Rescinded Red

Oh the media monkeys and their junket junkies will invite you to their plastic pantomime. Throw their invites away.

Friday Headlines:

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Sacha Kljestan will have a trial before a potential transfer to Celtic. (Soccer By Ives)

Owen Hargreaves is a Phoenix Suns fan. (Kickette)

Rio Ferdinand debuts his new lifestyle magazine. (The Spoiler)

A Premier League star lost £1m during a bad night in a casino.  Ahem…Rooney. (Daily Star)

A West Ham academy kid chose music over football, signing a £1m record deal to play saxophone. (Off the Post)

Filed under: Football, Soccer, , , , , ,

Monday Headlines: West Ham Reject Man City Bellamy Bid

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West Ham rejected a £9.2m bid from Manchester City for Craig Bellamy.  Just what City needed, another short attacking player. (The Guardian)

Diego Maradona’s cigars cost Chelsea some sleep before the Man U match. (Off the Post)

A La Liga Match was delayed by snowballs. (101 Great Goals)

A German fan livens up a dull friendly. (The Spoiler)

Many of the world’s biggest stars will be coming to New York in June for a Charity match. (Goal)

Filed under: Football, Soccer, , , , ,

FA and Premier League to Reopen Tevez Affair

carlos-tevez-1The FA and Premier League’s initial reluctance to act decisively has returned to bite them, as, nearly two years later, they must reopen the Tevez case.

West Ham signed Argentine starlets Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano under suspicious circumstances in Aug. 2006.  Both players were third-party owned, which should have prohibited West Ham from signing them under Premier League rules. 

West Ham filed dodgy paperwork to register the players, for which the club was later punished.  West Ham received a £5.5 million fine but escaped a points deduction, customary in such cases.  Carlos Tevez, remaining eligible, starred down the stretch in a miraculous run to avoid relegation.  Had West Ham been docked three points, they and not Sheffield United would have gone down.

Sheffield United already won a legal claim against West Ham, which could cost the club up to £50m.

New evidence has forced the FA and the Premier League to open another inquiry.  West Ham chief executive Scott Duxbury allegedly provided third-party owner Kia Joorabchian a series of “oral cuddles” that kept a de facto third-party agreement in place, despite assurances to the Premier League the deal had been terminated.

West Ham already faces financial peril due to the compensation payment and to their owner’s personal financial problems.  Finding a buyer could be unlikely, given the state of international credit markets.  This could see West Ham sent into administration this season and penalized ten points.  Should the club face further sanctions, it may seal their relegation.  

Filed under: Football, Premier League, Soccer, , , , , ,

Matthew Upson to Arsenal?

200px-matthew_upsonArsene Wenger may have found his “special class” defender, former Arsenal man Matthew Upson.

Upson, 29, played for the Gunners from 1997 to 2003.  However, he made just 56 appearances, suffering from injuries and a bloated depth chart in central defense.  After regular runs at Birmingham and later West Ham, Upson is considered one of the better defenders in the Premier League.

West Ham, though hardly in the financial position to negotiate, would probably want at least the £7.5m they paid Birmingham for him two years ago.  With West Ham likely selling a striker, Arsenal could negotiate a part-exchange deal, should they allow Nicklas Bendtner to leave.

Filed under: Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Rumor, , , ,

Sunday EPL Results: The Deuce Runs Loose on Chelsea

156202256_22681c61afNewcastle 1 – 5 Liverpool: Liverpool emphatically guaranteed they will be title leaders by Christmas.  How bad does your defense need to be for a team playing two holding midfielders and leading the line with Dirk Kuyt to score five goals?  That is with Shay Given’s brilliance maintaining reason.

Fulham 2 – 2 Chelsea: Clint “Deuce” Dempsey played up to his nickname, dueling Frank Lampard to a stalemate in the West London derby.  Chelsea had more chances, but did not use them.  Scolari’s men have taken just 10 of their last 21 possible points.

Blackburn 2 – 2 Manchester City: I flipped this one off with about five minutes remaining.  Oops.  Daniel Sturridge and Robinho in injury time spoiled a competent performance from Big Sam’s boys.  City are two points above the relegation zone and Blackburn are two points below.

Arsenal 1 – 0 Portsmouth: It was one-nil to the Arsenal, but there wasn’t much to sing about.  The Gunners managed just one goal against Portsmouth’s porous defense, and that was from a defender.  Far from the beautiful game, Arsenal’s current group plays with neither invention nor competence in any facet of the game.  Relegation candidates Portsmouth have lost four straight.

West Brom 2 – 0 Tottenham: Tottenham succumbed from two late goals, but West Brom’s victory over the ten-man side was deserved.  Harry Redknapp, bizarrely, questioned the ref’s competency while admitting the penalty call. 

Everton 3 – 0 Sunderland: Without a healthy striker, Everton needed goals from midfield.  Fortunately, that midfield contains Cahill, Fellaini and Mikel Arteta, scorer of two early goals in this match.  Ricky Sbragia’s deal at Sunderland is now permanent.  Unfortunately, his salubrious effect may not be.

West Ham 2 – 1 Stoke City: West Ham scored a resilient victory, coming back from an early goal.  They were aided by Stoke City, who dropped to ten after Ricardo Fuller saw red for taking a shot at his own captain, Andy Griffin.  

