Friday, October 31, 2008

Zanetti calls for calm

Inter skipper Javier Zanetti has assured fans the Neraazzurri are not on a slump after their goalless draw at Fiorentina.
The result meant that Inter have picked up two points after two consecutive goalless draw. The defending champions currently lie in fourth place.

Zanetti is not worried about their recent lacklustre performance. Instead, the Argentine managed to draw some positives from their tepid display against Fiorentina.

“We had our chances,” Zanetti told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “But here in Florence it is always tough.”

“Meanwhile, we have conceded very little, and in any case, be calm. The championship is still very long. Everyone at Inter walks in the same direction,” he added, even though strikers Adriano and Julio Cruz were dropped by coach Jose Mourinho for not making an effort during training.

Defender Douglas Maicon however, delievered a decidedly frank assessment of the 0-0 with Fiorentina.

“We have to do better in Reggio Calabria on Saturday,” explained the Brazilian

The last time Inter registered back to back goalless results was in 2003.

Pity for Arsenal Fan

Harry Redknapp's magic touch worked again as Tottenham grabbed a last-gasp equaliser to hold Arsenal to a 4-4 draw.
Aaron Lennon was the hero with the last-gasp goal in a thrilling clash at the Emirates Stadium.
Trailing to David Bentley's stunning opener, Arsenal exposed Spurs' weakness at defending set-pieces to lead through Mikael Silvestre and William Gallas.
Emmanuel Adebayor added his obligatory goal - he now has eight from seven starts against Spurs - before Darren Bent pulled one back.
Robin van Persie, who had a hand in Arsenal's previous goals, netted his 50th goal for Arsenal but Spurs have a new resilience under Redknapp and Jermaine Jenas' late strike gave them hope before Lennon struck at the death.
Redknapp's first week in charge just gets better and better.
Spurs remain bottom of the Premier League but the comeback proved Cesc Fabregas wrong after he said Arsenal's ladies team would give Redknapp's men a run for their money.
Aside from that remark, there were plenty of points to prove for Spurs' players, and none more so than Bentley, who found his opportunities at Arsenal limited before getting loaned out and sold in 2006.
There was also Luka Modric, who Gunners boss Arsene Wenger deemed too lightweight to succeed in England. Gareth Bale, meanwhile, still has not won a league game with Spurs since arriving 18 months ago from Southampton.
It was Bale who had the first opportunity of the match, racing onto Tom Huddlestone's ball over the top in the third minute and finding the side-netting.
But the visitors were ahead 10 minutes later through Bentley's moment of magic.
Arsenal failed to clear convincingly from defence, leading to Modric heading the loose ball over his head towards Jenas.
Jenas chested the ball to Bentley, who took one touch to keep the ball in the air before unleashing a 40-yard volley which swerved over Manuel Almunia.
Van Persie then went close twice, going wide from the edge of the area each time, the first with a free-kick and the second after Theo Walcott laid the ball back.
Gallas also went close, this time after the type of fumble from goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes that has become commonplace. The ball broke to Gallas but the finish cleared the crossbar.
Wenger appeared frustrated on the bench as Spurs clattered into challenges and the hosts tried to convert their possession to an equaliser.
Walcott drilled straight at Gomes and Gael Clichy fired over the crossbar in their next moves.
Gomes was then at full stretch to deny Fabregas but Arsenal were level from the corner. Van Persie swung over the set-piece and Silvestre headed home as Gomes flapped.
It took Arsenal less than a minute to take the lead after the restart following a foul by Huddlestone when he hauled back Van Persie.
Van Persie took the free-kick and Gallas climbed above Vedran Corluka at the near post to head home his fourth goal of the campaign.
Sensing Spurs' fragility at set-pieces, Silvestre almost added another from a corner, his header flashing past the upright.
There was action in all areas of the pitch, with Benoit Assou-Ekotto booked for tripping Walcott, then Redknapp sent on Lennon for Bale to inject some pace.
Bentley also picked up a caution for a reckless tackle on Clichy, while Huddlestone went in the notebook for blocking the same player.
Adebayor flashed wide from the edge of the area, but he made no mistake when Arsenal broke in the 64th minute.
Van Persie sent Samir Nasri through to lob Gomes, with Adebayor beating Alan Hutton to the ball to force it home.
Bent was sent on and pulled a goal back after Huddlestone's drive was not held cleanly by Almunia, but Van Persie restored the two-goal advantage in the next move.
Hutton's sloppy pass was picked up by Adebayor, who fed Van Persie to lash home.
That looked like game over but Jenas found the top corner with a minute of time remaining, setting up a frantic finale in which Lennon snatched a point with a tap-in after Modric hit the post.

dedicated solely to My Friend who is a hardcore Arsenal Fan
what a game and sorry for the draw to Arsenal.Spurs really need this draw as they slowly want to push away from the relegation zone.Harry might able to push Spurs to once again be a dominant force to be reckon with.With Spurs next fixture against Liverpool, it will determine true ability of 3 fixtures Spurs will do their utmost to gain more points.The season is starting to get even more exciting with team at top battling each other and team at the bottom try their hardest to make up points

Mourinho: "A team performance"

FLORENCE - José Mourinho spoke on Sky Sport Italia after his team's 0-0 draw against Fiorentina.
"This was a very difficult match and neither of the two teams risked too much," admitted the Portuguese coach. "They played with 4-4-2 and were very compact in midfield. We tried to change the equilibrium in midfield and we had three good chances to score with Mancini, Ibra and Crespo. And they had one good chance as well.
"It was a match without goals but it was a true league match. It's not easy to win here. With so many matches close together I have nothing to blame my players for and I'm happy with tonight's performance.
"We haven't won our last two matches, but we haven't lost. We have faced two very organised teams. Two teams with great players and two very competent coaches.
"Genoa deserve credit for how they played against us, and so do Fiorentina who, and let's not forget, are a team in the Champions League. Prandelli's team are a very hard side to face.
"I'm obviously not satisfied with the draw tonight because I always want to win, but I return to Milan without anything to criticise my players for."
Wednesday's draw in Florence leaves the Nerazzurri in fourth spot after nine rounds of matches. "If there's a cup for autumn champions, we have lost it," continued Mourinho," but if there's a cup for who wins the Scudetto in May, then we have a great chance of winning it. I can't predict the future so I can't say we will be champions, but I have faith in my team and the work we are doing.
"The statistics aren't important. I haven't been able to field the same team for two or three consecutive games since the start of the season. If the team doesn't win, the responsibility is mine alone, but I go home a happy man because my team played a tough match with the maximum effort, and they played like a team."
Mourinho commented on the performances of Quaresma and Maxwell, adding: "I think Quaresma should be rated for what he has done since he arrived in Italy, not for the ten minutes he played tonight. I have known him for four or five years. I know what he can do and he will do it. I'm sure of this. He's not playing very well at the moment, so the criticism is fair.
"I'm very happy with Maxwell's return. It was extremely positive. He played ninety minutes at a high level."

i am quite not happy with the result of this inter match but then it is still early in the season and i am fully aware that inter have the full capabilities to get up and on the running to rule Serie A again.Inter have not lost a number of points and surely will make up of this drawback for sure.Mourinho still have work to do and with a number of players still recover from injuries , Inter will dominate after this.FORZA INTER

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fiorentina vs Inter Milan Preview

The Gigliati have turned around a slow start to the campaign and arrive at Wednesday's home match in blistering form.
The Tuscan side have notched up four consecutive Serie A wins to leave them one point adrift of Inter, who are joint league leaders with Udinese and Napoli.
"Inter are the strongest side in the championship and tomorrow will be an important match to understand how far this side can go," Prandelli told
"We are looking forward to this match. They are experienced but we have the desire to take risks and to discover what our capabilities are."
Prandelli has accepted the disciplinary commission's decision to uphold a two-match ban for Alberto Gilardino.
The ban was imposed after the commission reviewed video evidence of the striker's goal during last Sunday's 3-1 win at Palermo which he scored with his wrist.
"We accept the decision with the desire to prove that we are an important side even without Gilardino," said Prandelli.
The coach is expected to turn to Giampaolo Pazzini to replace Gilardino, who is the league's top scorer with seven goals.
In other changes, Felipe Melo will return to the midfield having sat out the Palermo clash, while Per Kroldrup will deputise for the injured Dario Dainelli in central defence.
Martin Jorgensen, Franco Semioli and Massimo Gobbi are also unavailable through injury.
Inter coach Jose Mourinho insists his side do not need to make up for last weekend's goalless draw at home to Genoa.
The disappointing performance from the Nerazzurri allowed Udinese and Napoli to join the Milan side at the top of the table on 17 points.
"We don't need to give a response to the Genoa result," Mourinho told
"We are moving forward in the League and the Champions League and we have only lost one game all season so I don't think we need to excuse ourselves," he said before focusing on Fiorentina.
"Fiorentina are an excellent team who are playing the good football they played last season, and they are particularly strong at home.
"They are playing in the Champions League and are among the top teams in the championship. They have a good coach, I like their team and I consider them in the race for the Scudetto."
Mourinho has left strikers Julio Cruz and Adriano out of his squad for the trip to Tuscany but refused to comment on rumours he had a run-in with the pair.
Brazilian winger Mancini is expected to return to the starting line up in place of compatriot Adriano.
Olivier Dacourt will take over from the injured Sulley Muntari in midfield, while Maxwell will come in at left-back as Cristian Chivu moves into midfield to replace Dejan Stankovic.
Patrick Vieira looks set to make the bench but Esteban Cambiasso, Luis Figo, Luis Jimenez and Nelson Rivas remain unavailable.

