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Postby Miss Dangerous » Sun Apr 29, 2007 3:40 am

Juventus beat Verona 1-0 on Friday to extend their Serie B lead to eight points.
French defender Jean-Alain Boumsong headed in a corner kick by Juventus captain Alessandro Del Piero in the 43rd minute at the Bentegodi Stadium.

Del Piero also sent a shot off the outside of the post in the 14th.

Juventus
, who were relegated and penalised nine points in the Italian match-fixing scandal, improved to 72 points. Genoa moved past idle Napoli into second with 64 following a 2-1 victory on Friday over Treviso, winning on a 65th-minute goal by Marco Di Vaio.

Napoli, with a game in hand, dropped into third with 62 points.
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Postby Miss Dangerous » Sun Apr 29, 2007 3:47 am

Ray Ranson has distanced himself from the widespread press reports claiming he has made contact with Sam Allardyce with a view to him taking the manager's job at Manchester City should his interest in buying the Blues reach a successful conclusion. Bolton are refusing to comment on speculation that Allardyce has told chairman Phil Gartside he intends to quit the Reebok Stadium this summer.
It is claimed Ranson wants Allardyce to become the central component of a £90million takeover move that has so far done nothing but annoy members of the City hierarchy, who do not believe their former player has the funds to complete the deal he has suggested. Ranson has denied the allegations regarding finances and is still awaiting a response to the further proposals he put to the City board on Tuesday evening.

Sources close to Ranson have said no approach has been made to Allardyce over the possibility of replacing Stuart Pearce in the summer. Although Pearce is expected to go if Ranson achieves his aim of gaining control at Eastlands, it is claimed Ranson has not spoken to Allardyce for more than 12 months.
Ranson is thought to be concentrating his efforts on getting chairman John Wardle to discuss his plans, which are said to involve a £20m summer transfer kitty. City have so far indicated a complete unwillingness to open dialogue, although, while no public statement has to be made relating to Ranson's proposals, they do have to respond in private.

There was a first win for an England side at the new Wembley as a crowd of 28,210 saw an under-16 team beat their counterparts from Spain 1-0, writes Anna Kessel. Everton defender Jack Rodwell scored the only goal 12 minutes into the second half to give England victory over one of the world's best teams at this level. Rodwell's first shot was saved by substitute goalkeeper Angel Ibanez, but Rodwell, who had also come on at the break, reacted quickly to snap up the rebound and put England ahead.

England had the better of the chances, striking the crossbar three times in the first half. Barcelona forward Daniel Lobato proved a menace and forced a diving save from Wesley Foderingham early on. But Spain failed to match England's momentum after the goal.
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Postby Schweini_rules » Sun Apr 29, 2007 12:32 pm

Jesus Christ , whats all this crap with the Premiership and Man U ?
This is Fc Bayern's Forum, we dont care about the bloody red devils if we do then we go and have a look at their websites, no need to post here anything saying what we allready know.
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Postby Sam » Sun Apr 29, 2007 12:53 pm

Well it is under the English Football thread - you could always not open this thread if you aren't interested. I am, though, so keep it up Miss Dangerous as far as I am concerned.
"Some people think football is a matter of life or death, but it's far more important than that." - Bill Shankley
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Postby Miss Dangerous » Sun Apr 29, 2007 3:35 pm

OK! thank you Sam for your support :)

PAUL SCHOLES will be launched into Manchester United's Champions League make-or-break game with AC Milan, even though he is just a yellow card away from possible heartbreak.

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Now another yellow card in the San Siro on Wednesday night will see Scholes removed from another final, if United win through.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Gabriel Heinze are in the same situation as Scholes.

Even though it would be particularly cruel on 32-year-old Scholes if he suffers more heartache, the midfielder won't be
wrapped in cotton wool.

Boss Sir Alex Ferguson said: "We have got to think about the team. Paul has to make sure he doesn't get booked. And you can't let a player go into the semi-final of the Champions League and say, 'don't tackle!'

"The advice is not to slide in with his tackles. That is where he gets his bookings because in Europe they don't accept that.

