Monday, 30 June 2008

The Road to European Glory: Intertoto Cup

The first round of the Intertoto Cup was completed this weekend and teams like Bohemians who beat Rhyl 9-3 on agg and Honved who beat Zhetysu 6-3 on agg and Elfsborg who beat HB 4-1 on agg along with others move on to next weekend on their Road to European glory.

Click for a full list of 1st Round results.

Teams joining the second round stage include Hibernian (Scotland), Rosenborg (Norway).

Click for a full list of fixtures.

Fixtures are due to be played 5th/6th July and 12th/13th July

Your Complete Guide to Euro 2008: VIVA ESPANA

The lack of updates have been becuase of some wonderful sunny days recently. Whats the point of being stuck in front of a pc when there is sunshine to be enjoyed?

Euro 2008 came to an end last night. Spain lifted the trophy after a 1-0 win over Germany. Fernando Torres scored the only goal. Germany must be disappointed that they didn't contribute to the game than they did and had Spain won three or four nil, I doubt if anybody from the German quarter would have complained.

The tournament is now over and the countdown to the Football season begins. This is the week that pre-season training starts and now Euro 2008 is finished there will be frantic activity in the transfer market.

So lets get busy

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Your Complete Guide to Euro 2008: Cruise for Spain

Spain cruised past Russia in Vienna tonight to reach their first final in twenty-years. It took Spain until the 50th minute to score and once the door was unbolted, Spain scarpered away and won the game 3-0.

Its the second beating the Spaniards have dished out to the Russians in a few weeks - in their first group game, Spain won 4-1.

So now after three or so weeks of competition the Euro 2008 final will be between Germany and Spain in Vienna, kick-off 20.45pm (local time) on Sunday 29th June 2008.

Your Complete Guide to Euro 2008: Germany Are Through

In a match that had everything, Germany won their place in the Euro 2008 final on Sunday, beating Turkey 3-2 with a last minute goal from Phillip Lahm after being 1-0 down, 2-1 up and pulled back to 2-2 with a few minutes to go.

Bang goes my sweepstake entry - cos I had Turkey.

Roll on Christmas.

The second semi-final between Russia and Spain kicks off later today at 20.45 (local time).

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Girls, Girls, Girls

If you haven't done so already check out the girls at Eurogirls2008.
There are Austrian Girls, German Girls, Croatia Girls, Polish Girls, Italian Girls, Swedish Girls, Turkish Girls and more Girls.
More Girls than you can handle.
Can't wait for the World Cup!!

Monday, 23 June 2008

Intertoto Cup

With Euro 2008 taking up everybody's attention the 2008/09 Intertoto Cup kicked off this weekend.
The Intertoto Cup is a Summer competition that allows clubs from all over Europe to qualify for the UEFA Cup, joining the competition at the 2nd Qualifying round.

Due to a complete reformat of European Competition next season this is the last season of the Intertoto Cup in its present format. As the competition started this weekend, there are a further five weekend's of successive competition and the 2nd legs of the first round take place next weekend, June 28th/June 29th.

There are some BIG club names that will be entering the competition between now and the end of the third round, which takes place in July (1st leg - 19th July/20th July, 2nd leg - 26th July/27th July).

Honved - Hungary
Hibernian - Scotland
Deportivo La Coruna - Spain
Napoli - Italy
SC Braga - Portugal
Stuttgart - Germany
Aston Villa - England

Here are a few names of clubs that have started their route to European glory that you may have never heard of:

Bnei Sakhnin - Israel
Ethnikos Achnas - Cyprus
Etzella - Luxembourg
MIKA - Armenia
Nitra - Slovakia
Saturn - Russia
Shakhtyor Soligorsk - Belarus
Tiraspol - Moldova
TPS - Finland
Zhetysu - Kazakhstan
Erkanas - Lithuania
Renova - FYR Macedonia
FK Riga - Latvia
Teplice - Czech Republic
Fylkir - Iceland
HB - Faroe Islands
Rijeka - Croatia
and the list goes on and on.

For a Full List of last weekend's results, click here.