Adams unveiled as new Pompey boss

Portsmouth have confirmed Tony Adams as their new manager following Harry Redknapp's departure for Tottenham Hotspur.
Tony Adams
Tony Adams: Takes over from Harry Redknapp
Adams, who had been Redknapp's assistant for the last two years, has been given a two-year contract at the south coast club. The former Arsenal and England skipper was in temporary charge alongside Joe Jordan for Sunday's 1-1 draw with Fulham.
At his unveiling at Fratton Park Adams said: "It's fantastic. I'm very honoured, it's a great opportunity and one I would be mad to turn down.
"I am going to take this opportunity and risk, because Harry's done a fantastic job for this club and is a hard act to follow. But I think it is my time, I think I am ready.
"It's the best job in the world. I'm scared to bits, of course, but another bit of me is really excited. I couldn't sleep last night."
The 42-year-old former centre-back revealed he spoke to Arsene Wenger, his old boss at Arsenal, for advice before accepting the position at Fratton Park.
He said: "I spoke to Arsene last night for advice and he said 'welcome to hell'. I said 'are you scared? Because I'm coming for you!'''
Adams' only previously managerial experience came with Wycombe Wanderers between 2003/04. The Chairboys were relegated after he took over in November 2003, though they were already marooned at the foot of the table when he arrived. Despite a good start to the 2004/05 League Two season their form dipped and he resigned after just 12 months in charge.
Before joining Pompey as Redknapp's assistant, Adams spent time in Dutch football. Firstly he was at Feyenoord as youth coach for six months before spending two weeks at FC Utrecht. And Adams' believes he has learned a lot since his torrid time at Wanderers.
"At Wycombe my job was to save the club - they were losing £6,000 a week at the time but this is a different ball game," he said.
"It was the right time to move on from there, I went to Feyenoord and that was a great learning curve. As it was in my playing days under Arsene Wenger, Bobby Robson, Terry Venables and all the great managers I've played under."
"This is the next step for me, so here I am,'' the new Portsmouth manager said.
Rumours of financial worries at Portsmouth has led to much speculation about a player exodus in the January transfer window - and Adams insisted he only wants players who are commited to the club.
He said: "I've never been the players' mate since I started work here two and a half years ago with Harry. I'm Billy No-Mates actually but I speak to the players and it is not a question of them wanting to go anywhere.
"None of them have come to me but if they want to go I will let them go.
"I want people who want to play for Portsmouth. Absolutely. It would be the case wherever. The manager at Arsenal would be no different. If you said to him you didn't want to play for Arsenal he would let you go.
"You've got to have players who are happy and want to play for the football club 100%. That's got to be crystal clear. It's no good having players who don't want to play for you. It does you no good in the end. That's my experience."
Adams does not expect the Portsmouth hierarchy to order the sale of key players to fend off the effects of the credit crunch.
He said: "If they were going to get rid of all my players I would have to go and get another job. They would cut my throat if they do that, if they sold the best players. I haven't got a chance then, have I."
Executive chairman Peter Storrie was reluctant to talk about the financial side of things at Fratton Park, adding: "I said all I'm going to say about finances the other day, it's a boring, boring subject.
"The club is fine, we're moving on, the owner (Alexandre Gaydamak) is here and he continues to put money into the club.
"If Tony wants to sell then we'll sell and reinvest that money - and the fans are all aware of the situation.
Former Bolton Wanderers and Newcastle United boss Sam Allardyce and former Chelsea chief Avram Grant - who went to Stamford Bridge from the job of technical director at Fratton Park - were also among the candidates to take over from Redknapp.
However, Redknapp himself backed Adams to take charge of the club and Storrie revealed that the fans positive reaction on Sunday also influenced the board's decison to appoint Adams.
Storrie said: "I know we said we'd take our time a little bit but we had a think about it, had a chat with Tony and we feel he's done a tremendous job here and thoroughly deserves this opportunity to manage the club.
"He's not only popular among the board and people working at the club, but as was shown on Sunday, it's a popular decision for the supporters."
Adams, who is believed to have made it known to close friends that he would walk out of Portsmouth if he was not given the the top job, would not dismiss rumours that former Arsenal colleague Martin Keown would be brought in as his assistant but also insisted he is desperate to keep first team coach Jordan at the club.
"I'll be doing everything I can to keep Joe at this club, he's a fantastic man,'' Adams said.

Maradona to become next coach of Argentina

Argentinian football legend Diego Maradona is set to be named coach of the national side after he came out of a meeting with Argentinian Football Association president Julio Grondona on Tuesday.

The Argentina legend is back in the game.
The Albicelestes have been without a coach since Alfio Basile stepped down for personal reasons on October 16 and although Grondona has yet to announce it to the press, reports suggest that the official presentation will take place on Thursday.
''Diego will be the next coach of the national team," said 1986 World Cup winning coach Carlos Bilardo, who will reportedly be director of football of the team.
"It's a bit early for congratulations but it's an idea which seduces me," Maradona told Fox Sports. "We will continue talking tomorrow."
"The idea is to start working immediately after the official announcement with the players who are in Argentina and then take the first plane to talk to the ones in Europe."
Prior to the meeting, Grondona told Uruguayan radio station Colonia the Argentinian Football Association were considering ditching the traditional one-coach system in favour of a committee.
"Responsibility cannot only be on one person and we are analysing whether we continue with the one-coach system or we change it by forming a coaching body," Grondona told Colonia.
"One person can never control everything. That system is not working. Coaches are only staying in charge for two or three games. When a forward misses a goal, everybody is looking at the coach and immediately pointing at him.
"I really don't know if all the coaches agree with the idea of a group. Anyway, we are not in a hurry."
Meanwhile, Pedro Troglio, coach of Paraguayan club Cerro Porteno, claims he has already been approached by Maradona to become a member of the new Argentina set-up.
"I am extremely happy, but I must keep my feet on the ground," Maradona's former international team-mate told the Ole newspaper. "The world's best player has called me.
"It was a huge surprise. Being aware that your name is included as possible coaching staff is amazing, but we'll have to wait to see whether Diego is selected."
The 48-year-old Maradona - who almost single-handedly led Argentina to the 1986 World Cup trophy - won crucial support last week in his bid to become the next Argentina coach when the man charged with finding Alfio Basile's successor threw his weight behind the World Cup winning skipper.
"I'd like Maradona to be the next coach," said Noray Nakis, the president of the Argentina Football Association (AFA) selection commission.
Maradona faced competition for the job from Carlos Bianchi, the former coach of Boca Juniors, whom he led to four national league titles, San Lorenzo coach Miguel Angel Russo and Sergio Batista who took the Under-23 squad to Olympic gold in Beijing in August.
Liverpool and Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano said that Maradona, widely regarded as the world's greatest ever footballer, is an ideal candidate to take the reins.
"Maradona can contribute to the team all of his experience," he told the Daily Mail. "What he has given us as a player, no other player could give that to Argentina. He has given us so much."
Maradona is not expected to take charge of the team until after the friendly against Scotland on November 19, a game in which Under-21 boss Batista will probably oversee.
Maradona's first official game as coach should be a friendly against France on February 11.
well finally the hand of god take the reign of the argentine post.There are some comment about this appoinment as he does not have any experience with coaching but about popularity for sure he is the best one.Let hope Maradona will bring Argentina to the next level.How he going to find the best formation to blend all the youth and experience within the squad is the interesting thing to see.With the flair of messi,aguerro and experience of riquelme,zanetti and cambiasso, maradona, on the paper have a very talented if not the best squad when they are all in the top form and the challenge is to guide Argentina to the World Cup 2010 in South Africa with ease.

