Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Barton goes to extreme lengths to gain acceptance from France

If you thought Englishmen abroad couldn't get cringe-worthy than 'Schteve' McClaren's Dutch accent, you were wrong.

Joey Barton came across all 'Allo 'Allo this weekend after making his Ligue 1 debut, talking to the French media with an incredible accent, that was part-Scouse, part-French and totally ridiculous.

But what next for the QPR outcast? A beret? A string of garlic? Carrying around a boombox that constantly plays Edith Piaf on a continual loop?

We can only wait and see...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Shock Juventus defeat blows Serie A title race wide open

Robinho's penalty on Sunday evening secured a 1-0 victory for AC Milan over reigning champions Juventus to blow the Serie A title race wide open.

The Bianconeri still lead by four points ahead of second-placed Fiorentina, but both Inter and Napoli have a game in hand and could begin to make life difficult for Antonio Conte's side.

Earlier this month, Juve saw their 49-game unbeaten streak in Serie A end after a 3-1 defeat at home to Inter. Is November the start of a shift in power among Italy's elite?

Mourinho welcomes Benitez to Chelsea with Materazzi gift

Rafael Benitez takes charge of Chelsea for the first time on Sunday against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.

And while Fernando Torres might be pleased to see his old Liverpool boss, others who have played under the Spaniard do not remember him quite so fondly.

Former Inter defender Marco Materazzi was "devastated" when Benitez replaced Jose Mourinho, who shared a joke with another former Nerazzurri star - City defender Maicon - at the new Chelsea boss' expense.

"Your friend Benitez is going to Chelsea," the Brazilian said to Mourinho, according to La Sexta.

The 49-year-old responded: "The fat one? Well then Materazzi should be his assistant."

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Omar Momani Interviews in 2012

As many people ask me on whom I am, here are the interviews that I had the privilege to make in this year, from Jordan to UK to Russia to Germany to Armenia:

1. رسومات كرتونية في الجول لمجلة شرفات, Cartoons in the Goal by Shorofat Magazine (Jordan) in Arabic:

2. Special Interests by Toonpool.com (Germany) in English:

3. الرياضة بتضحّك  لعرمرم فيديو, Funny Sport by Aramram (Jordan) video in Arabic:

4. Satirical Soccer by Emel (UK) in English:

5. Не так страшен Месси, как его малюют! Мастер футбольной карикатуры Омар Момани подводит итоги футбольного года, by Sovsport.ru  (Russia) in Russian:

6. Omar Momani by TasmeemME.com (Jordan) in English:

7. Letter from Amman (Jordan) by Toonpool.com (Germany) in English:

8. Интервью Омара Момани для блога «Футбол карандашом» (Russia) in Russian:

9.Հանրահայտ ծաղրանկարիչ Օմար Մոմանին` իր, իր ծաղրանկարների, ֆուտբոլի և Հայաստանի մասին (Armenia) by Armfootball.com:


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sir Alex immortalised in front of Manchester United legends past & present

After 26 barnstorming years at Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson was immortalised on Friday afternoon as a bronze statue of the Scot was unveiled at Old Trafford.

During the 70-year-old's reign at the club, United have scooped 12 Premier League titles, two Champions League trophies and FA Cups - a feat which is unlikely to be repeated by a single manager in England.

Around 2,500 supporters, the first-team squad and former United players including Eric Cantona, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Peter Schmeichel, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Bobby Charlton were all in attendance to mark Friday's unveiling.

"It's a proud moment," Ferguson told MUTV.

"Normally people die before people see their statue. I'm outliving death!"

Mursi The new Pharaoh

Bale too hot for Spurs as he begins escape to Madrid

It looks like we'll have another never-ending transfer saga on our hands soon as Gareth Bale is primed to tell Tottenham that he wants to join Real Madrid.

Goal.com revealed on Friday morning that the Wales international feels that the time to leave White Hart Lane is next summer, but Jose Mourinho will have to part with £50 million in order to land the winger.

With Luka Modric having already left for the Bernabeu in August, will Andre Villas-Boas be able to keep hold of another prized asset when the Spanish club come calling again?

a Debater

Chelsea boss Benitez sat on ticking time-bomb at the Bridge

After Roberto Di Matteo's dismissal on Wednesday morning, Chelsea swiftly moved to appoint Rafa Benitez as interim manager to get the European champions back on track.

Despite winning the FA Cup and Champions League last season, the Italian was axed by Roman Abramovich after failing to win his last four Premier League matches and denting the club's chances of qualifying for the European competition's knockout stage following a 3-0 defeat to Juventus on Tuesday evening.

Benitez becomes Chelsea's ninth manager since Abramovich purchased the club in 2003, but if the Spaniard suffers an inconsistent campaign similar to his six-month reign at Inter in 2010, his time at Stamford Bridge could also be cut short.

