Friday, September 12, 2014

Real Madrid vs. Atlético Madrid, Arsenal vs. Manchester City, Chelsea vs. Swansea, This Weekend In Europe, Top Tenner, The Joy of Six, The Gentleman Ultra

Rainbow laces outside Arsenal Station...
And there goes another (LONG) one, folks! Finally, finally, the weekend has arrived and with it a plethora of wonderful watching opportunity. Loads to get through today, so let's jump off in England, shall we?

50-50 Challenge: Arsenal vs. Manchester City
Chelsea or Swansea: Who will win?

PODCAST! Praise be, proper football is back, and on today's Football Weekly Extraaaaaa, AC Jimbo has Barry Glendenning, Jonathan Wilson and Simon Burnton to bring out the bunting. We preview all the big games this weekend, including Arsenal v Manchester City, Aston Villa's trip to Liverpool and the top of the table clash between Chelsea and Swansea. Next, we head to the Championship, where leaders Nottingham Forest host Derby, and a number of former players are talking themselves up as potential managers of Leeds. Well, someone has to. Finally, we wave goodbye to those pesky European Championship qualifiers by hearing from Stefán Snær Ágústsson about why Iceland may just be the team to watch on the road to France 2016 - and why you can't call your children Harriet or Duncan in Reykjavik.

Would you look at this? Barcelona will drop their regular home kit in exchange for Catalan colors against Athletic Bilbao tomorrow. That's a first. What else is on tap in La Liga? Here are some previews:
Madrid Derby: Preview
Champions vs. Champions: Real Madrid vs. Atlético Madrid

Top Tenner is...Memorable Player Debuts! Good stuff. The Joy of Six is...Football Streaks! Good stuff.

Woo Hoo! The Gentleman Ultra is back! This time, his Serie A Alternative Guide is...AC Milan! Enjoy! Also, please enjoy this Serie A Weekend Preview.

They are still playing top flight football in this country, don't you know? Here are Five Things To Look Out For in MLS. And here's a preview for the weekend's Stateside action.

Key TV
Arsenal vs. Manchester City - 7:45am EDT - NBCSN
Chelsea vs. Swansea City - 10am EDT - NBCSN
Barcelona vs. Athletic Bilbao - 10am EDT - beIN Sports USA
Boldmere St. Michaels vs Bedworth United - 10am EDT - None
Real Madrid vs Atlético Madrid - 2pm EDT - beIN Sports USA

Manchester United vs. Queens Park Rangers - 11am EDT - NBCSN
Parma vs. AC Milan - 2:45pm EDT - beIN Sports USA

That'll do it, folks! Enjoy the action. 



Thursday, September 11, 2014

Five Best Soccer Mascots, Almost Weekend Previews

Alex Song arrives for training at West Ham...


Yesterday's post discussed the problems Spurs are having with their new stadium plans. So, what exactly are their options in terms of stadia when they can't play at home? Miguel Delaney breaks it down like this.

God, it's slow. We don't really want to get into previews for the weekend today. A lot can change in 24 hours. That said, here are some nice and easy vids for La Liga (Who will win the Madrid Derby?!), Serie A (Fernando Torres in Milan!), and Ligue Uhhhhhhh (Can Lyon stop the rot against Monaco?!). Speaking of Torres, you better believe Milan have high hopes for their new boy. Can he turn back the clock and find his form? Speaking of the Madrid Derby, here are Five Classic Madrid Derby Moments. How convenient is that?

God it's slow. The Five Best Soccer Mascots? Sure. Why not?

Napoli's third jersey: Feel the denim

Yank Abroad Brek Shea has been loaned (by Stoke) to Birmingham City. Good luck to him. May he actually see some playing time.

One dude who is looking ahead to the weekend is Richard Jolly. He's got his eyes on the Arsenal/Man City clash and considers the attacking options for both sides.

That'll do until tomorrow when we can really dig into the weekend's fixtures.



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tottenham Stadium Delay, Euro 2016 Wrap-Up, Suárez To Play El Clásico, Amy Lawrence On Acclimation, Tim Vickery On Uruguay's Next Generation

It's Hump Day, peeps! And that means the international break is OVER! Good riddance. Let's get back to some proper footie, shall we? OK, before we do that, we probably should look back at what we learned, what happened, yadda yadda. Here are 10 Talking Points from the week's action. And, just what have we learned? Besides the fact that The Czechs beat The Dutch, that is.