Top Three Career Dilemmas

In your professional life, many decisions are relatively easy. When you're asked by your manager to tackle an assignment, you do it. When a colleague needs help and you're available, you pitch in. When you're offered a job you want, you take it. But what about those tricky situations where the proper course of action isn't so clear-cut? They come up on rare occasions, but when they do, it's important to be prepared.
Following are career dilemmas you may encounter and suggestions for how to handle them:
Dilemma 1: You find out a colleague makes more money than you do.
You're at the copy machine and find a coworker's pay stub. Seeing the salary, you realize the person makes more than you, even though he has the same job.
Proper course of action: While you might be tempted to immediately march into your manager's office to demand an explanation -- and a raise -- take a more cool-headed approach. Going to your boss with financial concerns arising from confidential information will do more harm than good.
Instead, use this knowledge as an impetus to examine your own pay and value in the employment market, reviewing resources such as the U.S. Department of Labor's website and the Salary Guides published annually by Robert Half International. With an idea of what others in your area and with your skills and experience are paid, you can approach your manager and back up your request with relevant information that's not sensitive in nature.
Dilemma 2: You are offered a new job, but you're happy with your current one.
A friend who works at another company just found out a position has opened up there. He calls and pitches you the opportunity, saying he's sure you'd be a front-runner for the role. You're intrigued, knowing how much he raves about the organization, but you like your current job.
Proper course of action: Ask your friend for more information about the company and role, so you can see how it compares with your current situation. Are there opportunities for quick and steady advancement? How competitive is the salary and benefits package? What is the corporate culture like?
Assuming you're still interested, there isn't any harm in interviewing. This will give you the chance to find out more about the ins and outs of the position and get an additional perspective on the organization. If the interview goes well, you may want to seriously consider this new opportunity.
Dilemma 3: You have the opportunity to take on an important but difficult project.
You find out a major project is approaching, and your manager is looking for someone to lead it. It promises heightened visibility within the firm, but it's also a big challenge.
Proper course of action: If you're undecided about volunteering for the project, first ask yourself if you can handle the responsibility in addition to your current workload. At the same time, consider the abilities you'll develop by taking on the assignment. You'll improve your project management skills, meet people across the organization and potentially put yourself in position for even more challenging opportunities in the future.
If you are uncomfortable about the prospect of leading the project, ask your manager if there is another way you can be involved in it. Taking on at least a partial role can help you expand your skill set and increase your value to the firm.
These tough decisions and others like them can test the mettle of even the most experienced professional, mainly because there's no clear right or wrong answer. But by carefully considering your options and using sound judgment, you can come up with the best answer for you.
Taken from Robert Half International , the world's first and largest specialized staffing firm with a global network of more than 360 offices worldwide. For more information about our professional services, please visit For additional workplace articles and podcasts, visit

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Kecewa - Malaysia kalah penalti

Hadiah Deepavali tak jadi kenyataan, Malaysia gagal pertahan gelaran

UJIAN getir sulung dijelmakan Vietnam menenggelamkan skuad negara yang dipaksa akur kecundang menerusi penentuan sepakan penalti untuk meleraikan rangkulan gelaran Pestabola Merdeka di Stadium Nasional, malam tadi.

Selepas mudah melepasi halangan satu persatu - daripada peringkat kumpulan hingga ke separuh akhir - kesebelasan negara langsung tidak menjumpai kunci buat meruntuhkan tembok lawan sepanjang 120 minit yang berakhir tanpa jaringan sebelum ditumpaskan 5-6 menerusi penentuan penalti sudden death itu.

Di awal saingan, gawang Vietnam sudahpun bergegar selepas hanya enam minit apabila Indraputra Mahayuddin meluru untuk merembat deras ke sasaran umpanan lolos Shukor Adan. Sayangnya, Indra dipersalahkan kerana ofsaid untuk Vietnam bernafas lega.

Selepas itu, majoriti aksi 45 minit awal menyaksikan skuad negara mendominasi asakan, tetapi sentuhan penyudah dicari tidak menjelma, ketika Safee Sali, Indra dan rakan lainnya dipaksa menggigit jari.

Antara peluang menarik negara termasuklah tandukan Shukor pada minit ke-27 yang sempat didakap penjaga gol Vietnam, Bui Tan Truong serta cubaan sama Safee daripada umpanan Indra seminit kemudiannya, sipi daripada sasaran.

Safee kemudiannya beroleh dua lagi peluang menarik, pada minit ke-33 dan ke-44, tetapi kedua-duanya dihampakan barisan benteng lawan yang berhempas pulas untuk memastikan kedudukan kekal terikat tanpa jaringan sehingga tamat separuh masa pertama.

Babak kedua menyaksikan suasana saingan lebih agresif, ketika Vietnam memilih untuk kental menyerap segala asakan dan lebih bergantung kepada kepantasan Phan Thanh Binh untuk mengancam menerusi gerak serang balas pantas yang sesekali menggamamkan benteng negara.

Namun gol dinanti tetap tidak menjelma untuk pencarian diteruskan ke masa tambahan yang juga berakhir tanpa pemecah kebuntuan ketika Vietnam lebih mencipta gelisah skuad negara dengan beberapa gerak yang menjelmakan rasa bimbang.

Penentuan sepakan penalti bermula dengan semua lima pemain negara - Indra, Safee, Aidil Zafuan Radzak, Ashaari Samsuddin dan Daudsu Jamaluddin menyempurnakan sepakan ketika lima pemain Vietnam juga tidak menghampakan.

Namun rembatan deras Norhafiz Zamani Misbah pada permulaan penalti sudden death ditampan Tan Truong untuk pemain gantian, Mai Tien Thanh mudah memperdaya Helmi Eliza Elias buat mencipta gegak gempita sorakan lebih 5,000 penyokong Vietnam.

agak kecewa tapi tak mengapa ini merupakan langkah terbaik dalam usaha mengembalikan maruah negara.perlawanan semalam malaysia memang menguasai padang tapi vietnam yang bermain negatif dan mengharapkan tendangan penalti.Skuad Malaysia masih perlu memperbaiki mentaliti dalam aspek serangan dan mentaliti.Penyerang Malaysia perlu lebih agresif dan bijak mengambil peluang untuk mencipta jaringan di hadapan pintu gol serta pemain tengah perlu jadi lebih kreatif mencipta hantaran kepada penyerang.Walau pun begitu, syabas diucapkan kepada pasukan Malaysia dan diharapkan skuad ini dapat meningkat lagi persembahan di masa hadapan.Segalanya untuk mu, Malaysia

Tottenham fires Ramos, Redknapp to take over

LONDON (AP)—Juande Ramos was fired as Tottenham manager on Saturday and replaced by Harry Redknapp, who agreed to leave rival Portsmouth.

Last-place Spurs (0-6-2) is facing a relegation battle after its worst season start in 100 years of league soccer.

Tottenham agreed to a compensation package of $8 million with seventh-place Portsmouth (4-3-1), according to Redknapp.

“It’s a big, big opportunity to manage a big club before I retire,” the 61-year-old Redknapp said. “I love Portsmouth and I loved my time there. We had some fantastic success and I’d never been happier, but it’s a great deal for Portsmouth, 5 million pounds for me. I think the club in all honesty needed the money—things are tight.”

In addition to its dismal EPL start, Spurs lost 2-0 at Udinese on Thursday as the group stage of the UEFA Cup began.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, who had been facing fans’ protests before Sunday’s match against Bolton, acted quickly to fill the void left by Ramos. Clive Allen and Alex Inglethorpe will take charge of the team on Sunday.

“It will all be sorted out and by tomorrow morning I should be in place,” Redknapp said early Sunday. “I won’t pick the team, but I will go in the dressing room and address the players before the match and at halftime.”

Sporting director Daniel Comolli, who has been blamed for his poor command of Tottenham’s transfer activity, also left along with first team coaches Marcos Alvarez and Gus Poyet.

Ramos took just four months to win the League Cup in February, Spurs’ first trophy since 1999.

Barca Revel In Landslide Win

Fresh off their sensational 5-0 defeat of Almeria, Barca's players have spoken to reporters and emphasised the continual need for humility and hard work.

The inevitable comparisons to the 'Dream Team' did not take long to crop up, but Xavi was quick to quell such talk, saying: "The Dream Team is incomparable right now. There is a lot of hard work ahead, and teams are judged by titles, which we have not won yet."

Daniel Alves, who scored his first goal for his new club from an exceptional free kick, explained the victory, stating: "We play very well with the ball and pressure the opposition when we don't have it, which make it difficult for them."

When asked if there was an element of luck to some of the goals, Lionel Messi, who was instrumental in the success despite not scoring, claimed: " Fortune favours the brave. We only get lucky if we seek goals."

Finally, hat-trick hero and new pichichi for La Liga, Samuel Eto'o, said: "Xavi and Messi made it very easy for me to score. We play to score goals, but all I concentrate on his hard work and helping my team-mates win. The best part was the happiness with which we played."

When asked if the recent run was simply a case of Barca bullying weaker teams, the Cameroonian explained that Barca must beat every team to win the league, as each match is worth three points.