Job cut - Abramovich ends Di Matteo’s Chelsea reign

After a 3-0 defeat to Juventus left Chelsea's chances of securing qualification for the Champions League knockout stage, Roman Abramovich has called time on Roberto Di Matteo's reign at Stamford Bridge.

The Italian took charge after Andre Villas-Boas was axed in March and guided the club to FA Cup glory, as well as their first Champions League trophy since the Russian bought Chelsea in June 2003.

But after failing to register a win in the Premier League in four attempts, along with an inconsistent campaign in Europe which could the club eliminated at the group stage, Di Matteo was ousted from his role as Chelsea now search for their ninth manager in eight-and-a-half years.

Bah Humbug - Ronaldo a 'Christmas wish' too far for Sir Alex Ferguson & Manchester United

He would be quite the stocking filler for Manchester United but even Sir Alex Ferguson admits the prospect of Cristiano Ronaldo returning to Old Trafford is just a "Christmas wish".

Last week, Sir Alex claimed the door is always open for the Portuguese international to make his return to United, although the 70-year-old conceded the forward would be "unbuyable" from Real Madrid.

With Roberto Di Matteo possibly bolstering his Chelsea ranks with the perfect festive gift in the form of Atletico Madrid ace Falcao, Sir Alex may have to poke around the January sales to find ways of improving his side.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Snoop Dogg eyes Hoops for Celtic takeover

Celtic caught the eye of a number of celebrities when they shocked the world by beating Barcelona in the Champions League.

Hoops fan Rod Stewart was reduced to tears of joy at Parkhead, while Elton John felt compelled to call manager Neil Lennon to congratulate him.

And their old friend Snoop Dogg was watching too. In fact the rapper, who recently changed his name to Snoop Lion, has suggested he's ready to invest in the Scottish Premier League side

"I see how passionate Celtic fans are about their team and I could see myself making an investment if any of the board wanted to sell," Snoop said, according to the Daily Record.

"I haven't really thought how much. I don't need to run a football club but enough of a percentage to get me on the board so I can be heard.

"I want to bring a bit of Snoop to things."

Al Ahli Africa Champions for the 7th time

Am with Reinhard Kleist

Reinhard Kleist is a German graphic designer and cartoonist.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

MADebayor goes from hero to villain with north London derby red

Emmanuel Adebayor went from hero to villain in the space of eight minutes on Saturday, with his sending-off in the north London derby kickstarting Arsenal's 5-2 comeback victory over Tottenham.

The Togo striker had handed Spurs the lead against his former side after 10 minutes, yet was quickly given his marching orders shortly afterwards following a reckless lunge on Santi Cazorla.

Down to 10 men, the floodgates opened as the Gunners romped to victory, leaving Adebayor to apologise to Tottenham fans for his moment of madness...

Save Real Oviedo

Wenger vexed by Arsenal injury crisis

Arsene Wenger this week revealed his plans for Arsenal's north London derby clash with Tottenham on Saturday have been plunged into chaos by a squad plagued with injuries.

The Frenchman has concerns over the fitness of Theo Walcott, Mikel Arteta, Olivier Giroud, Wojciech Szczesny, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Bacary Sagna after the midweek internationals.

On Friday, he told reporters: "There are so many - I think we need a few doctors this morning. We have so many players who have come back with injuries or small injuries.

"We will see this morning, but it is difficult to give you a clear idea of who will be available tomorrow or not."

So at the end of what undoubtedly must have been a frantic 24 hours for the Gunners boss, which of his stars will make it onto the pitch to take on Spurs?

Sexiest athlete Ronaldo struts his stuff

Who is the better player - Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo? The debate ahead of the announcement of the 2012 Ballon d'Or winner rages on.

But there can no longer be any doubt around the ultimate question involving the two: just who is the sexier man?

American celebrity weekly People Magazine has named the Portugal star the sexiest athlete of 2012, and his Barcelona counterpart didn't even make the top 10. Oh, the shame!

Ronaldo beat competition from the likes of Miami Heat superstar LeBron James, tennis ace Andy Murray and NFL revelation Tim Tebow for the prize.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Chrissie Hynde

The Pretenders leader Chrissie Hynde is one of the sweetest voices that I've ever heard, here is my tribute to her.

Magic Ibrahimovic bamboozles England hopefuls

There are few doubts about who was the star of the show in England's 4-2 defeat to Sweden on Wednesday night - the inimitable Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

England had six debutants on show in Leon Osman, Raheem Sterling, Wilfried Zaha, Ryan Shawcross, Steven Caulker and Carl Jenkinson.

But there was little any of them - or indeed Roy Hodgson's more senior players - could do about Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who had already scored twice before completing a hat-trick with a powerful long-range free-kick.

And for his next trick, the Swedish magician rounded off the scoring with a mystifying, looping overhead kick from over 20 yards out which almost defied logic, leaving Hodgson and his charges thoroughly dumbfounded.

