Some of the most interesting football stories doing the rounds today: 1. Korean players are deliberately dislocating their own shoulders to avoid national service. Ouch. The Offside 2. Sepp Blatter wants a vote on quotas for home-grown players to take place in May. Under Blatter’s proposal, club sides would be forced to field a minimum […]
It’s clear that Ivory Coast are by far the strongest team at the Africa Cup of Nations. They destroyed Guinea 5-0 in the quarter finals, and will surely get past either Angola or Egypt in the semis. The only man who can stop them from lifting the trophy isâ€¦ Michael Essien. He has dragged Ghana […]
Football is a team game, but it’s amazing how much of an effect one individual can have on his ten team-mates. Witness Jimmy Bullard’s match-winning performance for Fulham against Aston Villa at Craven Cottage yesterday afternoon. His return from a long-term injury has lifted everyone at the club; it’s no coincidence that Fulham struggled in Bullard’s absence.
West Ham 1-0 Liverpool An injury-time penalty by Mark Noble denied Liverpool a point that they didn’t deserve anyway. West Ham had the best chances, whereas Liverpool looked flat, as if their players were painfully aware that any chance of winning the league had disappeared several weeks ago. Rafa Benitez’s team are now 17 points behind both Man Utd and Arsenal. Fourth place is the best they can hope for now, and even that is no certainty.
Man of the match Mark Noble. On this form, the England U21 star must be close to a full England call-up.
Photo Getty Images
Joe Cole scores the only goal of the Carling Cup semi Final, second-leg match between Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park. Everton have not beaten Chelsea since November 2000, a hoodoo of Arsenal vs Spurs proportions. Incidentally, Petr Cech played last night despite his wife giving birth to their first child – who said the […]
The facts: Avram Grant has stormed to 21 wins in his first 28 games in charge of Chelsea. Grant has been without the services of injured captain John Terry. Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba have missed plenty of games too. After Chelsea reached the Carling Cup final, with a 1-0 win at Everton last night […]
The votes are in:Gooners want Arsene Wenger to sign cover for Kolo Toure Arsenal Pies Branislav Ivanovic’s wife is not as sexy as this Chelsea Pies Steven Gerrard named in Uefa’s Team of the Year. Liverpool Pies How well would a Man Yoo Old Boys XI do in the Prem? Man Utd Pies Does Tottenham’s […]
The hottest five football stories doing the rounds this morningâ€¦ 1. Kevin Keegan to be unveiled at St James’ Park today, but not in front of the Toon Army. BBC Sport 2. Rio Ferdinand: ‘I’d love to be England captain, innit. I’d merk that job.’ Sky Sports 3. Shaun Wright-Phillips and Jermain Defoe issue ‘come […]
Arsenal Pies Will Mathieu Flamini join Claudio ‘The Tinkerman’ Ranieri at Juventus? Chelsea Pies Will Shaun-Wright Phillips be Kevin Keegan’s No.1 transfer target at Newcastle? Liverpool Pies Dubai Investment Capital are willing and able to buy out Tom Hicks’ stake in Liverpool. Troubling times ahead at Anfield? Man Utd Pies Five weeks and counting until […]
This hilarious video shows Jose Mourinho forging a new career as the Special presenter of Setanta Sports phone-in I’m On Setanta Sports. No cabbage. Bring back Special One.
John Obi Mikel is sent off by referee Peter Walton after a wild, studs-up challenge on Phil Neville during the Carling Cup semi final 1st leg between Chelsea and Everton at Stamford Bridge on January 8, 2008 in London, England. Photo Phil Cole/Getty Images
Juande Ramos has slapped a Â£30m pricetag on Dimitar Berbatov‘s head. Or, to be precise, the Spurs boss has said that ‘a club would have to break the British transfer record to sign Berbatov’. That means Chelsea or Man Utd (the only two English clubs who would buy the Bulgarian) would have to spend more than the reputed Â£30.8m that Chelsea spent on Andriy Shevchenko in 2006.
Fwank Lampard has pledged to spend the rest of his playing career at Chelsea. (In other words, no other big club is interested in him, so he’s played the loyalty card â€“ one of the oldest tricks in the book.) So there will be no dream move to Barcelona for Lamps and his Spanish missus Elen Rives.
Anelka is the main man at Bolton, the star attraction, their best player. Bolton are ‘Nicolas Anelka’s Bolton’, just as Arsenal were ‘Thierry Henry’s Arsenal’ not so long ago. He is happy at the Reebok, but he should be â€“ it’s the sort of club that fits neatly with his selfish, ‘big fish in a small pond’ attitude.
Thanks to Pies reader Vijayan for this fine spot.
The January transfer window is open for business, and so football’s rumour mill has gone into overdrive. Will Berbatov stay at Spurs? Has Joey Barton taken a shower yet? So many questions, so few answers. Here are the top 5 transfer window rumours of the day, neatly summarised in one cut-out-and-keep package:
1 Avram Grant wants to splash out Â£35m to sign both Nicolas Anelka and ‘want-away’ Dimitar Berbatov. Via Daily Star
Peter Crouch’s sending-off was the turning point. The decision was correct: it’s clear from the clip that Crouch suddenly saw red and had no intention of going for the ball. He wanted to clatter Mikel â€“ wouldn’t you? â€“Â and did. And not like Frank Lampard to get a deflected goal, is it?
Not a classic encounter by any means; however, it was fascinating stuff between two teams who clearly hate each other. Here are three things I learned from the match: No.1 Making William Gallas captain was one of Arsene Wenger’s unlikeliest masterstrokes. Gallas strikes me as vain, petulant and arrogant – but give him a bit […]
Chelsea had their Christmas party last night, and as is often the way, it was a fancy-dress affair. John Terry went dressed in an Incredibles superhero outfit, Frank Lampard was kitted out like a 19th century French dandy and Claudio Pizarro looked rather convincing as a Roman Emperor (see pics from the party at the Daily Mail’s website).
No.1 Claudio Pizarro (pictured) is not a world-class striker. He’s more a Derby County-class striker. He could have had a hat-trick but missed several good chances that team-mate Didier Drogba â€“ who is a world-class striker â€“ would surely have put away. Chelsea should ditch Pizarro in the Jan. transfer window.
No.2 Valencia are seriously shit.
Marseille 1-2 Liverpool I agree with Alan Hansen that Liverpool will sneak the win they need to qualify for the next stage.
Chelesa win Group B with this mightily impressive away victory. Many experts thought there could be a shock on the cards in Norway, but that never looked like happening, as Avram Grant’s team cruised to a 4-0 win.
No.1 What was up with Rosenborg? Most of their players started as if they had been on the lash the night before. The league season is now over in Norway, so perhaps that had something to do with the fact that Rosenborg were so jaded and lacking in sharpness.
Whoâ€™s the best and who should be left back in the changing room?