Friday, August 17, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Michael Johnson's superb strike for Man City, showing why all the big clubs want this kid.
Voronin's immaculate blast for Liverpool in their away leg qualifying round match against Toulouse.
Online Videos by Veoh.com
Hartley's great header to give Celtic a huge advantage in their CL qualifying battle with Spartak.
Scholesy's thread the needle screamer from outside of the box to put United up on Portsmouth.
Clichy's steal and set up for Fabregas as Arsenal take a two goal advantage in their CL qualifying round with Sparta.
Messi's wonder strike against Bayern Munich
Caffa's stoppage time free kick goal for Real Betis to win the friendly over Real Madrid.
And of course, Golden Balls' is free kick.
And if you get a chance, here are Drogba's tremendous strike and Hleb's kamikaze goal. Cheers.
As discussed a few days ago, Sky Sports has highlights of the shocking upset of PNE by Morecambe:
Marcus Hahnemann is now in his eighth year playing in England. Last season, the Reading keeper helped his team finish eighth in the Premiere League, their first season in the top flight. He recorded 22 shutouts in 38 league games.
After sustaining a seriously broken right hand in the final match of last season, Hahnemann returned to Reading’s starting lineup las Sunday against Manchester United and held the champions to a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford.
On Monday, Hahnemann spoke by telephone from England with Jack Bell of The New York Times. Here is a transcript of that discussion.
Q:We know you’ve been there before, but what was it like to take the field against Manchester United’s star-studded lineup on Sunday?
A: They are such a good team with so many unbelievable players. I mean even players in the stands. You kind of forget about that once the game starts. But once it’s over and I got to see the highlights, I saw the camera panned the players sitting in the stands: Tevez, Solskjaer and Neville. Then you look some more and see five more guys. I’m just like, ‘Oh my gosh, they are so deep.’ And that’s the thing about those teams, teams like Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool - it’s not just the 11 guys on the field. Those guys have unbelievable teams behind them.
Q: So, when you played Man U, is it impossible to concentrate on any one or two players?
A: Well, there’s Ronaldo, Giggs and Rooney. Those three guys are unnerving when you try and play against them.
Q: How do you focus yourself for games?
A: It’s kind of funny. Last year we got promoted to the Premiership. In the past, I’ve like to exchanged shirts with an opposing player. But for the first seven games in the Premier League I didn’t do it. I didn’t want to feel like I was just happy to be there. I wanted to make sure I had, and the team had, arrived first before I started getting mementos. Then we went up to play at Man U and I took my wife. She thought it was pretty cool. That’s when we knew we had arrived.
No, it’s kind of is almost like a job a little bit, now because when you’re on the field you really don’t get to take in the atmosphere. We played in a Cup game at Old Trafford in which I didn’t play. The stadium wasn’t quite full, there were a couple of thousand empty seats. But when I was on the bench I had time to look around and take in the atmosphere more, and it was incredible.
On Sunday, we were under a little bit of pressure, especially in the second half so I couldn’t take it in too much. We couldn’t really get out of [our] own half, especially with 10 men. We ran out of ideas. I was clearing the ball as close to [the] touchline as I could, hoping it would go out and even though it was a throw-in for them, it gave us some time to catch a breath. The guys were just too tired from running, a lot of running.
Q: Was there any talk before the game of playing for a tie?
A: We wanted to get something from the game. Almost anybody who goes to Man U is happy coming away with a point. Especially a clean sheet. It’s an unbelievable result. On Thursday, our manager, Steve Coppell, said we were going to be going with man marking. Guys were like going to be running all over the place. It’s a testament to the diligence of the team and our willingness to try. But if I had let a goal in the first minute it all goes out [the] window. Stuck with it, the guys did a great job.
We were so tired and when we did get a chance to go forward, even Ronaldo chased [Nicky] Shorey all the way down into his own box. We were hoping that maybe someone would be a little lazy and not chase back. But what really impressed me was that Man U has a lot of guys who are willing to defend. They have so many world-class players, but they are all willing to defend also.
Q: Before the game, I saw some stories saying you might not play. Then while watching the game, the announcers mentioned your hand injury. When and how did it happen?
