Thursday, September 29, 2005

Time To Capture Football Converts

In October, spare a thought for Australia's mainstream sports followers.

Leaving September to them generates the same sensation football fanatics suffer the day after the World Cup final. A feeling of abandonment engulfs them. As winter finally gives way to spring down under, so the campaigns of the traditional codes of AFL and NRL come to a crescendo with their respective grand finals. Then, for four long summer months, football - as they know it - disappears.

Can 2005 be different? With three-quarters of the inaugural A-League season still to play before its own finals series in March, the competition holds a unique opportunity to fill the vacuum left by the bigger codes.

Although rightly scheduled for an August start date to coincide with next year's World Cup, the first six weeks of the new football season were always destined to provide the toughest introduction possible. Not only was the sport coming off an enforced 16-month break but its all-important opening exchanges would have to fight the attention, budget and TV-time of the Aussie rules and rugby league masses.

Having negotiated the storm of September, the fledgling competition can feel satisfied by fans' reaction so far. Crowd figures for the opening month have come through relatively unscathed with half the clubs averaging around the 10,000-mark or greater - the number officials expect to see come the season's end. Indeed, Sydney FC and Queensland Roar are up closer to 20,000 having played two and three home matches respectively.

Importantly, with an average crowd size over 12,000 across the first five rounds, the subsequent few weeks will give a strong indication of whether the FFA can convert footy fans to the world game.

There are signs that potential crossover supporters have given preference to the traditional codes and may patronise the round-ball code with any conflict now past. For instance, the Queensland Roar crowd for the round four clash with Melbourne dropped markedly when the NRL's Brisbane Broncos were live on TV at the same time. In the same way, Melbourne's attendance at its second home match was significantly less than its first while the AFL grand final was playing at the MCG over the same weekend. Round 6 will be the first occasion when home teams are not fighting rival football codes in their own cities.

With any optimism, there are, of course, some concerns. For a start, Football Federation Australia will continue to monitor attendances outside the major centres. The pulling power of the New Zealand Knights (Auckland) and the Central Cost Mariners (Gosford, New South Wales) has been reasonably weak particularly with the Mariners standing second on the ladder.

Questions are also being asked why Adelaide United and Perth Glory - two stalwarts of the old National Soccer League who regularly pulled crowds up to 15,000 - are attracting far less in the new competition. Meanwhile, close scrutiny at the numbers shows that only Queensland has grown its crowds after the big push in the opening round.

For all that, though, it would be petty to criticise the enormous leap made from the former national league to today's competition. The ethnicity issues that blighted the old regime haven't resurfaced and couples and families are enjoying the game more than ever. Moreover, teams have established a strong core of membership support with most being sponsored to one degree or another by organised supporter groups.

An opportunity now presents itself for football's governing body to exploit the current surplus of fans' time and money. To do so, its high-impact marketing campaign needs to kick in again soon rather than later.

Hyundai A-League Round Five Summary

League leaders Adelaide (11 points) have stolen an early three-point gap on their closest rivals Central Coast (8 points). Newcastle, Sydney and Perth have identical records and 7 points. New Zealand prop up the table with a solitary win and four losses (3 points).

Can’t buy me love, by the Beat All’s

In life, I have two goals; (That’s one more than Djibril Cisse.) to see world peace in my lifetime, and to make a consistent profit on football betting. Unfortunately, only one of my goals is achievable.

World peace moved a step closer this week as Arsene Wenger offered Alex Ferguson an olive branch. (He ran out of soup and pizza.) The Arsenal manager slammed the supporters who booed Sir Alex off the pitch last weekend, in a show of support for his old nemesis.

The Scot’s diminishing popularity is due to the team’s formation, 451 and 433 are not just the most common answers in the ‘Guess the age of Wayne Rooney’s next female companion’ competition, they’re also the source of the United supporters frustration.

A midweek win in Europe silenced the critics, and a return to form against Fulham will put the issue to sleep. The United manager will not be booed this weekend, although it’s a fair possibility that he’ll be hissed at some stage. Back Man U at 4/7 to return to winning ways.

The Liverpool v Chelsea clash looks good on paper, but on closer inspection, a dull game is the probable outcome. Liverpool have played four matches against decent opposition; away to Spurs and Boro, and home clashes with Man U and Chelsea, all four finished goalless. Tip of the week? You can’t spell Liverpool without two O’s. Get on the goalless draw at 8/1.

Alain Perrin’s tenure at Fratton Park appears to be drawing to a close. It’s bad enough when you haven’t won a home match all season, but sarcastically clapping a referee because you saw Wayne Rooney do it on the telly is unforgivable.

Pompey did well to draw both matches against Newcastle last season, Steve Stone snatched an equaliser in both games. Sharon Stone would struggle to score this time around. Back the Geordies to increase Perrin’s pain at 5/4.

Everton play Manchester City this weekend, a team they completed the double over last season with Tim Cahill scoring in both matches. Kate Moss scores more than Cahill now, get on Man City at 8/11.

Chelsea are officially the Beat All’s; the following musical specials are all available at Super Soccer.

“The Beat All’s” – Chelsea to score three or more goals 9/2
“Simply Red” – Paul Scholes to score; Man Utd to win 1-0 45/1
“Cole Play” – Andy and Ashley Cole both to score 22/1
“Aswad” – Rio Ferdinand to score at anytime 12/1
“Chubby Checker” – Wayne Rooney and Milan Baros both to score 5/1
“Fairground Attraction” – Robbie Savage to score at any time 4/1
“Musical Diouf” – El Hadji Diouf to score two or more goals 8/1
“The Cardigans” – Teddy Sheringham and Andy Cole both to score 6/1
“Shaggy” – Wayne Rooney to score a hat-trick 16/1
“The Red Hot Willy Peppers” – Gallas to score at any time 10/1

Most promising innovation of the week:

If you win by three clear goals, you receive an extra point. Arsene Wenger knows his tomatoes.

Least promising innovation of the week:

Salary capping. Modern day footballers will never accept headgear as payment.

Quote of the week:

“The Gargoyle’s not gargling.”
Gary Lineker has a go at Steve Bruce’s acting skills and questionable appearance in just four words. Well done.

Stat, you’re a liberty:

Charlton have found the net 10 times this season; 90 % have been scored away from home.

Acc of the week:

Blackburn
Man Utd
Newcastle
Man City
Aston Villa

The five fold pays over 20/1


Weekend Betting:

Blackburn v West Brom Saturday 1st October 15.00

Blackburn 8/11
Draw 9/4
West Brom 10/3

Get on: Blackburn

If Blackburn can win at Old Trafford, the Baggies will be easy pickings. The last six matches between the two have produced two goals or less, it’ll be a comfortable 1-0 win.
Match Special:
Blackburn to win 1-0 6/1

Charlton v Tottenham Saturday 1st October 15.00

Charlton 7/5
Draw 11/5
Tottenham 8/5

Get on: Draw

Tottenham have always either won or lost at the Valley in the Premiership, a draw is overdue.
Match Special:
Match to finish 1-1 11/2

Fulham v Man Utd Saturday 1st October 15.00

Fulham 4/1
Draw 13/5
Man Utd 4/7

Get on: Man Utd

Surprisingly, United have been held to a 1-1 draw for the last three seasons away at Fulham. Rooney will start this one, (the match, not the ruck,) United will win.
Match Special:
Man Utd to score four or more goals 11/2

Portsmouth v Newcastle Saturday 1st October 15.00

Portsmouth 7/4
Draw 9/4
Newcastle 5/4

Get on: Newcastle

Pompey are three without a win; the Geordies three without defeat, get on the Toon Army at 5/4.
Match Special:
Michael Owen to score two or more goals 9/2

Sunderland v West Ham Saturday 1st October 17.15 Live on PPV

Sunderland 7/5
Draw 11/5
West Ham 8/5

Get on: Draw

Marlon Harewood scored in both matches against Sunderland in the Championship last season. There’s every chance he can net another one.
Match Special:
Harewood to score the first goal 5/1

Man City v Everton Sunday 2nd October 11.15 Live on PPV

Man City 8/11
Draw 9/4
Everton 10/3

Get on: Man City

Four games without a win for City now, it’s a good job they’re playing Everton.
Match Special:
Man City to win 1-0 6/1

Wigan v Bolton Sunday 2nd October 13.00

Wigan 6/4
Draw 11/5
Bolton 6/4

Get on: Draw

Bolton have not conceded a goal from open play in their last five matches, Big Sam’s men will consolidate their Champions League position.
Match Special:
Bolton to keep a clean sheet 15/8

Arsenal v Birmingham Sunday 2nd October 13.30 Live on Sky

Arsenal 2/7
Draw 7/2
Birmingham 8/1

Get on: Arsenal

The Blues have only managed to score in one of their last eight matches against the Arsenal. The Gunners are absolutely nailed on.
Match Special:
Arsenal to score five or more goals 7/1

Aston Villa v Middlesbrough Sunday 2nd October 14.00

Aston Villa Evs
Draw 9/4
Middlesbrough 9/4

Get on: Aston Villa

Aston Villa are averaging 4.5 goals scored a game. (Last 2 games only.) Villa always score against Boro. (Nine goals in their last five matches.) I suffer from bracket over-use. (3 cases.)
Match Special:
Villa to score three or more goals 4/1

Liverpool v Chelsea Sunday 2nd October 16.00 Live on Sky

Liverpool 9/5
Draw 9/4
Chelsea 6/5

Get on: Draw

Goalless.
Match Special:
No goal scorer in the match 8/1

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

K. League Results 24 September 2005

Sat 24 Sept

Pohang 1 Daegu 2
Ulsan 1 Suwon 1

Sun 25 Sept

Chonbuk 2 FC Seoul 1
Chunnam 1 Daejeon 0
Sangmu 1 Busan I'Park 1
Seongnam 2 Bucheon 1

K. League News & Updates

Hrvatska liga/Croatian League

Usporedna ljestvica

Dinamo u nebu, Inter "u komi"

U odnosu na prošlu sezonu Dinamo je napredovao za devet bodova, Hajduk je oslabio za dva, dok Inter ima
čak 13 bodova manje nego nakon devet kola sezone 2004/05.

Dinamo je u prva dva mjeseca nove sezone doživio istinski preporod u odnosu na ljeto i jesen 2004. Što zahvaljujući Josipu Kužeu, što smirenijem i tišem stilu Zdravka Mamića, modri su u tekućem prvenstvu skupili 22 od mogućih 27 bodova, a to je za devet bodova bolji učinak nego prošle sezone. Dok je najveći napredak izveo Dinamo, najdublji je pad zabilježio lider iz rujna 2004., Inter. Div iz predgrađa tada je nagomilao 21 bod (sedam ispred Hajduka i osam ispred Dinama), a sada čuči na 9. mjestu sa skromnih osam bodova!

Rijeka, zanimljivo, drži isto, drugo mjesto, uz gotovo identičan učinak: pet pobjeda, tri neriješena, jedan poraz i 18 bodova, samo što je 2004. imala za dva bolju razliku golova.

Mada se današnjem Hajduku za igru i rezultate daju nepodijeljeno slabe ocjene, usporedba Hajdukovog učinka u istim razdobljima tekuće i prošle sezone ukazuje da su Splićani gotovo jednako loše stajali (i igrali) i prije godinu dana.

Hajdukov je položaj ove sezone bitno slabiji nego prošle, mada je ovogodišnja momčad osvojila samo dva boda manje nego Sliškovićeva do pretkraj rujna 2004. Razlika između Hajdukova položaja u rujnu 2004. i danas sastoji se u tome što je tada gledao leđa malom Interu, s velikim izgledima za uspješan lov, dok sada zaostaje za 10 bodova za "nešto većim" Dinamom.