'Husband and wife' Mancini & Balotelli still happily married at Manchester City

Dropped from the Manchester City squad after reportedly partying into the early hours on the morning of a crucial clash with Tottenham, the writing appeared to be on the wall for Mario Balotelli with regards to his future at the club.

Roberto Mancini is understood to be ready to finally wash his hands of the enigmatic Italy international for good.

But Balotelli's agent, Mino Raiola, insists that is not the case, and gave a rather surprising indication as to why the 22-year-old will remain at the Etihad Stadium for at least a little while longer.

"His [Balotelli's] relationship with Mancini is like that between a husband and his wife," Raiola told Radio CRC. "They argue but they love and respect each other so much.

"Everyone has their own ideas, but Mario will remain at Manchester City. He won't go to AC Milan."

A convenient truth? Ronaldo, Rooney & RVP out of friendlies

Another raft of international friendlies are upon us and, with them, a whole host of convenient injuries to some of Europe's biggest stars.

Cristiano Ronaldo has pulled out of Portugal's clash with Gabon on Wednesday due to a badly gashed eye sustained against Levante this weekend.

Manchester United duo Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, meanwhile, have also withdrawn from duty with England and the Netherlands, despite both featuring heavily in the Red Devils' comeback victory over Aston Villa on Saturday.

Of course, no one would be cynical enough to suggest that 'knocks' like these were crudely manufactured by club managers to buy their key men some crucial rest time, but no one can deny that the absence of their best players is a constant source of frustration to national team bosses.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

You're next! Messi targets Muller goal record after leaving Pele in his wake

Barcelona star Lionel Messi never seems to tire of breaking records.

The Argentine re-wrote footballing history again on Sunday when his double against Mallorca took his tally for the calendar year to 76 goals in just 59 appearances, beating Pele’s record of 75.

However, Messi is still behind Gerd Muller - who netted 85 times for Bayern Munich and West Germany in just 60 games in 1972 - although having left Pele behind, the Barcelona man now has his next target clearly in sight.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Luckless Wenger rues Arteta penalty miss

They so nearly got out of jail but Mikel Arteta's saved penalty compounded Arsenal's problems and left the home fans exiting Emirates Stadium more than a tad disgruntled.

What of Arsene Wenger though? The once-great, untouchable boss has been through troubles in the past but surely they don't come close to the current predicament.

The Gunners have 16 points from their first 11 games - the worst league start since 1982-83 and just when you thought their luck had turned as Phil Dowd pointed to the spot for a dubious handball, Arteta stuffed up the chance.

Wenger's face was a picture of disbelief, shock and strife. Just when will his luck turn?

S Africa issues new Mandela bank notes

Leave Twit out: Inter ban Sneijder from social media

Footballers today live a life constantly in the public eye and social media plays a part in that, with many players building up internet profiles of themselves, but Inter man Wesley Sneijder has had that privilege taken away.

The Netherlands star's wife Yolanthe Cabau announced the news on her own account that Inter had banned Sneijder from using Twitter, despite the midfielder seemingly never saying anything particularly naughty.

Do you think it is fair for a 'sensible-Simon' such as Sneijder to have his social media fun taken from him? Well, Massimo Moratti has had his say.

There will be no more hashtags, '@ mentions' or direct messages coming from the Dutchman so he'll have to find something else to keep him busy while he recovers from injury.

Hameed the Palestinian Hero

Fabregas models himself on Zidane

Cesc Fabregas has never hidden his love for Barcelona but he has now revealed that his hero as a child was none other than Zinedine Zidane, particularly when he was in his pomp at Barca's fierce rivals Real Madrid.

The former Arsenal captain has told how his bedroom wall was covered in posters of the French ace and has enjoyed reminiscing about the 1998 Ballon d'Or winner.

While the Barcelona man has some way to go to match Zidane's achievements in the game, the big question is: just how far will Fabregas go to emulate his hero?

Barcelona & Messi fail to tame Celtic Lions

Celtic may have come unstuck against Barcelona two weeks ago at Camp Nou, but Neil Lennon's men got the better of the Catalan giants on Wednesday evening with an emphatic 2-1 win.

Lionel Messi grabbed a late goal for Spaniards, but it proved to be nothing more than a consolation, with efforts from Victor Wanyama and Tony Watt ensuring Celtic's Lions roared to victory at Parkhead...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Mancini & Balotelli get shirty as Manchester City head for Euro exit

Despite having led Manchester City to success domestically during his three years at the club, Roberto Mancini is yet to find the winning formula on the European stage.

And, after crashing out of last year's Champions League at the group stages, the Premier League champions already look resigned to the same fate following Tuesday's 2-2 home draw with Ajax.

But, after a Sergio Aguero strike was disallowed and a late penalty call denied by the officials, Mancini was more aggrieved by poor refereeing decision than his side's lacklustre display..