A: I hurt it on May 13, in the last game of the season against Blackburn. There was a low cross and I went to win the ball. I had my ball with my hand on top of it and I got caught just right by Nonda. I was pretty unlucky because the injury was to my middle and ring fingers. Pretty nasty. I’ve got a real good buddy at the Steadman-Hawkins Clinic, Randy Viola, who told me to have the X-rays emailed to him. He said it was the worst break on a right hand they’ve ever seen. He wanted to know when I could get to Colorado.
Q: So, the injury kind of ruled you out of playing for the U.S. national team in the Gold Cup and Copa América.
A: I talked to Bob [Bradley] and he said he planned to take Kasey [Keller] and Tim [Howard]. I was fine with that because I wanted to rest the hand and it meant I would have my first summer off in three years. I wanted to fish and play golf. But it was a good four weeks before I was really doing any fishing, and I was casting left-handed. It wasn’t easy. I took my boys out a few times and they can’t cast very well, either. But we had a good time floating down Yakima River [in Washington State], where I have a house.
Q: How much time did you have off?
A: Well, we started preseason training on June 26. I wasn’t sure if I would be ready for training. The hand just wasn’t healed up enough. I was training, but not catching balls. No one could take shots at me, the hand just wouldn’t take it. Still, I was able to do goalkeeper training, but instead of handling a shot, I just collapsed to the ground and came up ready for a throw. There was still a lot of work for me to do, because I really only was training for 10 days before the season. All preseason, no one expected me to be ready to play.
Q: So there you are at Old Trafford, and early in the game in comes Wayne Rooney on a breakaway.
A: That was the first chance: Rooney one-on-one. I had to stick my right hand out there unprotected. I cringed a bit, but it was O.K. I said to myself that my hands were still on so I must be alright, Bear in mind that in training the one thing I was worried about was another kick. I mean I have 16 pins and 2 plates in there.
Then in the second half there was a scramble in front of the goal and I dove on the ball and I got whacked by one of my own men. I grabbed the ball with both hands and luckily, he hit me in the left hand.
Those things happen all the time. I’m 35, I’ve been kicked all the time and nothing ever happened. But this injury was more critical because [I’m] a keeper and broke a hand. There were questions about me coming back, some people said it would be months because of the surgery.
Q: Then does it seem a little strange to you that later in the game Rooney gets stepped on and is now expected to be out for at least six weeks?
A: I didn’t really notice right away what happened. It didn’t look like anything at first. I thought he had rolled his ankle. I’m not sure what happened. He took off his boot and was limping. I just thought all sorts of things could have happened: he could have jammed his toe into the ground or gotten kicked. You don’t really, while playing, don’t have time to think [about] other players. You’ve got your job to focus on and that’s about it. He didn’t come out for the second half, I said to myself, ‘O.K., now I’m worried about whose coming in and their tendencies.’ I have to change what I’m doing. It wasn’t until after the game that I wondered what’s happen to Wayne. Some people don’t really care about guys on the other team, but I’ve been in England a really long time. I know Wayne [is] out of qualifying games. And now England is my second team, being here eight years, all my friends are English and I watch the games with them. You end up rooting for England and now I’m sure Wayne will be missed.
Q: At the start of last season, all the pundits in England had Reading tabbed to go right back down to the League Championship. But you guys did surprisingly well and finished in the middle of the table. Did that surprise you?
A: Yes, I think we did surprise ourselves. We all thought and believed we would stay up in the Premiership. That was our first goal. But to finish eighth, one point off a Euro spot puts you in a pretty remarkable crowd. I suppose we could have gotten another point the last game had I not got injured, but to finish so close to a Euro spot is truly amazing. Not too many teams have done better their first year in the top flight. You see some teams that have been around in Prem seven or eight years and still can’t get above 12th, that’s it. This is such a difficult league. You have to grind results out every week. Not [the] same as couple of years ago when we ran away with the Championship, when we could get a win when we needed it. Now we’re fighting for life to get nil-nil against Man U in a game where we only had something like two shots.
Q: How much better can you expect to do this season? Or is it again a matter of avoiding relegation?
A: The question is depth. And injuries to a squad the size of ours would kill us, that’s the bottom line. I think we spent like $2 million on players all summer. And look at Sunderland, they spent $25 to $30 million. We have not spent that much money, but we have a really good core that needs to be strengthened. We have to find the right players for our team, don’t want to bring someone in whose not going to fit in, we don’t want anyone to upset the dressing room, as they say over here.
