Friday, January 23, 2015

FA Cup, Asian Cup, African Nations Cup, Hope Solo

Bloody Hell. Sorry for the absence. Hopefully your hearts have grown fonder. We had no idea how much stuff had accumulated at SSN Headquarters and it simply overwhelmed us. We're (kind of) settled in a temporary facility so we're going to attempt to get a post done while we have a minute. Some of our staff remain on unpaid leave, but we'll do the best we can.

Right! Where to begin? We suppose the FA Cup would be appropriate. We've reached the Fourth Round, friends, and matches such as Rochdale vs. Stoke, Derby vs. Chesterfield, and Aston Villa vs. Bournemouth are poised to ignite! Here are 10 Things To Look Out For. Here are Lawro's and Dion Dublin's predictions. Here's a Preview of the Round Four, which begins this afternoon with Manchester United's trip to Cambridge.

David Trezeguet has retired. Michael Cox takes a look back at the prolific Frenchman's career here.

Over in Asia, the United Arab Emirates stunned defending champs Japan to advance to a semi-final clash with the Aussies (see Cahill's bicycle above). Meanwhile, Iraq beat Iran on penalties. The Iraqis will play South Korea in the other Semi. Here's a wrap. And look! Iranian women can actually attend a match! Fancy that!

Has it really been 20 years since Eric Cantona went all Kung-Fu at Crystal Palace? We are getting old. Here's a look back at that shocking affair.

Barney Ronay's got a good piece out today. He's talking about the financial benefits enjoyed by the London clubs. Here are a nice couple of lines: "The fact is, and I write as someone who has lived here all his life, these days it feels as though nobody really loves or even likes London that much. Not least because London doesn’t actually want to be liked, but presents itself instead as a beautiful, frightening, frictionless economic machine."

The next Freddy Adu is here. His name is Martin Odegaard. He's signed at Real Madrid. Here's all you need to know about the kid.

Serie A? Yes. Lazio/AC Milan and Fiorentina/Roma look good. Here's a Preview of the weekend's schedule.

Das Bundesliga is still hibernating, but Raphael Honigstein is on hand to remind us that Borussia Dortmund are in big trouble. Could they actually go down?

La Liga? Yes. Here are Six Storylines to watch over the next few days in Spain.

Over at the African Nations Cup, Jonathan Wilson's talking about Ghana and their must-win match with Algeria this morning. Their manager is Avram Grant. Oh, dear. That competition is still in the group stage. Kirsten Schlewitz breaks down today's action here.

And finally...more bad news for Hope Solo. It looks like the end for her career. Hopefully she can get some help.