Friday, October 26, 2007

Want scores?

I came across a great site the other day with a very comprehensive list of live scores. The site is called FlashScore and it lists football scores from about 40 or 50 different countries and competitions.

Often times I am traveling and cannot see soccer live, so this site has proved useful to see what the results are for the day and follow a game that I cant watch live. It also has a schedule page which will tell you when all the games are on.

Beyond football, FlashScore also has scores from an array of sports such as hockey, tennis and basketball. There are also features such as personalization and sound alerts. Its one of the best live score sites I have ever seen. You can check the site out at http://www.flashscore.com/.

Jol sacked: speculation finally ends

Martin Jol has been sacked as manager of Tottenham after three years in charge. Looks the the UEFA Cup defeat to Getafe last night coupled with the loss to Newcastle at the weekend did him in.

Reports swirled around the club’s White Hart Lane stadium and the news was confirmed the news after the match. Assistant Chris Hughton was also sent packing. Development coach Clive Allen and youth team manager Alex Inglethorpe will caretake the club for Sunday's game against Blackburn Rovers.

Heated speculation now turns to Sevilla manager Juande Ramos. Sevilla’s director of football Ramon Monchi in the stands at the Spurs game against Getafe which naturally implies he was there to negotiate with Tottenham.

Unfortunately for Martin Jol it was only a matter of time. Speculation was rife after Spurs representatives were caught in Spain talking to Ramos, and news like that just makes a slippery slope slipperier.

With the club relegated if the season ended today, the disastrous start was too much to overcome. The timing might work out well as Jol could fill the vacant spot over at Ajax. I wish him well; he seemed a good man and a decent man manager. I think with some more experience he could be back in the Premiership again.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Lehmann needs to go

With clangers in the opening games of this season, Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann needs to keep his mouth shut.

You could call him outspoken, but for me he’s just egocentric. Well known for giving his opinions, demanding his starting place is a bit too much. He should realize he needs Arsenal more than they need him. If I were Arsene Wenger, I would sell him in January. Arsenal have a top class side and look like they can win a major honor this season. They don’t need a distraction.

Why Lehmann complains about feeling ‘humiliated’ is beyond me. Why doesn’t he switch places with a migrant worker who gets his passport taken and a fraction of promised wages before being dumped back on the border of his own country at gunpoint when they are done with him? Then let’s see if his position of wealth and fame is so humiliating. I gotta tell you, the attitude of professional footballers makes me want to turn of the TV sometimes. There is a lot more to be humiliated about in this world than sitting on a bench and collect a massive salary every month. I wouldn’t mind some of that humiliation.

Lehmann also has to get his language right. Humiliation implies someone intentionally tries to make a fool out of you. As far as I recall, Jens wasn’t made to wear a clown nose and ballerina costume in training, so what is he humiliated about? Overlooked, maybe, slighted, possibly, but humiliated? No.

Find him a different club Arsene. Almunia wont ever be a problem and might actually value how fortunate he is to be getting wealthy while playing a game for a living.


He needs to leave to get his career back on track

Shaun Wright-Phillips was completely left out of last night's Champions League victory over Schalke by Chelsea manager Avram Grant. While the team won, for Wright-Phillips it’s time to go. What better place than a resurgent Manchester City?

The England international struggled to win a place since Jose Mourinho signed him from Manchester City for 21m pounds in 2005 but had been gaining playing time until Avram Grant took over. He doesn’t look to feature in the new manager’s plans and should end the frustration and go somewhere where he will play. He wasn't even on the subs bench last night.

He has only made 29 Premier League starts in just over two seasons.

Sven has come out and said that they need to sign 2 more top players in January, well here is one of them.

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Bolton Wanderers have new manager

Former Leicester manager Gary Megson has signed for this season plus 2 more to become the new Bolton manager as the club try and right their rocky start against a quality Aston Villa side.

Megson takes over from Sammy Lee who just couldn’t seem to inherit what Sam Alardyce built and now has an uphill task to right a side sitting bottom of the table with a meager five points from their first 10 games this season.

Bolton were denied permission on 2 separate occasions to speak to Megson and it wasn’t until the manager stepped in to force a deal that the club relented.

Megson has managed Norwich, Nottingham Forest, West Bromwich Albion, Blackpool, Stockport and Stoke City.

How about a word of sympathy for Leicester who will now be looking for their fifth manager in just the space of an astonishing six months?

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

45 meter stunner

Talk about a goal worth of winning any match, just have a look at this stunning free kick from Venezuela international Jose Manuel Rey. He scored a 67th minute winner against Ecuador. The powerful dipping shot beat the keeper Daniel Viteri who looked surprised. You may say the keeper could have done better, but you cannot fault the incredible technical skill to place a ball so far from goal.