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Boxing Day Premier League Results

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Boxing Day is rough for all and, generally, Premier League defenders are not excepted.  With lapsed concentration get slapped haphazardly around the area, with goals raining in from every direction to the delight of spectators (See Chelsea 4 -4 Aston Villa).  This year, alas, only Manchester City and West Ham received the memo.

The Citizens stormed out of the relegation zone, beating Hull City so badly they looked as if they had met Joey Barton outside a McDonalds.  Robinho was fancy, but effective bagging a brace and imposing his flourish on an overmatched Hull defense.  The drubbing was so bad, Phil Brown refused to let Hull return to the dressing room.  Mark Hughes retrieved some of his pride after the loss to West Brom, but dousing the burner under his bottom after one match would be hasty.

West Ham won just their second Premier League victory in their last 13 matches, but it was impressive.  Carlton Cole and Craig Bellamy penetrated the casual and sloppy Portsmouth back line.  How does a team coached by Tony Adams concede nine goals in three matches?  Perhaps, they were too busy packing.

Arsenal drew Aston Villa 2-2 in the tastiest tie of the day, leaving Villa a three-point advantage for fourth place.  Martin O’Neill’s men comprehensively outplayed every Arsenal partisan on the pitch, except the goal post.  Arsenal then, inexplicably, went 2-0 up.  William Gallas gave away a legit penalty in the 65th minute, and Zat Knight, of all people, knocked in an injury-time equalizer.  Both sides could have won.  Both could have lost.  It was the fairest result.

United were big in Japan, and Carlos Tevez was just big enough to score the late winner against Stoke City.  United have scored just three goals in their past five Premier League matches, however they have not conceded and earned three 1-0 victories.  Given Liverpool and Chelsea’s inconsistency of late, Man U could be title favorites if they pick up their games in hand.

Liverpool’s Robbie Keane can be dangerous on a hot run, which he appears to have hit.  His two second-half goals in the 3-0 win against Bolton, as well as his equalizer last weekend against Arsenal have kept Liverpool on top of the table, shocking since this was their first December victory in all competitions.

The other contenders, Chelsea, earned their first home victory since Nov. 1 with their 2-0 defeat of West Brom.  Drogba received the central role, and scored his first league goal since March after three minutes.  Trim, reliable Frank scored in first-half injury time.  Chelsea put the game away.

Wigan vanquished Newcastle 2-1, with Ryan Taylor again tormenting the barcodes.  Approximately 80,000 combined people witnessed Tottenham – Fulham and Sunderland 0 – Blackburn 0.  They went home profoundly bored.

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Saturday EPL Results: Steed, Big Sam and Ricky

sunderland-v-liverpool-1Hull City 1 – 4 Sunderland: Steed Malbranque had a goal and two assists.  How long before Ricky Sbragia gets the permanent job?

Bolton 2 – 1 Portsmouth: Much less impressive for Portsmouth than it looks.  Could Adams suck them into the relegation fight after January player losses?

Fulham 3 – 0 Middlesbrough: A workman like effort for Fulham, with a fair reward.  The Boro have just three points from their last six matches.

Blackburn 3 – 0 Stoke City: Big Sam engenders the new manager bounce.  With winnable games coming up, he could have them out of the relegation zone by New Years Day.

West Ham 0 – 1 Aston Villa: Both teams played hard, my man. Both teams played hard.  Lucas Neill’s sublime own goal deflection proved, without a doubt, why he’s worth £70,000 a week.

Filed under: Football, Premier League, Soccer, , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday EPL Results: Chelsea and Pompey Falter at Home

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Chelsea 1 – 1 West Ham: After breaking their streak, Chelsea have played nervously at home.  Bellamy put West Ham ahead.  Anelka equalized.  Carlton Cole missed two chances and West Ham withstood the late pressure.  Zola seems to have settled.

Portsmouth 0 – 3 Newcastle: Leaving Newcastle has Michael Owen feeling frisky.  Pompey played well, but impotently in the first half.  Newcastle poured in three goals in the second, raising themselves from the relegation zone.  Defensive mastermind Tony Adams’ club have allowed 13 goals in their last six matches.

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Lucas Neill Unaware of the Credit Crunch

neill_lucas_whfc_profile_2006The credit cunch has dampened many things the past few months but apparently not Lucas Neill’s opinion of himself.

Neill’s £70,000 a week contract expires at the end of the season.  Despite him becoming club captain, West Ham won’t offer the 30-year-old right back more than £30,000 per week.  He wants a raise on his current deal.

The East London club is in financial crisis, given the collapses of sponsor XL Holidays and their Icelandic owner’s interest in Landsbanki.  They also face a possible £30m payout to Sheffield United over Carlos Tevez.  West Ham may shed Neill in January to trim expenditure.

Neill joined West Ham in January 2007, rejecting an overture from Liverpool because they offered the Aussie just £40,000 per week.

He’s a decent player, but, really, £70,000 per week for a 30-year-old right back?

Filed under: Football, Premier League, Soccer, ,

Monday EPL Result: Tottenham Top West Ham

ledley-kingWest Ham 0 – 2 Tottenham: It was a London derby and, humorously for those not involved, a relegation six-pointer.  Ledley King scored his first goal in three years.  Jamie O’Hara sealed it with a long-range effort in the 90th minute.  Tottenham rise to a balmy fifteenth in the table.

Filed under: Football, Premier League, Soccer, ,

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