Posts Tagged ‘France’

Former Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti has been confirmed as the new coach of French side Paris Saint-Germain.

The Italian, 52, had held talks earlier this week and there had been lots of rumours about his expected appointment, but it was finally confirmed on Friday at a news conference at the Parc des Princes stadium.

After being sacked in May by Roman, Carlo had initially stated he wanted to take a year off but the lure of PSG and their spending power was too much.

There was a delay because their old boss, 48-year-old, Antoine Kombouare was only sacked on Friday despite being top of the league.

Since the Qatari owners took control there had been lots of talk concerning how long it would be until there was a change of coach, and failure to get out of the group stages of the Europa League gave them the chance to make that change.

It will be interesting to see if Carlo can bring in David Beckham, who he managed at Milan – But the England legend could still stay in America with LA Galaxy.

Carlo managed to win a league and cup double with Chelsea in his first season but was sacked at the end of the 2010/11 campaign, after seeing the Blues finish second in the Premier League having thrown away a huge lead that they had built up.

The French club have already spent £71.3m on players since the change of ownership, this included paying £35.2m for 22-year-old midfielder Javier Pastore from Palermo.

As a player the Italian won everything in club football, this included TWO European Cups and THREE Serie A titles.

During his time as Milan’s coach he led the team to TWO Champions League titles, TWO Fifa World Club Cups and a Serie A title.

It will be interesting to see how he gets on at PSG, one thing is guaranteed, he will be given funds to spend BUT the big question is: ‘Can he make them into one of Europe’s elite???’

By Scott Balaam

Twitter @scottbalaam

By Scott Balaam

SPAIN – Following Barcelona’s demolition of Real Madrid the Catalan side stayed top of beat Osasuna 3-0, Pedrito opened the scoring and Messi grabbed a brace. Barcelona struggled to get to the game, due to transport issues they had to travel 220 miles by train and coach. The Special One got his side back to winning ways when they beat Valencia 2-0 after a Ronaldo double. Real Zaragoza are still bottom and are yet to hit TEN points.

ITALY – Problems for Rafa ahead of their final Champions League match, when they lost 3-1 to surprise package Lazio on Friday and now find themselves in sixth place. The Roman club are second behind Milan who beat Brescia 3-0 after first half goals from Boateng, Robinho and Ibrahimovic. Big guns Juventus and Roma are third and eighth respectively, the latter will be keen to get back into one of the three Champions League qualifying spots as soon as possible.

FRANCE – Lille had a very impressive 6-3 win over Lorient where Sow scored a hat-trick which meant they stayed a point clear at the top. Marseille dopped to fourth following a loss to struggling Nice. After a good run Lyon are now just three points off the top, Lopez scored his second goal in the 94th minute to give them a win over Montpellier.
GERMANY – Borussia Dortmund are flying in Germany, they are TEN points clear of Mainz. They beat Nuremburg 2-0 away from home yesterday.  Big names Shalke and Wolfsburg are still struggling, the latter will struggle to keep hold of the highly sought after Dzeko in January due to their lack of competitiveness. Schalke did manage to pull off a shock over the weekend when they beat Bayern Munich 2-0 after goals from Jurado and Howedes.


There were goals all over the place this weekend …

SPAIN – La Liga is a officially a two horse race now, Real lead Barca by a point but the two sides meet next Monday. On Saturday, Jose’s side won 5-1 against Athletic Bilbao which saw Ronaldo score a hat-trick. Barcelona smashed Almeria 8-0, Messi scored three and Bojan grabbed a brace. Villarreal are seven points behind the Catalan side and whilst their season is going well I can’t see them getting into the top two. The bottom three is made up of Real Zaragoza, Levante and Almeria – It looks like it’s going to be a hard battle for the three sides but new boys Hercules are sat in mid-table and doing well.

ITALY - Milan now have a three point lead at the top, they beat Fiorentina    1-0 whilst second placed Lazio drew 1-1 with Parma – Ex-Lazio hero Crespo scored against his old side. Roma are on a good run and now find themsleves in the Champions League qualifiying spots, Juve had a comfortable 2-0 with over Genoa – The game kicked off at lunchtime and was over before the pasta had even been served as the two goals were scored by within 25 minutes. Sampdoria had a 3-2 win over Lecce, the lively Pazzini scored a hat-trick. Chievo shocked Inter 2-1, the Milan side are strugging under Rafa and must be looking at Real wishing Jose had stayed put.