Hajduk je prošlogodišnje prvenstvo ponio s rekordno niskim brojem i postotkom bodova (oko 57%), pa su rezultati koje bijeli postižu zadnjih mjeseci stvar kontinuiteta, a ne iznenadnog posrtanja. Brojke govore da je Hajdukov bodovni učinak u 2004/05 najlošiji kojeg je ovaj klub zabilježio od 1992. naovamo, a osvojeni je trofej prije posljedica tuđih slabosti, nego njegovih vrlina.



Usporedba 2004/05 i 2005/06
2004/05 2005/06 Razlika

Dinamo 13 bodova 22 boda +9
Rijeka 18 bodova 18 bodova 0
Hajduk 14 bodova 12 bodova - 2
Inter 21 bod 8 bodova -13

Monday, September 26, 2005

J.League Results 24 September 25

Sat 24 Sept

FC Trinita 0 Oita Trinita 0
Albirex Niigata 0 Sanfrecce Hiroshima 1

Sun 25 Sept

JEF United 2 Shimizu S-Pulse 1
Nagoya Grampus Eight 1 Cerezo Osaka 3
Gamba Osaka 3 Kashima Antlers 3

J. League News & Updates

J.League Results 24 September 25.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Champions League Final 2005

Champions League Final 2005.
Champions League Final

Once upon a time, I had a dream… to see Liverpool win the European Cup. This is the story of the realisation of a dream:
It had finally happened, the day I had been waiting, hoping, praying for since I was four. The dream stretching from boyhood to manhood had at last been converted from farfetched fantasy to firm reality. At last, I was going to see my local team play in the biggest game in world football. And yes, I am familiar with that bit of metal named after Jules someone or other that everyone raves about; the prize for that competition that sees hoards of people around the globe attempt to recapture a lost sense of identity by attaching themselves to whatever increasingly disunited state they claim to belong to – World Cup my arse.
You ask any fan worth their salt, and they’ll tell you. Call it what you like, sponsor how you want, it’s the annually contested cup with the big ears that every fan wants to see his side get their hands on. The league title of course is your bread and butter – you’re desperate to win that every year. The European Cup however is something different. It’s one of the things that separates Liverpool from the likes of London. They’ve got their Palaces, Abbeys, Royalty, 24-hour art galleries… and as far as I’m concerned, they’re welcome to them. Why? Because for the fifth time, ‘Liverpool are Champions, Champions of Europe’.

Bet with Bet 365

World Soccer News

Soccer betting tips

Soccer Books & DVDs

European leagues Hajduk

Kako guraju branitelji naslova

Hajduk i Rangers, najslabiji prvaci

Splitski Hajduk jedan je od najlošijih branitelja naslova prvaka u novoj sezoni, što po mjestu koje zauzima na ljestvici, što po zaostatku za vodećim u svom prvenstvu. Pogled na ljestvice najjačih liga u Europi pokazuje da u devet zemalja prošlogodišnji prvaci drže prva mjesta, dok najslabije stoje Benfica, Rangers i - Hajduk.

Čestitke idu Bayernu, Chelseaju, Juventusu i Olympiakosu, prvacima koji vode u svojim prvenstvima bez izgubljenog boda. Chelsea i Olympiakos pritom nisu primili ni gol, no Grci su odigrali samo tri kola pa njihov podvig ima nešto manju težinu. Ostali su prvaci koji se drže na vrhu Lyon u Francuskoj, Šahtar u Ukrajini, Wisla u Poljskoj, CSKA u Bugarskoj i Steaua u Rumunjskoj, dok se Partizan u SICG i Basel u Švicarskoj nalaze na diobi prvog mjesta.

Blizu prvog mjesta, s odličnim izgledima da se umiješaju u borbu za novi naslov, nalazi se Fenerbahce, koji zaostaje za dva boda za Galatasarayem i belgijski prvak Club Brugge, s nevelika četiri boda zaostatka za Standardom.

Tko je pao u formi?

U Nizozemskoj je PSV već nakon pet kola zaostao za krupnih pet bodova za tandemom na vrhu AZ - Feyenoord. Na pet bodova od prvoplasiranog MTK je i stari Hajdukov "prijatelj", mađarski Debrecen.
Bečki se Rapid šulja na trećem mjestu austrijske ljestvice, ali sa šest bodova manjka u odnosu na Austriju. Jednak manjak bilježi i praška Sparta za češkim liderom Slovanom iz Libereca, no ona je igrom brojki tek na petom mjestu ljestvice.

Mada drži pristojno treće mjesto, u nevolji je Glasgow Rangers, jer mu vodeći Hearts bez izgubljenog boda bježi čak osam bodova. U tako neizjednačenoj ligi kao što je Škotska, osam bodova je velik zaostatak, mada se Rangersi i dalje ravnaju po Celticu, odmaklom tri boda. Na razini Rangersa, ali na nižem mjestu na ljestvici, nalazi se splitski Hajduk, koji Dinama prati iz daljine od osam bodova, pri čemu ispred sebe ima još četiri momčadi, uključujući jake Rijeku i Varteks.

Na najružnijim su mjestima španjolski prvak Barcelona (10.), ali samo s četiri boda manje od Celte, te portugalski, Benfica (11.), koja udaljena šest bodova od vodećih Porta, Brage i Nacionala.


Prvaci s najvećim zaostacima
Hrvatska: Hajduk (6.) -8
Škotska: Rangers (3.) -8
Portugal: Benfica (11.) -6
Austrija: Rapid (3.) -6
Mađarska: Debrecen (6.) -5
Nizozemska: PSV (4.) -5
Slovačka: Artmedia (2.) -5

Broj u zagradi označava trenutni plasman, a negativni broj predstavlja zaostatak za vodećim



Prvaci na "svom" mjestu

Ukrajina: Šahtar 23/9
Engleska: Chelsea 18/6
Njemačka: Bayern 18/6
Francuska: Lyon 17/7
Švicarska: Basel 17/8
SICG: Partizan 15/6
Poljska: Wisla 14/6
Rumunjska: Steaua 14/6
Bugarska: CSKA Sofija 13/5
Italija: Juventus 12/4
Grčka: Olympiakos 9/3

Napomena: brojke označavaju broj bodova i broj odigranih utakmica

(SN)



Bet with Bet 365

World Soccer News

Soccer betting tips

Soccer Books & DVDs

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Good Book

Premiership.
The Premiership is universally touted as the greatest league in the World, yet the football played this season is comparable to sex between old people; interesting for the participants, but the neutral has no real interest.

Out of 54 matches played, we’ve already seen 8 goalless matches. There’s a couple of ‘Paint dryers’ on the coupon this weekend, back ‘No Goalscorer’ in the Everton v Wigan and Middlesbrough v Sunderland matches, you’ll be getting 8/1 about a 5/1 shot. The football will be dull, but making a tidy profit, now that’s entertainment.

It’s been a mixed week for Wayne Rooney, he won young player of the year, but then UEFA hit him with a two match ban for giving a referee the clap; shares in McDonalds have rocketed as a result. Expect Rooney to take his anger out on Blackburn, Man U are good things at 1/4.

Peter ‘Higher than Kate Moss’ Crouch is set for another difficult weekend. The Liverpool hitman was on the wrong end of an earful from Rio Ferdinand last week, and the ex Villan can expect another battle when he travels to Birmingham. Liverpool are yet to win on the road, but as Birmingham have lost every match at home, the omens point to a hard fought away win. Get on the ‘Pool at Evens to win the match thanks to a ‘Crouch potato’. He’ll chip in with the opener.

Manchester City hit the woodwork 5 times last week in a soul destroying 1-0 defeat to Bolton. Hitting the bar, then a post is nothing new; Jermaine Pennant came up with the idea last season. Man City will have more bad luck this weekend; get on Newcastle to continue their winning ways at 11/10.

With goals hard to come by, finding a player to be booked may be somewhat easier; the following specials are available at Super Soccer.

“Book him, Danno” – Danny Mills to be booked 7/4
“Cruel, tubby kind” – Wayne Rooney to be booked 7/4
“Johnny be good” – John Terry to be booked 9/4
“All shook Up” – Matthew Upson to be booked 5/2
“Fresh Ginger” – Scholes to be booked 11/4
“Go for a Song” – Boumsong to be booked 3/1
“De Gaulle of him” – Robert Pires to be booked 10/3
“Cross with Silva” – Gilberto Silva to be booked 10/3
“Put the card before the horse” – Van Nistelrooy to be booked 10/3
“P.C. gone mad” – Peter Crouch to be booked 7/2
“Let’s get Freddie to Rumble” – Ljungberg to be booked 7/2

Quote of the week:

“That fifth goal was not deserved.”
John Gorman, after Villa destroyed Wycombe 8-3.

Stat, you’re a liberty:

Aston Villa have scored five goals this season, and all have been scored before the 11th minute.

Acc of the week:

Liverpool
Newcastle
Charlton
Arsenal
Bolton

The five-fold will pay over 28/1.

Weekend Betting:

Birmingham v Liverpool Saturday 24th September 12.45 Live on PPV

Birmingham 5/2
Draw 2/1
Liverpool Evs

Get on: Liverpool

The European Champions are struggling to score goals, but they face a Birmingham side who are yet to earn a point at home. Away win.
Match Special:
Liverpool to win 1-0 6/1

Chelsea v Aston Villa Saturday 24th September 15.00

Chelsea 2/9
Draw 4/1
Aston Villa 9/1

Get on: Chelsea

Chelsea have won this fixture 1-0 for the last two seasons. Judging on recent form, it’ll either be 1-0 again, or 8-3 to the Villa. I’ll pick the former.
Match Special:
Chelsea to win 1-0 7/1

Everton v Wigan Saturday 24th September 15.00

Everton 8/11
Draw 9/4
Wigan 10/3

Get on: Draw

Everton are the only team in the League yet to score in front of their own fans, my cash will be on that stat continuing.
Match Special:
No goalscorer in the match 8/1

Man Utd v Blackburn Saturday 24th September 15.00

Man Utd 1/4
Draw 7/1
Blackburn 10/1

Get on: Man Utd

Van Nistelrooy has a cracking record of scoring the first goal in this fixture; there’ll be no long face as he nets the opener in a convincing United victory.
Match Special:
Van Nistelrooy to score the first goal 11/4

Newcastle v Man City Saturday 24th September 15.00

Newcastle 11/10
Draw 9/4
Man City 2/1

Get on: Newcastle

The Geordies have hit goal scoring form; Shearer has a great recent record against Man City, as has Michael Owen. Home win.
Match Special:
Shearer and Owen both to score 6/1

West Brom v Charlton Saturday 24th September 15.00

West Brom 13/8
Draw 11/5
Charlton 11/8

Get on: Charlton

Charlton have won 1-0 at the Hawthorns on their last three visits, another three points awaits.
Match Special:
Charlton to win 1-0 6/1

West Ham v Arsenal Saturday 24th September 15.00

West Ham 10/3
Draw 9/4
Arsenal 8/11

Get on: Arsenal

A tough game to call, the Hammers top the League in average goals scored per game, but Arsenal are showing glimpses of their previous greatness. The Gunners have came from behind to snatch a draw on their last two trips to Upton Park, they can go one better today.
Match Special:
Arsenal to win from behind 8/1

Bolton v Portsmouth Saturday 24th September 17.15 Live on PPV

Bolton 8/11
Draw 9/4
Portsmouth 10/3

Get on: Bolton

Portsmouth have lost to Bolton in five of their last six meetings. Discontent is growing amongst the Pompey faithful, another defeat lies ahead.
Match Special:
Bolton to keep a clean sheet 11/10

Middlesbrough v Sunderland Sunday 25th September 16.00 Live on Sky

Middlesbrough 8/13
Draw 12/5
Sunderland 4/1

Get on: Draw

Boro are inconsistent, Sunderland are improving; another dull nil-nil.
Match Special:
No goalscorer in the match 8/1

Tottenham v Fulham Monday 26th September 20.00 Live on Sky

Tottenham 8/15
Draw 12/5
Fulham 5/1

Get on: Fulham

If Grimsby knock you out of the Cup, it’s safe to say you’re not playing well. Fulham have won four of the last six meetings between the two; back Fulham to be singing in the Lane.
Match Special:
Fulham to win 1-0 11/1

Bet with Bet 365

World Soccer News

Soccer betting tips

Soccer Books & DVDs

Financial Boost from World Cup for Japan

Financial Boost from World Cup for Japan.
World Cup Economic Effect: $3.58 billion in Japan

The Japanese Dai Ichi Seimei economic research institute estimates that next summer’s World Cup will have a $4 billion economic effect for qualifier Japan. Sales of flat-screen televisions, tours to Germany, and more will expand greatly in 2006. Looking at data from last summer’s Athens Olympics, in addition to sales of televisions, DVD recorders, and digital appliances, the surge in electricity use late at night all resulted in an economic boost of $227 million, or a bump of 0.2% in Japan’s GDP. The World Cup is expected bring in considerably more in “special demand,” and resulting in another positive blip in the nation’s economy.