"If he stays on his feet and tackles properly he won't have a problem."


Even though United hold a 3-2 advantage from the first leg, Ferguson insisted: "We will be going there with an attitude to score. We have good counter-attack possibilities in our team."

"I don't see any benefit to Milan of trying to get him booked because the second leg will already be in process and only one team will go to the final."
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Postby Miss Dangerous » Mon Apr 30, 2007 2:29 pm

Chelsea gave the all-clear for Ballack to fly to Germany on Friday to seek a second opinion on the injury picked up against Newcastle a week ago.

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But they were dismayed when they found out German national team doctor Hans Muller-Wohlfahrt operated to remove a piece of floating bone, totally against Chelsea’s wishes.

Chelsea are now questioning Ballack’s commitment as the former Bayern Munich star is unlikely to play again before the end of the season. However, as Germany captain he will be back in time to face San Marino and Slovakia at the start of June – a case of choosing San Marino over Jose Mourinho.

Chelsea do not believe an operation was necessary and say Muller-Wohlfahrt’s diagnosis does not agree with their own.

They say the usual procedures, such as sending out the club’s own scans and notes, were disregarded.

A club doctor flew out yesterday to see Muller-Wohlfahrt, who has saved the careers of Michael Owen and golfer Jose-Maria Olazabal.

Mourinho is fuming that Ballack has gone ahead with the surgery because he desperately wanted the midfielder to return to action as quickly as possible.

The Chelsea boss has been loyal to Ballack this season, defending him when he has been booed by fans at Stamford Bridge. Club insiders say Ballack will have some explaining to do when he returns to London later this week.
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Postby Miss Dangerous » Wed Jun 06, 2007 4:00 pm

What is curious is how often people make assumptions about your ability to form an opinion based on your nationality.

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Case in point: When I wrote about the policing at Old Trafford for the Manchester United-Roma Champions League quarterfinal ("The universal language," April 12), I was accused by some of being overly biased against the English (presumably because I'm Italian).

Others accused me of being anti-Italian for criticizing the actions of the police in Rome in the first leg (I would guess because I live in London). It's a lose-lose situation (or win-win, depending on your viewpoint).

I got similar mail after the Champions League final, like this doozy from Gabriele Mecozzi of Los Angeles: "Gabriele, we have the same name, we are both Italian -- how do you allow yourself to bash Italy? You sound like Lalas [whether he's talking about Galaxy GM Alexi or SI.com columnist Greg is anyone's guess] and the others. We have been the world soccer powerhouse for 25 years!"

I would hope that simply because I share the same name with someone and happen to be Italian, it doesn't mean that I have to defend Italian soccer at every occasion. My "crime" in this case was pointing out that Milan did not play well in the Champions League final ("Winning ugly," May 24 -- which also upset somebody named Marco in Milan, who calls me a "fake Italian").

Well, if criticizing Milan's performance in a particular game makes me a fake Italian, so be it. Carlo Ancelotti must be a "fake Italian" as well since he, too, admitted that Milan played poorly in the final.

Speaking of Milan, Abbz wrote in to question the fact that Milan was even allowed to enter the Champions League, given its role in the Italian match-fixing scandal last summer. He writes that Milan "was found guilty of some of the worst crimes in the sporting world" and wonders whether it can be seen as "worthy champions because of the way they were allowed back into the competition."

Good questions which require some clarification. Milan was, in fact, involved in the Italian scandal. A consultant to the club was caught on tape making inappropriate phone calls to a number of linesmen, complaining about the treatment of the club in certain games and asking them "to do a better job."

There was nothing linking this consultant (a restaurant owner whose job it was to "meet and greet" match officials on game day at the San Siro) to the club itself. But obviously, since he represented the club, Milan was found to be responsible.

The club was docked a total of 38 points: 30 in the 2005-06 season (which meant it dropped from second to third place and therefore had to go through Champions League qualifying) and eight in the '06-07 season (which meant it began at minus eight). Some argued that Milan should not have been allowed to enter the Champions League. But I think that argument is simply wrong.

