Friday, September 26, 2014

Liverpool vs. Everton, Arsenal vs. Tottenham, The Joy of Six

The Editor lost an old friend and is traveling today, so we need to keep this brief. Big, big matches in the Premier League as shown in our heading, and the Joy of Six is worth a look.



Thursday, September 25, 2014

Málaga 0-0 Barcelona, Ronaldo's Remarkable Record, Paolo Bandini in Italy, Jonathan Wilson on Marcelo Bielsa

Hello. How are you? Excellent. Better than Philipp (Seymour) Hofmann, we presume...

Cristiano Ronaldo. Love him or hate him (we hate him), you gotta respect his ability. He's scoring goals like nobody's business at the moment. Here is his record in full.

Speaking of goals in Spain, there were none yesterday (hah!) in the match between Málaga and Barcelona. Nada, amigos. Lo siento. Here's a wrap of all the mid-week fun en España.

Mid-week action in Serie A, yo! Paolo is the expert on that so let's allow him to bring us up to date on what's going on Italy. Hint: Napoli is not doing well. Wee review? OK. This includes everything you need.

Mid-week action in Das Bundesliga, ya? Here's a wee review of the action that included a fine comeback by Borussia Dortmund. More? How about Raphael Honigstein talking some Mario Gotze!

That's one way to get a selfie with Super Frank...

The current round of the Capital One Cup concluded yesterday with no surprises. Man City, Chelsea, and Spurs all advanced. Crystal Palace vs. Newcastle sounded like it was good. Newcastle grabbed the win despite playing with 10 men. West Brom/Hull City also sounded like it was exciting. The Baggies bagged two in the final four minutes to claim the victory.

We do love us some Jonathan Wilson here at SSN Headquarters. Dude can not only write, but he can pick the stories of note that others let pass on by. Today he's focusing on southern France and the work of Marcelo Bielsa at Marseille.

We also dig Richard Jolly. He's looking toward Liverpool today, and wondering if things will be different for Brendan Rodgers. Roy Evans, Houllier, and Rafa all improved things at club...but none could win a title.

That seems about right.



Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Liverpool Win 14-13, Southampton Beat Arsenal, Fernando Torres Scores as Empoli & Milan Draw, 18 Goals in a Week for Real Madrid, Caulker Wrongly Accused of Stealing Cheese, Gyan Denies Human Sacrifice

Hump Day? Already? Geez. So, the What's In Your Wallet? Cup provided some drama last night. Liverpool defeated Boro 14-13 on penalties! Andy Hunter was at Anfield. Elsewhere, Southampton won at Arsenal thanks to a rocket from Clyne, more woe for Tim Howard as Everton conceded three to Swansea, Sunderland beat Stoke (Jozy Altidore scored!!), and Fulham and Derby County both advanced. Check it:

Arsenal 1 - 2 Southampton: Amy Lawrence at the Emirates Stadium
Liverpool 2 - 2 Middlesboro (14-13): Sam Sheringham at Anfield
Swansea 3 - 0 Everton: Stuart James at the Liberty Stadium

There were matches yesterday in La Liga. Sid Lowe is in Spain not talking about Real Madrid who continue to score goals for fun.

Fernando Torres. He scores when he...wants?

There were matches in Germany yesterday. Bayern put Poderborn away with ease, and Schalke were victorious. Here's a wee review.

There was one match in Serie A yesterday: Empoli 2 - 2 AC Milan Sticking with Milan for a minute, they used to rule Europe and dominate with regularity. No more. What's gone wrong for the Italian giants?

Sam Kelly is a solid scribe who often writes about Argentina. He wasn't available yesterday for our Scribes section, but he's graced us today...

We gave you Jeff Carlisle's MLS Power Rankings on Monday. Today you get Bird's.

Headline of the Day: Asamoah Gyan denies murdering rapper in alleged human sacrifice. Good. Glad that's settled.

Headline of the Day II: Steven Caulker arrested after being wrongly accused of Tesco cheese theft

We out!



TSB's Match Report : Arsenal vs. Southampton

If you're only going to see one game in a season you have to make sure it's the big one. And so it was last night: Carling Cup first round, Arsenal vs Southampton. And ideally you want to be there with all your mates. So off I went with my missus and our neighbour's 14 year son, Rory. Rory who loves rugby ''...but the ticket was free and I'll do anything to get away from my mad mother". My wife likes soccer more than Rory, especially going to Arsenal. Just before kick-off I asked her which was her favourite game. "I really enjoyed the stadium tour", she answered. In fairness this did tally with the earlier comment she'd made on the way to the game, " you know what the best thing about going to the football is? You get to look at the police horses..'

If you're not going to draw a top four team, then playing Southampton, with their open style of play and strong youth policy, is perhaps the next best thing. And the stadium was full. Ok, not Derby County full or Liverpool full, where all but 10 of the seats are taken, but Arsenal full. So there was at least a sprinkling of people around us. And that meant it wasn't too loud, which, lucky me, meant Rory could spend 30 minutes filling me in on the state England Rugby.

The Saints were excellent throughout, and Arsenal weren't that bad during an entertaining first half. But in the second half they were dire. All the real problems were in midfield. Quite a worry when the manager's buying policy [I need a stiker, a defensive mid and a centre back - I know I'll buy another attacking mid] leaves the team with no forwards and a defense of kids. Everything in the centre was numbingly slow. It was like watching a bunch of drugged-up crabs. Wilshere took 4 touches then passed sideways to Podolski, who took 4 touches and passed sideways to Rosicky, and so on and so on. Meanwhile, Schneiderlin was everything the Arsenal midfield wasn't: dynamic, energetic and effective.

