Saturday, March 31, 2007

Carlos Tevez Shines Again

It seems Carlitos Tevez is finally turning on the gas this season. He scored again today and set up another for Bobby Zamora. With Darren Bent giving Charlton the full three points this weekend and Sheffield United's loss, we may have a nice battle to beat the drop this season.

Liverpool 4 - 1 Arsenal

Liverpool's resident radio tower, Peter Crouch bagged the hat trick today! He had this to say,

"You don't care how they come but it was a nice hat-trick, I'm pleased
with it.

There was fantastic service. Up there on my own I had Stevie (Gerrard) around me. Sometimes you are a bit isolated but that wasn't the case today at all, my team-mates got round me and it makes it easier.
Today it was pleasing for us to get four goals and beat a class side. The manager let us
know beforehand we've had some disappointing results against Arsenal this season."

Saturday matches live on your PC

David Healy Has a Week to Remember

Here is something to build a resume on! Nice work son!

  • 90th minute match winner against Preston (to bring Leeds off the bottom of the table)
  • Hat trick for Northern Ireland against Liechtenstein
  • A brace four days later.
While we are on the subject "Who Killed Leeds United?"

Bellamy Helps Wrexham

Liverpool's Craig Bellamy has donated part of his fine, for the bust up with Riise in Portugal, to help Wrexham survive.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Eritrean Players Seek Asylum

"Six Eritrean players who refused to fly back home with the rest of the team after a weekend international in Luanda have applied for political asylum, Angolan officials said on Wednesday. "

Result: Angola 6 - 1 Eritrea

The Scoop (Rumour Mill)

Eto'o 'the moaner' to Liverpool?

Platini on Violence Within Football

"Michel Platini yesterday issued a stark warning that European football is in danger of being 'poisoned' by violence on and off the pitch."

Riise Declared Bankrupt

"Liverpool full-back John Arne Riise has been declared bankrupt by the courts for an unpaid debt of around £100,000."

Keano Was Right

Not only do the prawn sandwich eaters make for a piss poor crowd, they also have the ability to kill you. How you ask? Flatulence.

Methane emissions from cattle have been blamed for contributing to global warming for years when the real culprits have been flaunting their crimes against humanity in front of millions from Old Trafford. Shame on you, Manchester United.

That's the only conclusion one can draw from Al Gore's recruitment of Alex Ferguson into his army against global warming. Sir Alex was among 150 "high-level individuals" invited to Cambridge to hear Al Gore break down some inconvenient truths.

If anyone has a better reason why Gore approached Sir Alex, I'd love to hear it. At least he was smart enough to not recruit Second Choice Steve. If he had, the earth would be a fireball by now.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Who Loves You

Check out Materrazzi's tatoo. I cannot stand the guy but I would get the same if I won the World Cup. Not on the front of my thigh though.

I Remember This Story

I read this story about "some footballer tearing his finger off because his ring got caught in a fence" some years ago. I just didn't know it was Gael Clichy. I suppose that merits a post! I bet some of you remember that story too.
UPDATE: Clichy wasn't the man I was thinking of when I was speaking of the 'story'. Here is the story I was thinking of. Nevertheless, it would suck to lose a finger climbing a fence. Actually, it would suck losing a finger in general.

Poor Showing Yesterday

The Sun rates the entire England team an average "4" out of "10"! Steven Gerrard earned a "7" for his goals and his spirit. England has no spirit these days.

McClaren Grovels and Runs Away

This is NOT the way an England Manager should behave. Very childish indeed. Can you imagine Jose doing this? No way, he just tells the press to "stuff it". He would never storm out of a presser. He would mosey out...after he tells them (to their face) to "stuff it".

Holy Smokes!

The F.A. Cup final will actually take place at Wembley!

The Scoop (Rumour Mill)

Arsenal and Chelsea chasing PSV's Jefferson Farfan.

Messi backing Barca's push for Rodrigo Palacio.