Bet with Bet 365

World Soccer News

Soccer betting tips

Soccer Books & DVDs

European Leagues Review

Najbolje gol razlike u europskim ligama



Dinamo u europskom vrhu!



S omjerom od 22:2, zagrebački je Dinamo u ovom trenutku najbolji europski klub što se tiče razlike pogodaka, računajući sva bolja europska ligaška natjecanja, dok su u apsolutnom poretku ispred Dinama samo slovenske Domžale s fantastičnih 26:4 uz jednak broj odigranih utakmica (osam).



Domžale je na vodeće mjesto svrstala pobjeda nad Rudarom iz Velenja od 8:0, rezultat s kojim se ni ovogodišnji Dinamo ne može mjeriti. No, i momčad koju vodi Josip Kuže ima se s čime pohvaliti: gostujuće pobjede nad Interom (6:0), Cibalijom i Zagrebom (po 4:0) te uspjeh protiv Rijeke u Maksimiru (5:1) čine današnju Dinamovu generaciju najuspješnijom po gol razlici u povijesti 1. HNL, što se tiče prva dva mjeseca sezone.



U ostatku Europe, najjače "praši" nizozemski lider AZ Alkmaar, s +18, dok nije loš ni drugoplasirani u tom prvenstvu, Feyenoord, s +12. Vodeći škotski klub, Hearts, nakon sedam uzastopnih pobjeda ima izvrstan omjer golova od 20:4, dok se slovački lider Spartak iz Trnave diči omjerom od 18:3.



Uzmemo li u obzir snagu prvenstava, najbolje stoji Chelsea, koji vodi u Premiershipu s fantastičnih 12:0. Iz Liga petice, s Chelseajem se može nositi samo Bayern, sa svojih 14:3. Najbolju razliku pogodaka u Francuskoj nema vodeći Lyon (+6), već petoplasirani Lens (+8). Talijansko i španjolsko prvenstvo dogurali su tek do trećeg kola, pa nijedna momčad nema zapaženu razliku pogodaka (Juventus +6, Inter +5, Getafe +3).



Najbolje gol razlike 2005/06

(do 19.9.2005.)



1. Domžale 8 26:4 (+22)

2. Dinamo Zagreb 8 22:2 (+20)

3. AZ Alkmaar 5 21:3 (+18)

4. Hearts 7 20:4 (+16)

5. Spartak Trnava 9 18:3 (+15)

6. Dinamo Kijev 9 20:6 (+14)

7. Šahtar Donjeck 9 19:5 (+14)

8. Dinamo Bukurešt 6 17:4 (+13)

9. Anderlecht 6 18:6 (+12)

10. Feyenoord 5 15:3 (+12)

11. Chelsea 6 12:0 (+12)

12. CSKA Sofija 5 15:4 (+11)

13. Bayern 5 14:3 (+11)

14. Werder 5 16:6 (+10)

15. Galatasaray 6 16:6 (+10)

16. Olympiakos Pirej 3 10:0 (+10)



Opaska:

Brojevi na tablici označavaju broj odigranih utakmica, omjer golova i razliku golova. Nismo uzeli u obzir lige koje počinju u proljeće, zbog nesrazmjerno velikog broja odigranih utakmica.



(Sportske novosti)









Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Noticias de Croacia

"Ciro" no sobravive la derrota ante el Rijeka

Hajduk destituye a Miroslav Blazevic

Miroslav "Ciro" Blazevic ya no es entrenador del Hajduk, al ser destituido por la directiva en la tarde del domingo.
El técnico de 70 ańos no ha sobrevivido la derrota casera ante el Rijeka, lo que ha abierto la brecha de nueve puntos entre el Hajduk y el líder, Dinamo Zagreb. Aunque el mismo había dicho que iba a dimitir en caso de perder con el Rijeka, se nego a presentar la dimisión después de encajar el 0-1 y forzó la directiva a "ejecutarle."

Junto a Blazevic, se va, casi seguramente, el director deportivo Igor Stimac, el mayor abogado del veterano entrenador dentro del club.
- "Pensaba marcharme antes, pero me quedé cuando Blazevic acepto venir con nosotros. Mi trabajo me ha desgastado totalmente." - ha matizado Stimac, quien fue internacional croata bajo "Ciro" Blazevic.

El ex seleccionador llegó al Hajduk al final de la pasada temporada procedente del Hajduk, pero muy rápido sufrió un debacle en la previa de la Liga de campeones ante el Debrecen húngaro, que le apeó de la competición por un global de 0-8. Su agonía ha alegrado sobre todo a los aficionados del Dinamo de Zagreb, quienes consideraron su pase al Hajduk como una auténtica "traición", visto que Blazevic estaba siempre identificado con el Dinamo, cuyo entrenador fue en cuatro épocas.

No se conoce el sucesor de Blazevic, pero se menciona el ex-entrenador de la selección nacional sub-20 Ivan Gudelj, antiguo internacional con Yugoslavia, que marcó un gol a Espańa en el Mundial del 1982.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Croatian Soccer Report

Dos viejas glorias demandan a su viejo club

Prosinecki y Cvitanovic llevan al Dinamo a la FIFA

Dos ilustres ex-futbolistas del Dinamo Zagreb, Robert Prosinecki e Igor Cvitanovic, han amenazado a su antiguo equipo con llevarlo a los tribunales internacionales para cobrar sus respectivas deudas. Prosinecki demanda 750.000 euros y Cvitanovic 760.000 euros al club en el que pasaron épocas muy buenas.

- "Me han engańado, no le perdonaré ni un centavo y no les dejaré en paz mientras exista alguna instancia en Croacia o en el mundo que pueda desenmascar aquel fraude." - dijo un furioso "Prosi", con el que el Dinamo rescindió el contrato unilateralmente en el 2000.
- "Basta ya de hacer el tonto, iré hasta la UEFA y la FIFA por mis derechos." - ha avisado al diario Sportske novosti el actual director del Pula, de Primera división croata.

Igor Cvitanovic, el máximo goleador de la historia del club, pide sus 760.000 euros.
- "Igual que Prosinecki, estoy dispuesto a recurrir a la FIFA y hasta al Tribunal de derechos humanos en Estrasburgo, si resulta necesario." - ha seńalado el ex-jugador de la Real Sociedad.

Ambos opinan que a causa de las deudas el Dinamo no debía haber sido admitido a las copas europeas a partir del 2001 y que de hecho tuvo que ser descendido al nivel más bajo de la competición, a la Cuarta división.

- "Hay otros jugadores que les demandan, entre otros Drazen Ladic, Goran Juric, Josko Jelicic..." - indica Cvitanovic, indignado con la negativa de la directiva de su viejo club para liquidar las deudas.

Curiosamente, ambos llevan sus propias deudas hacia terceros. Segun informa el portal croata vip.hr, Prosinecki es demandado por medio millón de euros por el joven jugador del Osijek Goran Perak, a quien se había comprometido a patrocinar.

Cvitanovic por otro lado podría deber 64.000 euros al Osijek, equivalentes a una mitad del valor de los locales que recibió del club como contraprestación por la vuelta a su club de origen hace unos ańos, que apenas fructificó.


Bet with Bet 365

World Soccer News

Soccer betting tips

Soccer Books & DVDs

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Beer Hunter

Football betting.
At the start of the season, one firm offered odds on which was more likely to occur, Charlton will play Chelsea in a top of the table encounter or Robbie Savage will win ‘Player’s player of the year’. After last season’s end of season collapse by Charlton, my cash went on the hairy Welshman receiving a new trophy for the caravan.

Unusually; my choice has proved to be incorrect.

The Champions head to the Valley knowing that a two goal reversal would knock them from the Premiership summit, but as they are yet to concede a single goal this term, Chelsea are the team we’ll build the accer around, get on at 1/2.

A Manchester United victory at Anfield is very much like a London bus, you can go two years without seeing one, then three come along in a row. The United manager can also be compared to a London bus; he’s big, red and can’t be relied upon for time-keeping.

Man U face Liverpool in the game of the week, and United are the pick at 11/8.

Van Nistelrooy has netted in every league match this season, and when Wayne Rooney isn’t fighting with David Beckham or making donations to the elderly, he’s banging in goals. Get on Man U to win, and take an interest at 5/4 about Van the man getting on the score-sheet.

Sunderland are as pointless as a step-ladder in the Crouch residence, but will face West Brom with real confidence. The Baggies have won only 1 of their last 23 on the road, and continue to play Horsfield and Campbell instead of the goal-machine that is Robbie Earnshaw. Back Sunderland at 5/4 to leave the Albion fans more distraught than an Australian cricketer / convict.

Graeme Souness and Craig Bellamy will go face to face for the first time since the Scottish nutcase had the Welsh wrong-un removed. The Geordies have the better players, and must be backed at 9/5; what a way to make a living.

I’ve come to a shocking conclusion; I believe that advertisers do not always tell the complete truth. Half way through a disappointing documentary on water conservation entitled ‘Great Dikes of the 20th Century’, I saw Steve Bruce’s mug on an advert looking very bored by a 0-0 draw at home to Tottenham. As City have lost three out of three at St Andrew’s, the prospect of a goalless draw would have the Birmingham manager sitting on the edge of his seat. That’s fiction, this is fact; the following movie related specials are available at Super Soccer.

“Bruce Almighty” – Any Birmingham substitute to score 4/1
“The Great Heskape” – Heskey to score, and Birmingham to win from behind 25/1
“Speed II” – Gary Speed to score two or more goals 40/1
“Mission Impossible” – Sunderland to win 5/4
“A few dollars more” – Rio Ferdinand to score the last goal 40/1
“Be Tall Juice” – Crouch to score with a header 4/1
“Jarosik Park” – Jiri Jarosik and Park Ji-Sung both to score 22/1
“12 Angry Men” – Blackburn to have a player sent off 11/2
“The Usual Suspects” – Savage and Diouf to be booked 6/1
“Al is in Wonderland” – Shearer to score a hat-trick 25/1
“The Incredible Bulk” – Rooney to score two or more goals 7/1
“Look Who’s Talking” – Rooney to be booked for dissent 8/1
“Shrek” – Rooney to be sent off 20/1
“American Pie” – McBride and Rooney both to score 11/2
“Fatman and Robben” – Rooney and Robben both to score 13/2
“The Old Dear Hunter” – Rooney to score a hat-trick 25/1

Quote of the week:

“F*** o**, you flash c***”

Wayne Rooney makes a fair point…

Stat, you’re a liberty:

The Arsenal players love to face Everton. Last season, 10 different Gunners got on the score-sheet against the Toffee-men.