Our goal is definitely the top 10 this season and maybe getting into Europe for next year, which would make the club even stronger. The problem is, for a club like ours without a lot of depth, all those extra games … I don’t know if they’re really wanted.
Q: What does the future hold for you?
A: I know nothing. I’m going to play as long as I’m having fun and can get out of bed every morning and train. As you get older, your body does slow down. After games, your body does get sore and then you can’t train as hard. It’s just a fact. You have to be able to tailor training sessions. Three or four years down the road is the next World Cup, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to train as hard for it. I’ve told Bob that I want to be a part of it. He knows I love going with team, I want to be there for the next one. It’s just how my body will feel. Wake up and body says ‘no,’ then you’re not training. If you can’t keep doing it at a high level it’s time to go. If you can’t train, you performance in games would suffer.
Q: There area always people in soccer who say that a goalkeeper’s best years are the mid-to-late 30s, even 40. Do you agree?
A: Last year, when I was 34, I played the best I’ve ever played in [the] Prem. I had more saves than anyone else and my team didn’t finish bottom, it finished eighth. Usually, the guy with the most saves is on a last-place team. I had the most saves and I was busy. Now I’m 35 and you can feel your body. I don’t know how much longer I’ll play, I don’t think anyone can say play they’re going to play until they’re 40. If there are no injuries and I’m still playing at 40, fine. It might reach a point whether I retire if my family wants to go back to the States for my kids schooling. How long can a body hold up? I love the game. I like training. I love shooting practice. And I just love talking trash during training.
Q: This is your seventh season at Reading. Do you plan to stick around beyond this season?
A: I have a contract through this season. I talked with my agent over the summer and he told me the club had called him and wanted to meet about a new deal. But, for whatever reason, they then said they didn’t want to do anything now. I’ve played 231 games for Reading and I’ve never said I wanted to do anything but stay at Reading. If, if they decide differently I’m willing to consider my options. What I’ll be doing next July, I don’t know. I might be sitting in my house on the Yakima River. I just hope to have something by then.
Sheffield United have announced they plan to sue West Ham for the cost of their relegation from the Premier League.
The Blades failed last month in their high court bid to force new Premier League disciplinary action against West Ham over the Carlos Tevez affair; they had hoped to pave the way for a retrospective points deduction that would send West Ham down while keeping United in the top flight. Once that avenue of attack was cut off, they revealed they would consider suing West Ham for compensation of between £30m and £50m.
"After consideration and discussion with our legal advisers Sheffield United are today initiating legal proceedings against West Ham United as we seek substantial compensation for our relegation from the Premier League," said Toby Craig, a member of the club's legal team.
"This action is distinct from the arbitration proceedings between the club and the Premier League during the close season," he continued. "We have always said that we will do everything in our power to secure justice for Sheffield United and restore the integrity of English football which has been tarnished by this affair. Once proceedings have been issued we will await a response from West Ham before making any further statements."
United were relegated to the Championship after finishing three points behind the Hammers, whose only penalty for including banned clauses in the contracts of Tevez and Javier Mascherano - and then deliberately concealing them from the Premier League authorities - was a £5.5m fine. By maintaining their Premier League status this season, West Ham secured a share of the television rights money worth in excess of £30m.
True Sheffield got robbed last year but if they can get promoted as Derby can attest they stand to make twice that television rights money and will be better suited for success next season. Of course adding $30M from West Ham's coffers surely wouldn't hurt that effort as well.
- Daniel Alves move to Chelsea has hit a snag as Sevilla says the offer is vastly under their value
- Stevie G breaks his toe but will play Chelsea this weekend but will miss the friendly versus Germany
- Hamburg SV won't let Dutch star Van der Vaart leave them
- Kieron Dyer's move to West Ham is complete but probably a week too late as he clearly was needed last weekend. His transfer should be completed in time for this weekend's fixture against Birmingham
- Beckham finally makes an impact in the MLS Superliga Cup:
What we knowRonaldo's three game ban definitely is the story of the week thus far. As is Bolton's struggles with Sammy Lee, who certainly appears to be headed out the door before the season really got underway.
1. Manchester United is in trouble. As Steven Gerrard so elegantly in his Scouse accent stated on the Prem preview show, you can't win the league in August, but you can lose it. In two games, Manchester United has dropped four points and already chase Chelsea.