Meanwhile, Messi's mate Ronaldinho may be making his way to AC Milan. I have no clue what the transfer fee would be.

How come Liverpool aren't chasing anybody these days?

Lamps Wanted to Run Away

"Frank Lampard tried to book a private jet to fly him back to London on Wednesday, after being told he would take no part in England’s crucial game against Andorra."

Italy 2 - 0 Scotland

Toni double sentences Scots to same old story.

Rosicky fined for Shennanigans

"Arsenal star Tomas Rosicky and five of his Czech Republic team-mates landed the whole squad a £25,000 fine from the Czech FA after spending a night in a hotel with six prostitute"

Diego Armando Maradonna Admitted to Hospital

"Argentina legend Diego Maradona has been admitted to the Sanatorio Guemes hospital in Buenos Aires for tests after falling ill, according to a statement released by the hospital."

McClaren no nearer credibility

Steven Gerrard spared Steve McClaren from a humiliation that would have cost him his job as England coach, but left a man seemingly out of his depth with a new headache.

Frank Lampard's broken wrist allowed McClaren to make a decision he seemingly lacks the nerve to take himself - namely put Gerrard in central midfield.

McClaren has foolishly refused to play a man with claims to be the world's best central midfield player in central midfield.

And perversely, England's coach may have been glad to have his folly so brutally exposed in exchange for a win that stopped his dismissal.

Gerrard silenced the abuse of frustrated England fans and at least left McClaren in his post for a while longer with an inspirational driving display in the centre.

So what does McClaren do next?

Restore Lampard? The coach's lack of imagination suggests he probably might.

Take Gerrard and a bright debut from Preston North End's David Nugent out of the equation, and this was another desperate night for McClaren and England.

The first 45 minutes was as embarrassing as it gets as England were reduced to niggling with Andorra's selection of part-timers while their supporters heaped abuse on them from the terraces.

And for McClaren and the Football Association, they must have squirmed at the level of discontent that descended from the stands as England's torture increased with every passing second of the opening period.

John Terry suggested the fans should save their opinions until the final whistle.

Dream on John.

They had every right to pour vitriol on what they saw in Barcelona after paying good money to watch the dreadful fare that was served up.

This England team does not deserve blind loyalty - they have had enough of this in the past and there is no credit left in the bank.

And this 3-0 win, earned eventually on the back of Gerrard's outstanding display, will not dilute the feeling that McClaren has been promoted well above his powers.

Rarely has an England coach united the nation's opinion so firmly against him so early in his reign.

He has a public image problem in that he was an unpopular choice and is regarded as a purveyor of meaningless soundbites rather than someone of footballing substance.

And when the England team he sends out takes 53 minutes to unlock Andorra, his footballing credibility takes a bashing as well.

McClaren may still sit in Soho Square after this - but he will sit uneasily and with England's footballing public no nearer being convinced he is up to the job after another wretched display.

If Gerrard was the catalyst, what are we to make of the latest appalling effort from Wayne Rooney?

This great hope of English football was so unnerved and rattled by someone called Oscar Sonejee that he was effectively hauled off after an hour to avert the danger of a red card.

True Rooney was roughed up, but it seems he cannot respond with his talent.

He responds with his mouth and by getting involved in a succession of petty spats before a face-saving and ridiculous removal.

It has happened to Rooney with England before and says nothing good about his temperament.

If he is being taken off to spare him against the might of Andorra, you can bet that message will get around Europe for games ahead after he has served a well-deserved suspension.

Rooney has been cut plenty of slack on the back of his performances at Euro 2004 and for Manchester United, but it is time he got his head and his act together for England.

It is unlikely McClaren - who cut a lone figure when England arrived at the stadium and appeared ill-at-ease throughout - will find the headlines any more palatable after scrambling past Andorra.

Sadly, it is a verdict that will be justified as McClaren stumbles on, unpopular and lacking inspiration.