Pre game Inter from Mourinho ahead of tonight match against Genoa

APPIANO GENTILE - Caution will be key in tomorrow's Serie A match against Genoa, according to Inter boss José Mourinho.
"We have to respect our opponents. They play well, they have excellent players, a good coach in Gasperini, and I don't think they will change system, so it will be a difficult match," he said during Saturday's press briefing. "Inter might have more ball possession and more scoring chances, but we'll also have to defend well because Genoa will take advantage of every chance."
With Esteban Cambiasso out injured Mourinho will have to shuffle the pack for Sunday's match at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, but the Inter coach isn't worried. "We can replace him and keep the same structure and play with just two midfielders, like in the second half of the match against Anorthosis," Mourinho said. "We won't be able to count on Cambiasso, Vieira and Jimenez but we will still find the right solution for the midfield."
Brazilian full-back Maxwell is back among the call-ups but Mourinho preferred not to reveal any details about his starting lineup except for a change between the posts. "I don't think you can expect any surprises. We have a lot of quality players who have the faith of the coach. This is why Obinna played against Roma and Toldo against Anorthosis. I'm not telling you who will play tomorrow, but I can tell you that Julio Cesar will return in goal in place of Toldo, who did well in the Champions League."
One of the main topics of today's press conference was the relationship between Mourinho and Adriano. "I have known Adriano for a long time," he said. "He's a player I have always liked and I asked myself why he wasn't playing for Inter. I understood why when I arrived here and I tried to help him. I'm not his father, but a coach who wants to give him a second chance. I talk to him in the same way I talk to the others, without wanting to control him. Controlling is impossible, but educating is possible. The coach of today has to work with the minds of the players, understand their personalities, get to know them and create a positive relationship. With Adriano I have a relationship of mutual esteem, but this doesn't mean his work has ended. I still want more from him."
Inter continue to win at home, but attendances have dropped compared to previous seasons. "If the stadium was always full in past years and it's empty this year, it would be easy to say that it's Mourinho's fault," explained the coach. "But if it's a culture thing, it's hard to explain. Economically these aren't easy times, it's probably not easy to buy tickets for league and cup matches, and our fans probably think the job has already been done in the Champions League, and are waiting for a top-level team to fill the stadium in the round of sixteen or the quarter-finals.
"Perhaps they think we can win against Anorthosis or Panathinaikos without their support. Maybe it's a togetherness of all these factors, but I can't explain it. My job is to prepare the team and deliver the results that are certainly an incentive for the fans. We try to play nice football with a positive attitude. The Inter fans will never see a defensive Inter at San Siro. This is not what I want for the fans. We do our work and wait."

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Moratti Scoffs At Milan Becks Move

The San Siro-based club confirmed the arrival of the Englishman on Wednesday morning and Beckham will begin playing for them in January.

The move has been a surprise for most but a delight for Milan fans.

However, bitter rivals Inter couldn't help themselves from pouring scorn on the deal and Moratti has criticised the 'cousins' from across town.

"Beckham to Milan? It's a Ronaldo type deal," laughed Moratti as he spoke to Sportmediaset.

"Milan have this philosophy which started when they bought Vieri, it continued with Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and now Beckham.

"I guess there is nothing wrong in signing these players as it could be fun for their fans.

"We have taken a different approach when signing players. We can't have two different ways of working.

"In any case we will see which team has done best at the end of the year."

The Rossoneri are just three points behind league leaders Inter and it is likely to be a two horse race between them for the Scudetto.

i agree with him not because i support inter and he is the president but i looked at history.Milan tend to sign superstar that have an average age of 30.Just look at ronaldinho,sheva,ronaldo,vieri in the past.Yes they still can offer but only in a certain match.

Clash of Top Table - Blues Vs Reds

Chelsea host Liverpool in the undisputed blockbuster of this weekend’s English Premier League matchups. Only goal difference separates the two teams at the top of the table, as both sides remain unbeaten with six wins each from eight games. A victory either way could prove critical in the rival clubs’ title ambitions come May.
Beautiful Blues
Luiz Felipe Scolari’s arrival at Stamford Bridge during the summer was met with the instant expectation of a dramatic upswing in the quality of Chelsea’s football. The former Brazil boss was handed the daunting task of transforming the Blues from an ultra-effective yet extremely turgid outfit into the most attractive and marketable side in Europe, upon the order of Roman Abramovich, the club’s Russian billionaire owner.
Scolari has not disappointed. Chelsea aren’t just topping the table; they’re blowing teams away with the sort of style usually reserved for South America’s international superpowers. The summer recruitment of Deco, which garnered mixed reviews at the time, set the Londoners on the path to rediscovering the “sexy football” popularized by Ruud Gullit during the 1990s. Even though the Portugal playmaker has spent several weeks on the sidelines through injury, his symbolic impact has arguably been as great as his stunning early season displays. Flying fullback Jose Bosingwa, another Selecao regular, also joined during the summer, significantly shifting the squad’s emphasis in the direction of flair rather than pragmatism.
Nevertheless, the new manager has stressed that results come first, even if that means momentarily halting the samba revolution to scrap out a Mourinhoesque 1-0 win when required. Results over the last few seasons would suggest that Sunday’s game will see grinding, gritty performance from both sides. However, Liverpool’s recent form hints that a rare gem may in fact be on the cards.
Comeback kings
Liverpool’s 3-2 win against Wigan Athletic last weekend was their fourth come-from-behind triumph in the Premier League this season. The Kop have been forced to endure a torrent of last-gasp winners as their side have been left in the lurch by indifferent first-half showings. And while the level of performance has been inconsistent, the accumulation of results sees Rafael Benitez’s men gaining momentum in the title race. The football may not always be as pretty as Chelsea’s, but the outcome has been the same as the Merseysiders seem to have recaptured that ominous win-at-all-costs mentality that served them so well in the past.
Perhaps the greatest criticism of Liverpool’s league efforts under Benitez has centered on their inability to hold their own against the rest of the “Big Four.” Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea have all dominated the Reds in domestic proceedings over the past four years, but again, a crucial shift in the collective psyche at Anfield is taking place. Last month’s victory in the Northwest Derby – Liverpool’s first in league play since 2004 – served as a statement of intent; a win at the Bridge would catapult the five-time European champs into genuine title contention for the first time in well over a decade.
They face an uphill task, to say the least. No English club has beaten Chelsea on their own turf since March 2004 – 86 games and counting without suffering a home defeat. Hence, a Liverpool win on Sunday would send shockwaves across the country and force the football-following public to acknowledge the reawakening of a sleeping giant.
Team news
Chelsea – The Blues’ form is all the more impressive when one considers their lengthy list of absentees. Michael Ballack, Michael Essien and Didier Drogba are all out, while England duo Joe Cole and Ashley Cole are also battling injury. On the plus side, Deco is set to make his first league start since mid-September, while key defender Ricardo Carvalho should line up alongside the also fit-again John Terry. Juliano Belletti is an outside chance to start in midfield after his impressive display against Middlesbrough last weekend.
Liverpool – The major absence for the Reds is, of course, Fernando Torres. The Spain striker suffered a hamstring tear while on World Cup duty and will remain on the sidelines this weekend. He is not Rafa Benitez’s only concern, though. Robbie Keane hobbled off the Vicente Calderon pitch on Wednesday with a groin complaint and will be subjected to a late fitness test. Expect Dirk Kuyt, who netted twice against Wigan, to reclaim a starting spot. Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso were also substituted against Atletico Madrid, but they are both expected to feature on Sunday.
Players to watch
Chelsea – It’s hard to choose a standout from Stamford Bridge at the moment, but keep an eye on the diminutive Deco. The Brazilian-Portuguese star was majestic during his early outings before injury struck him down. It might be harsh to pin Chelsea’s hopes on his shoulders given he has just returned to action, but there is no doubting that the former Barcelona man is a born match-winner. On the flipside, an anonymous performance from Deco could be equally telling.
Liverpool – Xabi Alonso has re-established himself as an indispensable member of Liverpool’s midfield after coming so close to leaving the club during the summer. The Basque playmaker is the sort of footballer who can take charge of a game without seeming to do anything too spectacular, and his ability to control the tempo and spread the play will be vital if the Reds wish to claim three points on Sunday. All that depends on whether or not he plays, of course; we cannot discount the possibility that he will be “rested” despite an excellent showing against Atletico in midweek.
It’s an incredibly tough one to call. Both sides are high on confidence and possess plenty of quality, particularly in the middle of the park. Liverpool will be eager to get off to a flier given their recent trend of conceding the lead early, but even if they go behind again you wouldn’t bet against them equalizing at the very least. The visitors will miss Torres, as they don’t quite have a Nicolas Anelka waiting in the wings. It could be a tight affair reminiscent of the pair’s European encounters, but there are enough creative players in both lineups capable of breaking the game open. … Chelsea 1, Liverpool 1

Especially for Arsenal Die hard Fan - Wenger keeps faith in Arsenal vision

Widely regarded as one of the best managers in the game, Arsene Wenger has enjoyed great success at Arsenal since joining the north London club in 1996.