It would easy to say this isn't a big deal and its no reason to panic, but consider United has already lost Wayne Rooney for two months and now loses Cristiano Ronaldo to suspension for retaliating late in the game with a headbutt. Guess he didn't mind messing up his much lauded locks, eh?
Of the two draws from United the opening day 0-0 vs. Reading is probably more concerning. For whatever reason the team has its problems at Fratton Park against Portsmouth.
You just wonder, on paper United looked capable of setting all sorts of goal-scoring records and through two games they've netted one. At least Carlos Tevez made an impact.
Looking ahead the next couple weeks don't get easier for United, beginning with Sunday's trip to the City of Manchester Stadium. After that it's: v. Tottenham; v. Sunderland (Roy Keane alert); at Everton; v. Chelsea (could be a must-win); at Birmingham. Then it gets much easier in October: v. Wigan; at Villa; v. Middlesbrough.
Does SAF have one more ace up his sleeve in the transfer market?
2. City probably won't get relegated, as I guessed. Sven's men have already grabbed six points from two games. What that means, assuming 40 points assures safety that the boys in sky blue are 15 percent of the way home. If they nick anything from United this weekend, I may even eat my hat. Though, let's not start doing back-flips over a 1-0 win over promoted Derby County.
3. Sunderland 2007/08 is not Sunderland 2005/06. Two years ago the Black Cats tallied 15 points on the whole season, after two game this year they've got four.
4. Lower league buys paying dividends. Two games in and buys from the Championship David Healy (Fulham from Leeds) and Michael Chopra (Sunderland from Cardiff City) have netted twice. Also scoring in each game are everyone's favorite bald Frenchman Antoine Sibierski, Zimbabwe zensation Benjani and Everton's Leon Osman.
5. Parity? Through two games we have three teams to win both -- Everton, Chelsea and Man City and three winless clubs -- Middlesbrough, Bolton and Tottenham(mered). Likely by the end of October we'll have some separation, but perhaps the league is more balanced that I give it credit for.
6. Chelsea are going to miss Michael Essien at the African Cup of Nations (duh). Without the Ghanaian bulldog, the Blues were pretty pedestrian in the first half vs. Reading. Credit Jose Mourinho for seeing this early and tinkering with his lineup, bringing on Claudio Pizarro and Jon Obi Mikel at halftime for Paulo 'Portuguese for pitiful' Ferreira and Steve Sidwell, thus ending his homecoming. I guess credit goes the Chelsea's main two goal scorers, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba for rescueing the team from its snooze at the Madejski. Typical, ruthless, efficient Chelsea. (And I'll say it again, who the hell chose the Chelsea away shirts? Did they sign a contract with Boby Glove or something? Dreadful!)
7. Reading is going to be a team no one wants to play. Two red cards in two games against arguably the league's top two contenders. Credit Steve Coppell's men for being organized and intelligent. They get tri-leaders Everton Saturday.
8. One nice thing about Bolton.
The new black Reebok away shirts look pretty good. (Yank alert, Carlos Bocanegra booked again in the 90th minute of Fulham's 2-1 win at Craven Cottage.)
What we don't know
1. Is Daniel Alves going to Chelsea? Protracted deals are nothing new, but this one might not happen. The Brasilian right back, even if he is reckless getting forward, should slot in perfectly in West London.
2. Can I keep my guessing rate up? Not to pat myself on the back (who am I kidding?) of the three games I guessed correctly, I got the score right in each game, bringing my season total to 8-8.
3. Can Man City keep this up and conversely can Tottenham continue to stink up the joint? We'll see.
4. Can Sammy Lee survive until Christmas? With, let's call it, an eclectic group of talent the ship might sink rather quickly in Trotters territory.
Nothing to crazy in the final leg of Champions League qualifying aside from Ajax dropping 0-1 at home to Slavia Prague. Meanwhile, at the Czech capital Alexsandr Hleb and Cesc Fabregas ensued Sparta Prague is in a heap of trouble. Liverpool took care of business against Tolouse, winning 1-0 on a goal from Andriy Voronin. The boys in Green, Celtic got a first half goal from Paul Hartley and drew Spartak Moscow 1-1.