And if there was an extra gloss on his praise for Gerrard after the final whistle, it was because he is the reason he is still England coach.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

My Apologies

I said I was going to do the France vs. Austria match live here on "Football Roundatable" the other day. I'm sorry if you were counting on that one. I'm going to have to pull that as I will be attending that match at the Stade du France myself. I'll give an round-up tomorrow. In the meantime I'm gonna get pissed! Cheers! Catch the match here.

I really hope not

Liverpool get groundshare request

Liverpool hope to increase capacity at their planned new stadiumLiverpool's new owners Tom Hicks and George Gillette have been asked by city council leaders to look again at sharing their new stadium with Everton.

Schnell Schnell!

I have a new respect for Tomas Rosicky! Count with me; One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six! Just lovely!
Gotta love the Czechs.
Peter Cech,
“We have broken some rules. We apologise to the coach and the rest of the staff.”
Heh heh heh!

The Mayor of Seville

"Seville fear crowd trouble could erupt before their Uefa Cup quarter-final encounter next week and plan to section Tottenham supporters away from the city centre.

"Seville's mayor Alfredo Sanchez Monteseirin has already met local security forces and is praying that Tottenham fans do not interfere with their celebrations. Monteseirin said: "Uefa is asking for a massive effort from us and to the best of our ability we will fit in with this type of event."

Can someone explain to McStupid

Which central midfield pairing do you think would best serve England during the remainder of qualifying for Euro 2008?

Lampard & Gerrard

Hargreaves & Lampard

Gerrard & Hargreaves

Now You Behave Yourselves

"Arsenal and Chelsea were both fined £100,000 yesterday and reprimanded by the Football Association for their part in the worst scene of indiscipline ever witnessed in a major cup final."

I Just Don't Get It

Steve McClaren drops Hargreaves, sticks with Lampard, and inserts Downing. Did I say, "I just don't get it?"

Brazil 1 - 0 Ghana

The friendly match between Brazil and Ghana took place in Stockholm last night. It says Brazil have their goalkeeper, Julio Cesar to thank for the narrow win.

Calderon's Pipe Dream

Ramon Calderon fancies his chances at landing Christiano Ronaldo, Kaka, and Christoph Metzelder over the summer. Is there an election coming up at Real?
Ronaldo picked up a knock in training and is up in the air for his match against Serbia.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Ha! Ha! Ha!

The Scoop (Rumour Mill)

You heard it here first! Rodrigo Palacio is will be trading the waters of Buenos Aires for the waters of Barcelona next season. (No link yet) I rate this player very highly. He scores goals. That is all he does. Score goals. I cannot wait to see how he settles in Europe.
He has been linked with the likes of Real Madrid, Athletico Madrid, and Barcelona in the past. Boca has even turned down a £ 12.7m offer from Barcelona. Boca's President, Mauricio Macri said, "For Palacio, we will have to receive the biggest offer in the world because for me he is the best forward in Argentina."
It seems Barcelona will land the goal poacher in the end.

Barcelona may also land a cut price Arjen Robben from Chelsea too.

Looks as if Gilberto Silva may be playing in in Black and White next year.

Problems Off the Pitch

International matches proceed despite violence and 'atmosphere of menace'.

£40 Million Alves?

Sevilla slaps an outrageous price tag on their prize.

"If they say that (Manchester United's) Cristiano Ronaldo is worth £50 million, then Daniel Alves is surely worth £40 million."

Chelsea 'Sign Feyenoord Starlet'

"Chelsea have raided Feyenoord's youth team to sign teenage midfielder Jeffrey Bruma, according to reports in Holland."

Ladies and Gentlemen

Ta-Dah! I give you the CBC Under 20 World Cup Schedule!

Who Said What to Who?

The title doesn't seem to fit the facts, but here it is anyhow. 'Deluded McClaren insists: The facts prove we looked good against Israel'

He actually said this, "Someone who has watched a lot of international football said to me that was as good a performance as they have seen over the weekend."