Acc of the week:

Chelsea
Sunderland
Man Utd
Newcastle
Middlesbrough

The five-timer will pay over 55/1 when it sails in.

Weekend Betting:

Charlton v Chelsea Saturday 17th September 15.00

Charlton 5/1
Draw 5/2
Chelsea 1/2

Get on: Chelsea

Charlton have won 5 of their last 10 matches against Chelsea, but Jose’s men are clean sheet specialists; a sixth straight shutout will earn Jose a new Premiership record.
Match Special:
Chelsea to win 2-0 11/2

Fulham v West Ham Saturday 17th September 15.00

Fulham 6/5
Draw 9/4
West Ham 9/5

Get on: West Ham

The last time the Hammers were beaten at the Cottage in the League was in 1966; a year that will go down in English footballing history, as Blackburn went three games without having a player sent off. Away win
Match Special:
Harewood to score the first goal 7/1

Portsmouth v Birmingham Saturday 17th September 15.00

Portsmouth 5/4
Draw 11/5
Birmingham 9/5

Get on: Draw

Eight of the last nine matches have produced two goals or less. Blues are useless at home, but unbeaten away. Get on the draw.
Match Special:
Match to finish 1-1 11/2

Sunderland v West Brom Saturday 17th September 15.00

Sunderland 5/4
Draw 11/5
West Brom 9/5

Get on: Sunderland

It’s the most annoying record since the Spice Girls, but it ends now. Albion are useless on the road, home win.
Match Special:
Sunderland to score three or more goals 9/2

Aston Villa v Tottenham Saturday 17th September 17.15 Live on PPV

Aston Villa 13/8
Draw 11/5
Tottenham 11/8

Get on: Aston Villa

After a recent Hammering, the Villa can bounce back by beating Spurs. O’Leary’s men have won this corresponding fixture 1-0 for the past two seasons; they’ll edge it again.
Match Special:
Villa to win 1-0 7/1

Liverpool v Man Utd Sunday 18th September 12.00 Live on Sky

Liverpool 13/8
Draw 11/5
Man Utd 11/8

Get on: Man Utd

Rooney and Van Nistelrooy are on fire; the Pool can’t score. It ain’t rocket science, it’s an away win.
Match Special:
Rooney and Van Nistelrooy both to score 11/2

Blackburn v Newcastle Sunday 18th September 14.00 Live on PPV

Blackburn 5/4
Draw 11/5
Newcastle 9/5

Get on: Newcastle

The Geordies have never won at Ewood Park in the Premiership, but at 9/5, and with Owen and Shearer, the Toon Army are the value.
Match Special:
Owen and Shearer both to score 8/1


Wigan v Middlesbrough Sunday 18th September 15.00

Wigan 6/4
Draw 11/5
Middlesbrough 6/4

Get on: Middlesbrough

When the Boro go to Wigan, they win. When my Mrs leaves the house, everyone’s a winner.
Match Special:
Middlesbrough to win 1-0 7/1

Man City v Bolton Sunday 18th September 16.00

Man City 11/10
Draw 9/4
Bolton 2/1

Get on: Draw

The last team to take three points at the City of Manchester stadium were Bolton. It’s 13 games unbeaten for City now, and five undefeated on the road for Bolton, it all points to the draw.
Match Special:
No Goalscorer in the match 15/2

Arsenal v Everton Monday 19th September 20.00 Live on Sky

Arsenal 4/11
Draw 3/1
Everton 13/2

Get on: Arsenal

Arsenal demolished Everton on three occasions last season. Without Sir Terrence Henry, they may only score the three in this one.
Match Special:
Arsenal to win 3-0 7/1

Bet with Bet 365

World Soccer News

Soccer betting tips

Soccer Books & DVDs

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Wenger Gonna Learn? Boro 2 - The Arse 1 & other stories

After a cowering Boro spent the first 20 minutes or so running scared and bottling challenges, with Reyes threatening to give us another (expected) routing, things turned around and Boro managed to pull off the unexpected.

Yakubu opened his goal scoring account shortly before the half time break with a bit of nifty turning and a beautiful shot (the only first half chance), giving Boro the half-time lead and the confidence and self-belief that they had been sorely lacking. Yes, you're 1-0 up, yes you can beat teams and yes you can at least give it a try - come on!

As a long-time Boro fan though nothing is ever taken for granted, least of all a 1-0 lead against a team that, to give them their dues, does normally absolutely batter the occasionally mighty Boro. But Arsenal didn't seem to get started again and an enlivened Boro team kept them out with solid defending as ever from Gareth Southgate and a revitalised whippet-like Maccarone keeping the box under attack, narrowly missing feeding Yakubu a second and then scoring a goal almost identical to Yak's opener, provided by the man himself. With his first goal since May 2004, it seems the bald Italian may be out of the wilderness and may have at last settled in. He's out to prove himself and he's doing a good job.

18 year old Wearsider Adam Johnson, in for injured Downing, had a great game on the wing once he got over the Arsenal-phobia that seemed to grip everyone in the first half. Xavier also had a commendable debut, the 32 year old appearing to have brough heaps of experience with age, rather than attitude, injury and an inflated wage, but it was Rochemback who really made an impact. McClaren proclaimed he "...had the best debut I have seen from a player and he can get even better" - high praise indeed and well deserved. Providing creativity in midfield and a perfect partner to workhorse Boateng, the 23 year old Brazilian fielded passes with great skill and accuracy throughtout and looks to only get better as he gets used to his new side.

Reyes managed to pop in a consolation goal 3 minutes into injury time ("Looks like we've won this", says my mate just as the ball hits the net ) but the whistle went and the game was won. A 3-0 away pasting of Birmingham, a 3-0 home pasting by Charlton and then a 2-1 defeat of Arsenal - inconsistent?! Well, such is the weird world of the mighty Boro. God knows what's going to happen at Wigan.

A-League: New Football Off To A Flyer

Marc Fox reports on the impact of Dwight Yorke, Kevin Muscat, Archie Thompson, Alex Brosque and Richard Kitzbichler: harbingers of football's rebirth down under.

Thanks in no small part to the five imports named above, Australian football's governing body has seen all its dreams come true in the opening weeks of the inaugural A-League. If six months ago, you had foretold the start of the fledgling competition would see not just sparkling debuts but goals from each of these players, your prophesy would have been laughed out of town.

However, from the moment Adelaide United's veteran striker Carl Veart headed home the first-ever A-League goal at the Newcastle Jets - springing the first of a host of surprise results during three rounds of action - the competition's leading men have continued to step up and meet the challenge of chartering new football's voyage to a more credible future.

Yorke, Thompson and young gun Brosque each struck in the opening weekend, the former Manchester United striker opening his Sydney FC account 44 minutes into his debut against Melbourne Victory. New dad Thompson, himself fulfilling all his personal ambitions including two goals in the World Cup playoff against the Solomon Islands, equalised in the second-half to force shared honours.

Meanwhile, Queensland's Brosque held his nerve ten minutes from time in his first A-League outing to snatch the points from New Zealand. In round two, Muscat and Kitzbichler - one a returning hero, the other an Austrian international - each scored for Melbourne in its 2-2 draw with Perth.

That is not to demean the impact local talent has made in the heavily-budgeted never-seen-before A-League show. Bobby Despotovski (Perth), Nick Carle and Ante Milicic (both Newcastle), Noel Spencer and Tom Pondeljak (both Central Coast), Jonti Richter (Queensland), Ross Aloisi (Adelaide) and Zenon Caravella (New Zealand) all deserve a special mention from the group of players to have stepped up from the old National Soccer League.

Not only has the new league been rich in talent, it's proved to be far closer than bookmakers would have had you believe before launch. For instance, only three games from 12 have been won by more than the odd goal. Moreover, only one team has not yet recorded a victory - surprisingly early picks Melbourne Victory - and just one has won twice (the unlikely frontrunners Adelaide United).

Off the pitch, the FFA declared an early victory as crowd figures topped 70,000 across the four venues for the opening round alone, a weekend in which the domestic record for attendance at a non-finals league match was broken twice in the space of two hours - first at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane where 21,000 Queenslanders made history, then at Aussie Stadium in Sydney where the turnout exceeded 25,000. More importantly, fixtures are still averaging upwards of 12,000 supporters with the biggest pullers Sydney, Queensland and Melbourne having played only once at home so far.

The Road To Germany - Part 2

Outside the A-League, fate continues to deal a good hand to the Australian football authorities. The Socceroos breezed past the challenge of the Solomon Islands despite some hairy moments in the away leg in Honiara. Having already subjected the Melanesians to a seven-goal tanking in Sydney in the first tie, complacency, humidity and tactical naivety all combined to anger new coach Guus Hiddink at the way his squad bumbled to a 2-1 victory.

Nevertheless - and as expected - the Socceroos have booked their place as Oceania's challengers in November's double-header against the fifth-placed South American qualifiers. Nothing new there but what did make a refreshing change was FIFA's decision - albeit via the gamble of drawing lots - to award Australia the benefit of playing the final decisive leg at home.

The Socceroos' likely opponents are either current fifth-placed side Uruguay - their 2001 World Cup nemesis - or sixth-placed Colombia, neither of which would be straightforward assignments despite the advantage of being able to defend stoutly away and strike at home.

Bet with Bet 365

World Soccer News

Soccer betting tips

Soccer Books & DVDs

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Soccerphile World Cup Blog

Kolektivno samoubojstvo Hrvata na Malti

ili "Kako si dobrovoljno uskratiti Svjetsko prvenstvo, slavu i pare"

Ne završi li kvalifikacijska drama sretno po Hrvatsku, iduća će pokoljenja učiti o "kobnom 7. rujnu, danu kad je jedan san došao kraju."

Jer, taj je dan zaista bio katastrofalan za našu reprezentaciju. S Maltom je odigrala, vjerojatno, najlošiju utakmicu otkako se natječe u kvalifikacijama za Europska ili Svjetska prvenstva; najljući suparnik, Švedska, pretekla je "vatrene" pobjedom u Mađarskoj i to pogotkom polu-Hrvata Ibrahimovića u sudačkoj nadoknadi; Poljska je svladala Wales i otežala nam prodor na Mundial kao jedna od dvije najbolje druge reprezentacije; Češka je tukla Armeniju, s istim posljedicama po nas koje ima i pobjeda Poljske. Ukratko, od "momčadi koja može nadmašiti broncu iz Francuske", u razmaku od nekoliko sati dobili smo demoraliziranu vojsku pred kojom je niz teških bitaka, u pobjedu u kojima ni sama ne vjeruje.

Nakon sretne pobjede u Švedskoj, iskorištenog iznenadnog pada Bugarske i s mukom izborena tri boda na Islandu, mora da su Cico Kranjčar i njegovi učenici povjerovali da je 90% posla obavljeno i da je ostalo pitanje rutine: pobjeda nad već otpalom Mađarskom na zadnji dan kvalifikacija bila bi 100% dovoljna za plasman na Svjetsko prvenstvo, čak i da prethodno izgubimo od Švedske u Zagrebu s 0:7, s koliko je od Ibrahimssona i kompanije izgubila Malta u La Valetti. S tri boda protiv Malte te još tri u preostale dvije utakmice, Hrvatska bi bila unutra, kao prva ili kao druga, svejedno. Nakon "dana suicida" u La Valetti, stanje je "nešto nepovoljnije": ni s bodom protiv Švedske i s tri u Budimpešti Hrvatska nije siguran putnik na Svjetsko prvenstvo!! S pobjedom protiv Švedske i s remijem u Mađarskoj jest sigurna, no kako do tih rezultata? Zar će to ostvariti "junaci" koji su Malti omogućili da u jednu večer udvostruči svoju bodovnu bilancu u tekućim kvalifikacijama? O predstojećem suđenju ne želimo ni razmišljati, s obzirom na ponašanje hrvatskih navijača u La Valetti. Ili netko misli da FIFA silno želi u Njemačkoj reprezentaciju čiji je kontingent navijača već na licu mjesta, s obzirom da u toj zemlji živi, a kojima bi pojačanja u rijekama stizala poznatom cestom Zagreb-München?

