Friday, April 18, 2014

Spain Nuts For Bale, Football Pantomime Villains, AS Roma Spotlight, Moyes Back To Everton

And there goes another week. In Spain, they're still going ape-shit (pun intended) over Gareth Bale's amazing goal on Wednesday. Sid Lowe reports. In weekend matches of note, Everton host Manchester United, Chelsea welcome Sunderland, Parma host Inter, Liverpool go to Norwich, Barcelona host Bilbao, and Roma go to Fiorentina. We'll begin in the Premier League:

The Joy of Six this week is Football Pantomime Villains. How do you pick just six? This list does not contain Robbie Savage, Craig Bellamy, Robbie Fowler, Kevin Davies, Emmanuel Adebayor, Teddy Sheringham, Luis Suarez, El-Hadji Diouf, Neil Ruddock, Javier Mascherano, Gary Neville, Tim Cahill, John Terry, Joey Barton, Lee Bowyer, Alan Smith, Dennis Wise, Duncan Ferguson, could go on and on. And that's just the Premier League. Suppose you've got to begin somewhere, though.

Greek Ring of Fire? Why not. It gets going around 2:26. Pretty impressive.

In Spain, all eyes will be on Barcelona as they attempt to stop the rot. It won't be easy. They have to go up to Athletic Bilbao. Here's a weekend La Liga preview.

Rudi! Rudi! Rudi! Rudi Garcia has done the job at Roma this campaign. James Horncastle takes a look at the Roma gaffer and the successful season enjoyed by i Giallorossi. Va bene. And here's a weekend preview for Serie A.

Can't really find any decent MLS weekend previews, sadly. This'll take you to a page with specific match reviews.

Tony Pubis. We've never liked him. He does deserve credit, though, for steering Palace to safety. The Eagles fans on the SSN Staff have no complaints. Jim White looks at how Palace could have a say in the Premier League title with final matches against Liverpool & Manchester City.

Speaking of the Premier League, it's been a mad, mad season. Here are 10 reasons why this campaign has been the most bizarre of them all.

Enjoy your weekend!



Thursday, April 17, 2014

All Hail Bale As His Stunning Goal Wins Cup For Real = More Barca Misery, Palace Win At Everton, Sunderland Draw At City, Atlanta Will Be #22 In MLS

Surplus to requirements...
Quite the load of footie yesterday, right? The Copa del Rey final was great and was settled by a crazy Bale sprint-fest, Tony Pubis and his Crystal Palace side went up to Fortress Goodison and will return to South London with all three points, and title-chasers Manchester City could only draw at home (thanks to a late Nasri goal that should have been saved by Vito) against bottom-of-the-table Sunderland. Let's get to it, beginning in Valencia:

Barcelona 1-2 Real Madrid: Sid Lowe at the Mestalla
Avi Creditor: Bale worth every penny

And in England:
Everton 2-3 Crystal Palace: Report
Manchester City 2-2 Sunderland: Jamie Jackson at the Etihad Stadium

Bale jumps for joy...
So Messi is out of form. He's on poor form. Jonathan Wilson reports that they are none too pleased about that down in Argentina.

Atlanta is now officially set to become Major League Soccer's 22nd club. So...OK?

Drogba. Underwear. Charity. Fine.

World Cup Watch! Edinson Cavani (poor form), Cristiano Ronaldo (hurt), Sami Khedira (back for Germany?)

Nice bus...

This has never happened before: NBC networks to broadcast all 10 EPL season finales simultaneously.



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Copa Del Rey Finale, Arsenal Beat West Ham, Everton vs. Palace, City vs. Sunderland, Football Album Covers, Fair Play

Hello. So, all the SSN staffers got together last night and watched Hillsborough. Brutal. Grant Wahl has a Q & A with director Daniel Gordon.

Also yesterday, Arsenal moved back up to fourth with a 3-1 win over West Ham. And Matt Jarvis didn't dive. Here are some articles:

Today, Everton can move back into fourth as they welcome Crystal Palace to Goodison Park, and Manchester City host Sunderland.

It's Spain, it's yet another Clásico. This one is for the King's Cup. It should be interesting for a few new reasons. Primarily, Ronaldo is hurt and won't play, and Barcelona have sucked of late. Here's what you need to know. If you can get to a TV in the U.S., you can check it out on ESPN at 3:30pm EDT. Preview? OK. More? Sure. Sid Lowe? But, of course.

UEFA and Fair Play. What the hell is it? What does it mean? There are so many unknowns. Thankfully, Gab Marcotti has some answers.

Jeff Carlisle is a U.S. soccer expert. Here, he takes a look at life on the bubble for Yanks hoping to get a spot on the plane to Brazil.




Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Hillsborough, Arsenal vs. West Ham, New York City FC To Play At Yankee Stadium, Pirlo Autobiography, Bergkamp Wonder Goal, Wanda Derby she has a Derby named after her...
Hello friends! Tuesday has come and with it a closer look at the weekend activities. Also, there is a match in the Premier League between London rivals Arsenal and West Ham. And Big Sam. Here's a preview for that one.