The Frenchman is in his thirteenth season at Arsenal.
Having made his name with AS Monaco and Japanese club Grampus Eight, Wenger has picked up three Premier League titles and four FA Cups in his thirteen years at Arsenal and has built the foundations of the club around a successful youth policy which has seen the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Gaël Clichy make the step up into the first-team. However, without a trophy in three years, the club have struggled again this season. The Gunners are yet to face any of their likely title rivals but have already lost twice, to Fulham and Hull City. With inconsistency casting doubts on Arsenal's title credentials, ESPNsoccernet Press Pass caught up with the Frenchman to dissect the Gunners' start to the season. Q. Arsene, it's been a funny start to the season for Arsenal, you've hit the high notes in many matches, but you've struggled in others. You've come in for criticism and we've heard talk about a lack of mental toughness, lack of character and trouble on set pieces. How do you respond to that sort of criticism?
Well I believe there's only one way to respond and it's to put quality performances in. I believe that we are a very, very young side, very talented, and I want to lead this team to where it can be and that's at the top of the league. I believe we dropped points because we were a bit over confident, but this group is intelligent and I hope we have learned from that. Q. Let's talk a little bit about the two main competitors to Arsenal, at least for the past few seasons in the Premier League, Chelsea and Manchester United. Chelsea seem to be as complete as they've been since you've been in charge here at Arsenal.
Yes, Chelsea are a team who around 2002 to 2004 were doing very well. Since then they are competing every year for the top honours and this year again they'll be there again. Manchester United, if I tell you the striking force they have, you will come to the conclusion that it is impossible that they will not compete for the Premier League, because they have Tevez, Rooney, Berbatov and Ronaldo - four stikers who can score at any minute. And you add to that Anderson, Nani, Giggs and Scholes; they have an unbelievable offensive power. Q. Is the Champions League, in a strange sort of way, almost more winnable than the Premier League?
It becomes a cup game if you get through the group stages and then of course it is easier. Easier, but also more difficult. In the Premier League you need 38 games of top level performance and in the Champions League you need only 15 and that makes a big difference. Q. Do you think it's important to try to wrap up qualification for the knock-out stages as early as possible?
Yes, we came through a different way, because we had to play a qualifier and even that was very difficult. Of course we want to focus as quickly as possible on the Premier League only and that can only be achieved if you qualify in the Champions League quickly. Q. The world-wide financial crisis is occupying minds at the moment. How do you see that crisis affecting football?
I think it will affect football and at the moment we continue to live in our game like nothing has happened. Certainly many people try and do that in their own activities, but it's impossible that to isolate football from the rest of the world. We are dependent on the media, on the adverts and on the fans coming to the games. If the recession kicks in it'll come into the game as well, apart from clubs like Man City and Chelsea who do not depend on natural resources, but on the sponsorship of one individual.

The Emirates stadium has provided extra funds for the club.
Q. Do you think here at Arsenal you're better equipped than other clubs to weather the financial crisis? I say that, because your scouting systems are further developed and you have trimmed your budget in a way that some of your competitors haven't.
Yes, because we make profit every year. We have a debt, but a manageable debt and we do not have a wage bill which we cannot afford to pay. We do not need any external resources to run the club. Q. You mentioned Manchester City there, their new owners somewhat confidently, some might say arrogantly, have said they want to buy the best players in the world, they want to win everything. Can they pull that off and is it good for the game?
No, I don't believe that it's good for the game. I believe it can have an isolated inflationist pressure on all the other wages in the league and pressure on clubs who do not want to sell their players. That's why I don't think it's very healthy, especially since there are rules which say you have to first contact the club if you want to buy a player and you cannot come out publicly. Q. Do you wish, with the benefit of hindsight, that you had bought a bit more experience in the midfield area during the summer?
Not at the moment, no. I believe that I have gone for something that needs a lot of strength and a lot of belief, but I'm convinced that the talent of this team is good enough to win this Premier League. Q. Talking about some of the players, Emmanuel Adebayor, first of all, our viewers in Africa love to watch him on a week to week basis and Arsenal fans were relieved when he re-signed during the summer. Where do you think he is now in terms of strikers around the world? Where does he rank?
He's one of the best, I believe still. At the moment he's fighting very hard to come back to his best. He will still develop and he will be one of the best two, three strikers in the world. Q. We watched with interest the way you used Theo Walcott at the start. A careful way, you didn't rush him, you waited for the right time to bring him into the side. Where do you see his development now and how far can he go?
I think everybody would agree that Theo Walcott has improved from year to year. Now he's improving from month to month. He's a striker and that means he's a special case. He's only 19 years old. We tried to manage and develop him well and I think we have done a good job with him. Q. There's also been a lot of interest in Carlos Vela who you had on loan in Spain for a while. I wonder if that was instrumental in his progress as well? The stints that he had in Spain.
Yes, of course. He gained experience of La Liga which is a very good league. He adapted to Europe in a smoother way going through Spain and not coming directly to a real culture-shock like England. I must say if you ask all of our fans, they really love Carlos Vela, because he's got a natural gift to play football. He's calm, he's relaxed, he has a good technique, he's a good finisher and everybody loves him here.

Wenger has faith in young winger Theo Walcott.
Q. Stylistically, Arsenal play in a way that's pleasing to most neutral fans. You hear that time and again from the media and commentators, but does that matter as the person who's designed this system?
Yes. I believe that the ambition of a big club is to win and to win with style. You need vision and ambition and not just to sit there and get bored in every game. I feel we have to have the ambition to entertain people who pay a lot of money to watch us and not to be minimalists. Q. You said recently that your own fans now demand that entertainment and that style, but at what point does it become almost a fight, a debate between style and wining trophies?
There's no debate. I believe that historically all the teams who have won have played with style and all the teams who remain in history will know we played exactly in the same style. We are the only team in the modern game who played the whole season unbeaten and at that time nobody asked me that question. We had exactly the same ambition and nobody contested the way we played. I believe our culture is what it is. The fact that we win or lose is down to our talent and our attitude. Q. You're in your thirteenth year now with Arsenal. You're up there with Guy Roux (Auxerre) and Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United) as the legends who have been at one club for a considerable length of time. At what stage will you think to yourself, perhaps I need another challenge?
I don't know, but at the moment I don't feel that. The day I do, I hope I will be honest enough to say, "listen, that's enough."

Friday, October 24, 2008

Money matters: Liverpool profits to be siphoned

here was good news and bad news for Liverpool fans this week, but sadly for the club's controversial co-owners one has rather overshadowed the other.

Hicks and Gillett (R) back in happier days.
The good news emerged first, with the club seemingly bucking the trend of the global credit crunch by lining up a series of new commercial deals that would rake in more than £10 million.
However, then came the bad news, that Liverpool's co-owners plan to divert the club's profits to service the interest on the loans they took to buy the club, a development that will send a shiver down the spine of all Liverpool fans, especially those who have long warned that this might happen.
The wave of enthusiasm for Hicks and Gillett following their arrival in February 2007 soon subsided when the two men's off-field disagreements began to create factions within the club, which then in turn began to impact on-field performances.
There have always been those sceptical supporters who were not impressed with the American duo and have always suspected that the financial wherewithal to repay the loans that allowed them to buy the club in the first place would be siphoned from Liverpool's coffers and not from Hicks and Gillett's own resources.
First the duo borrowed £185 million to buy the club and then subsequently borrowed a further £165 million to finance its operation. But despite the current economic downturn, which shows no signs of abating, Hicks and Gillett believe that Liverpool's £350 million debts are manageable, particularly if profits continue to rise.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Liverpool's profits for the last financial year are expected to be in the region of £40 million, of which half has been earmarked by the duo to meet interest payments.
What about bolstering the playing squad? Is diverting £20 million away from Rafa Benitez really the best way to take the club forward? And that's before we even mention stalled plans for a new stadium. It all paints a rather sorry picture and leads fans to the conclusion that the pockets of their American benefactors appear to be much shallower than first hoped.
Viewed in that context the club's announcement of £10 million worth of commercial deals begins to look a little tame, particularly when you consider that the figure is derived from four deals, covering travel, online betting, video gaming and, bizarrely, motor racing.

Overweight, overpaid and over the hill. That was the sceptical assessment of Ronaldinho this summer when AC Milan handed Barcelona €21 million to acquire the services of the jaded former World Player of the Year.

Milan have sold 18,000 Ronaldinho shirts.
But there was a method to this apparent madness, and it didn't lie solely in the hope that the buck-toothed Brazilian would rediscover his mojo, but rather on the bank-ability of his profile.
In a little less than three months AC Milan's club shop has sold an impressive 18,000 Ronaldinho shirts, netting the club almost €1.2 million, and the club's commercial team have also managed to shift all the available sponsorship in the San Siro.
Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani admitted to La Gazzetta Dello Sport: "We bought Ronaldinho for the team first and then for marketing reasons, which comes second but it is linked.
"Ronaldinho at Milan goes to show that we are always a Champions League team. For the first time we have sold all the space which is reserved for sponsors."
Season ticket and matchday gate receipts have increased exponentially since the 28-year-old's summer arrival, as have various merchandising lines. With his form and fitness improving on the pitch, the Ronaldinho effect appears to haven taken hold.
Add in AC Milan's potential signing of David Beckham, albeit only on loan, and Milan could soon boast two of the most profitable and marketable footballers the world has ever known.
Perhaps it's time for the Milan club shop to consider longer opening hours and extra staff?

Just in case Manchester City fans had forgotten how lucky they were that the club was taken over last month by the Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment, a timely reminder came this week as Thaksin Shinawatra was sentenced to two years in prison by a Thailand's supreme court.