GERMANY – Second placed Mainz got back to winning ways as they beat Borussia M’gladbach 3-2, they were 2-1 down but came back to win. The result of the day saw Schalke finally show some form as they smashed Werder Bremen 4-0 – Raul bagged himself a hat-trick, a big boost ahead of the Champions League games. Bayern Munich drew 1-1 with third placed Bayern Munich whilst top dogs Borussia Dortmund found thmeselves 1-0 down against SC Freiburg before goals in the 75th and 78th minute gave them a 2-1 win.

FRANCE – Montpellier are now top following a 1-0 win over Nice whilst Brest have now started to drop down the table. PSG are sitting in second after a 2-1 win over Caen, having struggled over recent years they would love the opportunity to play in the Champions League. Lyon are still struggling in mid-table and if they want to retain their Champions League position then they’re going to need to get a run together.

HOLLAND – Top placed PSV drew 0-0 with Ajax whilst second placed FC Twente failed to make-up any ground as they lost 2-1 to AZ Alkmaar. Mid-table De Graafschap beat Roda JC 3-1 where Poepon scored a hat-trick. Williem II are bottom with just two points, they were havily beaten 5-0 yesterday on the road to Heerenvenn and look odds on to go down at the end of the season.

SPAIN – Real Madrid were knocked off top spot – well for 24 hours. Barca beat third placed Villarreal 3-1 at home before Real had a hard fought 1-0 win against Sporting Gijon where Gonzalo Higuain scored a late winner. There is a one point gap between the top two and Villarreal are a five points below Barcelona. Whilst Jermaine Pennant is having a good season on loan at Stoke his parent club Real Zaragoza are still stuck at the bottom of the league on seven points.

ITALY – Lazio moved back top of the league but only for a few hours following a 2-0 win against bitter rivals Napoli where Zarate and Floccari both scored. Milan regained top spot in the late game last night when they beat city rivals Inter 1-0 thanks to a 5th minute Ibrahimovic penalty. Saturday’s big game saw Roma travel to Turin where they drew with Juve 1-1 thanks to a Francesco Totti penalty.

GERMANY – The big match in Germany was on Friday night where Borussia Dortmund beat Hamburg 2-0 to stay top and they are seven points clear of second placed Bayer Leverkusen who beat FC St Pauli 1-0 on Saturday. Bayern Munich are now 6th following a 3-0 win over Nuremberg, but they find themselves 11 points off top spot. Big spenders Schalke still can’t get out of the bottom three, they managed to gain a point on Saturday when they drew with Wolfsburg.

FRANCE – Brest are just holding onto top spot, they’re one point clear of Lille and Montpellier. On Saturday the league leaders dropped two points at home to struggling Sochaux, it looks like it’s just a matter of time before Brest drop down the table. Lille helped their goal difference when they smashed Caen 5-2 on Saturday, big boys Lyon have started to make a move up the table – They’re now 8th after beating Nice 1-0 yesterday.

Jay Bothroyd has been called into Fabio Capello’s squad to face France on Wednesday, the lively striker has scored 15 goals already this season which has helped to move Cardiff to top of the Championship.

The ex-Arsenal trainee could become only the second non-top flight player to put on an England shirt in 20 years, Watford’s Scott Loach has recently been named in the squad but hasn’t actully played. David Nugent was the only player to have put on the Three Lions shirt as a lower league player which was back in 2007 when he was at Preston.

Bothroyd, 28, has experienced top flight football in England with Arsenal and Coventry as well as having had a spell in Italy with Perugia. Having impressed over the last couple of years the Cardiff striker will be hoping to do enough to get a call up for the next set of Euro qualifiers.

Having been left out of the U21 squad Andy Carroll has been named in the squad to take on the French, whilst the Newcastle striker has had a lot of issues away fromt he game he’s really impressed on the field and deserves his call-up.The squad is a very youthful one which includes Manchester United’s centre back Chris Smalling and Sunderland’s Jordan Henderson.

One player who missed out was Kevin Davies, having come on against Montenegro and scoring twice in front of the England manager last weekend the Bolton striker can be forgiven for being upset at missing out.

The squad is:

Goalkeepers: Foster, Green, Hart

Defenders: A Cole, R Ferdinand, Gibbs, Jagielka, Lescott, Richards, Smalling, Terry.

Midfielders: Barry, Gerard, Henderson, A Johnson, Milner, Walcott, Wilshere, A Young

Strikers: Agbonlahor, Bothroyd, Carroll, Crouch

We’re on a European Tour …

A brief run through the top leagues around the EU.

ITALY – Lazio stay top and are the first side to reach 20 points after a 1-0 win in Palermo, they now have a four point lead over Inter who beat Genoa on Friday and five points ahead of Milan who lost 2-1 to Juventus on Saturday. Juve legend Del Piero became the Turin’s side all-time leading scorer with his 179th top flight goal. Next up for the leaders is Roma in the ‘Derby della Capitale’ next Sunday.