Your Complete Guide to Euro 2008: Yawn, Yawn, Yawn

After the first five minutes of Italy v Spain I just KNEW the game would be decided on penalties. I just knew it!! 2 hours of tedium, 2 hours of boredom, 2 hours of nothing.

It wasn't Spain's fault they just couldn't break down the masters of negative football - 'Let's play for penalties chaps, Spain haven't won a penalty shootout on the 22nd June before."

Oh how the Azzuri have eggs on their faces this morning.

2 hours of boredom, 2 hours of yawning, 2 hours of nothing.

I would have had more fun watching paint dry!!

So the semi-finals are confirmed:

Wednesday 25th June
Germany v Turkey

Thursday 26th June
Spain v Russia

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Paul Ince Is The New Blackburn Rovers Manager

Paul Ince today became the first British Black Premiership Manager by signing a three year contract to manage Blackburn Rovers.

The job became vacant went Mark Hughes moved up the road to Man City.

Ince has certainly took himself up the rungs of the managerial ladder - Swindon Town, Macclesfield Town and MK Dons.

With Macclesfield Town he kept them in League Two when it looked for such a long time that Macclesfield would drop out of the League and then with MK Dons, he won promotion to League One as Champions and won the Johnstone Paint Trophy.

Your Complete Guide to Euro 2008: The Sorcerer Beats The Apprentice

The Sorcerer, Gus Hiddink put the Apprentice, Macro Van Basten to the sword last night as the 'unfancied' Russians beat the Dutch 3-1 after extra-time to reach the semi-finals of Euro 2008.

It is quite a remarkable acheivement. Remember Russia were firmly slaughtered 4-1 by Spain in their first group game.

What is it with Hiddink and International competition? Remember he took South Korea to the World Cup semi-finals in 2002 and got Australia to the World Cup finals!!

Russia will now play either Spain or Italy in the 2nd semi-final, next Thursday.

In the space of a couple of days the competition has lost two of its favourites - Croatia and Holland.

Spain and Italy play tonight in the last quarter-final, kick off 20.45 (local time).




Saturday, 21 June 2008

Your Complete Guide to Euro 2008: Croatia Stuffed

In an extraordinary finale to last nights 2nd Quarter-Final between Croatia and Turkey, two goals were scored in the last minute of extra-time. Croatia took the lead 119th minute and with the last kick off the game, Turkey equalised.

The Croats complained bitterly that the referee had blown the final whistle prior to the ball finishing up in the net. He didn't and the match went to a penalty shoot-out.

Croatia showed HOW not to take penalties and Turkey showed HOW to take them. Turkey won 3-1 and now face Germany in the first semi-final on Wednesday.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Will He Stay OR Will He Go?

Now that Portugal are out of Euro 2008, the 'winker' Cristiano Ronaldo will soon be announcing his future.
Judging by the press and media reports this morning Ronaldo is 'already on his bike' to Spain, despite the objections and fears shown by his present employers, Man Utd.
Ronaldo said after Portugal's 3-2 defeat against Germany last night.,"I will announce my future plans in two days."

Your Complete Guide to Euro 2008: Welcome to Chelsea Mr Scolari


From a selfish point of view I am glad Portugal lost to Germany last night and therefore Portugal's interest in Euro 2008 is over, because it means Luiz Filipe Scolari can start to forget he is an International manager and concentrate on becoming a club manager with Chelsea.

For the record, Germany won 3-2 and with a 'sneaky' push on club team mate Paulo Ferreira, Michael Ballack scored his 2nd goal of the competition with a header.

Germany play the winners of Turkey and Croatia who play this evening in the first semi-final next Wednesday.

Although 'Big Phil' doesn't start work officially until 1st July, there is nothing stopping him getting himself prepared for the big one and the big challenge. I can just visualise Big Phil retiring to bed last night with dossiers on Chelsea's current players and possible and potential transfer targets.

Wishful thinking or dream on?

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Your Complete Guide to Euro 2008: Mixed Loyalties

Its Quarter-Final time and I have mixed loyalties as to who I want to win. I want Portugal to win because their squad includes - BIG Phil, Jose Boswinga, Ricardo Carvalho and Paulo Ferriera and I want Germany to win because of Michael Ballack.

