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1
Football / Hunting for seats - T&T Newsday
« on: September 06, 2009, 10:08:44 AM »
saw this in today's paper and found it particularly funny.

http://www.newsday.co.tt/commentary/0,106800.html

Hunting for seats
PETER O'CONNOR
Sunday, September 6 2009

Today, I think we are celebrating. I am going really bold, as I write this on Thursday, and claim victory over Honduras in the match we played there last night. I feel confident enough in the team to say this, and I will take the consequences should my confidence be in vain.

The “consequences”? Well, we all know that we have people who will relish a disappointment provided it gives them the opportunity to crow over you: “Dah side eh good! It serve allyou right because…!” You know the ones I mean, always there to pull down, never to experience pride. I remember one such, back in 2005. After we beat Guatemala here 3-2, to get back on track for Germany, we went to Costa Rica. We lost 0-2 over there, and after we returned, I was on the savannah, when I was accosted: “Ocano, you feel ‘that side’ could still go Germany?” Of course, I replied, to which he responded with an expletive. Two months later, on the flight back from Bahrain, I suddenly smiled to myself. My mind ran on that individual, and I wondered what he was doing? Probably dancing in St James, I thought, proclaiming his support for the Warriors!

So, why am I out on a limb this week, saying that as you read this, we will have beaten Honduras last night? Because we can! Simple as that! And if we know we can, I believe we will.

We have not met Honduras often in World Cup qualifying, but when we have played them over there, we have done well. In 1988, in the first round of qualifying for Italy, the Strike Squad met Honduras at the Oval and battled to a goalless draw. The return match in Honduras saw us draw 1-1 on Hudson Charles late goal, and we qualified for that famous final round on the away goals rule. We did not meet Honduras again until 2001, in the qualifications for Japan Korea. We lost at home, but went to Honduras, and with nothing to play for, beat them 1-0 there, dumping them out of the World Cup Finals. So, I say we can go there and beat them again. I know they have beaten both Costa Rica and Mexico at home already this year, but I still say we can beat them, and history is on our side.

So, are you celebrating this morning, as the Warriors are flying back home to take on the United States at Hasely Crawford on Wednesday? But more to the point—was your faith powerful enough to have sent you to buy your match tickets before now? Or are you only now hunting for tickets?

And this brings us back to the still incomplete works at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, where after spending over 20 million dollars on the VIP Room and special new seats—180 of them, the playing field has still not been touched, and the car park area is mass of crumbling asphalt and deep potholes. This just tells us where the concerns really lie. Special seats for carefully chosen guests, but nothing to maintain the playing surface for our footballers.

Of course, Mr Hunt’s “huffing” of all those prime seats cut deeply into potential revenue for the Federation, and also deprives major sponsors of the seats they were accustomed to using. I would like to feel that Mr Hunt’s chosen friends, certain Ministers and certain Parliamenta-rians had some sort of claim to these special and upgraded seats because they were such patriotic leaders. But this hope was shattered when I saw the Newsday photo last Tuesday showing all the empty seats at the VIP Stand for the Independence Parade. Where were all the government ministers and their wives, please? Surely 180 of Mr Hunt’s chosen people should have turned up to attend the Independence Day parade? Or can it be that Mr Hunt (I did not see him in the Independence Day Stand ) is really seeing football as being more important than …? Let us not pursue that.

The trouble is that I truly believe that a victory last night will see Gary Hunt’s Gallery chock full of his selected friends, drinking and eating more than supporting the team. However, if the result is against us, I expect Gary’s Gallery to look like the viewing stand on Independence Day. What do you think?

And a word of advice to Gary: Try and get your list of friends to Mr Warner today—Jack will be at work. We don’t want to know that Jack is hunting for tickets at the last minute to accommodate those whom you have excluded.

2
Football / Football Scholarships
« on: September 02, 2009, 01:07:41 PM »
Anyone has any idea how many Trinis go abroad each year from SSFL to take up schols in the US and elsewhere?

I know there was a thread or section that tracked it, but I believe there are probably more players out there than we know about, especially since there's always talk about expanding our player pool.

It also seems like a decent percentage of the students who leave on football scholarships don't really take the football aspect of the scholarship too seriously - and you really can't fault them for that.

It would be nice to know how many local students we have playing in various NCAA divisons and what schools they play for. I've less than a handful of Trinis in the Big East and the ACC ... but not too aware of who plays for what schools. Only if I happen to stop in for a game at the alma mater and pick up a game sheet that I may see a local player.

Would be nice to know of local players and where their games are in advance - especially those in playoffs, and stop by to lend some home support.

Funny thing that got me thinking about this - overheard this convo earlier of this kid who's been out of school for over a year after CXC and was almost boasting of not needing A Levels for his scholarship .... kinda wondering if he does have a schol in the first place.
- and while you really don't need As, I would think it woul be smarter to advise these kids to stay in school for As, sharpen up your SATs and GPA, get stronger, fitter and more experienced - and then use all that to land yourself in a school of higher academic standing, in a more competitive division. It's 2 years worth the sacrifice.

3
Football / Croatia's Conspiracy Theory
« on: September 01, 2009, 06:33:43 AM »
First Eduardo, now Modric. Croatia keeps beating the crap out of England .... could the English FA really be putting a hit out on all the influential Croat players in the EPL? Would love to see their response to the Croat FA.

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/01092009/58/world-cup-qual-croatia-chief-makes-conspiracy-claim.html

Quote
Croatia chief makes conspiracy claim
Eurosport - Tue, 01 Sep 10:19:00 2009

The president of the Croatian FA says the injury suffered by his country's star playmaker Luka Modric has left him wondering whether Croatia's top stars are being deliberately targeted for rough treatment in the Premier League.

Vlatko Markovic spoke out after Modric suffered a broken leg playing for Tottenham against Birmingham at the weekend which will sideline him for around two months, with Croatia set to face England in a crucial World Cup qualifier at Wembley on September 9.

"First Eduardo, now Luka Modric. This is horrible. I can only ask myself if it was really an accident," Markovic said.

"I'm close to thinking it was done to us deliberately before the England match. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw what happened to Luka. He is irreplaceable."

It follows on from an even more severe injury suffered by Arsenal striker Eduardo - also against Birmingham - in February 2008 which meant he was unavailable when the sides met in the reverse fixture in Zagreb last September.

PA Sport

4
Football / The Roy Keane Song & Dance
« on: August 25, 2009, 10:13:17 AM »
Now at Ipswich Town, Roy Keane is back to the same old song and dance that we saw during his tenure at Sunderland.

