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All Things Footie | Thursday, August 30 | Jordan

Blanc-ety Blanc

So Maybe he is coming now. Allegedly flying in for a medical after agreeing a deal worth �2m a year, Laurent seems to have signed a one year deal with the only problem now being Inter. Massimo Moratti, Inter president, has apparently asked for a fee from United as Blanc has three years left on his contract with the Italian club - one can only assume United have paid up.

Liverpool have also replaced the clown price of goalkeeping with Polish 'keeper Jerzy Dudek. The Feyenoord stopper has waived a payoff from the Rotterdam club to hurry through the move, his agent Jan De Zeeuw had this to say...

"Jerzy has made a big sacrifice of around �300,000 to make sure it goes through. That shows his desire to become a Liverpool player."

I wonder if it is as strong as his desire to join Arsenal was? Will the foreign office issue Dudek with a work permit before Friday? They seem to mess clubs about most other times of the year so there should be no reason for a change of heart now. Houllier thinks the addition of Dudek will make them 'potential Champions League winners' - hmmm, I have to disagree there Gerard. There's a surprise in store fo him at least.

It's not unlikely Pep Guardiola will join the reds before Friday, Champions League football and an understrength midfield make Liverpool an understandable choice for the ex-Barca player.

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All Things Footie | Wednesday, August 29 | Jordan

Germany vs. England Betting

Sprting Odds have e-mailed me with details of what sounds like a top promotion before the game on Saturday - if you sign up by clicking HERE and place a �5 bet on the game before kick off you will get....

1) Germany v England � 10 Pounds for EVERY headed goal!
2) Germany v England - Free 10 Pound Bet on who will receive the first booking (I like this one)
3) AND a further free 10 Pound on the FA CUP!

I think it's a class offer anyway, if you head on over to the betting page I've put up a quick run down of the odds and stuff. Good luck everyone.

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All Things Footie | | Jordan

It's Not All Black and Blanc

It appears that Laurent Blanc's move to Manchester United is not as forgone a conclusion as previously thought. Inter are now reluctant to let him leave - with the defensive crisis they encountered last season dwelling on their minds.

With Kevin Hofland's father and agent also saying he will be staying at PSV for at least this season (but when did you believe agents?) and Valencia putting a 'no chance mate' price tag of �37.1m on Roberto Ayala's head, United's defensive crisis deepens.

Who knows, perhaps my original prediction of Philliipe Mexes will turn out to be right after all...

Hutch the Hammer

You've got to give Sunderland credit for the deal - buy an unfashionable player for �1.5m then sell him three years later when he's just as unfashionable for �5.1m! Genius. Now I know how they afforded the Stadium of Light. In case you're unaware of the news, Don Hutchinson has joined West Ham from Sunderland in a deal worth just over five million of your finest English pounds.

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All Things Footie | | Jordan

Start With a Blanc Sheet of Paper...

So...... United have signed Laurent Blanc from Inter, should provide some valuabe experience in the void left by yip yap Stam the big Dutchman, and someone to kiss Barthez's head. Will he be able to fill his boots at 35 years old though that's the question? probably not, that's the answer. It's clearly been Blanc because of the impending Champions League deadline (Friday) but Ferguson must surely have someone else in mind to bring in before Christmas or he can kiss the Premiership goodbye. Oh sod it he can kiss it bye now if he wants too.

Fulham have splashed out considerable cash (the best part of �13m) on the French striker Steve Marlett I can't say I've heard that much about the lad to be honest, I thought Eric Carriere was the latest gem to be unearthed in the in French football mine - I guess not though. It's a lot of money, but at least Saha now has a partner, you have to feel for Barry Hayles and Luis Boa Morte though after their performances last year. They aren't quite Premiership quality though unfortunately and I fear the buy is another wise move by the wily Jean Tigana - not a cheap one though.

