Friday, February 28, 2014

AVB has Barca on the brain

In one of the more bizarre rumours of this season, Andre Villas-Boas was linked with the managerial job at Barcelona. Two things:

1) Villas-Boas has failed at Chelsea and Tottenham and been fired from both jobs.

2) Barcelona seem happy enough with Gerardo Martino.

Nevertheless, won't you let a man dream?
Friday, 28 February 2014 11:09

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Benzema, Bale & Cristiano turn to 'BBC' broadcast

Real Madrid obliterated Schalke on Wednesday night with two goals apiece from Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo in a 6-1 win leading to the trio being coined the 'BBC'.

Allegedly, their next trick is to turn to broadcasting with the actual BBC and deliver the news as accurately as their shooting and the weather as precise as their passing.
Thursday, 27 February 2014 10:37

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Zeusless: Hapless Manchester United stunned by Greek Gods

When did it get so bad? Just as it looked as though Manchester United had rediscovered their identity, they went and lost 2-0 at Olympiakos in a humbling Champions League last-16 first leg clash.

The Greeks were on top of their game throughout and scored once via a deflection off Alejandro Dominguez and again in the second half through Arsenal loanee Joel Campbell.

United were pega-sussed out by Michel, the Olympiakos manager, leaving Moyes wondering what's Demeter with his squad, while Robin van Persie moped about the pitch looking as if he'd Hades enough of this season already...
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 11:24

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Manchester United out to avoid Greek tragedy

Manchester United face Olympiakos in their first leg last-16 tie in Greece on Tuesday night and will be hoping to pick up a positive result to take back to Old Trafford.

David Moyes oversaw a convincing 2-0 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday and finally has his first choice strikeforce available to him.

Wayne Rooney has just signed a new five-and-a-half-year deal and celebrated the news by scoring United's second at Selhurst Park.

Olympiakos meanwhile, are without star striker Kostas Mitroglou - who joined Fulham in January - making their task even more difficult.
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 10:06

Ozil dreaming of a winter break

It's fair to say that Mesut Ozil has not enjoyed his best week since swapping Real Madrid for Arsenal and the Premier League.

The German international was the villain in midweek, missing an early penalty against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, as the Gunners slipped to a 2-0 defeat that leaves their European hopes hanging by a thread.

And the £42 million man was left out altogether on Saturday to rest as the Gunners cruised to a 4-1 win over Sunderland.
Monday, 24 February 2014 11:46

Monday, February 24, 2014

Llorente: I see Tevez more than my girlfriend

Fernando Llorente may be taking his strike partnership with Carlos Tevez a bit too far after admitting he spends more time with the Argentine than his girlfriend.

"We are both very different, but perhaps you need this to form a beautiful partnership. He is more aggressive than me, moves more, is smaller, you can see his desire to impress and score goals,” the Spaniard told Tuttosport.

"Off the field me and Tevez hang out a lot. We both are very family orientated, he has his wife and children, I have my girlfriend and parents when they come and see me.

"The fact remains that between training sessions I spend more time with Tevez than I do my own girlfriend."
Sunday, 23 February 2014 12:00

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Manchester United show Rooney the money

Wayne Rooney finally put pen to paper on a new Manchester United contract on Friday.

The new deal will potentially see the striker stay at the club until 2019 and earn a staggering £300,000-a-week.

That figure has seen plenty of onlookers question the deal, but David Moyes has no doubts about the value of the England international.

"Wayne has been the best player in England since I put him into the Everton first team in 2003," said Moyes.

"Since becoming United manager in July last year, I have enjoyed working with him and seeing just how he has developed his incredible talent.

"With his ability, his experience and his desire to succeed, he is a vital part of my plans for the future and I'm absolutely thrilled he has accepted the challenge."
Saturday, February 22, 2014 10:30

Friday, February 21, 2014

SoldaD'oh! Spurs striker skies his sitter

It has been a difficult adaptation period for Roberto Soldado. The Spain striker signed for Tottenham for £26 million last summer but has struggled to find the back of the net this season.

He has scored just five goals from 21 Premier League matches, but with five in three the Europa League had provided him with a happier hunting ground. Until last night.

