Archive for August, 2006

Aston Villa sign Stilian Petrov

Aston Villa have completed the signing of Bulgarian captain Stilian Petrov from Celtic for a reported fee of 8 million pounds. The initial fee is six and a half million but it could rise to 8.

The move reunites the Celtic medio with his ex coach Martin O Neill. It was during O Neill’s time at Celtic that Petrov established himself and won several awards and trophies including SPL’s player of the year in 2001.

Villa are also supposedly in the hunt for Barcelona reject Javier Saviola, but face stiff compeition from other Spanish and English clubs for him.

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Mido returns to White Hart Lane

Egyptian striker Ahmed Mido has returned to Tottenham on a permanent deal from Roma. Mido was on loan at White Hart Lane last season from the Italian giants and scored 11 goals for Spurs.

The fee is an estimated 7.5 million euros.Mido now joins Dimitar Berbatov, Robbie Keane and Jermain Defoe in the list of strikers Spurs have. The Egyptian striker is known for his strength in the air, but is equally famous for his volatile temperament.

Mido has also played for Celta Vigo, Ajax and Marseille in the past.

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Belgian GP to be reinstated

The much loved Belgian GP at Spa Francorchamps,will return next year in place of the European GP.Spa, which was dropped out of this year’s race calendar, thanks to repair work being undertaken by the authorities, has been witness to some of F-1’s most important moments–Michael Schumacher’s first race win ,as well as the German’s record 52nd race win

There was no Belgian GP in 2003, due to the stringent anti tobacco laws in force.

Imola, which was where the great Ayrton Senna died has also been struck off the list. There is a change in venue for the Japanese GP– from Suzuka to Fuji.

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Premiership results 26-27 August

Arsenal 0-1 Manchester City( Joey Barton-penalty)
One of the unexpected results this week, but credit to Manchester City for the way they defended. Arsenal were clearly the better team on display ,like they were in their opening game against Aston Villa,but they just could not find the back of the net.

Fulham 1 -0 Sheffield United ( Jimmy Bullard)

Absolutely stunning free kick from Bullard and there was little the Sheff Utd defence could do to keep it out

Manchester United 2-1 Watford ( Mikael Silvestre,Ryan Giggs,Damien Francis)

Manchester United continued their good start to the season with a comfortable win.They are now top of the table and if they continue their form, the rest of the teams have some thinking to do. Ashley Young ran Silvestre ragged, and I rate him as a good prospect.

Liverpool 2-1 West Ham ( D. Agger, Peter Crouch, Bobby Zamora)

First win of the new season for the Reds. Zamora gave the Hammers an early lead,but 2 goals in four minutes before the lemon break were sufficient for the Reds. Agger produced a superb strike, and Crouch scored a rare one with his feet.

Charlton 2-0 Bolton ( Darren Bent *2)

Two red cards in this game-one for Charlton and one for Bolton.Darren Bent produced another solid performance to ensure a win for Alan Curbishley’s men . El Hadji Diouf missed a penalty for Bolton.
Tottenham 0-2 Everton ( C.Davenport-OG,Andy Johnson)
Spurs have started this season quite badly and need to get back on track if they want a spot in Europe. Everton were reduced to 10 men early on after the dismissal of Kevin Kilbane,but a Callum Davenport own goal and a cool strike from Andy Johnson gave them the win.Johnson has started his season quite well at Goodison and the Toffees will hope he performs consistently in every game.

Wigan 1-0 Reading ( Emile Heskey)

Important goal for ex Liverpool and Birmingham striker Emile Heskey –his first one in 6 months for the club. Reading slump to their second loss in three games.

Aston Villa 2-0 Newcastle ( Luke Moore, Juan Pablo Angel)

The Randy Lerner era got off to a winning start for Villa as they continued their impressive start to the season under Martin O’Neill. A draw against Arsenal and wins against Reading and Newcastle have seen the Villain’s storm into the top half of the table. Newcastle also had Obafemi Martins stretchered off on debut and he will be out for close to two weeks.

Chelsea 2-0 Blackburn ( Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba)

Chelsea got back to winning ways with a hardfought 2-0 win over Blackburn. Frank Lampard converted a penalty after John Terry was brought down in the box. Didier Drogba showed his physical strength while adding a second in the second half.

 Middlesbrough 0-4 Portsmouth (Kanu*2, Mwaruwari, Todorov)

Middlesbrough were brought to earth after a 2-1 victory over Chelsea. Gareth Southgate has serious problems with his defence and needs to sort them out if Boro are to avoid losing like this. As for Pompey, they are second in the league now, tied on points with Everton and Aston Villa. If Pompey ,Villa and Everton maintain their excellent start to the season, we might as well see a different top half of the table.