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/25082009/58/championship-keane-vows-ipswich-clear.html

Quote
Keane vows Ipswich clear-out
Eurosport - Tue, 25 Aug 14:03:00 2009

Ipswich manager Roy Keane says that some of the side who featured in the 2-0 defeat at West Brom at the weekend have played their last game for the club.

Keane was incensed by the defeat at the Hawthorns which would have been a lot more damning if goalkeeper Richard Wright had not turned in an inspired performance.

Keane refused to name names, but said: "There are one or two who played at the weekend who will never play for me again. Eventually you have to make a decision and I don't like what I have been seeing."

He added: "This is not just based on Saturday but on the end of last season and pre-season as well.

"You can't keep waiting and you have to say enough is enough. And it's not personal - it is just time to move on.

"You can't keep doing the same things every week and not get a result."

PA Sport

5
Cricket Anyone / Hurtling down an old precipice
« on: July 20, 2009, 04:49:35 PM »
http://www.cricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/414607.html

Seven times in the past the WICB has come off second best in arbitration with its players, and this time seems no different. Little will change unless the entire structure of the board is overhauled

Martin Williamson
July 16, 2009


If anyone in the higher echelons of the West Indies Cricket Board really believed they could do without several dozen of their leading players, the shock of their makeshift team's humiliation at Arnos Vale by Bangladesh, a country with one win in their previous 59 Tests, surely shook them into the real world.

The background to the latest in a string of disputes between the board and its players is well documented. While there is a history of animosity between employer and employee going back generations, the real confrontation started in 2005 and has continued, with a few lulls, ever since.

This time, however, the board appears to be trying to play a game of hardball to which it is completely unsuited. It has issued inflammatory press releases, its president has shunned a meeting with the players he called, and it has even gone so far as to pay thousands of dollars for newspaper advertisements critical of the players. The board's own media department has also been in overdrive, issuing releases stating its position - although proving less prolific when asked to answer direct questions.

The WICB has repeatedly sought to portray the players as highly paid cricketers who want even more. But the reality is, this is not a standoff about pay, but about terms and conditions, and one that had been resolved before the WICB not so much moved the goalposts as rewrote the rule book. The timing of the row might well be connected to board elections on August 11 and pre-election posturing by key men.

As Jimmy Adams said earlier this week, things have changed. Players can now earn better money outside the Caribbean, and yet the board still treats them with the contempt of a Victorian factory owner. The rest of the world has moved on. The WICB has not. The demand on Monday that negotiations could only resume when the players apologised for being naughty boys was verging on pathetic.

Clearly there are two sides to every story, and the players' association, WIPA, has issues it needs to resolve. Michael Holding said that WIPA should "have a good look at their organisation [and] who they represent", but he added that the WICB "are a dysfunctional organisation that needs to realise they are dealing with a modern game and changing times. They have been left behind due to their inept staff and an outdated board of directors, most of whom take up space instead of [offering] something to the organisation or the game."

On seven occasions since 2005, WIPA has agreed to go to arbitration in disputes with the board. On all seven occasions the board has lost. Despite this, which suggests that those responsible struggle to realise when they are on shaky ground, the board has again picked a fight when it appears to have little to support its stand. It's not hard to see which way the eighth ruling will go.

And it's not just about players. A source at Digicel, the only significant sponsor of West Indies cricket, said this week that the WICB "don't give a stuff about players and don't give a stuff about commercial partners". The company has been treated with disdain ever since it got involved, and there are growing suspicions that it is growing wary of becoming tainted by association.

The all-time low came last October, when Digicel was forced to take the WICB to arbitration after the board, again seeming to believe it could pull a flanker, in effect sold rights to Allen Stanford it had already signed over to Digicel. The board lost, resulting in public humiliation and a legal bill close to US$1 million. Denis O'Brien, Digicel's head, was even moved to call for WICB president Julian Hunte, among others, to resign. Of course, Hunte didn't.

This was not an isolated incident. The WICB also double-sold mobile rights in the Caribbean, resulting in another climbdown, though, once more, no accountability. Last season there was no sponsor for any domestic competitions. Why would anyone want to be associated with such a rabble?

Closer to home, in late 2007 an independent report into the WICB by former Jamaican Prime Minister PJ Patterson pulled no punches, citing "a lack of high-quality leadership with the requisite capacity for corporate management" among other stinging criticisms. It was quietly shelved.

What is obvious is that this can't go on. The reputation of the game is in tatters, the players are in open revolt, and sponsors have turned their backs or are preparing to walk away. The only people oblivious to all this are the WICB's executive. But in an era where TV income is vital, even the most blinkered of them should have sat up and taken notice at Sky TV's decision in the UK to bin coverage of the Bangladesh series at the last minute because of the dismal fare offered.

In the short term, the dispute needs to go to arbitration. But if we are not to end up back at square one in the medium term, a drastic overhaul of the entire structure of the game is vital. The complex nature of the WICB means it is a nest of self-interest, where little seems to get done other than score-settling and politicking.

That complex structure, however, means that an overhaul is unlikely to happen, so we can expect more of the same until the day comes when the public, commercial partners and the media cease to care. Only then will the remnants of the WICB sit up and take notice. By then, it will be too late.

Martin Williamson is executive editor of Cricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

6
Cricket Anyone / West Indies players boycott Bangladesh series
« on: July 07, 2009, 07:47:28 PM »
http://www.cricinfo.com/wivbdesh2009/content/story/413237.html?CMP=OTC-RSS

Quote
West Indies players boycott Bangladesh series

Cricinfo staff
July 8, 2009


West Indies have boycotted the upcoming series against Bangladesh because of an outstanding contractual dispute with the home board, according to the West Indies Players' Association.

WIPA president Dinanath Ramnarine said the players pulled out of the series "with immediate effect" after latest talks with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to resolve issues including retainer contracts had failed.

"The players have played their last four tournaments without a contract," Ramnarine said in a statement. "They are now being asked to play their fifth consecutive series without a contract which is highly unacceptable."

WICB president Julian Hunte was confident the series would go ahead as planned. "As far as we are concerned [there] will be a test match on Thursday," he told Reuters.

When contacted, Tony Howard, the WICB's cricket operations officer, told Cricinfo he had not heard of such a move and could not comment on the issue, but that a statement would be released on the status of the series.

The first Test is scheduled to start on July 9 in St Vincent. The series comprises two Tests, three one-day internationals and a Twenty20.

This is not the first time in recent memory that the players and WICB have been involved in a stand-off. Earlier this year West Indies' spring tour of England was nearly severely undermined after it emerged five senior players had threatened to withdraw from the series to play in the IPL. That crisis was averted, only for another talks of a boycott of the fifth and final ODI between West Indies and England after Chris Gayle indicated his team may not take the field if outstanding issues with the WICB remained unresolved. That too was averted.