Thaksin Shinawatra: His conviction could have been so much worse for City.
Although Shinawatra, the former Thai prime minister, has long insisted that all charges and claims against him are "politically-motivated", the impact of having someone convicted of corruption owning a Premier League club would have been intolerable for the Premier League.
In a ruling that made him the first Thai politician to be convicted of corruption committed while prime minister, Thaksin was found to have violated conflict of interest rules in helping his wife buy land from a state agency at a reduced price.
The conviction is just one of a number of corruption charges which have been made against Thaksin since he was deposed by a military coup in 2006.
The former City owner fled to England two months ago along with his wife, who skipped bail after being sentenced to three years in prison on similar corruption charges, and can expect to face a formal extradition proceedings as the Thai authorities try to force Thaksin to serve his sentence and face other corruption charges.
Although Thaksin is 'honorary life president' of Manchester City and still holds a 10% stake in the club, his sentencing is expected to have minimal impact on the club.
How different it could have been if September's takeover had not gone through. The Eastlands club could have been in a situation where their billionaire owner, whose fortune had been frozen, was a convicted felon facing extradition.
Not exactly in keeping with the image of glamour, prestige and sporting excellence the Premier League have worked so hard to cultivate around the world.
taken from By Phil Holland

You Got ME

You Got Me
No need to wonder why.
Don't have to question,
So clear your worried mind

Now I don't wanna lose you,
But I'm tryin' do, what I gotta do, do.
I know the style of my life might confuse you.
And I don't blame you one bit.
I don't even say nothin' when you tripp.
But I thought I told you?
You can put it on my shoulder's, I can hold you.
And I don't care who all believes me, I'ma show you.
Momma it's been a long time.
My leadin', bangin boys about to shine,
All up on my grind.
Gotta get this money what door, just a little crack.
I'm gonna kick it in and make some noise, baby I'll be back.
Gotta keep you movin' ma,
That's how we do it ma,
We chasin' dreams and makin wishes,
I'm your shootin' star.

Now I don't really want to leave you right now,
And I don't even really wanna go.
And I don't even wanna see you cry now,
Baby you should, already know.

You Got Me, (You know that you got me)
No need to wonder why. ( No reason to wonder why)
Don't ever question, (You ain't got to question)
So clear your worried mind (It'll be alright)

no need for second guess, yes, i know im running late
but ill be right there in a sec,
no stress, no disrespect,ima put my kneck up there for us.
see you can see you and me got that unity and trust.
plus, i know you see oportunity knockin,lately its been poppin for me, we gona solve these problems,
aint we been through hevier, wearier weather?clearly whatever get between us, we always seem to put it back together, like that!
no need to snap my love, your boy is comming back.
we scratchin and i scratchin your back,now girl relax!
and put it all on the table and get it all off your chest,believe me when i tel you ima give you my best!

You Got Me, (You know that you got me)
No need to wonder why. ( No reason to wonder why)
Don't ever question, (You ain't got to question)
So clear your worried mind (It'll be alright)

we can fly away,
and start another life some how!
i love you every day!
ill never ever let you down!
i know that it hasnt been easy
but i need you more than ever to believe me(me)
ima make it good(good)
ima set it straight(straight)
we gona do right!!

so trust me when i say!!

You Got Me, (You know that you got me)
No need to wonder why. ( No reason to wonder why)
Don't ever question, (You ain't got to question)
So clear your worried mind (It'll be alright)

ima make it alright
you know that you got me
i told told told
so clear your worried mind

UEFA cup roundup - Spurs Lose yet again

AC Milan won 3-1 at Heerenveen in its first UEFA Cup group match, and Sevilla, Hamburg, Udinese, CSKA Moscow and Schalke also opened with victories on Thursday.

Milan, which failed to qualify for the more prestigious Champions League when it slumped to fifth place in Italy’s Serie A, took an early lead on an own goal and added goals by Genaro Gattuso and Filippo Inzaghi.

Bundesliga leader Hamburg scored twice in the first half for a 2-1 road win at MSK Zilina, Udinese beat two-time UEFA Cup winner Tottenham 2-0, CSKA routed Deportivo La Coruna 3-0 and Schalke downed Paris Saint-Germain 3-1.

Aston Villa defeated four-time European champion Ajax 2-1, while Galatasaray and Sampdoria also racked up victories in the day’s 16 matches.

Milan scored twice in four first-half minutes through an own goal by Heerenveen defender Calvin Jong-a-Ping and then a close-range shot by Gennaro Gatusso—the Italy midfielder’s first goal since January.

Inzaghi, who scored both of Milan’s goals when it won the last of its six European titles in 2007, stretched the lead in the 69th, a margin that was trimmed only four minutes before the end when Danijel Pranjic nailed a penalty.

Braga beat visiting Portsmouth 3-0 and has the early edge in Group E over Milan on goal differential.

Sevilla, which won the UEFA Cup in 2006 and 2007, eased to a 2-0 win over Stuttgart after Ndri Romaric and Renato scored within a minute of each other in the first half.

Romaric hit a free kick into the top corner in the 15th and Renato converted a header to put Sevilla top in Group C, which also featured Sampdoria’s 2-1 win at Partizan Belgrade.

Hamburg, which has lost just one of its eight matches in the German league, took the lead in Slovakia behind Mladen Petric’s goal. The Croatia forward headed Thimothee Atouba’s cross from the left past goalkeeper Dusan Pernis in the 16th minute.

Another Croatia forward, Ivica Olic, extended the visitors’ lead in injury time with a low shot into the bottom corner, and Hamburg held onto the win despite a 69th-minute goal from Zilina substitute Emil Rilke.

Aston Villa also won 2-1 in Group F on goals by Martin Laursen and Gareth Barry. Villa’s good night was spoiled, though, by a knee injury to striker Gabriel Agbonlahor in injury time.

“It was very important to start with a win, especially at home, and also to get Ajax out of the way,” Barry said.

While Hamburg continued its great start to the season under Martin Jol, Tottenham’s problems without Jol, the manager it fired a year ago, continued in Italy.

Spurs began well despite being in the middle of their worst start to an English season, with captain Ledley King helping marshal a defense that mostly contained Serie A’s second-place side until goalkeeper Huerelho Gomes committed a penalty in 24th minute. Antonio Di Natale hit the resulting penalty kick low to Gomes’ right.

While Gomes compensated for his error with two big saves—the best being a one-handed, midair scoop off the line from Fabio Quagliarella’s lob—Tottenham played the last 33 minutes with 10 men after receiving its third red card in two matches when midfielder Jamie O’Hara received two yellows in a span 52 seconds.

Darren Bent almost equalized for Tottenham with a header before Simone Pepe made it 2-0 with a shot off the post.

Also in Group D, Dinamo Zagreb beat NEC Nijmegen 3-2.

CSKA and Nancy top Group H together after both recorded 3-0 victories. CSKA, which is trying to earn Russia a second straight UEFA Cup title following Zenit St. Petersburg’s win last season, went up 2-0 inside 12 minutes behind two goals by Alan Dzagoev. Vagner Love scored in the 61st to complete the scoring.

Nancy beat Feyenoord, meaning that FC Twente, with a 1-0 win over Racing Santander, was the only Dutch club to win.

Schalke leads Twente in Group A after Kevin Kuranyi and Halil Altintop added to an early own goal to give the German club a 3-1 win over PSG.

In Group B, Galatasaray beat Olympiakos 1-0 and Hertha Berlin beat Benfica by the same score. St. Etienne won 3-1 at FC Copenhagen in Group G, which also featured a 0-0 draw between Rosenborg and FC Brugge—the only scoreless match of the round.

Life is all about choices

Choices..All our life, we come to choose.Whether the choices we made is good or wrong,time will decide.But for sure we stand for the choices we made.Choices of the past shape the world of tomorrow.Choices of yesterday haunt the present.
Some people accept the choices they made and does not regret at all.They made peace with themselves and with that they found happiness.
Other People try to mend the choices they had made.But they can not.They can not travel back in time and they can not stop to blame themselves and others.They regret everything and everything seem to fall apart.
Choices.Be careful of what you choice.You never knew a mistake until you make one.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Inter Victory - Adriano the scorer

MILAN - Adriano scored his 18th Champions League goal for Inter as the Nerazzurri defeated Anorthosis Famagusta in Champions League Matchday 3 at the Giuseppe Meazza.

"It went very well tonight," the Brazilian striker told Sky Sport Italia. "I'm a bit tired but I'm happy for the team's performance. I always try to give my all for the good of the team. The coach always asks me to help the team as much as possible.

"I like playing, attacking and keeping lots of ball possession. Mourinho always tells me how to behave on the pitch. I get on very well with him. Everyone knows he's a good coach.

"I'm a lot calmer now and I hope to continue like this."

World Series Baseball Finally come

This morning,8 am, MLB world series game 1 will start between Rays and Phillies.Two team that at the beginning of the season does not expect to be in this place.
Along comes late October, where the New York Yankees once dominated, where the Boston Red Sox resided, what the Chicago Cubs had promised.

Along comes the World Series, which had hinted at Manny Ramirez batting in the middle of a lineup at Fenway Park again, which had trumpeted Joe Torre’s wry smile toward the Yankees, which had foretold the end of a 100-year curse.

Yet, on the eve of the 104th World Series, two unfamiliar franchises manned opposing clubhouses at The Trop, a crooked building 20 miles from downtown Tampa hardly befitting a county rodeo, never mind baseball’s premier event.

On one side, the team that beat the Red Sox.

On the other, the team that isn’t the Cubs.

For a sporting public obsessed with New York, Chicago and L.A., for a baseball nation charmed by line drives off the Green Monster, or crisp nights under the iconic frieze, or the familiar October faces of Big Papi and Jeter and Manny and even Phat Albert, this might take some getting used to, if it tunes in at all.

The Philadelphia Phillies, holders of a single World Series title in a history that dates more than a century, play the Tampa Bay Rays, an expansion club that finished in last place for all but one season in a decade-long stab at relevance.