July 21st

Yes, circle that date if you are in the LA area. That is the date David Beckham will be making his debut for the L.A. Galaxy against none other than Chelsea F.C. I'd check it out if I were in the Neighborhood.

No Soup For You!

Emmanuel Adebayor has been given the sack from the Togolese National Team.

The Togolese Football Federation decision was taken "after analysis of indisciplined behaviour" shown by the players "before and after the match Togo-Sierra Leone" on Saturday.

David Bentley for England

Richard Williams on why McClaren should give David Bentley a go for England.

Coppell Agrees to Two-Year Extension

Steve Coppell, manager of Premiership debutantes, Reading FC who currently sit 8th in the table agreed to a two-year extentension. That is good news for Reading. They look good this year. Hopefully, they can keep up the good form and stake a claim in the Premiership.

Alan Hansen's take on England

Steve McClaren has taken a lot of stick after England's 0-0 draw in Israel and the buck has to stop with the manager.

But it is not the coach who is to blame if a player cannot pass a ball properly.

England midfielders Steven Gerrard (left) and Frank Lampard
Gerrard and Lampard train together - but should they play together?

If you are a good player, passing from A to B is pretty standard. You cannot have a go at the boss if you play badly and pass it poorly too.

In Tel Aviv, England produced yet another massively disappointing performance. They were on top for most of the game but they did not win and Israel did not offer much.

Creatively, there was nothing happening. They had half-chances but that is all they were. The display was poor, considering they have got multi-talented players in the team.

But the whole side is struggling. They are not playing with any confidence, they are not scoring any goals and everyone is underachieving.

If they are going to qualify for Euro 2008 - which I still think they will do - they need to start improving quickly.

But the recovery will not start on Wednesday against Andorra. You cannot get things back on track when you are playing such poor opposition and England will prove nothing in Barcelona.

What it does is give everyone some respite. If they were up against a better team, they might struggle a bit.

As it is, England must now wait until June to try to rectify what has gone wrong.

Wayne Rooney is one of the players who underperformed yet again. By his standards, his touch and the technical ability we have come to expect of him did not come through.

He saw a lot of the ball and did not perform. I have said before, you cannot expect one man to bail you out all the time and he is still only 21, though granted he has not played well for England for a while.

Well done to Alex McLeish for making a substitution that came off in style

Because he burst on to the scene at such a young age and was so brilliant, people expect him to be a superstar every time he steps out on the pitch and it is just not going to happen.

If Rooney is off-colour, there should be others who step up. For a long time we have talked about the golden generation of England footballers but that was probably a bit wide of the mark.

Two players who have come under more scrutiny are Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard but I do not think it is a question of pointing the finger or dropping one of them.

They combined really well for England's best chance when the ball got stuck under Frank's feet but we all know Steven can play a zillion times better than he did.

If I was the manager, I would stick with them. Before you think about dropping one of them you have got to show me a better alternative and, at the moment, nothing stands out.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Good site for Stats

This is a very useful site. It may help you to provide factual analysis going forward....

Living Legend Off to Camp

Diego Armando Maradona is arguably the greatest who's boots ever graced a football pitch. He's still up and running after a long bout with alcohol/cocaine abuse which in turn has put his health into shambles. Weight gain being the hardest to overcome. A rather recent gastric bypass has since curbed the gain, but apparently he's been putting some on again. Now it seems Maradona feels he should drop a few kilos again and is off to Switzerland to do it. Hope all turns out well for the little-big man. He really is a 'Living Legend'.

Say It Ain't So, ooo O ooo O

One of the bands I listened to during the 90's, Weezer, has the perfect theme song for this fixture roundup. Click it, open a new window, and read the match report.
USA 3 - 1 Ecuador
The result is not the reason for my sourness though. The goal scorer is. Ugh! Even though it was a Friendly, it is still a good win for the States.
UPDATE: I got da goals for you and as Oye says in the comments...they were beauties.

