Jump to navigation
Well if Liverpool is denied the premier at least my Rangers appear to be ready to take the SPL. In other news Toronto FC lost on the weekend. I caught the last 15 minutes of the Boudeaux-Le Mans game. Very sloppy play with the former prevailing 3-2.
Congratulations, Caissa, the Huns are deserved Scottish champs. I was in Glasgow today and a lot of shirtless Scottish blokes were very, very happy that their drought was finally over. And probably a domestic double with the SFA Cup in their sights.
Sadly, Newcastle United were relegated today, along with Middlesborough (which recently topped the list of worst towns in Britain, provoking this rant by SkySports pundit and new Countdown presenter Jeff Stelling), both of whom are not sure things to bounce back next season, particularly Gareth Southgate's 'borough.
My eyes, however, are all on this Wednesday's Champion's League final. Come on you Reds.
Catchfire wrote: Come on you Reds.
I heard on nostalgie.fr that the Catalans won 2-nil.
What nostalgie didn't mention is that FC Nantes is going down to Ligue 2 next season.
I saw the first goal before having a nap. It took the wind out of Man U who had pretty sloppy defense on the play. They were never much of a threat after that point. The header on the second goal was nice.
al-Q, I'm sorry about Nantes's relegation. That is gutting stuff. The Hibernian FC have parted ways with their coach, rumoured to have left because his player budget would be reduced yet again next year. I suppose they want to follow Inverness Caley Thistle into the second division next year.
Oh, and Rangers beat Falkirk 1-0 to win the Scottish Cup and the domestic double.
There are some lists for goal of the year popping up, and here's a pretty good one from the Guardian. The winner, hands down, has got to be young Frenchman Yoann Gourcuff outrageous 'ooh-la-la'-inducing stunner. Other hits from that list are Grafite's goal for Bundesliga winners Wolfsburgh and Simon Cox's neat juggle and volley for Swindon Town in England's Division One. There's also a beaut for Al-Q, a 40-yard smash by FC Nantes's Remi Mareval.
And I'd rather not talk about the Champions League final, in which Man utd played like lions for ten minutes, before forgetting that Samuel Eto'o is actually really, really good at football.
It seems all my sports teams can do this year is win at Scottish football. Well, at least my mother was a McCollom.
Oh. And Cristiano Ronaldo was finally sold to Franco's Real Madrid for a billion pounds or something.
The season is back up and running. Hibs beat St. Mirren yesterday to put them in with the Old Firm at the top of the table. Chelsea and Arsenal won yesterday and Man U this morning. Liverpool are currently 2-1 down against Spurs. Man City, who also won yesterday, and spent gazillions during the transfer window thanks to new backing from a sickly rich Dubai consortium, have a chance at finishing in the top 4 this year. Everton, Villa and Tottenham Hotspur could put in a challenge too.
In La Liga, Real Madrid are back from the joke they were last season to buying themselves a new team. Ronaldo, Kaka, Karim Benzema, with Frank Ribery in their sights as well. Barca, meanwhile, traded the amazing Samuel Eto'o for the sometimes brilliant, frequently disappointing Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovich. It could be a race this year.
We'll of course all be cheering for Nantes to earn promotion back up into Ligue 1.
Merci Catchfire. That clip from La Beaujoire was nice to see, but do you know of any clips that show the supporters in the stands? I saw a game there (Ligue 1, against Lens) a few years ago and was amazed at how the fans acted. While at Taylor Field you can feel raw emotion and energy from the spectators, the Nantes football fans have something else going on that's amazing in itself.
This is probably normal in football I assume, but I was impressed with what I call "scarf drill," in which the hardcore fans at the end zone did coordinated moves with their scarves while singing along to the beat of a bunch of kettle-drum players.
Another thing I liked was how the scoreboard had only the score upon it. Not only did it not show the time, it did not exhort the fans to "Make some noise," which is something I really hate about going to, say, Saskatoon Blades games.
al-Qa'bong wrote: Another thing I liked was how the scoreboard had only the score upon it. Not only did it not show the time, it did not exhort the fans to "Make some noise," which is something I really hate about going to, say, Saskatoon Blades games.