SPAIN – Real Madrid stay top after 3-1 over plucky Hercules, the new boys went 1-0 up through Trezeguet in the third minute but Di Maria equalized in the 52nd minute and then a brace from in-form Ronaldo in the last ten minute gave the Special One another three points. Barcelona had a very impressive 5-0 win against Sevilla, the Andalucíans were 2-0 down before Kanoute was sent off for a second yellow card. Both Messi and Villa scored twice and the lesser known Daniel also got on the score-sheet. Valencia dropped points at home to struggling Real Zaragoza, the visitors even played the last 20 minutes with just ten men.

GERMANY – The top two met at Mainz’s stadium, visitors Borussia Dortmund ran out 2-0 winners after goals in both halves and moved up to top. Cologne had a very good result when they beat Hamburg 3-2 thanks largely to a Novakovic hat-trick. Schalke had hoped their Champions League form would help boost their league displays but this week they lost 1-0 to Bayer Leverkusen. Giants Bayern Munich had a comfortable 4-2 win over SC Freiburg after Demichelis opened the scoring and then Gomes, Tymoschuk and Kroos scored second half goals.

The big boys can take their mind off their mixed league form and enjoy a week of Champions league and Europa League action.

A mad weekend in Holland where former European Champions Feyenoord were thrashed 10-0 against PSV, Lazio continued to lead Serie A and Real Madrid hit six to stay top. Rennes lead the French league whilst Lyon are mid-table and in Germany champions Bayern Munich are struggling.

SPAIN – Real Madrid thumped Racing Santander 6-1 where Higuain started the scoring before Ronaldo scored four for the first time in his career and Ozil completed the rout. Jose Mourinho, had said he expected his team to start performing to the level he wanted in January, if that’s the case there are some exciting times ahead. Villarreal held onto second after beating Atletico Madrid, Barca sit in third after a 2-0 win against bottom placed Real Zaragoza thanks to a brace from Messi.

ITALY – Lazio stay top after beating Cagliari 2-1, the Roman side are having their best ever start to a season. Floccari opened the scoring before Mauri scored the winner. In contrast Roma are struggling and a 0-0 draw with bottom placed Parma didn’t help. Milan beat Napoli 2-1 last night to move ahead of city rivals Inter into second thanks to goals from Robinho and Ibrahimovic. Chievo moved into fourth place above Juve after a 2-1 win over Cesena after Thereau scored a last minute winner.

GERMANY – Mainz lead the pack, they’ve had an excellent season so far having played nine, won eight and lost one. On Saturday, they beat Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 after Ivanschitz scored in the 70th minute. Borussia Dortmund are also flying high in second having collected 22 points from a possible 27. Cologne are currently bottom with five points and rather surprisingly big spending Schalke are still in the bottom three. After winning the double last season Bayern haven’t had a good start to the season, they’re in mid-table and only managed a 0-0 draw against Hamburg on Friday.

FRANCE – Rennes are top, they lead a pack of three which includes Marseille. Big boys Monaco are struggling and currently sit two from bottom. Lyon will be shocked to find themselves just below mid-table having had a very average start to the season.

HOLLAND – The main story was that PSV smashed Feyenoord 10-0 which included a Reis hat-trick. The result leaves the once European giants three from bottom. PSV are top, with last season’s league winners FC Twente in second and Ajax in third.

Whilst it’s still very early in the season a lot of leagues aren’t going to form, the following months are going to be very exciting ….

So two days on and the Spain public are still celebrating, mind you had England won I would celebrate for the next month. On the whole I enjoyed the World Cup, it started slowly but after the first two group games the pace picked up and teams started to play as they wanted to rather than to close out their opponents and not lose.

What were the highlights …

The best team were Spain, some people were so impressed which is something I find hard to understand, they look to keep possession and pass the ball around as much as possible. Spain mix their play, generally they opt for short passes but when there is the option to play in long they will do … they remind me of an International Arsenal.

The most disappointing team had to be France, not just on the pitch but because of their internal bickering. England and Italy weren’t far behind, none of these nations got going and they all headed home with their tails between their legs.

Two players who impressed me most were Wesley Sneijder and Diego Forlan, Sneijder ran the Dutch team, I wasn’t surprised having watched him do the same all season with Inter. We all know Forlan has scored a lot of goals in Spain but I was very impressed with him, everything positive Uruguay did he was involved in – I would like to see him back in the Premier but I can’t see him leaving Spain.

Two excellent young players who impressed me were Golden Boot winner Muller and compatriot Mesut Ozil, they are both worth watching over the next couple of years to see how they develop.