The striker looked set to put Tim Sherwood's men a goal up against Dnipro in the competition's last 32, but blazed well over with the goal wide open. The Ukranians went on to win the match 1-0. D'Oh!
Friday, February 21, 2014 12:00

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Miss-it Ozil can't fire Arsenal past Bayern

It had been billed as a big night for Arsenal's record signing Mesut Ozil, and he could have got off to a great start by netting an early penalty against Bayern Munich.

But his languid run-up, never a favourite among British crowds and commentators, was matched by a timid shot straight at Manuel Neuer, a giant in the Bavarians' goal all night.

With all his recent criticism coming to the fore, plus the thousands of fans behind the goal, the pressure proved to be far too much for Ozil.
Thursday, February 20, 2014 12:00

Champions League back with a bang as Barcelona leave old foes fuming

Barcelona's 2-0 win against Manchester City left Manuel Pellegrini in a rage and Jose Mourinho eating humble pie.

The City boss was furious at the Swedish referee who awarded Barca a penalty and sent off Martin Demichelis. Pellegrini let fly in his post-match press conference, saying the ref was not up to the job of officiating a Champions League clash.

And it was a bitter result for Mourinho, who had earlier called out "the worst Barca side in many, many years". Cesc Fabregas issued a stinging rebuttal at full-time, saying Barca's detrctors should "shut up for a few days".

All the while, Paris Saint-Germain were marching towards the quarter-finals with a 4-0 away win against Bayer Leverkusen, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoreing twice, one of which an absolute rocket.

The Champions League is definitely back in full swing!
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 12:00

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hooray! The Champions League is back again

It has been a long two months since the Champions League group stages came to a close and the last-16 ties were drawn out of the hat in Nyon. But fear no more!

Tonight signals the return of the top club competition in Europe - if not the world. It's Manchester City v Barcelona and Bayer Leverkusen v Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.

With Arsenal taking on Bayern Munich on Wednesday, and Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Manchester United, Chelsea and a whole host of other top teams in action over the coming weeks, you won't be short of star names and big performances. Rejoice!
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 12:00

Monday, February 17, 2014

Mourinho a 'specialist in failure' against Manchester City

Jose Mourinho hit the headlines on Friday after labelling Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger a 'specialist in failure'.

"He's a specialist in failure. I'm not," Mourinho said in response to suggestions from Wenger that he fears defeat.

"The reality is he's a specialist because eight years without a piece of silverware, that is failure."

But it was Mourinho and Chelsea who flirted with failure on Saturday, as Manchester City dumped the Stamford Bridge side out of the FA Cup.

Stevan Jovetic and Samir Nasri were on the scoresheet for Manuel Pellegrini's men, who took some revenge for their Premier League defeat to Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium.
Sunday, 16 February 2014 07:30

School bully: Mourinho teases 'failure' Wenger

The war of words is well under way between Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger, with the Chelsea boss labelling his rival as "a specialist in failure”.

Wenger had suggested Mourinho's reluctance to consider Chelsea as title contenders was down to a "fear to fail”, and this spat looks set to last for the remaining 12 Premier League games.

But can Wenger gain the upper hand in the battle of wits and guide Arsenal to their first league title in 10 years?
Saturday, 15 February 2014 12:00

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Kroos warned not to play poker with Bayern over contract

Mehmet Scholl has urged Toni Kroos not to ‘play poker’ with Bayern Munich over his contract situation.

The 24-year-old midfielder has yet to sign an extension to his current deal which expires in 2015, while Manchester United manager David Moyes was spotted with the player’s agent during a scouting trip in January.

"I think it's not wise for Toni to play poker too much with Bayern," Scholl told TZ.

"That's how it seems at the moment. His current wages are enough for him to have warm food on the table twice a day already!"
Friday, February 14, 2014 12:00

Higuain eyes Maradona's crown

Gonzalo Higuain has set himself quite the task.

In similar fashion to Diego Maradona, the 26-year-old forward wants to help guide Argentina to the World Cup in Brazil before inspiring Napoli to the Serie A title.

"This is an important moment for me and for my career," Higuain told La Gazetta dello Sport.

"I want to do what Maradona did: first win the World Cup and then the Scudetto. He triumphed in Mexico with Argentina in 1986 and, a year later, he made Napoli go crazy.