No kidding. Unlike the 'how-many-doubles-with-runners-in-scoring-position' obsession of baseball, in football there is one stat: goals scored, the only one that matters. Since Sky Sports took over in Britain there has been a slow-growing movement to change that, with odd information occasionally flashing onto the screen like distance covered, and number of touches. Still, the only way to glean a story from the beautiful game is to watch it unfold.
As for the 'make some noise' irritation, by far the worst one I've ever seen is at the Bell Centre in Montreal, in RGB splendor. To the tune of the Ramones' "Blitzkreig Bop," an enthusiastic 'Hey Ho, Lait's Go' on behalf of Big Dairy. That is horrible.
It's hard to find decent clips of supporters, 'cause they're usually made on cell phones and the like, but here's a half-decent one of la hymne Nantais during a cup tie last season.
This clip is a bit closer to my heart, when the Hibs won the league cup in 2007, and the supporters broke into a rousing rendition of the club anthem, 'Sunshine on Leith'. It'll be awhile, I reckon, before we see another cup final. Especially since we just sold my favourite player, Steven Fletcher, to English Premier League fodder Burnley. Well, good luck son.
I followed some of the Youtube links form that "Nantes supporters" link you provided and found this one to a game that we almost attended. We stood in line for quite a while to buy tickets, then found they didn't take Interac once we got to the ticket booth. As we were walking away from La Beuajoire we heard the cheers for the first Nantes goal.
Tornoto FC's victory was good but losing to Hotspurs.., Oh well 37 games to go.
So, World Cup qualification is wrapping up, with England and their Italian coach putting on one of the most impressive runs in decades after their embarrassing and pathetic failure to qualify for Euro 2008. England was the first European team to qualify, and now Spain, Denmark, Italy, Germany, Serbia, and Holland have qualified. Switzerland will probably pip Greece to automatic qualification, and the last spot will be filled by either in Slovakia or Slovenia. This means that Ireland, Greece, Ukraine, France, Russia, Bosnia-Herzegovinia and Portugal will have to playoff for the remaining four spaces. Sadly, this dreadful miss by Scotland's Chris Iwelumo last year means Scotland is staying home, again.
Meanwhile, Diego Maradona's shocking Argentina might be eliminated from the World Cup in tonight's match against a resurgent Uruguay. This development could have an interesting side effect, that is, if Portugal also fail to win their playoff, the two best players in the world, Lionel Messi (Argentina) and Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) won't travel to South Africa for football's biggest stage. It would be a big loss to the tournament. Oh well. Brazil (of course), Paraguay and Chile are the other South American teams making the trip.
As usual, USA and Mexico are making the trip from North America, with Costa Rica probably following. Australia, Japan, North and South Korea have qualified from Asia, but African qualification still has some way to go, with only Ghana and Didier Drogba's Ivory Coast having already clinched a World Cup final berth. Of course, hosts South Africa have automatic qualification.
As for who can win, incredibly, I think England have a chance to reach the semifinals. I'd pick Spain, Holland and Brazil to round it out, with only Italy the other team who could sneak in there. Out of them, England is the only one who can't win it, I reckon.
Last Saturday i was watching Toronto FC against San Jose at home. TFC had to win. Of course, they gave up the tying goal in the 92nd minute. They have surrendered a huge number of points in the last 5 minutes of the game this year. As for my Liverpool Reds they ar 5-3. They only lost 2 games all of last season. The premiership is interesting this year. There seems to be a lower number than usual of draws.
Argentina qualifies for the World Cup with a 1-0 victory at Uruguay. Will Maradona still be in charge when play begins?
Liverpool 2 Man U 0 better than my Patriots winning at Wembley.
A good result for you to be sure. Not quite as good was Rangers 1 Hibernian 1 on Saturday. Woot!