Što nam preostaje?

Hrvatska i dalje ima svoju sudbinu u svojim rukama, no naše su ruke slabašne. Dosada osvojenih 20 bodova prije 13 bi mjeseci bio objeručke prihvaćen kao odličan plijen, no danas mislimo drukčije: prvo, ritam i redoslijed osvajanja tih bodova je pogrešan, jer najbolje smo igre pružili u početku i u sredini kvalifikacija, dok smo u u završnici popustili; drugo, tada nismo očekivali da će Švedska osvojiti već 21 bod u osam susreta. Prošlogodišnji su proračuni govorili da bismo s 20 bodova dvije utakmice prije kraja natjecanja sigurno držali prvo mjesto, s barem dva boda više od drugoplasirane zemlje. Šveđani su, međutim, izborili sedam pobjeda i jedan poraz, uz razliku pogodaka od 27:2.

Što se tiče hrvatskih mogućnosti, one stoje ovako:

1. Prvo mjesto u skupini možemo osvojiti pobjedom nad Švedskom i barem remijem s Mađarskom.

2. Drugo mjesto u skupini nam je sigurno, čak i ako izgubimo obje utakmice.

3. Jedna od dvije najbolje druge, koje također direktno idu na Mundial, možemo biti vrlo, VRLO teško.

3. A. Ako izgubimo od Švedske, a svladamo Mađarsku, po svoj će prilici ispred nas ostati drugoplasirane momčadi iz skupine 1 (vjerojatno Češka) i skupine 6 (Engleska ili Poljska), s većim brojem bodova od nas.

3. B. Ako remiziramo sa Švedskom i tučemo Mađarsku, izgledno je da ćemo biti izjednačeni po bodovima s Češkom i Poljskom, ali sa slabijom razlikom pogodaka od obje!

Uz bod u Zagrebu i tri u Budimpešti, skupili bismo 24 boda, koliko će imati i Češka ako svlada Nizozemsku kod kuće i Finsku u gostima, te Poljska, ako padne u Engleskoj. No, Češka će imati bolju gol-razliku od nas pod uvjetom da Armenija ne svlada Andorru (da, i to je bitno!). Ako Andorra ostane ispred Armenije na šestom mjestu, Česima će se računati zbirnih 12:1 protiv kneževine s Pirineja, te bi njena gol-razlika za nas ostala praktično nedostižna. Što se Čeha tiče, ostaje nam nada da bi mogli ispustiti barem dva boda s Nizozemskom ili Finskom, no slaba je to nada, znamo li da su Nizozemci sigurni svladaju li zadnjeg dana Makedoniju, a da je Finska ipak lošija od Češke.

S druge strane, obradovati bi nas mogla Poljska tako da izvuče bod ili tri u Engleskoj i tako gurne Otočane na drugo mjesto; Hrvatska bi s već i sa samom pobjedom kod Mađarske bila ispred Engleske na ljestvici drugoplasiranih. Međutim, Engleska je naprosto bolja od Poljske i sigurno će odigrati s maksimalnim angažmanom, dok će Poljacima odgovarati i minimalan poraz, osim ako Hrvatska prethodno svlada Švedsku. No, dogodi li se "čudo" pa da tučemo Skandinavce u Zagrebu, tada će nam biti dovoljan bod u Budimpešti pa se na Poljake nećemo ni osvrtati.


UVJETI ZA HRVATSKI PROBOJ S DRUGOG MJESTA

Rezultati koji odgovaraju Hrvatskoj, pod uvjetom da izbori bod sa Švedskom i tri s Mađarskom.

Ispuni li se bilo koji od donjih uvjeta, bili bismo među dvije najbolje drugoplasirane momčadi. Iznimno, pobjeda Armenije nad Andorom ne bi nam bila dovoljna sama po sebi, ako bi Češka preostale dvije utakmice dobila s pet ili više razlike. U tom bismo slučaju morali svladati Mađarsku s više od jednim razlike, odnosno s po gol više od jednog za svaki češki gol iznad zbirnih četiri razlike protiv Nizozemske i Finske.

* 8.10. Češka - Nizozemska tip 0 ili 2
* 12.10. Finska - Češka 1 ili 0
* 12.10. Andora - Armenija 2

Rasplet: Hrvatska 24 boda, Češka manje od 24 ili sa slabijom gol-razlikom.

* 8.10. Engleska - Austrija tip 0 ili 2
* 12.10. Engleska - Poljska 0 ili 2

Rasplet: Hrvatska 24 boda, Engleska manje od 24

* 12.10. Engleska - Poljska tip 1 uz pobjedu domaćih od četiri ili više gola

Rasplet: Hrvatska 24 boda, Poljska 24 sa slabijom gol-razlikom. Izgubi li Poljska samo s jednim razlike, Hrvatska mora dobiti Mađarsku s četiri; izgubi li Poljska s dva razlike, Hrvatska
mora dobiti s tri, itd.


Rezultati koji odgovaraju Hrvatskoj, ako izgubi od Švedske, a svlada Mađarsku.
Opet, dovoljan je bar jedan od dolje navedenih uvjeta, s time da ishod Andora-Armenija više neće biti bitan.

* 8.10. Češka - Nizozemska tip 0 ili 2
* 12.10. Finska - Češka 1 ili 0

Rasplet: Hrvatska 23 boda, Češka 22 ili manje

* 8.10. Engleska - Austrija tip 0 ili 2
* 12.10. Engleska - Poljska 0 ili 2

Rasplet: Hrvatska 23 boda, Engleska 23 sa slabijom gol-razlikom

Friday, September 9, 2005

Conferring, Referring and undoubted Porridge Stirring

Conferring, Referring and undoubted Porridge Stirring.
Some men dream of wealth, others cherish power. I however, have a thirst for knowledge. (And lager.) In order to complete my quest for a greater understanding of life’s complexities, the following questions need to be asked.

To Sven Goran Eriksson, “You’re Swedish, this is England, why a quarter-back?”

To David James, “Where were you last Saturday night?”

To Vince Vaughn, “What’s it like stirring Brad Pitt’s porridge?”

To Michael Owen, “Why did you sign for Newcastle?”

Michael’s arrival at St James’ Park was an incredible turn of events. His decision to leave Madrid was sound, but to sign for Newcastle instead of the European Champions was simply astonishing.

The Geordies finished 14th in the league last season, and are sitting 19th in the table now, without a goal to their name. Amazingly, after conferring with Alan Shearer, Michael turned down Champions League football to join the previously sinking ship.

Owen’s decision making may be questionable, but his ability in front of goal is world-class. The Toon Army go from no-hopers to weekend nap material, get on at 8/13.

The signing of Owen has completely shaken up the ‘betting without the big 3’ market. With Nobby Solano and Alberto Luque supplying Alan Shearer and Michael Owen, goals and a charge up the table are guaranteed. Where will Newcastle finish at the end of the season? I’ll name that Toon in 4.

Sunderland are in real trouble as they head to the Bridge to face Chelsea. The Mackems recent form guide displays more L’s than a Welsh atlas, while the Blues have a 100% record and are yet to concede a goal. Odds of 1/8 will not make us rich, but as Rio Ferdinand would testify, money isn’t everything.

Backing the draw in a football match is the equivalent of ringing up a telephone survey to declare that you don’t know the answer; but in the case of West Ham v Villa, the stats say it’s the only option. Eight out of the last ten league matches have ended in a stalemate, get on at 11/5.

Andy Cole will play in his first Manchester derby as a blue, and his early season form makes him a real contender at 8/1 to net the opener. A word of warning though, ‘Old King Cole’ has never scored against United since leaving the Red Devils; so unlike Wayne Rooney at a barbecue, keep your stakes small.

Thierry Henry broke Irish hearts in midweek, and could well smash Arsenal’s all time goal scoring record at the weekend. The French genius needs two goals against Boro to over-take Highbury legend/nutcase Ian Wright; get on at 4/1.

Here’s a little inside information; you should back a sending off in the West Ham v Villa match at 4/1; the word on the street is that there could be claret all over the pitch.

Quote of the week:

“I never set targets; the ideal scenario would be for me to score 20 goals.”
Juan Pablo Angel, referring to his ambitions for the season.

Outsider of the week:

William Gallas loves to play against Sunderland. The French defender has netted the opener in the last two matches against the Mackems at the Bridge, odds of 22/1 for a repeat could tempt.

Stat, you’re a liberty:

The Premiership all-time ‘Bad Boys’ are not Blackburn; that dubious honour belongs to Everton.

Acc of the week:

Chelsea
Everton
Newcastle
Arsenal
West Ham to draw

The five fold pays over 14/1

Weekend Betting:

Birmingham v Charlton Saturday 10th September 15.00

Birmingham 11/8
Draw 11/5
Charlton 13/8

Get on: Charlton

Birmingham have played two and lost two at home this season, while Charlton have never been beaten at St Andrews in the Premiership. All the omens point to an away win, get your cash down.
Match Special:
Charlton to score three or more goals 11/2

Chelsea v Sunderland Saturday 10th September 15.00

Chelsea 1/8
Draw 5/1
Sunderland 16/1

Get on: Chelsea

Sunderland haven’t always been awful at football, they completed a double over Chelsea just four seasons ago. The Blues have scored the most goals in the Premiership this season, while conceding the least; it’s another L for the Mackems.

Match Special:
Chelsea to win 2-0 7/1

Everton v Portsmouth Saturday 10th September 15.00

Everton 8/13
Draw 12/5
Portsmouth 4/1

Get on: Everton

It’s been almost 50 years since Pompey beat Everton in the league; Duncan Ferguson probably remembers it. Everton are yet to score at home, but this is Portsmouth. Three points for the Scousers.
Match Special:
Everton to win 1-0 6/1

Man Utd v Man City Saturday 10th September 15.00

Man Utd 2/5
Draw 11/4
Man City 13/2

Get on: Man Utd

With ‘Van the Man’ and ‘Roon the Loon’ in their current form, City’s 30-year wait for a win at Old Trafford will be extended.
Match Special:
Van Nistelrooy and Rooney both to score 7/2

Newcastle v Fulham Saturday 10th September 15.00

Newcastle 8/13
Draw 12/5
Fulham 4/1

Get on: Newcastle

In the history of the Premiership, no team has ever gone through their first five matches without scoring. As this fixture averages 3.9 goals a game over the last 12 matches, and with a certain Michael Owen making his debut, that stat is safe for another year.
Match Special:
Owen to score a hat-trick 12/1

Tottenham v Liverpool Saturday 10th September 15.00

Tottenham 6/4
Draw 11/5
Liverpool 6/4

Get on: Draw

Micky Owen and Nob Solano both turned down the European champions in favour of a move to Newcastle, the Pool may be goal-shy as a result.
Match Special:
No Goalscorer in the match 15/2

West Brom v Wigan Saturday 10th September 15.00

West Brom 10/11
Draw 9/4
Wigan 5/2

Get on: Draw

West Brom enjoy hosting Wigan, the Baggies score an average of 2.75 goals a game when the Latics travel to the Hawthorns. The Albion do have the leakiest defence in the Premiership though; score draw.
Match Special:
Match to finish 2-2 14/1

Middlesbrough v Arsenal Saturday 10th September 17.15 Live on PPV

Middlesbrough 7/2
Draw 12/5
Arsenal 4/6

Get on: Arsenal

The Gunners have completed the double over Boro for the last four seasons, bagging 24 goals in the process. The Boro are yet to score at the Riverside, 3-0 to the Gunners.
Match Special:
Arsenal to win 3-0 11/1

Bolton v Blackburn Sunday 11th September 16.00 Live on Sky

Bolton 10/11
Draw 11/5
Blackburn 13/5

Get on: Home

A relatively low scoring affair, six of the last eight matches have seen two or less goals, five of those games were drawn. Mark Hughes has admitted that Blackburn have a disciplinary problem; Sherlock Holmes he ain’t.
Match Special:
Blackburn to have a player sent off 5/1

West Ham v Aston Villa Monday 12th September 20.00 Live on Sky

West Ham 6/4
Draw 11/5
Aston Villa 6/4

Get on: Draw

The Hammers have not beaten the Villa in 10 attempts in the league, but 8 of those were drawn. You can’t argue with an 80% success rate, score draw.
Match Special:
Match to finish 1/1 11/2

Bet with Bet 365

World Soccer News

Soccer betting tips

Soccer Books & DVDs

Thursday, September 8, 2005

Kolektivno samoubojstvo Hrvata na Malti

Kolektivno samoubojstvo Hrvata na Malti



ili "Kako si dobrovoljno uskratiti Svjetsko prvenstvo, slavu i pare"




Ne završi li kvalifikacijska drama sretno po Hrvatsku, iduća će pokoljenja učiti o "kobnom 7. rujnu, danu kad je jedan san došao kraju."