Silvinho will probably be on his way at the end of the week too, another lad you've got to feel sorry for. Celta Vigo look set to snap up the silky South American for around �5m. Ashley Cole's maturity and assurance combined with his attacking flair puts him ahead of the little Brazillian on Arsene Wenger's team sheet and Silvio Mendes Campos is too good to be sitting on the bench all season. He seems a great bloke though and I sense that even though he was only with Arsenal a short time he's going to be missed - good luck Silvi.

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All Things Footie | Monday, August 27 | Jordan

All hail (and disagree with) the second All Things Footie weekly (Premiership) awards.....

Performace of the week : Aston Villa vs Manchester United
Player of the week : Peter Schmeichel (Aston Villa)
Goal of the week : Kevin Lisbie (Charlton vs Ipswich)
Team of the week :
Peter Schmeichel
Aston Villa
Mark Delaney
Aston Villa
Rio Ferdinand
Leeds
Marcel Desailly
Chelsea
David Weir
Everton
Robert Pires
Arsenal
George Boateng
Aston Villa
Seth Johnson
Derby
Damien Duff
Blackburn
Matt Jansen
Blackburn
Duncan Ferguson
Everton

Think I'm talking rubbish? want to object to the inclusion of Peter Schmeichel? (go on, I dare you) - head on over to the forum and make your noise.

In a little addendum to the Jaap Stam issue, since writing this morning I've read a quote from Sir Alex about having someone lined up... I reiterate my thoughts regarding Kevin Hofland and Phillipe Mexes (who I watched as a 16 year old in the FIFA under 20's World Cup a couple of years ago - and he looked fantastic then). However I will add that Fergie may be worried about signing a young player to fill such experienced boots, leading to the possibility of Laurent Blanc or Valencia's Roberto Ayala, both experienced players but age surely favours the latter. Maybe he'll buy in Blanc and one of the youngsters? you couldn't say United don't need another defender and youth + experience could easily be a formula for success. It's all down to the shrewdness of the Scotsman now, th two week gap and international games before the next game should help matters though.

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All Things Footie | | Jordan

The Title's Over?

Who says so? It's a bit of long shot, Everton may be top for a couple of weeks (so long as Liverpool beat Bolton) but it's going a bit far.

Now your proper challengers - Arsenal, Leeds, Chelsea and rank outsiders Man Utd - should go toward making this an interesting season.

As I said a few weeks ago I don't think United have got the strong, versatile and talented defense a club with title aspirations requires. Selling Jaap Stam to Lazio is the final nail in the coffin, United now have no defence - Irwin, Silvestre, the Neville brothers, Ronny Johnsen and Wes Brown - not good enough. Wes Brown is by far the best, Ronny Johnsen and especially Dennis Irwin are ageing fast and the less said about Silvestre and the brothers Grimm the better.

I'd like to think Ferguson has a replacement lined up (and I'm not talking about 35 year old Laurent Blanc) but from the sounds of it it was a heat of the moment thing, Stam's comments make intersting reading...

"I can think of no good sporting reason why I should be sold. For three years I have been [United's best defender] in the first team and we have won every trophy we could.

"I wanted to sit down with Sir Alex to have a real chat about some of the things that had appeared in my book and caused so much trouble.

"I wanted to clear the air but when we sat down for the talks, they took a very different turn. Ferguson started to go on about wanting a different player for my position. He asked me if I would be happy to stay on the bench all season.

"I was shocked. I could not believe what he was saying. He must have known what my answer would be. I said: "No way". He then said there was a club in for me and that United had already accepted the fee. The situation was crystal clear. I was being forced out. If that was what Sir Alex wanted then I had no desire to stay at the club.

"If I hadn't been forced out, though, there is no way I would have signed for Lazio. I had signed a new contract with Manchester United last winter. I was going to be at the club until 2005. I wanted to end my career with United and I thought I would be there for life."

My guesses for the replacement? Kevin Hofland of PSV or Phillipe Mexes of Auxerre both classy centre halves with superb distribution - very much in the Frank De Boer/Laurent Blanc mould. Which makes me wonder whether the Blanc talk is a cheeky smokescreen hiding the approach of 'the new Laurent Blanc'.