Still, that Torres--he's a pretty good footballer.
I think we'll pretend we don't know the Toronto FC result, if that is okay with you Catchfire...
The Chris Cummins era is officially over.
Toronto FC general manager Mo Johnston announced at a Tuesday morning press conference that the team will not renew the contract of the head coach.
The announcement comes three days after the Major League Soccer club failed in its bid to secure a historic playoff berth.
"We have decided to move forward without Chris for next season," Johnston said.
Republic of Ireland assistant manager Liam Brady says the team would be willing to replay their World Cup play-off match against France.
The Republic went out after Thierry Henry handled the ball before squaring for William Gallas to score and give France a 2-1 aggregate victory.
There have been wars started over less.
It was a horrible, deliberate hand ball. And both Henry and the goal-scorer Gallas were offside. The ref was pretty good for the whole game (just before this missed call he denied France a not-unreasonable penalty claim which took some guts in extra time of a crucial qualifier) so to miss this call is very disappointing. Ireland may well call for a replay but they won't get one, and I'd suspect they'd lose it anyway--like they say, forget the disappointment, it's the hope that kills you.
Henry and Maradona can compare notes in South Africa.
Ha. The difference of course is that Maradona never tried to present himself as anything other than a blue-collar, street-kid genius. Henry pretends he is an exquisite sportsman and gentleman. He had his chance to prove it and instead he cravenly celebrated the goal as if Ireland didn't play them off the pitch for 90 minutes (which, to be fair, meant that Ireland should have put the game away and didn't).
So: No Ireland, then. And, surprisingly, no Ukraine and Russia either. Greece (an average side, despite their 2004 Euro cup win) and Slovenia (one sixth the size of Moscow) have somehow made it through. Hopefully they'll all get put in a group with New Zealand and Algeria. World Cup too big? No.....
Portugal and France (as Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini heave sighs of relief) round out Europe. Uruguay beat Costa Rica on aggregate to qualify (they've won three World Cups, including the first ever!) and Nigeria beat Kenya to nab the last spots. Now it's only a matter of waiting out the arduous Winter Olympics so we can get our football on.
Oh dear, and Liverpool have crashed out of the Champion's league. They can recoup some (financial, not reputation) losses in the Europa League, but the cost is they will find it extremely difficult in the domestic league with the added fixtures to compete for a top-four spot and next year's CL qualification. With a resurgent Arsenal, Tottenham, Man City and Aston Villa (kind of), Liverpool is no longer a shoe-in.
Chelsea look unstoppable. Are they? They want to sign Frank Ribéry for 65-million pounds plus Malouda. If they get him--with Ancelotti at the helm (and rumours of Guus Hiddink joining them as an assistant!)--look out.
Can't you let a guy mourn in peace, Catchfire. Well there is always my Als.
I wasn't needling, Caissa (ok, maybe a little bit). I actually feel bad for Liverpool--on paper, they have a really good side: Gerrard, Pepe Reina (Spain's #2), Mascherano, and the best striker in the world, Torres. But Torres, and Gerrard to some extent, have proven fragile--they can't seem to go through a season without a month (or two) on the sidelines. And without Torres, they can't compete at the top level (despite beating Man Utd twice over the past year without either Gerrard or Torres!) The League is a grind, and Liverpool can't find a way to wear down Stoke City, Fulham, Wigan, etc. for 1-0 or 2-1 wins, and it costs them. They had Robbie Keane last year for a record signing, but because he wasn't scoring hatfuls of goals (well, to be fair, doing much of anything) they let him go--despite the fact that he would come in pretty handy right now (or rather, a couple of weeks ago...) I think Liverpool are a winger and a striker away from a League title--they tried to get the "other" Spainish striker, David Villa (Golden boot at last year's Euro Cup), but the owners wouldn't cough up the cash, and they bought Aquilani on the cheap, because he was injured, who could do well now that he's healthy, but it might already be too late for Liverpool. Dirk Kuyt (god bless him), Ryan Babel, Lucas, Agger, etc. They're just not good enough, especially when Gerrard and Torres aren't there to boss the game.