Venezuela, still the only team on the continent who have never played at the World Cup, are looking for their first ever appearance.

Rey currently plays for AEK Larnaca FC in Cypres and is Venezuela's all-time cap leader with 83 internationals

From many angles, the stunner:


Talk of substitution, but how good was he?

Everywhere you read about Liverpool’s weekend derby victory over Everton, you read about Steven Gerrard being substituted. But what about the Liverpool new boy who replaced him? He looked class to me.

Lucas Leiva, recent Liverpool arrival from Brazil was introduced into the Merseyside derby on Saturday midway thru the second half to the look of astonishment not only by Gerrard but throngs of fans mouthing “WTF?” as the camera panned the stands.

Replacing Gerrard was hard enough, but a Derby, and a close one at that? A lot to ask of a youngster, but Lucas, last year’s Brazilian player of the year, showed remarkable composure, ability, and some neat footwork.

He was controlled and passed the ball very well and if it were not for Phil Neville’s goal line cheating, would have been on the score sheet and with the winner to boot. Lucas looked like he could be a regular starter to me. Could I date the unimaginable and suggest he may actually play ahead of Gerrard this season? Too early for anything like that but I can bet you that a few more solid and controlled displays from the youngster might see it actually happen, and you can bet Rafa has the balls to do it.

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How a win can see both winning and losing managers leave

Rumor is, should Blackburn worsen the horrors of Tottenham’s season it will be the last game manager Martin Jol is in charge. In the frame to replace him would be the very manager who beat him: Mark Hughes. So of Blackburn beat Tottenham they lose their manager as well as Jol getting fired? How strange football can be.

Blackburn have quietly been having an excellent season. Nothing noteworthy or exceptional, but solid results that has seen the club in a solid 6th place with a game in hand. Tottenham, on the other hand, have only a single win to show for their millions spent on players. It couldn’t be a more striking contrast.

Really, it’s time for Martin Jol to go. The squad is not performing. If they really wanted him, they’d more their asses and get some results and for me, Jol has been tactically outmaneuvered too many times.

Apparently, Jol will be forced out of Tottenham if they don’t beat Blackburn on Sunday.
How a team with such an expensive set of salaries can be in the relegation zone is beyond me. And I have heard the comment over and over that this also happened last year and they clawed back but It begs the question: if it happened last season, way wasn’t anything done to prevent a repeat??

Things worsened this week as Dimitar Berbatov needed to be told 3 times to warm up for a substitution against Newcastle and then proceeded to lolly-gag around the pitch until the whistle blew.

If the rumor is true, Mark Hughes would be a excellent replacement. He knows how to organize a squad and won’t be tactically undone like Jol is being. And having spent 40m pounds on players, Hughes could probably get a lot more out of this lot than now.

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The clown

Dida is a clown. Against Celtic in a famous win, the AC Milan keeper faked injury when a fan came on the pitch to celebrate the goal.

Granted, the fan was an idiot, but Dida, after the fan brushed him as he ran past, initially started to chase the fan but then fell over in a heap and acted like he was dying. Shame on the AC Milan physios for their complicity. They should have told him to get up and stop the stupid antics. The goal was Dida's fault anyway.

Initially UEFA gave Dida a 2 game ban for his antics but unfortunately it was reduced to a single game. Should have upheld the decision. Watch the foolishness for yourself:


Perfect football

At one point the commentator said “why, this is perfect football” and it was. Arsenal demolished Slavia Prague last night 7-0 in London to tie the biggest victory margin in Champions League history. It could have been 10 or 11. Heck, even 12 or 13 such was the class on display.

Man of the moment is Theo Walcott, who played as a striker for only the second time that I can recall. He flourished in the role with calm finishing, incredible pace, and this sense that he is a complete natural in the role. From what I saw, he doesn’t belong on the wing any longer. I never thought he was right for it anyway and Eboue has just been too effective out there.

Believe it or not, it was Walcott’s first start in European competition. Looked like an old pro.
This result makes it 12 straight wins for Arsenal. Shades of the last Championship squad abound.

Arsene Wenger got the perfect birthday present, turning 58 on Monday. Cesc Fabregas, Aleksandr Hleb and Theo Walcott each scored 2 goals and Nicklas Bendtner added one late on (great goal, by the way).

The win almost certainly clinches their place in the next round of the competition.

I can sit here and gush on about the display, but I would just be repeating myself and wasting your time. Suffice it to say that you see a glee in the side when they play that you just don’t see anywhere else in Britain, especially those dressed in blue.

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