A similar dispute arose in 2008 prior to Australia's tour of the West Indies. Several senior West indian players considered withdrawing from the first two Tests of the series to remain in the IPL, but returned after the WICB allowed them to skip a pre-series training camp.

7
Football / The bigger side: Real Madrid vs. Manchester United
« on: June 11, 2009, 04:19:51 PM »
Let's end this once and for all (and get we mind off Soca Warriors Football).

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/11062009/58/la-liga-s-bigger-united-real.html

Quote
RECENT SUCCESS

Since the start of the Premier League in 1992, United's level of dominance in the English game cannot be disputed.

They have won 11 league titles in that period, four FA Cups and two League Cups. They have also won two European Cups and are the current world champions.

Over the same period, Real have won just six domestic titles and two Spanish Cups. But they do have the edge over United in Europe, having won the title three times.


Nevertheless, Real failed to win anything last year while United enjoyed a treble - League, League Cup, World Club Cup - before losing in the Champions League final.

Who's better? United

- - -

HISTORICAL SUCCESS

While United have ruled in recent years, Real have been a more consistently dominant force than the English side. They have won a record 31 Liga titles, a record nine European Cups and 17 Spanish Cups.

United have been catching up in recent years but have a long way to go before they can match those figures.


Who's better? Real


8
Football / What's next for Soca Warriors?
« on: June 06, 2009, 06:43:27 PM »
So the board & football community was crying out for democracy and common sense to reign.

1. Maturana was a dunce.
Answer: we get rid of Mats and put in The Peoples' Champ - Latapy, but the result was the same - a loss.

2. Defence too inexperienced.
Answer: Bring back Dog, Tallest and Avery to man the backline. Yet we give up 3 soft goals - all big defensive blunders, and collect the same 3 we get against USA under Maturana.

3. Drop Stern John
Answer: Start Jason Scotland who complain on Faceboo, complain about being brought away from his club and didn't get to sweat, choose club over country - and yet, still get a start and couldn't finish clear cut goal chances.

4. Lacking crowd support
Answer: Move the game to Tobago, who pack the DY stadium and make more noise that the HC will ever dream of.


So where do we go from here??

9
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1175571/Cash-strapped-Valencia-admit-struggle-resist-40m-David-Villa-offer-Chelsea.html?ITO=1490

Quote
Cash-strapped Valencia admit they will struggle to resist £40m David Villa offer from Chelsea
By Sportsmail Reporter
Last updated at 5:05 PM on 30th April 2009


David Villa has moved a step closer to joining Chelsea after Valencia's vice-president admitted they would struggle to hold on to their top players this summer.
Roman Abramovich has already told players at Stamford Bridge that he will break the British transfer record to pay £40million for Spain striker Villa.
And the Spanish club, who are saddled with massive debts, are ready to drop their resistance to offers after the admission by Fernando Gomez Colomer that they may have to choose between selling the Euro 2008 top scorer or attacking midfielder David Silva.


Pointing the way: Valencia may have to cash in on David Villa

The former international midfielder, who had a spell at Wolves in the late Nineties, could be seen to be softening up the Mestalla faithful for the loss of one of their stars.


Silva service: Valencia's David Silva breaks away from Betis players Alberto Rivera (right) and Juan Gutierrez

Chelsea would face competition from Real Madrid and Barcelona for Villa, while Silva has been linked to Juventus, Liverpool and Manchester United among others.
Even if Valencia claim the financial boost from qualifying for the Champions League, it is unlikely to fill enough of a black hole to keep the pair.


11
Football / EPL Transfer Busts 2008/ 2009
« on: April 22, 2009, 06:58:40 AM »
so far the high profile ones come to mind, given the expectations:

Berbatov - Manchester United - 30M
Keane - Liverpool - 20M
Deco - Chelsea - 8M
Robinho - Manchester City - 32M

Berbatov has been described as languid, lazy and disinterested. Man U fans seem to have had enough and are calling for blood.

Keane couldn't even get a pigeon sweat for Liverpool which begs the question, why was he bought in the first place? The IOSS episode is funny but true.

Deco has struggled with injury, and when he's been fit seems out of place amidst Lampard and Ballack. Definitely falls below expectations. Not as expensive as the others, and considered a bargain - but no production means low grade.

Robinho: for the most expensive player, you expect magic on the field. Hot and cold performances all season long, and not able to dominate defences as he was expected to. 

12
Football / Chelsea vs. Barca Thread (28-Apr-09)
« on: April 14, 2009, 02:48:56 PM »
Let's get this started.  ;D


Arguably the two best remaining teams in the CL - Sad when you see the Finals played, before the actual finals.


C'mon CHELSEAAAAA!!!!!

13
Football / Setanta Cup: NY/ NJ/ CT Warriors
« on: April 07, 2009, 02:27:25 PM »
Got this invite earlier today on Facebook:

An inaugural indoor soccer tournament, hosted by Setanta Sports, will bring together some of the region's top clubs. Youth and Adult Games will run 15 minutes and the "Setanta Cup" and individual prizes will be awarded to the winning team in each division. Complimentary youth soccer clinics will run throughout the day.

JetBlue Airways and Marriott/Opia will sponsor special exhibition games at 2:30pm featuring the Hollywood United Football Club, a star-studded, world famous soccer club. Such participants include
·Anthony LaPaglia (“Without a Trace”)
·Gilles Marini (“Sex and the City” and “Dancing with the Stars” contestant)
·Jimmy Jean-Louis (“Heroes”)
·Steve Jones (“Sex Pistols”)
·Youri Djorkaeff (Former French Player and 1998 FIFA World Cup Winner)
·Ethan Zohn (Co-founder Grassroot Soccer and “Survivor Africa” Winner)

...plus many more! For a full list visit http://www.setanta.com/us/sc/

Host: North American Fans of International Soccer & Rugby 
Type: Sports - Tournament
Network: New York, NY
Date: 11 April 2009
Time: 09:00 - 22:00
Location: Chelsea Piers
Street: W. 23rd Street & the Hudson River
Town/City: New York, NY
Phone: 2123366500
Email: kim.karagosian@setanta.com

14
Football / Usain Bolt vs. CRonaldo
« on: April 06, 2009, 01:46:27 PM »
http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/06042009/58/premier-league-bolt-mocks-wuss-ronaldo.html

Quote
Premier League - Bolt mocks 'wuss' Ronaldo
Eurosport - Mon, 06 Apr 16:25:00 2009

Sprint king Usain Bolt has called Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo "a wuss" and mocked him for "falling over all the time".

