November 16th, 2009

film • and i choose kill

The handbags are out...

Saw this article in The Guardian today:-

Lassana Diarra's low blow brings out Ireland's fighting spirit
What did the Frenchman say to the Irishman before they headed to the dressing rooms at full-time? Whatever it was, and ranks appear to have closed regarding the specifics, it represented a blow to the Republic of Ireland that felt every bit as low as Nicolas Anelka's wickedly deflected winning goal.

Giovanni Trapattoni, the Ireland manager, said Lassana Diarra's verbal attack on Keith Andrews, which precipitated a confrontation of a more physical nature with players from both teams forming a melee, was an "insult to the Irish people". "I cannot say the sentence," the Italian added. "It's very bad. You cannot insult all the people."

Ireland need no extra motivation for the trip to Paris on Wednesday, for the second leg of this World Cup play-off, but Diarra's apparent gracelessness in victory has ensured that the occasion will be heavily spiced. "I don't want to say exactly what he said," Andrews said, "but he knows what it was, which was a disrespectful comment and it was typical of him, to be honest, and the way that he was. I was hunkered down a little bit when the final whistle went and I saw him walking towards me and I thought he was going to shake my hand. But he made a remark and I lost my head a little bit.

"You don't expect that from a fellow professional. It's a massive two-legged tie, only halfway finished, so for someone to come out like that and say something was bitterly disappointing. But our lads are aware of it and we'll see what happens on Wednesday."

Andrews, who carried the midfield fight together with his sidekick Glenn Whelan, was asked whether he felt France had respect for Ireland. "To be honest, I don't know," he replied. "But if they didn't beforehand, they should do now. They were certainly put through their paces and we showed them what we have."

It is no secret what Ireland have. They have played more or less the same way in each qualifying tie under Trapattoni. They have discipline, spirit and commitment. They might not create too much but they generally give little away. On a pulsating night at Croke Park, they found their feet as the first half wore on and, although France played most of the football in the second half, Ireland could reflect on having enjoyed the better of the limited crop of chances.

Trapattoni is a manager who has played the percentages throughout his illustrious career and he would take a similar performance from his team in Paris, reasoning that it would give them the best chance of catching the break that they need. He is not likely to make changes to his line-up, nor his tactics. He simply hopes to have greater opportunities from set-pieces to expose what is perceived to be France's defensive weakness or, failing that, he hopes it could be his team that gets the fortuitous deflection. France will have to make a change at centre-back because of an injury to Eric Abidal, with Julien Escudé or Sébastien Squillaci likely to come in.

"We had a few ricochets off the goalkeeper which didn't go for us," said the captain, Robbie Keane, "and they get a deflection outside the box, it hits the inside of the post and goes in. In football you need luck and they certainly had that."

Questions remain about whether Trapattoni's approach is sufficiently flexible. He dismissed the possibly of adopting a slightly more adventurous game plan in France, where Ireland have not won since 1937; he cannot bear the thought of being caught on the counter-attack. "Maybe we take risks in the last minutes," he said. "This is a warm game for cold heads."

Trapattoni, though, can only work with what he has – few people think that he has failed to extract the maximum from his players – and the basis for Irish optimism comes from the encouraging form on their travels. The 1-1 draw in Italy was the highlight but in all five away fixtures in qualifying Group Eight, they held their own and avoided defeat. In all bar one, the 0-0 draw in Montenegro, they scored. Moreover, France conceded at home to Serbia, Romania and Austria on what can generously be described as isolated visiting attacks.

"Every time the ball went into their box, they looked like they were panicking," said the defender Richard Dunne. "We're probably going to have to play higher up the pitch and get a few more set-piece situations and take advantage of them. It's our belief that we can go there and win."

Irish football history is dotted with vital away results but they have tended to be gutsy draws. A performance and result for the ages is now required. "It's going to be a historic occasion if we can do it," said the goalkeeper Shay Given. "They will think they've gone through already but hopefully we'll have something to say about that."

Of course, it's all speculation, but if Diarra did make a comment about Irish people, then he needs to jog because this is exactly the sort of thing we've been working so hard to stamp out of football. I'm not sure his remarks should add as "fuel" to Ireland's performance on Wednesday though, they need to play with clear heads, and if they go into it seeking out Diarra and seeing the game as some sort of grudge match, then I can almost guarantee there'll be some rash tackles that could damage Ireland.

To be honest, I'm not at all optimistic about Ireland's chances of getting a result on Wednesday. Even if by some miracle they do grab a goal and don't concede, and it goes to penalties, I read that ROI have fared awfully in practice for penalties; Shay Given is their best penalty taker! And even though they were unlucky on Saturday not to get a draw, overall, France did look more threatening over long periods. Still, football is football and anything can happen. We shall see.