Jer, taj je dan zaista bio katastrofalan za našu reprezentaciju. S Maltom je odigrala, vjerojatno, najlošiju utakmicu otkako se natječe u kvalifikacijama za Europska ili Svjetska prvenstva; najljući suparnik, Švedska, pretekla je "vatrene" pobjedom u Mađarskoj i to pogotkom polu-Hrvata Ibrahimovića u sudačkoj nadoknadi; Poljska je svladala Wales i otežala nam prodor na Mundial kao jedna od dvije najbolje druge reprezentacije; Češka je tukla Armeniju, s istim posljedicama po nas koje ima i pobjeda Poljske. Ukratko, od "momčadi koja može nadmašiti broncu iz Francuske", u razmaku od nekoliko sati dobili smo demoraliziranu vojsku pred kojom je niz teških bitaka, u pobjedu u kojima ni sama ne vjeruje.



Nakon sretne pobjede u Švedskoj, iskorištenog iznenadnog pada Bugarske i s mukom izborena tri boda na Islandu, mora da su Cico Kranjčar i njegovi učenici povjerovali da je 90% posla obavljeno i da je ostalo pitanje rutine: pobjeda nad već otpalom Mađarskom na zadnji dan kvalifikacija bila bi 100% dovoljna za plasman na Svjetsko prvenstvo, čak i da prethodno izgubimo od Švedske u Zagrebu s 0:7, s koliko je od Ibrahimssona i kompanije izgubila Malta u La Valetti. S tri boda protiv Malte te još tri u preostale dvije utakmice, Hrvatska bi bila unutra, kao prva ili kao druga, svejedno. Nakon "dana suicida" u La Valetti, stanje je "nešto nepovoljnije": ni s bodom protiv Švedske i s tri u Budimpešti Hrvatska nije siguran putnik na Svjetsko prvenstvo!! S pobjedom protiv Švedske i s remijem u Mađarskoj jest sigurna, no kako do tih rezultata? Zar će to ostvariti "junaci" koji su Malti omogućili da u jednu večer udvostruči svoju bodovnu bilancu u tekućim kvalifikacijama? O predstojećem suđenju ne želimo ni razmišljati, s obzirom na ponašanje hrvatskih navijača u La Valetti. Ili netko misli da FIFA silno želi u Njemačkoj reprezentaciju čiji je kontingent navijača već na licu mjesta, s obzirom da u toj zemlji živi, a kojima bi pojačanja u rijekama stizala poznatom cestom Zagreb-München?



Što nam preostaje?



Hrvatska i dalje ima svoju sudbinu u svojim rukama, no naše su ruke slabašne. Dosada osvojenih 20 bodova prije 13 bi mjeseci bio objeručke prihvaćen kao odličan plijen, no danas mislimo drukčije: prvo, ritam i redoslijed osvajanja tih bodova je pogrešan, jer najbolje smo igre pružili u početku i u sredini kvalifikacija, dok smo u u završnici popustili; drugo, tada nismo očekivali da će Švedska osvojiti već 21 bod u osam susreta. Prošlogodišnji su proračuni govorili da bismo s 20 bodova dvije utakmice prije kraja natjecanja sigurno držali prvo mjesto, s barem dva boda više od drugoplasirane zemlje. Šveđani su, međutim, izborili sedam pobjeda i jedan poraz, uz razliku pogodaka od 27:2.



Što se tiče hrvatskih mogućnosti, one stoje ovako:



1. Prvo mjesto u skupini možemo osvojiti pobjedom nad Švedskom i barem remijem s Mađarskom.



2. Drugo mjesto u skupini nam je sigurno, čak i ako izgubimo obje utakmice.



3. Jedna od dvije najbolje druge, koje također direktno idu na Mundial, možemo biti vrlo, VRLO teško.



3. A. Ako izgubimo od Švedske, a svladamo Mađarsku, po svoj će prilici ispred nas ostati drugoplasirane momčadi iz skupine 1 (vjerojatno Češka) i skupine 6 (Engleska ili Poljska), s većim brojem bodova od nas.



3. B. Ako remiziramo sa Švedskom i tučemo Mađarsku, izgledno je da ćemo biti izjednačeni po bodovima s Češkom i Poljskom, ali sa slabijom razlikom pogodaka od obje!



Uz bod u Zagrebu i tri u Budimpešti, skupili bismo 24 boda, koliko će imati i Češka ako svlada Nizozemsku kod kuće i Finsku u gostima, te Poljska, ako padne u Engleskoj. No, Češka će imati bolju gol-razliku od nas pod uvjetom da Armenija ne svlada Andorru (da, i to je bitno!). Ako Andorra ostane ispred Armenije na šestom mjestu, Česima će se računati zbirnih 12:1 protiv kneževine s Pirineja, te bi njena gol-razlika za nas ostala praktično nedostižna. Što se Čeha tiče, ostaje nam nada da bi mogli ispustiti barem dva boda s Nizozemskom ili Finskom, no slaba je to nada, znamo li da su Nizozemci sigurni svladaju li zadnjeg dana Makedoniju, a da je Finska ipak lošija od Češke.



S druge strane, obradovati bi nas mogla Poljska tako da izvuče bod ili tri u Engleskoj i tako gurne Otočane na drugo mjesto; Hrvatska bi s već i sa samom pobjedom kod Mađarske bila ispred Engleske na ljestvici drugoplasiranih. Međutim, Engleska je naprosto bolja od Poljske i sigurno će odigrati s maksimalnim angažmanom, dok će Poljacima odgovarati i minimalan poraz, osim ako Hrvatska prethodno svlada Švedsku. No, dogodi li se "čudo" pa da tučemo Skandinavce u Zagrebu, tada će nam biti dovoljan bod u Budimpešti pa se na Poljake nećemo ni osvrtati.





UVJETI ZA HRVATSKI PROBOJ S DRUGOG MJESTA



Rezultati koji odgovaraju Hrvatskoj, pod uvjetom da izbori bod sa Švedskom i tri s Mađarskom.




Ispuni li se bilo koji od donjih uvjeta, bili bismo među dvije najbolje drugoplasirane momčadi. Iznimno, pobjeda Armenije nad Andorom ne bi nam bila dovoljna sama po sebi, ako bi Češka preostale dvije utakmice dobila s pet ili više razlike. U tom bismo slučaju morali svladati Mađarsku s više od jednim razlike, odnosno s po gol više od jednog za svaki češki gol iznad zbirnih četiri razlike protiv Nizozemske i Finske.



* 8.10. Češka - Nizozemska tip 0 ili 2

* 12.10. Finska - Češka 1 ili 0

* 12.10. Andora - Armenija 2



Rasplet: Hrvatska 24 boda, Češka manje od 24 ili sa slabijom gol-razlikom.



* 8.10. Engleska - Austrija tip 0 ili 2

* 12.10. Engleska - Poljska 0 ili 2



Rasplet: Hrvatska 24 boda, Engleska manje od 24



* 12.10. Engleska - Poljska tip 1 uz pobjedu domaćih od četiri ili više gola



Rasplet: Hrvatska 24 boda, Poljska 24 sa slabijom gol-razlikom. Izgubi li Poljska samo s jednim razlike, Hrvatska mora dobiti Mađarsku s četiri; izgubi li Poljska s dva razlike, Hrvatska

mora dobiti s tri, itd.





Rezultati koji odgovaraju Hrvatskoj, ako izgubi od Švedske, a svlada Mađarsku.


Opet, dovoljan je bar jedan od dolje navedenih uvjeta, s time da ishod Andora-Armenija više neće biti bitan.



* 8.10. Češka - Nizozemska tip 0 ili 2

* 12.10. Finska - Češka 1 ili 0



Rasplet: Hrvatska 23 boda, Češka 22 ili manje



* 8.10. Engleska - Austrija tip 0 ili 2

* 12.10. Engleska - Poljska 0 ili 2



Rasplet: Hrvatska 23 boda, Engleska 23 sa slabijom gol-razlikom

Monday, September 5, 2005

Player Focus

Christian Vieri

An unsettled Bobo on his way to new glory.
Or the bench.

A prolific and physically powerful center forward, Christian Vieri boasts an accurate left foot and a distinguished fighting spirit. After six seasons rich in goals and somewhat poor in trophies, Bobo Vieri hopes to return to the winning ways at Milan, but he cannot be sure of a starting spot. Ahead of him are Shevchenko and Gilardino, for starters...

Christian Vieri has won himself a label of a footballing nomad. Before joining Inter in 1999, he had played in eight teams in as many seasons; Internazionale were his ninth side, having signed him from Lazio for $ 45 million. He promised then that it was the end to his migrations. - "You can rest assured, I intend to stay black-and-blue for the rest of my life. I am fed up with moving. After having travelled half of the world, plan to stick in Milan for a long time."

In fact, he has kept a part of the promise. After six seasons, 122 goals in all competitions, a nasty string of injuries, scandals and scuffles with the fans, he has stayed in the city and at the same stadium. Just, on the other side of the street and a slightly different striped shirt, that of AC Milan.

Never in the history has such a big Inter player, a team symbol, crossed the fence to AC Milan so quickly. The big guy had his contract with Inter terminated on July st, only to be presented five days later as a Milan's reinforcement. Tottenham had been fancied to employ the controversial forwards, and Milan was not even rumoured about. It is true that the two Lombardian giants work closely and some players have switched sides by mutual accord. Still, the turnaround staged by Vieri and Milan had not been recorded, ever.

While Inter's fans are making up slogans and chants dedicated to Vieri as we speak, Inter's boardroom was not terribly upset by the player's transfer to the red-and-black half of the city. Vieri's former friend, coach Roberto Mancini, was in favour of his departure, and the owner, Massimo Moratti, also favoured the move. After all, Vieri's paycheck for the seventh and the last year of contract would have amounted to an incredible € 26 million, including taxes. Inter saved themselves a lot of money and, supposedly, just as much dressing room trouble, knowing Vieri's temperament.

The 32-year old centravanti now hopes to return to the national team, which he served well whenever he was fit, but for now he faces the status of the third choice striker, behind Andriy Shevchenko and Alberto Gilardino. At least, there is no doubt as to who will be the target of Inter's fans' boos and rhymes at the next Milan derby.