Jamaican Bolt, who set 100m and 200m world records on his way to three Olympic gold medals in Beijing last summer, has an open invitation from United to deliver tips on high-speed running.

The 22-year-old will visit the club's Carrington training ground next month, but he could get a frosty reception from Ronaldo after delivering a less-than-flattering assessment of the Portuguese winger.

"I'm going to tell Ronaldo to stop being such a wuss," Bolt said.

"I'd like to see more of Wayne Rooney's fight in Ronaldo. He has to be aggressive like Rooney, even if it gets him into trouble at first.

"And he has to stop falling over all the time."

Bolt said that Ronaldo's running style was bad for his balance and meant he had trouble staying on his feet.

He said: "His problem is that when he runs he leans forward and loses his balance. He needs to sprint more upright."

Bolt travels to Manchester for the Great City Games on May 17, and will watch United's home game against Arsenal as well as meeting the squad in training.

Alex Chick / Eurosport

Writer failed to report that Bolt alledgedly used words such as fassy and chi chi to describe Ronaldo

15
Football / Squad Selection: Soca Warriors
« on: April 05, 2009, 10:19:23 AM »
The mantra coming from the Camp has been, "We still have 7 games to play" .... which is true, but given the performances from the last 20 mins versus El Salvador, thru the Honduras game and last Wednesday's USA debacle, do we even stand a chance? - given that we have CR x2, Mexico x2 and Honduras IN Honduras.

Is it just tactics that we got wrong, or players are just not capable? I don't think we can just pick a squad anymore. We have to pick a squad that tactically matches up well against the opposition in all positions. The exploitation down the flanks were so obvious from the beginning that even the commentators were telling the viewers where to look for the action before the game had started. It was an easy deficiency to spot, and it was exploited all game.

We have an abundance of midfielders, so I'll leave that alone. I think our major deficiences has been in defence and our impotent strikers.

1. DEFENCE - where we need the most help.

Wolfe, Hislop and Akile Edwards are being made the scape-goats, and even though they had poor games - they are good players - maybe just not ready for this level of the game. They definitely aren't ready for Concacaf.

Sancho, Avery & Cyd. Much has been made of their age and their tendency to fade as the game goes on. Undoubtedly they have more technical ability than Wolfe, Hislop & Edwards. As for speed, strength & physicality, the older group is more proficient.
Maybe we need to draft these discarded players into a CAMP, not the final squad - and have them compete for places. Even if the staff is determined to continue with the young blood, there is alot that they can learn from training with the veterans.

MLS has started, so we should be able to guage the performance of Julius James & Yohance Marshall. Based on Wednesday's performance, these two might have been able to cope better with the Americans because they train with, and play against them and are well acclimatised.

Should we be looking at the defenders from the U-20 WC Squad?
Should we look to covert some midfield players in defenders? a la Carlos Edwards & a fit, confident Spann?


2. FORWARDS

As much as I hate to say it, I don't think that Kenwyne Jones should be invited for the next qualifier. If his club & country's coaches are already saying that he is tired and it's affecting his performance as he hits the most crucial stretch of action during the year - then what's going to happen at the end of the season?
He hasn't been firing for his club lately, and he's definitely not doing it for his country. I don't even know if his style of play even fits the T&T Squad because with a defensive minded squad, you need to be able to control and hold up the ball at the front to allow for the mids to advance and support - and with a horrendous first touch, and the inability to control under pressure - it doesn't give us a chance to even relieve pressure at the back.
KJ thrives on quality delivery that require nudges, headers, deflections or touches from him onto goal. We simply can't give him that because our midfielders play so deeply to help out our defence.

Stern John quieted his critics last game.

Jason Scotland needs more playing time. He has not been given a fair chance and as many minutes up front. He should get them, since he shouldn't have any problems choosing between Swansea and TT come the next round of qualifiers in June, since the Championship will be over. Let's hope he doesn't ask to be rested.

Cornell Glenn I don't know why he's not in the squad. If he were to pack up his bags and quit on TT, not many could fault him. The guy has consistently played his heart out and give 115% to TT when he's on the field. I think it's a slap in his face not to even have him in the squad.

Scott Sealy & Darryl Roberts I don't think these two get enough credit. Scott Sealy terrorized MLS defences - some of the same players that make up the US defence. Darryl Roberts just can't seem to stop scoring - no matter where he goes. He's done it for club and country. IMO, these two can start ahead of KJ presently.

U-20 WC Squad Strikers Should absolutely be training with this team. We saw it with Dwight Yorke and Anthony Sherwood, who were actually part of The Strike Squad, but that generously benefitted them and the team's fortunes on the road to Portugal.




We're quick to blame administrators for results - but it's not them who play the game, it's the players.
Let's get our squad right, and move on.

LETS GO WARRIORS!!!

16
Football / Gio Dos Santos needs a compass
« on: March 14, 2009, 10:01:20 PM »
Moves to North(ish) as career heads south.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2009/mar/13/tottenham-ipswich-giovani-dos-santos-barcelona

Quote
From Camp Nou to Portman Road ... Dos Santos joins Ipswich on loan

• Mexican forward failed to make an impression at Spurs
• Former Barca star set to play in the Championship


Jacob Steinberg guardian.co.uk
Friday 13 March 2009 21.56 GMT


Giovani Dos Santos, centre, was regarded as Ronaldinho's replacement at Barcelona but has now joined Ipswich on loan. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images


One minute you're playing for Barcelona, the next you find yourself turning out for Ipswich Town. One of Juande Ramos's heralded summer signings for Tottenham, Giovani Dos Santos, has joined Ipswich on loan until the end of the season, an embarrassing step for a player who engendered so much optimism upon his arrival. The current Spurs manager Harry Redknapp has been trying to disassociate himself from the work of his predecessor, Ramos, for as long as he has been in the job, and this move could be interpreted as such.

Dos Santos came to White Hart Lane from Barcelona in a £4.7million deal, armed with a reputation as one of football's up-and-coming young stars, but the Mexican has failed to make any sort of positive impact during his time in north London. An extended jaunt to a club in the Championship, having featured for a team who reached the semi-finals of the Champions League last year, will be a humiliating descent for the Mexican striker.

He has made just 12 appearances for Spurs this season, and his only goal for the club came in their Uefa Cup exit at the hands of Shakhtar Donetsk in the round of 32. He has also struggled with an ankle injury since November, which has understandably curtailed his progress.