The Villa vs. United game yesterday was a blinder - Schmeichel was superb, but seemed the only player on the pitch to actually think Villa could have taken the three points.

Later on today the now indispensible All Things Footie weekly awards will be up - so check back at teatime!

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All Things Footie | Thursday, August 23 | Jordan

The ITV Sport Treasure Chest

The gropus for this seasons Champions League have been drawn and with no further ado;

  • Real Madrid
  • Roma
  • Lokomotiv Moscow
  • Anderlecht
  • Liverpool
  • Borussia Dortmund
  • Dimano Kiev
  • Boavista
  • Arsenal
  • Real Mallorca
  • Schalke 04
  • Panathinaikos
  • Lazio
  • Galatasaray
  • PSV Eindhoven
  • Nantes
  • Juventus
  • Porto
  • Rosenborg
  • Celtic
  • Barcelona
  • Lyon
  • Bayer Leverkusen
  • Fenerbahce
  • Manchester United
  • Deportivo La Coruna
  • Olympiakos
  • Lille
  • Bayern Munich
  • Spartak Moscow
  • Feyenoord
  • Sparta Prague

The opening games for the home nations clubs are -

September 11th Liverpool vs Boavista and Real Mallorca vs Arsenal
September 12th Celtic vs Rosenborg and Olympiakos vs Manchester United

It should be a good draw and the Champions League is clearly getting stronger every year - you can understand why the format had to be expanded. How many teams haven't you ever seen play in the last couple of years? I can only think of Lille. Real Madrid and Roma in one group, Juventus and Celtic - but the group that catches my eye the most is Lazio, Galatasaray and PSV (Nantes are no slouches either).

Of the home nations Liverpool seem to have the easiest group - with Kiev a nasty away trip (they should compensate with a win at home though), Dortmund don't look that impressive and unless Boavista are vastly better than the Porto side that Liverpool played in the UEFA cup last season - there should be no problems seeing them off. I don't fancy being an Anderlecht supporter though, they might (if they're lucky) get three or four points out of their 6 games. I'm looking forward to Spartak Moscow - Sparta Prague too, should be a belter.

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All Things Footie | Wednesday, August 22 | Jordan

Midweek Fun & Games

By some divine miracle Leeds managed to make it as far as the 78th mintue with 11 men on the pitch - and dirty Danny Mills even managed to make it to the 88th. You may say that you can't argue with Leeds' tactics as they came away with 3 points but I for one hope that if they keep playing like that they get relegated, everyone injured with horrible, painful, long-term problems and Elland Road burns down. hope they get a really big telling off. :)

Luckily for the viewing public there were eleven men out there who were interested in playing football and to be fair, Leeds did well to hold them off. Nigel Martyn was superb and Rio Ferdinand was excellent too but with only three non-defenders on the pitch by the end of the game all the others had to do was stand there and get in the way.

For the record - I think the referee should make sure both sides are aware that a free kick is about to be taken (a subtle difference from waiting until the defenders are ready), which I don't think Jeff Winter did. It happened last year in Italy and Spain, on one occasion Fracesco Toldo was tying his shoelace when the ball was struck into the net. That kind of goal isn't fair on the defending or the attacking team - it's no achievement to hit a ball into an unprotected goal.

Winter was shocking, I can't say I've ever seen a worse refereeing performance, the game was out of control from the start and the first thing Winter should have done was get rid of Danny Mills, be it indicating to David O'Leary that it would be an idea for him to come off or just brandishing the red card early. At least that would have stopped him trying to injure anyone in a red shirt.

The rest of the Leeds team were cynical, mis-timed, brutish and completely uninterested in playing football. Though Viduka's goal was superb and Arsenal were to blame for not closing Kewell down early or getting a tackle in on Viduka.

Arsenal seemed afraid to shoot, trying to pass the ball into the net - a problem I thought Wenger would have addressed after last season. More blasts from 30 yards is what Arsenal need, it's not like Arsenal haven't got the players to score from that range.