Ozren Podnar


Fact file
Christian Vieri

Born in Bologna on July 12th 1973, Vieri is a log of a footballing tree. His father Roberto (called Bob, incidentally) played for several major sides: Sampdoria, Fiorentina, Juventus, Roma and Bologna; grandpa Enzo was a keeper at Prato and Pistoiese. Christian's younger brother Max currently plies his trade at Ternana.

Birthdate: July 12th 1973
Birthplace: Bologna
Height and weight: 185 cm, 82 kg
Position: centerforward
Nicknames: Bobo, Bobogol, Muto (Silent one), Mostro (Monster)

Career breakdown (apps-goals)

1991/92 Torino 6 - 1
1992/93 Torino 1 - 0
Pisa 18 - 2
1993/94 Ravenna 32 -12
1994/95 Venezia 29 -11
1995/96 Atalanta 19 - 7
1996/97 Juventus 23 - 8
1997/98 Atlético Madrid 24 - 24
1998/99 Lazio 22 - 12
1999/00 Inter 19 - 13
2000/01 Inter 27 - 18
2001/02 Inter 25 - 22
2002/03 Inter 23 - 24
2003/04 Inter 22 - 13
2004/05 Inter 27 - 12
2005/06 Milan

National team

1997-05 Italy 46 - 22

Honours:

1 Italian championship (1997)
1 Italian Cup (2005)
1 European Supercup (1997)
1 Cup Winners' Cup (1999)
Top scorer in Spain (1998)
World Cup runner-up scorer (1998)

Bosnios y croatas pelearon en el reencuentro futbolístico

Bosnios y croatas pelearon en el reencuentro futbolístico

Incidentes en el Zeljeznicar-Dinamo



El amistoso entre el Zeljeznicar bosnio y el Dinamo de Zagreb croata quedó interrumpido anoche a los 70 minutos por la pelea multitudinaria entre las dos hinchadas, que continuó fuera del Estadio Grbavica.



Fue el primer reencuentro entre dos equipos de la antigua liga yugoslava después de la desintegración de la vieja Yugoslavia. Aunque el Zeljeznicar y el Dinamo no eran nunca grandes rivales, los aficionados aprovecharon la ocasión para dejar patente su envidiable nivel de vandalismo.



En el momento crítico, los Bad Blue Boys croatas y los Maniáticos bosnios empezaron a pelear y después de unos minutos la mayor parte del público acabó sobre el terreno de juego. Visto que los hinchas seguían sobre el césped durante varios minutos, el áribitro pitó el final del partido.



Hubo presagios de los incidentes antes del encuentro y durante la primera mitad. El diario Nezavisne novine informa que "los hooligans de Zagreb, probablemente alcoholizados, agredieron a varios transeuntes y hicieron dańo a coches aparcados utilizando botillas y otros objetos, pero fueron controlados por la policía, que les acompańo hacia el Estadio Grbavica." Luego, durante el primer tiempo los ultras visitantes devastaban las sillas y chocaron con la policía.



Cuando el grupo de varios centenares de los hinchas croatas abandonaron el Estadio Grbavica, los seguidores locales empezaron a perseguirles, continuando la pelea en las calles de Sarajevo.



Segun el informe provisional de la Policia del cantón Sarajevo, en la ciudad hay vidrios rotos de tiendas y de coches y una persona ha sido ingresada en la clínica Kosevo para el tratamiento urgente de lesiones, mientras que varios individuos fueron detenidos.



Ozzie

Sunday, September 4, 2005

King Kahn? Or Lehmann? Who will be in net for Germany?

Coach Juergen Klinsmann has resolved to keep Oliver Kahn and Jens Lehmann as far apart as humanly possible--but, amazingly, even this has not stopped the war of words among the two prima donna goaltenders.

Klinsmann has stated that he will rotate the two keepers in upcoming friendly internationals this season. He will then decide next May who will be in the net for host Germany.

Lehmann will be in net against Slovakia and South Africa, and the Arsenal star used the platform to get in a few digs: "I'm sure I'll be in goal (at the World Cup)," the 35-year-old told Germany's Bild newspaper. "It could always happen that I play the first three games, then get a red card, but I'm sure I'll be playing."

Former Germany captain and Bayern Munich star Kahn, meanwhile, was none too happy with Lehmann: "It is astonishing how disrespectful it is to bring this up again," Kahn told the same newspaper. "The rules don't seem to have any meaning for him."

The drama contimues to unfold, and will not reach its denouement until May.

Michael Essien

Bizon iz Gane oborio rekord Chelseaja

Chelsea je usporio ritam dovođenja pojačanja. Vjerojatno ne zato što bi joj presušio izvor prihoda, već zato što je momčad već formirana i sada joj treba samo malo dotjerivanja. Jose Mourinho ocijenio je da je glavnina dotjerivanja potrebna u sredini terena pa je za 37,5 milijuna eura iz Lyona doveden moćni afrički vezist, 22-godišnji Michael Essien.

Reprezentativac Gane potpisao je s Chelseajem petogodišnji ugovor postavši najskuplja prinova u povijesti Chelseaja.

- "Želio sam njega, jer je on igrač koji će zaokružiti momčad već jaku na svakoj poziciji." - objasnio je Mourinho. - "Mislimo da je najbolji igrač kojeg smo mogli nabaviti za tu poziciju i da može igrati na bilo kojem mjestu u vezi. Mlad je, pun ambicije i ima profil igrača kakav nam je potreban."

Engleski je prvak lovio Essiena cijelo ljeto, ali je Lyon odbio ponude od 15, 24, 26, 31,5 milijuna eura. Odbio je čak i 31,5 milijuna plus Tiago Cardoso. Napokon je pristao na 37,5 milijuna eura, čime je Essien postao najskuplji igrač Chelseaja, za milijun skuplji od Didiera Drogbe, dovedenog prošle godine iz Marseillea.

- "Zaljubljen sam u Premiership. Mislim da mi neće biti teško priviknuti se, jer poznajem jezik i imam prijatelja u momčadi." - oduševljeno je pjevušio Ganac. - "Lyon me je želio zadržati, ali Chelsea je bila prejaka. Znam da bi mi Lyon povisio plaću, možda bi mi dao i više no što sam tražio, no volim Premier League. Već sam dugo priželjkivao igrati tamo, a Chelsea je postao jedan od velikih europskih klubova. Bit će to prava pustolovina za mene."

Kao Gerrard, Lampard, Ballack...

Novi trener Lyona, Le Guenov nasljednik Gerard Houllier, bio je žalostan zbog odlaska jedne od zvijezda momčadi. - "Smatram da je među šest najboljih srednjaka u Europi. Bili smo ga prisiljeni prodati mada nismo željeli, ali kad čovjek ne želi više igrati u klubu, ne preostaje drugo nego otvoriti mu izlazna vrata."
Houllier je uvjeren da Chelsea nije preskupo platila Essiena. - "Mislim da nije precijenjen. U Europi nema mnogo igrača poput njega. On je u klasi Gerrarda, Franka Lamparda i Michaela Ballacka."

Direktor francuskog prvaka Bernard Lacombe, stari lisac i nekadašnji centarfor Tricolora, sretan je kako se raspleo posao oko Essiena. - "Financijski, bila je to izvanredna operacija. Odšteta za Essiena je trećina našeg proračuna, a jednaka je cijelom budžetu nekih prvoligaških klubova. Međutim, za Michaela prelazak nije bio pitanje novca. Igranje u Engleskoj bio je njegov san."

Predsjednik Lavova Jean-Michel Aulas dodao je. - "S velikim žaljenjem ispraćamo Michaela. Željeli smo ga zadržati, ali ga nismo mogli prisiliti da ostane. Zadnja dva mjeseca nije više želio igrati u Lyonu. Za momčad, to je korak natrag, ali klub je napravio dobar posao."

Essienov je kolega iz obrane Lavova, Anthony Reveillere, dodao. - "Lyon je postojao i prije Michaela Essiena i postojat će nakon njega, no istina je da smo izgubili fantastičnog igrača.

Lyonov je bivši trener Paul Le Guen ovako opisivao svog mezimca. - "Nevjerojatan je. Volio bih da ga mogu koristiti istovremeno i kao srednjaka i kao braniča." Sličnim je riječima bio opisivan i Marcel Desailly, također rodom iz Gane, točnije - Accre. A Essien je rođen i odrastao u Accri. Proveo je djetinjstvo driblajući drveće, a ponekad se i zabijajući u njih, što je sudeći po njegovoj snažnoj građi moglo biti štetno i za drveće. Završio je gimnaziju 1998. u školi Svetog Augustina.

Karijeru je počeo u lokalnom klubu u Accri, Liberty Professionalsima. Priliku za prodor dobio je igrajući na Svjetskom prvenstvu do 17 godina na Novom Zelandu. Nastupom je privukao mnoge europske skaute te je dobio poziv na probu kod Manchester Uniteda. Dok je bio na probi na Old Traffordu, obijedili su ga da je navodno odnio previše besplatnih majica iz klupskog dućana. Ni Unitedovim se trenerima nije dopao, ali su mu ponudili kaljenje u svojoj podružnici, belgijskom Royal Antwerpenu. Essien je odbio te se neko vrijeme pritajio u stanu svog menadžera u Monte Carlu, ali mu je menadžer sredio transfer u Bastiju.

Tada 17-godišnji Essien u Bastiju se uključio igrajući na raznim pozicijama - na lijevom beku, desnom beku i kao stoper. Kad se jedan suigrač ozlijedio, dobio je priliku zaigrati u vezi i otkrio da je rođen za to mjesto. Kao Bastijin igrač, blistao je na Svjetskom juniorskom prvenstvu 2001. u Argentini, gdje je sa zemljacima dogurao do srebra, a iduće je godine na Afričkom prvenstvu debitirao i za seniorsku reprezentaciju Gane.

Rađanje "čudovišta"

Bastia se prometnula u jedno od iznenađenja francuske sezone profiliravši se kao kandidat za plasman u Kup UEFA, no to joj je izmaklo zbog pada forme u završna dva mjeseca. Essien je, igrajući svoj dotad najbolji nogomet, bio pogonska snaga momčadi. U ljeto je 2003. izazvao zanimanje Liverpoola i Evertona, no uskoro se našao u središtu natezanja između Lyona i PSG-a.

PSG je nudio 700.000 eura više, no Essiena je perspektiva igranja u Ligi prvaka privlačila Lyonu i nikako nije htio potpisati ugovor s Parižanima. Bastia nije imala drugog izbora nego transferirati ga Lyonu za 7,8 milijuna. Otočani ipak nisu bili očajni, s obzirom da su s Afrikancem ostvarili dosad najveći prihod, za 200.000 eura veći od onog koji su im donijeli prethodni rekorderi, Frederic Nee i Franck Jurietti.

U Lavovima, tada dvostrukim prvacima Francuske, Essien je postao "čudovište" od igrača. Igrao je kao defanzivni vezni te je bio jedan od najzaslužnijih za osvajanje Lyonovog trećeg uzastopnog naslova. Suigrači su ga prozvali "Bizonom", što je on komentirao riječima: - "Još nisam naišao na nekoga tko me može srušiti."

I 2005. je bio standardan član sastava koji je i četvrti puta zaredom postao francuski prvak, da bi ljetos zaključio da u Francuskoj ne može postići ništa što već nije te da bi ga ostanak u Lyonu ograničio u širenju obzora. Također je osjetio da bi mogao biti prikraćen i financijski, jer nije bez vraga što praktično svi veliki igrači iz francuske lige kad-tad presele na Otok ili u Italiju.