Alongside Bojan Krkic, Dos Santos was one of Barcelona's great hopes, and had been trumpeted as a potential replacement for Ronaldinho, and there was reported interest from both Chelsea and Internazionale before Spurs sealed what was regarded as a coup at the time.

However Dos Santos failed to settle, and as Spurs made a terrible start to the season, picking up just two points from their opening eight games, Ramos found himself sacked and replaced by Redknapp who was unwilling to find a place for the youngster in his team. He now has a barely believable chance to revive his career in the unfamiliar surroundings of Portman Road. He will go straight into the Ipswich squad for their match at Reading tomorrow.

Meanwhile another young Tottenham midfielder, Adel Taarabt, has joined another Championship club, Queens Park Rangers, on loan until the summer.


17
Football / The "new" Zidane
« on: February 19, 2009, 12:49:45 AM »
Check this youngster out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10FKWOn4qGA
Tried posting the video in flash below but dunno if it will work.

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/18022009/58/premier-league-chelsea-eye-new-zidane.html
Quote
Premier League - Chelsea 'eye new Zidane'
Eurosport - Wed, 18 Feb 17:19:00 2009


Chelsea are reportedly tracking a six-year-old wonderkid who had been dubbed the new Zinedine Zidane.

According to The Sun newspaper, Madin Mohammed has caught the Premier League club's eye after footage of his skills were circulated on the internet.

The clips, which showcase the youngster's impressive repertoire of step-overs, nutmegs and flicks, have been viewed more than a million times on one video sharing website.

Madin's tricks have pricked the interest of Chelsea, who are thought to be keenly monitoring his progress. The report claims Spanish giants Real Madrid are also interested.

"He has an amazing talent. He plays every day and has a great passion for football," Christian Lazaoui, president of Madin's local club Roubaix.

"He can cross the ball, control it, swerve, pass between the legs - he is spectacular with the ball ... he really is magic with it."

France legend Zidane retired from the game after a glorious career which ended in an explosive World Cup final in 2006 during which he was sent off for headbutting Marco Materazzi.

Ever since, the French public have desperately been searching for the 'new Zidane'; the similarities between Madin and the former Real Madrid and Juventus player make the youngster an obvious candidate for the future.

Zidane was born in Marseille to Algerian parents while Madin's family moved from Algeria to France three years ago.

As such, the youngster will be eligible to play for France and he has already been handed a scholarship by the French Football Federation.

Mike Hytner / Eurosport


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10FKWOn4qGA" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10FKWOn4qGA</a>

18
Football / Favourites for SA 2010
« on: February 14, 2009, 03:19:30 PM »
They're running this on Yahoo! at the moment.

http://sports.yahoo.com/sow/blog/sow_experts/post/The-Road-to-South-Africa-Ranking-the-favorites;_ylt=AsFT5EL4W8L_EyoBC6N2Bgomw7YF?urn=sow,141410

Quote

The first edition of our World Cup rankings looks at which teams are shaping up as the strongest favorites if the tournament was about to begin.

We have looked beyond the form and strength of the relative teams and included factors such as acclimatization to the hot South African temperatures and home advantage. Hence, the surprise inclusion of some African teams, including the hosts, in our top 16.

1. Spain: Euro champ is a class above the pack.

2. Brazil: Needs to peak at the right time.

3. Argentina: Potential for greatness despite inconsistency.

4. Holland: Star-studded lineup keen for major success.

5. Germany: Always comes up big at major events.

6. Italy: Finally getting it together after poor Euros.

7. Portugal: Talented team should survive qualifying.

8. England: Bouncing back from missing the Euros.

9. France: Troubled squad needs to get its act together.

10. Paraguay: Dominating South America and could go far.

11. Cameroon: Classiest team in Africa could provide shocks.

12. Croatia: Wants to make up for Euros heartbreak.

13. Greece: Temperatures could suit this developing side.

14. United States: Will cruise through CONCACAF but needs to step up.

15. Ivory Coast: Will like its chances of making the knockout phase.

16. South Africa: Will have home support and an easy draw.

19
Football / Inconsistent Refereeing
« on: February 05, 2009, 12:57:30 AM »
Just when I thought we had beaten the Bosingwa incident to death on the Chelsea vs Liverpool thread, comes this:

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/04022009/58/premier-league-wright-phillips-charged.html

Quote
Premier League - Wright-Phillips charged
Eurosport - Wed, 04 Feb 20:55:00 2009
 

Manchester City winger Shaun Wright-Phillips has been charged with violent conduct by the FA after a video replay of Saturday's Premier League win over Stoke City.

Stoke midfielder Rory Delap was sent off for kicking the ball at Wright-Phillips while he lay on the ground.

Wright-Phillips then appeared to kick out at Delap in retaliation but the referee did not see that.

"The incident was not seen by referee Martin Atkinson. Having now watched video footage of the incident, Atkinson has informed The FA that, had he seen it at the time, he would have shown Wright-Phillips a red card for violent conduct[/u]," an FA statement said.

Reuters

Ok, so the correct thing was done in the SWP-Delap bustup. Both players deserved to be red carded, and both were.

1st thing - If Delap was red carded for kicking a ball into SWP as he lay on the ground, why wasn't Gerrard sent off for kicking a ball into Bosingwa as he lay on the ground?
The referees saw both incidents.
Martin Atikinson issued a red card, and Mike Riley issued a verbal warning.

2nd thing - Mike Riley said that he did not see Bosingwa stamp Benayoun. Martin Atkinson said he did not see SWP kick out at Delap. Bosingwa's incident was rendered a non-issue. SWP is issued a red card.

WTF?

20
Football / EPL Television Rights
« on: February 03, 2009, 08:54:01 PM »
http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/03022009/4/sky-win-new-premier-league-tv-deal.html

Quote
Sky Win New Premier League TV Deal
Tue 03 Feb, 11:09 PM

BSkyB have kept their share of live Premier League broadcast rights for 2010 to 2013.

The Premier League announced tonight that BSkyB had been awarded four of six available packages of audio-visual rights - the same proportion the subscription-only broadcaster have held since 2006.

Two remaining packages will go to a second round of bidding "in due course".

All interested parties had to hand in their bids by Tuesday morning, with BSkyB's main rivals widely touted as Setanta and American sports network ESPN - although the identity of any other companies involved have not been revealed by the Premier League.

Ireland-based Setanta currently hold the two other packages which are yet to be allotted, although BSkyB have the right to bid for one of those.

The Premier League insist they will not comment on the size of BSkyB's successful bid or any other facet of the tendering process until after the second round of offers.

