Friday, August 29, 2014

Serie A Returns, Tottenham vs. Liverpool, Everton vs. Chelsea, Napoli?

There goes another one! The week is over, and with Serie A bringing the ruckus this weekend, we'll finally have all the top Euro leagues back up and running. Let's begin in Italy, shall we?

We noted the tasty English match-ups in the subject line. What else is on tap for the Premier League this weekend? Check it:

Xabi Alonso. Kagawa. Falcao. Cambiasso. Cleverly. Chicharito. On to...The Mill. Plus One. Plus Plus One.

That 3-5-2 that van Gaal loves and Manchester United is finding difficult to adapt. What's the deal with that? Jonathan Wilson investigates.

This is Karim Benzema's chrome Bugatti Veyron, which costs roughly €2 million (£1.6m).
James Horncastle notes that Napoli were knocked out of the Champions League (qualifying) by Athletic Bilbao. Is it the end of the Rafa Benitez revolution at Napoli?

Barney Ronay is asking this question today: Will the real Mesut Özil stand up? Barney Ronay is offering this answer today: Very possibly at Arsenal this season.

Enjoy the weekend!



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

MK Dons Destroy Manchester United, Champions League Qualifying Previews, Warnock In At Palace, Donovan Gets One More Match

Crisis. Crisis? What crisis? The (social) media vultures are circling around Manchester United after they were dispatched from the What's In Your Wallet? Cup by MK Dons. The score? 4-0. Ouch. Here's the fallout:

MK Dons 4 - 0 Manchester United: Report
MK Dons 4 - 0 Manchester United: Richard Rae at Stadium MK

One player who did not play for United yesterday is Ángel di María. Thankfully for fans of The Red Devils, he'll be playing soon. Sid Lowe takes a look at the move from the Madrid perspective.

Hallelujah, hallelujah, ride my Chevrolet.

There were some Champions League qualifiers last night. Teams that advanced to the Group Stage include Zenit, BATE, and APOEL, but not Celtic. Tonight, the biggie is in London where Arsenal host Besiktas in the second leg of their affair (2:45pm EDT on Fox Sports 1). The first leg was scoreless. Prep with this:

Arsenal vs. Besiktas: Preview
Arsenal vs. Besiktas: Preview II

Right. So di María has gone to United. Samuel Eto'o'o'o'o'o, meanwhile, has signed with Everton. What else might happen between now and the end of the month?

Jermaine Jones now plays for New England. How did it happen? With a "blind draw." What the hell is that? Jeff Carlisle is frustrated, as are we. Especially a certain Bobbie BS.

Crystal Palace have a new gaffer. Neil Warnock has returned to Selhurst Park to try to right the ship. Warnock managed the Eagles from 2007-2010. How long before he's fined for criticizing the refs?

Serie A begins this weekend! Woo hoo! Let's preview Hellas Verona, a side featuring 63-year-old striker Luca Toni.

And finally...Landon Donovan will don the uniform of the U.S. National Team one more time.



Tuesday, August 26, 2014

City Defeat Liverpool, United Agree £60m fee for Di María, Scribes, Podcast

Is Munir El Haddadi Mohamed ready to bust out at Barcelona?
Has Manchester City already won the title? Perhaps Chelsea can compete, but City are so deep at every position, it's really theirs to lose. Yesterday, they had little trouble with Liverpool. And Liverpool looked pretty good! Here's the breakdown from the match:

Manchester City 3-1 Liverpool: Henry Winter at the Etihad Stadium
Richard Jolly: City exploit weaknesses

It's Tuesday, and that means Marcotti's Musings. Today, Gab is gabbing about Di Maria and Balotelli.

Scribe time! Go around the world with the best writers every Tuesday!

Where? Spain. Who? Graham Hunter. What? The emergence of Munir El Haddadi

Where? South America. Who? Tim Vickery. What? Angel Di Maria can thrive as Old Trafford star man

Where? Germany. Who? Andy Brassell. What? Did the Bundesliga title race just finish in record time?

Where? Italy. Who? Uli Hesse. What? Finding a hallowed ground in Padua

Podcast! On this bank holiday edition of Football Weekly, AC Jimbo is joined by his old chum Philippe Auclair as well as Barry Glendenning and John Ashdown to look back on a wild weekend in the Premier League. Tottenham sit atop the embryonic table after making sure former manager Harry Redknapp had an unhappy return to White Hart Lane with QPR. Meanwhile, Manchester United are about to splurge huge bucks on a winger when what they really need is a clue (and a centre-back and midfielder). Next, we round up a few bits and bobs from around Europe - including a blindingly fast goal in the Bundesliga – before turning our attention to the Championship, where Felix Magath's time at Fulham goes from bad to worse … to shambles.

La Liga began this past weekend. What the hell did we learn? Here are Five Things That We Learned. Here's what happened yesterday. Once Madrid side won and another drew.

Major League Soccer Power Rankings! Bird puts D.C. at the top.

Crazy MLS Contract Clown Show! MLS Changes the Rules to Swing Jones to Revs

That's a wrap.



Monday, August 25, 2014

Last Weekend In Europe, Spanish Super Cup, Transfers, Manchester City vs. Liverpool, Jermaine Jones In NE

#1 Sunderland Supporter?
What a pleasant Monday it is. There was a lot of fine action over the weekend. No real surprises (Borussia Dortmund losing their opener at home would be the exception - that match included the fastest goal in Bundesliga history), but a lot of good football on offer. La Liga and the Bundesliga are back, thankfully, and the EPL continues apace. That's probably a fine place to begin. Per usual, we'll focus on the Continent tomorrow.

Sunderland 1-1 Manchester United: Louise Taylor at the Stadium of Light
Tottenham vs. QPR: Three Points

In the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup back on Friday, Atlético Madrid defeated Real Madrid 1-0. As you might expect, Sid Lowe was at the Vicente Calderón.

Ohhh. Let's take a quick look at MLS, shall we? Word is, Thierry Henry had one of those nights. Speaking of MLS, everyone's favorite heavily-tattooed-dreadlocked-German-American Jermaine Jones has signed with MLS and handed to New England in some sort of "blind draw." Are we still speaking about MLS? Yes? Weekend round-up, then.

Back to Europe with...Last Weekend In Europe

There's some rather substantial Monday Night Football tonight, people. We've got Manchester City vs. Liverpool (3pm EDT on NBCSN), Real Madrid vs. Cordoba (2pm EDT on beIN Sports USA), and Rayo Vallecano vs. Atlético Madrid (4pm EDT on beIN Sports USA). Here's what you need for the Premier League clash: Preview I. Preview II50/50 Challenge. Five Questions.

So. It looks like Di María is going to ManU. Do they really need a winger? What about their central midfield issues? Jamie Jackson investigates. Meanwhile, The BBC's Chris Bevan is investigating Arsenal. He says, "Arsenal show new resolve but old problems remain."

Balotelli. Di María. Falcao. Podolski. Welbeck. You know where this is headed...The Mill. Plus One. Plus Plus One.

And finally...Crystal Palace. What went wrong? It was all up and up thanks to Tony Pubis' revived side and then...bang! It turned into a circus. Phil McNulty is on the case.