This wasn’t supposed to happen. In its hopes to retake its standing as the national pastime, the game was going to grant us Torre and Tito, not Joe and Ol’ Cholly. It was going to give us a ballclub and a town living down a snubbed billy goat and a reclusive Bartman, and players straining under the heft of it all. It was going to give us the Manny-less Sawx, coeds with pigtails and pink ball caps praying through mittens on the first-base side, Papelbon dancing in sliding shorts.

The Cubs were crazier, sexier, more intriguing, and we get the Phillies.

The Red Sox were acquaintances, bigger than life, Yankee-killers, and we get the Rays.

And how great is that?

What we get instead is baseball. No, make that hardball. A little back story, a heart-warming worst-to-first tale, the promise of a series played in all the little corners where games are won and lost, and then a whole new set of standards and heroes.

What we get is the best possible baseball, not the best-selling posters and jerseys. Maybe America turns away, and Fox suits cringe.

But there are reasons to watch.

“You want to see two of the teams that played the best down the stretch play each other,” Phillies reliever Chad Durbin said.

He waved his hand in the direction of his teammates, among them one-time MVPs Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins. He raised his eyes beyond them, into the other clubhouse, which held so many young Rays, all but a few sprung from the Rays’ farm system, boyish men such as B.J. Upton and Evan Longoria and Carl Crawford.

“These will be the guys maybe 10 years from now who will be the superstars in this league,” Durbin said. “Give them two or three years, maybe they’re playing for the Yankees or Red Sox. Or, having made themselves, these teams, into the Yankees and Red Sox.”

In the Rays clubhouse, run by an old-time baseball guy/stat head named Joe Maddon, two quotes are prominently displayed.

The first: “Integrity has no need of rules.”

The second: “Rules cannot take the place of character.”

Albert Camus and Alan Greenspan, side by side.

In the Phillies clubhouse, run by an old-time baseball guy/gut man named Charlie Manuel, there are rubber ducks, dozens of them, prominently displayed.

They’re about remembering the game is hard enough when it’s just the game.

So, broad perspective and narrow-mindedness, side by side.

They are the philosophies that have wrought this World Series, the one nobody saw coming, but should be pleased came along.

Yes, there are reasons to watch.

The Rays are power arms and a National League-style offensive attack. They are defense all over and, on a given night, the fastest outfield in the game. They are mostly twenty-somethings, some barely so, in a game that adores the veteran hand, the veteran mind. They are Evan Longoria, the rookie third baseman who hit two home runs against the White Sox in the division series and four more against the Red Sox in the ALCS, and center fielder B.J. Upton, who hit nine home runs in the regular season and – numbingly – seven since. They are a starting rotation whose oldest member – Game 2 starter James Shields – is 26. They are a bullpen that rides the hot hand at whatever moment that is, the most recent moment being David Price, who began the season in Class A, over the final four outs of Game 7 of the ALCS. They’re a catcher – Dioner Navarro – who rose through the minors with the Yankees and Dodgers and now goes to the World Series with, of all teams, the Rays.

“We weren’t destined to be in the playoffs,” Rays outfielder Jonny Gomes said. “We weren’t destined to be leading the division in September. But, what’s so great, you walk through those doors and everybody believes.”

Look where it got them.

“In baseball,” part-time designated-hitter Cliff Floyd said, “you don’t grow up overnight. This team did.”

The Phillies have taken longer. But, they are an MVP at shortstop (Rollins), another at first base (Howard), and a second baseman – Chase Utley – who has those kinds of abilities. They are a reworked pitching staff that was abused a year ago, in a season that concluded ingloriously in the division series. They are a bullpen that winds eventually to Brad Lidge, who hasn’t blown a save in their uniform. They are power in the usual places – Howard, Pat Burrell, Utley, Jayson Werth – and, as the Dodgers discovered, in unlikely places, such as Shane Victorino. They are a team that was supposed to drown in the Mets’ acquisition of Johan Santana, but answered with their own developing left-handed ace, Cole Hamels. They were supposed to be the foils for Manny’s journey back to Boston. Instead, they were the 40-year-old guy (Matt Stairs) who came off the bench and hit a ball to Hollywood, and they beat back the Dodgers in five games in the NLCS. And they are the 45-year-old guy (Jamie Moyer) who will take the ball in Game 3 of the World Series, without apology.

“The feeling in the room is, we’re here as a team,” Moyer said. “Let’s make an impact.”

The Rays took batting practice mid-day Tuesday, 30 hours before they’d become a World Series team for real. Off to the left, in foul territory, red-clad Phillies stretched and laughed.

A Rays official bounced on his toes.

“I can’t wait,” he said. “This is going to be a great series, terrific baseball. I couldn’t care less if nobody watches.”

Either way, they’re going to play it.

Champion League roundup

Juventus moved to the top of Champions League Group H after a fine win against Real Madrid tonight, but the match was overshadowed by events off the field.

A traffic accident in the Italian Alps earlier in the day claimed the lives of two Juventus fans and injured over 20 more, but the match went ahead as planned after both sets of players observed a minute's silence prior to kick-off.

Juventus captain Alessandro del Piero put the hosts ahead in the fifth minute before Amauri doubled the lead shortly after the restart.

Ruud van Nistelrooy reduced the deficit in the 66th minute but despite the Spaniards' desperate attempts, the Italians held on for victory.

Zenit St Petersburg got their first point in Group H as they drew 1-1 at home to BATE Borisov in a thrilling encounter.

BATE took the lead against the run of play in the 52nd minute when substitute Pavel Nekhaychik fired home but Zenit levelled 11 minutes from time through Fatih Tekke.

In Group F Karim Benzema and Fred grabbed braces as Lyon twice came from behind to emerge victorious in an eight-goal thriller against Steaua Bucharest.

Steaua capitalised on some desperate defending to go 2-0 then 3-2 in front before the break but the French side came back to edge the match 5-3.

Abdulkader Keita and Benzema cancelled out goals in the opening 11 minutes by Arthuro and Dorin Goian, but Ovidiu Petre gave the hosts an interval advantage with a header on the stroke of half-time.

Fred equalised within minutes of coming off the bench and Benzema completed the comeback to put Lyon in front 19 minutes from time, his 13th Champions League goal.

Fred's second of the night, in injury time, finally killed Steaua off. The win sees Lyon go clear in second place in the group, which is headed by Bayern Munich, who saw off Fiorentina 3-0.

Miroslav Klose got Bayern off to the perfect start as he fired them into the lead in the fourth minute and Bastian Schweinsteiger doubled the hosts' advantage in the 25th minute. Ze Roberto added a stunning third right at the death.

La Viola are now five points behind Bayern with no victories to their name.

Half-time substitute Joseba Llorente bagged a hat-trick as Villarreal survived a real scare before defeating Aalborg 6-3 in Group E.

Llorente replaced the ineffective Guillermo Franco at the interval and scored twice inside three minutes to give the hosts what proved an unassailable 4-2 lead.

Villarreal had not conceded two goals in a game all season going into the clash, but did so inside the opening 45 minutes here.

Marek Saganowski gave the Danes a deserved lead and Thomas Enevoldsen brought them level after Giuseppe Rossi and Joan Capdevila had struck for the Yellow Submarine.

AaB were eventually overwhelmed after the break, despite a third goal from Andreas Johansson which made it 4-3, as further efforts from Robert Pires and Llorente sealed the win for Villarreal.

Manchester United remain above the Spanish side on goal difference as they dismissed Celtic 3-0 in their all-British encounter at Old Trafford.

Two strikes by Dimitar Berbatov either side of half-time and an effort from Wayne Rooney put the game to bed.

Arsenal are sitting pretty at the top of Group G with seven points after a 5-2 victory over Fenerbahce.

Emmanuel Adebayor and Theo Walcott put the Gunners 2-0 up inside 11 minutes and although Mikael Silvestre's own goal reduced the deficit, Abou Diaby restored the Gunners' cushion.

Four minutes after half-time Alex Song volleyed in a fourth and Aaron Ramsey scored a fifth in injury time, with Daniel Guiza netting Fener's second.

Dynamo Kiev are two points behind after they claimed their first Champions League win in almost four years against Porto.

Oleksandr Aliev's wicked first-half free-kick was all that separated the sides at the Estadio do Dragao as Dynamo enjoyed their first three-point haul in the competition since defeating Roma 2-0 in November 2004.