At least in the first half there were a couple of cracking goals. Sanchez free-kick even had some fans lifting their heads from their Iphones. In the blurry photo below, taken by my wife, you can just about see the ball flying into the net.

Southampton will be delighted. Perhaps they should sell off the family jewels every year. They out-passed and out-smarted Arsenal. Arsenal didn't really seem to care. Wenger might be a tad disappointed to be out of the cup and that he may have bought another dodgy keeper but he's probably too busy thinking which Saints player he'll be buying in the summer.

-Tracksuit Bottoms (SSN London & Barcelona Correspondent)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

What's In Your Wallet?, Quinton Fortune on South Africa 2010, David Conn on Chelsea and Third Party Ownership, Scribes, Mid-Week Euro Action, Great Gattuso Rant

From League Cup debuts to stardom...
A very fine Tuesday to you and yours. We're going to jump right in with our favorite section of the week...Scribes! As you might expect, there's loads of great stuff this week on the heels of all the goals in Spain and the drama in Italy.

We always liked Quinton Fortune as a player. He seemed like a nice guy when he was plying his trade at Atlético Madrid, Manchester United, and Bolton. Anyhoo, he's from South Africa, and he's penned a piece on his nation's state post-2010. Enjoy.

Podcast! On today's Football Weekly we've got own motley crew – Messrs Richardson, Macintosh, Steinberg and Ronay, since you asked – and they're talking goals, goals, goals, because there were a ton of them this weekend. Literally. We start with the shenanigans at the King Power Stadium, where Leicester spanked Manchester United 5-3, before contemplating Liverpool's continuing awfulness at West Ham, and Frank Lampard's non-celebration after rescuing a point for Manchester City against former love Chelsea. Plus, there's a bumper European round-up, including an 8-2 win for Real Madrid, an 83-metre screamer in the Bundesliga, and news from our friend Michiel Jongsma from about the strange goings-on at Alkmaar amid tales of Marco van Basten's poor health.

Tuesday also means Gabriele Marcotti's musings. This week, Gab is gabbing about Pellegrini, Mourinho 'spar' after draw; Real's misleading win; Milan's spirit.

Chelsea. They're a sketchy, club, right? Even if you support them, you have to admit it. Abromovich, right? Well, David Conn has got this going on today: Chelsea stake in third-party ownership leaves Premier League on shaky ground -- TPO has been banned in England since the Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano furore but not, it appears, at Chelsea.

We've got Third Round Capital One Cup action today. Arsenal host Southampton, Liverpool host Boro, and Swansea host Everton, among others. Here's a wee preview.

We've got La Liga action today. Real Madrid host Elche (bless you). Here's a wee preview.

We've got Serie A action today. Empoli host AC Milan. Here's a wee preview.

We've got Bundesliga action today. Giants Bayern Munich host league-leading minnows SC Paderborn, and Werder Bremen host Schalke, among others. Here's a wee preview.

Woop! That's it.



Monday, September 22, 2014

Real Madrid Net Eight, Lampard Goal = Man City & Chelsea Draw, Leicester Shock Man United, Juventus Edge Milan

It simply had to be, right?

Holy Insanity, Batman! What a weekend! You could not have written the script better for Super Frank Lampard as Chelsea's all-time leading goal scorer, on loan to Manchester City from New York City FC, comes on as a late sub and scores the tying goal to deny Chelsea a victory at the Etihad. Similarly, down 1-3 to Manchester United after 62 minutes, few would have predicted a Leicester City Comeback/Manchester United Meltdown that would result in a final score of 5-3 to the home side. Wow. Oh, and Real Madrid put eight past Deportivo de La Coruña, West Ham beat Liverpool, and Crystal Palace won at Everton. Let's get to the reports and analysis, beginning in England.

Peter Berlin: EPL Notes
West Ham 3 - 1 Liverpool: Dominic Fifield at Upton Park
Leicester City 5 - 3 Manchester United: Stuart James at King Power Stadium
Manchester City 1 - 1 Chelsea: Phil McNulty at the Etihad Stadium
Manchester City 1 - 1 Chelsea: Daniel Taylor at the Etihad Stadium

Let's move on to the Continent, shall we? In particular, Spain and Italy. Here are Five Things we learned in La Liga this weekend. Not enough? OK, La Liga and Serie A weekend roundups. More? Fine. Here's some additional Serie A where Juventus won at Milan and Roma cruised past Cagliari. More tomorrow with the Scribes!

There was action in the United States this weekend. What did we learn? We learned at the very least Five Things. Power Rankings? Yes, Jeff Carlisle can provide those.

Not terribly pleased with Pardew...

This is pretty great. A lot of German footy fans are not pleased that Red Bull's RB Leipzig was created simply to market the brand in 2009. Supporter input and influence are not encouraged, and the team operates more or less solely as a marketing wing of Red Bull. This weekend in Berlin, Leipzig were met with 15 minutes of silence from 20,000 Union Berlin fans.

The Guardian is taking a very close look at Jorge Mendes: From Diego Costa to Angel di María, the Portuguese super agent is responsible for the biggest deals in football but is also in apparent breach of Fifa regulations.

Like a rock...not.
Good grief! We'd better terminate things there.