Milan was found guilty, punished and sentenced. That sentence was applied by the Italian Football Association which, since Milan's "crimes" occurred in Serie A, means that it, not UEFA, had jurisdiction. There has never been any suggestion that Milan did anything untoward in European competition, which is why it was never a UEFA issue.

By: Gabriele Marcotti
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Postby Miss Dangerous » Wed Jun 06, 2007 4:21 pm

SIR Alex Ferguson can afford to, since most of the preparatory work ahead of next season has already been completed. Last week's capture of Portuguese winger Nani and the Brazilian midfielder Anderson, combined with the completion of Owen Hargreaves' move from Bayern Munich, has granted Ferguson the freedom to head for warmer climes in satisfied mood.

His effort to win a tenth title has been backed to the tune of £50 million, something which has alerted their rivals to another raising of the bar. You can imagine the pleasure this has offered Ferguson, and he has proved relaxed enough to give details of the wine cellar at his Cheshire home. "It's more like a cave," he revealed on radio, before presumably heading back to sample another glass of his favourite tipple.

He can cherish the prospect of a summer which his rivals must spend chasing United. Not content with leading the title race for much of last season, United have stolen a lead in the transfer market. Ferguson won't need to constantly check his mobile phone for messages from agents, or constantly pester chief executive David Gill for updates on signing negotiations. If Ferguson doesn't pick up another player it won't be considered a blow, since the champions can already consider themselves reinforced. And the top-level season does not even officially end until tonight, after the last round of international matches before the summer.

Some have attempted to respond to United's posturing. The money spent has already been considerable, with the Premiership not displaying any signs of becoming less restrained. That's not likely to happen in the near future, either. Setanta's new television deal with the Premiership meant the rights, combined with BSkyB's uptake, are now worth £1.7 billion. The investment from abroad, most obviously America, is having an explosive effect as well.

Perhaps the most startling declaration of intent of all has been Liverpool's response to Manchester United's lavish spending of last week. Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher have each signed new four-year deals with the club, something which adds up to an investment of £42 million in wages. Gerrard's weekly earnings will rise from £100,000 to £120,000, while Carragher's will reach a more modest - but still spectacular - sum of £80,000. It is only the beginning, with Liverpool's new American owners keen to back manager's Rafael Benitez's judgment in the transfer market. George Gillet and Tom Hicks have not bought the Anfield club in order to fight for a Champions League place in the Premiership.

Signifying a money-crazy world where sense is often left a victim of the desire to show fans some evidence of activity is Wigan Athletic's capture of Titus Bramble. The Newcastle defender has miserably failed to live up to his £5 million transfer fee in five years at the club, and yet has landed a lucrative three-year contract as a free agent.

By the time the season begins again, the aggregate total of transfer fees is likely to set a new record, with Manchester United having already contributed so heavily to the largesse.

As Rangers haggle with Kilmarnock over a price for striker Steven Naismith, there is little linking the Premiership with the SPL. Celtic's capture of Scott Brown for over £4 million is a one-off purchase by a club luxuriating in the financial boost given by last year's Champions League winnings, and the knowledge of more to come. But the real fun is in the Premiership, and Ferguson is already high-kicking his way towards the sun.

PREMIERSHIP MOVES:

Owen Hargreaves (Bayern Munich to Manchester Utd) £17 million

Nani (Sporting Lisbon to Manchester Utd) £15 million

Anderson (FC Porto to Manchester Utd) £15 million


Gareth Bale (Southampton to Tottenham) £10 million

Claudio Pizarro (Bayern Munich to Chelsea) Free

Titus Bramble and Antoine Sibierski (Newcastle to Wigan) Free
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Postby Miss Dangerous » Thu Jun 07, 2007 4:24 pm

It's old news for regular gossipers, but The Times reports that 'Real Madrid are expected to press ahead with plans to sign Gabriel Heinze.'

In case you weren't already aware, 'Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain, from whom United bought Heinze for £6.9 million in June 2004, are also understood to be in the hunt for the Argentina defender.'