Podcast!! It's an all-star line-up on today's Football Weekly, with AC Jimbo joined by Barry Glendenning, Amy Lawrence, Barney Ronay and just a little bit of Gregg Bakowski to look back on the highs and lows of the weekend in the Premier League and the FA Cup. The high of course was Liverpool's 3-2 win over Manchester City. Can the Reds' momentum take them all the way to the title?. Not quite as entertaining was Arsenal's plodding penalty shoot-out victory over Wigan. Still, a final's a final, as they don't say, especially in France, but the Gunners will be heading back to Wembley for real next month when they face Hull in the FA Cup final. Have some of that, purists. Finally in today's show, we hear from Sid Lowe about Barcelona's latest defeat, before discussing the saucy love triangle in Serie A.

Interesting. NYCFC will join MLS in '15. And they'll play at Yankee Stadium, at least for a little while.

He wrote a book.

Everyone's favorite slow, old, hairy, Italian midfield genius Andrea Pirlo has an autobiography out. Michael Cox has read it and has a favorable review. He gives it Four Balls. Check this out: Pirlo's penchant for slightly risqué humour is obvious throughout. He drops the F-bomb no fewer than 18 times and throws in the phrase "Monica Lewinsky under Bill Clinton's desk" where you least expect it. "Swearing's my release," he says. "It's the one weapon I have to defend myself against destiny when it elects to strike without pity." Makes us want to read it!

Raheem Sterling. Is he a rare breed? Barney Ronay thinks it's possible.

Time to Scribe!

Where? Spain. Who? Sid Lowe. What? Luckless, mismanaged and doomed: Real Betis need more than a miracle

Where? Brazil. Who? Tim Vickery. What? Messi's Argentina better for Carlos Tevez absence

Where? Germany. Who? Uli Hesse. What? Paderborn to be wild

Where? Italy. Who? Paolo Bandini. What? López loses again in Sampdoria's 'Wanda Derby'

Where? Germany. Who? Raphael Honigstein. What? Concern for Bayern's Red Machine

Right. It's Tuesday. Time for Gab to gab and muse. This week it is Gerrard's emotion, an Anfield epic, Martino's mess, more. Good.

Okeee Doughkee. We've got another installment of the Guardian's series: World Cup: 25 stunning moments. We are up to No. 10. And it is Dennis Bergkamp's wonder goal. The Editor remembers this fondly. He watched this match in Chicago on a static-filled screen thanks to rabbit ears and Univision. Suffice to say, the call of GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL is still ringing in his ears.

We need to look back at the weekend in Major League Soccer. We shall do so here. And here.

There is no other way to conclude today other than remembering the tragedy of 25 years ago. Jonathan Wilson and The BBC have it covered.



Monday, April 14, 2014

Liverpool Beat City, Barcelona Lose Again, Diego Costa Mooned And Misses, Arsenal Win On Penalties, USA Hotlist, Hillsborough

Whew! Another weekend of insanely entertaining action. Yesterday's mega-clash between Liverpool and Manchester City lived up to the hype with Liverpool eventually winning 3-2 and reducing Steven Gerrard to tears of joy. Elsewhere, Spurs enjoyed another comeback to snatch a draw, the Barcelona crisis deepened, Hull City will face Arsenal in the FA Cup final, John Terry asked for a red card for his opponent and got it as Chelsea won at Swansea, Clint Dempsey continues to hit the back of the net for Seattle, Bayern Munich lost again, Atlético Madrid won as Diego Costa scored, got mooned, missed a penalty, and cut his leg (looks like he'll be OK), and Fiorentina, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Roma, and Napoli all won in Italy. Let's roll with the action in England and Wales:

West Brom 3-3 Tottenham: Peter Lansley at The Hawthorns
Swansea City 0-1 Chelsea: Stuart James at the Liberty Stadium
Hull City 5-3 Sheffield United: Jacob Steinberg at Wembley

We told you it was a big weekend. The picture is now a bit clearer in terms of the relegation watch: Who's safe and who's not?

ESPN's 30 for 30 series has been intensely enjoyable and informative, and it looks like that trend is set to continue with tomorrow's premier of Hillsborough. As we noted last week, it's been 25 years since the disaster, and the search for justice continues.

The FA Cup used to be the biggest prize in English football. This is no longer the case, nor will it ever again. There are, however, ways in which it could be improved. Here are eight ways to reinvent the FA Cup.

So Barcelona lost at Grenada. According Francesc Tomas, they are a club teetering on the brink of chaos. Meanwhile, it's butt chaos as Diego Costa misses whilst being mooned:

In Italy, it was Goals! Red Cards! Goals! We cannot resist. Here's a complete European Review.

Team USA Hotlist! Hot = Clint Dempsey. Not = Omar Gonzalez.

Yaya Toure is a pretty damn fine footballer. Here, he talks about his career.

We're done talking.