Rooney Gives McClaren a Piece of His Mind

I'm not too sure what to make of this. 'The Daily Mail' reports,
" a furious McClaren told Rooney he was under-performing and claimed the striker has failed to deliver since Euro 2004."
Excuse me? I thought it was up to the Manager to field a strong squad? If he thinks Rooney isn't up to form, then he drops him. Pretty simple. There are plenty of strikers to choose from. Players go in and out of form, but as a manager you have to be on top the entire time. If you are not on your game you are not making, say Euro 2008.
You, Steve McClaren are the one 'under-performing' (listen from 2:36 onward, you'll know exactly what I'm on about). You have an uphill battle yet you keep falling backward.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Romario Bags 1,000?

It seems the old penalty box trickster Romario is two twine ticklers away from 1,000 lifetime. So says he anyway. There are many different feelings about his goals and even more about him. Some say they aren't 'proper' goals. Not all of them are 'professional' goals. Some say he is not 'professional'. Some say he is 'self centered' and 'lazy'. Read a couple articles about him and his endeavor here, here, here, and here. Whatever your opinion on the man, he sure did score alot of goals (and skip alot of practices)!

Rumour Mill MANU

This will be brilliant pick ups for ManU... incredible work SAF...

Manchester United want to sign Barcelona's Portugal midfielder Deco in a £15m swoop. (News of the World)

Regular trips to watch Ajax striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar have alerted Manchester United to his midfield team-mate Wesley Sneijder. (Sunday Express)

Manchester United are targeting Manchester City defender Micah Richards.

What is he smoking??

Jermaine Pennant has revealed his frustration at failing to make the England squad for the forthcoming European Championship qualifiers with Israel and Andorra.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Live Highlights of Lithuania vs. France Right Here Baby!