Man U, though, they've got problems of their own, and could easily end up winning nothing this season if they don't start scoring some goals. Ben Foster is turning out to be a flop in goal, and Wayne Rooney can't pick up the goalscoring slack of Cristiano Ronaldo. No one can take free kicks anymore! I was hoping we could pick up Frank Ribéry (we tried last summer). And if Calgary's Owen Hargreaves could finally get healthy, we might be able to seal up those holes in the back (Rio Ferdinand has been suspect lately. I think he's on his way out.)
I was in the rink today, watching the sports channel on one of the 25 TVs there before my kid's game, and saw that West Ham was ahead of Burnley 3-nil.
That reminded me of this wee Cockney Rejects tune.
Thierry Henry Faces World Cup Ban
Quote: Thierry Henry could miss the start of next year's World Cup after it was confirmed today that Fifa's disciplinary committee is to investigate his now infamous handball against the Republic of Ireland.
And France did not get one of the eight seeds for the World Cup draw.
The Guardian's top six footballers of the decade: Messi, C. Ronaldo, Ronaldhino, Iker Casillas, Claude Makélélé and, um, Frank Lampard.
Lampard's inclusion is ludicrous, of course, but an English paper had to put an English player in the list, even one who broke the World Cup record for shots (without a goal) in 2006, coining a new eponymous verb in the process, as in: "He Lampards it over the bar." For an English player, I'd be tempted to pick Steven Gerrard or Wayne Rooney, but I'd prefer to leave them out altogether. Just not good enough.
The shocker, of course, is no Zinedine Zidane. Even though he played his last game in the 2006 World Cup Final, he kicked off the decade with a Euro Cup win for France and never looked back until he buried his foreskull in the chest of Marco Materazzi. And, speaking of the French, whither Thierry "le main" Henry?
I like Makelele's inclusion, and Iker Casillas is the only one of the six who was a world-beater for the whole decade (Messi is only 22 and Ronaldo was horrible until the fall of 2006), but where are the centrebacks? Paolo Maldini was in the twilight of his career throughout the noughties, but he only retired last year and still won two European cups in the decade (but, sadly, retired from international competition in 2002, missing Italy's World Cup win!). Other candidates would be Pavel Nedved and Fabio Cannavaro.
A lot of the comments want to see Kaka, but you know, I never really rated him as much as other teams (i.e. Manchester City) seemed to.
And in the always a bridesmaid dept., Michael Ballack deserves an honorary mention for coming runner-up in both the Champions League (with Bayern Munich) and World Cup (with Germany) in 2002 and losing again in the final of the 2008 Champions League (with Chelsea) and European Cup. Ouch.
Of the bunch, although you'd need an atomic crowbar to pry the ball of Lionel Messi, for my money Cristiano Ronaldo is the complete attacker. He can beat you every way possible with flair, strength and panache (and pouting, natch.)
I thought G. Pie's account was locked?
Well, golly gee, obviously it's been unlocked.
Apparently. Oh well, I'm on holidays for two weeks after today. My beloved Liverpool have their next two games against teams destined for rlegation so they may actually show up and play football for a change.
Quote: The shocker, of course, is no Zinedine Zidane.
Yeah, well he's an Arab, isn't he.
Galbraith goal ensures a happy night for Hibernian
Substitute Danny Galbraith grabbed a dramatic injury-time winner as Hibernian beat Celtic 2-1 in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League on Wednesday to move within two points of the hosts.
Marc-Antoine Fortune headed Tony Mowbray's men in front early on but Anthony Stokes equalised before the break to take his haul to an incredible 10 goals in eight league matches. Hibs withstood some pressure before Galbraith inflicted Celtic's first home defeat in the SPL since August 2008.