Pires and Ashley Cole were undoubtably the stars of last night, Pires was everywhere - instigating just about every attack from both sides and through the middle. Cole's tackling was superb and despite being clattered all night from Mills, Bowyer and Alan Smith he popped up everywhere tackling with timing and poise and attacking with a sharp touch and instict of a striker.

In other matches Bolton earned a win against thanks to a superb goal from Michael Ricketts, and two strikes from Ipswich new boy Finidi George earned them a 3-0 win against a poor Derby side.

A quick ha ha to Newcastle for conceding four goals against Troyes, you really don't deserve to be in the UEFA cup boys. Well done to Villa from overcoming FC Basle and Liverpool knocking another 4 goals against FC Haka was hardly a surprise.

It's my birthday today so I'm off to celebrate! Thanks Arsenal for giving me a shocking 2-1 defeat to cheer me up.

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All Things Footie | Monday, August 20 | Jordan

Announcement

All Things Footie is proud to announce a new partnership with Sporting Odds - the on-line betting service. You can now show your support for ATF by signing up with Sporting Odds (go through the above link or the small button on the right) and hey, you might just win a bob or two in the process.

Details about the deal can be found on the new betting page and don't worry, this site is not about to become a banner infested monstrosity.

Les Sealey

On a more sombre note, I was sad to hear of the passing of West Ham goalkeeping coach Les Sealey. Only 43 years old, the ex West Ham, Bury, Leyton Orient, Blackpool, Man Utd, Birmingham, Aston Villa, Coventry, Luton and Plymouth Goalkeeper died of a heart attack leaving behind his wife and two sons, Joe and George - both trainee goalkeepers at West Ham. Great condolances to all Sealey's family and friends.

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All Things Footie | | Jordan

Where To Start?

Should it be with Michael Owen rescuing Liverpool's first game of the season from what would have been a deserved draw with West Ham? Or maybe with Arsenal's impressive (if slightly flattering) 4-0 defeat of Middlesborough at the Riverside?

Some would say that Fulham putting up a better fight than Liverpool against United was the most impressive performance (at the same time surely confirming to Alex Ferguson that Paul Scholes is scandalously wasted in the new system). Maybe the overpowering mediocrity of Aston Villa and Tottenham's thrilling 0-0 draw.

However much I want to be different though I'm going to have to take the same line as most and give a big round of applause to Bolton for stuffing Leicester at Filbert street an incredible 5-0. Describing Leicester's shortcomings would take all day, they were just poor in every department. Peter Taylor claims that only Frank Sinclair and Muzzy Izzet came out of the game with any credit - although how I don't know.

Now for a new thing, the All Things Footie weekly (Premiership) awards.....

Performace of the week : Bolton vs Leicester
Player of the week : Per Frandsen (Bolton)
Goal of the week : Alan Smith (Leeds vs Southampton)
Team of the week :
David Seaman
Arsenal
Chris Riggott
Derby
Christian Dailly
West Ham
Olof Mellberg
Aston Villa
Michael Gray
Sunderland
Kevin Nolan
Bolton
Per Frandsen
Bolton
Robert Pires
Arsenal
Fabrizio Ravanelli
Derby
Michael Owen
Liverpool
Kevin Phillips
Sunderland

The Robbie Fowler situation seems to have sorted itself out - with Fowler apologising to Liverpool assistant manager Phil Thompson. I have heard a (completely unsolicited) account of the whole situation.

Apparently Fowler was practising penalties after training, then Thompson staring taking the nets down. Fowler nearly hits Houllier's number two with the ball and Thompson gets a bit irate - accusing the striker of deliberately trying to hit him. This results in Fowler saying something along the lines of...

'If I'd wanted to hit you I'd have knocked your bloody head off'

Could be completely wrong of course but it's a good story.

