September 27, 2006
Kaka is no fan of Carlo Ancelotti’s tactics against Lille last night. [Eurosport]
Bjorn Helge Riise has been called into the Norway squad along with his much more recognizable brother. [CNN International]
Anthony Le Tallec wants nothing to do with Liverpool anymore. [Sky Sports]
Leeds United are taking a look at an Iraqi-born goalkeeper playing at non-league Woking. [ITV]
Sydney FC are replacing their old chairman with the director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. [The Australian]
September 25, 2006
Helton insists that he is staying at Porto despite being called into the Brazil squad for friendlies against Kuwait and Ecuador. [Clubcall]
Li Tie still believes he can make it in the Premiership despite not playing a league game for lowly Sheffield United this season. [FansFC]
Juan Roman Riquelme is reconsidering his international retirement. [Sky Sports]
Another potential scandal in Italy, only it isn’t that bad and Inter may face a fine at most. [Sporting Life]
Lukas Podolski is not happy at Bayern Munich. [FOX Sports]
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
While Manchester City, Fulham and Middlesbrough were being humiliated by lower league sides Chesterfield, Wycombe and Notts County, Xabi Alonso scored a sensational goal at Anfield that may be remembered for decades.
Dirk Kuyt was on the scoresheet for the first time in a Liverpool shirt, and Alonso scored his first goal since well…he scored from inside his own half against Luton in last season’s FA Cup. Some may point to stand-in goalkeeper Steve Harper losing his footing as a major reason for the goal.
There was also a round of Serie A matches culminating in the Sicilian derby. Palermo took that one 5-3 to continue their 100 percent start to the season. Milan also became the first of the penalized sides to reach positive points, and they also moved up five spots in the table with a new total of one point for the season.
In other cup matches around Europe, CSKA Moscow were knocked out of the Russian Cup by tiny Second Division Mordovia. Gretna was destroyed in a cup competition for a second time this season 6-0 by Hibs in the CIS Insurance Cup. FC Kobenhavn needed penalties to overcome Thisted, and Groningen fought off Top Oss.
September 20, 2006
In the weeks after being kicked out of the Sweden squad before a Euro 2008 qualifier against Liechtenstein, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has repeatedly come out against playing for his country in the immediate future. Could he really be so upset about the punishment for violating a curfew that the feelings would linger this long? Could he be putting off his international career to try to find the form he had many moons ago?
More likely playing for Sweden is really just boring for him. Playing against Latvia, Liechtenstein and Northern Ireland is beneath him. Just like Henrik Larsson, he will probably say he wants to play for Sweden again right before the European Championships.
On the other hand, the Swedish FA probably overreacted a bit. If they were playing Spain the next day, they probably have every right to force the curfew because preparation is vital. However, it was Liechtenstein and they saw a chance to lay down some punishment with no chance of it costing them on the pitch. Quite frankly, they should have known that Zlatan would react in the way he has.
Well it gives them a chance to find someone who can take their place, or it could cost Lars Lagerback his job.
September 11, 2006
Jose Mourinho says he will not quit in the unlikely event that Chelsea win the Champions League. [Sky Sports]
The Football Federation of Australia has offered Mark Viduka enough pies to keep him active for the national side. [International Herald Tribune]
Despite spending over 90 percent of his life in England, Victor Anichebe has elected to represent Nigeria. [Reuters]
English-born World Cup winner Simone Perotta has signed a new contract with Roma. [Eurosport]
Leinart Johansson pulled himself away from the dinner table to say Sven-Goran Eriksson was not a failure. [BBC]
September 8, 2006
Atletico Madrid v. Valencia – Two teams expected to contend for the title battle it out at the Vicente Calderon. Sergio Aguero picked up an injury in training this week and will be on the bench, while Mista looks to get revenge on the team that thought he was not good enough after scoring 19 goals for Valencia three seasons ago. Joaquin and Maniche could make their debuts for the visitors. One would expect a few goals in this match.
Derby County v. Sunderland – Roy Keane makes his managerial debut at Pride Park. Only Dwight Yorke out of his six late signings will not make their debut against the Rams as Sunderland looks to escape the relegation zone in the Championship.
Fiorentina v. Inter Milan – The Nerazzuri begin their defense of the Scudetto against strugglers Fiorentina. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Hernan Crespo should be among the Inter players making their debuts, while Adrian Mutu will partner Luca Toni in attack for the Viola.
Rimini v. Juventus – The long road back to Serie A begins for strugglers Juventus. They are already many, many points behind their newly-promoted hosts Rimini. At least the Bianconeri get to start in one of the most scenic locations in world football.
Nacional v. Tacuary – The Tricolor get to defend the Unofficial World Club Championship against an unpredictable Tacuary side. The sides sit 5th and 4th respectively in the Apertura table, so it could go either way.
September 7, 2006
After beating Spain, Northern Ireland manager Lawrie Sanchez may decide to he has had enough with the local press. [The Irish Times]
Pedro Mendes thought about quitting after being on the receiving end of a Ben Thatcher Elbow of Mass Destruction™. [BBC]
Steeeeeeeed Malbranque has celebrated leaving Fulham by going under the knife. [Sporting Life]
Frank Lampard is getting tired of people criticizing him because he is not scoring enough deflected goals for England. [The Daily Telegraph]
Torino have sacked Gianni De Biasi, despite the fact the Serie A season has not yet begun. [Sky Sports]
August 31, 2006
Not to be forgotten are the two other highest rated leagues in Europe, as they conclude their own deals on deadline day.
This item will probably be updated a few more times over the rest of the day so we start in England of course.
Read the rest of this entry »