October 9, 2006
With England deciding to crap the bed against Macedonia, the media focus has turned to Wayne Rooney’s inability to score for his national team. The Manchester United striker has not scored in two years, which is all the more disappointing to him considering Peter Crouch’s record year in an England shirt.
Scotland secured a famous 1-0 win over France at Hampden Park on Gary Caldwell’s header. Despite that, there are problems within the squad. Lokomotiv Moscow striker Garry O’Connor is not only homesick, but he has jeopardized his international career by not joining up with the squad in Ukraine.
Wales were emphatically destroyed by Slovakia, but at least Craig Bellamy’s assault trial was pushed back in their only good bit of news.
An inept defensive display by the Republic of Ireland saw them leave Cyprus on the wrong end of a 5-2 scoreline. Steve Staunton will be lucky to be in the job much longer after making Cyprus’ attacking displays look like Barcelona.
Italy finally got their qualifying campaign going with a 2-0 win over Ukraine, and the pressure is increasing on Marco van Basten after the Netherlands’ 1-1 draw in Bulgaria.
A recap of club action around the world after the jump.
September 28, 2006
Benito Carbone will now officially bring that Italian flare to Sydney FC, and his new manager thinks he will stay the whole season. [The Australian]
Radhi Jaidi announced his international retirement and his intent to keep his word. [The Guardian]
FC Kobenhavn’s Swedish international Marcus Allback is questioning Thomas Gravesen’s toughness. [Ireland On-Line]
Arsene Wenger can call himself Arsenal manager for life. [Sky Sports]
DC United are going to block the most amount of money MLS will ever get for Freddy Adu. [Clubcall]
September 22, 2006
Celtic v. Rangers – It’s the first Old Firm derby of the season, and it is when it is at its best, before they play each other for the fifth time in the season. Celtic are beginning to run away with the title with their four point edge on the Gers, and apparently Paul Le Guen has no idea who to pick for this crucial match.
Catania v. Messina – Newly promoted Catania looks to continue their good start to life in Serie A against the second best team in the league and in Sicily in Messina. Christian Rigano and Giorgio Corona will probably find their way onto the scoresheet in this one.
Cerro Porteno v. Nacional – The weekly Unofficial World Club Championship is up for its weekly defense as the Tricolor of Nacional look to keep it against the side that held it for three months in Cerro Porteno, who also happen to be leading the Clausura.
Chicago Fire v. Los Angeles Galaxy – Landycakes and the Galaxy could be eliminated from playoff contention if results do not go in their favor on Saturday, while Chicago sits and waits for New England to be confirmed as the third place team in the East.
Barcelona v. Valencia – This is a huge match in La Liga this weekend as they will battle to see who can stay with a Sevilla side who have won their last nine league matches over two seasons. Valencia have key injuries while Barcelona have the nothing of the sort to worry about.
September 21, 2006
Dimitar Berbatov is going to get even further acquainted with the physio staff at Spurs. [uefa.com]
Gordon Strachan believes that the Old Firm derby has lost its luster. Maybe the five or six meetings a season has something to do with that. [Sporting Life]
A good start to life in the Premiership means that Reading feels it needs to expand the Madejski Stadium. [Soccerway]
Claudio Pizarro is using the lure of the Premiership, or Serie A, or La Liga to secure a new contract with Bayern Munich. [Eurosport]
And defeat in a bar fight has ended New England Revolution midfielder Shalrie Joseph’s season. [The Boston Globe]
September 20, 2006
With the club languishing at the Championship trap door, Leeds United have decided to change managers. [BBC]
It’s now alright to laugh at Manchester City. [Sky Sports]
UEFA and *cough* the G14 *cough* are debating limiting the spending ability of clubs, which is in no way related to Chelsea. [Soccernet]
They’ve finally done it! They have broken ground on the new stadium in Harrison, NJ. [New York Times]
Benito Carbone’s move to Sydney is on the verge of collapsing because of his fitness. [The Australian]
September 12, 2006
Roy Keane really goes out on a limb with this prediction. [BBC]
Ben Thatcher’s Elbow of Mass Destruction was worth a 12 match ban. [Sky Sports]
Marek Heinz has found a home at Saint-Etienne after leaving Galatasaray in the summer. [Soccerway]
A ballboy scored a late equalizer in the dying moments of a match in Sao Paulo. [The Offside]
While Freddy Adu may score some decent goals, the announcer gives a masterclass in how not to do his job with his reaction. [YouTube]