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Who ate all the pies

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West Bromwich Albion are just one game away from the Premiership after a relatively comfortable win in the second leg of their semi-final play-off against bitter rivals Wolves at the Hawthorns. West Brom did all the hard work in the first leg, winning 3-2 at Molineux, and they never really looked like letting Wolves back in the tie.

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English football fans who decided to watch the UEFA Cup final were rewarded with a dramatic, engaging contest; let’s hope the Champions League final is half this much fun.
Adriano opened the scoring for Sevilla, but Riera equalised 10 minutes later and that’s how the game stayed until extra time, despite Espanyol having Moises Hurtado sent off for a second booking on 68 minutes. West Ham/Spurs alumnus Freddie Kanoute won it for Sevilla with a goal at the end of the first period of extra time – at least he thought he’d won it. With only four minutes left of extra time, Jonatas equalised for Espanyol, taking the game to penalties.

Marc Torrejon of Espanyol has his team’s fourth penalty in a penalty shootout saved by Andres Palop to secure victory for Sevilla during last night’s UEFA Cup Final at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland.
[Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images]

The next installment of our mini-series of Classic FA Cup Final Moments. Brand spanking new Fulham boss Lawrie Sanchez pulls of one of the great Cup Final shocks as his flicked header defeats Liverpool.

Pies begins the countdown to the 2007 FA Cup final with a look at Classic FA Cup Final Moments of yesteryear. We kick off with Steven Gerrard’s cramp-riddled scorcher from last year’s final.

It’s an all Spanish affair at Hampden Park tonight as Sevilla take on Espanyol in the Uefa Cup final. Here are the highlights of their encounter a few weeks back.

Man%20U%20sandwich.jpgA sandwich shop has launched a special stilton sandwich to celebrate Manchester United’s Premiership title win and FA Cup final appearance. Merv’s Sandwich Sandwich in Manchester has created the Stilton United Premiership Sandwich.

You have to hand it to Waddle. He played the game the way fans love to see it played.

Part 2 of our team of the season below. Check out part 1 here.
essien_michael_cfc_profile_2006.jpgMF: MICHAEL ESSIEN (Chelsea)
A rock wherever he plays, Essien is the embodiment of the perfect modern midfielder – in the eyes of managers, if not fans. I’m pretty sure all Premiership bosses would choose to poach Essien above any other player in Chelsea’s rich squad, even Drogba – Essien is strong, can run and tackle all day, knows when to play it simple, is good going forward and chips in with crucial goals. And he’s improved his discipline no end – just five yellow cards in the Premiership this season.
Honourable mention: Gilberto Silva (Arsenal) Not many bright spots for Arsenal this season, but Gilberto has had a good campaign and deserves a mention. He doesn’t rant and rave but he’s a quietly effective leader. He also scored 11 goals in all competitions, way more than he’s managed in England until now.

Birmingham City fans, this is what you have to look forward to (if, as expected, he signs for the Blues).

0%2C%2C10278~2796077%2C00.jpgBig Sam Allardyce doesn’t muck about, does he? Just one day after Allardyce was unveiled as Glenn Roeder’s successor at Newcastle United, five players were released by the club: Titus Bramble, Craig Moore, Olivier Bernard, Pavel Srnicek and loan signing Oguchi Onyewu have all been told their contracts will not be renewed.

David Beckham (foreground) warms up with his Real Madrid team-mates during a training session in Madrid on 15 May 2007.

Neil Warnock has decided to leave Bramall Lane after almost eight years in charge of the Blades. ‘I believe that this is the right time for me to go,’ said Warnock. [BBC Sport] Joey Barton arrested over Dabo training-ground incident, released on bail. [F365] Michel Platini wants even more match officials. The loon. [Guardian Unlimited] […]

Ronaldo’s tux must be worn out by now. And how much of a suck-ass is Jim ‘face of a Medieval gargoyle’ Rosenthal?

mourinho_unhappy.jpgChelsea boss Jose Mourinho has been arrested and cautioned for obstructing police officers who tried to quarantine his pet Yorkshire terrier. The Special One dashed away from Chelsea’s end of season awards ceremony after receiving a phone call from his wife saying police had arrived to take the dog away. Officials feared the dog had been taken abroad, then back to Britain, without jabs.

The clip features an unusual ‘penalty’ shootout from the Birra Moretti Cup – an invitational Italian pre-season tournament comprising three teams playing 45 minute matches against each other. Draws are settled using this one-on-one shootout, with players allowed to run with the ball and goalkeepers allowed off their line to close the attacker down. Here is the shootout from Juventus’ match against Napoli at the start of this season.

juju.jpgTwo Malawain sides played a game of 10-a-side amid fears that voodoo magic could be at work. The entire second half of the match between Moyale Barracks and Dwangwa United was played with both teams a man light. The concerns started before the game when Dwangwa’s Winter Mpota waited for all the Moyale players to step onto the pitch before entering the field of play himself.

With Steve Sidwell making the move from Highbury to Stamford Bridge, via the Madejski Stadium in Reading of course, Pies looks at 10 giveaways which could/or have come back to bite Mr Wenger on the Arsene.

74132900.jpgPoor Schalke. They got within seconds of winning the Bundesliga in 2001, only for Bayern Munich to snatch the title from under their noses with a goal in the 94th minute in their game in Hamburg.

Yeah, this is table soccer! (Pumps fist, shakes mullet.)

These are our favourite goals of the season. Vote for your favourite after the jump.
1 Robin Van Persie vs Charlton

Very few players in the world are capable of scoring a volley like this. Happily for Arsenal fans, Robin van Persie is one of those rare players. Like no other goal I’ve seen and so it wins out as Pies’ favourite Premierhip goal of 2006/07.

_42771309_hollowaybw203.jpgThe BBC is asking readers of its website if they would like to see Ian Holloway keep his column for next season. What a stupid question – of course he should keep his column, it’s 20 times better than the mundane cliches churned out by other football columnists, such as Kevin Nolan and Owen Hargreaves.

According to Match of the Day anyway. And here it is: Jussi Jaaskelainen Save of the SeasonUploaded by amarchauhan

The story is that Rivaldo feels betrayed by his club, Olympiakos of Greece. The 35-year-old Brazilian World Cup winner announced his departure from Olympiakos after negotiations for a new contract broke down. The club said on Saturday that Rivaldo had rejected an offer to renew his contract for another year on the same terms as this season. But Rivaldo claimed that Olympiakos’s administration wanted to halve his salary.

And in other news, dog bites man. It has hardly come as a surprise, but Big Sam Allardyce has officially been confirmed as the new manager of Newcastle United. The former Bolton boss has signed a three-year deal at St James’ Park.