May 2011

The Archives

  • 05.31.11
    Blatter, Barça and Ireland lift a cup. Champions League, Issues in the game, Republic of Ireland | Comments Off on Blatter, Barça and Ireland lift a cup.
    It was an extraordinary weekend of football. We may aswell start with the Champions League final and what a glorious display Barcelona put on. The powerful midfield duo of Xavi and Iniesta combined with the attack-minded David Villa and Pedro not to mention the genius that is Messi proved to be far too much for Sir Alex's men. [kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/1TX0sEWurO8" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /] Watching the game, there could have been more goals. The first 20 minutes of the second half was really telling the story of how Barça play. In control and completely taking posession - the extra goals that followed ...
  • 05.27.11
    Champions League Final preview Champions League | Comments Off on Champions League Final preview
    And then there were two. Saturday night sees arguably the biggest night in European football as FC Barcelona take on Manchester United at Wembley with both teams looking to claim their fourth European Cup title. Like everybody else, I believe it's going to be an absolute cracker. Wembley stadium is roughly 200 miles from Old Trafford and players like Wayne Rooney will be more than familiar with the territory when they are on England duty. With this in mind, the game being played on English soil may give the United players the mentality of a home game. But this isn't any ...
  • 05.26.11
    Ones to watch #7: Romelu Lukaku Ones to watch | Comments Off on Ones to watch #7: Romelu Lukaku
    This Belgian player has become something of a phenomenon. Standing at a mighty 6ft 3ins tall and weighing in at 14 stone, last year he became the Belgian Pro League's youngest ever goalscorer at the age of 16. The press already label him as "the new Drogba", Romelu Lukaku is one of the game's rising young stars. Of course, some of the big clubs have been taking notice. His current club, Anderlecht, won't be too keen to let the 17 year old go too quickly.  Belgian national coach Georges Leekens took notice also. He gave Lukaku his first caps. Lukaku responded ...
  • 05.21.11
    The best (and worst) of 2010/2011 Europe, Football's greatest moments | Comments Off on The best (and worst) of 2010/2011
    Well, the football season is coming to a close. Unless you follow the MLS or the Airtricity League, of course. Let's look at some of the best and worst of the past nine months. 1. The return of the King: OK, Roy Hodgson was never the right choice for the Liverpool job, in my opinion. Liverpool had won only one league game between the start of the season and the end of October. They were within eye-shot of the relegation places. Oh dear. Goodbye Hodgson. Hello...who? Mourinho? Rijkaard? Hiddink? No no...a club legend that hasn't managed a club since 2000: Kenny ...
  • 05.18.11
    Brazilian free agents and massive pay-cuts Europe, North/South America, Transfers | Comments Off on Brazilian free agents and massive pay-cuts
    The summer transfer window is fast approaching and no doubt some big money signings will take place. Already the media are hyping up big-name players to major clubs for ridiculous amounts of money. Smaller clubs should will be making their signings also. But they needn't spend the fortunes for decent players. In some cases, they needn't spend anything at all. Three Brazilians who are currently without a club are former AC Milan 'keeper Dida and ex-Barcelona stars Juliano Belletti and Sylvinho. OK, none of them are exactly young. But these three are capable of giving even the best players a tough ...
  • 05.15.11
    Gary Neville goes head-to-head with Noel Gallagher Bloopers, Footballers' mad moments | Comments Off on Gary Neville goes head-to-head with Noel Gallagher
    Manchester United won their 19th English top-flight league trophy while rivals Manchester City won their first FA Cup since 1969. The rivalry off the pitch continued as ex-Oasis songwriter and Man City fanatic Noel Gallagher and former Man United defender Gary Neville went head-to-head recently. With Rio Ferdinand acting as a middle-man. It started off with Neville tweeting the lyrics of the chorus from the Oasis classic "Fade Away". Ferdinand then tweeted "just been asked by Noel to tell you to not use lyrics from Fade Away or any other Oasis songs...Said he feels violated!". Then according to reports it moved ...