What's interesting about the story, however, is the possibility that Heinze will 'buy out' his contract. It's a little complicated, so forgive your bleary-eyed Gossip columnist while he quotes from The Times at length:

'United will be entitled to about £6 million in compensation if Heinze chooses to invoke a clause in Fifa's new transfer regulations allowing him to buy out his contract, although he would not be able to join another club in England if he did so. Under the Fifa law, a contract ceases to be "protected" after a period of three years if the player was under 28 when he signed.

'A player could then "buy out" the contract, provided that 15 days' notice is given and that a compensation fee - in effect the value of the remaining contract - is paid to the club owning his registration.

'The only known precedent involves Andy Webster, the Scotland defender, who was given permission by Fifa to leave Heart of Midlothian for Wigan Athletic last September, although, given the ensuing difficulties of that transfer, other clubs and players may be put off going down the same route.'
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Postby Miss Dangerous » Thu Jun 07, 2007 4:31 pm

BEN Foster had been suffering knee problems during the latter half of last season, which he spent on loan at Watford.

Foster pulled out of the England B international with Albania at the end of last month to undergo tests. Now his worst fears have been realised, with United releasing more specific details of an injury which will keep sidelined for months.

"Ben Foster has a cruciate ligament injury in his right knee and will require an operation in two to three weeks' time," a United spokesperson told the club's website.

"The injury was then jointly assessed by United and England's medical staff after the goalkeeper reported for international duty at the end of May.

"While the medical staff have not put a timescale on the 24-year-old's return to action, he is likely to spend a lengthy spell on the sidelines."


It is almost certain to be the next year before Foster is available to return to action again.

The injury is a bitter blow to the keeper, who has been outstanding in two seasons at Watford and had already spoken optimistically about his chances of succeeding Van der Sar as Sir Alex Ferguson's No 1 for the Premiership champions next term.

If Foster had succeeded in that aim, he would likely have become a genuine contender to oust Paul Robinson as England's first choice. Instead, the former Stoke keeper now faces many months of rehabilitation.

While Foster will be bolstered by the knowledge that plenty of United players, including Roy Keane, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Wes Brown, have battled back from similar injuries, it is still a gloomy way to end a campaign, which saw his temporary club, Watford, relegated from the top flight.

The news also means that Tomasz Kuszczak, who spent last term as Van der Sar's understudy, is now virtually certain to remain at Old Trafford rather than go out on loan as had been predicted.

Meanwhile, Portugal winger Nani has passed a medical at Old Trafford and now just needs international clearance before joining United, who announced last week they had agreed a deal to sign the 20-year-old from Sporting Lisbon.

Following the completion of his medical at Carrington, Nani - who along with Porto midfielder Anderson cost United a total of £30 million - was given a tour of Old Trafford yesterday.

Another of Sir Alex's summer signings, England midfielder Owen Hargreaves, will complete his £17 million move from Bayern Munich on 1 July.

United are in the process of applying for a work permit for Anderson but are not expected to get one initially as the player has not featured for Brazil yet.


Instead it is expected they will get one on appeal as the 19-year-old has been named in his country's Copa America squad.
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Postby Miss Dangerous » Thu Jun 07, 2007 4:48 pm

United announced last week they had agreed a deal to sign Nani from Sporting Lisbon.

Following the completion of his medical at Carrington, Nani - who along with Porto midfielder Anderson cost United a total of 30million - was given a tour of Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Another summer signing, England midfielder Owen Hargreaves, will complete his 17million move from Bayern Munich on July 1.

United are in the process of applying for a work permit for Anderson but are not expected to get one initially as the player has not featured for Brazil yet.

Instead it is expected they will get one on appeal as the 19-year-old has been named in his country's Copa America squad.
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Postby Miss Dangerous » Thu Jun 07, 2007 5:23 pm

Despite regular criticism, Michael Ballack is confident he has improved as a player in his first 12 months with the Blues, but still has the ambition to become an even better player.

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"It was pretty much as I expected it to be: difficult," he told Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

"I went in search of a new challenge, and I found one. Highs and lows are just part of it, but that is good because that is how I can develop.