There were some great goals; it all started with a cracker from Siphiwe Tshabalala in South Africa’s opener against Mexico. Brazil’s Maicon got his side off to a winning start with a sweet finish when he broke down the right and curled the ball with the outside of his boot past Myong-Guk Ri at his near post. My favourite goal has to be Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s long range shot in the semi-final against Uruguay – A rocket. My

favourite match came very late, it was a toss up between the Netherlands vs. Uruguay semi final and the Germany vs. Uruguay third place play-off … Both games were very entertaining but the best was Germany vs. Uruguay, a great game which kept me entertained.

There were some great celebrations, South Africa and Ghana celebrated like they’d won the World Cup every time they scored but the most heart felt celebration was the Iniesta’s winner in the final when he took off his shirt to display the message “Dani Jarque siempre con nosotros” (Dani Jarque always with us), this was in memory of the ex-Espanyol and Spanish U21 international who died last August of a heart attack aged just 26.

Now, it’s back to normal life – our national leagues will be starting soon, next week teams will find out who they’ll face in the Champions League 3rd round and the transfer deadline is only a month and a half away ….

Enjoy the friendlies, pick your fantasy teams and get ready for the roller coaster that football always is ….

Be lucky … Keep smiling

Scottie B

As an England fan I am still struggling coming to terms with Sunday’s defeat, whilst I wasn’t particularly optimistic going into the match I thought we would’ve fared better than we did. For some reason England never got started, they played without and passion or heart. There are now some big decisions to be made, the FA have to work out if they can afford to pay Fabio off – £12 million is a lot of money to get rid of, especially as they would need to recruit a replacement.

If the FA sacks Fabio who will replace him? Roy Hodgson is set to take the Liverpool job, Harry would probably jump at it but then the FA seem to have issues with him as they did with Terry Venables when his contract wasn’t renewed back in 96. They want someone who is squeaky clean; I am huge Graham Taylor fan like any Watford fan but he shouldn’t have replaced the late Sir Bobby Robson after 1990 – That should’ve been Brian Clough’s job.

Now it’s time to sit back and enjoy watching the rest … I have money on David Villa to finish top scorer and Argentina to win so it’s not hard to work out who I’ll be supporting. It would be nice to win some money, it will go towards the therapy needed after watching England – jokes aside there are going to be some great games ahead. Tonight I’d like to see Spain go through, with Villa scoring a couple and Ronaldo getting sent off!!! On Friday the Dutch will be looking to use their attacking prowess to get the better of Brazil’s defence. The following day is Germany vs Argentina , nobody has got close the Argies so far – whilst nobody can doubt their strike force Argentina’s defence has looked shaky, it will be interesting to see how they handle Germany’s forward line with the impressive Turkish born Ozil, Muller and the two Polish born strikers Klose and Podolski.

We are now half way through game 54 where Paraguay are drawing with Japan – There are still plenty of games to watch so be sure to enjoy.

I would say “Come on England” but as that’s no defunct “Come on Football”

Be lucky … keep smiling

So far so good … well for some!!!

We’re a week and a half into the World Cup, to say it started slowly would be an understatement. Sadly the first set of games didn’t provide any real fireworks as we had hoped for. The opening ceremony was entertaining unfortunately the football couldn’t match it. The so called ‘big’ nations have failed to shine except for Argentina and Germany, only for the latter to lose their second game to Serbia after smashing the Aussies 4-0.

Holland have looked solid as have Brazil whilst favourites Spain got off to a surprise start when they lost to Switzerland despite having over 60% of possession. Last night they got back to winning ways with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Honduras thanks to two goals from David Villa – He should have completed his hat-trick when Spain were awarded a spot kick only for Villa to side foot the ball wide of the post.

The English and Italians have had shockers, both nation’s media having a field day abusing their respective national bosses concerning selection and tactics. After two games both nations only have two points, anything less than a win in their final game is likely to see them head home. England face Slovenia whilst Italy are taking on Slovakia.

France have been the most disappointing nation, many will say they didn’t deserve to qualify after Henry’s infamous handball against the Irish and it’s karma. They have failed to perform in both games; they started off with a draw against Uruguay (The Uruguayans finished with 10 men) and then lost 2-0 to Mexico. During the Mexico game Anelka is believed to have had an argument with French boss Domenech which resulted in Chelsea’s striker being sent home. The following day the players refused to train … it will be interesting to see how they get on in their last game against South Africa, for any hope of qualifying they need to win.

The big tie this week is Brazil vs Portugal, having drawn 0-0 with Ivory Coast in their first game the Portuguese smashed North Korea 7-0 yesterday to have one foot in the next round. The winners of the game will end up group winners.

An interesting week of football ahead …

Be lucky … Keep smiling