What to Watch This Weekend (Nov 20-22)

November 19, 2010 — by Suman

We’re back with our picks for the weekend–as usual, culled from the SoccerInsider’s comprehensive listing of matches being televised in the US this weekend (all times ET):

Don't look at me, I'm hideous

Saturday (Nov 20)

England, Spurs-Arsenal 7:30 a.m. ESPN2, ESPN Deportes: an early kickoff the match of the weekend te heated North London derby!  Check what our resident Spurs and Arsenal supporters had to say about this one, here and here.

Spain, Valencia-Villarreal noon ESPN Deportes: 3rd and 4th in the La Liga table–cf. Sid Lowe’s column devoted to Villareal after their match v Hercules a few weeks ago.

Netherlands, Ajax-PSV Eindhoven 2:45p.m. We usually don’t include streaming-only matches, but will make an exception for this battle of Dutch heavyweights.  If you’re only going to watch one Eredivisie matchup all season, might as well be this game.  Via FIFA’s “Classic Rivalries” feature:

While older Ajax fans may always view Feyenoord as their arch-rivals, younger supporters have just as much deep-seated rivalry with PSV, who represent not just thoroughbred sporting adversaries but advocates of another philosophy of how the game should be played. True heavyweights of the Dutch footballing landscape, PSV have fully earned the right to be considered Klassieker opponents.


Since 2000, PSV have won the league on seven occasions, putting together a run of four consecutive titles between 2005 and 2008, including a 2007 triumph that went down to the final moments in the last round of games. That run of success has not gone down particularly well at the Arena, where a series of coaches have come and gone without being able to shift the spotlight back on to Ajax. Instead, their arch-rivals have taken over as the team most successful at defending Dutch colours in Europe, having reached the UEFA Champions League semi-finals in 2005.

Indeed, it’s shaping up that way again: PSV is atop the table, while Ajax is chasing them, currently in 3rd place (with Twente in between).

Spain, Real Madrid-Bilbao 4 p.m. GolTV: Will Madrid keep rolling towards El Clasico? (Which is a week from Monday btw…yes Monday, due to some Catalonia election over that weekend) Bilbao is one of the handful of teams in the middle of the table (they’re currently 8th) that are battling to finish 3rd. Bilbao do have a dangerous striker up front in 6’5” Fernando Llorente (the Lion King, apparently: “Un ‘Rey Leon’ en el area“)–he and Capdevila of Villareal are just about the only La Liga players who are not on Barcelona or Real Madrid that are getting playing time on the nat’l team.

Germany, Bayern Munich-Bayer Leverkusen 6 p.m. ESPN Deportes: A good Bundesliga rivalry, with Munich 6th in the table, recovering from a poor start, while Leverkusen is 2nd (chasing Borussia Dortmund). Leverkusen’s fans have been confidently looking forward to taking on Munich, according to this:

The Beatles’ most oompaloompaish tune has long been staple terrace fare in the Bundesliga but it was still surprising to hear the old chestnut on Saturday at the Millerntor. Bayer Leverkusen were beating St Pauli 1‑0 when the visiting supporters started chanting that slightly rejigged, teutonified version of “Yellow Submarine”.

“Zieht den Bayern die Lederhosen aus” (take away Bayern’s lederhosen), went the ever-popular cry.

Sunday (Nov 21)

England, Fulham-Manchester City 11 a.m. FSC: Dempsey seems to be playing very well, if he is a bit dim. As for Man City, clearly Mancini should be feeling the heat for the style of play, even as they remain fourth in the table. They fired Hughes last year when he was spot on the benchmarks they set for him.  Honestly, it is hard watching them play at times with no wide players and three holding midfielders.

MLS Cup, Colorado-Dallas 8:30 p.m. ESPN, Galavision Live from Toronto. We’re sure to dip in and make a comment before kickoff.


England, Everton-Sunderland 3 p.m. ESPN Deportes: How will Sunderland follow up that crushing of Chelsea? Will we see Gyan score again–so that we can see him dance again? And if so, WWBD (what will Bolo do)?


Mark Hughes is Super Classy

November 19, 2010 — by Sean1

Mark Hughes cum perm

Manchester City Travel to London to meet Fulham this weekend, the main story being a chance at revenge for good ol’ Sparky. He was unceremoniously dumped by the oil billionaires for not winning quickly enough after their big cash injection, but you could see  that he was trying to build a foundation and a team for the future instead of blindly piling superstar on top of superstar in willy nilly fashion.

This fixture provides Fulham’s gaffer the opportunity to strike back, and sometimes these managers will be goaded into a war of words. Not so for the distinguished once-striker, who simply remarked:

“Once the door on my career as a manager at Manchester City was closed then I moved on. I don’t hold grudges. I’m not bitter about the situation. The only thing that affects is yourself. Why drag yourself down with things that have happened in the past? You have to move on and look for other challenges.”

You are one classy gent, Mr. Hughes.


What to Watch this Weekend (Nov 6-8)

November 5, 2010 — by Suman

We know Lazio was Il Duce's fave team, but take it easy on the Roman salutes this weekend, ok?

Listings for what’s on TV taken again from Soccer Insider courtesy of the kind and gracious Steven Goff at the Washington Post:


England, Bolton-Spurs 8:30 a.m. ESPN2, ESPN Deportes Will be funny to see if Steinsson handles Gareth Bale better than Maicon did on Tuesday.  Guessing the first yellow will appear inside 5 minutes.  Maybe ole ‘Arry will rest Bale as he is now the best player in the world.

Germany, Moenchengladbach-Bayern Munich 10:30 a.m. ESPN Deportes (Out of respect for the Bayern fan that was in the bar with us Wednesday afternoon..and who is Gründer, Gesellschafter und Berater of


Premiership Preview – As seen on TV

September 10, 2010 — by John Lally

Sir Tony admiring his horse?

A preview of this week’s Premiership fixtures coming up, just as soon as I add some shows to my Netflix queue…

Everton vs Man United (Saturday 7:45 ET)

The game: Rooney returns to the club where he started his career; I can’t wait to hear what the Everton fans sing at him…

If these teams were TV Shows:

Everton – Lost – a couple of their main characters are of interest (Arteta, Cahill, Jack, Locke) but you get the feeling they’re ultimately going nowhere.

Man United – The Sopranos – with Alex Ferguson as Tony: a ruthless leader, feared and respected by his men – both had unsuccesful stints as racehorse owners (though at least Rock of Gibraltar didn’t have the same fiery fate as Pie-O-My)

The Prediction: Everton just aren’t good enough this season – 2-0 United


Fulham: Jol Problems?

July 20, 2010 — by Sean

Where is that boy with my herring?

Trouble brewing for Fulham, as Martin Jol’s club Ajax don’t look like they’ll release their manager without a fight (perhaps you remember him from his run at Spurs). From Fulham’s Cheif Executive Alastair Mackintosh as reported by ESPN soccernet:

“There have been quotes attributed to Martin Jol in the Dutch media suggesting he has changed his mind and wants to stay, but that is not our understanding of the situation and we believe the quotes are ambiguous. We feel Martin still wishes to join Fulham.

“However, Ajax refuse to even discuss compensation and are clearly using this window of opportunity to try to persuade Martin to change his mind. There is the possibility that Martin could walk out on Ajax, but there are talks ongoing and there is the hope that everything could be settled amicably.”