Return legs are Aug. 29.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Derby supporters will have to wait for the debut of the young American as his registration wasn't completed in time for today's fixture versus Man City:
Derby boss Billy Davies plans to rotate his team, even though they began with an encouraging draw against Portsmouth. One man definitely still out is midfielder Giles Barnes, who is sidelined by a foot injury. Derbys latest recruit, American midfielder Benny Feilhaber, is ineligible because his international clearance has not yet come through.Hopefully this weekend he will be able to build on his strong performances with the USMNT
Roy also had this gem to add:
Well, it didn’t take long for Roy Keane to win over pretty much every fan in the entire world when he brought Sunderland back into the Premier League. Then his side put in an organised, hardworking performance to upset Tottenham, the club who everyone loves to hate, on the opening fixture of the new season. Now it seems he’s trying to one up himself by launching a tirade against the modern footballer,Can’t really argue with any of that, and really only confirms what we already knew about Roy Keane the player and the manager. No-nonsense and 100% football-focused, just like Sir Alex or even Brian Clough.
“Priorities have changed in footballers and they’re being dictated to by their wives and girlfriends - there’s no getting away from that,” blasted Keane.
“This idea of the women running the show concerns me and worries me but it shouldn’t because the players we’re talking about are soft.
“I could name three or four big players now and clearly their wives are running their lives. They’re stood there doing these photo shoots and they might say ‘I’m not comfortable doing it’. Well, don’t do it then.
“They’re getting dragged into it because of their partners. These so-called big stars, the ones people are supposed to be looking up to, they’re weak, they’re soft.
“If a player doesn’t want to come to Sunderland because his wife wants to go shopping in London it’s a sad state of affairs. It’s not a football move, it’s a lifestyle move, and they’re the type you don’t want at your club anyway. It tells me the player is weak and his wife runs his life.”"
'Their priorities are not the same as mine. We will do the best for our players' families, but we've had a player this summer who didn't even ring us back because his wife wanted to move to London. And shopping was mentioned. It might astonish many people, but it's true,' he said.Roy's message is loud and clear: don't let your WAG's control you lads....
CHICAGO (August 14, 2007) — U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley has named the 19-man roster that will travel to face 11-time World Cup finalists Sweden on Aug. 22 in Göteborg. The U.S. team will begin arriving in Göteborg on Sunday, Aug. 19 and will train twice before Wednesday’s match. Kickoff at Ullevi Stadium is set for 2:30 p.m. ET (8:30 p.m. local time) and will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel (with Galavision airing the match live at 2:30 p.m. ET and delayed at 2:30 p.m. PT). Fans can also follow the match live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.
"We are happy to be able to see so many of our foreign-based players in action and to put them in another challenging environment,” said Bradley, who is 10-3-1 in 2007 and making his first trip to Europe with the team. ”We are continuing to develop our team as World Cup qualifying approaches, and this group will certainly play a large role in that process. Sweden is bringing a very competitive roster, so it should be a great match.”
Here's the roster:
ROSTER BY POSITIONAnaylsis from ThatsOnPoint:
Goalkeepers (2) – Marcus Hahnemann (Reading FC), Tim Howard (Everton FC)
Defenders (6) – Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Jay DeMerit (Watford FC), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)
Midfielders (6) – DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen), Bobby Convey (Reading FC), Clint Dempsey (Fulham FC), Benny Feilhaber (Derby County), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids)
Forwards (5) – Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Charlie Davies (Hammarby IF), Kamani Hill (VfL Wolfsburg), Josh Wolff (1860 Munich), Sal Zizzo (Hannover 96)
1. Benny Feilhaber is listed as a Derby County player. The deal isn't totally official as of Tuesday afternoon. Here's the official Derby release notes. At first I didn't think this was a good move, but I've come around. Hamburg might be near the top of the Bundesliga come May, but it's still not the Prem. Even if Derby goes straight back down, he'll get bigger exposure and should move to a new, higher-profile club in a year. The sky appears to be the limit...right now. (Crossing fingers.)I would add that although he's young, and just joined Benfica, I think Bradley needs to start considering giving Adu some friendly call-ups so he can get some caps under his belt prior to 2010 as he proved to the world in the U-20 World Cup that he is one of the most skillful Yank in the USMNT's talent pool. Not to mention that it would be nice to cap-tie him.
2. Jon Bornstein is Bob Bradley's adoptive son. There are two MLS players in this squad. Pablo Mastroeni makes sense, Bornstein over, say, Heath Pearce who now plays at Hansa Rostock or Frank Simek at left back just doesn't make sense. After the two International tournaments earlier this summer we all know exactly who Bornstein is. The other two players, not so much. This is a perfect opportunity, wonder what Bradley's thought process is here.