Much of the intrigue surrounding the bidding process will centre on the size of the sums paid by BSkyB and whichever other company goes on to pick up at least one of the remaining packages, particularly in the currently challenging economic climate.

BSkyB, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation media empire, paid a reported £1.3billion to show four packages of 23 games each for three seasons when the rights were last on offer.

Setanta, meanwhile, spent £392million on two bundles of 26 matches - handing the Premier League a total income of very nearly £1.7billion for live domestic rights over those three years.

The overseas broadcast rights, which are also up for renewal in 2010, generated a total of £625million over the same three-year period when they were renegotiated in January 2007.

Recession?? ... what recession?

21
Football / Biggest Rivalry in Football?
« on: January 19, 2009, 01:31:13 PM »
Just wondering what the biggest rivalry in football could be. I don't know how you would quantify it.
Lots of them seem to be derby's/ classico's.


Some of the usual contenders would be:

AC Milan vs. Inter Milan
Everton vs. Liverpool
Man U vs. Man C
Barca vs. Real
Boca vs. River
Argentina vs. Brasil
England vs. Argentina
USA vs. Mexico
T&T vs. Jamaica  ;D

22
Football / Intercol Semis
« on: November 24, 2008, 07:24:41 PM »
Presentation vs Mucurapo

Thursday 27th
Hasley Crawford Stadium
3:30pm



PRES FOREVERRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!




23
Football / glory, glory ...
« on: November 19, 2008, 07:31:21 AM »
Premier League - Angry United fans report own club
Eurosport - Wed, 19 Nov 12:04:00 2008

Manchester United have been reported to the Office of Fair Trading by a group of their own fans.

The Manchester United Supporters Trust, the group formerly known as Shareholders United which vehemently opposed Malcolm Glazer's takeover of the club in 2005, has lodged official papers with the OFT claiming the Red Devils have 'breached its statutory and legal obligations to season ticket holders'.

MUST's argument centres on the hotly disputed compulsory cup scheme, which forces season ticket holders to agree in advance to buy tickets for cup games even though they do not know how many they will have to pay for and who the opposition will be.

At one point all season ticket holders had to pay for all cup matches but this has now been relaxed to exclude Carling Cup games.

However, MUST still claims United are acting unlawfully given what they view as a dominant position in the market and the fact that fans do not transfer their allegiance just because the club acts in a way they do not like.

Specifically, MUST's three complaints are:

- United's season ticket terms and conditions are in breach of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations 1999.

- Their compulsory automatic cup ticket scheme is in breach of The Competition Act 1998, Part II, Section 18(2).

- Their pricing policy is in breach of The Competition Act 1998, Part II, Section 18(2)(a).

In addition, they argue that massive ticket price rises in recent years - highlighted by sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe - contravene a pledge given by Glazer in the build-up to his takeover attempt.

"Over recent years we have seen unfair terms and huge ticket price rises imposed on supporters by club owners taking advantage of their loyalty," said MUST chief executive Duncan Drasdo.

"MPs from all political parties have raised concerns and even the minister for sport felt it necessary to launch an outspoken attack on the huge price rises at Old Trafford in recent years.

"For a long time Manchester United was by no means the worst offender having previously had an admirable policy of keeping prices relatively low despite the success of the club. All that changed when the Glazers took over.

"However now, with the help of a team of eminent competition lawyers, economists and experts in sports law, we have been able to compile a comprehensive complaint based on Competition and Contract Law, which could have welcome consequences for supporters at clubs throughout the country."

While United are making no official comment, they are likely to mount a robust defence of their position.

In particular they are likely to point to the fact they have axed Carling Cup games from the automatic cup scheme and made Under-16 season tickets exempt from the scheme altogether.

In addition, senior citizens have been given permission to upgrade their tickets to adult prices for individual games to make them easier to sell through the official club website.

Even so, MUST believe they have a strong case, although the OFT may take some time to decide whether to take it, let alone hear it, which may take in excess of a year.

Sporting Life / Eurosport

24
Football / But what d .....
« on: November 17, 2008, 03:19:47 PM »
Italian soccer strategy gets a racy look

PrintROME (AP)—

In the latest fashion statement out of Italy, soccer players are dropping their shorts to score goals.

Catania, a team in the country’s top division, unveiled the new look while taking a free kick. The players lined up in a wall and dropped their shorts in an effort to block the goalkeeper’s vision.


The Sicilian team carried out the maneuver to perfection Sunday. Three players dropped their shorts practically to their knees so Torino goalie Matteo Sereni couldn’t see the kick by Giuseppe Mascara, who scored during Catania’s 3-2 victory.

Catania is coached by Walter Zenga, a former goalkeper on Italy’s national team.

“This is a strategy that Zenga tries continually in training,” Pietro Lo Monaco, the club’s chief executive, told RAI state radio Monday.

Former referees coordinator Paolo Casarin called the move “unsportsmanlike and in bad taste.”

“It’s a trick that should not be tolerated anymore by the referees,” he said.

Lo Monaco replied: “A trick? I wouldn’t say so. It’s up to the referee to decide if it should be penalized, otherwise I don’t see where the problem is. … Good taste is relative.”[/i]


BREAKING NEWS!!!
Cristiano Ronaldo today expressed his desire to make an immediate move to Serie A, forego contract negotiations with Manchester United, and give up his alledged dream of plying his trade at The Barnebeau.
He claims that he would be closetr to home and friends if he could play in his dream city, at the club he has supported since his first ever full body wax experience - Catania.
Rainbow breaks from the clouds
Catania management was so excited by the prospect, they peed in their plants. Ladyboys from the world over are now flocking to this modest Italian town, who do not seem to be hit by the crisis rocking the retail industry, as everything rainbow coloured seems to be flying off the shelves.


25
Football / Drogba, Money & Violence
« on: November 13, 2008, 03:57:32 PM »
Premier League - Police to investigate Drogba incident


Eurosport - Thu, 13 Nov 20:05:00 2008

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/13112008/58/premier-league-police-investigate-drogba-incident.html

Quote
The Metropolitan Police and the FA have confirmed they are investigating an incident involving Chelsea striker Didier Drogba in which he threw an object at Burnley fans during their Carling Cup match.

The striker threw the object, believed to be a coin, back into the crowd after scoring the opening goal and also appeared to gesture at the away fans.

Drogba was quick to apologise, but a Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "I can confirm we are investigating the incident. An inquiry is being conducted by the Football Unit at Fulham police station. No-one has been arrested."

An FA spokesman added: "We are investigating. That's all I can say until we have had a chance to look into it further."

Drogba, who was shown a yellow card for his actions, said: "This is something I want to make clear. I tried to celebrate the goal and I received some things at me.