(mods, may we have a Republic of Ireland tag please? =) Unless I'm being a dosy cow and there already is one, in which case, ignore me ^_^ )

Mexican ace De Nigris dies

MEXICO striker Antonio de Nigris has died of a suspected heart attack aged 31.

De Negris, who signed for Greek side Larissa in August, was rushed to hospital in the early hours of Monday morning but was pronounced dead on arrival.

A club statement said: "The Larissa family mourns from today the tragic loss of Antonio De Nigris.

"It is with deep sorrow that the administration, technical leadership, players and executives of the club would like to express their condolences to his family, particularly his spouse Sonia and five-year-old daughter Miranda.

"An autopsy will be held at the General Academic Hospital in Larissa to determine the precise reasons of his death."

De Nigris represented Mexico 16 times including at the 2001 Copa America.


so sad :( RIP.



Van Persie to undergo radical treatment

Robin van Persie intends to do all he can to get back into action for Arsenal as soon as possible - and will travel to Serbia for radical medical treatment that involves massage using fluid from a placenta.

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How does everyone feel about this? I know they make shampoo out of it and there is ridiculously expensive face cream made from the foreskin of circumcised babies. Groce y/y?

xxx afro
  • c0rrine

new france kits are tight

tell me how evra's supposed to breathe with no air?!

no air

NO AIRRRR!!!!!!!

how does one breathe in the new france kits???

i think adidas just stamped the FFF logo on leftover underarmour
you know, just in case france don't qualify

for your time and consideration:

oirish gourcuff and henry wearing underarmour under underarmour
(say that 5 times fast)


£200 million and being out of the top four is acceptable?

MARK HUGHES has defiantly insisted Manchester City's season will not be a failure if they finish outside the top four.

City boss Sparky, who spent over £200million in the summer, is looking to get his side's campaign back on track again after five successive draws.

It has left the Blues in sixth spot ahead of this weekend's trip Liverpool, currently languishing in seventh after just one win in nine games.

Hughes said: "With the resources we have, people are saying the top four is the minimum requirement. That is actually not the case.

"The clubs you have to overcome to get there are not just the best teams in the Premier League, they are also some of the best teams in the world.

"That is the challenge for everybody. And it is very difficult.

"What we are looking for is progress and I would defy anyone to say we have not made progress from where we were last year."

It is a source of pride that City are the only top flight club to have lost just once this term and even that was unfortunate when rivals United won 4-3 at Old Trafford with a goal deep into a mysterious SIX minutes of added time.

Hughes added: "We have played 13 games in all competitions and we have been beaten once.

"Ideally we would like to have changed some of those draws to wins but we have reached a consistent level that allows us to compete in every game.

"I'm pleased with the progress we are making and that will continue. I am certain of it."


Place your bets on when he'll be sacked.

Barcelona step up Cesc Fabregas pursuit by offering Yaya Toure and Bojan Krkic

Barcelona's efforts to sign Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas could see Yaya Toure and Bojan Krkic move in the opposite direction.

Nou Camp president Joan Laporta is desperate to sign the Spain midfielder before he relinquishes power next summer, but Arsene Wenger is equally determined not to sell.

The Arsenal boss insists his midfield general is not on the market, but Barca are looking at ways to make a deal acceptable to the Frenchman.

Wenger is known to be an admirer of Ivory Coast international Toure, the brother of former Arsenal defender Kolo, despite rejecting him as a teenager.

And reports in Spain claim Arsenal made enquiries about Spain striker Bojan in the summer. Both could now be offered on top of a cash bid in an attempt to land Fabregas.

Barca boss Pep Guardiola is not keen to lose either, but both have fallen down the pecking order. Toure's agent hinted the 26-year-old could leave after starting just four of Barca's 10 League games so far this season.

Bojan, who burst on to the scene at Barca when Frank Rijkaard was in charge, has not had the same opportunities under Guardiola and now faces competition from emerging talents Pedrito and Jeffren.

If Robinho arrives from Manchester City in January, the 19-year-old would fins himself even more marginalised.

Barca are aware that Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is also keen to sign Fabregas and the Catalans fear being blown out of the water with a cash offer approaching £50million.

However, the 22-year-old is likely to favour a return to the club he left as a 16-year-old, should he decide to leave the Emirates Stadium.

Fabregas has consistently stated his commitment to the Gunners, but it has not stopped the Press in Spain from believing he will return next summer, particularly if Arsenal cannot bring an end to a trophyless spell dating back to 2005.

Source: The Daily Fail
  • Current Music
    Lady Gaga - Monster

I hope this is allowed

I've been practically living off these Sporcle quizzes for the past month or so and thought we could all have some fun especially with all that's been happening in this gloomy November. Just the general squad for each club with a bit of Europe and the World Cup thrown in for those who don't want to do the clubs, don't want people's brains exploding with stress!


The Squad of 09/10

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Source: Sporcle of course!

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