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Who am I –football quiz

Ok folks,here I will give various clues and you have to guess who the person is. Please leave your answers here as comments and you have your result tabulated.Last date is the 31st of August.

  • 1.) I am a well known left footed forward currently playing for a club which many of you would not have heard at all.

My sporting hero is Allan Border.I love Chinese cuisine and have played most of my career in a country which is among the most successful countries in Fifa world cup history.
I missed out on the recent world cup due to a knee injury and am a part of Pele’s 125 greatest living footballers of all time.

  • 2 .)I am a defender, currently working as an assistant coach in a club which has qualified for the Champions League group stages.It is at that very club where I acheived a lot as a player.

I have played for 2 Premiership clubs,one of which is not in the top flight this season.My last match for the other club was a FA cup final victory.
I hold the record for captaining my country a record number of times

  • 3.)I am currently managing a side which is not in the top division of its country. I played for that club for 5 seasons in my career after which I switched to England for a brief one year spell.

I was once nicknamed “water carrier” ( more of an insult) by a player to whom the name of Matthew Simmons will ring a bell

I am also a part of Pele’s 125 greatest living footballers list.

Thanks to all those who replied. Hope you will again participate in future competitions:

Here are the answers:

1.) Christian Vieiri ( sitter thanks to Allan Border)

2.) Oleg Luzhny ( the toughie)

3.) Didier Deschamps ( the guy who insulted him was Cantona)

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Sevilla win Super Cup

Sevilla added the European Super Cup when they beat compatriots and Champions League winners Barcelona 3-0 at the Stade Louis II in Monaco.

The result came as a bit of an upset for the Catalans ,who were looking for their fourth piece of silverware in as many months. Brazilian midfielder Renato started the scoring in the 6th minute. Former Tottenham striker Frederic Kanoute added a second just before half time. Italian Enzo Moresca scored from the spot 2 minutes from time to seal the victory. Moresca scored 2 when Sevilla thrashed Middlesbrough 4-0 in the Uefa Cup final,which was Steve Mclaren’s last game in charge of the Riverside club.

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Champions League groups drawn

Group A:

Barcelona

Chelsea

Bremen

Levski Sofia

A mini group of death?? Possible.People would tip Barcelona and Chelsea to go through but do not underestimate Werder Bremen. Bremen have lost Micoud to Bordeaux,but they still have some fine players in Klose,Klasnic,Borowski etc..If Bremen do play upto their potential we could see a surprise in this group

Group B:

Inter Milan

Bayern Munich

Sporting Lisbon

Spartak Moscow

Shouldn’t be much of a headache for the current Italian and German champions to go through. Going to play in the freezing climes of Moscow may represent a challenge though

Group C:

Liverpool

PSV

Bordeaux

Galatasaray

The second spot is up for grabs here.PSV are the sole representatives of the Dutch after FC Copenhagen stunned Ajax . Bordeaux have some good players,Micoud and Denilson being examples. Galatarasay are no newbies to European competition and will be a force to reckon with.

Group D:

Valencia

Roma

Olympiakos

Shakhtar Donetsk

I do not see major problems for Valencia or Roma to go through from this group.I’d back the Greeks to go into the UEFA cup

Group E:

Real Madrid

Lyon

Steaua Bucharest

Dinamo Kiev

Madrid will be keen to avenge their 3-0 loss to hands of Lyon last season.Lyon had an even more heartbreaking exit to the Rossoneri in the quarters last time around.Both of these teams to go through.

Group F:

Manchester United

Celtic

Benfica

FC Copenhagen

Tricky group for United.On paper neither of the remaining three teams have real big names,but as a unit they canplay very effectively. United need to play well to win this. Benfica to take the next spot ahead of Celtic for me.

Group G:

Arsenal

Porto

CSKA Moscow

Hamburg

This IMO is a real group of death. Porto are no bunnies,CSKA were European Cup winners in 2005 and Hamburg are a rising force in the Bundesliga. Arsene Wenger and his boys will have to be very wary of the three other teams.

( edit Arsenal have signed a Brazilian medio by the name of Denilson–https://sportsunlimited.wordpress.com/2006/09/02/arsenal-sign-denilson/)

Group H:

AC Milan

Lille

AEK Athens

Anderlecht

The simplest group,some would say. It definitely looks like that for Milan,who lost at the semifinal stage last season. No major worries for Carlo Ancelotti and a spot in the last 16 is virtually guaranteed. Lille were not at all bad last season in Europe and I back them to make the knockout stages.

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