Barcelona put one foot in the Champions League last 16 with a 5-0 away drubbing of Basel on Wednesday which left them as the only team with a 100 percent record in the group stage after three matches.
Chelsea also closed in on the knockout stage after a John Terry header gave them a 1-0 home win over Roma and five-time winners Liverpool are in a good position too following a 1-1 draw at Atletico Madrid.
That result left the two teams joint top in Group D on seven points after Simao Sabrosa steered in a late equaliser to cancel out Robbie Keane's 14th-minute opener for Liverpool.
PSV Eindhoven chalked up their first points in the group with a 2-0 home win over Olympique Marseille, courtesy of a Danny Koevermans brace that left the 1993 European Cup winners rooted to the bottom with three defeats.
An Adriano goal on the stroke of half-time handed Inter Milan a 1-0 home success against Anorthosis Famagusta, leaving them firmly in the driving seat in Group B with seven points ahead of the Cypriots, who have four.
Werder Bremen registered their third straight draw after a 2-2 stalemate at Panathinaikos thanks to Hugo Almeida's 83rd-minute equaliser. The draw gave the Greek side their first point.
Crisp one-touch football from Barcelona tore Basel apart as Lionel Messi, Sergi Busquets and Bojan Krkic gave the 2006 winners a 3-0 lead in the opening 22 minutes.
Bojan added the fourth and Xavi Fernandez completed the rout within three minutes after the interval to give Barcelona an excellent chance of securing their progress to the last 16 in the reverse fixture against the Swiss side next month.
Chelsea dominated for long spells of their clash with Roma but were unable to create a clear-cut chance before Terry broke the deadlock in the 77th minute with a glancing header from Frank Lampard's corner.
Lampard shaved the woodwork with a curling shot in the first half and forced a good save from goalkeeper Cristiano Doni with a freekick in the closing stages as last season's finalists piled on the pressure.
Liverpool seemed to be heading for their third consecutive win after Keane took Steven Gerrard's through ball in his stride and fired past Leo Franco but Simao denied the visitors after good work by Diego Forlan seven minutes from time.
The evening's eight matches produced 17 goals in total, less than a half of Tuesday night's record-equalling tally of 36.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Preview Inter vs Roma

Inter will be up against AS Roma this morning at 2.25 am on Astro 811.

With several players out injured and all those who have been away on international duty, José Mourinho has had a reduced squad to work with in the run-up to Sunday evening's clash against Roma.

"I needed to work with Cordoba, Samuel and some of the others who needed to train, but we were without five of the starters to face Roma," admitted Mourinho in an interview for Rai Sport programme Dribbling. "It hasn't been easy but I have to be honest and say that our opponents aren't in a different situation from ours. Like us, they have a lot of national team players who are fundamental for them.

"Our situation in defence is an incredible situation because when I arrived here in Appiano Gentile I found Cordoba and Samuel in the gym after their cruciate ligament operations and I saw Chivu in hospital in Pavia after his shoulder operation, and we couldn't play two consecutive matches with the same central defenders. If you ask me which is the best pairing in central defence I can't reply to you after four months at Inter.

"Samuel has only just returned, I don't think Materazzi will be ready, Rivas has had surgery and we'll have to see how Chivu is on his return from the national team. But I don't want to use this as an excuse. We have to play well and find our balance."

Too soon for Roma-Inter? Just six rounds into the season, the second clash of the season between the two teams after the Super Cup will hardly be decisive. "For me these matches never come too soon," said Mourinho. "I remember, for example, that I started a season in England with Chelsea-Manchester United. It was the 15th August and it was a nice way to begin the championship. Why can't they do the same in Italy? These are the most exciting matches for everybody but they aren't decisive at the end. A championship is game by game.

"There's no doubt that our start to the championship has been harder. We've had Milan, Roma and Fiorentina, and Sampdoria who are never easy to face, and this shows that it's a very difficult championship. It would be good if we can finish it in an excellent position."

Inter face Roma for the second time this term after their penalties victory in the Italian Super Cup. "I think Roma are a wonderful team with the stability of a coach who has worked with the same players for many years," added Mourinho. "They're just going through a bit of instability at the moment, they had to change tactical system because the results weren't the same, and they didn't have Totti. Our team has had injuries and suspensions but there's a certain stability on the pitch. We're very stable because we know where we have to get to. We just need to work with tranquillity."

Giallorossi captain Francesco Totti could mark his return from injury in Sunday's showdown at the Stadio Olimpico. "You know more than me what Totti means for Roma, for the Serie A, and for his team-mates, but I won't change my tactics because of this," responded Mourinho when asked if Totti is as important a player as he is described.

"I concentrate on my team and our game. I want him (Totti) to play because he's the best player in the Italian championship in terms of spectacle and quality of play, but we always go on the pitch to win and we're not changing attitude now. We lost against Milan and drew with Sampdoria but our mentality hasn't changed. We want to win all our matches, both at home and away."

Get from official Inter Web Site

Redsox did it again

I just got back from work and opened my pc.I surfed and did not surprise when saw the result of the game.The Redsox had beaten The Rays by 4-2 and force game 7.John lester will be against Garza.Well Redsox had done not one but twice so maybe the third the ladyluck will be on their side once again.If the Redsox win game 7 they will be up against Phillies who beaten the Dodgers.Honestly i would like to see the Rays get into the World Series but who can deny the ability of Redsox? They are the most supported and have the most loyal and hardcore fan flock the fenway park every game for what 4 years? So in game 7 the chances for Redsox are there but you definitely can not deny Rays.So far they defy all odds.Even the mighty Yankees fall to them in the regular season but Yankees not what they used to be.All the glory of the past seem to haunt them down season after season.
“We’ve been in there before, and we know what it takes to win games,” Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz said. “It’s not easy. It’s not like we like to be in the situation. But I guess that’s the way destiny has been the past few years.”Yes..Red Sox have been like this before and even harder.They seem to grow stronger in stress condition.Game 7 will be a thrilling and historic at least.At stake Sunday night is another shot, another opportunity for the Red Sox to taste redemption, another chance for the Rays to close the series, another occasion for lucky fans to tune in and, hopefully, see a baseball game – a baseball game, hopefully, for the ages

Reason as it all matter in Baseball

Well this morning the rays and Redsox will meet in the game 6 of ALCS at Florida.I'm disappointed as i will be able to see that game.But surely i will check the result and hope Astro will have the replay game on the tube.Here are some reason that i collect from the american journalist who are very into this game.

• Déjà vu factor: The Red Sox have been here before. They’ve faced elimination eight consecutive times in LCS play, and they’ve won all eight – four against the Yankees in 2004, three against the Indians in 2007, and perhaps most incredibly, coming back to beat the Rays after being down seven runs with seven outs to go Thursday night. They went into Yankee Stadium in ‘04 and spit on the monuments – and the memory of Aaron Bleepin’ Boone – to win Games 6 and 7 in a hostile Bronx. They’re not going to drop in the Trop.

• The “Big” is back in front of Papi: With his first home run in 61 postseason at-bats, David Ortiz, clicking wrist and all, reminded people anew why Red Sox owners presented him with a plaque declaring him the “greatest clutch hitter of all time.” Big Papi beat the Yankees twice in the ‘04 playoffs on the same day – he won Game 4 with a 12th-inning two-run home run at 1:22 a.m., then Game 5 with a 14th-inning bloop single at 11 p.m. the same day. He showed he could still make time stand still at the Trop.

• Josh Beckett has his “Pedro” moment: Pedro Martinez’s shoulder was spaghetti when he came out of the bullpen in 1999 and no-hit the Cleveland Indians for six innings in the deciding game of their playoff series in Jacobs Field. Whatever is ailing Beckett &ndas; a balky elbow, a strained oblique muscle – becomes secondary to his stubborn refusal to be carried out on his shield.

• It ain’t over til the crazy closer dances: Jonathan Papelbon has not given up a run in the postseason, extending his record to 24 scoreless innings over 15 outings. B.J. Upton made him look mortal with a two-run double in the seventh inning Thursday, but of the 82 batters he has faced, only 16 have reached base via a hit or walk. The Rays’ bullpen blinked with a seven-run lead. Give Paps a lead in a Game 7, and he’ll be wearing goggles by the end of the night.

• The Manny factor: Red Sox players grudgingly voted Manny Ramirez a two-thirds playoff share. But nothing would please the grinders in the Sox clubhouse, like Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia, more than proving that true happiness resides not in Mannywood, but on Yawkey Way.


• There’s no place like home, even if it has catwalks: The Rays have won more games at home – 60, including three in the postseason – than any team in the big leagues this season. With James “Big Game” Shields, who lost just twice in the regular season at home this season, pitching Game 6 and ace-in-the-making Matt Garza going in Game 7, they’re not going to flop in the Trop.

• Kids don’t pay any attention to history: There are times when the innocence of youth is a big advantage, and this is one of them. Of course, the Rays are aware of what the Red Sox have done in the past. They just don’t dwell on it. They’re determined to make their own history.

• A 21st century Murderers Row: The Rays hit 13 home runs in the first five games of this series, the most in ALCS history in a series of any length. Evan Longoria has homered in four straight games and has six postseason home runs, the same number as B.J. Upton. Carlos Pena has homered in three straight games. The ‘27 Yanks have nothing on the Rays of the last two weeks.

• Don’t stop believing: The Rays were counted out when they lost seven in a row before the All-Star break. No one thought they would survive home-and-home series against the Red Sox in September, and they won two out of three in both Fenway and the Trop. They were all but counted out when Daisuke Matsuzaka shut them out in Game 1, and roared back to win three in a row. As original Tampa Bay season-ticket holder Dick Vitale would say, they’ve shown they’re prime-time players, baybee!

• Main Street beats Wall Street: Forget for a moment that Rays owner Stuart Sternberg and president Matt Silverman come straight out of Goldman Sachs. With a payroll of $43 million, almost $100 million less than that of Boston, the Rays are the right team for these belt-tightening times. Joe the Plumber, grab a cowbell.

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