France 1 - 0 Lithuania (FINAL)
It looks as if my High School stadium is bigger than the Lithuanian one.
I suppose with a country of only 3 million inhabitants we can make an exception.
Anelka, Malouda, Gouvou
Toulalan, Diarra
Abidal, Makalele, Sagnol, Thuram, Gallas
1min: We have kick off...France left to right, Lithuania...well you guessed it! France are wearing the famous blue strip with white shorts and red socks. Lithuania are wearing a very stylish and bright kit of yellow shirt, kelly green shorts and yellow socks. The English referee, Howard Webb (of the Arsenal/Chelsea bust up) is holding the whistle tonight. Let's hope he consulted his optimologist before the match.
10 min: The Lithuanian striker just flubbed a half volley he set up. Sorry I do not know their names. Anelka would have put that baby away. Check that, Heskey would have put that baby away....anyway, onward we go.
14 min: France rolls the ball across the goalmouth only for Govou to watch it go by out of reach. With a bit of anticipation, that would have been his. Both team are still feeling each other out. Back and forth action with little excitement. Yet! I'm hoping Domenech puts that kid Nasri in the match today. I want to see him in action.
23 min: Weak shot directly at the goalkeeper from Malouda on the left side of box.
24 min: OOOOOOOhhhhhh! Anelka popped his big toe through the defenders leg and almost put one past the Lithuanian goalkeeper. If he got some more power on that, it would have been in the back of the net. The cross came in from Sagnol. Nice one.
29 min: Klimasvicius in the yellow shirt gets the yellow card for a hard foul on Malouda. Off of the resulting free kick Anelka seemed to just beat the last defender into the box but the assistant referee says, "No, no you are offsides boy!"
34 min: Anelka takes on three Lithuanians and gets a left foot shot off from the right side at the top of the box. Directly at the goalkeeper.
35 min: OOOOOOOhhhhh! Abidal puts a scud missle in from the left side touch line only for the goalkeeper to pounce on it midair. That was heading for Anelka's head if he missed it. Along with a headache.
39 min: France caught offguard at the back from a free kick. The Lithuanian striker, who was completely free and open on the right side of the pitch, obviously was trying to hit his ex-wife in the crowd though. He really should have done better with that.
43 min: Anelka fouled at the top of the Lithouanian box. Sagnol to take the kick. Directly at the wall. That had to hurt.
45 min: OOOOOOOhhhhhh! Lithuania gets a cross into the center of the French box. Sagnol got back after his mistake and closes the door though. Sagnol tried to clear into the center at the back. I suppose it's ok to do that in the Bundesliga, but not a Euro Qualifier. Thuram should smack him for that!
45+ min: Peep, peep, peep! Howard Webb blows that whistle for halftime. Considering France is playing Lithuania; I would expect more. Hopefully we'll have some goals in the second half.
45 min: Second half kick off. Here we go. All the lads are warming up on the sideline at the moment. Cisse looks very intent on getting into this match. Nasri and Diaby are warming up too.
52 min: France are on the attack like crazy. They must have gotten an earful from Domenech at the half.
53 min: Lithuania have a chance on the counter and send a daisycutter across Coupet's goalmouth. That was a nice shot.
54 min: Malouda puts one in on the Lithuanian goal. End to end action here now! Goalkeeper catches and distributes.
56 min: Cross into the French box too far for the Lithuanian striker to get to it. Good thought though. France REALLY need a solid playmaker. There is nobody in the middle of the French team.
61 min: OOOOOOOOhhhhh! Anelka launches one over from 2 meters out! Ugh!
62 min: Govou out Cisse and his blonde moustache in.
63 min: Malouda takes a shot from the top of the box on the left side. Right at the keeper. Malouda has a work rate second to none. He just doesn't have anybody to work with these days.
66 min: The Lithuanian central midfield must have been watching Xabi Alonso highlights this week as he takes a shot from his side of the half. Goal kick.
68 min: OOOOOOOOhhhhhh! Some nice one touch from the French stirkers starting with Cisse and Anelka touches it off to Diarra who tries to place it in the upper corner. Just wide. Nice ball movement. Something that hasn't been seen as of yet.
72 min: More probing from the French. All the way from one side to the other ending with Toulalan trying another placement shot from the top of the box. Nice movement, terrible shot.
74 min: GOOOOOOOAAAAALLLLL! Golaso, Golaso; Golaso!!! Nicolas Anelka did three Lithuanians inside their right midfield and cracked one from the top of the box along the tips of the grass just inside the near post. Well done son! Well done!
77 min:
OOOOOOOhhhhhhh! Lithuania has a corner and the striker cracks a point blank shot only for Coupet to pull a reaction save out of his...ahem! The Lithuanian get's upset and then throws the ball into the net after the ref blows the whistle for pushing or something. France escaped there. Nice save Coupet!
82 min: Lithuanian substitution.
85 mins: OOOOOOOhhhhhh! Djibril Cisse's turn to miss from 2 meters out!
86 min: Lithuanian substitution.
89 min: Molouda out Diaby in
90 min: Plus three additional minutes
90+ min: Peep, peep, peep! Finis! Not very sexy but, a win nonetheless. Les Bleus will take it. Austria is this Wednesday. Check back here for Live coverage if you are at work or at home or at your girl's or wherever.

Watch England vs Israel live on your computer

  • 1 Dudu Aouate
  • 3 Tal Ben Haim
  • 5 Shimon Gershon
  • 14 Yoav Ziv
  • 4 Arik Benado
  • 2 Yuval Spungin
  • 10 Walid Badir
  • 15 Yossi Benayoun
  • 7 Amit Ben Shushan
  • 8 Toto Tamuz
  • 17 Pini Balili
  • 1 Paul Robinson
  • 2 Philip Neville
  • 5 Rio Ferdinand
  • 6 John Terry
  • 3 Jamie Carragher
  • 4 Steven Gerrard
  • 8 Frank Lampard
  • 7 Owen Hargreaves
  • 11 Aaron Lennon
  • 9 Wayne Rooney
  • 10 Andrew Johnson


  • 22 Nir Davidovitch
  • 20 Ygal Antebi
  • 18 Salim Toama
  • 19 Gal Alberman
  • 16 Elyaniv Barda
  • 12 Omer Golan
  • 9 Ben Sahar


  • 13 Ben Foster
  • 12 Micah Richards
  • 14 Gareth Barry
  • 15 Michael Carrick
  • 16 Stewart Downing
  • 17 Kieron Dyer
  • 18 Jermain Defoe

Little Rabbit to the Reds?