So who to choose, who to choose??

Seriously though the answer is simple. I want Germany to win because as soon as Portugal get knocked out, BIG Phil can concentrate his mind of the Chelsea job, even though he doesn't officially start at Stamford Bridge until 1st July.

The game kicks-off at 20.45 (local time), thats 7.45pm UK time and whatever time anywhere else in the world and the venue is St Jakobs Park, Basel.

I have a feeling that this game will go the wire.

Your Complete Guide to Euro 2008: Abramovich's Russia Through

Bankrolled by Roman Abramovich's billions and billions, Russia swept past the Swedes last night to take the last quarter-final place that was up for grabs.
After Russia's heavy defeat against Spain at the start of the competition, Russia looked more like a team destined for Siberia than a team that has won a quarter-final match against tournament favourites Holland.
Magic touch Hiddink, 'Mr Oranje,' has worked the oracle and now faces his countrymen.
Spain came from a goal down to beat Greece 2-1 and became the latest members of the '3 from 3' club.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Your Complete Guide to Euro 2008: Italy Through


There was no skullduggery, no conspiracy theories and no underhand tricks last night as Holland beat Romania 2-0, despite MvB making nine changes. Italy beat France by the same score to join Holland in the quarter-finals of Euro 2008.

After France's defeat, Chelsea's midfield talisman Claude Makelele announced his retirement from International Football for the umpteenth time. Lillian Thuram who didn't even make the squad last night also announced his retirement from International Football.

The quarter-final line-up is almost set and looks like this:

Portugal v Germany

Croatia v Turkey

Holland v Runner up Group D either Sweden or Russia

Spain v Italy

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Your Complete Guide to Euro 2008: ITS MAKE OR BREAK


Tonight sees the climax of Group C, 'the Group of Death,' as Italy battle it out with France, winner takes all to join Holland in the Quarter-Finals.

But will Holland play ball? Will Holland play their strongest team against Romania or will they field a weakened eleven and allow Romania the win and knock out their closest and fiercest rivals in one hit?

But whatever happens in the Italy/France game, a Romanian win will see Mutu and Co in the quarters instead.

Your Complete Guide to Euro 2008: Boring Night

No late drama, no late goals in fact if it wasn't for the heroics of Poland and Celtic's Artur Boruc then Poland would have lost against Croatia by a cricket score instead of

Germany beat neighbours Austria also 1-0 after Michael Ballack scored from a 30 yard free-kick.

Germany go into the quarter-finals with Croatia from Group B.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Yep!! You Will Be Sick and You Won't Need a Drink

Chances are you have already pencilled the dates in your diary of when your team plays once season 2008/09 kicks off.
No doubt right at this minute you are contemplating all your team's games home and away, who you would like to meet in the FA Cup and Carling Cup competitions and wondering whether or not your team is good enough to reach Wembley in May 2009 in whichever competition.
Two words of advice this evening. FORGET IT!! Forget the planning, forget the dreams, just get prepared for THE most enormous upheaval.
TV money is causing a revolution and a battle for coverage of English football and the only beneficiary of this revolution is MR ARMCHAIR SUPPORTER.
Granted football is becoming an expensive sport to follow these days, especially if you support a team in the Premiership and at the highest level, but what about the true fan that is 'forced' to travel half the length of the country in midweek because TV money says so.
OK you can say well he or she doesn't have to go - fair enough, but if he or she wants to go because he or she is a TRUE fan of their club!!! What do you say to that?
Nothing - perhaps you are Mr Armchair supporter, comfy in your chair knowing that whatever the result of the game you have just watched, your next step could be your comfy warm bed and get up for work nice bright and in chipper fashion the next morning with a point of view on the game you watched the previous evening without setting foot out of your front door.
Forget EVERY date that has been set for ALL Premiership fixtures that have been set for next season.
Once the TV companies get their teeth into the list of all fixtures, YOU WILL BE SICK AND PROBABLY SICK OF FOOTBALL!!!!
Bookmark this page - More to Come.