"If I could do this it would really be the ultimate dream. I want to stay in Naples for a long time - here I'm going to be a king."

No pressure, Gonzalo.
Thursday, February 13, 2014 12:00
New version of the cartoon without Rafa

Thursday, February 13, 2014

My Dzeko cartoon in sugar packets

I was happy when (Bosnian sports coverage website) notified me that there is a Bosnian restaurant is using my (Dzeko and the dragons to the Mondial) cartoon as a print on there sugar packets.
For me I wish for the Bosnian team a sweet journey to Brazil as much sweet was that news to me and the sugar inside the packets.

Mou's 'little horse' stumbles at West Brom

King of words Jose Mourinho produced another gem last week when he labelled his Chelsea team a "little horse" in the Premier League title race.

But everything had been going pretty well in the Stamford Bridge stable, with the impressive victory over Manchester City followed up with another convincing win over Newcastle to keep the Blues at the top of the pile as we approach the home straight.

That was until Pepe Mel's West Brom came along.

Chelsea had looked to be riding towards another three points after Branislav Ivanovic's first-half strike although a late equaliser from Victor Anichebe earned a point for the Baggies and stopped Mourinho's horse in its tracks.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 08:30

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Watch & learn: Benzema in awe of Ronaldo

Karim Benzema equalled former Brazil striker Ronaldo's goal tally at Real Madrid on Saturday, with his two strikes against Villarreal moving him onto 104 for the Liga club.

But just where does the former Lyon star draw inspiration from?

Yep, you guessed it. It's the legendary former Inter, Barcelona and Madrid sensation himself - Ronaldo. Speaking to AS, Benzema said: "He inspired me in many respects. Firstly, his will to score goals. But I have also learned a lot from him in terms of movement in front of goal.

"I followed Ronaldo as a child and I still watch videos of him before matches."
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 12:00

Monday, February 10, 2014

Moyes rues luck as Man United send in 81 crosses

Manchester United sent in a staggering 81 crosses in their 2-2 draw with Fulham at Old Trafford on Sunday - the most of any side in the Premier League since 2006.

The hosts scored twice, through a Robin van Persie tap-in and a deflected Michael Carrick effort - but the bombardment from wide areas resulted in no goals.

But David Moyes was quick to blame his side's bad luck this season, rather than tactics, as struggling Fulham clinched a point with a stoppage time header from Darren Bent.

"It's been a bit like that this season so far," Moyes said after the game. "But today was probably as bad as it gets.

"We completely dominated the game and being 1-0 down was bad enough, but the amount of attempts and chances and the play we had, how we didn't win the game comfortably, I've no idea."
Monday, 10 February 2014 12:00

Liverpool hammering just the start of Arsenal's gruelling run

Arsenal embarked on their tricky run of fixtures by being on the wrong end of a 5-1 hammering to Liverpool on Saturday.

Arsene Wenger’s side will have their title credentials tested further on Wednesday as they host Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium, and that’s before facing Liverpool once again in the FA Cup fifth round next Sunday.

Let’s not forget, the Gunners have also been tasked with knocking Bayern Munich out of the Champions League.

Can Arsenal recover from their heavy setback at Anfield to pull through?
Sunday, 9 February 2014 12:00

Gervinho beats Bolt by a neck

Roma star Gervinho appears to fancy himself as a sprinter.

The former Arsenal man scored twice in midweek as Roma fought hard to beat Napoli 3-2 in the Coppa Italia semi-final first leg.

And afterwards, Gervinho joked that, with the ball at his feet, he would give 100 and 200-metre world record holder Usain Bolt a run for his money.

"I would beat him [Bolt] with the ball at my feet," he said. "Without the ball, he would be quicker."

Gervinho failed to establish himself in the Premier League with Arsenal, but has been in fine form since moving to Italy, scoring five goals in Serie A.
Friday, 7 February 2014 12:00

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Big Grapple: Mou & Henry battle for Cole

Ashley Cole's Chelsea future is shrouded with uncertainty at the moment, with the full-back's contract expiring at the end of the current campaign and no sign of a new deal being agreed anytime soon.

Jose Mourinho has previously expressed a desire to keep the England man, despite his consistent favoring of Cesar Azpilicueta in the left-back berth, but there may well be outside interference.