I'm all for Rafa going after Javier Saviola. Let's add another troop to the Spanish Armeda on Merseyside. He's already got the shoes let's give him a matching kit.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Ronaldo: I am not a Galatico leave me alone....

Manchester United ace Cristiano Ronaldo has snubbed the overtures of Real Madrid by claiming he is not a Galactico. The midfielder, recently dubbed the best player in the world by his manager Sir Alex Ferguson, has also revealed he wants to sign a new deal with the Red Devils.

Ronaldo has been heavily linked with a move to the Liga giants over recent weeks, with Spanish daily As reporting on Tuesday that Real are willing to spend 80 million euros in a bid to lure him to the Bernabeu.

But the 22-year-old's latest rebuffal is sure to put a large dent in their hopes of capturing his signature.

The Portuguese international said: "I consider myself a United footballer who is playing well and trying to help the team. If things keep going well, I want to stay here. I'm not a Galactico.

"I'm only thinking about United and I want to stay here for more than two more years," he added. "I want to leave my mark on this era, win titles and be a figure in the history of this club."

Meanwhile, Middlesbrough midfielder George Boateng has warned Ronaldo that his showboating could soon land him in trouble.

The flying winger was on the end of a heavy challenge from Boro's James Morrison in Monday's FA Cup win - a tackle that saw the referee produce a red card - and Boateng can see more of the same coming Ronaldo's way if he continues to dazzle opponents with his trickery.

"A lot of players want to do what Morrison did," the Boro captain said. "Why didn't Ronaldo do his tricks when it was 0-0 and people were fighting to get a goal? It annoys people.

"People have pride. No one likes to have the mickey taken out of them and if you're going to do that, one day someone will hurt him properly and he'll be out for a long time.

"We know he can do his tricks, but don't do it when you're winning 1-0 and there's only two minutes to go. When you're playing Sunday football with your mates it's great, but not at this level."

No-h Canada

Marseille has broken off talks with Canadian businessman Jack Kachkar. It would have been a massive boost for Robert Louis-Dreyfus who took over the club ten years ago for the "symbolic" sum of 1 Euro and the club in general. There is alot more behind that than meets the eye, but I usual. Nevertheless it seems France's most prolific and no doubt most profitable will not be sold to the Canadian unless certain demands are met (read..."Line my pockets well/no, better garçon".)

Look Mom, No Teeth!

My man Double O seems to think Gareth Southgate, manager of middle of the table Middlesbrough has teeth. I don't think so. All I see is a nose. What say you?

Israel vs England

This goes without saying that this is by far one of the most important matches for England since the qualification for the world cup when Becks put us in by scoring that wonderful free kick. This match is important for a manager who seems out of his league and for a team who is struggling to find their form. I personally think that the reason England is struggling so much is because of the demands on the players in a world cup year. Think about players like Gerrard, Lampard, Robinson etc who have not stopped playing all year. The spent the summer preparing and playing in the world cup only to start a very demanding season right afterwards. Players should be allowed to rest a wee bit on a world cup year so that they can perform for club and country. All that being said I will clearly state that I want McLaren out of the England post.. I am not sure what the FA was doing hiring him in the first place even though you can pose the argument that in the past all world cup winning teams have had local managers guide them to victory but I think football has changed and we are seeing top managers from other countries do a job with their talented squads... I will give an example with Big Phil and Portugal and not because I dream of him taking over at England but because I believe he is doing the business with that team. My prayers will be answered soon... but in the main time Euro2008 won't be the same without England so lets go England...