by his favourite choirboys Barry Glendenning, Gregg Bakowski and James Horncastle to look back on the winners and sinners over the weekend in the Premier League. We start with the action in the UK's 2017 city of culture, where Hull ran rampant against a sub-par Liverpool before moving on to Aaron Ramsey's spectacular return to Cardiff with table-topping Arsenal, and giving a fair bit of love to Everton who tore Stoke to shreds. Like the most thorough of proctologists, we also get up to speed with goings on at the bottom, where Martin Jol was finally given the heave-ho by Fulham, before hearing from Sid Lowe about Gareth Bale's stunning showing for Real Madrid.

Scribe Time!

Location: Italy
Scribe: Paolo Bandini

Location: Germany
Headline: On the road
Scribe: Uli Hesse

Location: Spain
Scribe: Sid Lowe

Location: Germany
Scribe: Raphael Honigstein

Location: Brazil
Scribe: Tim Vickery

Whew! That was a bit taxing. In a good way, of course. Let's see. Why do we hate John Terry so? Let's count the reasons. Today we'll go with his father. He has denied taking part in a racist street attack in London. Yes, Ted Terry allegedly clashed with Amarjit Talafair near Fenchurch Street station back in March. He is also said to have shouted racist abuse including the words 'f***ing Paki' and 'black c***'. Sweet!



Monday, December 02, 2013

Post Holiday Gobble Post: Barca Crisis?!, Bale Hat-Trick, AVB Angry, Jol Out

Right! We hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving and gave thanks and all that good stuff. Back to business. Firstly, as expected, poor Martin Jol got the sack yesterday. You know what that means.
"I don't mind 'City till we die'. They can die as soon as they want, as long as they leave the club for the majority who just want to watch good football."
Elsewhere in England, Hull City defeated Liverpool for the first time ever. Ever. Ever Ever? Ever Ever Ever? Yes. Chris Bascombe was there and filed this reportStuart James was at Cardiff City Stadium to witness local boy Aaron Ramsey's masterclass. Alistair Magowan was at the Etihad Stadium to see Nasri notch two to lead City over Swansea. Richard Jolly was there, too. He has Three Thoughts about what went down. Meanwhile, more trouble at Spurs (they drew at home to United) where AVB is making things personal. Not really the best move, Dre. Here's the rest of your Premier League hoopla:

Over in Italy, Juve got a last-gasp winner from Llorente to go top after Roma could only draw with Sampdoria. Also, some guy named Kaka (Jesus owns him) scored for Milan as they won on the road. There's an interesting match this afternoon: Lazio vs. Napoli. Here's a weekend review.

The news in Spain centers on Barcelona and Real Madrid. No surprise there! The surprise lies in the face that league leaders Barcelona suffered their first league loss of the season against Athletic Bilbao at the new San Mamés. It's their second loss on the trot in all competitions. In terms of Real Madrid, Gareth Bale scored three as his side rolled over Real Valladolid. Not just three, mind you. It was the perfect hat-trick. Head, Left Foot, Right Foot. Here's a weekend review.
You will complete the stadiums as agreed...
Christ. More fun in Brazil as the locals strain to accommodate the demands of SPECTRE FIFA. A crane collapsed in Sao Paolo, killing at least two workers. Tim Vickery takes a look.

That gets us up to speed after a wonderful weekend of footie. We'll have loads tomorrow as it's another big Tuesday.