Oh and well done to Blindasabat for remembering the start of 4-Aways, I didn't forget but I didn't have time this week to choose (after last seasons mauling of everyone I'm thinking about standing down as a competitor). A very respectable opening 8 points gives him an early advantage over everyone else who forgot/couldn't be bothered - and this year there will definately be a proze of some description, I can't say what yet because I don't know. I know I was meant to sort one out for last year but I had loads to do and no money to sort one out in the end, sorry everyone. I do promise one this year though :)

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All Things Footie | Friday, August 17 | Jordan

New Rant

I've just uploaded the official All Things Footie pre-season rant for your reading pleasure. Head over to the rants section or go straight to the crisp, freshly uploaded one here. Enjoy!

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All Things Footie | Thursday, August 16 | Jordan

Ruud Awakening

Might as well get the headline out of the way early in the season. I toyed with 'the future's bright.... the future's orange' but thought it best to keep the Dutch triumphalism toned down.

To detail England�s faults and the Dutch strengths (not least being able to bring Hasselbaink off the bench when starting Kluivert and Van Nistelrooy) would take longer than necessary to make the point. The point being that although England have certainly made progress since Eriksson took charge, all we have is the embryo of a great team and there is a lot more still to do.

Through the patriotic haze we must remember that beating Albania, Finland and in competitive games is more what a country of England�s supposed stature should achieve and not something to be all that proud of.

To be fair to Sven there wasn't a lot he could do, the Dutch football was impeccable - crisp passing, direct at times elegant and whimsical at others. Cross-field balls that tore England�s narrow formation to pieces, and there lies the one mistake I thought Eriksson made last night.

Van Bommelled

For a team with Holland�s ability to rip defenders to shreds out wide - utilising Zenden, Overmars, Reiziger and Van Bronkhorst - playing with three across midfield and assigning Carragher to the non-existent role of picking up the man behind the strikers, was suicide. Carragher looked overworked and underskilled trying to contain Cocu and Van Bommel - with Beckham, Scholes and Hargreaves breaking from midfield - and was arguably at fault for both goals. Van Bommel should have been closed down quicker before he was allowed a shot, however it's difficult to find fault with anyone for that impeccable strike, and Van Nistelrooy shouldn�t have been allowed to turn as easily shortly before the second.

The practical upshot of this tactical mistake was the Gary Neville and Ashley Cole were left to contain over a third of the Dutch side and the players posing the most significant attacking threat.

That said, Van Nistelrooy showed Andy Cole a thing or two about being a centre forward.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that Andy Cole's presence up front was as much of an attacking threat to Holland�s defence as a I was, in the pub. His first touch and his concrete inability to think and move at the same time exposed only how clueless the lad is when it comes to performing on the international stage, or for that matter in the FA Sunday Trophy. How he's survived the best part of half a decade as a forward for the most successful club in the country only goes to show that even Alex Ferguson can get it wrong.

Scholes looked lively and Beckham did give us one phenomenal run, Owens' second half cameo gave us a bright spot - although why Sven partnered him with Cole instead of Fowler is a mystery to me. Hargreaves and Ashley Cole overlapped nicely a couple of times but had little time given the ferocity of the Dutch wide men and Carrick's second half appearance certainly gave a glimpse of a bright future.

The Future's Bright... The Future's England

At least the U21's gave us something to cheer, a superb performance from the youngsters on Tuesday night must have given David Platt something to cheer. John Terry produced an impressive captains performance and the midfield was bossed by Fulham's Sean Davis with an confident and accomplished performance. Chadwick was also excellent running constantly, twisting and turning leaving the Dutch mystified.

I'm sure you're very bored of reading my ramblings by now so I'll just say, Jermain Defoe.

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All Things Footie | Tuesday, August 14 | Jordan

Robbies Rebellion

After (allegedly) having a barney with Liverpool assistant manager Phil Thompson, Robbie Fowler was left out of Liverpools squad on Sunday. With the likely aquisition of Croatian youngster Milan Baros, places in the Anfield forward line are hard to come by, with Houllier preferring Owen, Heskey and Litmanen also above Robbie.