"I have not lost any of my strength, in fact, I have developed further while in England."


The 30-year-old former Bayern Munich star missed the end of the season due to injury, and was forced to pull out of Germany's Euro 2008 qualifiers against San Marino and Slovakia.

However, he has set himself the target of becoming the irreplaceable midfielder for his club side, as he is for his country.

Ballack said: "I have had to work for the position which was always mine for Bayern and the national team.

"I now want to play this role with Chelsea, and that is my biggest challenge for the coming years.

"I still have not earned the recognition which I would like at Chelsea."
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Postby Miss Dangerous » Sun Jun 17, 2007 5:27 pm

Viduka looks set to captain Australia at the Asian Cup next month despite nearly turning his back on the national team.

Viduka told Australian officials last week he was going to retire from international football, only to agree to play at the Asian Cup, starting on July 8.

While Socceroos coach Graham Arnold admitted Viduka's international future beyond the Asian Cup was uncertain, he gave a clear indication the 31-year-old striker would remain his skipper for the tournament. Since Viduka wore the skipper's armband at the World Cup, defender Lucas Neill has enjoyed the Australian captaincy. Besides the 29-year-old Neill, Vince Grella is also considered a long-term captaincy candidate with the 2010 World Cup in South Africa on the horizon.

Schwarzer, 34, said Viduka's commitment should not be questioned despite the striker's 11th-hour turnaround on retirement plans.

"He has had his own issues, concerns and thoughts on if he did want to stay on and play [for Australia]," Schwarzer said. "I don't think the Australian captaincy had anything to do with it."

But Schwarzer expected Viduka to be handed the captaincy at the Asian Cup.

"I would assume so. He has been captain every time he has been involved in the team since Guus [Hiddink] took over so I assume he will take over that role again," he said.

"It was surprising first and foremost that he was considering retiring - if it was correct what they said - but it's great to hear that he is not."

Arnold will make a decision on the Socceroos' captaincy when the squad gathers in Singapore next week.

Schwarzer said Viduka had shown with his English Premier League form for Middlesbrough that he still had what it took to lead Australia.

"You want to keep your best players playing. Obviously Mark has been in top form this season - he is on top of his game at the moment," he said.

Schwarzer is still reeling from Viduka's recent switch to Newcastle United. The move has fuelled speculation that Schwarzer - who has one year left on his Middlesbrough contract - would walk away from the club before the start of the 2007-08 season. He has been linked with German heavyweights Bayern Munich.

"I've had a great 10½ years at the club and it has been fantastic," he said. "Whether or not I start off at the club in the new season or whether I move on I can't really comment."
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Postby Miss Dangerous » Sun Jun 17, 2007 5:34 pm

The African Cup of Nations starts in January, with the Ivory Coast's Didier Drogba and Michael Essien of Ghana almost certain to be away from Stamford Bridge for the entire duration of the tournament.

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Mourinho told the News of the World: "We are never happy with the African Cup of Nations in January.

"African players are excellent technically and are natural fighters but when you have a lot of them you have to say stop, no more.

"Losing them can kill your team at a crucial time. If someone asks me do I want more African players, I'd say no."


Meanwhile, new boy Claudio Pizarro insists he has not joined the club to live in Drogba's shadow.

The 28-year-old Peruvian, signed on a free from Bayern Munich, said: "I am not here to be a substitute for Drogba. My dream is to be the No 1 striker at Chelsea."
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Postby Miss Dangerous » Sun Jun 17, 2007 5:40 pm

Claudio Pizarro, who scored ninety-nine goals in two hundred and thirty appearances during his spell at Bayern and Werder Bremen, has spoken out about establishing himself as Chelsea`s number one striker.

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The twenty-eight year old, who will miss the start of the pre-season training due to international duty, had this to say,

"Jose Mourinho was the key - after my meeting with him I felt so positive."

"I`m not scared about having rivals for a place."

"Drogba and Andriy Shevchenko are superstars but Claudio Pizarro is not lame and I will compete with them."
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