3. Welcome back -- Steve Cherundolo, Marcus Hahnemann, Bobby Convey and Josh Wolff. Considering there won't be a lot of pre-training before this one-off game, which is more of interest to Sweden that anything, it kind of makes sense to recall these players. No sense bringing in any excess MLSers who are still in season. It'll be good to see if Cherundolo has anything left in the tank. Wolff...umm...he had his moments but is past the sell-by date. The Reading boys both deserve looks. Hahnemann should have earned a start after his work vs. Manchester United. Who knows what Convey has coming off his lengthy knee injury.
4. Sal Zizzo is a forward? Looked like a winger to me during the U-20 World Cup.
Again, this isn't a huge game in the grand scheme of things. Yes, Sweden is a nice team with a good pedigree, but this is just a friendly. You can't read too much into it, yet this is a lineup that should be able to compete.
You just wonder if Bradley will recall a similar, Euro-based squad for the much anticipated friendly with Brasil in early September.
The matchup I want to see the most in the Sweden game is Onyewu vs. Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Looks like the win won't come as a shock to Preston boss Paul Simpson:
Morecambe made a stunning Carling Cup debut by knocking out Lancashire rivals Preston 2-1 in the first round at Deepdale on Tuesday night.The Shrimps, newly promoted to the Football League, took a sixth-minute lead through Jim Bentley's volley from a Craig Stanley cross. Danny Pugh headed a 73rd-minute equaliser for the Championship side but Sammy McIlroy's team went back in front with six minutes to go as David Artell netted a dramatic winner.
Preston supporters surely can't be happy with Simpson and definitely weren't happy with the teams effort as the end of the first half was culiminated with boo's from the home crowd.
"It's a local derby and they have just been promoted and they will want to shock us," Simpson said.
"We will treat them with respect because we don't want to be upset." [Ed. sorry mate]advertisement
Simpson and Shrimps boss Sammy McIlroy are former Manchester City team-mates.
UPDATE: Found the coverage from the local fishwrap "Shrimp's In Wonderland."
Hopefully Adu will continue to get minutes for the Portuguese side
On Tuesday, Adu began in his usual forward midfield role before alternating between the wings during the second half. He shied away from dribbling runs at the defense and mostly favored quick, short passes.
Early in the second half, he set up Oscar Cardozo, whose header was kept out by the goalie's fingertips. With 10 minutes to play, Adu tried a bicycle kick, but the shot went far wide of the goal.
A scrappy defense prevented Adu from getting any more possessions, and he rarely dented the defense.
Thailand's supreme court has approved a prosecution request to issue arrest warrants for the Manchester City owner Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife on corruption charges. The former Thai prime minister, who has been living in self-imposed exile in England, took over City in the summer and installed Sven-Goran Eriksson as manager.Whether this move is politically motivated or not it can't be good to have so much uncertainty surrounding Man City after such an outstanding start to league play.
It is understood that, if convicted, Thaksin could face up to 10 years in jail and a nominal fine.
Mikel Arteta was fabulous today in Everton's 3-1 win over the reeling Spurs side. After setting up two goals, Arteta nearly missing scoring two of his own and seems to likely be designated the Man of the Match. Good news for those of us who have the young Spaniard on their Fantasy sides.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Warner's point is outstanding -- the more casual sports fans see of fabulous goals such as these, the more the league will grow. Personally, the more I see the Martins goal, the more amazing it is.
I was a little hesitant to post this clip here, because I have a feeling that the Premier League will find out about these guys and file lawsuits against them, just like they did against YouTube, but really, this Steven Gerrard free kick has to be seen to be believed.
Clips like this would be a fantastic promotional tool for the Premier League, something that could show people just how exciting this league can be. If the Premier League actually worked with an online video site -- or created its own, like Comedy Central did -- to produce highlight clips like this that bloggers could share with their audience, then perhaps the league could attract even more sports fans. MLS has a YouTube account. U.S. Soccer has one, too. Why doesn't the Premier League?
Because they let lawyers determine their marketing policy. It's one thing to protect your copyright, but stop punishing your biggest fans for this. That's just stupidity.
After the jump: Obafemi Martins of Newcastle makes a bicycle kick goal that rips the heart out of Bolton Wanderers fans everywhere.