"The big mistake I did was to throw it back so if someone was hurt, I just want to apologise for it.

"This is not something I should show in a football match and I want to apologise.

"It was an incident in the heat of the moment and I regret it. It was just a mistake and nothing more."

Drogba had put Chelsea ahead in their Carling Cup fourth-round tie against the Coca-Cola Championship side with a superb curling effort into the bottom corner.

But a shock equaliser 20 minutes from time from Burnley's veteran striker Ade Akinbiyi stunned the Barclays Premier League leaders.

With the tie still level at 1-1 at the end of extra time, Burnley goalkeeper Brian Jensen saved from Wayne Bridge and John Mikel Obi to send Chelsea crashing out of the competition.

Chelsea said on Wednesday night that they will await the referee's report before commenting further. Burnley manager Owen Coyle and Chelsea coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said they did not see the incident.

Scolari said: "I have not spoken with Didier about any problem. The referee gave him a yellow card but I did not see what happened."

In 2002, Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher was sent off in an FA Cup tie against Arsenal at Highbury after throwing a coin back into the crowd. He received a mandatory three-match ban.

He was interviewed by police but no further action was taken. However, Carragher was fined by the club and warned as to his future conduct.

AFP



So while some of us are quick to point out that Chelsea always receives leniency from the FA, and have double standards, let's take this incident in light of the precedent set in the Carragher incident - by extension, Kung-Fu Cantona, as well as the infamous Detriot-Indiana bust up in the NBA a few seasons ago.

What and how should Drogba be dealt with in this case?


-- Even as a Chelsea fan, I couldn't help but chuckle at this response:
Quote
Cant understand Drogbas double standards . Abramovich has been throwing money at him for years and hes not complained once
From klebewok, on Thu 13 Nov 9:21PM

26
Football / U-20 Players in SSFL: The Implications.
« on: November 05, 2008, 07:24:35 PM »
Just got hold of this article below.
Now what would have happened if these key players were allowed to contribute during the season?
We have been discussing the quality of SSFL/ Intercol on one of the other threads, and how it has been diluted.
One contributor did mention that Pres v Naps still maintains the atmosphere of old, as is evident in the report. However, could other players have inspired teams and fans to do the same - or will the decision to hold them back from representing their schools be vindicated by the way the U20s play at their tournament?


credit the reporter at presfootball.com website

http://presfootball.com/news/sweet-revenge-as-pres-defends-trophy.html

Sweet Revenge as Pres defends Trophy

Presentation College San Fernando was successful in defending their Val Turton/Carl Osborne Memorial Trophy versus the highly favoured Naparima College on Saturday 25th October, 2008.

Naps entered the game huge favourites since in their two encounters with Pres this season ended with them victorious, 4-0 and 1-0 respectively. Added to that, Naps were hot off their celebrations after winning the National Big 5 Title versus Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive 2-1.

However, at the blow of the referee's whistle to begin the game these credits were wiped clean as both teams went for the jugular. Both Naps and Pres decided to field their strongest starting 11-man squad with the addition of the "banned" National Under 20 players. The two being Akeem Adams (Pres) and Isaiah Smith (Naps) were both allowed since the game is not sanctioned by the SSFL.

Adams, who was given the captain armband out of respect by Jamal Mohammed slipped perfectly into his customary left back position. Shimon Joseph, who normally occupies that position, could not recover in time from a mid-week illness making Adams’ replacement even more important.

Presentation should have taken the lead as early as the 15th minute when a Renefor Martin’s cross teased the Naparima goal-keeper. Caught in two worlds, the keeper preferred to tip the ball over the cross-bar. However, a misjudgment in the flight of the ball caused his attempted tip to fall into the path of Travis Francis. An on-rushing Francis blasted his shot off the cross-bar and out of harm. The Naparima fans breathed a huge sigh of relief.

Five minutes later, Man of the Match Kevin Moodie mowed through the Naparima defence, making them look sub-par. After evading several tackles he laid up Weslie John on the 6 yard box. John tried to place his ball to the far post but only a brilliant foot-save from the Naparima goal-keeper could prevent another Pres goal. Once again, sighs of relief from the Naparima faithful could be heard all around the stadium.

Naparima however, would not let their opportunity go to waste. The Naps forward received a ball on top of the Pres box, and after hesitating a few times released a sad excuse for a shot, or so the Pres defence thought. The ensuing shot deflected off of Tyler Scipio's head and lobbed an out of position Ramsaroop in goal. 1-0 Naps in the 25th minute.

Pres immediately pressed for the equalizer, and for the remainder of the first half looked the better team. This equalizer would come in the 40th minute through a brilliant piece of close control and determination by Weslie John. After breaking free of three defenders, John was illegally and harshly taken down inside the Naparima penalty box. The referee wasted no time in pointing to the penalty spot.

Amidst the celebrations of the penalty, John appeared to be severely injured as he frantically lashed the ground in pain. Substitute Physio and Assistant coach Joseph Lopez was successful in getting John to his feet and off the field.
Kevin Moodie stepped up to take the all important penalty. After sending the keeper the wrong way he calmly slotted his shot in the bottom left-hand corner of the net. 1-1.

John gingerly walked back on to the field. After a few touches and a rush of adrenalin, the tall midfielder regained his stride and almost put Pres into the lead. A double stepover sent two Naparima defenders the wrong way, allowing him to unleash a right footed shot. Naparima’s goalkeeper once again proved good and pushed the goal-bound attempt past the upright. The score at half time read 1-1.

In the second half, possession was evenly distributed between both teams and goal-mouth action was few and far in between as both teams cautiously approached the opponent’s penalty area. Travis Francis though, worked like a thoroughbred until his substitution, running down every ball he could have and sometimes doing the double duty of a right winger and right back.

Moodie received a rapturous applause when he too was substituted - the Pres fans appreciating his industriousness on the field. After 45 minutes in the second half the deadlock could not be broken and the dreaded penalty kicks would have to decide this year's winner.

In the 6 previous years of this competition only twice had it gone to penalty kicks in 2005 and 2006. With Pres winning the first time and Naps returning the favour on the second occasion. This was also Pres' second penalty shootout in as many games played in the past week. This time Cooper decided not to replace Ramsaroop with Spencer in goal.