Spelling is hard...
Tottenham want a new ground. They need a new ground. They won't have a new ground for a while. To make matters worse for Spurs fans, it looks delays also mean their side will have to play a season away from home.

Tim Vickery is a favorite of ours. He's been submitting articles about South American soccer from his base in Rio for years. Today, he's taking a look at Uruguay's next generation. José María Giménez, anyone?

Amy Lawrence is also a favorite of ours. Today, she examines the difficulties foreign players often have when adapting to life in England. In her piece, David Ginola talks about moving from Paris to Newcastle: "On my first day in Newcastle I went for a drive around town with my wife and said, 'This is where we are going to live.' I realised what an enormous step I had taken when my wife started crying in my arms in the car."

Michael Cox is a tactics man. Today, he's looking ahead to Saturday and Sunday (aren't we all?) and wondering how Falcao, Welbeck, and Ben Arfa will fit into their new sides. Tactically speaking, of course.

Good luck with that one, Liverpool brass.

October 25th, people. That's the day of the next Clásico. It'll be in Madrid and a certain Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz will be available to dig into the action. Step up to the plate, as it were. Sample the local fare. Chew the fat with his new Barcelona teammates. What fun for him. Let's hope he can step away for a moment mentally and digest the enormity of the occasion. Cough. It'll be at 12pm EST on beIN Sports USA. Now you know.

And Messi for you!



Tuesday, September 09, 2014

England Win, Estonia Win, San Marino Lose, Montenegro Win, Fear The Zlatan

Hello, Tuesday! Yay! England won a match and it actually had some moments that were not completely snore-inducing. The tabloids can calm down. Here's more on that:

Switzerland 0 - 2 England: Daniel Taylor at St Jakob Park
Phil McNulty: Player Ratings

Elsewhere? Well, Spain crushed Macedonia, Slovakia beat Ukraine, Austria and Sweden drew, Russia beat Liechtenstein, San Marino lost to Lithuania (should we continue? Yes? OK), Montenegro beat Moldova, and Estonia edged Slovenia. Oh, and Luxembourg and Belarus drew. Ahem.

This match is on Fox Sports 1 at 12:00pm EDT today...
Today, Wales play Andorra, The Dutch go and play the Czechs, Kazakhstan host Latvia, Italy go to Norway, and there are other matches, too.

We've always maintained that you need to fear The Zlatan. It's one of the SSN Headquarters policies. Strict policies, they are. It turns out, we're not the only one who fears The Zlatan.

This is awfully fun: The 10 goals of the season in the 1980s. Those were that days...

It is Tuesday so we should check in with Major League Soccer and see who is leading the pack in terms of power. Bird claims that the assGalaxy have surged to the top of the Power Rankings. Bird also has his MLS Best XI for the week. It looks like Jason Davis agrees with Bird. He's also got the assGalaxy atop his Power Rankings.

That's it.



Monday, September 08, 2014

Euro 2016 Qualifiers & Quiet

Well, hey there! Welcome to another week. There are some matches that matter, but sadly, thanks to those in the game who prefer to improve aspects like sponsorship revenue opportunities as opposed to action on the pitch, they don't matter as much. You see, in its infinite wisdom, UEFA has decided that 24 countries will be welcome at EURO 2016. That's too many. It means a lot of these qualifiers simply are not that important. And that's sad. It's sad because even though Albania stunned Portugal yesterday, the Portuguese will most like qualify anyway because there are so many open slots. It is Portugal, though, so you never know. Bad example...

What is also sad is all these meaningless friendlies and watered down qualifiers lead to injuries. Still interested? Here's a Guide. Still interested? We suppose it's a bit interesting to see how bad England are/have been. They play the Swiss today. Phil McNulty says they better not lose!

So! Enough of that. Let's turn that frown upside down with The Best Goals of the Week. Roberto Baggio via a gorgeous assist from Diego Maradona? Don't mind if we do.

What have we here? Ronaldinho has gone to Mexico? Oh, dear. Looks like the Buck-Toothed/Geri-Curled One is pulling a Tom Petty and Free Falling. Ouch.

You may have noticed that it's a bit slow this morning. Case in point: "Journalist attacked by thugs after asking Gyan about 'human sacrifice' rumours, brother arrested."

Yes, it's slow. So...finally...let's all welcome these WAGS to the Premier League.