Chelsea je u trku za Essienom ušao u ožujku, ali je Aulas tada objavio da igrača nikako ne namjerava pustiti. Pritisak se Engleza nastavio, no kad je Lyon idućih mjeseci odbio pet uzastopnih ponuda Chelseaja, igrač je najavio štrajk radi slamanja uprave najvećeg francuskog kluba. U međuvremenu, Houllier je izostavio Essiena s prve tri ligaške utakmice, u iščekivanju neminovnog dogovora dvaju klubova.

U srpnju je Aulas izjavio da bi Chelsea morao platiti 45 milijuna želi li odvesti Essiena u London, na što je Chelseajev direktor Peter Kenyon otputovao u Francusku na pregovore. Kenyon je malo omekšao Aulasa, pred njegov susret na vrhu s Romanom Abramovičem, kada je konačno "skuhan" najveći transfer u povijesti kluba sa Stamford Bridgea.

Essien je u Francuskoj bio jedan od najtvrđih igrača, no spremno priznaje da je mamin sinek koji svakodnevno razgovara s mamom Abom u Gani. Tvrdi da prespava više od pola dana, "13 ili 14 sati u prosjeku", ali su mu utakmice obično prekratke, jer u 90 minuta ne uspjeva potrošiti svu energiju. Zna li se kakva trka vlada na susretima Premiershipa, Essien je vjerojatno dospio na pravo mjesto.

(Ozren Podnar)

Osobna karta

Ime i prezime: Michael Essien
Datum rođenja: 3. prosinca 1982.
Mjesto rođenja: Accra (Gana)
Pozicija: srednji vezni
Visina i težina: 180 cm, 77 cm

Karijera
1999/00 Bastia 0 - 0
2000/01 Bastia 12 - 1
2001/02 Bastia 24 - 4
2002/03 Bastia 29 - 6
2003/04 Lyon 34 - 3
2004/05 Lyon 37 - 4
2005/06 Chelsea

Uspjesi:

2 prvenstva Francuske (2004. i 2005.)
1 finale francuskog kupa (2002.)
1 Afričko prvenstvo do 17 godina (1999.)
1 bronca na Svjetskom prvenstvu do 17 godina (1999.)
1 srebro na Svjetskom prvenstvu za juniore (2001.)
Igrač godine u Francuskoj (2005.)

Saturday, September 3, 2005

Player Focus - Michel Essien

Player Focus - Michel Essien.
Bizon iz Gane oborio rekord Chelseaja

Chelsea je usporio ritam dovođenja pojačanja. Vjerojatno ne zato što bi joj presušio izvor prihoda, već zato što je momčad već formirana i sada joj treba samo malo dotjerivanja. Jose Mourinho ocijenio je da je glavnina dotjerivanja potrebna u sredini terena pa je za 37,5 milijuna eura iz Lyona doveden moćni afrički vezist, 22-godišnji Michael Essien.

Reprezentativac Gane potpisao je s Chelseajem petogodišnji ugovor postavši najskuplja prinova u povijesti Chelseaja.

- "Želio sam njega, jer je on igrač koji će zaokružiti momčad već jaku na svakoj poziciji." - objasnio je Mourinho. - "Mislimo da je najbolji igrač kojeg smo mogli nabaviti za tu poziciju i da može igrati na bilo kojem mjestu u vezi. Mlad je, pun ambicije i ima profil igrača kakav nam je potreban."

Engleski je prvak lovio Essiena cijelo ljeto, ali je Lyon odbio ponude od 15, 24, 26, 31,5 milijuna eura. Odbio je čak i 31,5 milijuna plus Tiago Cardoso. Napokon je pristao na 37,5 milijuna eura, čime je Essien postao najskuplji igrač Chelseaja, za milijun skuplji od Didiera Drogbe, dovedenog prošle godine iz Marseillea.

- "Zaljubljen sam u Premiership. Mislim da mi neće biti teško priviknuti se, jer poznajem jezik i imam prijatelja u momčadi." - oduševljeno je pjevušio Ganac. - "Lyon me je želio zadržati, ali Chelsea je bila prejaka. Znam da bi mi Lyon povisio plaću, možda bi mi dao i više no što sam tražio, no volim Premier League. Već sam dugo priželjkivao igrati tamo, a Chelsea je postao jedan od velikih europskih klubova. Bit će to prava pustolovina za mene."

Kao Gerrard, Lampard, Ballack...

Novi trener Lyona, Le Guenov nasljednik Gerard Houllier, bio je žalostan zbog odlaska jedne od zvijezda momčadi. - "Smatram da je među šest najboljih srednjaka u Europi. Bili smo ga prisiljeni prodati mada nismo željeli, ali kad čovjek ne želi više igrati u klubu, ne preostaje drugo nego otvoriti mu izlazna vrata."
Houllier je uvjeren da Chelsea nije preskupo platila Essiena. - "Mislim da nije precijenjen. U Europi nema mnogo igrača poput njega. On je u klasi Gerrarda, Franka Lamparda i Michaela Ballacka."

Direktor francuskog prvaka Bernard Lacombe, stari lisac i nekadašnji centarfor Tricolora, sretan je kako se raspleo posao oko Essiena. - "Financijski, bila je to izvanredna operacija. Odšteta za Essiena je trećina našeg proračuna, a jednaka je cijelom budžetu nekih prvoligaških klubova. Međutim, za Michaela prelazak nije bio pitanje novca. Igranje u Engleskoj bio je njegov san."

Predsjednik Lavova Jean-Michel Aulas dodao je. - "S velikim žaljenjem ispraćamo Michaela. Željeli smo ga zadržati, ali ga nismo mogli prisiliti da ostane. Zadnja dva mjeseca nije više želio igrati u Lyonu. Za momčad, to je korak natrag, ali klub je napravio dobar posao."

Essienov je kolega iz obrane Lavova, Anthony Reveillere, dodao. - "Lyon je postojao i prije Michaela Essiena i postojat će nakon njega, no istina je da smo izgubili fantastičnog igrača.

Lyonov je bivši trener Paul Le Guen ovako opisivao svog mezimca. - "Nevjerojatan je. Volio bih da ga mogu koristiti istovremeno i kao srednjaka i kao braniča." Sličnim je riječima bio opisivan i Marcel Desailly, također rodom iz Gane, točnije - Accre. A Essien je rođen i odrastao u Accri. Proveo je djetinjstvo driblajući drveće, a ponekad se i zabijajući u njih, što je sudeći po njegovoj snažnoj građi moglo biti štetno i za drveće. Završio je gimnaziju 1998. u školi Svetog Augustina.

Karijeru je počeo u lokalnom klubu u Accri, Liberty Professionalsima. Priliku za prodor dobio je igrajući na Svjetskom prvenstvu do 17 godina na Novom Zelandu. Nastupom je privukao mnoge europske skaute te je dobio poziv na probu kod Manchester Uniteda. Dok je bio na probi na Old Traffordu, obijedili su ga da je navodno odnio previše besplatnih majica iz klupskog dućana. Ni Unitedovim se trenerima nije dopao, ali su mu ponudili kaljenje u svojoj podružnici, belgijskom Royal Antwerpenu. Essien je odbio te se neko vrijeme pritajio u stanu svog menadžera u Monte Carlu, ali mu je menadžer sredio transfer u Bastiju.

Tada 17-godišnji Essien u Bastiju se uključio igrajući na raznim pozicijama - na lijevom beku, desnom beku i kao stoper. Kad se jedan suigrač ozlijedio, dobio je priliku zaigrati u vezi i otkrio da je rođen za to mjesto. Kao Bastijin igrač, blistao je na Svjetskom juniorskom prvenstvu 2001. u Argentini, gdje je sa zemljacima dogurao do srebra, a iduće je godine na Afričkom prvenstvu debitirao i za seniorsku reprezentaciju Gane.

Rađanje "čudovišta"

Bastia se prometnula u jedno od iznenađenja francuske sezone profiliravši se kao kandidat za plasman u Kup UEFA, no to joj je izmaklo zbog pada forme u završna dva mjeseca. Essien je, igrajući svoj dotad najbolji nogomet, bio pogonska snaga momčadi. U ljeto je 2003. izazvao zanimanje Liverpoola i Evertona, no uskoro se našao u središtu natezanja između Lyona i PSG-a.

PSG je nudio 700.000 eura više, no Essiena je perspektiva igranja u Ligi prvaka privlačila Lyonu i nikako nije htio potpisati ugovor s Parižanima. Bastia nije imala drugog izbora nego transferirati ga Lyonu za 7,8 milijuna. Otočani ipak nisu bili očajni, s obzirom da su s Afrikancem ostvarili dosad najveći prihod, za 200.000 eura veći od onog koji su im donijeli prethodni rekorderi, Frederic Nee i Franck Jurietti.

U Lavovima, tada dvostrukim prvacima Francuske, Essien je postao "čudovište" od igrača. Igrao je kao defanzivni vezni te je bio jedan od najzaslužnijih za osvajanje Lyonovog trećeg uzastopnog naslova. Suigrači su ga prozvali "Bizonom", što je on komentirao riječima: - "Još nisam naišao na nekoga tko me može srušiti."

I 2005. je bio standardan član sastava koji je i četvrti puta zaredom postao francuski prvak, da bi ljetos zaključio da u Francuskoj ne može postići ništa što već nije te da bi ga ostanak u Lyonu ograničio u širenju obzora. Također je osjetio da bi mogao biti prikraćen i financijski, jer nije bez vraga što praktično svi veliki igrači iz francuske lige kad-tad presele na Otok ili u Italiju.

Chelsea je u trku za Essienom ušao u ožujku, ali je Aulas tada objavio da igrača nikako ne namjerava pustiti. Pritisak se Engleza nastavio, no kad je Lyon idućih mjeseci odbio pet uzastopnih ponuda Chelseaja, igrač je najavio štrajk radi slamanja uprave najvećeg francuskog kluba. U međuvremenu, Houllier je izostavio Essiena s prve tri ligaške utakmice, u iščekivanju neminovnog dogovora dvaju klubova.

U srpnju je Aulas izjavio da bi Chelsea morao platiti 45 milijuna želi li odvesti Essiena u London, na što je Chelseajev direktor Peter Kenyon otputovao u Francusku na pregovore. Kenyon je malo omekšao Aulasa, pred njegov susret na vrhu s Romanom Abramovičem, kada je konačno "skuhan" najveći transfer u povijesti kluba sa Stamford Bridgea.

Essien je u Francuskoj bio jedan od najtvrđih igrača, no spremno priznaje da je mamin sinek koji svakodnevno razgovara s mamom Abom u Gani. Tvrdi da prespava više od pola dana, "13 ili 14 sati u prosjeku", ali su mu utakmice obično prekratke, jer u 90 minuta ne uspjeva potrošiti svu energiju. Zna li se kakva trka vlada na susretima Premiershipa, Essien je vjerojatno dospio na pravo mjesto.

(Ozren Podnar)

Osobna karta

Ime i prezime: Michael Essien
Datum rođenja: 3. prosinca 1982.
Mjesto rođenja: Accra (Gana)
Pozicija: srednji vezni
Visina i težina: 180 cm, 77 cm

Karijera
1999/00 Bastia 0 - 0
2000/01 Bastia 12 - 1
2001/02 Bastia 24 - 4
2002/03 Bastia 29 - 6
2003/04 Lyon 34 - 3
2004/05 Lyon 37 - 4
2005/06 Chelsea

Uspjesi:

2 prvenstva Francuske (2004. i 2005.)
1 finale francuskog kupa (2002.)
1 Afričko prvenstvo do 17 godina (1999.)
1 bronca na Svjetskom prvenstvu do 17 godina (1999.)
1 srebro na Svjetskom prvenstvu za juniore (2001.)
Igrač godine u Francuskoj (2005.)

Copyright Soccerphile/Zri Sport

Bet with Bet 365

World Soccer News

Soccer betting tips

Soccer Books & DVDs