Season 2008/09 Fixtures Announced

The new season fixtures were announced today and in honour of the football club that this blog is dedicated to, I start by revealing Oldham Athletic's first games of the season for 2008/09.
The 'Real Latics' start off at home to Millwall on August 9th, then they travel to Leeds on the 16th August, followed by the visit of Cheltenham Town on the 23rd August. In between the 'Real Latics' travel to Rochdale in the first round of the Carling Cup on Tuesday 12th August.
For the rest of the 'Real Latics' fixtures, click here.
Now to the big boys. Chelsea start their Premiership campaign at home to Cup Winners Portsmouth on the 16th August, followed by a trip to Wigan on the 23rd August. For a complete list of Chelsea fixtures, click here.
Champions Man Utd start off at home to Newcastle on the 16th August, followed by a trip to Portsmouth on the 23rd August. Chelsea and Man Utd meet at Stamford Bridge on September 20th. For the rest of Man Utd's fixtures, click here.
Arsenal who have just signed a new 'wonderkid' Aaron Ramsey from Cardiff City, kick off against new boys, well the bouncing boiing boiing baggies - WBA at home. For the rest of Arsenal's fixtures, click here.
Click on Hull City and Stoke City to get the 'new boys' full Premiership campaign. To get the boiing, boiing Baggies full fixture list, click here.

Your Complete Guide to Euro 2008: STUNNING TURKEY

I posted yesterday about 'holding onto your hats' and boy was I right, Turkey were 2-0 down with fifteen minutes to go and looked seemingly out of Euro 2008 and ready to 'get on the bus' to go home.
Three goals, two of which came in the last two minutes, saw the Turks progress and the Czech Republic 'get on the bus.'
Poor Petr Cech, even the greatest of sportsmen have a bad day at the office, and didn't Cech have a 'mare.'
In the other Group A game (played at the same time) Switzerland beat Portugal 2-0, Hakin Yakin scoring both goals.
The other day I stumbled across a blog which celebrates the beauty and I mean beauty of Euro 2008. Take a look for yourselves.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Your Complete Guide to Euro 2008: Villa Again!

David Villa scored his fourth goal in Euro 2008 as Spain beat Sweden 2-1 in Group D last night. His winner came deep into injury time.
What is it with this tournament and late late goals? (3 goals have been scored in the last fifteen minutes of games AND 7 goals have been scored in the injury time period).
Greece, the current European Champions, bowed out of the competition after being beaten by Russia 1-0.
So now we have four countries already qualified for the quarter-finals: Croatia, Holland, Portugal and Spain.
Today sees the start of the final group games (and all games will kick-off at the same time - 20:45pm local time)
Group A
Czech Republic v Turkey
Switzerland v Portugal
For the first time in Euro history, there is a possibility of a penalty-shoot out between the Czech Republic and Turkey to decide who joins Portugal in the quarter-finals.
Hang on to your hats we could be in for a roller coaster ride later on today.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Your Complete Guide to Euro 2008: Kiss of Death

Forget that Group C is the 'Group of Death,' I AM THE KISS OF DEATH!!

Not only has Italy failed to win a game so far but in every other game that I wanted a team to win - they haven't!!

In yesterday's games Chelsea players past and present had significant contributions. Romania's Adrian Mutu (sacked by Chelsea for testing postitive for cocaine) scored one and missed a penalty. Christian Panucci who was only at Chelsea for 'five' minutes scored Italy's equaliser and gave away the penalty which Mutu missed.

In the Holland v France game Arjen Robben came on as a second-half substitute made one for Van Persie and scored one himself and Florent Malouda, Claude Makelele and Nicolas Anelka were soundly thrashed by the Dutch, 4-1.

As Holland have qualified for the quarter-finals, could they 'let' Romania win on Tuesday therefore regardless of the Italy and France result, BOTH countries will be eliminated!

Just my suspicious mind working overtime.

