An excellent roundup of today top headlines – no Arsenal news thankfully as Arsene Wenger goes in search for David Dein successor and Stan Kroenke tries to grab more Arsenal shares.
Instead, we have a new blog and simply the best news coverage on this planet. The best, you hear me?
- Niall Sloane, BBC head of football, talks about Jacqui Oatley’s debut on BBC Match of the Day. I for one can’t understand why people have such problems with her – she brings in a fresh perspective as would any new commentator, and she has experience. The fact that she’s a woman will only help BBC and football, not hurt it.
Yes, let’s face it, football reporting is historically a man’s field, so it does seem odd at first. But then so does women’s football at first, until you realise that at the end of the day, it’s still football and that’s the important bit.
- Damien Comolli (Tottenham guy) talks to BBC about Lyon’s 6-in-a-row achievement. Did you know that Latvia’s Skonto Riga hold the world record for successive domestic league crowns, clinching their 14th title in 2004? Or that Norway’s Rosenborg have won 13 titles in a row and Scottish clubs Rangers and Celtic have both won nine in a row?
Well now you know.
- Speaking of titles, Inter Milan have now actually managed to win the Serie A title. Of course, they won it against a weakened league, so the real test will be next year when Milan have no points penalty, or two years later after Juventus have had an year in the Prem to establish themselves.
There’s a chance that some people will never accept Inter as proper champions. Who cares? The record books have Inter has Serie A champs twice in a row, and despite Juve’s impending return and Milan’s improvement, Inter must be favourites for next year as well.
- Michael Owen says that he’s faster than ever before thanks to his operation. Considering that the man couldn’t run properly for almost two years you’re not going to trust his judgement on that one, but Kieron Dyer has returned healthy and there’s plenty of optimism that Michael Owen will be a strong force to reckon with next season.
For now he needs rest and a solid pre-season.
- David Pleat tries to pick holes in Jose Mourinho’s tactics, and sounds quite happy at having finally found something to crib about. Mourinho’s choice of Essien at center-back just has me thinking this – why is a 24.5m midfielder playing center-back? For all his qualities Essien is an emergency defender, not a standard defender. KB would have done better, but Jose doesn’t rate him, apparently.
- The Championship gets more interesting as Birmingham go top and now have a shot at winning the title as long as they win their last two games. Sunderland and Derby are close behind, and it promises to be an interesting end to the season.
I’d like to see Derby (David Jones) and Sunderland (Roy Keane, Evans, Simpson, Yorke, Miller) get promoted.
- David James sets a new record for clean sheets in the Premiership. He’s 36, and has 142 clean sheets.
On the other hand, Petr Cech is almost 25 (20th May 1982), is playing for a good team (and he will for several seasons at least) and has around 50 clean sheets already. Odds on him overtaking David James by the time he’s 32? At 10-15 clean sheets a season, that’s what, 6-9 more seasons?
- Steven Gerrard tells Jose Mourinho to stop complaining. His argument? The ref gave it, so let’s get on with it.
Do you still blame Ronaldo for getting Rooney a red card Stevie G? After all, the ref gave it.
In fairness, Gerrard is right – Mourinho’s carping might take the heat away from his players but it’s a cheap method of doing so.
- Terry’s an old-fashioned, tackle-loving English centre-half who goes into games expecting to be kicked.
Ummm, I totally agree Terry, but why were you so upset when Sibierski was all over you in the Newcastle game last night? To be honest you were acting more like Ronaldo than John Terry, and yes, that’s an insult.
Sibierski was awful though, should have been carded for his antics.
- Harry Redknapp wants Carlos Tevez in his team. Get in line, brother, and bring that scotch with you.
- Wenger admits that Lehmann has a temper problem. Ummmm…hello? But Wenger’s the master conspiracy theory expert, so he naturally believes that referees offer Lehmann less protection than they do other referees. Hmmm.
Since I don’t watch EVERY Arsenal game, I can’t say for sure whether Wenger’s right or wrong. I’m tempted to chalk this one up to ‘protecting your own’ instead of being totally bonkers, but the later is possible.
- Liverpool haven’t given up on Simao – I don’t know much about that story (Sky Sports says Benitez pulled the plug on that one after Simao passed the medical), so can’t comment. But it’ll be interesting to see how that story pans out. I’m not sure that Simao will come in unless one or two players leave though.
- David Beckham speaks to the press, and that’s reason enough to mention this here. What’s he saying? Oh, something about coming back against the odds at Real Madrid, or something.
“David was physically not ready for 90 minutes. But David’s quality was very important in the decisive moments of the match with the score at 1-1.
The result keeps our title hopes alive and generates pressure on Barcelona and Sevilla.”
Do you think Steve McClaren heard that?
- Remember that ‘gay sting’ piece I wrote yesterday? I’ve updated it with some pics from Manchester United’s lovebird duo, Fletcher and Ruud van Nistelrooy. Take a look.
- Aston Villa don’t know how to win, Portsmouth need to play better
- Manchester United can beat Milan / Mourinho’s rants but is clearly wrong
- Manchester United Sweep PFA Awards, Pick Your Team of the Season
- Barton’s right, and should leave Manchester City this summer
- Bramble saves Newcastle as Mourinho blames the gods
I’m proud to announce that Ed Harrison, one of our regular authors here at Soccerlens (and a life-long Newcastle fan), has launched a new blog. Predictably, it’s about Newcastle United. And predictably, it’s quite good.
Go have a read – I’ll be profiling the blog separately in a day or two over here and at BlogFC. Feel free to mention it on your blogs and if you’re a Newcastle United fan, in your forums.
He’s written some very interesting material, especially the bits about N’Zogbia and James Milner.
And as it’s no secret, if anyone reading this wants help with setting up their own fan blog, let me know here.