Naparima blasted their first penalty kick way over the cross-bar to give Pres the upper hand. Captain, Akeem Adams stepped up to the plate and unleashed a rocket of a shot straight down the center, leaving the Naparima goalkeeper no chance.
Naps would regain equality in the shootout with Pres’ next penalty as their keeper once again pulled off a great save to deny Anslym Edmund. The Naps supporters however, were silenced when the assistant referee deemed that the goal-keeper obtained an illegal advantage when he stepped forward off his goal line. Edmund would not make the same mistake twice and dispatched his re-taken penalty into the goal.
With Naps’ 5 shooters taken their penalties, it was left up to Renefor Martin to seal the win. The reliable midfielder could have given Pres the victory but was once again superbly denied hence sending the game into the sudden death penalties.

Naps would not have a fairy tale ending as their 6th kicker made a carbon copy shot of the 1st. Rodney Young this time stepped up for Pres, and he made no mistake in dispatching the ball into the net and handing Pres their 3rd Turton/Osborne trophy. The Pres fans raided the field in great jubilation. The celebrations were marred by some sour Naps fans who hurled bottles at the Presentation footballers and supporters.

Presentation however swept the awards ceremony, winning the Man of the Match award (Kevin Moodie), Best Rhythm Section and the Championship trophy. The game was definitely a great remembrance of the Pres and Naps greats, Val Turton and Carl Osborne and next year proves to be even greater.

27
Football / Kenwyne Jones vs Stoke City
« on: October 29, 2008, 03:03:43 PM »
Can't find a working link ... but he replaced Yorke at the half ... after not being on the team sheet to start. At least the team sheet that was reported.

28
Football / El Fenômeno - Ronaldo
« on: October 28, 2008, 08:25:51 PM »
still the greatest Ronaldo ever!!!

Ronaldo: "I couldn't have gotten fatter" Posted by Ramon Aranda on 10.28.2008

The Brazilian star has almost recovered from his knee injury.

Photo by AFP

Brazilian striker Ronaldo put on so much weight while he was injured this year that he was running out of clothes that fit him, he said on Tuesday.

The 32-year-old free agent has almost fully recovered from a career-threatening knee injury suffered in February and said he had been working hard to get back in shape and still dreamed of a national team recall.

"I couldn't have got any fatter, I was running out of clothes," Ronaldo said in an interview. "Everything on the table is nice but it makes you put on weight. Losing weight is the most difficult part."

Ronaldo has been on a rehabilitation programme at Brazilian club Flamengo since August and training with the team.

"I'm making great sacrifices and, yes, I still dream about the national team," said Ronaldo, who has not played for Brazil since the FIFA World Cup Germany 2006™ where he scored three goals. "The national team is part of my life, I have an incredible history, of many conquests and also many defeats.

"But to play for Brazil, I have to have a club and play well. I'm not going to be picked on my past or because of my sponsor, as many have said."


Tendon Rupture

Ronaldo ruptured a tendon in his left knee during a Serie A game for AC Milan against Livorno in February and was initially expected to be out for at least nine months.

The striker, who came under fire for appearing to be overweight at the 2006 finals, went on to criticise his team's preparations for the tournament in Germany.

Brazil were hot favorites for the title but were knocked out in the quarter-finals by France after a lacklustre campaign.

They spent two weeks warming up for the tournament in the Swiss lakeside village of Weggis, where each training session was watched by a crowd of about 15,000 screaming fans at a specially-constructed arena.

"We had 15 days, a reasonable period of time, but the preparation was a circus," he said. "We didn't have any structure to protect us and it took more than an hour to get to training. There was a lack of organisation.

"Every day, in the morning and in the afternoon, we had 15,000 people shouting in our ears. But I didn't hear anyone say that the preparation sucked. There was no way it could have worked."

Credit: Reuters

29
Football / Blatter compared to despots in Africa
« on: October 28, 2008, 04:07:30 PM »
Premier League - Ferguson attacks BlatterEurosport - Tue, 28 Oct 14:59:00 2008

Sir Alex Ferguson has launched a vicious attack on Sepp Blatter, likening the FIFA president to an unhinged African leader and questioning his credentials to serve as chief of the game's ruling body.

In an interview with GQ Magazine, the Manchester United manager spoke candidly about Blatter's comments on Cristiano Ronaldo's failed move to Real Madrid, in which he compared the 23-year-old's plight to that of a slave.

"I think Sepp Blatter is in danger, or has reached a point where he is being mocked within the game," Ferguson said.

"Whether he's getting too old, I don't know. But these things happen to people in power. Look at some of the despots in Africa. From a position of great power, he has uttered so many ridiculous statements that he is in danger of seriously damaging his credibility.

"When he came out with that stuff it created a furore and rightly so, the year after the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of slavery."

I can't remember the correct order, but wasn't it C. RONALDO who 1. either initiated use of the term slavery in the way Man U was handling proceedings or 2. C. RONALDO endorsed comments that he was indeed being treated as a slave.

Ferguson said the Ronaldo saga is thankfully now over, but he remains aggrieved at the manner in which Madrid approached the situation and the underhand tactics they employed in an attempt to sign the FIFPro World Player of the Year.

"When we sold Gabriel Heinze to Real Madrid we knew it was going to happen, because Ronaldo is very close to Heinze," he said.

"I knew what they were doing. I don't believe they were interested in Heinze - good player though he is. The endgame was to get Ronaldo.

According to published reports, Heinze wanted to move to Arsenal (or was it Liverpool?) However, Fergie refused to sell a Man U player to one of his main domestic competitors.

"What made it really obscene was that Madrid, as General Franco's club, had a history of being able to get whatever they wanted, before democracy came to Spain."

Ronaldo is one of a host of the world's best players Ferguson has lured to United during his 22-year reign, but he will leave Old Trafford regretting the one who got away.

The most successful manager in British football history has won 10 Premier League titles and two Champions League triumphs since his arrival from Aberdeen in 1986, achieved with help of inspired signings such as Ronaldo, Eric Cantona and Wayne Rooney.

But even Ferguson can't always get what he wants. Along the way there have been players he has missed out on, and none hurt more than an enigmatic Italian whose move from West Ham fell through in 2002.

"Paulo Di Canio would have been capable of becoming a truly great player at Manchester United," Ferguson said.

"I mean, he was a great player, but when you have a player like Di Canio, who expresses himself as an individual, like (George) Best and Cantona did, and (Ryan) Giggs, Rooney, Ronaldo and (Dimitar) Berbatov do.

"We make heroes quickly here. Di Canio could have been in that category."



30
Football / Intercol
« on: October 25, 2008, 05:36:01 PM »
http://schoolsoccernet.com/Intercol/2008/tabid/81/Default.aspx

I was just checking out the dates for the semis .... and realise the huge delay between the Quarterfinals and semis ... esp in North, East and South.

What's the reason for such a big gap? .... something special going on in TT/ Secondary Schools?

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