UPDATE: Here's a goal the Premier League would definitely rather you not see:
Perhaps efforts like Lehmann's are what the Premier League is trying to prevent it's fans from seeing.
Premier League Best Eleven Of The Week: Week 1 Who were the best performers in the Premiership at the weekend?
Tony Warner (Fulham): Kept Fulham from getting blown out after getting word he would play 10 minutes before kickoff.
Nicky Shorey (Reading): Marked Cristiano Ronaldo effectively.
Paul McShane (Sunderland): Nullified what has been hyped as the most vaunted strike-force in the Premier League. The fact that the largely anonymous Berbatov was withdrawn underlined McShane's effectiveness.
Jamie Carragher (Liverpool): Solid in the back
Ross Wallace (Sunderland): Fed Chopra for the lone goal
Shaun Wright-Phillips (Chelsea): Finally living up to his potential?
Steven Gerrard (Liverpool): Two words: Free kick
Elano (Manchester City): Sven is a genius
Olivier Kapo (Birmingham City): Class goal against Cech had Chelsea fans biting nails
Obafemi Martins (Newcastle United): Heroic performance.
Roque Santa Cruz (Blackburn Rovers): scored within two minutes of being subbed in.
Stuart Taylor was heroic in goal for Aston Villa, and Marcus Hahnemann produced a number of second-half saves to preserve Reading's clean sheet at Old Trafford, while on Teesside Brad Friedel was a typically formidable barrier for Blackburn.
Micah Richards underlined his quality in the Manchester City, Nyron Nosworthy showed why Sunderland fans love him and Zat Knight made a couple of crucial blocks for Fulham against Arsenal. Newcastle's David Rozehnal had a good debut and Andy Todd capped a fine display for Derby with a spectacular diving header to earn the Rams a first-day point.
Midfielders who caught the eye included Manchester City's Michael Johnson and Martin Petrov. Dickson Etuhu showed Premier League potential for Sunderland while Mikel Arteta shone for Everton and Matt Oakley produced a csptain's goal-scoring performance for Derby County.
Claudio Pizarro and Florent Malouda looked ominously classy for Chelsea, both getting on the scoresheet, Dirk Kuyt worked tirelessly across the front line for Liverpool and Derby's Steve Howard was a handful.
Not too many stick points here, but I would here's where I would differ on the Best XI, GK has to be Marcus Hahnemann who made so many nice saves that the cult of the bald Yank amongst Reading supporters grows daily.
RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Pablo Salinas was sent off for a Spiderman goal celebration after scoring for The Strongest in their 2-0 derby win over Bolivar on Sunday.
Deportivo San Martin crushed nine-man Alianza Lima 5-0 in Peru where the other two big clubs, Sporting Cristal and Universitario, also lost.
Apparently Salinas isn't the only fool to have done this:
A great take from the Offside:
As far a goal celebrations go, I’ve always thought the old pull a mask from your shorts and run around like a super hero ranks in the middle of the pack somewhere between the brilliance of sniffing the end line and the not so brilliant tangoing with the corner flag. It isn’t easy playing with something stuffed down your shorts and when you do score you should be allowed to give your little guys below a little freedom.(Hat tip to the Offside for the story)
The killjoys in Bolivia think otherwise. After scoring the second goal in The Strongest’s 2-0 victory over Bolivar this weekend, Pablo Salinas dug deep into his shorts and pulled out a Spider-Man mask which he put on his head. The referee, apparently a big fan of Spidey’s nemesis Green Goblin, gave Salinas a yellow card, his second of the match.The soccer world is clearly biased against Spider-Man. Too bad. His outfit is better than some kits and he is a crowd pleaser.
Martins took it off the chest and quickly rounded into a bicycle kick -- class!
(Newcastle fans might soon be saying bye-bye to Adriano)
UPDATE: Found a video:
Although Essien has been known to play through pain in the past a knee ligament injury doesn't sound good for Chelsea supporters -- especially considering the fact that he looked to be in substantial pain:
"It was something in the knee ligament. He was in pain, I had two midfielders on the bench so I made the change immediately," said Mourinho."If you asked me, I would say I do not know if he will be fit for Wednesday's match against Reading."
Jose might receive some help from Makele, who returned to training today, but Essien is so solid in the middle that his presence surely will be missed.