Sven Goran Eriksson has suggested that moving on may be the best option. The Englishman's name is in Eriksson's first XI but if he's not playing he can't realistically be there for long - the Swede has advised Lazio that the man with a plaster on his nose and a chip on his shoulder would be a useful signing.

lead the way my spirit guide

Marcel Desailly is flattered by a possible interest from Roma, and his old mentor Fabio Capello...

"All I can say is that I am astonished by this news and I am, at the same time, proud that it comes from Capello, whom I consider my spiritual father."

Ex-Leicester goalkeeper Kasey Keller has arrived at White Hart Lane from Rayo Vallecano on a free. With Neil Sullivan in the form of his life it can only be assumed that Keller is backup and there to give Sullivan a gentle nudge every now and then. After three seasons in Spain and being highly regarded by what is usually an incomprehensibly critical media, Keller may feel that the No1 jersey could be there to fight for.

And finally.... I'll be watching the England U21's tonight so expect a small review tomorrow - it should be a good game with Jeffers, Barry, Chadwick, Dunn.... well they're all Premiership first teamers bar Taylor in goal and Luke 'pretty boy' Chadwick. You can catch it tonight on Sky Sports 2 - kick off 8:00.

News just in, West Ham have agreed a fee of �2m for Atletico Madrid's Bosnian international defender Mirsad Hibic. With 18 international caps he should be granted a work permit but is will be unavailable for the Hammer's opener against Liverpool on Saturday.

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All Things Footie | Thursday, August 9 | Jordan

New Download

I've uploaded a program called DISKwipe - it allows you to free up space taken up by files 'deleted' by Windows - I freed up about 600MB on my hard-disk. When you run the program it sounds quite scary - it sounded like it was about to wipe my hard disk, as the name suggests - but it doesn't delete anything that hasn't already been deleted (as far as I know). Go to the stuff section to download. Or click here.

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All Things Footie | | Jordan

CL here we come

After what must have been the easiest passage into the Champions League for an Engliash club (apart from United winning the league) Liverpool must feel fairly pleased with theirselves. Finishing second almost seems like a loss not a gain, a nice run out to improve fitness before the start of the season and a healthy thrashing of a team that had a bucketfull knocked passed them in the last round. Improves morale I reckon.

The lucky gits will even be seeded so a third place spot in the Prem really hasn't hampered them at all (with respect to 2nd place). I didn't see the match so I can't comment on the goals but it sounds like Owen and Gerrard had good games - but I was personally most chuffed to see Patrick Berger playng well again. I have to confess to being a big fan of the lanky Czech playmaker, always have liked him and I've said for a long time he's Liverpool's best player. Whether that is still the case now that Gerrard has matured and Owen hitting form again only time will tell - I'd tip Patrick as a nifty addition to any fantasy team though.

Slippery Solano

I've been inrigued by the stories about Nol Solano perhaps having a dodgy Greek passport. Mainly because there have been some weird explanations - Newcastle say that it's all right because they've registered him as a Peruvian for the coming season (and Europe) but surely that's not the point? If he's been playing the last few seasons with false documents then that's still an offence surely?

Coventry have signed Lee Hughes for �5,000,001 from West Brom, another weird situation. Hughes had a clause in his contract saying he would have to be allowed to leave if an offer over �5m was made, but when the offer was put in by Coventry W.B.A refused it but allowed Hughes to talk to Cov (and therefore move). Whats going on there???

In other news, Arsenal have appointed midfield genius Patrick Vieira vice-captain - with a view to take over from Tony Adams when he retires atth end of the season.

Celtic have made a place in the Champions League all the more likely by beating Ajax 3-1 in the Amsterdam Arena last night.

Aston Villa and Newcastle both drew away in the Dorothy and Toto cup on tuesday to a team placed 10th in the Swiss league and a small French side respectively. The words 'should have done better' spring to mind, especially in the case of AV.