Speaking in a pre-match press conference on Friday, the former Real Madrid boss suggested that Thierry Henry could be attempting to convince Cole to make the move to MLS and join him at New York Red Bulls.

Could the promise of cash and the Big Apple tempt Cole to head to the USA?
Saturday, 8 February 2014 10:00

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Miami Spice! Beckham announces MLS franchise

Move over, LeBron James! There's a new sporting superstar in town.

David Beckham has announced that he will be fronting the formation of a new Major League Soccer franchise in Miami.

Beckham only retired in May 2013, aged 38, following a short but successful spell with Paris Saint-Germain but has wasted little time in getting involved in football again.

"This is an exciting time for myself, my family, my friends and partners, and it is something we are really looking forward to bringing to Miami," he said.

"We're planning to bring a team that will be a global team. I want to create a team that we can start from scratch and I am going to work hard for this city to make this team very successful. It is an exciting time.

"I have worked with some of the biggest clubs and greatest players and this is a dream."

Thursday, 6 February 2014 10:15

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Manchester United set for USA pre-season tour

Manchester United have endured a difficult season so far, but they have plenty to look forward to come the summer.

David Moyes's side will travel to the USA for a pre-season tour - their first visit to the country since 2011.

The Old Trafford outfit has confirmed its participation in the International Champions Cup, which will also feature rivals Liverpool, Real Madrid and AC Milan, with the final taking place at Miami's Sun Life Stadium on August 4.

The likes of Moyes, Robin van Persie, Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata will no doubt be hoping to take in some of the USA's historical landmarks.
Wednesday, 5 February 2014 10:30

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Chelsea bus transforms into title-chasing juggernaut

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was expected to 'park the bus' against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Monday night.

Manuel Pellegrini's free-scoring side have notched a staggering 68 goals in the Premier League this season, and nobody had kept them from finding the back of the net at home.

But rather than setting up Chelsea to sit back, soak up the pressure and play for the draw, Mourinho abandoned the bus and went all out for victory.

The Blues harried and pressed the hosts and were more than good value for their 1-0 victory courtesy of a Branislav Ivanovic strike.

The win leaves Chelsea level on points with City, just two adrift of league leaders Arsenal with 14 games still to play.
Tuesday, 4 February 2014 07:30

Monday, February 3, 2014

Mourinho readies Chelsea bus ahead of Man City showdown

Jose Mourinho leads his title-chasing Chelsea team to the Etihad Stadium on Monday night looking to cause a shock and stop Manuel Pellegrini's free-scoring side from retaking the lead at the summit of the Premier League.

Mourinho has a number of famous career highlights in away games and although he has blamed visiting teams at Stamford Bridge for 'parking the bus', he may be wise to adopt such tactics at City.
Monday, February 3, 2014 07:23

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Fortress Barcelona comes crashing down

Barcelona’s long unbeaten home record came to an abrupt halt on Saturday night as Valencia triumphed 3-2 in an enthralling game at Camp Nou.

A miserable night for the hosts also saw Jordi Alba sent off as Gerardo Martino's men suffered their first home league defeat since April 2012.

The result throws yet another twist into the title race and hands the initiative over to Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid, who both have the opportunity to move ahead of the Catalans on Sunday.
Sunday, February 2, 2014 11:50

Galliani Banknote

Time's up! Who sealed their deadline-day deals?

It was a frantic close to transfer deadline day, even if some of the big deals did not go through.

There was still plenty of action, with Dimitar Berbatov swapping Fulham for Monaco and Kostas Mitroglou replacing him from Olympiakos.

Dani Osvaldo clinched his move from Southampton to Juventus, and Adel Taarabt also left for Serie A, namely AC Milan.

Arsenal had been hopeful of signing Julian Draxler throughout January but would not match Schalke's valuation. They also wanted Blaise Matuidi and considered Mogran Schneiderlin, but ended up with Kim Kallstrom on loan from Spartak Moscow.

There was bad news for Liverpool, too, as they missed out on a late deal for Yevhen Konoplyanka.

If you want to find out how deadline day panned out in more detail, check out Goal's in-depth guide.
Saturday, February 1, 2014 10:00