LISBON, Portugal: American teenage star Freddy Adu could make his debut for Benfica as a substitute in Tuesday's Champions League qualifier against FC Copenhagen.
Adu, who had been one of the highest-profile players in Major League Soccer, was among the 19 players named to the squad Monday for the first leg at the Stadium of Light.
Benfica coach Fernando Santos said the 18-year-old attacking midfielder will not start the match and will be on the bench.
"Adu has only had seven days of training, but he has enormous potential and he is available," Santos said. "But we have to be careful with him under these conditions."
Hopefully Adu can follow up on his excellent performance in the U-20 world cup.
Blackburn Rovers' South Africa striker Benni McCarthy was released from hospital on Saturday after collapsing on the pitch during his side's 2-1 win over Middlesbrough at the Riverside.I would expect Mark Hughes to give McCarthy some more rest after the valiant efforts from Blackburn's subs even if he is fit.
The forward clashed heads with Boro defender Chris Riggott during a second-half challenge. Rovers were 1-0 down at the time.
McCarthy then collapsed as he spoke with Blackburn's physio.
After several minutes of treatment on the pitch, the striker was stretchered off wearing a neck brace and taken to hospital.
He was replaced by Paraguay striker Roque Santa Cruz in the 60th minute.
"Benni looks to be okay. He went to hospital, but he's out now and will travel home with the team," a Blackburn spokesperson said.
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said Carlos Tevez is likely to make his debut for the club in Wednesday's league game at Portsmouth.Whether your a Red Devil supporter or not it should be interesting to see how the brilliant young Argentine striker will fare in his debut for Fergie's side.
The 23-year-old completed his move to United last Friday and may even start the game as a result of the recent injury to fellow forward Wayne Rooney.
"He trained very hard at the weekend and will be doing light training until the day of the game," said Ferguson."We will now be getting Carlos ready for Wednesday's match."
Derby County 2-2 Portsmouth. Derby turns the early pundits on their heads and picks up a point through a solid effort in their first match back in the big leagues. Pompey looked to put the match away with a goal in the final ten minutes but Derby was quick to equalize, scoring a goal two minutes later.
Bolton 1-3 Newcastle. Martins was simply brilliant yesterday with a class bicycle kick and odd goal from 35+ yards out. Not the best defensive effort from Bolton in what looks to be a long year for Sammy Lee's side.
Aston Villa 1-2 Liverpool. Liverpool looked to be in control of the entire match but had to score twice to overcome an own goal by Laursen. Steven Gerrard's amazing free kick in the 87th minute gave Liverpool 3 points.
West Ham 0-2 Manchester City. Nearly every pundit had been predicting an doom and gloom for Man City but the new acquistions to Man City led Sven-Goran's side to simply outclass West Ham in all phases of the game. West Ham still had multiple opportunities to get points but couldn't find a way to finish.
Everton 2-1 Wigan. Didn't catch this game but apparently Wigan was dominated the entire match and scored a late goal to make it appear closer that the score indicate. Wigan's headed to the bottom of the table if this continues.
Middlesbrough 1-2 Blackburn. Despite the strange collapse of Benni McCarty in the 2nd half, Blackburn subs came through after a long delay and acquired the 3 points. Boro manager Gareth Southgate blamed the long delay for losing the momentum that they had been building.
Manchester United 0-0 Reading. The Reading backline simply couldn't be cracked as any cross or shot that wasn't blocked by the Reading defenders were stifled by a top-notch effort from Marcus Hanhemann, who looked to be unstoppable even with a broken hand.
Wayne Rooney left the game at halftime with a fractured foot; with Saha and Soljskaer still not fit, Carlos Tevez will don a Man U kit Wednesday night versus Pompey.
Arsenal 2-1 Fulham. Arsenal could have scored 5 goals against the weaker Fulham side but couldn't find the back of the net. Gunner keeper Lehmann nearly gave the match away with a pathetic effort clearing the ball in the first minute but a late charge and poor defense from Fulham in the last ten minutes put Arsenal ahead, thanks to solid efforts from Hleb, Toure and Van Persie. If Arsenal can find a way to limit errors and consistently finish, they will be tough to beat.
Chelsea 3-2 Birmingham City. Michael Essien's brilliant strike in the first ten minutes of the 2nd half put Jose's side ahead for good and avoided another surprising result in the 1st week of the season.