Logic often gets lost in winter transfer window

January 7, 2010

“The European winter transfer window was flung open with a flourish last Saturday with Roma putting on display their newly acquired Italian international striker Luca Toni. Everybody seemed happy with the 18-month loan deal from Bayern Munich, not least the free-spirited Toni, whose chances of being part of Marcello Lippi’s squad going to South Africa next summer will doubtless improve thanks to the likelihood of playing regularly and being back on Italian soil.” (BBC)

Football Weekly Extra: the Big Freeze and Africa Cup of Nations preview

January 7, 2010

“James is joined by Raphael Honigstein, Barry Glendenning and John Ashdown to discuss what little football news there is, as bad weather stops most of the midweek action. Stoke City need more than a bit of snow and ice to put them off, and the pod enthuse about their entertaining win over Fulham. But should Arsenal’s game have gone ahead? And why do other countries manage to play despite having worse conditions?” (Guardian – James Richardson)

UEFA Europa League 2009-10, Knockout Stage (32 teams).

January 7, 2010

“There are no cup holders in this competition, as the Europa League is brand new, but de-facto Holders are Shakhtar Donetsk, of Ukraine, who won the final UEFA Cup title last May. The Europa League Knockout stage will begin in the third week of February, on the 16th and 18th. To avoid a Merseyside fixture congestion, the round will kick off two days before the rest of the matches in the leg. So it’s Everton v. Sporting Clube de Portugal on 16 February, and the other 15 matches on 18 February, including Liverpool v. Unirea Urziceni.” (billsportsmaps)

Marta? Again? Really?: FIFA’s Player of the Year Award is, when it comes to women, a joke.

January 7, 2010

“Last month Marta was awarded the World Footballer of the Year trophy for the forth time. I have said it before: Marta is a great player. But in ten years, only three women have been given this award (Mia Hamm got it twice, & Birgit Prinz three times). Since 2001 (the year FIFA started awarding this trophy to female players), 9 men received the award with Ronaldinho winning it twice. I suspect Marta herself doesn’t think she deserves to have won this honor four years in a row.” (From A Left Wing)

Time for a winter break?

January 7, 2010

“And so we come to the first posting of 2010. Only a few weeks ago, as I was stuck at an airport somewhere in southern Belgium staring out at an empty tarmac, waiting for an airplane that would never come, and facing another long drive home, I was thinking that with the Xmas holiday effectively cancelled, at least I wouldn’t have to miss my recommended daily allowance of Scottish football.” (Inside Left)


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