And finally..... condolances to friends and family of Aaron Flahavan who died over the weekend, and hats off to Portsmouth for retiring the no 1 jersey in memory, new siging Dave Beasant will be wearing no 12 next season.

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All Things Footie | Monday, August 6 | Jordan

da - da da da - da da daaaaaahhh

As you may notice (down the bottom) - I've just passed 1000 visitors and I'm quite chuffed about that to be honest. Bearing in mind I've not really spent any money on this site (can you tell?) and I've been really busy the last couple of months I'm just glad people keep visiting. Thanks for your support everyone and I hope you enjoy my biased ramblings and ever reliable news updates on the greatest sport known to man.

With the new season rapidly approaching (though never rapidly enough) things will start getting interesting again, the return of 4-Aways, maybe a fantasy football type thing (I'm thinking about that one) and lots of internationals coming up (including the mouth watering England - Germany WC Qualifier) things should start getting very interesting.

Especially as we'll all be able to kid ourself for half a season that united won't win the league...... again.

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All Things Footie | Friday, August 3 | Jordan

Lucky Liverpool

It looks as though Liverpool's potentially tricky opponents in the Champions League qualifying round - Maccabi Haifa - will be disqualified and the 'pool will face the team that got beaten 5-0 by Haifa - FC Haka of Finland. Although it seems that Haifa did field the ineligible player I don' think it was malicious and punishment by putting a team who are inferior through is unfair to both Haifa and all of us who want to see Liverpool beaten. But what can you do - rules is rules - as they say

Borderline Zenden has joined Chelsea, he joins Emmanuel Petit as the second Barca player sold for more than they were bought even though they only played a handful (at best) of games last season. Time will tell on the quality of the purchase - I thought Zenden looked good during Euro 2000 but every other performance I've seen has been exceptionally average.

Wimbledon look like they'll be moving house - to Milton Keynes. The supporters of the club are shall we say, not that chuffed - and rightly so in my opinion.

"Wimbledon have been homeless for ten years. Without a proper home ground our future looks bleak."

By 'without a proper home ground' I'm assuming Charles Koppel (Wimbledon MD) means the ground sharing scheme with Crystal Palace. Why can they not look at developing Selhurst Park into a more modern stadium whilst keeping the current ground sharing arrangements? It's not harmed Lazio or Roma who both share the Stadio Olympico. Surely it's worth a try? for the sake of the fans at least.

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All Things Footie | Wednesday, August 1 | Jordan

Next Stop Craven Cottage

SO Edwin Van Der Saar has moved to Fulham then. I thought he was going to Liverpool and I don't think I'm alone, I wnder if Houllier even tried? If he did he muist be a bit gutted - but with the addition of the Dutch national keeper and Steed Malbranque - Jean Tigana has made, in my opinion, a couple of quality (and necessary) improvements to the squad. Maybe my tip for Fulham to surprise evryone (and get relegated) was a little misguided.

The talk oif Celtic and Rangers moving south has dulled down a bit in the last couple of days, with dissenting voices from FIFA and the FA. It now seems that the Old Firm may get an invite to play in this years Worthington Cup, Football League Chairman Keith Harris is

"....looking into exactly what it would require to invite Rangers and Celtic into the cup competition"

New Minister for Sport Richard Caborn has voiced his concerns about the necessity of a tax-free Testimonial game for modern footballers. I tend to agree that top class footballers like Ryan Giggs have no just reason for earning tax-relief on a windfall of a million or so pounds. On the other hand lower league footballers who stay loyal to their club and work hard throughout their (very short) career deserve some kind of reward for their loyalty. Perhaps some kind of system whereby you can have tax-relief if your club contract has not exceeded a certain value over the last 5 years, or something.

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  1. Punishment should fit the crime
  2. Ouch
  3. Tevez and Mascherano madness
  4. Predictions
  5. Warming up
  6. The World Cup II
  7. The World Cup
  8. Thought for the day
  9. Ready children? Then let's begin
  10. Don't say I never give you anything