A quick look at the top headlines for today.
- Pele thinks that Ronaldo is not the world’s best, yet. Duh…
- Chelsea are in discussions with Murcia to bring Pedro Leon to the Premiership. Fits with Roman’s views, I dare say.
- A bit of self-indulgent backscratching – John Stevanja, owner of the Keeper Skool blog, has put together a list of the top 5 Premiership goalkeepers in the 2006/2007 season. Good analysis, and goes beyond the regular practice of just putting together a list and prancing about in your underwear…ummm, just go read it.
- Brad Friedel wants to play for Blackburn till he’s 40 (although he’s already on contract to play till 37). With his shot-stopping skills, why can’t he?
However, keeper skills suffer sharply when they get old, and Friedel (along with James and Lehmann and van der Sar) will be hoping to stretch their careers out for as long as possible.
- Will Manchester City actually get any investment, or will they just keep talking about it?
- David James wants players to voluntarily give up part of their wages if they perform badly.
A noble thought, but how does this help fans? Will the threat of losing wages push players to play better or put more effort in? Shouldn’t we be more concerned with finding ways to motivate players for all games?
I understand that James is looking at it from the fans’ angle and he has talked about this before, saying that fans don’t deserve insipid displays.
I don’t think that players deserve booing and abuse from the fans either (refer to England’s treatment in Spain for the Andorra game as a classic example), nor do they deserve attacks from opposing fans.
Football, as life, is not fair. Both sides need to give ground and make it better.
Nevertheless, performance-related pay is a good idea.
- Michael Owen will delay his return – after his two years of injuries, he should probably lay off till the start of the next season.
- Kevin Nolan’s column in the BBC
- The Italian Referees Association (AIA) has suspended 7 referees and two linesmen after an investigation threw up new allegations of matchfixing for the 2004-2005 season.
This comes from a match-fixing probe conducted by magistrates in Naples which named 48 people suspected of wrongdoing.
Could this be the reason that Italy was not awarded Euro 2012 (which went to Poland and Ukraine instead)?
- Real Madrid and Valencia will have a real go at each other at the Bernabeu on Saturday, with the Primera Liga title still in sight and 8 games left in the season.
Real Madrid are 3rd on 54 points, Valencia 4th on 53, Barcelona 1st on 59 and Sevilla 2nd on 56.
- Roger Mosey, BBC Director of Sport, feels that football can help solve social issues. Let’s hope he’s right.
- In the World Soccer Power Rankings, we have Manchester United on top, Chelsea hot on their tails and the usual riff-raff from Europe in tow.
1. Manchester United, 2. Chelsea, 3. Inter Milan, 4. Liverpool, 5. 5. Sevilla, 7. AC Milan, 8. AS Roma, 9. Club America (token non-European club) and 10. Sao Paulo (second token non-European club).
Head over to SI for a closer look with Jonah Freedman.
- Football is changing in Europe, thanks to Michel Platini. As Mike Collett reports, UEFA is pushing for a more egalitarian, more inclusive model of football.
More on Reuters.
- Manchester United News Roundup (new column)
- Manchester United vs Chelsea – the race begs for a champion
- Is the Arsenal board acting in Arsenal’s best interests?
- Players attacking referee – are you watching Mr Blatter?
- Coach orders team off after bad refereeing decision
- Can Newcastle beat Chelsea? You’d think not, but they did run them close in their last two games.