Friday, 13 June 2008

Your Complete Guide to Euro 2008: FORZA AZZURRI

In less than two hours time the AZZURRI kick off their 2nd Group C match against Romania knowing that anything less than a win will see the 'Boys in Blue' start to pack their bags and get on the bus back home.
Coach Donadoni knows he and his side must improve on their dismal performance the other day against the Dutch, although having said that Van Der Saar make some crucial saves at the height of AZZURRI's pressure.
As you know, Italy are my 'adopted' country for Euro 2008 and I am hoping for a change in fortunes especially as I am ZERO ZERO ZERO...... in my predictions for all the other games that have been played so far.
So not a good sign, therefore wish me and the AZZURRI a whole heap of luck!

Your Complete Guide to Euro 2008: Germany Beaten!

Undoubtedly the first shock of Euro 2008 came yesterday in Group B as Croatia beat tournament favourites Germany 2-1.

The Croats roared on by a bank of red and white checked shirts, raced into a two goal lead, before is he a German or a Pole, Podolski pulled one back for the ineffective Germans.

Even German coach Joachim Low admitted that Germany were poor.

Slaven Bilic however must be 'rocking all over the World,' well Europe at least anyway.

Austria earned a deserved point in the other Group B game with a late penalty equaliser in the 1-1 draw against Poland.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Your Complete Guide to Euro 2008: Its Scolari for Chelsea

So its official then? 'Big Phil' or Luis Felipe Scolari becomes Chelsea's new coach effective from 1st July 2008.
The announcement of his appointment came soon after 'Big Phil's' Portugal brushed aside the Czech Republic, 3-1 in yesterday's Euro 2008 Group A 2nd round of games.
I felt a bit sorry for Petr Cech. He had hardly anything to do yesterday afternoon and spent most of the time bending his back and picking the ball out of the net three times.
In yesterday's other game, more resembling water polo than a football match, Turkey came from behind to beat Switzerland 2-1 with the winner being scored deep into injury time.
Switzerland's defeat means they are out of the competition and Portugal became the first country to qualify for the quarter-finals.
In today's action Germany play Croatia at 6pm (local time) and Austria face Poland at 8.45pm (local time).

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Your Complete Guide to Euro 2008: Swedish Totty ARE The Hottest

So the first round of group games at Euro 2008 are over and there have been some very very sexy candidates for 'totty' of Euro 2008.
It took to the last game of round one to decide and the decision is............ Swedish Totty is the best and the HOTTEST!!!
Blonde (and a brunette), Blue Eyes and figure hugging t-shirts.... yumma yumma!!! LOL
As for the footie. Sweden beat Greece and Spain beat Russia, but tonight is all about the 'TOTTY.'

Your Complete Guide to Euro 2008: Greece is the Word!!

Yeah Grease is the word. No not the smash hit film starring Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta but GREECE the country, the reigning European Champions.
Greece kick off their campaign to retain their title in Group D against Sweden in less than an hour's time.
In today's early game Spain are beating Russia 3-1 and Spain's David Villa, the topic of much transfer speculation, has scored a hat-trick.

Your Complete Guide to Euro 2008: Monday's Results

In what probably was the best game of the tournament so far, Holland battered my 'adopted' team Italy 3-0 last night, with goals from Van Nistelrooy (definitely offside), Sneijder and Van Bronckhurst. Had Van der Saar not made a series of fine saves, the scoreline would not look as convincing as it does.

At the other end of the scale France and Romania played out a boring 0-0 draw in what was probably the worst game of the tournament so far.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Your Complete Guide to Euro 2008: FORZA ITALIA

Finally my 'adopted' team get to play in the Euro's when they kick off their Group C match against the clog wearers of Holland at 20.45pm (local time).
The WORLD CHAMPIONS are without their captain Cannavaro who has injured his knee whilst plying his trade for Real Madrid on their way to the La Liga title.
Holland's Arjen Robben nicknamed 'Glass Ankles,' when he was at Chelsea, looks like missing all of Holland's group games due to....... yes you've guessed an ankle injury.
If you are reading this and you are English, don't support the Dutch because apparently they don't want our support.
The early game which kicks-off 6pm (local time) is between France and Romania and that is all I have to say about that!!