  • 05.12.11
    When supposed fans take the beauty out of the beautiful game in Scotland Issues in the game | Comments Off on When supposed fans take the beauty out of the beautiful game in Scotland
    When Neil Lennon received death threats before a Northern Ireland match against Cyprus in August 2002, it was enough to make the Lurgan man call time on his international career. And rightly so. What's the point? However, what he has endured as Celtic manager in recent times beggars belief. In January of this year, a package containing bullets addressed to Lennon was intercepted at a sorting office in Antrim. Then, just last March, a parcel-bomb was intercepted at a post office in Kirkintilloch, around eight miles outside Glasgow. It was addressed to Lennon at Celtic's training ground. It was initially thought ...
  • 05.11.11
    Football's greatest rivalries: Olympiacos v Panathinaikos Europe, Football's greatest rivalries | Comments Off on Football's greatest rivalries: Olympiacos v Panathinaikos
    Olympiacos, Panathanaikos and AEK Athens are the three most popular clubs in Greece. They all have a rivalry with one another. But when Olympiacos and Panathinaikos meet each other, the derby is as intense as some of the game's most fierce rivalries. The rivalry stems back mainly due to the two clubs' regional differences. Olympiacos come from the busy port town of Piraeus, just outside Athens. Panathinaikos hail from right in the centre the centre of the Greek capital itself (and the large shamrock in the club's badge sadly has no connection to Ireland, before you ask). These regional and cultural ...
  • 05.10.11
    Milan's seven years of bad luck ends Europe | Comments Off on Milan's seven years of bad luck ends
    AC Milan finish off their remaining games in Serie A with the knowledge that they are champions. A credit must go to coach Massimiliano Allegri for winning the Scudetto in his debut season for Milan. Carlo Ancelotti won that amount in his eight years at the club. Of course, Allegri will be looking to make history while he's at it. The Rossoneri have never won the Scudetto and the Coppa Italia domestic double. In the cup, they face Palermo today in the semi-final 2nd leg having played out a 2-2 draw last month in the 1st leg at the San Siro. ...
  • 05.06.11
    Handballs, phantom goals and some refereeing howlers Bloopers | Comments Off on Handballs, phantom goals and some refereeing howlers
    Referees have a tough job. Without the use of technology (which boggles many as to why they still don't) the job they do can be tough. And contraversial as has been the case on many occasions. One of the most shocking fouls in the history of the professional game to go unpunished occured at the Estadio Pizjuan in Seville at the 1982 World Cup in a game between West Germany and France. With France's Patrick Battiston clean through on goal, he had only goalkeeper Harald Schumacher to beat. The 6 fot 2 inch 'keeper launched himself in the air at Battiston ...
  • 05.05.11
    Tackling football's biggest taboo Issues in the game | Comments Off on Tackling football's biggest taboo
    Sports stars such as Welsh rugby player Gareth Thomas, English cricketer Steven Davies and Cork hurler Donal Óg Cusack have all come out as gay. The one thing in football that is certainly taboo. But why? Flying to the Barcelona - Madrid tie recently, I read an interesting article about Swedish footballer Anton Hysén, son of former Liverpool player Glenn Hysén, had come out as an openly gay professional footballer. "A club might be interested in me and then the coach might change his mind if he finds out I'm gay, but that is his problem not mine." said ...
  • 05.03.11
    Champions League semi-finals preview (part 2) Champions League | Comments Off on Champions League semi-finals preview (part 2)
    Two teams are edging closer to the Champions League final in Wembley. Manchester United and Barcelona both defeated Schalke and Real Madrid respectively but don´t write off any team just yet. We all know football can sometimes be a funny ol´game. Football El Mundo is writing from the sunny climate of Barcelona today where I´ll be witnessing first-hand el gran clasico. Confidence is high in the Barça camp. Pep Guardiola will be praising the the return of Eric Abidal after he had a tumour removed from his liver recently. Andres Iniesta is also in the squad having recovered from a calf ...