Well, the football thread has been on hiatus, but football hasn't. Or, to be more to the point, Lionel Messi hasn't:
Quote: It's not big and it's not clever but sometimes swearing is the only thing that will do. Sometimes you've used up every other word and nothing else quite hits the spot. You've rummaged round the back of the sofa, rifled through the drawers, turned out your pockets and still come up empty. Pep Guardiola insisted that he was clean out of adjectives and frankly so was everyone else. Spain was suffering a severe shortage of superlatives last night. The Catalan newspaper Sport invited readers to send in headlines for what they had just witnessed and there were plenty of super, sensational and sublimes, some magic, magnificent and marvellouses, wows and wonderfuls, plus deities by the dozen, and even a Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, but still there was no way to really do it justice. No polite way anyway. Just wide eyes, a wider mouth and a simple: holy shit!
The diminuitive winger is absolutely unstoppable at the moment. Real Zaragoza coach put it this way: "We could have beaten Barcelona--but we could never have beaten Leo Messi."
Check out how he single-handedly dismantled first VfB Stuttgart in the Champions League (with two goals and a beautiful assist), and then, this weekend, Zaragoza with an incredible hattrick and penalty (which he graciously gave to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who couldn't score on an empty pitch).
It's a shame the Argentina national team are so dire right now-but we could still see Messi light it up in South Africa this summer.
Thanks for not bringing up the Man U-Liverpool match, Catchfire. A Man U victory in the Premiership galls me as much as a New York Yankees pennant.
It's best not to bring up 'Pool much in conversation at all these days, at least not around halcyons...
But buck up! Cup win for the Gerries over the weekend. Of course, being the thugs and louts they are, they were reduced to nine men, but somehow the forces of darkness found a way to win. And ten points above Celtic in the league! There was a while there when I thought Hibs could have a shot at second--but that's far behind us now, as we lost to our derby rivals the Jam Tarts.
Kinley McNicoll scored in the eighth minute and Canada survived a second-half red card to defeat Mexico 1-0 on Saturday and win the CONCACAF U17 women's soccer championship.
It was the second major victory in three days for the Canadians, who qualified for the FIFA under-17 women's World Cup with Thursday's semifinal win over the U.S.
Liverpool beat visiting West Ham 3-0 in Monday's only Premier League match to stay in contention for European qualification.
Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/sports/soccer/story/2010/04/19/sp-liverpool-westham.html#ixzz0leQZQAvd
I checked the FFF website the other day to see what les Bleus are up to regarding the World Cup. The French seem focused on the 2012 Euro Cup instead, which suggests to me that I ought not get my expectations up this summer.
I think the winner will come from the Southern Hemisphere.
I think the only team from the Southern Hemisphere (in football terms, that, sadly, means South America exclusively) that can win it is Brazil. But they have a very difficult group, with Côte d'Ivoire and Portugal to beat. Argentina has a chance, but not with Maradona as coach (although, with the way he's playing right now, Lionel Messi could win it by himself). Spain, Holland and Italy will probably find themselves in the semis, with England another possibility.
Unfortunatley for France (who, remember, made it in by their skins with a cheating Thierry Henry and a handball over unlucky Ireland), even though they have Benzema, Ribéry, Henry and Gourcuff, don't have a defence to speak of. They will face Argentina or (probably) Nigeria in first knockout stage, one tough and one impossible opponent. And after that, Germany or England. It's not looking the best for les bleus.
Whoa: French Sex Scandal deepens as two more players named
Every World Cup held in the Southern Hemisphere has been won by a team from the Southern Hemisphere. I'll go so far as to say only one European team will make the semi-finals and the final will be an all southern affair.
Yo lo siento, Caissa, pero no es possible.
Hard to make you out through that Glaswegian accent, Catchfire.
Rangers retained their Scottish Premier League title with a narrow victory over Hibernian at Easter Road.
Kyle Lafferty fired Rangers into the lead on 17 minutes with a well-taken strike past goalkeeper Graeme Smith.
David Wotherspoon and Derek Riordan came close to levelling for Hibs after the break, with the latter also having a penalty claim turned down.