Your Complete Guide to Euro 2008: Sunday's Results

Tottenham's new signing Modric scored a 4th minute penalty as Croatia beat Austria 1-0 in Vienna. Croatia were disappointing and Austria were unlucky.
Prior to the tournament 10,000 Austrian fans signed an online petition requesting the team withdrew from the competition because they felt the team was 'rubbish.'
On yesterday's evidence, the petition should be scrapped me thinks.
Germany beat Poland 2-0 with both goals scored by Poldoski who was born in Poland and is now a German. Wonder what colour his heart is?
At both games there was trouble before and after and all those arrested will be kicked out of the respective countries.
I wonder what the World's reaction would have been had England fans been around?

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Your Complete Guide to Euro 2008: Today's Games

Co-Hosts Austria will try to get their Euro 2008 campaign off to a winning start when they take on Croatia in Vienna - kick-off is 6pm (local time).

In the later game Germany play Poland - kick off is 20.45pm (local time).

Your Complete Guide To Euro 2008: Saturday's Results

Co-Hosts Switzerland lost in front of a 41,000 crowd 1-0 to the Czech Republic and in the evening game (everybody's favourites it seems) Portugal beat Turkey 2-0.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Your Complete Guide to Euro 2008: ARE YOU READY???

The Euro's are finally here!!!!
Booze, food and the football solid until the end of June.
Kick-offs during the Group Stages are 6.00pm and 20.45pm local time until the final group games where kick offs will be 20.45pm (to avoid any skullduggery).
In the UK that translates to 5pm and 7.45pm. If you are not in the UK or Central Europe then work the K.O. times out for yourself.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Football and Birds Go Hand-in-Hand

Got to post a picture of a 'nice bird' to announce that the 2008/09 Season Football fixtures will be announced on Monday 16th June.
Copyright rules will not allow this blog to publish the fixtures in full - I will just pick out the BEST ones (in a roundabout way, if you get my drift!!)
League One
League Two

From Little Acorns to....... HOPE!!

Its not very often that I go out on a limb and praise the activities and attitudes of another football club but here I go.

Aston Villa FC has given up on a £2m shirt sponsorship deal for the season to highlight a Children's Hospice charity based in and around the West Midlands area of England.

The charity called "Acorns Children's Hospice Trust care for life-limited children and their families from across the West Midlands region. Since 1988 more than 1,100 families have been helped by Acorns but we know there are many more who need the care Acorns offers."

So from the start of the 2008/09 Premiership season whether you watch your football on the TV or at a game and you see the Acorns logo on Villa's shirts, spare a thought for those Acorn little ones and their families.

An Apology

The Euro's kick off this weekend, but before they start I just want to issue an apology for the lack of posts this week.

Without going into too much detail I was due away on business for a couple of days and my better half was going to meet me. On her journey down she was involved in a serious car crash and since then I have been attending to her.

She is recovering albeit slowly and now I am back to attend to this blog.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Sven Out - Hughes In

Man City today finally dispensed with the services of Sven after one season in charge.
Almost immediately City were given permission by Blackburn Rovers to speak to Mark Hughes.
Chelsea's managerial options are looking slimmer by the day.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Your Complete Guide to Euro 2008: FORZA ITALIA

As England will not be competing in the Euro's which start next Saturday, I am 'throwing my hat' into the ring and will be supporting Italy, the current World Champions.
Being World Champions isn't the only reason why I will be following the Azzuri in Blue.
I just like the Country. Italy's history - the start of the World they say. I have visited Rome and Milan. I like the culture, of the course the women (eheheh) and the football.
So it is Italy for me.
Italy kick off their campaign on Monday 9th June against Holland in Berne then they play Romania in Zurich on Friday 13th June and their last game in Group C is against France on Tuesday 17th June in Zurich.

Your Daily Chelsea Manager Rumour

Despite AC Milan 'rebuffing' Chelsea's approach for Ancelotti, this morning's press say that the Chelsea manager's job is a straight fight between Ancelotti and Blackburn Rovers' Mark Hughes.